Like Shooting Fish In A Rathole

Guardian – Inquiry into shooting of wounded Iraqi shown in television footage : The Pentagon said last night it was opening an investigation into the shooting of an unarmed and wounded Iraqi in Falluja, following the release of television footage showing what appeared to be a close-range execution-style killing. The Iraqi was one of five wounded prisoners left in a battle-scarred mosque after marines fought their way through the city at the weekend.

Independent – ‘This one’s faking he’s dead’… ‘He’s dead now’: The footage showed several Marines with a group of prisoners who were either lying on the floor or propped against a wall of the bombed-out building. One Marine can be heard declaring that one of the prisoners was faking his injuries. “He’s fucking faking he’s dead. He faking he’s fucking dead,” says the Marine. At that point a clatter of gunfire can be heard as one of the Marines shoots the prisoner. Another voice can then be heard saying: “He’s dead now.” The footage was obtained by a team from the American NBC network that was embedded with the Marine Corps during last week’s seven-day battle to capture the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, which military commanders say has been a focus of Iraqi resistance. The film was then pooled and made available to other media.

Rest assured that if there were no camera there, you probably wouldn’t have even heard about this. For the same reason you’ve probably never heard of Hanan Saleh Matrud. And for the same reason Bush and Blair didn’t feel the need to act on the torture of prisoners until everyone saw the pictures.

How many prisoners are the U.S. hiding from the world in Iraq? Is it a “handful”? Dozens? They assure us there are no female detainees in custody in Iraq (well, maybe a couple of really, really evil ones… but can we really believe that?

Continue reading








Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely!, Page 3 - News in Briefs | Comments Off

15-30 November, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
Activism
Time
10:47
And to think it all started with a bit of bloggage…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:49
BBC – Eyewitness: Smoke and corpses: It is hard to know how much people outside Falluja are aware of what is going on here. I want them to know about conditions inside this city – there are dead women and children lying on the streets. People are getting weaker from hunger. Many are dying from their injuries because there is no medical help left in the city whatsoever. Some families have started burying their dead in their gardens.

Independent – A hollow victory: The US and Iraqi authorities announced that Fallujah had been pacified yesterday, saying they had smashed through the last lines of resistance and killed more than 1,200 fighters. Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, said allied forces had “completed the move, for all practical purposes, from the north of the town to the south”. Iraq’s interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, said there had been “a clear-cut win over the insurgents and the terrorists”. But the pacification of the rebel stronghold could be a hollow victory. The Americans will leave behind them a shattered city, having unleashed the full might of the US military against an estimated 6,000 insurgents. There was plenty of evidence across Iraq that the war is far from over, and the devastation of Fallujah is likely to have fuelled the resistance.

And now for the really good news. Remember what was being touted as a certainty just before the U.S. election?

Guardian – Iraq vote could be delayed: Iraq’s deputy prime minister has indicated for the first time that the much-heralded elections due in January could be derailed by the country’s violent insurgency. Barham Salih said the authorities were determined to hold the vote, but admitted they would have to assess the security situation nearer the time. “Holding free and fair elections on time is an obligation that we have undertaken towards the Iraqi people,” he said. But he added: “Nearer the time, the Iraqi government, the United Nations, the independent election commission and the national assembly will have to engage in a real and hard-headed dialogue to assess the situation.” It is the first time a senior figure in the interim government has acknowledged that the dire security situation in large parts of the country could affect the political process.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
In The News
Time
11:33
Boris Johnson sacked by Tories over private life

Tories: ‘This is not about Boris’s private life’

If this wasn’t about Boris’s private life, then why was he asked the question in the first place?

Private lives – the danger of public scandals

Boris denies ‘misleading’ leader

In fact, was he actually asked the question?

Sacked Johnson planned to quit: But a well-placed Tory MP insisted the former party vice-chairman had not misled Mr Howard since the men did not speak until Saturday. “Boris did not at any stage mislead Michael Howard. They only had one conversation about this and that was yesterday afternoon,” he added. The source indicated that Mr Johnson had not been pressed for details by Mr Howard’s press secretary, Guy Black, last week and so could not be said to have lied to him.

Yes, it would appear that Boris put himself in a rather awkward position (please see important illustration to your right)… but then again so did David Blunkett. But the media weren’t out to shaft Blunkett (his was a love that could not be denied) and his leader stood by him and/or stayed out of it (this was a “private matter”).

But Michael Howard saw the attack dogs circling last week, and even went so far as to egg them on. The moment the dogs had Boris on the ground, Howard stuck the knife in.

Go to Google

Search for ‘opportunist’

Click “I’m Feeling Lucky!”

That is all.

Petition: Bring Back Boris!

Sorry, but Boris was sacked because he was a threat to Howard. His days in this cabinet are over.

The next cabinet, however, is an entirely different matter…

Comments have been closed on Boris Johnson’s weblog, but you should expect them to re-open in a few days. Let the man regroup.

In the meantime, you can follow the latest developments and leave comments at BorisWatch.

UPDATE – BBC – Boris Johnson sacked: Your views

UPDATE – Hmmm. I’m not sure if this most recent development will make Boris’s odds longer or shorter….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:48
Hove Labour – not official, therefore largely unafraid. Go and chip in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
11:53
So over, that it’s now in book form…

NYT – For the First Time Since Vietnam, the Army Prints a Guide to Fighting Insurgents: For the first time in decades, the Army has issued a field guide to counterinsurgency warfare, an acknowledgment that the kind of fighting under way in Iraq may become more common in the years ahead. The Army field manual on counterinsurgency operations is the first since the early Vietnam era, and the first ever intended for the kind of regular Army units now embroiled in battles in Iraq, as opposed to the Special Operations forces who have taken the lead in previous counterinsurgencies.

Cheers to Carl for the heads-up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
Inneresting
Time
12:20
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, travelling to Iraq is safer than travelling to Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo), Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.

So Iraq as a country is safer; that’s the official advice. All that hostage-taking must be the result of anti-social behaviour…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
Normal People
Time
13:51
Meet Ill Mitch. He is the bomb and all that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
Photoshopping
Time
13:52
Couldn’t be helped.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
George W. Bush
Time
15:19
Looks like Bush is headed to our neck of the woods again. But this time, we may do something new.

BTW, have you folks heard of a chap by the name of Dick Tuck?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
The Bush Administration
Time
16:56
BBC – Colin Powell to quit Bush cabinet

That’s jolly good news. Now the Bush administration can present a united front on the War on Terror.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041115
Photoshopping
Time
21:06
OK, just this once, I’ll try to see it from Tony’s point of view…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:53
Guardian – Inquiry into shooting of wounded Iraqi shown in television footage : The Pentagon said last night it was opening an investigation into the shooting of an unarmed and wounded Iraqi in Falluja, following the release of television footage showing what appeared to be a close-range execution-style killing. The Iraqi was one of five wounded prisoners left in a battle-scarred mosque after marines fought their way through the city at the weekend.

Independent – ‘This one’s faking he’s dead’… ‘He’s dead now’: The footage showed several Marines with a group of prisoners who were either lying on the floor or propped against a wall of the bombed-out building. One Marine can be heard declaring that one of the prisoners was faking his injuries. “He’s fucking faking he’s dead. He faking he’s fucking dead,” says the Marine. At that point a clatter of gunfire can be heard as one of the Marines shoots the prisoner. Another voice can then be heard saying: “He’s dead now.” The footage was obtained by a team from the American NBC network that was embedded with the Marine Corps during last week’s seven-day battle to capture the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, which military commanders say has been a focus of Iraqi resistance. The film was then pooled and made available to other media.

Rest assured that if there were no camera there, you probably wouldn’t have even heard about this. For the same reason you’ve probably never heard of Hanan Saleh Matrud. And for the same reason Bush and Blair didn’t feel the need to act on the torture of prisoners until everyone saw the pictures.

How many prisoners are the U.S. hiding from the world in Iraq? Is it a “handful”? Dozens? They assure us there are no female detainees in custody in Iraq (well, maybe a couple of really, really evil ones… but can we really believe that?

This is the tip of the iceberg. Remember that.

Change of pace…

In the scant 188 words The Sun affords this today, they make room to point out that; “Terrorists have been known to play dead to lure in US troops before opening fire.”

You can expect to hear this in many a defence in the coming days. Along with how the marine involved was wounded, and his buddies were dead etc. etc. etc.

But now I’m confused. Was this man an insurgent or militant or a terrorist? There is a difference, isn’t there? And wouldn’t lying wounded for a day without medical attention leave you feeling just a little bit under the weather?

No matter. On the facing page is a girl with lovely, pert breasts. The space she takes up is double that of the story of the (ahem) unfortunate Iraqi.

Her name is Ruthie. She’s 23, and from Ashford in Kent. She’s delighted the Black Watch will be home soon (just as Tony Blair has promised). She says: “They’ve done a terrific job and it’s great to know their time in Iraq is coming to a close. But all of our thoughts this Christmas will be with the families of those who didn’t make it back alive.”

They’re not mentioned specifically, but Christmas being a time of brotherhood and goodwill, I’m sure this statement includes wounded and unarmed Iraqis who get mown down for ‘playing dead’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:08
CIA: Sources say White House has ordered new chief to eliminate officers who were disloyal to Bush. Ner-ner-ner, comes the familiar answer, it happens all the time and Clinton did it too.

Powell resigns and Condoleezza Rice is named as his successor. You may wish, at this time, to re-live her finest hour (14Mb Quicktime video, link via Atrios).

Chew: The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few.

Laugh: Republican Congressman John Hostettler has been convinced by local religious groups to change the name of Interstate 69 to a more moral sounding number.

Worry some: Tiny Antennas to Keep Tabs on U.S. Drugs.

Worry some more: Bordering On Nukes? New accounts from al-Qaeda to attack the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction.

Try to put it out of your mind: What kind of blogger are you?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
Civil Liberties
Time
10:10
Washington Monthly – Stealth Conservatism: The comparison with liberal programs is instructive. The point of the Social Security Act really was to provide pensions to old people. The point of the Civil Rights Act really was to eliminate discrimination. The purpose of Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan really was to provide national healthcare. Win or lose, there was no stealth involved.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, we have legislation targeting animal rights extremists that can be used to curtail legitimate protest, anti-terrorism legislation that was be used to curtail legitimate protest, and an Organised Crime Bill that… I don’t need to finish this sentence, do I?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
WMD
Time
10:20
Man killed by deadly nerve gas! Guess who’s responsible. No, go on, take a wild shot in the dark.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
Activism
Time
10:22
The UK Today – Bush Re-Visit(ed)!

Yes, I have a plan for Chasing Bush II.

I even have a name for it… Operation Manticore.

Do you remember last time I published a plan, (as did the Stop The war Coalition) and the Bush team changed theirs to avoid embarrassment? Do you remember the new plan that involved mobile phones that was quickly followed by reports that mobile phones could be blocked in some areas?

While the well-publicised alternative state procession was going on, Bush used the opportunity to hold one of his few London-based photo-opportunities at Buckingham Palace while most of the protestors were on the other side of town.

In the end, Bush had to get Blair to cordon off Sedgefield and bus some happy people in, but he achieved a victory of sorts, mainly because we projected our every move. But we needed publicity to drive the campaign (Nnnnngh!)…

Not this time.

Yesterday, I received an offer of funding in response to this post. It’s not *quite* enough to achieve what I want to achieve but it’s damn close… and I have a plan to extend funding just enough to make it happen.

Chasing Bush II – Operation Manticore can and will be planned and executed (and even promoted) under a strict code of secrecy.

The Bushies can move, change and cordon off to their heart’s desire, but this time we’ll know far more about their plans than they will about ours. They won’t know what’s coming (or who to suspect) until it’s too late.

This will take a few weeks to get together. Please bear with me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
A Blog is Born
Time
11:38
Meet Russell. He’s a Lib Dem who’s fortunate enough to live in a Lib Dem constuency. In other words, he’s part of the vast liberal conspiracy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041116
OK, So I’m a Comic Book Geek
Time
16:58
Superman is a dick. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:58
BBC – New video ‘shows Hassan murder’: A video apparently showing the murder of aid worker Margaret Hassan seems to be genuine, says the Foreign Office. “We now believe that she has probably been murdered”, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said after analysing the tape. Her Iraqi husband, Tahseen Ali Hassan, has made a plea for her body to be returned to him “to rest in peace”.

Guardian – Kidnapped aid worker blindfolded and shot: The video, which emerged a week ago but was kept secret, has been studied by experts, and both British diplomats and relatives of Mrs Hassan said they now believed it showed the 59-year-old and that she had been killed.

Given that I spoke out against the brutal and unlawful killing of a wounded and unarmed insurgent yesterday, you might very well ask me (as many RWCs do) where my anger is for the tragedy of the slain hostages in Iraq. Particularly for someone as innocent and as selfless as Margaret Hassan.

Here’s my anger, Jack….

It should be obvious now to anyone who’s been paying attention that there are people on one side of the war on terror who will commit any outrage to further their cause. And they’re enabled by those on the other side, who actually dare to try and frame and shape tragic events rather than fighting the threat itself.

I’ll get back to this in mo. Hang in there.

Yesterday, The Sun spared 188 words for the man who had lay wounded for a day and was shot dead by a marine for not being perky enough to sit up.

Today, Margaret Hassan gets over double that; 420 words. And that’s just the core article. She also gets two-thirds of the front page, an opinion piece (well, actually, that’s more about the “scum” who killed her) and top billing in the editorial, which urges us to learn from this important lesson (a lesson that’s presented short of a vital chapter or two).

But let’s not get carried away. We can’t give the woman the *entire* front page, now can we? Not when the new series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is due to kick off. This same priority is shown very clearly in the presentation of a Page 3 model today (sorry, Margaret, we only abstain from showing boobs when there’s an earthquake, a flood, a major train crash or the death of a really famous person).

Today Katie (19, from Liverpool) can’t wait for this year’s I’m A Celebrity to kick off. She says: “The last three shows have just got better and better and I know the new series will be must-see TV. Watching all those stars battle creepy crawlies in the jungle is hilarious. Roll on Saturday!”

So, in summary; great tragedy, dead martyr, killed by scum, strengthen your resolve… but try not to think too hard about it.

Because if you did think to hard about it, you might begin to wonder why the only (only) reference to Margaret Hassan’s stance on the war is this statement in the editorial: “Margaret had absolutely no connection with the coalition forces.”

In the main article, our great leaders stand side by side with her memory: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said: “It is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq.” Tony Blair called the murder “abhorrent”.

The overall suggestion being that Jack Straw and Tony Blair have also spent much of their time working for the good of the people of Iraq… just like dear old Margaret. So together we must…. well, you know the rest.

But Margaret Hassan did have a connection to the coalition forces. She was vehemently opposed to their presence in Iraq and the policy that preceded it.

(Sorry there’s only a Google cache of this. More articles of this kind should pop up soon…)

Robert Fisk – Kidnapped – The heroine who offered hope for Iraq: Margaret was the enemy of United Nations sanctions on Iraq. She is the symbol of all those who believe that Iraq – a real, free, unoccupied Iraq – has a future; and all we can be told is that she, too, has joined the legion of the unpersons, the “disappeared”, the list of those who, because of their language or the colour of their eyes or their nationality, have slipped into Iraq’s dark hole. The ultimate disgrace yesterday was to hear British diplomats who supported those deadly sanctions weeping their crocodile tears for “Margaret”…. But Mr Blair, remember, fully supported the sanctions which Margaret loathed. And, of course, he supported George Bush’s invasion that led to the chaos that has engulfed Iraq…. Before the war to remove Saddam Hussein, Margaret was among the many who warned the British Government that an invasion and occupation would produce a humanitarian crisis in a country already severely weakened by the embargoes.

Now, after her death, all of the good she stood for and all of the good she did is hijacked and corrupted by those who wish to convince us that the current Iraq policy is right and good.

There it is. There’s my anger.

Then – to really get a good steam going – add to this that any outrage committed against civilians or insurgents by the coalition forces is immediately presented ‘in context’ with the outrages committed by terrorists, thereby further blurring the line between them. Even the word insurgent suggests that these forces fighting ours come primarily from outside Iraq. Now, you may know it doesn’t mean that, but take a quick straw poll in the office. How many people define the word correctly, and how many have formed their own definition shaped by coalition-friendly media?

And it was us that brought terrorism to Iraq. But, again, the line is blurred. It’s all part of the War on Terror. We didn’t enhance the threat, we focused it. Oh sure, a few innocent Iraqis got caught up in it, but don’t worry. As we continue to play this game, their anger will grow and more of them will oppose us and/or the blurred edges will get wider and wider. So before too long they’ll be the enemy anyway. And the ‘lesson’ will be that we must strengthen our resolve not to save them, but to kill as many of them as possible.

And it will serve them right for being so ungrateful.

UPDATE – Peter Gasston – Another pointless death: No-one gains anything from the murder of Margaret Hassan; not the (terrorist? insurgent? criminal?) group who took her, not the Anglo-American alliance that created the conditions for her death, not the people of Iraq who have lost a tireless champion and certainly not the family who have lost someone they dearly loved.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
The War on Terror
Time
10:05
You might as well just kill yourself and save them the bother. (Leads to two juicy links.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
In The News
Time
10:06
Jane Rankin-Reid – Grilled, battered or fried: Boris Johnson’s arse on the line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
RWCs
Time
10:11
Hello, is that housekeeping? Yes, the fear seems to be missing from this post. Could you send someone up to fix it? Cheers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
An American Election
Time
10:13
Sorry Everybody has grown to gargantuan proportions. There’s a solid hour or two in it if you want to check them all. Meanwhile, Bob Piper brings us two highlights from the rather sad werenotsorry.com

(Oh dear. The latter site appears to have died by the looks of things. No matter… here’s a suitable replacement.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:19
Wibbler met Boris Johnson yesterday and comments are now enabled at Boris Johnson’s weblog.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Humanity
Time
10:21
fallujapictures.blogspot.com: a brief note on why – i believe the american people are decent and not without humanity. they have not seen what is being done in their name. maybe we don’t live in a world that can do without war. i do know that people need to know what war means before they decide. a lot of people have sent me pictures of september 11th. please stop. i lived in lower manhattan on 9/11. i’ve seen it in real life. the people in these pictures are just as important as the men and women that died on september 11th. a mother who loses her child suffers the same no matter what her nationality might be. she doesn’t want a lecture on politics or religion. she wants her son back.

That should be enough on its own. Go and see the pictures if you feel you need to… but prepare yourself for some unpleasantness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Compare and Contrast
Time
10:25
Malcom Gladwell – Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life?

Wired – Senate May Ram Copyright Bill

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
The War on Terror
Time
10:29
Washington Post – Terror Informant Ignites Himself Near White House: A Falls Church man who worked as a federal informant on terrorism set himself on fire in front of the White House yesterday, hours after announcing his suicide attempt and citing his growing despondency over how the FBI managed his case.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Civil Liberties
Time
10:31
The poison that is nicotine causes Nosemonkey to channel the Tories. Film at eleven. After I pop outside for a fag.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Chasing Bush II – Operation Manticore
Time
10:34
Bloody hell. I thought having money was supposed to make things easier.

*sigh*

Development will take about 6 weeks. The Bloggerheads re-design and the soft-launch of the Anti-Murdoch Network will go ahead as scheduled (i.e. soonish).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Photoshopping
Time
13:44
Dear, sainted Tony…

(A revision, but I’d like to think that it’s a suitable one.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:11
Meet Mike Bell. He’s the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Woodspring Constituency of North Somerset, don’t you know….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041117
Diversions
Time
16:13
Merry Christmas 1 (UPDATE – Woo! My lyrics made the grade!)

Merry Christmas 2

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:31
apologiesaccepted.com – I’m sure you can guess what that’s about.

Trial Shows How Spammers Operate (link via Ultimate Insult).

Music Video: It may be blasphemy, but at least it’s well-executed blasphemy.

Colin Powell deserves our gratitude (link via ScaryDuck).

All rather unfortunate, some stuff went wrong, ultimately unavoidable, no-one to blame. Sounds familiar, no?

Perfect.co.uk – He’d dead now: Yesterday’s news of the murder of an unarmed and wounded Iraqi prisoner in a mosque, captured on camera by Kevin Sites is made worse when you actually comprehend the details…

That’s better. More reasons to be fearful here.

Washington Post – GOP Pushes Rule Change to Protect DeLay’s Post: House Republicans proposed changing their rules last night to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post, a move that would benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, according to GOP leaders.

*sigh*… Nothing like being above the law, is there? Oh well.

Here comes the Peace and Progress Party. First order of business; improve the website. (Links via James.)

Here we go again….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
Chasing Bush II – Operation Manticore
Time
09:49
In a perfect world, would be surplus to requirements….

Toronto Star – Should Canada indict Bush?: When U.S. President George W. Bush arrives in Ottawa – probably later this year – should he be welcomed? Or should he be charged with war crimes? It’s an interesting question. On the face of it, Bush seems a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. This act was passed in 2000 to bring Canada’s ineffectual laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court. While never tested, it lays out sweeping categories under which a foreign leader like Bush could face arrest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:08
Tom Watson’s website is back up, and will be moved to a new host soon.

UPDATE – Remember all the fun we had with Tom’s Teens page? Well, it looks like Ros Taylor has also claimed a scalp.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
Photoshopping
Time
14:47
It’s been a while….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
Art
Time
15:25
Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Go on, I dare you!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041118
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
15:44
Just got an interesting email forwarded to me. It was sent in reaction to this link from Monday, and our government’s assertion that travelling to Iraq is safer than travelling to thirty-one other countries. The following email was sent from a Brit currently staying in Georgia (one of the countries on the ‘do not travel’ list):

“What an astonishing load of crap! The country notice is years out of date and the “kidnapping” they refer to of a British “businessman” was of a crooked fraudster who was trying to carve in on local mafia business. Although perhaps not as safe as (some places), Tbilisi certainly seems safer than London.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
George W. Bush
Time
09:47
Smoochies!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:55
Google puts intalectural elitists at your fingertips.

When co-workers attack.

Whoops!

One from the right: Helping you to understand why shooting unarmed and wounded men is OK… A Marine Writes Home.

Washington Post – Bush Plans Tax Code Overhaul.

The low-down from Rising Hegemon: This is literally taking the poor and middle class and making them bend over and ‘squeal like a piggy.’ Once again the rich get richer and the less rich get hosed. John Calvin would be proud.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
RWCs
Time
09:57
John ‘Leatherface’ Gibson is mouthing off again. Try not to waste any tooth enamel on him.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Inneresting
Time
09:59
World’s. Biggest. Country. Town. Looks purdy, though.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
In The News
Time
10:03
So, hunting with dogs will be banned from February.

1. Pro-hunt protests will hit a peak at around the same time we’ll be hunting Bush. Probably.

2. The internets to the rescue!

3. They didn’t say anything about hunting with leopards, now did they?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Humanity
Time
10:12
Europhobia – Sensitivity: Remember the outrage with Ken Bigley’s death? Noticed the lack of the same over Margaret Hassan? The former a guy who went to Iraq for a quick buck, fully aware of the dangers, the latter an aid worker who spent 30 years in the country trying to help out. Well, I just made the mistake of going to Fark for the first time in ages, and started looking at the reactions of some of the posters there to the news that Iraqis have been upset and outraged by this latest murder – a murder of someone who has done more to help their country than pretty much every coalition soldier combined….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Established Media
Time
10:15
New York Times – Bono’s New Casualty: ‘Private Ryan’: For anyone who doubts that we are entering a new era, let’s flash back just a few years. “Saving Private Ryan,” with its “CSI”-style disembowelments and expletives undeleted, was nationally broadcast by ABC on Veteran’s Day in both 2001 and 2002 without incident, and despite the protests of family-values groups. What has changed between then and now? A government with the zeal to control both information and culture has received what it calls a mandate. Media owners who once might have thought that complaints by the American Family Association about a movie like “Saving Private Ryan” would go nowhere are keenly aware that the administration wants to reward its base. Merely the threat that the F.C.C. might punish a TV station or a network is all that’s needed to push them onto the slippery slope of self-censorship before anyone in Washington even bothers to act. This is McCarthyism, “moral values” style.

(Cheers to liberal minion Carl for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
10:16
Slugger O’Toole reports on the Adam Smith Institute event Democracy and the Blogosphere. Links to central site and many other reports.

Perfect.co.uk – Guardian Online does trackback in print: In effect one can now comment on what is written in Online without sending a letter to the editor.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Flash Games
Time
10:21
Rumble in the Jumble (link via FunJunkie).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
10:23
Iran is next 1

Iran is next 2

No matter. I’m sure Condi will bring some common sense to the table.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Video
Time
10:26
Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Dubya: The Movie!

(Link via Ultimate Insult.)

Before you click and visit, try to imagine who would be the best possible candidate to play George ‘Dubya’ Bush… then be prepared to be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Virus Alert
Time
10:47
A new Sober variant – Sober.I – is on the loose. Brand spanking new, this one. I got 16 copies in my Inbox this morning, and it almost slipped past my anti-virus software. Update now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Normal People
Time
10:55
Every woman should have a hobby….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Photoshopping
Time
15:41
Mojo… rising…. urge to ‘shop Star Wars… uncontrollable!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
15:48
Guardian – Commons motion to impeach Blair gets go-ahead: The parliamentary motion to impeach Tony Blair for “gross misconduct” over the war against Iraq will be published next Wednesday, the day after the Queen’s speech. It will be the first to be tabled in 198 years, since Lord Melville, a close friend of the then prime minister, William Pitt the younger, faced impeachment for misusing public money in running the Admiralty. Senior parliamentary officials, including legal advisers to the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, on Wednesday night approved the wording of the text as meeting parliamentary rules, allowing the motion to be tabled on the first day of the new session. The Tory chief whip, David Maclean, has paged every Tory frontbench MP telling them not to sign it.

A new petition has been drafted. Click here to read/sign it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Educational
Time
15:53
BBC – Pupils scared by asteroid spoof: Pupils were left in tears after a teacher told them that an asteroid was about to hit Earth and kill them all. The spoof announcement was designed to teach 14-year-olds the importance of seizing the day but backfired after they became visibly frightened.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041119
Bunch of Stuff
Time
17:33
The latest B3ta newsletter is out, and contains:

1. A bunch of fun links. This is one of them.

2. The winners of the C4 ‘Alternative Christmas’ challenge. This is one of them.

(Also, there’s this, which is quite lovely.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
The War on Stupid
Time
09:35
Independent – Civil rights groups condemn Blunkett’s anti-terror plans: Tony Blair faces a backlash from lawyers and civil rights campaigners over the string of anti-crime Bills and measures against international terrorism expected to dominate tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, confirmed yesterday that ministers were planning a draft Anti-Terrorism Bill which would include sweeping measures such as judge-only trials, new civil orders for people suspected of planning terrorist acts and the use of wiretap evidence in courts. He said a draft Bill would be produced in the new year, after the House of Lords gives its verdict on terror suspects held without trial in Belmarsh Prison.

Ah. Sorry. I know this is a bit rough for Monday morning, so you may prefer The Sun’s version of this story, which includes a large picture of Osama bin Laden to help you focus your mind on certain ‘necessities’…

I can’t find an online reference, but Blunkett was on the radio yesterday asking that people “give these measures the benefit of the doubt” instead of assuming that the government is out to get more power and/or misuse it.

1. And hasn’t this government earned that benefit of the doubt, ladies and gentlemen?

2. He’s more or less asking us to grant him the benefit of the doubt so he can remove the presumption of innocence. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:37
John Kampfner – The law chief who bowed to Blair: We already knew that the Prime Minister agreed to back George W Bush’s war plans as early as April 2002. He was concerned about regime change and needed to find another reason – weapons of mass destruction – to justify military action politically and legally. What is less known is how Blair, together with the Americans, leaned on the UK Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, to change his mind about the legality of the war. That story can now be told.

John Kampfner – Blair’s legal case for war was sexed up too: The story of Blair, Lord Goldsmith, his attorney-general, and the legal advice has leaked out in dribs and drabs. I have had conversations that cast further light on a troubling chain of events. The evidence suggests that Blair, along with the Americans, leant on Goldsmith to change his mind; that the legal advice privately presented to Blair did not explicitly sanction war; and that the later version of that advice on which MPs based their decisions 10 days later was wholly different.

(That second piece appeared in the Times on Sunday. On the same day that the Independent on Sunday was busy giving full-page big-ups to I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here!…. welcome to Bizarro-world.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
09:54
Washington Post – Nuclear Disclosures on Iran Unverified: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell shared information with reporters Wednesday about Iran’s nuclear program that was classified and based on an unvetted, single source who provided information that two U.S. officials said yesterday was highly significant if true but has not yet been verified.

But of course, the use of force will *cough* be a last resort.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
Inneresting
Time
09:58
Meet the ‘typical’ Brit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:00
An innocent mistake? Unlikely. (Now, now, now. Perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt.)

Water Force One looks like good value for money. Way to work that mandate, George.

Help for homeless hermit crabs and millions of tiny spiders cover the critter front. But our ‘and finally’ award goes to….

Almost half of Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
Photoshopping
Time
12:24
The Star Wars Photoshopping Project is now on its 17th page.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
Distractions
Time
12:58
yeargh! Helllllp!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041122
George W. Bush
Time
13:17
Ha-ha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
The War on Stupid
Time
10:35
John Prescott was dragged out of bed to address the small problem of Radio 4 this morning (as he always is when the government is presenting something that’s total bollocks).

Prescott insisted that the new ‘security’ measures were nothing to be afraid of, as they would be open to public debate. Also, he insisted that the threat of global terror was not something that could be ignored (cross-reference with Blunkett’s recent soundbite: “…we will have to take whatever steps are necessary, particularly in terms of security and intelligence, because it’s no good picking up the pieces – literally – afterward”).

But, when the presenter quite rightly brought up the issue of Iraq (which was supposed to make us more secure, but did just the opposite) Prescott dismissed these concerns by claiming the presenter and the programme had an “obsession” with the subject. He also said – when pressed for details of the ‘benefits’ we were expecting from the invasion of Iraq – that we should “wait and see”.

1. Public debate, yes. But let’s not bother with any meaningless subjects. Like Iraq.

2. The threat of terror cannot be ignored. Action must be taken. But on the action in Iraq, which has done so much to promote global terrorism and continues to do so to this day, we should just hang around and see what happens.

Now, let’s get to the bit where you’re at risk of getting blowed up…

Honest Daily Mail – Al Qaeda attack on Canary Wharf foiled: The source, who has no axe to grind, said that the threats were real and were not deliberately exaggerated for political purposes.

(Read a comment on this article and the front page here.)

The Sun – Foiled: 9/11 London plot: Last night a senior security force said: “This is not about politics. It is about hard work behind the scenes to prevent what is a clear threat to the nation.”

Methinks they doth protest too much. Some semblance of the truth in The Times (miracle of miracles). Please note the inverted commas in part of the headline…

The Times – London ‘terror plots’ thwarted: One senior security source approached by The Times was unaware of such a plot, and pointed out that al-Qaeda rarely repeated terrorist outrages.

Just what I was thinking. Planes! Towers! Even if this hasn’t been deliberately leaked and tweaked to frame the public debate Honest John seems so keen on, it shows a distinct lack of imagination.

Anyway, let’s step back towards the echo chamber and take a look at Murdoch’s new York Post, where this vague and isolated report from “an authoritative senior source” begins to grow and take shape as ‘fact’…

New York Post – ‘9/11′ Plots in Britain: The ghoulish copycat plot was thwarted by British intelligence sometime after the U.S. terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 – and before the would-be suicide pilots could finish training for their fiendish mission – sources told Britain’s ITV News.

Ghoulish! Fiendish! Thwarted! Gosh, it’s all so scary, one might just be tempted to skip over those telling words “it was reported (i.e. claimed) yesterday”…

This is what used to be a link to the original report at ITV.com, which has since been withdrawn. In its place is this (please note the inverted commas, this time around the entire headline)…

ITV – ‘Security services foil 9/11 attack in UK’: ITV News understands that the security services have thwarted four or five September 11-style attacks on targets including Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport.

As we step back yet again into the echo chamber, we see this evening’s Evening Standard plans to change “was reported” to “has emerged”… See how it’s becoming more and more real as the source of the ‘story’ becomes less and less clear?

Evening Standard – Canary Wharf terror plot: September 11-style terror attacks on the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf were thwarted, it emerged today ahead of the Queen’s Speech, which will focus on security.

Notice also that the following AP report that made it onto CNN that ties this latest round of bull to a more recent round of bull that I commented on here and here. In this bloggage, you may note the quote: But – and this is how the magic time machine works – if I bring up the subject of the Heathrow stunt in 6 months time, the answer from any ardent supporter of the government will be; “Of course the threat on Heathrow was real – they arrested 13 people and found all sorts of plans and photos on a laptop!”

Not quite what I predicted, but certainly grist for the mill…

AP/CNN – Reports: UK terror attack thwarted: Last northern summer, Pakistan gave British officials intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda had plotted to attack Heathrow airport. The information was found on the computers of two accused members of Osama bin Laden’s terror network arrested in Pakistan. The computers held images of Heathrow.

Meanwhile, the government sits back and ‘refuses to comment’ (because they don’t want to compromise security, you understand). As David Blunkett plays the ‘if you only knew what I knew’ card (back to The Daily Mail): Mr Blunkett has recently insisted that Labour will campaign on hope not fear, but then warned that forthcoming trials will show that Al Qaeda are “on our doorstep and threatening lives.”

Actual trials for suspected terrorists? Allow me to get over my surprise long enough to suggest that these trials will take place sometime after the general election.

Likewise, most of Blunkett’s new bills set to represent the guts of the Queen’s Speech today won’t be fully revealed (or ‘shaped’) until well after Blair walks away with a result.

As I’ve been writing this, an article has gone live with some quotes from John Prescott’s interview this morning (If you have ReallyCrapPlayer, you can listen to this interview here). I’d like to share a quote with you: “Every one of our citizens is concerned about the level of security. All the polls show us that people are concerned about crime and security. This is the Government properly responding to that threat and fear.”

1. Yes, I’m concerned about security. Which is why this bullshit alarms me so much.

2. All the polls show people are concerned about crime and security (note what is to be one of many blurred lines between terror and crime in the coming months) because some irresponsible twat is busy stirring up that fear as part of his election strategy.

3. This isn’t being handled responsibly. At all. Far from it. This government’s continued manipulation of perceived threats places us at greater risk of an actual ones.

The publicity coup that was 9/11 greatly enables this manipulation. What was once beyond imagination can now be used to frame almost any debate, simply by evoking the fears everyone felt on that day (which is the end of the conversation for many people) and asserting that – in these times – nothing is beyond imagination (so they can feed us any old rubbish).

Speaking of rubbish, let’s try to nail down today’s sound and fury….

1: But the stories, which cited unidentified sources, did not say when or where the plots were uncovered, or how close they came to being carried out.

2: Key quote: “The significance of this would depend on whether these suicide training exercises were disrupted within the United Kingdom, and what they actually consisted of in terms of preparation, such as the indoctrination of key individuals”

So let’s get back to the guts of it, as Murdoch’s Herald Sun helpfully provides us with the few scraps of meat this story is based on: ITV’s political editor Nick Robinson: “This is the story of what could have been a nightmare averted. A story not of failure, but of success. That, at least, is what I am told by a senior authoritative source who says that the security services managed to avert a plot to fly planes into Canary Wharf here, and also into Heathrow Airport. I simply do not know the details of how they found out, how they stopped it, how close the plot got, but I am in no doubt that this was a genuine feeling on the behalf of those in the security services that they had managed to foil a plot and make us safer.” ITV News confirmed to AFP that their journalist’s “non-attributable source” was in “the arena” of the security services or government, but would not be specific.

This, at least, is what he was told. By a source he cannot reveal who is in “the arena” of the security services. Or government. And what he has been told is that something has been thwarted. But he has no real idea of how it was thwarted and/or if the (Ghoulish! Fiendish!) plot had any significance.

You know, today I’d really like to blow up Canary Wharf. I think I’ll start by… oh, darn is that the time? I’m supposed to start work at 10:30. Oh well, looks like I’ve been thwarted. Still, you came pretty close to tragedy there. Did I mention that in 9/11 over 2,800 people died? And that the central tower in Canary Wharf is 771ft high? And that an estimated 10,000 people work on its 50 floors? Never mind the details, just think of the scale of the tragedy that has been so narrowly averted (or invented, if you prefer).

UPDATE – The UK Today – Nothing to fear… but fear itself: But the devious and dishonest aspect to the Home Office bills is the way the Government is using them to link crime and terror. By blurring the distinction and thus linking the two in the public’s conciousness they use the fear of one (crime) to boost the credibility of the other (terror)…. The biggest threat to freedom in this country today is not Al Qaeda, not the forces of terror, but rather our own leadership. They’re the ones who want to destroy our civil liberties, they’re the ones who dragged us into Bush’s War on Terror.

UPDATE 2 – Via Peter Gasston, we learn of the War on Drugs now merging with the War on Terror… BBC – US pledges more aid to Colombia: Mr Bush, who spent the weekend at a summit in Chile, praised Colombia for its efforts against drugs. “This war against narco-terrorism can and will be won, and Colombia is well on its way to that victory,” he said.

Narco-terrorism now, is it? Looking forward to anti-social behaviour being called Neighourhood Terrorism in 5, 4, 3, 2…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
George W. Bush
Time
10:42
I like this (for obvious reasons).

Turn Your Back On Bush: On January 20th, 2005, we’re calling for a new kind of action. The Bush administration has been successful at keeping protesters away from major events in the last few years by closing off areas around events and using questionable legal strategies to outlaw public dissent. We can use these obstacles to develop new tactics. On Inauguration day, we don’t need banners, we don’t need signs, we don’t need puppets, we just need people. We’re calling on people to attend inauguration without protest signs, shirts or stickers. Once through security and at the procession, at a given signal, we’ll all turn our backs on Bush’s motorcade and continue through his speech and swearing in. A simple, clear and coherent message.

(Link via ScaryDuck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:47
Persian Gulf 1

Persian Gulf 2

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
The End of Democracy
Time
10:56
Europhobia has a rolling report on developments in the Ukraine.

UPDATE – See also this passing thought over at Rising Hegemon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Free Speech
Time
11:02
School orders boy to cover anti-Bush T-shirt.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Photoshopping
Time
11:04
Another addition to Page 17 of The Star Wars Photoshopping Project. Click here to see a large version.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Activism
Time
11:05
Guardian – Lawsuit: NYC Created ‘Guantanamo’ at RNC: The federal lawsuit claims protesters and bystanders alike were rounded up in mass arrests without cause; were kept without access to their lawyers or families at an old bus depot used as a temporary detention center; and were exposed for days to cruel and inhuman conditions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
RWCs
Time
11:06
Washington Post – Michael Powell Exposed! The FCC Chairman Has No Clothes: Pompous and imperious, an ideologue who believes unfailingly in his own philosophy of how TV and radio should work… Powell ignores or condemns anyone who opposes him. Though FCC chairmen have labored mostly in obscurity, Powell has managed to make himself famous; he’s the Torquemada of the insane campaign now being waged against “obscenity” on the airwaves.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Flash Games
Time
11:11
Just what I had planned for this afternoon. But now I can vent my frustration online instead. Another tragedy averted. Another fiendish plot thwarted.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
George W. Bush
Time
11:17
I helps if you channel Elvis for this one…

(sings) The cult of per-son-ali-teeee…..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
Time
11:45
For those who thought the Star Wars program was a little far-fetched…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cock-Up
Time
12:14
Early editions of today’s super soaraway Sun feature Rupert Murdoch’s middle name on the front page.

(Spotted on Popbitch, heads-up via ScaryDuck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
The Interweb
Time
13:46
You forgot the bit where we blow everything up in 2012….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Photoshopping
Time
13:48
Yes, more Star Wars….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Compare and Contrast
Time
16:00
Blunkett v. Boris… guess which one is the unstable stalker and determined home-wrecker?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
George W. Bush
Time
16:31
What. A. Clown.

PS – Click here to see images of his bodyguard being detained in Chile.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
16:48
You may wish to make a quick mental note of this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Photoshopping
Time
17:06
Yep. Another one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
South West Trains
Time
18:47
We should do this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
An American Election
Time
20:14
Some very interesting blog stats from the campaign season. It would be good if we could gear up for the same here in the UK.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041123
Updates
Time
20:44
I’ll be back on deck after two very busy days. Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Civil Liberties
Time
09:51
Evening Standard – Jail for Commons protests: New laws will threaten antiwar protesters camped outside the Commons with jail and fines of up to £2,500, the Evening Standard can reveal. In a highly controversial move, the Home Secretary will empower police to evict demonstrators who have held a vigil in Parliament Square since the invasion of Iraq. David Blunkett’s plan will infuriate civil rights campaigners who argue that the streets outside Parliament are a traditional arena for political rallies.

More good news here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
09:58
Given everything that’s been bouncing around my head these past few days, I found the (many) emails directing me to proudofbritain.org.uk and the inevitable alternative version to be a very pleasant surprise this morning. I’ll make with the details later. In the meantime, I’ll let you enjoy some reactions from Backword, Honourable Fiend and Perfect.co.uk

UPDATE – And now we have www.proud-of-britain.org.uk

Also, a few people in a marketing discussion list I subscribe to have noticed that the official site “doesn’t explain what they will do with the personal data your provide and whether they will or will not be sharing the data with third parties” and that this is “a typical case of ambiguity that the Information Commissioner will do well to jump on right away.”

UPDATE – Oh, FFS…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Inneresting
Time
09:59
Kevin Drum on Lakoff and Framing: Facts are great, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re going to win arguments with facts. When facts collide with a person’s worldview, it’s the facts that get tossed overboard, not the worldview.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
An American Election
Time
10:01
Houston Chronicle – Heflin wants House seat back or a new election: State Rep. Talmadge Heflin asked the state House of Representatives today to overturn the results of his failed re-election bid and either order him returned to the Legislature or call for a new election. Heflin’s attorney, Andy Taylor, said the election results in state House District 149 in southwest Harris County were fraught with voting irregularities and potential fraud, most of which occurred in predominantly Democratic precincts.

Best reaction to this that I’ve read so far is here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:20
“Declaration Of Independence Banned” – It’s A Lie!: The school did not “ban the Declaration of Independence” — that is just a lie. This story is like when you hear that a man was “arrested for praying” and you find out he was kneeling in the middle of a busy intersection at rush hour and refused to move. This is the BIG STORY today, on Rush, and Drudge, and the rest of the Usual Suspects. And it is a carefully planned and carefully timed lie. The story is timed for this afternoon so that it cannot be refuted until Monday. It is timed to cause fights and hatred at family Thanksgiving dinners across the country. It is part of a strategy to reinforce a “conventional wisdom” notion that “liberals” are “going too far” with their demands of separation of church and state.

And now, the flip-side:

Textbook disclaimer stickers.

Also charting is some a prediction of economic armageddon and worrying news for newspapers. Once you’re done there, do your best to count some stars and resist Christmas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Consume!
Time
10:21
Tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day. Here, Poons expresses some thoughts and admits to some difficulty.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
10:26
C.I.A. Says Pakistanis Gave Iran Nuclear Aid

Profile: Abdul Qadeer Khan

Scientist who sold atomic secrets ‘can keep his money’

Carl, you may want to back off on the good news….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Church & State
Time
10:27
What nice people. I may just send them some money.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
The War on Stupid
Time
10:29
An extract from a recent edition of Snowmail, kindly forwarded by Wibbler:

Met an excellent group of brokers/dealers/traders in the city at lunchtime. Fell

to discussing the ‘threat’ to Canary Wharf. No further evidence that there is

even a scintilla of truth in the story that a plot was foiled.

Went back to my sources today (yes, two, Lord Hutton.) Both resolute in their

dismissing of the story. So it remains strange tonight that such a story broke

so conveniently upon a day when the government wanted to unveil ‘tough on

terrorism’ plans.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:32
Guardian – Impeachment? I found it on Google says Plaid MP behind idea

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Chasing Bush II – Operation Manticore
Time
10:49
The situation as it stands is that the promised funding is genuine and can be counted on, but only for a campaign directly tied to a Bush UK visit. Obviously, if there’s no visit, there will be no campaign and no funding. Just keeping you abreast so I don’t look a right tit.

If you spy any news about the likelihood of a visit, do drop me a line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
The War on Stupid
Time
11:21
Cheers to ScaryDuck for this illuminating news item.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Updates
Time
11:22
I’ve been pondering for quite some time on the matter of the upcoming election and what my role would be. Now I know.

This is my position/task-sheet on campaign/political work (I’ve said by email many times; not sure if I’ve blogged it):

1. To the best of my ability, I will work to expand/defend the open form of political blogging that we now enjoy, and be very aware that the campaign season will bring a very dangerous breed of highly publicised one-way campaign blogs.

2. Know and accept that the above requires my offering guidance and assistance to individual MPs from almost any party bar UKIP or the BNP.

3. Know and accept that – on a party level – I can’t work for Labour while I oppose Blair, I won’t work for the Conservative Party full-stop and the Lib-Dems simply can’t afford me.

This pretty much leaves me out of the game. At best, shouting from the sidelines. I’m not happy about that.

A quick detour, a thought or two on timing:

I’m approaching this knowing that there’s a very real risk of a snap election in February. The reasons?

1. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; to see Blair’s lies in their purest form, turn to The Sun (which, on Wednesday, declared on their front page that the election would be on May 5).

2. This is the weekend after May Day. I know that this year’s May Day was a very quiet affair, but are they really so confident of keeping it quiet again this year in light of this and other tensions on the union front?

3. The ‘likely’ Bush visit in February that would more or less rule out a February election may be a feint.

Also, I should mention that this caught my eye the other day. Consciously, I didn’t think much of it. But subconsciously… whammo. In fact, it wasn’t until this morning when I saw it again on Blogdex that I realised what a significant effect it had had. Just take a look at what people will accept as normal. Sure, we may shout about it, but what bloody good does it do?

The moment we point out they’re treating people like sheep, they can counter will the always-useful “Hey! This elitist just called you a bunch of sheep!” argument.

There’s also this that I blogged this morning. Worth considering, that bit about arguments and facts. So, bang goes any plan to shout from the sidelines. It doesn’t do any good.

Back to the guts:

1. Blair’s victory in Feb/May 2005 is a foregone conclusion. You need to accept that. The Tories simply aren’t a threat, and nobody can picture the Lib-Dems running the country (not even the Lib-Dems themselves).

2. I opposed John Howard; John Howard won. I opposed George W. Bush; George W. Bush won. And I hate losing.

For this and for many other reasons that I will share with you soon, I have decided that – during the election campaign – I will be backing Blair.

It may not make any sense right now, but that’s the way it is.

You’ll probably need a few days to get over this. Talk amongst yourselves.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
South West Trains
Time
12:17
Meet Emma. She’s had enough.

UPDATE – So have these people (link via Ionicus).

Oh, and Scaryduck would like a quiet word.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041126
Pluggage
Time
12:43
Get out your safety scissors, children…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041129
Viral Marketing
Time
09:07
Bit of trade news. I’m only blogging it because the guy agrees with me. (And by guy, I mean gal. Apologies for the temporary gender re-assignment.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041129
Updates
Time
09:31
February/May, May/February…. what may or may not be Blunkett’s baby is due in February. In May, a lot of valuable real-estate will be taken up by the impending release of Star Wars Episode III. Never mind chauffeuring pensioners, what may be needed is an army of queue stand-ins to make sure the geeks have a chance to vote.

Blunkett… I need him right where he is, so this is rather nerve-wracking.

Here are some key dates. Here is The Sun, onside as usual. Media-watchers might want to print/save this for future reference. It’s blackmail, people. And we don’t negotiate with ex-girlfriends who use terrorist tactics.

Underblog.co.uk – Bloggerheads backs Blair

DoctorVee – Backing Blair

And that’s about it from me for now.

UPDATE – Oh, except for this. Do I get half a point?

Bloggerheads (3 months ago): Theory One – The small matter of pregnancy made this long-standing affair impossible to hide, so the story is being deliberately leaked and managed by David Blunkett, and/or with his full knowledge and authority.

The Age (tomorrow): So bitter were their final exchanges that she firmly believes that it was Blunkett himself who told the News of the World of the affair and who tipped the tabloid off about the time of her next visit so that she could be photographed entering his house.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041129
Video
Time
14:42
Eastenders Christmas Special 1917.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041129
Tony Blair
Time
18:56
“Having two children by someone else’s wife, isn’t that antisocial behaviour?”

Pfft!

Also amusing, if totally fanciful, is this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041130
UK General Election 2005
Time
08:46
Blog:VoteThe key aim is to widen political participation, encourage mature debate and increase the turnout.

Sounds good to me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041130
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! And You’re Next!
Time
12:24
New York Times – Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantanamo: The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion “tantamount to torture” on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But, just as with Abu Ghraib, no-one will believe it until they can see the pictures. And even then they won’t believe it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041130
George W. Bush
Time
14:10
Give him hell, Canada!

Please note the primary objection to his presence that’s quoted in this article. It may ring a few bells: “I do not like Halifax and Haligonians being used as a photo opportunity for a world leader who has blood on his hands and desperately needs any good international press he can get.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Blair: winning hearts and minds *and* the War on Terror

Independent – Blair places ‘war on terror’ at heart of election campaign: Tony Blair has decided to confront opponents of the Iraq war head on by placing the “war on terror” at the heart of Labour’s campaign in the coming general election. The Prime Minister has privately admitted that attempts to “move on” from Iraq are doomed to failure. He has ordered a new “twin-track” strategy for the election, expected this spring, based on the themes of “opportunity and security”.

Puppies, flowers, sugar, spice and look out – terrorists!

I’ve maintained all along that Blair couldn’t hope to separate his mismanagement/exploitation of the War on Terror (highlighted so markedly by the diversion into Iraq) from domestic affairs – now he’s admitted that to himself, but appears to be reshaping the argument along the (very familiar) lines of:

We’ve made you safer. We’re making you safer. Additionally, the War on Terror keeps your council taxes low, reduces hospital waiting lists, prevents small post offices from closing, etc. etc. etc.

It also makes for a great excuse for the tighter regulation of immigration. Murdoch will love that.

Continue reading








Posted in The War on Stupid | 1 Comment

Does MSN Search (beta) ignore/penalise sites hosted at blogspot.com?

WebProNews – Did Someone Break The MSN Beta Search?: Today was the official launch of MSN’s newest creation, a new search beta which was promised to feature search results powered by their own algorithm… but what happened?

Yes, it fell over from time to time yesterday, but let’s be fair. MSN Search is in beta mode and was under heavy demand. So let’s get past this obvious opener and move on…

Continue reading








Posted in Search Engine Optimisation | Comments Off

Join the Army. See the world. Get laid.

With memories of fallen troops uppermost in people’s minds this week (well, almost uppermost), and the very real possibility that you could get sent to your death for reasons of political convenience after 3 months of basic training, who in their right mind would join the army these days?

Well, judging by this front page, The Sun seems to be suggesting that Prince William is willing to be all he can be.

Continue reading








Posted in Page 3 - News in Briefs | Comments Off

Sandra Gidley refuses to be shouted down

Go, go Sandra Gidley: I have absolutely no intention of changing the way I blog. Postings are all Sandra Gidley and the buck stops here. If this is to stay immediate and topical then the whole flavour of what I am trying to achieve will be ruined (the different between fresh milk and sterilised milk) so there are no lawyers, agents or advisors consulted…. What if I live to regret it? Tough – but my personal view is that the public has had enough of bland politicians who speak via spin doctors and present a sanitised face to the world.

UPDATE – I left a comment here on the subject of moderation and censorship. I’m repeating it here mostly for my own personal reference:

Continue reading








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off

The Anti-Murdoch Network

First off; why are we doing this?

Well, I said before the US election that – even if Bush lost – the main problem would remain… Murdoch. Even if we hound Blair out of office, this same problem remains here, too. We’re left with a choice of ‘leaders’ in league with Murdoch or leaders who are crippled by constant attacks from Murdoch.

First draft of logoI tried to explain the scale of this to my 9-year-old son last night. The guts of the exchange went as follows:

If someone wants more than 5 television stations, if they get satellite TV, what company do they use?
Sky
Murdoch owns it. How many different newspapers do you see down at the newsagent each day?
About eight.
Close enough. Murdoch owns two of them. And because of something known as the ‘echo effect’, what he pushes forward often reaches four or five others. What’s Dad’s favourite movie?
Star Wars
Guess what?
Murdoch owns it?
You got it. What’s my favourite TV show?
M*A*S*H…. or The Simpsons. Which one does he own?
Both.
(pause) Wow. And you’re going to fight this guy?
I’m going to do what I can.
(laugh) Good luck!

But:

Continue reading








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off

Get Murdoch

Four. More. Years.Put it aside. Put it aside and focus on what needs to be done. We appear to have four years of hard work ahead of us, and we simply can’t afford to roll over.

It would appear that many Americans have difficulty telling the difference between someone who *is* a good president and someone who is (sometimes) very good at playing the role of president.

All issues of legality aside, the Iraq war not only served as a massive distraction from the fight against terrorism, it also aided existing terrorists and encouraged further terrorism.

Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib played a massive, massive role here.

Take a look this; it’s been on my mind lately and I’ve talked/emailed a few of you about it…

Abu Ghraib photos cause gasps in Congress: More
than 1,800 images, including video clips, were screened by members of the House and Senate in separate classified briefings under Pentagon supervision. The lawmakers disagreed over whether or not the images should be made public, but reaction to the content was vehement.

As DailyKos quite rightly asks; Where is the outrage?

Continue reading








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off

01-13 November, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:54
A report of lots of very determined voters in Florida. There is hope.

Latest Osama tape seen as a boost for Bush (here’s the kind of thinking that helps this make sense to some people). But is it real?

Walter Cronkite (who may have been kidding): So now the question is basically right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.

So, polls and perception are being played and mind-clouding Fear of Terror plays a role. (What happened to not letting the terrorists win?) Why does Murdoch’s New York Post think Bush will win? Because the polls say so and people are focused on terrorism.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Flip-Flopping
Time
09:55
George W. Bush consults with Chalabi at length. George W. Bush can barely remember who Chalabi is.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
The Interweb
Time
09:57
Results of the Global Vote should appear sometime around lunch (GMT). Keep an eye out.

UPDATE – The winner is John Kerry with 77.1% of votes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
The End of Democracy
Time
10:03
Bush Seeks Limit to Suits Over Voting Rights. We can’t have any frivolous lawsuits, now can we?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
An American Election
Time
10:05
Going back to 1932, whenever an incumbent president has run for re-election, their fate was tied in to the Washington Redskins. When the Redskins win the incumbent has won. When the Redskins lose the incumbent loses. The Redskins lost. And now, back to the science….

UPDATE – Full timeline from Snopes.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Video
Time
10:36
Bloody hell… I’ve got video coming out of my ears here.

Start with this fine collection if you wish, and download The World Acoording To Bush if you’ve got the pipage (link via Wordlab), but there are two videos that you really need to make time to *share* today.

The Endoresment from georgethemenace.org – short and to the point.

The Mistaken from HateGun.com – 4 years of f**k-ups in 4 minutes (a mirror with alternative formats is available here).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
10:37
BBC – Iraq death toll ‘soared post-war’: UK foreign secretary Jack Straw said his government would examine the findings “with very great care”. But he told BBC’s Today that another independent estimate of civilian deaths was around 15,000.

I ask again: Where is his estimate?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Music
Time
10:41
I’m Taking My Country Back. Bush has driven it off the interstate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Flash Music Video
Time
10:42
All of these people died for the lies of a pack of greedy bastards.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
10:46
My picks for winner would be Back to Iraq 3.0 or Talking Points Memo. My vote went to Europhobia (it’s politics, all politics).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
An American Election
Time
11:06
OK, here’s the deal with Iowa (I was too burned-out to post details on Friday)…

I made Come Clean for two reasons:

1. I liked the song; it really reached me and could be applied to a number of Bush lies and failures… but (like most songs) it needed some vision in order to be spread far and wide.

2. Chuck Grassley has been in place for decades. He regards victory in Iowa as a given, so has been spending the bulk of his campaign fund (US$6million) on promoting Bush and Bush alone. It seemed a good idea to simply tie Bush to Grassley (not hard to do, as he’s been aligned with Bush 99% of the time).

And now we have a new development on this front. Grassley’s rival Art Small (the candidate Come Clean endorses) is now selling on eBay everything you need to run a grass-roots campaign for U.S. Senate (my services not not included). There’s a wide range of materials on offer (including the campaign van) and not all of them require your name to be Art Small. Or your target state to be Iowa.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Photoshopping
Time
12:03
JSM wrote in to say the following: Is John Kerry, ’72, the real Hawkeye? I just caught Going Upriver, the really great documentary about Kerry’s Vietnam war protest. It’s like Hawkeye wears a Kerry wig from those days. Kerry not only wears his (real) hair like that, he wears the same army fatigues, even though he was Navy, the same floppy hat, has the same mannerisms and the same anti-senseless-war attitude as Hawkeye. Kerry was the best known Nam vet of the day, always on TV news, organizer of the big March on Washington; he even debated John O’Neill on the Dick Cavett show. So it would make sense that he would be the prototype (for the television version of Hawkeye).

Seems perfectly reasonable to me. In fact, I think the producers of M*A*S*H knew far more than they were letting on…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
12:54
To shouts of “Death to America,” Iran’s parliament OKs Nuke Enrichment Bill.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Fnarr-Fnarr
Time
13:04
Cherie accused of attacking Bush.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
The War on Stupid
Time
13:30
This interpretation of the latest Osama bin Laden tape (by MEMRI) basically has bin Laden saying that individual U.S. states that vote against Bush will be spared the horror of further terrorist attack.

Of course, Murdoch’s FOXNews and New York Post are all over it. They’ll be damned if they play into the hands of terrorists, by jingo by crikey!

UPDATE – A quick giggle for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Flash Thingies
Time
14:03
Management would like to apologise for the late delivery of this pumpkin.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
The End of Democracy
Time
14:21
Then again, perhaps not…

Associated Press – Judge Bars Challengers From Ohio Polls
: A federal judge on Monday barred political party challengers from polling places throughout Ohio during Tuesday’s election. State Republicans planned to appeal. The order by U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott found that the application of Ohio’s statute allowing challengers at polling places was unconstitutional. The presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting, she said.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
An American Election
Time
14:53
Dirty tricks 1

Dirty tricks 2

The second one is a real treat. I can just image the scene down at GOP headquarters: “OK Gary, you look gayer than most of us, I want you to get down there and mince it up. Cheryl, I don’t want you to take this personally, but many people have commented that you would make a convincing serial abortionist…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Activism
Time
15:50
Click here if you live in the U.S. and own a phone. (Background here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
An American Election
Time
15:56
We now enter the most interesting phase of any election – the 24 hours before the period when most people are expected to vote.

It is during this stage that it is most prudent to release/leak/promote baseless smears, scares and lies (as there is little time for a target/opponent to refute/respond).

Here’s our first big scare. Can everybody else please form an orderly line to the left (or right, depending on our orientation)?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041101
Flash Games
Time
16:20
Enjoy yet another Bush-based shoot-em-up game (on what we hope will be the last day such things are relevant).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
An American Election
Time
10:37
Are we there yet?

Electoral-Vote.com has it as Kerry 298 – Bush 231

Slate.com has it as Kerry 269 – Bush 269

Zogby reports that Bush should beware the ‘young owner of a mobile phone’ vote.

Michael Moore has had his ‘final’ say, but the BBC reports that both candidates are expected to break with tradition and continue campaigning today.

A computer error has already resulted in a recount in Florida.

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for challengers to be present at polling places in Ohio.

Indymedia are watching proceedings very closely, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself chewing on bits of tinfoil from time to time. Not that anything in this election would surprise me. I’m still getting over this ‘fake gay’ stunt and most readers of this blog will be aware that e-voting hides many pitfalls (and e-voting providers hide many connections to the Republicans).

Legitgov.org reports that Cheney is heading up a series of terror drills – on election day! Are they just plain stupid, cleverly using drills to mask preparedness (lest someone point the finger and scream ‘alarmist’), or simply trying freak people out and/or gum up the works even further? (Tell you what, I’ll ‘give’ enough to concede that an election-day terrorist attack is possible, but it won’t be effective unless it happens before 8am EST – i.e. about 2-3 hours from now. After that, we can probably unclench.)

Many reports of right-wing thuggery/antics can be read here.

Part of me hopes that this was meant as a joke, but it’s reported as a genuine attempt here.

The Republicans have accused Democrats of putting out a false endorsement from Norman Schwarzkopf. The Democrats have accused Republicans of engineering the whole thing themselves and peddling it to the press. This DailyKos reader puts it down to an honest mistake.

Here’s a glimmer of hope; right-wing bloggers are gearing up for a Kerry win by assuring us that if he wins it will be the fault of… liberal media. We also have this right-wing journo laying the blame (for something that hasn’t happened yet) on the UN for their ‘manipulation’ of the Al-Qaqaa issue.

My gut tells me that this is going to be a long, gruelling week… unless, as many suspect, the polls have been cooked in Bush’s favour.

Still – no matter what the result – we can take comfort in the knowledge that Karl Rove has already failed.

I leave the final word to DailyKos: D-Day. Stay Vigilant. Stay Confident. Stay Calm.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
RWCs
Time
10:39
The Bush Pledge (yes, this is real): “I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States.”

More delusions here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Flash Music Video
Time
10:41
I tried to laugh. Really.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Inneresting
Time
10:43
Bidding for Art Small’s campaign leftovers is up to $3,550

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
SEO
Time
10:44
Congratulations to Chasing Daisy, who today is the 6th search result for vote republican.

Just above that is Voting Republican This Year = Voting for Torture.

Spot. On.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Activism
Time
10:49
Independent – Hawking to lead anti-war protest on election day: Stephen Hawking, Britain’s most eminent scientist, has become the latest prominent opponent of the Iraq war by agreeing to take the lead role in a ceremonial protest to coincide with the United States presidential election. Peace protesters will gather in Trafalgar Square at 5pm on Tuesday, where they will read out the names of 5,000 Iraqi men, women and children known to have died in the conflict.

That’s 5pm today in case you plan on attending. More details here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
An American Election
Time
10:53
You do know where to vote, yes? You do? Phew! For a minute there…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Flash Music Video
Time
11:08
Warning: NSFW if your boss understands Spanish (link via Milk and Cookies).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Photoshopping
Time
12:58
Come on, America – we’re counting on you.

International co-operation awaits.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Anyone But George
Time
13:22
Wil Wheaton speaks!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
An American Election
Time
14:38
More on the Ohio ruling from Washington Monthly and DailyKos. Check the latter especially if you are unsure of your rights. Ranting won’t help. Voting will.

(Oh, and if you’re worried about making it past the Republican brownshirts, just follow these dress-code guidelines and you should pass by without so much as a second glance.)

If you can stand to watch, the CNN results page is ready to go and the BBC offers a useful timetable for those of us on this side of the pond.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
Photoshopping
Time
16:23
Bush votes at the Crawford Volunteer Fire Department in Crawford, Texas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
RWCs
Time
17:41
Another right-wing claim of vote-rigging debunked. More here.

One can only wonder why they they’re blowing *this* kind of smoke and/or why they’re so ready to make such an assumption.

Europhobia has a few thoughts on this at the tail end of this post.

UPDATE – Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

White is up and black is down. You learn that in Repug 101.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041102
The End of Democracy
Time
17:55
RudePundit reports on the joys of electronic voting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
An American Election
Time
01:48
It’s late.

Many states are being called, but every ‘battleground’ state is reporting in as “too close to call.”

Many states, at the time polls are supposed to close, have 2-3 hours worth of voters still lined up outside.

Forget hours. This could go on for days… and every ‘early’ indicator looks to be a case of “wait and see.”

Bed. Now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
An American Election
Time
09:26
AP – Bush Prepares to Declare Re-Election Win: With Ohio looming as a Florida redux, President Bush prepared to declare re-election victory in the wee hours of Wednesday and Democratic rival John Kerry refused to concede. After winning Nevada and pulling within 16 electoral votes of the 270 required for a second term, Bush was laying claim to Ohio’s 20 over Kerry’s objections. “We will not base our decision on a concession,” said Bush adviser Dan Bartlett as other aides said Bush would soon go before supporters to declare victory. Ceding nothing, Kerry dispatched running mate John Edwards to tell supporters in Boston: “We will fight for every vote.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:18
Put it aside. Put it aside and focus on what needs to be done. We appear to have four years of hard work ahead of us, and we simply can’t afford to roll over.

It would appear that many Americans have difficulty telling the difference between someone who *is* a good president and someone who is (sometimes) very good at playing the role of president.

All issues of legality aside, the Iraq war not only served as a massive distraction from the fight against terrorism, it also aided existing terrorists and encouraged further terrorism.

Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib played a massive, massive role here.

Take a look this; it’s been on my mind lately and I’ve talked/emailed a few of you about it…

Abu Ghraib photos cause gasps in Congress: More than 1,800 images, including video clips, were screened by members of the House and Senate in separate classified briefings under Pentagon supervision. The lawmakers disagreed over whether or not the images should be made public, but reaction to the content was vehement.

As DailyKos quite rightly asks; Where is the outrage?

Initially, I found it hard to believe that any human being could see the full scope of this abuse and then keep quiet about it. Then it became clear that even Democrats were wary of full disclosure. The full horror of Abu Ghraib and the trail that led to it would be so damaging to American interests that it simply wouldn’t be worth ‘using’ it to target Bush. Perhaps the assumption was made that the election would sort things out and now – soon – a voice or two will be heard. Perhaps.

At the moment, somewhere in the mind of fervent Bush supporters, is a fuzzy area that shuts this information out with repeated chants of ‘Saddam was worse’ and ‘war against terror at all costs.’ A larger cloud linking Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda further complicates matters.

This storm of bullshit is enabled primarily by mainstream media. Their actions are clouded by yet another lie – the myth of liberal media.

At the centre of the bullshit storm is one man; Murdoch.

A large amount of bloggage recycles output from the mainstream. Much noise was made about the power of bloggers over ‘RatherGate’ but They. Were. Used.

The real power of blogs won’t be seen until it outperforms, overpowers or outmanoeuvres the larger machine.

So there’s your obvious target, and there’s your obvious task. We need to reach the audience Rupert Murdoch commands and show them the truth.

A small example of this in action can be seen by searching for ‘page 3 girls’ in Google. More impressive (if slightly less useful in that most of Murdoch’s victims aren’t aware of who he is and/or what role he plays in their lives) is this search result for ‘rupert murdoch’.

We need to show people the lies they’ve been told, the people behind those lies, and the purpose of those lies.

To do that, we need to:

1 – Own the bulk of real estate for every major search query relating to Murdoch assets and show what role those assets play

2 – Make messages as clear and as irrefutable as possible

3 – Take those messages offline and into the ‘real’ world (where – currently – fantasy prevails)

Recruitment begins today. You know the address. Use it.

PS – Blowjobs? Pah! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
Activism
Time
10:22
And haven’t they picked a lovely day for it?*

Evening Standard – Ministers ban Parliament Sq protests: Permanent protests in Parliament Square are to be banned by the Government in a bid to silence an antiwar activist loathed by many MPs. The Home Office is set to announce today that the Organised Crime Bill will include a clause restricting demonstrations in front of the Commons… Mr Hain, a high-profile demonstrator in his youth, will stress that there is no question of the right to protest being significantly curtailed. But he will say that the time has come for a more sensible approach to regulating the demonstrations.

So there you have it. Your right to protest isn’t being curtailed. Just regulated.

(*ScaryDuck thinks that this can be put far less delicately. OK by me. Today is a good day to bury bad news.)

UPDATE – In which Brian Haw says: “I think there should be a time limit on committing genocide, not protesting against it.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
An American Election
Time
10:32
It’s not over yet. Watch. Wait.

(*Sigh*… so many provisional ballots… one can only wonder why.)

I hope the Dems have enough guts to hold out for a full count in Ohio. 11 days vs. 4 years? No contest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
Flash Music Video
Time
11:05
Cheer up. (More here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
Normal People
Time
11:36
Need your pecker checked? You can safely place yourself in this man’s hands.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
Sudan
Time
12:27
Meanwhile…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
RWCs
Time
13:10
Hooray.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041103
An American Election
Time
16:28
CNN and AP are reporting that Kerry has called Bush to concede. The BBC reports that Kerry will be issuing a statement at 6pm GMT, which will be followed by a statement from Bush.

Take my advice; avoid depressants.

Take a moment to grieve and then focus.

Murdoch. Planning begins tomorrow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:29
BoingBoing: Four more years of a nation led by criminals. I was making coffee with one eye on CNN when the news broke, and I called my dad, a man who’s spent many years fighting for good things, sometimes at great personal cost. “Get over it,” he said, “The way you feel now is exactly how I felt when Nixon won a second term — crushed. I just couldn’t believe America was that stupid. But remember what happened to Nixon that term.” “Change comes from discontent,” he said. “And right now, there’s a lot of discontent.”

Plus more. Go read.

Zogby is standing by their pre-election polls, but you may well ask; “What went wrong?”

Well, some (some) people have a few theories/misgivings about the voting process:

Election 2004: Shoplifting the Presidency?

Global monitors find faults: The global implications of the U.S. election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.

Blackfive’s Vote Is Disenfranchised

Vote Save Error 9 photo

The Onion – U.S. Inspires World With Attempt At Democratic Election

Given the role of companies like Diebold and the fact that – for many states – there is no paper trail to prove that the results matched the actual votes, I’m inclined to be more than a little suspicious myself… but without proof, all we can do is grind our teeth. And, fraud or not, we cannot afford to discount the role played by the constant chants to the simple-minded…

Slate.com – Simple but Effective – Why you keep losing to this idiot

Wrapping it up on Blogdex is this handy guide to expatriating and (*gasp*) a call to move on and get back to work. There’s a lot to be done. And we’re only fucked if we lie down and take it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Flash Games
Time
10:31
Be the cockroach link via Ultimate Insult).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Compare and Contrast
Time
10:35
George W. Bush’s victory speech: Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Americans, so today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust. A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation. We have one country, one constitution, and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America.

Fine words. Words we can trust.

Compare these fine words with the words of Rupert Murdoch, who’s finally all set to move his media empire to the U.S. At the last general meeting on Australian soil, he had this to say about FOXNews: “We don’t take any position at all. We’re not in the least bit biased, we’re a fair and balanced company.”

(Image posted to B3ta, where it raised the ire of someone who is exceptionally shouty and defensive, considering the circumstances.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
10:38
Today, Nicola T (22, from London) believes John kerry did the right thing by throwing in the towel yesterday. She says: “He gave President Bush a really tough battle. But it made sense to concede defeat once the size of the President’s vote became known. It was great to see such huge numbers turning out.”

And with a figure like that, who are we to argue, eh boys?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:42
Sandra Gidley expresses an opinion 1

Sandra Gidley expresses an opinion 2

She’s now under attack from the Bush-bots. If you want to provide balance, her comments feature awaits your input.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:53
A lot of talk about mandates today…

The Sun: The verdict is another great vote of support for the leaders fighting the War On Terror — and for the troops on the ground in Iraq.

Andrew Sullivan: George W. Bush is our president. He deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again, and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his opponent. He needs our prayers and our support for the enormous tasks still ahead of him.

Josh Marshall: I thought about this when I read it. And, to put it simply, I didn’t agree… This election cut the nation in two… And yet he plans to use this narrow victory as though it were a broad mandate, starting right back with the same strategy that has already come near to tearing this country apart.

Kevin Drum: I hate to say this, but I hope liberals quit whining about George Bush’s “mandate.” It may be a narrow one, but of course he won a mandate… Needless to say, this doesn’t mean we should just mope around and let the Republican party run the country unopposed. At the same time, though, it doesn’t help to be in denial: the fact is that Bush did win a convincing victory, and he did it because more Americans agreed with his vision for the country than agreed with ours. Our job now is to try to change that, not to pretend that it never happened.

Quite so. Many people who voted for Bush think that he makes them safer. And that the torture of prisoners is the work of ‘a few bad apples’…

Why? In a word; Murdoch. So allow me to repeat Kevin’s closing sentence there:

Our job now is to try to change that, not to pretend that it never happened.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:54
Let’s not give Tony Blair the easy ride he must now be expecting.

One thing that won’t play in his favour; Bush doesn’t care about him and has already dumped him in it over Iraq without hesitation or notice.

Lots of angry people who know the truth. An administration that isn’t working to supress this *quite* as much as it was this time last week. Do the sums.

PS – Abu Ghraib: we were there too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Operation Murdoch
Time
11:17
Lots of email is coming in about this as a result of yesterday’s blogagge.

If you want to help fight Rupert Murdoch’s bullshit machine, please get in touch. We’re still sorting irons for the fire.

Also happening:

Aaand we’re *back* to plans for the long-overdue refit of Bloggerheads. If there are any features you’d like beyond search, permalinks and comments, please let me know (but keep in mind that one of the most-requested features – a forum – requires a lot of moderation time that I simply don’t have).

Work begins tonight on something else that’s long-overdue – my next book. It’s an instruction book that will show how to get and use high search results for personal, professional or political purposes.

To work….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
11:18
Vote to win! (But please don’t forget to vote for me.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
George W. Bush
Time
11:27
It’s never too late to show you care.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Cheer Up
Time
11:51
Meet Limecat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Normal People
Time
13:30
Oh. Dear. God. (Link via Joe.)

UPDATE – See some reactions to these reasons here and here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
George W. Bush
Time
15:53
Distopia.com is holding a wake for common sense.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Newsflash
Time
16:59
Unconfirmed reports are coming in that Yasser Arafat has been declared clinically dead. First I heard of it was via a White House press conference of all things (“aaand this just in”). The White House: they make the news, they break the news!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041104
Photoshopping
Time
17:39
One.

Two.

Please note the order in which they were made and that one is not connected to the other. But there are some who would like to think…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
Operation Murdoch
Time
10:25
First off; why are we doing this?

Well, I said before the US election that – even if Bush lost – the main problem would remain… Murdoch. Even if we hound Blair out of office, this same problem remains here, too. We’re left with a choice of ‘leaders’ in league with Murdoch or leaders who are crippled by constant attacks from Murdoch.

I tried to explain the scale of this to my 9-year-old son last night. The guts of the exchange went as follows:

If someone wants more than 5 television stations, if they get satellite TV, what company do they use?

Sky

Murdoch owns it. How many different newspapers do you see down at the newsagent each day?

About eight.

Close enough. Murdoch owns two of them. And because of something known as the ‘echo effect’, what he pushes forward often reaches four or five others. What’s Dad’s favourite movie?

Star Wars

Guess what?

Murdoch owns it?

You got it. What’s my favourite TV show?

M*A*S*H…. or The Simpsons. Which one does he own?

Both.

(pause) Wow. And you’re going to fight this guy?

I’m going to do what I can.

(laugh) Good luck!

Yes, quite. And he’s not the only person to express doubts about this project.

But:

1. The alternative is to simply let it wash over us. As Murdoch gets bolder. There’s still much he feels he has to achieve (such as the destruction of the BBC and ownership of a terrestrial station in the UK). If no-one fights, everyone loses.

2. Murdoch has a soft under-belly; it’s hidden in his so-called mandate. Murdoch influences the lives of billions, but nobody voted for the man. His defence (on the rare occasions he is called to answer himself) is that people vote with their wallets every day. But the vast majority of people don’t know where the money goes to (or where the information comes from) when they watch such-and-such a programme or read such-and-such a newspaper. We are going to correct that.

Stand on the shore and the ocean looks pretty bloody huge. It beats at the rocks and wears them down, slowly but surely. The sand on your small area of the beach comes and goes at its whim.

Stand even further back to see that the ocean covers most of the planet and you can expect to feel just a little intimidated by that. But you only have to build a small wall out into the ocean and you can protect or even shape your shoreline for the better. Show other people how to do the same thing and you’ve got progress.

So here’s how it’s going to work:

The Guts Of The Plan

A central hub will be set up at Bloggerheads that will act as:

1. An anchor-point for all anti-Murdoch projects

2. A recruitment tool

(i.e. “Here’s what other people are doing, you probably came here from one of these projects. Now, here’s what you can do to make these projects a success or build your own project…”)

Each project will have one clear and central message/purpose. We are not out to create a thousand hate sites. We are out to create a thousand information sites. And, as should be clear, Murdoch is often too big to explain. We’re going to take it one target at a time and be very clear in our delivery of the message. If they want to see more, they need only come to the centre and look out.

In other words, the only other role these projects will have is to draw people to that centre so they may:

1. Enjoy the perspective

2. Be motivated to build their own project.

So, and just to hammer this home… each project has one purpose and one purpose alone. The only ‘distraction’ from that purpose is to drive other people to make their own project. There may be scope to link to a few sister projects (e.g. a project that targets The Sun would probably want to link to a project that points out how much tax Murdoch pays in the UK… which is none) but the primary external link will essentially say “Join the Anti-Murdoch Network”

(PS – There will also be link tools for people who come onside by merely linking with “I Support the Anti-Murdoch Network”…)

Here’s the next rule… one person, one project. In short; you need to be as focused as your project.

The project can be held at your existing website, or you can build a new one. Strategically, it makes sense to go for the former if you already have a bit of link support (a good example is BorisWatch held at Wibbler.com).



Starting Projects

Message Projects….

Here are two that have already been built:

I Believe In The BBC

Page 3 – Model Propaganda

Monitoring Projects…

Do people know they’re being lied to? Do they know where those lies originate?

The first big project of this kind that needs to be built is a site not unlike The Daily Mail Watch, but focused entirely on The Sun. This is already coming together, but it needs a few extra watchers/writers and a graphic designer. Get in touch if you want to help.

Smaller Blogger-based projects will be ample to tackle local newspapers that Murdoch owns on a format that is not entirely unlike How To Run a ‘Proxy’ Weblog on Behalf of Your MP. (Why do this? Well, here’s one thing to chew on… Last month, Outfoxed was released in cinemas across Australia. Many smaller towns have only one newspaper. Owned by Murdoch. That refused to run ads for the film.)

A simple page at the hub should be enough to co-ordinate these for now, but once there are a few in place, it would be a very good idea to aggregate these blogs (here’s an example of this at work) and build a specific project out of *that* (i.e. create a small network of small newspaper monitors so a ‘big picture’ of sorts can be created that retains a simple central message/theme).

Larger Projects

I’ll let on about these when they look like becoming reality. No sense bleating about pie-in-the-sky stuff, as it only makes us look stupid. But if we get to a certain level within – say – 6 months, I have a large project already in mind that can be built with elbow-grease alone. You’ll like it.

Funding

On the subject of elbow-grease, this is going to be one of our key materials in the opening stages, but once we reach a level of effectiveness, it would make sense to seek funding from victims of Murdoch to create larger projects. There are plenty of them. Some have had their careers destroyed, some have survived. The survivors will have money. And a grudge.

Taking it Offline

This pretty much requires money, but one or two projects (usually localised or message-based ones) may be able to encourage people to take the information offline in the form of pamphlets, posters or (here we get cheeky) inserts that can be slipped inside Murdoch’s newspapers.

Timeline

In theory, it makes sense to capitalise on the feelings that have arisen from Bush’s win in the US, but confidence and perception are important. We have enough recruits right now to quietly discuss matters and get people cracking on individual projects while the new Bloggerheads machine (complete with hub) is built. The smarter move would be to do the launch-proper in about a month from now, with some well-thought-out projects already in place. Confidence, perception – and a solid lead by example.

Your Role

Have a good, long, think. Pick a potential target, and propose a project.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:33
Peace, love and purple haze.

Time to move to Canada.

Bugger that. Time to move the *borders*.

Who do you think this man would vote for?

You may not be in the mood for this…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
In The News
Time
10:39
Balders comments on people in the North East voting “no” on a new regional assembly.

Peter Gasston comments on the law specifically introduced to evict Brain Haw.

PS – You know all that fuss about MP’s expenses and the lovely London homes some of them are buying? Have you realised that it’s now illegal to protest outside those properties?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:50
Please visit Sandra Gidley today and offer a quietly constructive comment on any post that takes your fancy. She’s still under attack from shouty people.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
Spam
Time
11:35
Spammers convicted; first felony case: Jeremy Jaynes, considered one of the nation’s biggest spammers, and Jessica DeGroot were found guilty of masking their return Internet addresses last summer to send thousands of bulk e-mail peddling software and stock picks to customers of America Online and other Internet service providers. The 12-member jury recommended Jaynes, 30, be sentenced to nine years in a Virginia prison, and DeGroot, 28, be fined $7,500. Judge Thomas Horne is expected to sentence them next year.

UPDATE – FFS! I just got a spam which opens with; “President Bush and Senator Kerry were both for buying presciption medications online. They both said as long as it was safe they are all for it. So stop contemplating and start saving on prescriptions now!”

Oh, and have you noticed how much spam is touting Rolex watches these days? Do you really think the market is suddenly awash with fake Rolexes… or is it more likely that one company is behind all of this spam?

Think about all the street spam that appears around the world. There’s one company responsible for most of that. Read more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
RWCs
Time
12:16
Curse my liberal elitism. (Link via Rogi.)

UPDATE – Joe quite rightly points out that this is a repeat. But – then again – so is the result.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
Tim Yeo
Time
12:55
Yes, well, good luck with that. Only a year late. And still not live.

UPDATE – My, my, my… look at all these almost-weblogs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
The Interweb
Time
14:41
“Ha-ha Bush!” Bye-bye job.

For those who missed it, here’s a screengrab. 12 points go to Netscape for now having ads selling lingerie in place of the ‘offending’ pages and files.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
George W. Bush
Time
14:47
A bit harsh, don’t you think Zach?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
The Interweb
Time
15:24
Tee-hee.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
An American Election
Time
16:04
New Dem Daily – What Happened? (Link via Washington Monthly.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
16:27
Star Wars trailer released – to paying customers.

Sod that for a game of soldiers. See the Ep III trailer and some screengrabs here for free (10mb Quicktime, BitTorrent available).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041105
Operation Murdoch
Time
17:41
Sneak preview of the logo for you.

We’re still looking for a graphic/web designer for the yet-to-be-named Sun-watch project. Apart from the overall design, there will be ongoing scanning and uploading duties, so your heart really needs to be in it. I’ll be checking my email on Monday.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:36
Apart from an opinion on what will be left of the Palestinian cause after Arafat goes, news of the poor chap who shot himself at Ground Zero in reaction to Bush’s win and rumours of a big dollar sell-off post-win, the chart-toppers on Blogdex today can be neatly split into two categories:

Category One: How The Hell Did Bush Win?

Torygraph – Believe it or not, it wasn’t just rednecks who voted for Bush

OBS – Bob Don’t Know Diddy: Post-Election Reflections on Polls and Other Stuff

Open Letter To The Democratic Party: How You Could Have Had My Vote

Murdoch Post – Bill: Why Bush Won

James Wolcott suggests that the official Democratic slogan for 2008 be “Shoot a Fag for Jesus”

Geomblog – The ‘Purple Haze’, revisited

Washington Post – A Coalition of Conviction

Kottke.org – How George Bush won the election

MSNBC – Kerry: The Bush war room wanted to ‘define’ him, and knew how to get under his skin

Washington Post – Four More Years Attributed to Rove’s Strategy

(Washington Monthly also has some analysis based on the 2004 and 2000 exit polls.)

Category Two: He Didn’t

Common Dreams – Evidence Mounts That The Vote May Have Been Hacked

Too many voting ‘irregularities’ to be coincidence

Surprising Pattern of Florida’s Election Results

UPDATE – Wired – House Dems Seek Election Inquiry: Three congressmen sent a letter to the General Accounting Office on Friday requesting an investigation into irregularities with voting machines used in Tuesday’s elections. The congressmen, Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Florida, New York and Michigan, cited a number of incidents that came to light in the days after the election. One was a glitch in Ohio that caused a memory card reader made by Danaher Controls to give George W. Bush 3,893 more votes than he should have received. Another was a problem with memory cards in North Carolina that caused machines made by UniLect to lose 4,500 votes cast on e-voting machines. The votes were lost when the number of votes cast on the machines exceeded the capacity of the memory cards.

Figures suggest that – in many counties – there were more votes for Bush than there were registered voters.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Consume!
Time
09:45
Students! Why not write your thesis on Fat People Being Mocked on The Interwebs?

20 Reasons Why you shouldn’t post your picture on the internet is enjoying a revival this week. Star Wars Kid and Mustard Man are the stuff of legend.

Just a thought.

(A related link for you; The Sun, tireless champion of the consumer, brings news of a leaked memo from those in charge of casting for UK McDonalds ads that reads: “Because this is McDonald’s, it is important that all artists submitted to us are NOT FAT OR OVERWEIGHT in any way” (their emphasis).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
09:48
Independent – Motion to impeach Blair is finalised: The motion calls for a select committee to investigate the “conduct of the PM in relation to the war in Iraq”. The committee would draw up the “articles of impeachment” and a panel of law lords would judge whether Mr Blair deliberately misled the nation. A guilty verdict would see Mr Blair arrested by the Serjeant at Arms and taken into custody by Black Rod. Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, must rule on whether the motion can be tabled for debate on the floor of the Commons. Although Mr Blair has little chance of losing an impeachment vote, its being held would be a serious humiliation.

Blair’s best defence, then, will most likely a familiar one. He needs to belittle the action and those behind it (see: Clare Short, Robin Cook etc. etc.). Look forward to ‘news’ items this week or next suggesting that the people behind the impeachment are mentally imbalanced.

Not only, but also…

Boris Johnson – Bush owes Blair – and must deliver

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:07
A great find from over the weekend: The Community At Large, a blog that points us in the direction of yet more people wondering why images of Abu Ghraib still aren’t showing up in Google Images and results of the video-watch on Republican thugs at polling booths in Ohio. And more. Go see.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Christianity Watch
Time
10:10
Christians United for Responsible Enlightenment of Society“Here are some DANGEROUS books, and posts that if the information given within were put to practice, would topple all existing earthly governments. These will make you THINK!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
OK, So I’m a Comic Book Geek
Time
10:13
The Comics Reporter is a blog dedicated to, well… comic-related news. (Link via LinkMachineGo.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Inneresting
Time
10:15
10×10 – an an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Flash Games
Time
10:16
Give Bush a Brain! As you might expect, it’s pretty challenging. (Link via FunJunkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:19
ITV is seeking to break BSkyB’s monopoly on satellite broadcasting and (the Independent site keeps falling over this morning, so I can only bring you a reference link, sorry) one-tenth of BSkyB shareholders will this week oppose a share buyback scheme, fearing a creeping takeover of the pay-TV group by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Evening Standard – Murdoch’s plan to block News stalker

SMH – Murdoch may finally have met his match

Cause for hope – but don’t go counting on anything.

One major asset-watcher is on the way, another is coming together. We’re planning, we’re building.

UPDATE:

1. We need a seasoned bean-counter to take control of the Murdoch/tax issue through a dedicated project. We’re happy to hook you up with any design, writing or hosting you may need done.

2. A legal bod is required to oversee projects and give advice regarding general bullet-proofing.

3. Perhaps someone would care to quietly ponder on what we can get our hands on with the useful things like the Freedom of Information Act.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:27
Go, go Sandra Gidley: I have absolutely no intention of changing the way I blog. Postings are all Sandra Gidley and the buck stops here. If this is to stay immediate and topical then the whole flavour of what I am trying to achieve will be ruined (the different between fresh milk and sterilised milk) so there are no lawyers, agents or advisors consulted…. What if I live to regret it? Tough – but my personal view is that the public has had enough of bland politicians who speak via spin doctors and present a sanitised face to the world.

UPDATE – I left a comment here on the subject of moderation and censorship. I’m repeating it here mostly for my own personal reference:

People have a right to their opinion, just as people have a right to *form* an opinion in a balanced environment. I’m not making any accusations here, just trying to give an idea of what is and isn’t censorship when it comes to comment moderation. Some comments if left unedited or undeleted can be a form of censorship themselves – especially if they are allowed to reach (a) cacophonic level.

Posting multiple comments under different names is an abuse that warrants not only outright deletion, but public exposure and a full ban in my opinion. (This technique was used widely on Jody Dunn’s blog during the Hartlepool by-election.)

A common technique of trolls and freepers is to throw in off-topic comments that are deliberately designed to divert discussion away from the central point of any given post. Such posts should be seen for what they are and removed. That’s not censorship, that’s the *prevention* of censorship.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Photoshopping
Time
13:00
Meet The Inbredibles.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
13:38
Up to 4,000 surface-to-air missiles unaccounted for in Iraq.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
Video
Time
16:09
“Hey, are you alright?” (silence) (4.6Mb MPEG)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041108
An American Election
Time
17:08
I fear I must point the Finger Of Shame at ScaryDuck for daring to suggest that the state of emergency declared in Iraq today could just as easily have been declared last week (i.e. before the election). Such cynicism is unhealthy, and giving voice to it also suggests that Iraq is far from sovereign. Or at the very least highly suggestible.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Flash Music Video
Time
09:56
We love kittens. We love bunnies. But they are not allowed to love each other.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Useful
Time
09:57
Two links via via poons:

Today’s front pages.

Sorry Everybody.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:14
No change today, apart from more red and blue and purple, more charts, polls, etc. etc. etc.

Mind you, you might find this comparative chart interesting.

There’s also some news for bloggers (you ain’t news), ‘good’ news for those in sexual difficulty (the Sex Inspectors are on the way) and a couple of gander-raising articles…

Washington Post – Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP: As the presidential race was heating up in June and July, a pair of leaked documents showed that the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign was urging Christian supporters to turn over their church directories and was seeking to identify “friendly congregations” in battleground states. Those revelations produced a flurry of accusations that the Bush campaign was leading churches to violate laws against partisan activities by tax-exempt organizations, and even some of the White House’s closest religious allies said the campaign had gone too far.

Is this a good time to mention that pamphlets for RatOutaChurch.org were being handed out at the RNC?

Falsely accusing someone of a crime that you yourself are committing… seems like a familiar tactic, now doesn’t it?

No matter. David Brooks seems to think that it made no difference…

New York Times – The Values-Vote Myth: Here are the facts. As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year…Much of the misinterpretation of this election derives from a poorly worded question in the exit polls. When asked about the issue that most influenced their vote, voters were given the option of saying “moral values.” But that phrase can mean anything – or nothing. Who doesn’t vote on moral values? If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
The Interweb
Time
10:16
LA Times – School’s Stolen Computers Found on EBay: A Palos Verdes High School teacher guessed this week that whoever took $50,000 worth of computers from his classroom would try to fence them in cyberspace. He guessed right. On a hunch, 39-year-old Alan Evans combed listings on the Internet auction site EBay. “And there they were,” he said. “I wasn’t surprised.”… “I think they were trying to unload them as quickly as they could,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Graff, supervising investigator in the case. “From what I understand, they were good students, but what they did wasn’t very smart.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
10:18
Technorati has a new MP3 chart.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Inneresting
Time
10:19
The letters of Vincent van Gogh. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
RWCs
Time
10:21
“Why would I listen to losers?” – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle, when asked if he would consider tax-increase proposals put forward by Democrats.

Link via Europhobia, who have this not-unrelated post today…

Rocco and Religion: The ex-candidate commissioner Rocco Buttiglione, who resigned after MEPs took his comments about single mothers and homosexuals somewhat badly, is launching a crusade for Catholicism and Christianity, claiming the EU is being taken over by a political correctness which effectively discriminates against traditional religious beliefs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Tim Yeo
Time
10:34
A wonderful quote for you today from Tim ‘Swiss Toni’ Yeo: “Winning back power is, dare I say it, like making love. You’ve got to have confidence if you really want to enjoy it.”

I sourced this from the Independent on Sunday, but they didn’t tell me where he said it or precisely when he said it – and Google News isn’t coughing anything up.

Mind you, I did find a nice surprise waiting for me when I went searching for an image of Tim Yeo this morning.

Tim Yeo has completely ignored the offer of amnesty. If this crop from Politicos Design is anything to go by, I think we can safely assume that the new site planned for Tim Yeo will be feature content management (Query strings! Query strings! Give me more query strings) but no interactivity so… *sigh*… it looks like the Tim Yeo weblog will have to come back to life again.

I’d really prefer an actual constituent to handle it, though.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
The Interweb
Time
13:50
First full version of Firefox released. The Mozilla site is under very heavy demand. You may wish to source your version via one of the many mirror locations provided in this Slashdot thread.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041109
Consume!
Time
15:58
A lovely gift for your new baby.

(PS – Arafat’s on the roof again.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:30
Good news for the right; ‘proof’ (in their eyes) that poverty doesn’t breed terrorism. It’s a lack of freedom that does it, y’see. Cue an immediate jump to the conclusion that it’s America’s own brand of freedom that’s needed and start warming up the tanks.

A subtle and measured message to the people of the south.

Slate.com – Bush’s Secularist Triumph: Many are the cheap and easy laughs in which one could indulge at the extraordinary, pitiful hysteria of the defeated Democrats…. Who can care about this pathos? Not I. But I do take strong exception to one strain in the general moaning. It seems that anyone fool enough to favor the re-election of the president is by definition a God-bothering, pulpit-pounding Armageddon-artist, enslaved by ancient texts and prophecies and committed to theocratic rule.

What, like this one? (pleasebeajokepleasebeajokepleasebeajokepleasebeajoke)

(Latter link via Scaryduck. You can read some reactions to it here and here.)

When will the music industry do it right?: This is the only industry in the world that can see thousands of its retailers close, reduce the number of products it sells via cutbacks in artist rosters and albums released, cut back marketing and promotional dollars and then blame a reduction in sales on someone or something other than themselves.

Oh, I don’t know. I think the whole “Piracy funds terrorism!” argument is only one of many parallels to another ‘industry’ somewhere at the back of my mind… but I’m holding onto my Parallel Card for now. Here’s a quick Compare and Contrast instead:

BBC – Music slump ‘not caused by piracy’

BBC – Music piracy ‘does hit CD sales’

Moving right along…

Atrios on voting issues: … Irregularities and questionable results are not necessarily “proof” of “fraud” and “proof” that the “election was stolen.” If people want this issue to be taken seriously they need to stop thinking that any of the information floating around right now… provides proof of any such thing. There’s never anything wrong with raising questions. There is something wrong with believing you have answers to those questions that are not supported by the evidence.

There it is. I’m playing the Parallel Card…

Robin Cook on WMD: “I think that what has happened here is that the government started out from a conclusion. It wanted to go to war, it then needed the evidence to support the war. The danger is that really there was some degree of self-deception as they looked for the evidence that supported the case for war and did not give equal prominence to the evidence that might have pointed in the other direction.”

Your move.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Inneresting
Time
09:30
There’s two ways to approach this. You can view the web page, read the details and then download the video if you like, but it’s much more effective if you download the video first (1.6Mb WMV) and then read the details.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
George W. Bush
Time
09:33
Some are funny, some are not. Some appear to have been (ahem) ‘acquired’, but I’m seeing a few credit links here and there, so I won’t get shouty about it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
09:35
Carl brings to the table another free Ep III trailer source (this one with multiple video formats).

For thos who missed it, here’s the link from Friday that also has some screengrabs.

Oh, and here’s a little photoshopping treat for those who are as amused as I am by Darth’s pose in the bondage chair.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Video
Time
09:40
Be Very Scared (1.5m-m-m-m-megabytes Quicktime).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Photoshopping
Time
09:42
Photo-sensitive epileptics beware! A new trend has sprung up on the B3ta boards – spacking. (Or, if you want to be boring and politically correct, The Creation Of Epilepographs.)

Here’s one I made yesterday.

Here’s a tutorial that teaches you how to make them.

Here’s a nifty tool that makes them for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
09:48
This is lovely.

(As you can probably tell, I’ve spent a lot of time at B3ta recently. The board is always a good place to be during Interesting Times. Oh, and I watched Nineteen Eighty-Four last night. It did a lot to alleviate this feeling of crushing despair.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
Writting
Time
09:51
Got a chapter done last night, and made a good start on another. With any luck, I’ll get one or two out tonight as well. I’m also working (again) on the overall timing and delivery of the information, which is problematic to say the least. The many ‘separate’ SEO issues and skills are heavily intertwined, and presenting them in a more or less linear fashion is a real challenge

Also, I have a big SEO job to do today, so that’s pretty much it from me for now.

Go here, here or here or if you get bored without me.

(Oh, and don’t forget to vote for me, you ungrateful bastards!)

Brain engaged. To work.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041110
An American Election
Time
11:52
Sorry Everybody continues to grow and grow. Do check out the gallery.

UPDATE – But do think carefully before submitting an image yourself.

Oh, and get ready to plant a flag in the name of reason: MadeYouThink.org

Oh. Right. Work. Sorry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:31
Rules for Radicals is worth a read and a quiet ponder, given what’s on the burner here.

Left-wingers! Meet A Yank Abroad.

Right-wingers! Meet someone who doesn’t hate your guts. (Cheers ubermark.)

Everybody! Meet some celebrities from the internets.

Here’s the news we’ve been expecting this last week and here’s the question most people will be asking next week.

Here’s the film that most people think got Theo van Gogh killed (multiple formats, 11 minutes long, in English with Dutch subtitles).

Australia is having a small water problem. One day soon, it may be your problem.

Ditto for the weak American dollar.

The Bloggerheads re-design is coming together nicely. I hope to launch the Murdoch project at about the same time as this re-design. As someone who is at great risk of being shouted down by anonymous or masked freepers, I’m seriously considering using some form of registration for comments.

Last night, some past experience came crashing back to me as I continued with the book. As with previous books (also written after-hours), on a good day I can get a solid chapter out (as I did last night) but I shouldn’t expect to be able to move on to a second. Oh, and closing all email/message programs while you’re writing is the equivalent of taking the phone off the hook (i.e. it’s a very good idea).

That’s it for now. You may see some bits and bobs later in the day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
SEO
Time
12:33
In future, many marketing and SEO-related posts will be made at my work weblog rather than this one.

The first post of this kind just went live:

ASABAILEY hijacks ogilvymather.co.uk

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
Video
Time
13:51
Meet Mrs McDonald (690Kb WMV). Looks like McDonald’s have given up on the kids and decided to target the Randy Old Sod market instead.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
Humanity
Time
16:22
Well said.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
The Interweb
Time
16:46
MSN Search goes beta. Guess what? It’s already falling over. Oh well. At least someone’s on the ball.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
17:17
Guardian – A father’s anger: ‘I would kill Geoff Hoon’: The father of two Black Watch soldiers serving at Camp Dogwood in Iraq threatened to kill the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, yesterday because he was a “two-faced lying git”… During his outburst, Mr Buchanan explained that none of the families involved with the group were anti-military and that fighting was his sons’ job. He added, however, that his sons had not signed up to fight for the Americans or for lies. He said that Mr Hoon had lied to the Black Watch families for three weeks over what was happening to the soldiers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
A Blog is Born
Time
17:17
Two new ones for you:

Honourable Fiend – “keeps his ear to the ground in Westminster and, rest assured, he knows where the bodies are buried.”

Wank du Jour – Like Belle du Jour, only free.



(Try to guess which link was sent in by Scaryduck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
Music
Time
17:22
Not sure how I missed this… Weird Al’s eBay song.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
Civil Liberties
Time
17:24
Say ‘no’ to ID cards… by sending us your details.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041111
The War on Terror
Time
17:28
From Popbitch:

Everyone’s still talking about The Power of Nightmares, but most people don’t know it is the sequel to an earlier series, Century of the Self (and was originally called Enemies of the Self). The BBC hasn’t released it on DVD yet so ask BBC4 to re-show it.

Email: Janice DOT Hadlow AT bbc DOT co DOT uk

The final episodes of Power of Nightmares are now on bittorrent: Ep 2 | Ep 3

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
09:36
With memories of fallen troops uppermost in people’s minds this week (well, almost uppermost), and the very real possibility that you could get sent to your death for reasons of political convenience after 3 months of basic training, who in their right mind would join the army these days?

Well, judging by this front page, The Sun seems to be suggesting that Prince William is willing to be all he can be.

Now, I hate to split heirs (oh shut up – you love it) but it’s Prince Harry who’s headed to Sandhurst. Of course, he’s only third-in-line. And ginger. So it makes much more sense to dig up a photo from August 1998 featuring Di II toting a sub-machine gun.

And just to make sure readers get the message, on Page 3 we are assured that Melanie (24, from Watford) “can’t resist all-action hunks” and “is thrilled to see Prince William training with the crack fighters of the SAS.”

Says Melanie: “Wills is one of the most handsome fellas around, but seeing him with the SAS makes him even more fanciable.”

Core message: Get your hands on a weapon, and you might just get your hands on a fit bird… but I can’t help but wonder if readers of The Sun truly appreciate the risks they face.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
An American Election
Time
09:40
In response to the excellent sorryeverybody.com comes the notably pissweak (and frame-ridden) werenotsorry.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
Flash Music Video
Time
09:48
Star Wars meets The Village People. Don’t expect too much and you’ll get along fine.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
The Interweb
Time
09:50
Slasdot – New Rules Make Domain Hijacking Easier: Essentially, if someone tries to take your domain, and you don’t answer within 5 days, they now assume you are okay with the transfer. Previously, the default answer was no, and you had to explicitly state your acceptance of the domain transfer. Owners of small domains, beware: no more computerless vacations that last more than 4 days at a time!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:53
I’m with Bob Piper. How are we expected to take ‘news’ reports from Fallujah seriously when they come with caveats like; “this report may be subject to U.S. Army restrictions”…?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
RWCs
Time
10:00
Via Washington Monthly…

Slate – Loyal to a Fault?: There is a great deal to admire about White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, whom President Bush nominated yesterday to replace John Ashcroft as attorney general…. However, before the Senate gives its advice and consent to Gonzales’ nomination as the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer, he does have some explaining to do…. Gonzales sat at the apex of the storm that swirled within the Bush administration’s legal ranks over the use of “coercive interrogation” practices and torture to extract information from detainees in Cuba, Afghanistan, and Iraq. One of the “torture memos,” produced in this period by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel for Gonzales, argued that the president had the extra-constitutional power to nullify both the Geneva Conventions and the federal war crimes statute when he deemed it necessary, based on his inherent authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. Another memo, produced by the Defense Department’s lawyers, opined that an interrogator was “guilty of torture only if he act[ed] with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his custody or physical control.” Together, these legal policies and memoranda adopted by the Bush administration on Gonzales’ watch for the war on terrorism had the effect of eviscerating the nation’s institutional, moral, and legal constraints on the treatment and interrogation of prisoners. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may not have personally ordered the abuses at Abu Ghraib, but on advice from lawyers like Gonzales, they adopted policies that set the conditions for those abuses and the worst scandal to affect the U.S. government since Watergate.

UPDATE – Human Rights Watch – U.S. Attorney General Nominee Undermined Rights: As White House counsel, Gonzales was the architect of the Bush administration’s policy of placing detainees captured in the fight against terrorism beyond the protection of any law. That policy opened the door to brutality against detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay and unfair legal proceedings against them. “The Attorney General should enforce the law,” said Jamie Fellner, director of the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch. “Gonzales has helped the president circumvent it. His record suggests that he would be more likely to defer to the President than to uphold basic rights.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
An American Election
Time
10:05
Washington Monthly – Exit Poll Madness

Wired – Florida E-Vote Fraud? Unlikely

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
SEO
Time
11:51
I’ve been poking around the new MSN search engine and reviewing results for clients and what not… but as I did so, I noticed something very peculiar:

Does MSN Search (beta) ignore/penalise sites hosted at blogspot.com?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
Photoshopping
Time
13:53
B3ta’s latest competition: Channel 4 has contacted b3ta and asked us to ask you to “re-design the C4 logo to promote their ‘alternative Christmas’…. Here’s my entry.

(Oh, and the latest B3ta newsletter should keep you out of trouble for a bit.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
14:11
I Won’t Vote Blair! Take the pledge. Advise your MP. (Link via poons.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041112
Consume!
Time
17:22
Man nearly dies after copying risky stunt he saw in a movie.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041113
Interesting Times
Time
23:55
I just heard about Boris on the news. Wibbler has already posted something.. If you want to say more, you know where to say it… but perhaps while you’re up and about, you may wish to have a quiet think about how this has been handled and how a certain other matter was handled.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

25-30 October, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
How To Think Like An Evil Bastard
Time
09:08
Pwahahahahahahahaha!

Labour claims the wealthy elite are trying to keep the ‘opportunity’ of high stakes gambling from the lower classes.

Pardon me while I wipe a tear from my eye.

Here’s your wealthy elite trying to *bring* the ‘opportunity’ of high stakes gambling to the lower classes.

And here’s what these relaxed gaming laws are really about; it’s an extremely inefficient one-off tax hit.

The ongoing assurance that children won’t be exposed to gambling (yeah, right) is a feint. It’s meant to suggest that only children are vulnerable.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
09:10
Independent – ‘Our boys are being used like puppets’: “They are professional soldiers and expect to have to go to war sometime but the way the regiment has been treated by Blair and Hoon is a bloody disgrace. We shouldn’t be in Iraq in the first place and now our boys have to clean up after the Americans. George Bush calls the tune, Blair dances and our boys have to do the dirty work.”

Yes, many will be home in time for Christmas. Some in gift-wrapped boxes.

Now let’s all shut up and support the troops. Who are obviously all kitted out and raring to go.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
Music
Time
09:17
Download and share the excellent Come Clean MP3, currently available via ranzorising.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:18
Topping the chart is wolfpacksfortruth.org, where the wolves featured in the Bush campaign’s latest round of fear-mongering have their say. More on that here.

Just under that, the latest ads from Win Back Respect get an airing, as do 100 facts and 1 opinion regarding the Bush administration.

If you wish you can also see and hear some people who voted for Bush in 2000, but will be voting for Kerry in 2004.

Scope down a bit and you’ll also discover the wonders of liegirls.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
The End of Democracy
Time
09:31
Rest assured that if was leaked via a Murdoch newspaper, the ‘revelation’ that Westminster is about to become a fortress is very much a “your cat’s on the roof” moment. You’re being prepared for bad news in the nicest possible way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:37
Well, isn’t this lovely? The Bush administration is all set to outsource torture.

Chicago Sun-Times – Legislation would tell world U.S. supports torture: After the photographs of the egregious abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq flashed worldwide, the president said: “Let me make very clear the position of my government and our country. We do not condone torture. I have never ordered torture. I will never order torture. The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being.” Yet, on Oct. 8, the Republican leadership of the House rammed through a bill, H.R. 10, ”the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act,” that would permit the secretary of Homeland Security to deport non-citizen detainees to countries known for torturing their prisoners. A last-minute, deceptive, unrealistic amendment by U.S. Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) appeared to make it possible for the president to avoid vetoing this bill, which officially legitimizes torture.

With just over 7 days to go until the US election, I’m inclined to think Abu Ghraib is what needs pushing the most, not least because it highlights so many failures and dangers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
Video
Time
09:43
Make time to see There’s Something About W. If you’re forced to make do with the previews, you can check out a bit-torrent WMV file of the whole lot lumped together here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
Flash Music Video
Time
09:46
Rush Limbaugh – this says it all. Share and enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
Dead Blog Holiday
Time
09:54
I’m back. Here’s the plan:

Bush voted in – target Murdoch.

Bush voted out – target Murdoch.

That’s it, in a nutshell. If Kerry gets in (and it looks increasingly likely no matter what the polls you’re seeing might suggest), we can look forward to Murdoch’s media empire turning back into what it was before the 2000 election – an outright attack machine aimed at the President (as opposed to a rabid supporter of the pResident), so there’ll still be plenty of work to do.

As for the next 7-8 days, I’m in two minds:

1. Over 7 days, present ammunition for other bloggers on 7 key issues ranging from the economy to Iraq.

2. Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib, Abu Ghraib.

Your call. You know the address. Use it.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
10:08
Wave goodbye to your rights, folks. (More here from poons).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! And You’re Next!
Time
10:31
If America goes with Bush, they’ll be going it alone. Their forces are already under strain; what happens when Iraq draaags out and/or the unexpected happens in that or another region?

Exactly.

Never mind the economic deficit; worry more about the general lack of meatbags. (For those who came in late: you may be wondering why this is the first you’ve heard of it.)

UPDATE – GOP Pressures Rock the Vote to Stop Talking About the Draft. You can see a fair few people reacting to this here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cock-Up
Time
15:53
380 Tons of Explosives Missing in Iraq.

BBC – Tons of Iraqi explosives missing: The IAEA said the US-led coalition had been warned about the danger posed by the explosives on several occasions. It says the coalition forces were specifically told to keep the material secured.

*cough*

Feel any safer? No, didn’t think so.

Truckloads of the stuff – gone. They were warned it should be secured – and they failed to secure it. Plus, we’re just hearing about this now, more than a year after it went missing.

I’m tempted to crawl back into my hole….

(Isn’t it also fun how similar the name al Qaqaa is to al Qaeda? That’s sure to blow a few dim bulbs.)

UPDATE – Kerry Chides Bush on Missing Explosives.

Odds are, the Bush administration have known about this all along and just sat on the ‘embarrassing’ news (much as they did in the months before Abu Ghraib went public).

I’m willing to the bet that this stuff has already been used in Iraq, but I don’t dare hope that forensic proof exists (or – more to the point – that anybody is looking for it).

UPDATE 2 – Oh, I missed this Oct 12 article when I was on a beach somewhere (cheers to poons and Balders for the linkage):

Nuclear weapons materials ‘vanish from Iraq’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041025
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
18:08
Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat MP for Romsey in Hampshire, needs to be added to the The List.

I’ve been advised that this Blogger space is just a temporary measure until she can get a blog plugged in on her existing website, but I’ll sort the full linkage out on the current URL for now. Sometime tomorrow. Time go home go bed now. After this…

Apologies for the belated welcome, Sandra!

First of the firsts; this is our first female MP with a weblog.

Second of the firsts; it needs to be noted that this MP weblog is the first major victory on the proxy-blog front.

From Sandra Gidley’s first post: “I will freely admit that the good people at GidleyWatch have a lot to do with the decision – which hasn’t been an easy one.”

Hooray for Sandra and hooray for The GidleyWatch Team.

Also, big-ups to Shane McCracken for his ‘simple’ email to the proxy-blogged that has helped to bring two MPs to the fold now.

Third (and this isn’t a first, it’s just bloody great is all) Sandra has already given another blogger what appears to be a well-deserved slap-down.

The blogger in question is her Tory rival, Caroline Nokes.

Nokes had a blog going back a few months (to Jan 04), but it had begun to gather dust… until Sandra’s new blog came along. GidleyWatch has a full outline of what followed here, but the short version of events is that Caroline made a snide, misleading statement on her weblog and Sandra called her on it in this post on her own weblog.

Caroline’s reaction was to scream “personal attack!” and take her weblog down, claiming that she did so to stop Sandra from making “malicious” remarks about her.

Pwahahahahahahahahaha! And now several ‘independent’ voices are making comments of Sandra’s site, blaming her for content on GidleyWatch and also insisting that Sandra “do the decent thing” and delete her blog as well, “that way, there will be a much fairer contest not based on personalities.”

I say again: Pwahahahahahahahahaha!

OK, I have a house-warming gift for Sandra…

The Caroline Nokes weblog was previously at http://www.carolinenokes.blogspot.com/, *not* http://www.carolinenoakes.blogspot.com/ as Gidleywatch suggests.

It’s no longer in Google’s cache… but it’s still in Yahoo’s.

If you (or anyone else) wants to see what Caroline Nokes would rather was forgotten, you can click here and follow the ‘Cached’ link for each entry listed. You can see the specific entry Sandra objected to by clicking here.

Poke around at will. Right-click and ‘Save As’ if you feel like it.

It’s a body of work that’s well worth preserving.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
The End of Democracy
Time
10:02
New York Times – Big G.O.P. Bid to Challenge Voters at Polls in Key State: Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.

There are two words that apply here: obfuscation and intimidation

In taking this action, they not only provide a daunting a gauntlet for would-be voters (i.e. those who might look a bit liberal will have to face down a rabid Republican who wishes to take down their particulars before they can even get to a booth) they also suggest that it’s the Democrats who are about to attempt one of the greatest electoral frauds in modern history.

Bush is ahead of the game with unquestioned media control. And his brother runs the marginal state of Florida. Pollsters are already cooking the books. (Perhaps Gallup would care to poll Bush’s family. They might get some better data.)

And then there’s Diebold, the Republican donors who wish to weave their own brand of magic…

CNN – What could go wrong this time?: Electronic voting machines were supposed to have provided a seamless voting process this time, but they have only fed concerns about snafus on Election Day. The touch-screen machines, which will be used by about 30% of voters, have been shown to be vulnerable to tampering, to break down and to lose votes or record none at all. Worse, in every state where they are used except Nevada, the machines produce no paper trail of votes. And e-voting machines can’t do recounts. On a second go-round, they simply repeat the outcome they offered the first time.

You also have to consider that it is usually the Republicans who suffer from a large turnout of voters. The old and new systems have already caused massive queues during the early-voting process due to widespread system/network failures. And now this isn’t the only delay likely to turn potential voters away. Now they have professional harassment teams waiting for them at the door. Should they ever reach it.

UPDATE – A nifty video on the Florida voting experience. Enjoy.

UPDATE 2 – For those who consider the above video to be unfair and somewhat fanciful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cock-Up
Time
10:11
CNN – Report: Explosives already gone when U.S. troops arrived: NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad. While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.

Oh, really? How curious. I’m greatly comforted by this ‘new’ information and Matt Drudge’s assurance that this amounts to a Kerry smear and/or liberal conspiracy. Especially when this ‘it was like that when we got there’ theory is based on assurances from the White House and a report from embedded reporters (who – by and large – have done so much to bring us the truth about the invasion of Iraq in the past).

It’s also fun to watch the Bush administration duck and dive as they cobble their cover story together. Live and without the aid of tell-tale bulges.

Josh Marshall is following this closely, so his site should be worth a few repeat visits today. You should click through and poke around the links he provides if you have the time.

Here’s the latest from his site: What I am trying to show is that Pentagon appointees like Di Rita don’t seem to have any clear idea what happened to this stuff. And in an attempt to push back the story, they’re cooking up various theories, most with very short half-lives, that just don’t seem credible to a lot of folks who follow these issues. If you look at the multiple contradictions in the different stories administration officials told reporters over the course of Monday, it’s hard not to get the sense that they’re caught without a good explanation and they’re just making this stuff up as they go along.

But not all of us actually follow these issues. We’re used to having our news reduced to 7-second chunks of information.

That’s why you need to poke around this stuff and be ready to refute any wingnut who’s out and about shouting “Kerry smear!” today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
The War on Stupid
Time
10:16
Use fear. Lie about source of danger. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. (5.2Mb Quicktime video.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:18
Increase In War Funding Sought – Bush to Request $70 Billion More. Just a little something for folks what vote according to twinges in their hip pocket.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
Abu Ghraib
Time
10:31
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror: In addition to adding more details to the woeful chronology of the Abu Ghraib scandal, in which the military stopped the abuse only after Hersh’s story brought it crashing down onto front pages around the world — four months after it was first reported to the Department of Defense — Hersh speculated on why those dehumanizing techniques had been used. He was sure that they were not, as some have claimed, the “stress outlet” or other spontaneous recreational ideas of young soldiers from West Virginia. Instead, he said, they were the outgrowth of a massive manhunt for information, any information, about first Al Qaida, the Taliban, and then the Iraqi insurgency.

Want to get Seymour Hersh excited? Ask him why Abu Ghraib is important. Then take cover. : “Why is it important? It’s important because — let me tell you why it’s important, in a nutshell! It’s important because it’s a symptom of a lack of care by the people at the top. The president and (Vice President Dick) Cheney and (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld dehumanized the opposition from the beginning – out of fear, out of anger, out of want of payback.”

(Try to ignore the shouty-crackers angle. Seymour Hersh has seen what you haven’t. And received more than his fair share of death threats.)

Even if we go with the Bush administration’s “stress outlet” theory, you have to ask what role the officially sanctioned process of hooding played. And the role their continued claims that Iraq was connected to 911 played. And the role their officially sanctioned policy of using the detention process to ‘soften up’ prisoners for interrogation played. And what role their desperation to find WMDs that didn’t exist played.

Even if this was an unhappy accident, the Bush administration comes out of it looking as guilty as hell. Especially as they didn’t act to stop it until irrefutable evidence came to light.

And why does that evidence exist? Why are there so many photos of Iraqis being tortured?

Share the Flash show; point people to the article.

Oh, and this Halloween? The simplest and most powerful costume you can use this year involves putting a bag over your head. Just a thought.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
An American Election
Time
11:38
Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Don’t stop at the pledge. The petitions are equally inspired (‘Sane Warfare’ especially).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
Video
Time
11:53
Auditions for the role of Osama bin Laden in the upcoming blockbuster October Surprise are now closed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041026
In The News
Time
15:42
Goodbye, John.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Activism
Time
10:04
IC Birmingham – Law created to get rid of protester: A new law is to be passed solely to evict Midland carpenter Brian Haw from his one-man peace protest outside Parliament. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, will announce he is to outlaw “permanent encampments” outside Parliament as well as the use of megaphones, according to reports.

Independent – Blunkett legislates to silence lone protester at Westminster: Sir George Young, the Tory MP for Hampshire North West, has led the charge against Mr Haw, accusing ministers of an “inexcusable paralysis” for failing to get rid of him earlier. In a Commons debate in May he said that terrorists could hide behind the peace protester’s banners and “pick us off as we arrive at or leave the House”. No other democracy would allow “this shanty town” in the middle of the its capital, he said.

Sir George Young speaks total claptrap.

Is he seriously unaware of Operation Dewey Canyon III and large and sustained protests over the years in the National Mall in Washington D.C. or the Aboriginal Tent Embassy that’s been in front of Parliament House in Australia (these past 32 years)?

Blunkett has picked the perfect time to try and do away with this little cloud of shame that does and should hang over our representatives, in that his supporters are obviously very focused on the US elections right now. But I’m not to busy to call him on his bullshit.

Using laws that are supposedly designed to combat organised crime to stifle protest? It’s simply not on.

UPDATE – Rob emailed to say; Brian is taking it well – we talked about it last night. Public Enemy Number 1 he’s calling himself. He’ll be – as I assume everyone else will be – fighting it, as usual. His mantra in response? “Blunket’s Dog for Home Secretary!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Video
Time
10:06
For those who missed it, check out John Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire via this post at Perfect.co.uk and this post at Wibbler.com (the latter has a swath of alternative video links, and is definitely something that you have to see and hear to appreciate).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Church & State
Time
10:10
To. Be. Read. In. Full.

(Use bugmenot.com if you have registration difficulties.)

NYT – Without a Doubt: “Just in the past few months… I think a light has gone off for people who’ve spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he’s always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.” Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush’s governance, went on to say: ”This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can’t be persuaded, that they’re extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he’s just like them… ‘This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,” Bartlett went on to say. ”He truly believes he’s on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.” Bartlett paused, then said, ”But you can’t run the world on faith.”

Sweden has an army? Well, I’ll be damned…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:17
NYT – U.S. Action Bars Right of Some Captured in Iraq: A new legal opinion by the Bush administration has concluded for the first time that some non-Iraqi prisoners captured by American forces in Iraq are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, administration officials said Monday. The opinion, reached in recent months, establishes an important exception to public assertions by the Bush administration since March 2003 that the Geneva Conventions applied comprehensively to prisoners taken in the conflict in Iraq, the officials said. They said the opinion would essentially allow the military and the C.I.A. to treat at least a small number of non-Iraqi prisoners captured in Iraq in the same way as members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban captured in Afghanistan, Pakistan or elsewhere, for whom the United States has maintained that the Geneva Conventions do not apply.

Break out the head-bags, boys. Once again, it’s time to play Human Pyramid!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Inneresting
Time
10:18
A visual history of spam and virus emails.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:22
1. Sandra Gidley: “I am not GidleyWatch.”

2. GidelyWatch: “We are not Sandra.”

Hope that clear things up for the ninny-mouse Tory jobbers who are busy attacking both. Also, here’s a Lib-Dem blog aggregator. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Anyone But George
Time
10:24
Thomas F. Schaller – Why I believe in our president.

Via this DailyKos post, which states: You’ll be interested to learn that this commentary was initially accepted by a Top 10 circulation national newspaper op-ed page editor, but later rejected by higher-ups.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Flash Games
Time
10:27
Hit The Loser! Simple and addictive. (Link via FunJunkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
The End of Democracy
Time
10:28
BBC – New Florida vote scandal feared: A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan – possibly in violation of US law – to disrupt voting in the state’s African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals. Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign’s national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called “caging list”. It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida. An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: “The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day.”

DailyKos has more, and a bunch of comment besides.

The folks at DailyKos are doing a stellar job, BTW. It’s definitely a blog to watch over the next week. One of their contributors even had a piece in the Guardian yesterday.

Check out Polling truth for some enlightenment on the number-crunching front.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
An American Election
Time
10:31
Be prepared for Ralph Nader.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
The Bush Administration
Time
10:34
Democratic Underground – White House Website Scrubbing: Far-Reaching, Systematic, in Violation of ‘The Rule of Law’: Over the past several weeks, I have been chronicling the stark difference in the Bush Administration’s management of their White House website (to that of the Clinton administration). I caught them red-handed as they hastily removed the website’s list of Iraq “coalition” members just after the V.P. Debate when Dick Cheney accused John Edwards of being “dead wrong” for not counting Iraqi casualties as a percentage of “coalition casualties.” I caught them again after the third Presidential Debate when the White House removed damning video footage of Bush admitting at a press conference that he was “not truly that concerned” about bin Laden – precisely as John Kerry had charged during the debate. Continued investigation reveals a great deal of information that has vanished from the site.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Anyone But George
Time
10:35
I hate to repeat myself, but – again – To. Be. Read. In. Full.

Baghdad Burning: Who am I hoping will win? Definitely Kerry. There’s no question about it. I want Bush out of the White House at all costs. (And yes- who is *in* the White House *is* my business- Americans, you made it my business when you occupied my country last year) I’m too realistic to expect drastic change or anything phenomenal, but I don’t want Bush reelected because his reelection (or shall I call it his ‘reassignment’) will condone the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. It will say that this catastrophe in Iraq was worth its price in American and Iraqi lives. His reassignment to the White House will sanction all the bloodshed and terror we’ve been living for the last year and a half.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Distractions
Time
10:36
Bleaaarrrrrrrgh!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Music
Time
10:38
You know me; I’m the type of guy who thinks that ‘rap’ is spelled with a silent ‘C’, but you simply much check out Eminem’s new track, Mosh. It’s awesome. There’s a link to the video in the latest WMV format, but if you have trouble chewing on that, there’s a Quicktime version here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Humanity
Time
10:41
Here’s a conversation sparked by my Abu Ghraib video.

Please take the time to link to Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib somewhere today (or use any of the links, quotes or resources provided underneath the Flash show) to start a conversation of your own.

UPDATE – Also see this. You will choke with rage. (Are we seriously supposed to believe these people when they assure us they have no women in custody?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Tolerance
Time
11:34
Oppose the homophobic EU Justice Commissioner

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
The Interweb
Time
14:10
The official campaign web site for George W. Bush is refusing connections from servers outside of the US.

Suddenly the ‘internets’ moment makes a lot more sense. There’s US… and there’s them. That’s two individual internets right there, folks. Case closed.

UPDATE – The BBC reports.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
Anyone But George
Time
14:47
Why I believe in our president, as annotated by Nosemonkey. Good stuff.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041027
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
22:21
Independent – US gave date of war to Britain in advance, court papers reveal: Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs by US defence planners five months before the invasion was launched, a court martial heard yesterday. The revelation strengthened suspicions that Tony Blair gave his agreement to President George Bush to go to war while the diplomatic efforts to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN resolutions were continuing.

There it is. Won’t it be fun watching Tony talk his way out of this one?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041028
Updates
Time
08:47
Busy. Building.

Go and be nice to Sandra if you need something to do.

UPDATE – Oh, or download a copy of Fahrenheit 9/11. (Cheers to Carl for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041028
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! And You’re Next!
Time
14:20
Pwahahahahahahahaha! Up is down, black is white, and Kerry is more likely to reinstate the draft than Bush. Of course, this editorial completely ignores the evidence that the Bush administration has clearly been gearing up for the draft and even seeking staff to make it happen since this time last year.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Perhaps Bush has an alternative plan to keep those troops coming. Cloning.

Click here for a screengrab from the GeorgeWBush.com website and then click here for detail.

Does this remind you of anything?

(Cheers to James for the heads-up.)

UPDATE – This post now comes complete with a bonus image.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041028
Video
Time
14:21
More anti-Bush videos than you can shake a shandy-stick at. Enjoy. (Link via goodyspeedy.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041028
Anyone But George
Time
21:08
A top video and an excellent campaign. Got a camera? Use it. Let the intimidators know that we’re watching them.

UPDATE – Hahahahahahahaha! Presented in the spirit of fairness and balance. Have we just witnessed the start of a last-minute out-takes war?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041028
The Interweb
Time
21:48
May I just say as a former recipient of Tony Blair’s email, that I f**king love this?

I can? Thanks.

(Link via ScaryDuck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Distractions
Time
06:44
Run out of ideas for Halloween?

PS – Some cartoons for you. Play nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
The War on Terror
Time
06:47
Oh, well done, Drudge.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahaha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Anyone But George
Time
06:54
The American Conservative – Kerry’s The One: Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliche about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal – Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can’t be found to do it – and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.

Whoops. And there goes another.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
The Interweb
Time
07:02
Heh. The excuse is touchingly typical.

Here’s a report from BoingBoing and here’s an inneresting development that may amuse you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
The End of Democracy
Time
07:52
American Politics 101. This is how corrupt and rotten its gotten here, all thanks to Republicans.

Another overview here and some satire here. Oh, and here’s another example of a voter-suppression letter .

(And just in case you’re wondering, yes, Republicans do stand to benefit even if they only manage to gum up the works a bit.)

UPDATE – Why Do Republicans Hate Democracy? … will show you a great way of doing this. It takes months of plotting, scheming, and generally thinking like an evil bastard.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
08:00
Boom.

(Here you go; this should keep you busy.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Humanity
Time
08:20
Guardian – 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead, says study.

IraqBodyCount‘s estimates don’t go higher than 16,000. Not that a (*cough*) slightly lower number would make it OK.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Flash Music Video
Time
08:29
################################################

Your mission today:

Point lots of people in this direction.

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
08:47
Iraq war plans were drawn up eight days before Resolution 1441 and a month before UN inspectors under Hans Blix began their hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Civil Liberties
Time
09:56
Remember; Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
An American Election
Time
10:26
That’s the spirit!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
The Interweb
Time
13:25
Internets Vets for Truth: Our goal is to present you with (a range of video clips) to help you make an informed choice next Tuesday.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Interesting Times
Time
15:11
Bloody hell! What a week, eh? The only thing missing is a terror warning and a massive virus attack. (Aaaaand 5, 4, 3, 2…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Anyone But George
Time
15:28
A bulge is not a wrinkle. This is hardly rocket science, but just in case you’re in any doubt, here’s a chap from NASA to explain it to you.

(Ha-ha! Captain Bunnypants was wired for sound and still lost the debate. And that’s not all he’s lost.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041029
Flash Music Video
Time
15:50
Have you whored this link yet? If not, why not?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041030
The War on Terror
Time
22:21
I think we can bank on Osama bin Laden being alive. And quite possibly in possession of a sense of humour.

This is an exchange documented in a New York Times article that reached me recently, even though I was ‘offline’ at the time. I assume that most people who are online and watch such things have seen it….

Ron Suskind – Without a Doubt:

“I don’t know why you’re talking about Sweden,” Bush said. “They’re the neutral one. They don’t have an army.”

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: “Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They’re the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.” Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. “No, no, it’s Sweden that has no army.”

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

For me, the following reference is pretty clear…

Osama leads in with: “Security is an important foundation of human life, and free people do not squander their security, contrary to Bush’s claims that we hate freedom. Let him tell us why we did not attack Sweden, for example.”

PS – Me pointing this out means that I love Osama. And wish to have his babies.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off