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

01-16 October, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041001
An American Election
Time
18:54
Ha-ha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041002
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
16:46
Tee-hee.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041007
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
09:57
Everybody hates a spammer.

SMH – Liberal phone spam doesn’t ring true, say unhappy targets: The Liberal Party has been accused of having breached electoral laws, improperly using silent phone numbers and using an overseas call centre in “phone spam” campaigning. The Australian Electoral Commission was considering a complaint from the Labor Party yesterday that recorded “advocacy calls” made to thousands of electors in marginal seats, did not carry proper authorisation. Section 328 of the Electoral Act requires any political advertisement to provide the name and address of the authorising official. The Liberal ads contain no authorisation. Then there is the question of how the Liberals know people’s silent numbers.

The article fails to note, however, that this exciting, new and vote-winning tactic has been copied directly from the Bush campaign in the U.S.

UPDATE – Hear that Gutless Johnny phone-spam in full (link to MP3 on page) and compare it to Bush’s cold-calling technique (direct link to WAV file).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041009
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
12:54
1. Australia, I’m feeling very disappointed with you right now.

2. Howard did his best to avoid the issue of Iraq throughout the election, but you can bet that one day very soon today’s result will be presented as vindication on that front. Almost as if the general election were a referendum on that subject and that subject alone.

Oh, and almost as if being chosen as the lesser of two weevils is a ringing endorsement. (I’m going to leave it there at weevils, because I can’t even bear to think of what life will be like for Australians under that loathsome insect Peter Costello.)

UPDATE – Worth noting and ‘membering.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041016
Spam
Time
15:39
Seems like a trustworthy chap…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041016
Tolerance
Time
16:04
Blimey!

The Hillsborough reference could have been handled better (or avoided altogether), but the editorial in question makes a valid point. (See BugMeNot.com if my link doesn’t get you through. You do need to actually read the piece before forming an opinion.)

Me, I’d dare to ask where the extreme reaction was to the murder, torture and rape of innocent Iraqis. This may have even been followed up by more than mild interest in an apology from Tony Blair.

Sorry, that’s a bit off-topic, isn’t it? We should all be kicking Boris.

(PS – 10 points go to The Sun if they dare to vilify Boris over this. Can somebody please clip them if they do?)

UPDATE:

1. Isn’t it funny that an editorial on perspective should cause so many people to lose theirs?

2. Credit should go to Boris for taking the flak, as any editor worth their salt should.

3. Please also note how his blog continues to invite comment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20041016
An American Election
Time
16:48
This may be of marginal interest. (B-boom tisch!)








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

15-29 September, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
09:11


(Click here for a desktop version of this image.)

Blimey! We almost did it! (And by ‘we’, I mean we as a nation, not we as a bunch of interwebbers.)

Independent – Blair almost quit because of family pressures, says Bragg: Tony Blair considered quitting this year because “family considerations” were pressing and he was under “colossal strain”, Lord Bragg, the television arts presenter and close friend, said last night.

Guardian – Family stress nearly made Blair quit, claims Bragg: The Labour peer, Melvyn Bragg, whose wife, Cate Haste, co-authored Cherie Blair’s new book on Downing Street spouses, made the claim during an interview with ITV News which caught No 10 on the hop.

ITV – Blair mulled quitting over family: Asked whether Mr Blair had considered resigning earlier this year, Lord Bragg said: “I think that he was under tremendous stress. He was being hammered in the press. Perhaps he had doubts about some policies, perhaps not. But in my view, the real stress was personal and family, which matters most to him. And my guess is that the considerations of his family became very pressing and that was what made him think things over very carefully. That is my guess.”

But it was nothing to do with Iraq, nossir. Family pressures.

Cherie wants the kitchen done over because the energy patterns are all wrong. And this comes just after she finally sorted out the flow in the bathroom. Leo’s well past his first word, but it’s a terribly rude one and he just won’t stop saying it. Euan is kicking up a stink because he’s stuck at Bristol University when he really wanted to learn gun-running at Eton. Kathryn’s started taking an interest in boys, but she’s of age. The real problem is with Nicky, who appears to be taking an interest in girls*.

(*None of this is true.)

Damn it, we almost had him. What killed us then was people like John Reid coming out with a story that pretty much runs as follows:

I certainly didn’t ask Mr Blair if he was considering resigning, because it’s simply not an issue. But I got the very clear impression that he wouldn’t. Because it’s simply not an issue. There is no crisis. I’m here to tell you that there is no crisis. Don’t think for a moment that I’ve been wheeled out because there is a crisis, because I just popped in for this interview on my way to make a cup of tea. I like to drink warm, hot cups of tea when nothing of consequence is going on.

And, wouldn’t you know it, Reid was on BBC radio 4 this morning telling this exact same story. Because Downing St couldn’t possibly comment.

Torygraph – Blair ‘nearly quit over family’: According to the spokesman, Mr Blair still stood by his statement in July that he had not considered quitting as Prime Minister. But Downing Street refused to discuss the substance of Lord Bragg’s allegations or the closeness of his relationship with the Blair family.

Damn it, we almost had him. But we let it go because of the power of denial.

Perhaps it’s time to rephrase the question.

No more “Will Blair resign?”; try instead “When will Blair resign?”

You can ignore the pretence that it’s not going to happen.

In fact, you can help to make it inevitable.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
An American Election
Time
09:15
Reuters – Bush Avoids Issue of Iran, N.Korea on Campaign Trail: As he campaigns on a platform of having made America safer, President Bush usually does not talk about nuclear disputes with North Korea and Iran that show no sign of resolution. Bush did not mention the two countries, once branded by him as part of an “axis of evil,” in his recent Republican Convention address and he has not made them a campaign staple.

Well, he doesn’t want to reveal that he has no plan, obviously. That you’re afraid is enough. Fear over substance; don’t misunderestimate it.

(Link via Codewolf.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Inneresting
Time
09:19
100 photographs that changed the world. (Well, 28 of them at least. You have to buy the book to see them all.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
09:21
I’m terribly sorry, I’ll read that again; Blair considered resigning because of his family weblog.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Video
Time
09:23
DNC Video: Fortunate Son (for Windows media and ReallyCrapPlayer – your mileage may vary).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Bush: AWOL
Time
09:36
Kevin Drum: I think it’s time for everyone to give up on this. The memos are almost certainly fakes, they’re sucking up media bandwidth that could be better used elsewhere, and Dan Rather is toast. Besides, there was really nothing in them that told us anything new.

Right on. We can’t have the freepers bleating ‘forgery’ all over the place, because it dilutes the effectiveness of actual evidence….

Unreleased document shows Bush failed to fulfil his commitments: A newly discovered document that was withheld by the White House when it released “all the records” shows that Bush promised to serve in the Air National Guard well beyond the termination of his six year Military Service Obligation. In this document, simply labeled “AGREEMENT”, Bush acknowledges that his training will require “the expenditure of extensive public funds” and in exchange for “undergraduate pilot training”, he agreed to serve for at least five years after the completion of that training…. The source of this document was someone with unquestioned access to it, and there is no doubt regarding its authenticity. There is also no question that it has been withheld by the White House.

I’m not sure if this one is a door slamming or a screen door creaking open. Stay tuned.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
The Grand & Dirty Game
Time
09:51
I love people who continually insist that nothing of the sort would ever happen, we’re being paranoid and so on – and then immediately switch to “Oh do, grow up – everbody does it!” the moment proof comes to light. I say this because I expect to hear from a few of these people today…

April 30, 2003 – Guardian – Storm over alleged bugging transcripts: During today’s prime minister’s question time, Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay asked Mr Blair if the government still subscribed to the Wilson doctrine – that the security forces should not bug MP’s phones. “I reaffirm the Wilson doctrine but will not comment on matters of security,” Mr Blair replied. Earlier, a Downing Street spokeman said: “We have no idea whether this document is genuine and therefore we have no comment to make.”

September 15, 2004 – Sinn Fein to challenge Blair over listening bug: Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader, accused the government of “gross hypocrisy” before tomorrow’s Northern Ireland peace talks after a bugging device was found hidden in the floor of a party office in west Belfast. The device, which was 1 metre 63 cm long (5ft 3in) and disguised as a floor joist, was hidden under carpet tiles in a first-floor office. The party said two live microphones were pointed towards the office and a downstairs conference room where the officials had in the past held meetings with Bill Clinton’s campaign team.

So now Gerry Adams plans to deliver it to Tony Blair. Presumably so he can determine if it’s genuine.

PS – This never happened.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
17:06
1. I always seem to end up in Westminster on unrelated matters just when things get interesting. I think someone is trying to tell me something. (PS – Balders has a word or two on the fox hunting thingie.)

2. Met Boris. Hell of a nice chap. He cottoned on immediately and is Keen. As. Mustard…. you’re in for a treat.

That’s about it for now. Back to the domain issue….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
The End of Democracy
Time
17:12
Relax. Everything is fine. (Link via ScaryDuck.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Humanity
Time
17:14
It’s an election ploy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
Tinfoil Helmets
Time
17:15
The nurses run naked in Portsmouth General. I repeat: The nurses run naked in Portsmouth General.

PS – In 2003, I blogged my plans for May Day. I found police waiting for me. They knew just who I was, which is probably why this happened. Next May Day, I hope to bring a surprise to the table.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040915
The War on Stupid
Time
17:22
Scotsman – Al Qaida ‘Duped Allies into Waging War’: One of al Qaida’s aims in its September 11 attacks on the US three years ago was to draw the west into military conflict on Arab soil, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s former envoy to Iraq acknowledged today. Sir Jeremy Greenstock’s comments appeared to give some credence to the argument of critics of the Iraq War that the US and UK played into al Qaida’s hands by launching last year’s invasion.

(Link via Abnu, who is one of those naive peaceniks who sides with terrorists.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:52
Guardian – Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan: The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN’s founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: “Yes, if you wish.” He then added unequivocally: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”

BBC – Iraq war illegal, says Annan : He has said from the beginning the invasion did not conform with the UN charter – phrasing that was seen as a diplomatic way of saying the war was illegal. Our correspondent says Mr Annan’s relationship with the US might be made a little uncomfortable for a while following his comments, but both sides are likely to want to play it down. US President George W Bush is due to speak at the UN General Assembly next week.

The reaction? Predictable:

Australian PM rejects Annan’s claims Iraq war ‘illegal’, criticises UN

Patricia Hewitt: Iraq War ‘Lawful and Necessary’

What you have to watch out for here is the Resolution Two-Step.

Blair makes much of the fact that resolution 1441 was passed unanimously; it allows him to suggest that we had international support.

Here he is, side by side with Bush as this favourite claim of his is pushed forward: ” And in respect to Iraq, we should not forget Resolution 1441 that was passed in the United Nations, in which the entire international community accepted the threat that Iraq constituted.”

Here he is, selling it himself in the House of Commons: “We expected – I expected – to find actual usable chemical or biological weapons shortly after we entered Iraq. We even made significant contingency plans in respect of their use against our troops. UN resolution 1441, in November 2002, was passed unanimously by the whole Security Council, including Syria, on the basis that Iraq was a WMD threat.”

However, (skipping quietly over the phantom menace of WMDs) resolution 1441 does not authorise force. It was deliberately worded that way. And it was only this wording that allowed the resolution to be passed unanimously (if at all).

Blair and his cronies will then slip through the next sentence (much like Patricia Hewitt did this morning) stating that “Iraq was indeed lawful and why we believed it was necessary to uphold those UN resolutions” (please note the curiously plural aspect of that last word).

Scotsman – Attorney General Advised Blair War Was Legal – Butler: According to the Attorney General, the existing UN Security Council resolution 1441 – and the earlier resolutions 678 and 687, passed at the time of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait – already contained authorisation for military action in this case, without the need for a fresh resolution specifically triggering war.

And that’s the guts of it, really. But there’s another bluff to it. Blairites are also fond of repeating the mantra that they published the legal advice they received. But this advice has not been published in full and remains an official secret. And one can only wonder why…

Guardian – War chief reveals legal crisis: It emerged last week that an earlier draft of the advice, produced around 7 March , prevaricated on whether an invasion of Iraq was legal without a second United Nations resolution. The Attorney-General was then ‘sitting on the fence’, said a senior Government legal source. He was forced to redraft this advice as the countdown to war continued. The Observer has discovered that Goldsmith flew to Washington in early February for a crisis meeting with his American counterpart, John Ashcroft, to discuss the war’s legality.

Sunday Herald – US told UK Attorney General to alter legal advice on Iraq war: The attorney general initially told Tony Blair that an invasion of Iraq would be illegal without a new resolution from the United Nations and only overturned his advice when Washington ordered Downing Street to find legal advice which would justify the war. The devastating claim will be made by eminent QC and Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy in a television interview today.

If the case is sound, sound enough to base a war on, then why not publish the advice in full?

Because… This. War. Was. And. Is. Illegal.

And you can’t wheel out the moral case about Iraq being better off without Saddam and us liberating the poor suffering Iraqis (and here we skip over the minor issue of the detention and torture of soldiers and civilians) because this poor legal standing is one of the major factors in the mess Iraq has become. It also lends terrorists legitimacy in some quarters. This was bad for Iraq and bad for the so-called War on Terror.

Blair wanted a second resolution. Legally, he needed it. But in the end he had to make do with a hodge-podge of decade-old resolutions that had nothing to do with the situation in Iraq as it stood on the eve of war.

And he’s been getting away with this bluff ever since.

Enough from me. Let’s get back to the news…

Independent – Annan declares Iraq war illegal and warns of election credibility: Lord Goldsmith argued that the threat from weapons of mass destruction was one of the reasons for justifying action under UN resolution 1441. However, the Iraq Survey Group is expected to confirm that no evidence of WMD has been found. Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the number two in the Foreign Office legal team, resigned in protest at the case for attacking Iraq in a pre-emptive strike, a week before the war began. It has also been claimed that the Foreign Office fears that its legal justification for the war on Iraq could be open to legal challenge as a result of the ruling in the International Court of Justice against the construction of Israel’s security wall.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
The Animal Kingdom
Time
10:00
Let’s go snake-hunting!

Let’s tease leopards! (1.5Mb WMV file)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Useful
Time
10:03
This Is Broken – “A project to make businesses more aware of their customer experience, and how to fix it.”

(Link via famous and nonfamous strangers.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
The Environment
Time
10:06
Pardon my cynicism.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
The Interweb
Time
10:06
Hooray for Geoff and his shiny new iPod!

Also, Spam is 100 years old.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
The End of Democracy
Time
10:08
From Steve Garfield’s video blog…. (channels Bee Gees)…. Some-one’s breaking laws… in Massachusetts…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
10:18
Belle de Jour calls it a day now the book deal’s in the bag. I think we’ve all been had.

This link comes to you courtesy of ScaryDuck who (brace for fanfare) who – after “fifteen years writing on media news and human rights”, gets his first-ever by-line on an ‘And Finally’ piece on Star Trek. Kahlesste kaase!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
10:19
Australian politician injured by too much handshaking while campaigning. (Link via Baked Bens.)

I’ll have more on the Australian election later today. Possibly tonight.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Useful
Time
10:22
AltWeeklies.com – news and arts reporting from more than 100 alternative newsweeklies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Video
Time
10:29
HoldThemAccountable.com is going into bat, taking on the issue of the Bush administration’s incompetent execution of the war in Iraq. The site features previews of ads that air in Wisconsin and West Virginia on Monday. Go see.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Bush: AWOL
Time
10:32
Kevin Drum on why the forgery claims matter not a jot.

Also, an interesting exchange for you (please note the impeccable source):

Q Scott, on the National Guard documents on “60 Minutes,” the First Lady says she believes these are forgeries. The RNC has accused the Democratic Party of being the source of these documents. Knowing then what you know now, would you still have released those documents when you did?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that’s a hypothetical question, John. We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.

Here’s Atrios asking the same question I asked a few days ago: If the basic thrust of the memos was false – if, say, Bush came forward and said “Hey, wait a minute! Those can’t be real! I never disobeyed a direct order…” then why would our dear Scotty say such a thing?

In case you missed it: The Bush AWOL ‘Forgeries': Fonts Do Not Unmake Facts

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Photoshopping
Time
10:42
A bunch of high-resolution UK roadsigns. Because when I go ‘shopping, I can never find decent versions. But now I can. Yes, this link is mainly for my reference. Deal with it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
Proper Gander
Time
10:44
A treat for Australians – a Gutless Johnny poster. You may recognise the basic pic/concept, but when I saw a great source image for Little Johhny Howard last night, its placement was obvious. Just look at the ‘morning after’ regret on the man’s face. Lovely stuff, even if I do say so myself.

You can download an A4-sized poster version here.

I simply didn’t have enough time to get a Flash show together in time for TimeToGoJohn.com, but I hope this will help in some small part.

(Oh, on the subject of Flash shows, I have another in the works and sorted the script, soundtrack, framework and timing last night. The subject? Torture.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
10:53
Guardian – UK officers linked to torture jail: The Ministry of Defence has admitted for the first time that senior British officers were working closely with American commanders at Abu Ghraib, the Baghdad prison where Iraqi prisoners were systematically abused and humiliated. Two intelligence officers, Colonel Chris Terrington and Colonel Campbell James, were “embedded within” the US unit responsible for extracting information from Iraqi prisoners, the armed forces minister, Adam Ingram, disclosed. Col Terrington is said to have joined the intelligence chain of command at Abu Ghraib in November 2003, when many of the most serious abuses occurred. The admission came in a parliamentary answer to Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru MP who has been pursuing the government over what Britain knew about the serious abuse of Iraqi detainees at the jail.

Heads-up via Perfect.co.uk. You can see the relevant entry in Hansard here. (Bugger. Now I may have to alter my script.)

UPDATE – It might be nice if you could find the time to get in touch with Adam Price and congratulate him. I just did.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040916
In The News
Time
14:40
What he said. Every word. ‘Defining moment’ my arse.

UPDATE – And here’s a ‘compare and contrast’ moment for you.

UPDATE 2 – And now we have this.

OK, prepare yourselves… I’m going to ask for calm.

Yes, hypocrisy abounds, but don’t forget The Big One.

Just a few short weeks ago new laws were passed to protect some even richer people who torture and kill animals for profit. Because they don’t want their competitors to know what they’re up to (again, for reasons of profit), a lot of the same research is done many times over. Which means many animals suffer and die needlessly. This is just one factor that pisses on their ‘for the good of mankind’ argument.

Blair has effectively protected one elite group and targeted another. Within a month. Over more or less the same goddamn issue. To take your minds off something else.

Now let me see… what would that be….?

Ah, yes:

Torture. Human beings. Watch this space.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Proper Gander
Time
09:59
Writing. With you in a jiffy. (That’s about 1 earth hour as the crow flies.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
The End of Democracy
Time
11:54
Well, there it is, folks. The last nail in the coffin. Well done, The Sun.

More here.

It will take a strong man to ensure that this doesn’t turn parliament into an island. Is Peter Hain up to it?

Why don’t you get in touch with him and ask?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
11:58
It’s another blogging award! You know what to do, folks. Make with the sweet, sweet love.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
12:00
Fight to impeach Blair gains support

The case against the PM

IthinkIcanIthinkIcanIknowIcanIknowIcan…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Flash Music Video
Time
12:01
OK, folks – this is it. This is my final shot before the US election. Next week I’m going to have a little lie down, but I hope I leave you with something valuable and useful in the War on Stupid:

Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
13:54
The War In Iraq Is Now Officially Unwinnable.

The best we can hope for by the end of next year is “tenuous stability.”

I bet us naive peaceniks get the blame.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:04
Thanks to a lead from Perfect.co.uk and Guacamoleville, I find myself staring in disbelief at the just-launched website of Iain Wright, the Labour candidate for Hartlepool.

Why doesn’t he open up with a blog? Well, I hate to be big-headed about it, but perhaps – just perhaps – someone somewhere is/was worried how I would react to his little Shop-A-Yob campaign. (That, or they figured that there was no point building a weblog that would only be used for two weeks.)

Fear of terrorism, fear of crime, it all comes from the same barrel of bulldust. Nevertheless, I wish the manchild well in his endeavours.

(UPDATE – Shopping spammers, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable IMO. I make no excuses for this outright hypocrisy.)

UPDATE 2 – Oh dear. Shane advises me that the site appears to have been withdrawn. Go to the front page now (5:30pm) and you see this default page from the domain provider ‘DomainsRForever’. £1.98 domains with ad-free forwarding? Bargain!

Wait-wait-wait… it gets betterer. The site appears to be provided by a company called Net Efficiency Ltd (who do quite a lot of work for Labour, by the looks of things). Pfft!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
15:16
Soldiers say they were told to re-enlist or face deployment to Iraq

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
RWCs
Time
15:22
Serial Republican Victim complains for the THIRD straight presidential election of being assaulted and has his family assist. Perhaps. Maybe it’s a complete coincidence and people just don’t like him.

Also see Kicking ‘em While They’re Down.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Music
Time
16:00
Something you may want to check out before you get that band-shot done.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:37
Boris. Monday. Be here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040917
Flash Thingies
Time
18:22
Pwahahahahahahahahahahaha! If you’ve ever contributed to any message board for any period of time, you need to see this. It totally roxorz teh big ONE11111. (Please use headphones if you’re in the office or with the kiddies.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040918
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
09:44
Oooooh… gossip, gossip, gossip, gossip! I particularly like the ‘Miranda’ theory, but if you’re after relatively sensible discussion on Blair’s daughter Kathryn and the (un)reported suicide attempt, you may find some here. (Please note that I did use the words may and some.)

Suicide and the media (a useful link via the all-seeing eye).

Looks like this is about to break out regardless of pressure from Blair and nicey-nicey treatment from the media. Especially now that it’s been reported that no-one’s reporting it (so it’s bound to be Question Of The Week across the interweb). I got a whiff of this in June, but wasn’t really blogging at the time (or paying attention) so it kind of passed me by. (So it’s sheer luck – and luck alone – that sees Kathryn getting off so lightly in this rant from Wednesday.)

My gut tells me to stick to my initial thoughts:

She’s only 15 or 16, for God’s sake! You don’t want to go swinging her around like some kind of weapon.

Blimey. She’s 15 or 16. That’s a very idealistic age. And there’s no escaping school. She must be surrounded by shouty people. That’s got to suck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040918
The War on Stupid
Time
14:27
To. Be. Read. In. Full.

Ah, me. Those were the days. Remember going out with your Dad to help round up anyone who looked Irish? Remember how we took on the IRA by invading Scotland? Great times.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040918
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s… Uh-oh.
Time
16:41
Into the abyss – the week Iraq’s dream of peace fell apart

Secret papers show Blair ‘warned over Iraq post-war chaos’ (more here)

Iraq had no WMD: the final verdict

(reaches for fork)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
09:37
Guardian – Blair: we must win this new conflict: Britain is embroiled in a fresh conflict with Iraq as it battles to quash global terrorism for ever, Tony Blair declared in a stark relabelling of the situation yesterday.

Independent – Optimism in London, carnage in Iraq: Mr Blair said: “Whatever the disagreements about the first conflict in Iraq to remove Saddam, in this conflict now taking place in Iraq, this is the crucible in which the future of this global terrorism will be determined. Either it will succeed and this terrorism will grow, or we will succeed, the Iraqi people will succeed and this global terrorism will be delivered a huge defeat. I do say to people in this new Iraqi conflict, whatever the disagreements about the removal of Saddam, there is only one side for sensible and reasonable people to be on. Now is not the time for the international community to divide or disagree but to come together behind what is happening in Iraq.”

What? Another line drawn under Iraq?

*sigh*

We’re not buying it.

Told you so:

Bloggerheads Sep 17: The best we can hope for (in Iraq) by the end of next year is “tenuous stability.” I bet us naive peaceniks get the blame.

Independent Sep 20: Writing in The Independent today Mr Allawi condemns “sceptics and nay-sayers” and urges “all nations to assist Iraq”.

I love the use of the word ‘crucible’, where ‘hotbed’ would have served just as well.

We did this. We brought terrorism to Iraq (by claiming it was already there). And then we better enabled it by going in without legitimacy.

It’s not a case of “You made this problem; you deal with it.” It’s case of “You are A BIG BLOODY PART OF THIS PROBLEM and we can’t deal with it with you and your bad smell hanging around.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the only line that can be drawn under Iraq will have Tony Blair (and George W. Bush) on the other side of it.

UPDATE – Mark Steyn lays into us cheese-eating surrender monkeys. I love insurgents, I do. Almost as much as I love Saddam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The War on Stupid
Time
09:38
OsamaSweepstakes.com: We all know it’s coming… at some point in the next couple of months, Dubya and his cronies are going to miraculously ‘find’ Osama bin Laden and present him to the American public as if he hasn’t been sitting around for the last year in Guantanamo under close CIA supervision… and next thing you know, it’s another four years of this bunch of crooks.

My bet’s on Oct 23rd. Which means they’ll probably have to start thawing him out sometime around Oct 10th. (Link via Cynical-C.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Google-Juice
Time
09:44
Eris Bless America

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:45
Nick Barlow also notes the ups an downs of manchild Ian Wright’s website. He’s also pointed us in the direction of this comments thread at Jody Dunn’s blog where it’s pointed out that this appeared in the latest Mercury Reader: “If the Lib dem candidate wants to use her website to attack the people of Hartlepool that is her problem, don’t expect Iain Wright to follow suit. He has more sense and more respect for the town.”

(See Sep 10th bloggage re: “drunk, flanked by an angry dog, or undressed” locals if this is new to you.)

So, going one better than Jody Dunn (who has obviously insulted ‘all’ of the people of Hartlepool, Iain Wright appears to be suggesting that they ‘all’ should be locked up.

And if we’re going to get down to insults to the community, let’s take a comparative look at the candidate’s attitudes to the online community…

Jody Dunn – a two-way channel that invites comments (a feature has been openly abused by Labour flunkies).

Iain ‘Manchild’ Wright – a one-way broadcast page that invites comment (hastily thrown together with a £1.98 domain name and free hosting that barely holds together).

UPDATE – FOCI Vs. MT. MT wins.

UPDATE 2 – Dave at Backword says: Um, aren’t Labour the incumbent party? Why did the present MP let these “drug abusers” and “teen gangs” terrorise Hartlepool?

Want to follow? Watch Guacamoleville.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:17
Arrrr, I missed it.

Star Wars Vs. Star Trek – Round #672

Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning – And Maybe Other Gallup Polls As Wellthe Gallup Poll, despite its reputation, assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. You read that correctly.

The Official God FAQ

Macaulay Culkin Drug Bust

Kerry campaign accused of ‘doing a Cheney’ – if so, they’re not helping.

Agent behind fake uranium documents worked for France – if so, they weren’t helping.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Bush: AWOL
Time
10:18
Washington Post – In Rush to Air, CBS Quashed Memo Worries: An examination of the process that led to the broadcast, based on interviews with the participants and more than 20 independent analysts, shows that CBS rushed the story onto the air while ignoring the advice of its own outside experts, and used as corroborating witnesses people who had no firsthand knowledge of the documents.

Here’s a close look at those documents from the same paper. And here’s George W. Bush saying that questions should be asked about the documents – but not his service record….

New York Times – Bush Says Questions About Guard Memos Used by CBS ‘Need to Be Answered’: President Bush said in an interview published yesterday that there were serious questions about the authenticity of documents featured in a CBS News report suggesting that he received preferential treatment in the Texas National Guard three decades ago. Speaking publicly for the first time about the documents, Mr. Bush told The Manchester Union-Leader, “There are a lot of questions and they need to be answered… I think what needs to happen is people need to take a look at the documents, how they were created, and let the truth come out.” Mr. Bush stopped short of calling the documents forgeries but said: “I met my requirements and was honorably discharged. I’m proud of my service in the Guard.”

UPDATE Salon.com – Bush in the National Guard: A primer: The flap over dubious documents has obscured the real story. Here it is.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
RWCs
Time
10:27
Via NeoSocListen to some interesting Donald Rumsfeld quotes or enjoy this wonderful overview.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The Big Intervention
Time
10:30
Rob has finally got a response from Sarah Teather, which reads: “I think that the British people can serve their judgement on the Prime Minister’s policies – and on [Liberal Democrat] alternatives – through the ballot box at the next election.”

So let’s all sit on our hands until then, OK folks?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Flash Games
Time
10:36
Bah-pah-bah-pah, bah-bah-pah… bah-pah-bah-pah, bah-bah-bah-bah-pah!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Inneresting
Time
10:39
Shades of IsThisYou?…. I Found Some Of Your Life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Advertising Genius
Time
10:40
Corporate Websites Suck

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:40
Boris. Soon.

We just have to do a whip-round for the 50p in hosting charges….

Meanwhile, something to chew on… If the Libs join up with Lab, can we call them the Labia Party? (No? Not even if Alastair Campbell returns?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Photoshopping
Time
15:58
Hang in there, folks. We have one last hurdle on Boris’s weblog, and I’m sure you can guess what that is.

While you wait… here’s Iain. He’s terribly local. And tough on crime. Crime that got out of control while Labour was in charge. (Erm… did I mention that he was local?)

UPDATE – Another distraction for you… Lego Tetris!

UPDATE – Pahahahahahaha! Life imitates art: Iain MAD!!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
17:14
The Boris Johnson weblog is now live.

Cheers to Wibbler for bringing the design to life (and for all the back-breaking back-end work) and to Shane for the initial point of contact (he sent an email to all MPs with proxy blogs in an effort to gauge reactions and raise awareness).

Go and see. Make a comment. Have fun. Our first Tory MP is here at last.

UPDATES:

1. Press Release

2. Aw, shucks!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
Video
Time
18:24
Bush Vs. Jesus, now available in video format: Jesus – Wrong For America

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040920
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
19:10
British Spin is doing a final wobble before falling to the floor. For a number of reasons that are too complicated to list here (but seem perfectly reasonable to me) the author wishes to attempt a newsletter format in its stead.

I urge you to subscribe to the new newsletter by sending an email to:

britishspin AT hotmail DOT com (tell them Bloggerheads sent you)

Two reasons:

1. I’d like to encourage the author to keep plugging away.

2. If I generate enough responses I get to take control of British Spin, thereby expanding my already-mighty online media empire (actually, I’ll probably hand it off to someone who I think will do it justice).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:29
Wikipedia Reaches One Million Articles.

A “Home Computer” in 2004 (as envisioned in 1954) – funny, but fake.

Google recruiting minions of Gates.

The rest is Bush/Guard/CBS/Memo stuff that I’ll group in a separate post.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Compare and Contrast
Time
09:32
Robert Novak – Quick exit from Iraq is likely: Inside the Bush administration policymaking apparatus, there is strong feeling that U.S. troops must leave Iraq next year. This determination is not predicated on success in implanting Iraqi democracy and internal stability. Rather, the officials are saying: Ready or not, here we go.

George Bush April 5, 2004: I just met with Specialist Chris Hill’s family from North Carolina. You know, I told the family how much we appreciated his sacrifice — he was killed in Iraq — and assured him that we would stay the course, that a free Iraq was very important for peace in the world, long-term peace, and that we’re being challenged in Iraq because there are people there that hate freedom.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Consume!
Time
09:34
A gripping read, as recommended by The Ultimate Insult.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Bush: AWOL
Time
09:35
New York Times – CBS News Concludes It Was Misled on National Guard Memos, Network Officials Say: After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a “60 Minutes” report that raised new questions about President Bush’s National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night. The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents’ origins.

CBS News – Dan Rather Statement On Memos: Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where-if I knew then what I know now-I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

Here’s yet another attempt to link the source and smell to the Kerry campaign, but I still think this whole thing stinks of Rove – especially as it makes Bush innocent in the public eye when – in truth – these documents being fake do nothing to clear Bush. They only serve as a major distraction.

This is still true. Every word.

Here’s a closing thought from The American Prospect: The parallels are obvious when you think about it, and on many levels. I mean, surely, if Rather should resign because “60 Minutes” got snowed by a source and ran a story on documents that turned out to be fraudulent, than Bush should resign after he and his administration made false claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons program based on documents that turned out to be fraudulent. Right?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
An American Election
Time
09:37
I’ll let Kevin Drum introduce John Kerry’s speech at New York University.

Also, something to chew on… Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?

UPDATE – Kerry Speech breakdown.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:40
Two nifty links from the new Guardian Newsblog:

Derelict London – Not the greatest web design ever, but do perservere. The rewards are considerable.

Corante – When will corporate blogging be recognised as a desirable skill?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Advertising Genius
Time
09:43
Whore this site and you could win big prizes! Hooray for marketing zombies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Activism
Time
09:50
Gentlemen, raise your glasses! (Link via Nick Barlow.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:51
British Spin is doing a final wobble before falling to the floor. For a number of reasons that are too complicated to list here (but seem perfectly reasonable to me) the author wishes to attempt a newsletter format in its stead.

I urge you to subscribe to the new newsletter by sending an email to:

britishspin AT hotmail DOT com (tell them Bloggerheads sent you)

Two reasons:

1. I’d like to encourage the author to keep plugging away.

2. If I generate enough responses I get to take control of British Spin, thereby expanding my already-mighty online media empire (actually, I’ll probably hand it off to someone who I think will do it justice).

Pardon the repeat, but I do have a new thought… this blog would be ever-so-useful as a UK-centric version of FactCheck.org, but whoever did it would have to be pretty neutral politically.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
George W. Bush
Time
09:54
Bush Jr.’s Skeleton Closet

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! And You’re Next!
Time
09:55
Here comes the draft, boys and girls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:57
An incredible welcome for Boris Johnson last night. You can check out the comments on his first post or enter his URL into Technorati to see what people are saying.

Issues of registration are being discussed. RSS is already there, we just need to provide a link on the front page. Someone has already dug it out and fed it into UK PoliBlogs.

UPDATE – Boris is now equal-26th on Blogdex and climbing. Amongst the linkage detected by Blogdex, I found this intriguing theory. There’s also a lovely plug at the Guardian’s Newsblog.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Pluggage
Time
11:12
Oi! I said Make with the love!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Photoshopping
Time
11:23
Had to be said. He certainly seems to have inherited a lot of problems.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Pluggage
Time
15:44
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy returns to Radio 4, 6.30pm this evening! If you can’t wait, you may wish to pass the time here.

(HINT – This link may ruin the game for you. Use it only in times of dire peril.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
Photoshopping
Time
16:49
I felt something was missing from Bush’s UN speech.

I love Condoleezza Rice’s assertion that “there’s no evidence” that Iraq is falling into a state of civil war. Does this remind you of anyone?

(Heh. I will never forget the day I was sitting there, watching the Iraq war coverage, when I first twigged. It was early days, and Baghdad Bob – aka Comical Ali – had yet to become a legend. But there was no mistaking the intention behind his his politely assuring journalists that they were misinformed about something or other… as he deftly brushed his eyebrow with his middle finger.)

I know you have short attention spans, so here are those core messages again:

Iraq – Ignore all of the evidence; there is no sign of civil war in Iraq.

Election – Ignore all of the evidence; for the next four years, Chimpy McFlightsuit will be a capable and responsible man of compassion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
George W. Bush
Time
17:11
Is there something more to Bush’s ‘innocent’ slip-ups?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040921
The War on Stupid
Time
17:23
Special offer: I can train you to use a computer and log onto the internet for only a thousand squid a head.

That’s less than a tenth of the usual price, folks. Call now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Humanity
Time
10:19
(Note – the following article does not link to the video it mentions.)

CNN – Video shows American hostage beheaded: The United States said no women are in the two jails, Umm Qasr and Abu Ghraib, named by the militants. But it does hold two female “high-value detainees” — former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime — at undisclosed locations. The man who read the statement on the video said women are being held in Iraqi prisoners, despite American denials. “Since you didn’t release our sisters, here’s the first infidel,” the man said. He then pulled out a knife. Armstrong was shoved to the ground and his head severed. The video was posted on a Web site that has been used by insurgents in the past.

I’ve seen the video. You may feel you need to, but I urge you to think before you go looking. It’s brutal. And it has the charming touch of an enhanced soundtrack (someone along the line has added audio of a pig being tortured/slaughtered).

1. American denials

Rumsfeld has already hidden a number of detainees. Why should we believe the US when they claim that no women are being held in Umm Qasr and Abu Ghraib? (Note – In February, there were an estimated 150 Iraqi women in US custody. Many Iraqi women appear to have been detained in order to make their husbands surrender.)

2. But isn’t it interesting who has been wheeled out?

Independent – Iraq ‘to release one woman prisoner’: Ministry spokesman Noori Abdul-Rahim Ibrahim denied the decision was linked to a demand by militants who abducted two Americans and a Briton calling for the release of all female Iraqi prisoners. “The Iraqi authorities have agreed with coalition forces to conditionally release Rihab Rashid Taha on bail,” Ibrahim said. “The decision … has nothing to do with the threat made by the kidnappers.” Taha, a scientist who became known as “Dr Germ” for helping Iraq make weapons out of anthrax, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a biotech researcher known as “Mrs. Anthrax,” are the only two Iraqi women held in American custody, according to the US military.

Though, as yet, we have no confirmation of a release. Perhaps they’re waiting for one of us to dutifully pipe up an ask why such Evil Creators Of WMD should be released (but, as far as I can tell, no-one from the West who sold them the required equipment and technology is in US custody).

There it is, really. Take a close look at what you’ve just seen:

The militants behind these kidnappings and executions did not specify the names of the captors. They demanded the release of “all women in US custody” in Umm Qasr and Abu Ghraib. This reportedly “confused Iraqi officials, who denied women were being held at either place”. (And, as I’ve already pointed out, Rumsfeld has hidden prisoners from the Red Cross. Who’s to say that he’s not hiding some from the Iraqis in these US-run prisons?)

In their place, two women are revealed to be in custody elsewhere. They just happen to be closely tied to the US case for invading Iraq on the basis of the (alleged) existence of weapons of mass destruction (programmes).

While Tony Blair publicly claims to be doing all he can to secure the release of Kenneth Bigley, short of giving in to terrorist demands, it appears that a very dangerous (and indefensible) game is being played in the background.

Again, we come down to questions of legitimacy feeding terrorism.

But there’s more…

3. Using the suffering of the few to terrorise the many.

Trust me on this; view the video of this execution and it will eat away a small part of your humanity. And only one man had to die to have this effect on countless web users. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have died, and this has barely scratched your average conscience. Regardless of what you think about the cause these people support and/or the methods they use, you have to admit that this is a pretty efficient system.

Now take a quick look at what Donald Rumsfeld had to say recently about Abu Ghraib. General Mike Jackson believes that; “the abuse of any individual is to be condemned without qualification.” Donald Rumsfeld does not. But I think there’s something else revealed in this quote…

MSNBC – Rumsfeld defends Pentagon in abuse scandal: Amid allegations he fostered a climate that led to the prison abuse scandal, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday that the military’s mistreatment of detainees was not as bad as what terrorists have done. “Does it rank up there with chopping someone’s head off on television?” he asked. “It doesn’t.”

Consider carefully what Rumsfeld has used as a parallel to the instances of torture in Abu Ghraib (where – for reasons that have yet to be fully explained – those tortured were photographed and video-taped).

In one instance, we see a man begging for his life.

In another, we see women begging to be killed.

(See also: Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib.)

UPDATE – My brain still hurts. Please excuse this attempt to cauterise the wound (I couldn’t get ‘dangerous games’ out of my head).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Proper Gander
Time
10:24
Ick! Ick! Ick! Ick! Ick!

I know you’ve probably seen this before. What’s interesting about this link is the bio, which claims that the artist responsible was “offical (sic) artist for the United States Olympic Committee for the Moscow Olympic Games”… which the US boycotted. Too bad the wrong work ended up on the trashpile.

(Link via Greenfairy.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Tolerance
Time
10:30
Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart Threatens To Kill Gays

Just to refresh your memory, Jerry Falwell blamed “the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle” in part for the September 11th atrocities, and I think that has yet to be topped. (Latter link goes to SFW page on NSFW site. Watch your step.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Consume!
Time
10:36
A partial victory for Gareth Davies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Told You So
Time
10:42
The Sun Does Not Shine Online: UK tabloid newspaper The Sun has decided to scale back the content available on its website, in order to improve the paper’s falling circulation. As reported by newsletter e-consultancy, managers at the newspaper conducted a survey that discovered the paper was losing about 90,000 readers a day to its website, which offers the same content as the paper but for free.

Bloggerheads Thu, March 04, 2004: Oh, the latest Sun Reader Panel survey seems to suggest that the site is in for a bit for trim… starting with Bizarre.

Cheers to ScaryDuck for the heads-up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Photoshopping
Time
10:47
The Crayola President. (Link via Idiomatika. The document Bush was working on in this picture is available for viewing here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:52
CBS backs off Guard story, McPaper makes rather tenuous link with Kerry camp, what is Bush hiding and more evidence of a Google browser.

Boris has just dropped off the front page, after peaking at equal 14th early this morning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
10:56
TimeToGoJohn.com is now fully live and populated with all sorts of information about the new film project.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Feedback
Time
10:57
How about that? I’m a “socialist moonbat”.

You’d do well to keep your distance. I could explode with a leftist diatribe at any moment.

(Spotted by Nick Barlow.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Punnage
Time
11:00
Next time, take the Peace Train.

UPDATE – Hahahahahahaha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Activism
Time
11:04
Photos and Videos From Inside New York’s Pier 57 Detention Center. You’re next, folks. Do try to keep your mouth shut.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
George W. Bush
Time
11:09
Heh. I was waiting for someone to point this out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Normal People
Time
11:11
What the hell is going on here? (Borders on NSFW.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
12:15
Guardian – The case for impeachment – There is no doubt Blair misled parliament over the war: The attempt to impeach the prime minister for his misconduct over the Iraq war highlights the value of using the history of our democracy as a living instrument to preserve freedom today. The idea – first floated in these pages in January and led by Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price – is now supported by his own party, the SNP, the Green party and 20 individual MPs. Matrix Chambers is today giving us their legal opinion on the initiative. Sceptics sneer that the proposal is unrealistic, but the case for it is growing ever stronger.

Link via: Perfect.co.uk

See also: Impeach Blair

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Consume!
Time
14:42
Oh, man. Media scrutiny. What a downer. Aw, maaannnnhere it comes again. Why are they harshing my buzz? I’m totally not up for dealing with this right now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040922
Humanity
Time
15:30
Middle east Online – Abu Ghraib’s photos displayed in US museums: The shocking photographs of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison have made their way into two US museums, creating controversy over the propriety of exhibiting the damaging pictures. The International Center of Photography in New York and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, cooperated to present an exhibit dubbed “Inconvenient Evidence: Iraqi Prison Photographs from Abu Ghraib.”

From The Warhol’s website: In keeping with The Warhol’s mission to be a “vital forum” for dialogue around contemporary issues, the exhibition will explore and present a diverse range of viewpoints on the meaning and significant of the photographs, the power of images, and the many relevant perspectives surrounding this very contemporary issue.

I wonder how much the prints and t-shirts are selling for…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Consume!
Time
09:13
Hooray for Odeon cinemas, who struggle daily to bring families the latest in wholesome entertainment.

You may remember the chap who saw the official and quite sucky website and – rather than complaining about it – created a more accessible version. You may also remember that Odeon’s reaction was to shut him down and ignore all of his advice.

You may not be aware that Odeon’s film schedules – published weekly in local newspapers countrywide – show a running time under each film that also includes the time it takes to show the advertising without mentioning that advertising. (Typically, this session before the film is 20 minutes long – followed by a 60 second ‘intermission’ – and contains previews, paid ads for fabbo products, and messages from FACT telling us that video piracy funds terrorists.)

Fair enough; at least you know when you can expect to leave the cinema and how much parking your should pay for.

But when the entry says:

Movie Name (U)

187min

…I expect to get 187 minutes of movie for my six-pounds-fifty. And the law is on my side.

The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (a guide sheet is accessible in PDF format via this page) makes it an offence for a trader to apply, by any means, false or misleading statements. It even specifically defines this kind of thing as a ‘False Trade Description’ in that it misleads the consumer about “the quantity, size or gauge of goods.”

But today I have a new issue to take up with Odeon cinemas…

When we visited my local outlet in Guildford, my children were immediately attracted to the bright, shiny machine you see pictured here. Please note how carefully it is placed right next to the children’s vending machines.

Most folks will be able to spot the mobile phone on offer. What isn’t obvious from this picture is the prizes in the top right-hand corner; a Thunderbirds game for GameBoy and a Harry Potter game for PS2.

I think it should be pretty obvious by now what market this… thing is aimed at. But it’s not a vending machine; it’s a ‘gaming’ machine.

In other words, what you’re looking at here is Odeon cinemas encouraging children to gamble. In return, no doubt, for a juicy cut of the takings.

I’m sure you’ve all seen those hook-and-grab machines that, for a pound, give kids maybe a one-in-ten shot at a toy worth 99p… but this is entirely different kind of rip-off.

The reason high-stakes poker machines are causing such a fuss at the moment is because they (‘tend to’) lead to problem gambling.

I’m sure you’ve witnessed people pumping 20 quid into a machine that pays out a maximum jackpot of 15 quid. Well, you can rest assured that when the stakes go higher, all reason flies out the window.

The government is concerned about this kind of behaviour in adults. I’m sure you’ll agree that children and teenagers are far more vulnerable.

So, there you are; young, keen, and with money in your pocket. That GameBoy game is sitting there, just waiting to be won. How many coins would you pump through the machine before admitting defeat?

On this machine it’s 50p for three spins of the wheel. The number you get on the wheel (which can be positive or negative) takes you up or down the lighthouse. Only a precise hit on ‘win’ gets you a prize. I’d also be willing to bet that this – like many other electronic machines – can have the payout rate adjusted by the manager of the establishment.

Speaking of managers, the one I talked to at Odeon defended the placement of the machine in their cinema with the following statement; “Oh, it does pay out. I’ve seen it do so at least once.”

So there you have it, folks. Gambling for kids of okey-dokey by Odeon. So long as somebody wins from time to time.

The machine is provided by a company called Amuzo Amusements. I failed to check the machine for contact details – and they don’t have a web presence – so let me get back to you on that.

In the meantime, the following contact details may be of use to you:

General Enquiries, Odeon Cinemas Limited – info@odeonuk.com

Alison McCaig, Regional Manager (South-West), Odeon Cinemas Limited – amccaig@odeonuk.com

Luke Vetere, Marketing Director, Odeon Cinemas Limited – lvetere@odeonuk.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Useful
Time
09:17
Tracking the fun in Hartlepool? Try by_elections.blogspot.com, from the peeps what brung you the Geocities site British Parliamentary By Elections Since 1945.

You may also be interested in this post on Labour’s ‘fear of crime’ tactics at Harry’s Place (link via Nick Barlow).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:19
Guardian – After Abu Ghraib: On December 23, the Americans arrested another of Alazawi’s brothers, Ayad, 44. It was at this point that she decided to confront the Americans directly. She marched into the US base in Adhamiya, one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces. “A US captain told me to come back with my two other brothers. He said we could talk after that.” On Christmas Eve she returned with her brothers, Ali and Mu’taz. “I waited for four hours. An American captain finally interrogated me. After 10 minutes he announced that I was under arrest.” Like thousands of other Iraqis detained by the Americans since last year’s invasion, Alazawi was about to experience the reality of the Bush administration’s “war on terror”.

Link via Backword.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Distractions
Time
09:22
Dress-up Johnny Depp

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
SEO
Time
09:23
22 Sep:

Boris Johnson’s site has been live for 3 days.

Thanks to all of those lovely (an unsolicited) inbound links, Google has already picked it up, though it has only (so far) indexed 3 pages: the front page, the press release and the first post by Boris. (Please note how fast Google has indexed these pages and also that it has only – so far – indexed the pages people have linked to. It will dig deeper of its own accord very shortly.)

Currently, the site is:

13th in Google.com for ‘boris johnson’

8th in Google.co.uk for ‘boris johnson’

216th in Google.com for ‘conservative mp’

189th in Google.co.uk for ‘conservative mp’

23 Sep:

The site has been live for 4 days. Google is already digging deeper, and has indexed 30 pages, including the list of Conservative MPs. And we not have new results (erm, as a result) we have better results.

Currently, the site is:

4th in Google.com for ‘boris johnson’

4th in Google.co.uk for ‘boris johnson’

96th in Google.com for ‘conservative mp’

68th in Google.co.uk for ‘conservative mp’

and…

285th in Google.com for ‘conservative mps’

188th in Google.co.uk for ‘conservative mps’

Onwards and upwards. It won’t be too long before the new weblog matches Tom’s results (1st for ‘tom watson’ and ‘labour mp’, 2nd for ‘labour mps’).

From about next week onwards, Boris will be able to post on just about any subject and reach a completely new audience that isn’t even aware of his weblog. Yet.

Welcome to the new chart.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Inneresting
Time
09:25
B3ta has a new FAQ.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
09:30
You will fear the naked Wookie.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
The War on Stupid
Time
09:31
Hooray for John Ashcroft, who has helped George W. Bush fight his War on Terror by securing a grand total of zero convictions since 119 (please note correct formatting of date).

Funny, I could have sworn Bush was winning the war on terror and making us all saferer. I could have also sworn that they’d locked a bunch of people up and had proof or something…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Humanity
Time
09:36
What he said.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
An American Election
Time
09:37
Why have so many Vets got it in for John Kerry?

Look out! Incoming Swifties!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
09:39
MSNBC – Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind: “People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of preemption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Established Media
Time
09:43
The Onion – Al-Jazeera Introduces ‘Lighter Side Of The News’ Segment

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Conspiracy Theories
Time
09:44
Tinfoil helmets at the ready… the internet is about to be closed down. Please try to save as much as you can to your hard-drive now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:20
If America were Iraq, what would it be like? – speaks for itself.

Pentagon blocks site for voters outside U.S. – as does this.

PongMechanik – retro hardware gives me a full-on robot chubby.

MarsEdit 1.0 Beta – new tools like this, not so much.

Dear Content Producers and Owners: We lied to you – we did it so you would finance the things we really wanted to build, not the things that you wanted to be built.

Newsweek – The Story That Didn’t Run – they rushed to air with fraudulent documents used against Bush, but what didn’t go to air was a report about… fraudulent documents used by Bush

ABCNews – Kerry: Draft Likely to Return Under Bush – but you and I already knew that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
The War on Stupid
Time
10:23
Being a member of, or supporting any of the following may result in your being detained indefinitely without trial in this country if you’re not a British citizen. But this list, and the list of terrorist groups banned by the EU, is worth a closer look.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
12:40
The documentary Do You Still Believe In Tony? airs on BBC2 this Saturday at 7:25pm – it invites a bunch of (often former) Blairites to air their current views of our beloved leader.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
14:15
SMH – US sets ‘sovereign’ Iraq straight on Dr Germ: Just one sentence demonstrated Wednesday where the real power lies in Baghdad: not with the internationally recognised “sovereign” Iraqi government, but with the American “embassy”.

Hey, go easy. There’s a gosh-darned ‘trick’ word in there. Let’s go to the video tape!

While you’re feeling video-happy, check out Bush lying his ass off about what John Kerry said regarding Saddam Hussein.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Inneresting
Time
14:26
You’re a web user. What do you think ideal e-enabled public services should look like?

How dare they ask such a silly question? I want to start spending money now!!!!

(See this post at Perfect.co.uk for more linky goodness.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
Diversions
Time
14:41
Name that kitten! Name it hard!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040923
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! And You’re Next!
Time
17:30
Aaaaand…. cue the theme from Jaws.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040924
Dead Blog Holiday
Time
10:12
It’s been 3 years since I last went on a proper holiday. Sorry the timing sucks, but I’m off as of today.

Bloggerheads.com will return to normal service on November 1st.

I hope the following links and resources will prove useful in the weeks to come:

For news, links and opinion from a UK perspective:

The UK Today | Perfect.co.uk | Europhobia | howlingspoons

For news, links and opinion from a US perspective:

Atrios | DailyKos | Washington Monthly

The Australian General Election

People thinking of supporting ‘Honest’ John Howard at the upcoming general election in Australia probably haven’t been paying attention.

You can help them.

Start with JohnHowardLies.com and be prepared to call others on any bullshit that may spew forth.

Be prepared to wipe many a chin.

Download your ‘Gutless Johnny’ poster here and display it at any location that you consider to be suitable.

See the new film Time To Go John with others or buy a copy on DVD… and show it to others.

The Hartlepool By-Election

This is more important than it may seem at first. With any luck, it will result in another strong message to Blair.

The Labour candidate Ian Wright (pictured here on the lap of his predecessor) was interviewed by the BBC today. He was asked what his stance was on foundation hospitals, tuition fees and Iraq. He dismissed the Iraq question as “irrelevant” and answered all three questions by repeating exactly the same statement. Three times over: “I’m campaigning on a basis of crime and anti-social behaviour.”

This single-issue candidate knows of what he speaks. Shouty Labour flunkies posing as protestors have been harassing staff at Lib-Dem headquarters for weeks – remarkably suggesting that the Lib-Dems are somehow to blame for the problem while being part of the problem themselves (assuming, of course, that there is a pronounced crime problem in the area – Wright’s ‘fear of crime’ platform seems awfully close to the Bush’s ‘fear of terror’ platform to me). But Ian ‘Car Crash’ Wright is a Labour candidate aiming to replace… a Labour MP. Surely if there is a crime problem in Hartlepool, the fault rests with Labour?

Check out By-Elections, Guacamoleville and Jody Dunn’s weblog for the latest information.

The poll to choose the successor of the former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson will be held on the last day of Labour’s conference.

For blogged news from that conference, this post at Voxpolitics should set you in the right direction.

Tony ‘King Blair

Boris Johnson said it best; nailing Blair is like trying to pin jelly to a wall.

But considering what’s at stake, we have to continue to try.

Here’s 11 Reasons Why Tony Blair Must Go

Here’s some people trying to make it so: Impeach Blair

BBC – ‘Impeach Blair’ wins legal backing

In the next few weeks, it might also be fun to count the number of times Blair tries to draw a new line under Iraq and/or goes with his usual bluff of letting people decide “at the polls.”

The American Election

Oh God, where to start…..

OK, here’s a thousand reasons to get you started and a top ten if you’re short on time. But you can focus on any one of these and still come back to Bush’s failsafe platform… the war on terror.

You must fear the terrorists. They want to hurt you. We will protect you. You must not question us, because this helps the terrorists. Who want to hurt you. We will protect you. And so on and so forth until you think you could puke blood.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now; the threat of terrorism is real – the War on Terror is a lie.

And Iraq was the biggest lie of all. There was no connection between Iraq and terror until Bush invaded that country illegally with a very poor game-plan, thereby creating a playground for terrorists and further material to justify their cause.

George W. Bush and his cohorts have manipulated (and enhanced) the terrorist threat to excuse every mistake, to dodge every responsibility, and to ensure that their supporters profit as everybody else scrambles for cover (or fails to speak out for fear of being accused of… manipulating and enhancing the terrorist threat).

And he gets way with it because of his extraordinary control over the media. Those not right in Bush’s pocket are – for the most part – completely whipped. That’s how the Swift Boat Liars can get so much media coverage attacking Kerry and have the outright exposure of their lies pass most people by. That’s how questions regarding one document could be used to ‘disprove’ claims that he dodged service in Vietnam (and then dodged the service he took to dodge service in Vietnam).

Now everybody has backed off on this issue for fear that it will prove distracting – but me, I think it gets down to the core of Bush’s nature.

Bush is no great hero. He’s a moron. He’s nothing. Given the advantages he has been given in life and the complete balls-up he has made of everything that has come his way, I would even argue that he’s less than nothing. But an impenetrable facade has been built around him that hides these failures and stops people from even asking about them.

After all, to attack the president is to support the terrorists.

The George W. Bush Gallery – feed your eyes and follow the lies.

The Bush AWOL ‘Forgeries': Fonts Do Not Unmake Facts – read, learn and share.

George W. Bush: a coward and a liar – watch the video, follow the links, and pass it on.

OK, here’s the big one…

Bush has made an amazing number of flip-flops, one of the biggest ones being the pursuit of Osama bin Laden:

“There’s an old poster out West that says, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’ . . . The most important thing is to find Osama bin Laden. It’s our Number One priority. We will not rest until we have found him.” George W. Bush – Sep 13 and 16, 2001

“I don’t know where he is. I have no idea and I really don’t care. It’s not that important.” – George W. Bush – Mar 13, 2002

Of course, it’s a real issue now, for reasons that should be obvious.

But beyond this (and one reason why bin Laden was not a priority for some time) is the miraculous mission creep (actually, it was more of a switch) that saw Iraq invaded as part of the War on Terror.

As I pointed out, this actually made the threat of terrorism worse… but it goes beyond even that.

Something Funny Happened On The Way To Abu Ghraib – watch the video and read the article, then pass it around.

It clearly shows that the US has not only encouraged terrorism in Iraq and around the world by their actions, but also brought their own brand of terrorism to that country.

They used torture and terror against people who were not even terrorists themselves (not that even this could be used as an argument for either tactic).

They have held many people hostage, and it could even be argued that they currently hold that whole country hostage.

You cannot fight fire with fire, and you certainly should never use it against custard.

The Bush administration is chock-full of corporate criminals and war criminals. And liars.

They. Must. Be. Stopped.

Never mind democracy that may or may not be coming to Iraq.

Pray instead for democracy in America.

Pray – above all – for reason.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040929
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:31
Want more blogging MPs? Then go speak your mind.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Bush AWOL Forgeries: Fonts Do Not Unmake Facts

[See also: George W. Bush: a coward and a liar]

FACT: George W. Bush somehow jumped a 12-18 month waiting list to join the Air National Guard. This allowed him to avoid service in Vietnam.

By a month. Despite lower-than-average test results, Bush was somehow given priority over others and accepted into the Guard a month before he became eligible for the draft. The records (eventually) released by the White House clearly show they he opted out of service overseas. You don’t have to dig any further, or consider and more of the information below to conclude that George W. Bush did his best to avoid service in Vietnam. His best defence for this action is as follows:

“I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment, nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.” – President George W. Bush – 1990

Please note that in this quote he makes no excuses for wanting to avoid service in Vietnam.

FACT: George W. Bush cannot fully account for his time served following his transfer to Alabama.

Even when you ignore questions about why he was transferred, and that the only witness they could dig up ‘proving’ that he served didn’t actually see him do so, you are left with the following; despite this being a major issue and the armed forces having a fetish for record-keeping, no records have been produced that conclusively proved that he fulfilled his obligations.

FACT: George W. Bush never saw combat

Whether you accept the version that he was AWOL or that he was on approved leave, the fact remains that Bush was absent from his units in Alabama and Houston at precisely the same time these units were assigned active home-defence duty.

FACT: George W. Bush lied about seeing combat.

“I’ve been to war. I’ve raised twins. I’d rather go to war.” – President George W. Bush – 2002

‘Nuff said. (Oh, but there’s another lie about the amount of time he served here).

FACT: The White House has – at the very least – been less than forthcoming with pertinent documents.

The White House has claimed to have released ‘all’ of the records relating to Bush’s military service. On the three occasions that they have released varying sets of records. That’s three times they’ve released ‘everything’, folks. This is suspicious on its own. Even more suspicious is their claim that the records that (theoretically) could prove Bush served his time in the Guard were ‘inadvertently’ destroyed.

FACT: The White House also released their own versions of the allegedly faked documents.

The documents that currently have interwebbers bickering about typefaces, proportional fonts and superscript do not prove any of the above. Nor does their being fake disprove any of the above. All they suggest is that Bush used his political influence (which was considerable even at that time) to dodge service and have the record “sugar coated” in order to hide this. That they were also released by the White House – without challenge – following their release by CBS suggests one of two things.

1. That they somehow knew the documents were fake, but wanted to see CBS discredited on this matter.
2. That they did not inspect or challenge the documents because they considered their version of events to be entirely plausible.

The documents – even though they have yet to be conclusively debunked – are already being used as ‘proof’ that George W. Bush was not AWOL. It is already being asserted – without proof – that they originated from the Kerry camp. This particular aspect of one very big distraction is particularly telling because…

FACT: Republicans supported the Swift Boat attack on John Kerry.

Knowing full well how dodgy Bush’s service record was, the Republicans did not discourage the Swifites. Far from it. The Swift Boat Veterans for the ‘Truth’ were funded by high-level Republican donors and even enjoyed legal advice from a lawyer working for George W. Bush’s election campaign.

Media outlets that were friendly to the Bush administration helped to enhance their profile and sell their story. This story was based on a pack of lies and has been debunked on a number of fronts (as opposed to just one debunking – possibly – in the case of questions about George W. Bush’s military record), but the impression of doubt remains due to the way the story was sold by a willing media.

As incredible as it may seem, this system works. And the Bush administration is very bold about using it.

John Kerry’s outstanding service record is a problem.
Solution: cast doubt, use media muscle.

George W. Bush’s less-than-exemplary service record is a problem.
Solution: cast doubt, use media muscle.

Bush - the cowardly liar

Take a close look at the outright lies used to distort some facts and the doubt used to cloud others, then consider the following….

Why is this important?

It shows George W. Bush was a liar, a cheat, a coward, a scoundrel, and a poor servant to the people of the United States.

It suggests heavily that George W. Bush is a liar, a cheat, a coward, a scoundrel, and a poor servant to the people of the United States.

Iraq, the economy, health, the environment, and the so-called War on Terror; all of these issues and more are presented by the Bush administration using the same outright lies, the same clouding and the same use of media muscle.

Even bigger lies – or concepts, if you will – (adjusts glasses, taps pipe) are used to hide these lies from their people…

Liberal Media – You may see some differing opinions in print, but rarely on television. And television is what counts. Yet we are assured that the liberal media is all-powerful, and hides a frightening agenda. The lie of the liberal media makes people afraid of biased influence, when in truth it is the accusers who show bias bordering on the criminal. Those who do not work to feed Bush’s lies directly to the public are actually crippled by this lie, for fear of being seen as biased. Please note the multi-faceted use of fear, when you also consider…

The War on Terror – If the war is against terror, why does the Bush administration use terror against its own people? Here comes another lie; those who question the War on Terror don’t believe in the terrorist threat or are on the terrorist’s side. Sometimes both. I’m here to tell you that the threat of terrorism is real, but the War on Terror is a lie. And George W. Bush is the living embodiment of this lie.

George W. Bush Will Protect You – No he won’t. It’s an illusion. A lie. George W. Bush himself is an illusion. He lives, breathes and survives on lies. He is the creation of a man that most Americans have never heard of and/or do not pay nearly enough attention to; Karl Rove.

You Cannot Trust Bush-Haters – My personal favourite. There are people who ‘hate’ Bush, and therefore lack perspective. They are not to be trusted, as they have an agenda. Their hate blinds them to the truth.

I’ve seen the truth, but it’s the lies that are blinding.

I refuse to be crippled by the claim that I am an unreasonable person guided by hate.

I refuse to accept the charge that I am putting people at greater risk by questioning the Bush administration.

I’m also realistic enough to know that the defeat of Bush is the just the start.

Even a complete unmasking and humiliation of this idiot will only serve to partially weaken the machine behind him. But that’s where the war against this machine starts.

Question what you see and hear, by all means – but don’t allow yourself to be distracted by a battle – a feint – over proportional fonts. Especially when:
1. It is almost certainly another lie.
2. Even if it does turn out to be true, it does nothing to prove that Bush served his country honourably – and even raises questions about where such a useful distraction originated.

[See also: Bush: AWOL – TANG Forgery Source Revealed]








Posted in George W. Bush | 1 Comment

Bush: AWOL – TANG Forgery Source Revealed

[See also: George W. Bush: a coward and a liar]

The source of the forged TANG documents has been revealed to be George W. Bush’s housekeeper, Alice. Independent investigators tracked the forgeries to her desktop via the discovery of a pattern of dropped W’s.

When questioned by journalists, she immediately admitted to creating the forgeries saying; “I only wanted to help young George. It’s not easy being the eldest child, with so much responsibility in the war on terror and such.”

The documents were created on a 1971 IBM typewriter, and an attempt was made to emulate Microsoft Word as closely as possible in order to throw people off the scent.

“It was simple plan,” said Alice, “All we had to do was get people questioning the validity of some documents, and that would make people doubt the entire story.

“So now – even though I’ve been caught red-handed – as far as anybody is concerned, George served his entire time in the Texas Air National Guard – and there aren’t even any pesky questions about him jumping the queue to get in, dodging service in Vietnam and all of that nonsense.”

This method worked very well in the UK recently. When fake images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners dominated the news and swamped the information stream, genuine cases of abuse, mistreatment, government neglect, or outright murder passed by with barely a ripple.

(UPDATE – It gets betterer and betterer – but try to ignore this, as it’s not real, because one set of pictures was faked; MoD faces more than 40 cases of abuse and killings in Iraq.)

Alice has been the trusted housekeeper of the Bush clan since Dubya was a tot. Much has been made of how well she has aged, but she puts this down to “… clean living, hard work and a regular supply of virgin’s blood from our family butcher, Mr Rove.”

When asked about Bush’s whereabouts in the early seventies, Alice only had this to say:

“George is a good boy, so I’m sure he did his duty. Mind you, he seemed to spend a lot of time in my kitchen in late 1972. For some reason, he just couldn’t get enough of my meatloaf cookies.”

A further document also released by the White House this week has yet to be discredited, but several internet sites question the use of colours, with one claiming that “crayons of the navy blue variety were not used by the Air Force as a matter of principle.”

[See also: The Bush AWOL ‘Forgeries': Fonts Do Not Unmake Facts]








Posted in George W. Bush | Comments Off

01-14 September, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
An American Election
Time
10:22
Watching the protests? Check out Indymedia, or Truth Out and hold your ground.

Following the RNC? Check out Atrios or Washington Monthly and follow your nose. (Oh, and as Europhobia notes, MPs have yet to return to action, so the Republican convention is available to view on BBC Parliament.)

Need the meat? Read the speeches in full and try to hang on to your lunch.

Yes folks, it’s the All New, All Moderate and Always Friendly Republican Show. This shift is a permanent one. You should place your trust in it. And vote for it. (PS – Don’t forget to vote early! Don’t know how? No sweat! One of our salesmen will call you.)

PS – We need to see more of Jenna and Barbara. They’re on our side. (They just don’t know it yet.)

UPDATE – Some people are having trouble believing the whole ‘Bush cold call’ thing – so here’s a WAV recording of the call to help convince you of its reality.

UPDATE 2 – Scaryduck advises you to stick around until the very end to hear a special message from Dr Hannibal Lecter.

UPDATE 3 – Remember before the DNC, how Rove had his media bum-chums all over the air declaring that it was all going to be a load of Bush-bashing? So the Demycrats were ever so careful to prove them wrong and not bash Bush. Speeches were carefully vetted. Now the RNC is on, it’s open season on Kerry. And ‘girlie men’….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
10:46
My, my – isn’t this a familiar tactic?

Ha ha ha, let’s all mock the Greens. They certainly have some w-w-wacky ideas. So try to ignore anything odd they may choose to bring up in the next few weeks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
How To Think Like An Evil Bastard
Time
12:04
Karl Rove and his dream of a nation under one party.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
Useful
Time
12:05
Holy cow! Read actual scans of newspapers from around the world.

You won’t find every edition of every paper, but what they’ve managed to put online is pretty damn impressive when you consider the man-hours and the bandwidth involved.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
The War on Terror
Time
12:36
Guardian – Prisoner ‘A': no charge, no trial, no conviction and no release date. Welcome to Britain’s war on terror: He is charged with no offence by a British police officer, convicted of no crime by a jury, but judged such a risk to the public by MI5, the security service, that he can be detained until Blunkett judges the ‘war on terror’ is over. No hard evidence has to be produced to back the intelligence service claims.

(Link via Balders, who comments on this and the de-arrest of Abu Hamza.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
Predictions
Time
15:13
I think we can expect a crackdown on animal rights activists in the US sometime soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
The War on Terror
Time
15:37
The charitable side of me wants to think that Putin was careful about making claims of terrorism following the recent plane crashes because he didn’t want to do an Aznar, but I think what we’re really looking at here is: “Keep calm (*bang*) everything (*boom*) is under (*kapow*) control!”

BBC – Attackers storm Russian school: An armed gang is holding up to 150 people hostage after seizing a school in southern Russia…. The attackers are said to be demanding the withdrawal of Russia troops from neighbouring Chechnya.

UPDATE – A good site for updates. (Oh, and the Jo Moore inside me says today is a good day to finally leak the images of child torture in Abu Ghraib. If we can sell an Al Qaeda link, we’ll have a perfect goose/gander argument.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040901
The (Now Reluctant) War President
Time
16:50
Greg Palast – Still Unreported: The Pay-off in Bush Air Guard Fix: Here’s what happened. Just after Bush’s election, Barnes’ client GTech Corp., due to allegations of corruption, was about to lose its license to print money: its contract to run the Texas state lottery. Barnes, says the Justice Department document, made a call to the newly elected governor’s office and saved GTech’s state contract. The letter said, “Governor Bush … made a deal with Ben Barnes not to rebid [the GTech lottery contract] because Barnes could confirm that Bush had lied during the ’94 campaign.”

I can’t help but wonder who was paid what to make the relevant records disappear.

(Link via Perfect.co.uk.)

UPDATE – Salon.com – Ben Barnes to break silence on “60 Minutes”: The Republican campaign gets ready for shock waves, as the former Texas official who says he pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Air National Guard finally goes public.

UPDATE – Guardian – George W Bush’s missing year: Allison’s account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she’d ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: “Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way.” Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
Updates
Time
09:02
Shhhh! I’m building….

UPDATE – Oh, OK then….

1. Mars, bitches! The Sun reports on – and the Page 3 girl gets terribly excited about – Signal Candidate SHGb02+14a.

2. Thankfully, I am invulnerable to the strong smell of plastic.

3. This is how the Underground should look (link via Simon).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
An American Election
Time
12:17
Two juicy RNC links for you:

http://www.rion.nu/

http://www.watchblog.com/

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
Consume!
Time
12:33
Some fruity sweet wrappers for you to enjoy (link via Greasy Chip Butty).

UPDATE – Cheers to Wordlab for letting us in on the gag. This ‘complaint’ was a prank by German students.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
Ewwww!
Time
12:37
Kerchunk!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
Music
Time
12:50
Hooray for Mandonna, the all-male tribute act, and AC/DShe, the female tribute band. (Links via The Ultimate Insult.)

Had a two-minute ponder last night and it occured that my personal music project (10 years on the back burner and counting) may be able to come to life via a subversive form of boy band. Pipe dream or possible reality? Well, maybe it’s worth advertising for auditions in order to find out…

Back to the building….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cock-Up
Time
13:03
Bwahahahahahahaha!

Third photo down. Look closely.

Also… She is Miss Universe. You will worship her.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
Pluggage
Time
13:08
SAVE THE DAY

SUDAN BENEFIT

THU 09.09.2004 : 9pm – 2am

PO NA NA, 75-79 EAST ST, BRIGHTON

Martin & Mike aka Casbah Rockers

Andy & Piers – Wild Combination

Bobby & Chris – Soft Rocks

Papa Freak – White Rhino

Balearic, Disco, Boogie, Italo classics old and new

TIX £10 ADV : MORE INFO – 07832167458 or liza@trainee.me.uk

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040902
119 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
14:16
Damn. I wanted to work well into the night tonight, but I can’t.

The Hamburg Cell is on tonight (Thursday), Channel 4, 9pm.

I urge you to make time to see it yourself.

“Some thrillers grip. This one had me in an SAS chokehold. If there is a more important, more urgent story to be told than this, I can’t think of it.”Peter Bradsaw

More at The Scotsman and the Torygraph. According to this NPR report (audio) , the producers are seeking a US outlet and have talked with a couple of U.S. TV networks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Video
Time
05:57
Can’t sleep. Building.

Here’s something special that started my morning off with a bang:

George W. Bush: The Alternative Campaign Film

(6Mb Quicktime – Link via Taint.org)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Flash Music Video
Time
09:33
Almost finished. Building host page. Hang in there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Flash Music Video
Time
10:23
OK, we’re good to go:

George W. Bush: a coward and a liar (450Kb Flash show)

I know you’ll love this one. It’s short, snappy, and downright nifty.

UPDATE:

1. Well said, that man!

2. Michael Moore – Deserters Delight: First of all, thank you for pointing out to all of us that Mr. Kerry was never struck by a bullet. It was only shrapnel that entered his body! I did not know that! Hell, what’s the big deal about a bunch of large, sharp, metal shards ripping open your flesh? That happens to all of us! In my opinion, if you want a purple heart, you’d better be hit by a bullet – with your name on it!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Pluggage
Time
12:37
Larry Grant is back on deck. Make with the love.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
An American Election
Time
12:42
Argh!! The eyes won’t stop following me!

Independent – Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards

I have a short summary of Bush’s speech to hand. It goes: “Follow me if you want to live.” Washington Monthly has more.

Meanwhile, outside in the real world…

IndyMedia – S3 Wrap Up: Hostage Crisis: A State Supreme Court judge today ordered the city to release hundreds of people who had spent as many as 48 hours or more in jail (why so long?) and found the city in contempt of court after it failed to comply. All the detainees had passed through the ad hoc detention center at pier 57 where they had to sleep on a floor slick with motor oil and other toxic residue. Numerous detainees complained of infections, rashes, and chemical burns.

Full text of Bush’s 2004 acceptance speech is here. Also, you might want to spend some time reading his 2000 acceptance speech.

And spare a thought for poor old Zell, who got one rant off his chest and is now out in the cold. Poor darling. (Read some reactions.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Newsflash
Time
13:16
Who’da thunk it?

BBC – Bloody end to Russia school siege

CNN – Death and horror at siege school

Yahoo – Siege School Stormed

Reuters – Comments on Russian school siege

Of interest: Here’s how the BBC is reporting this story to children and here are some comforting thoughts to help them sleep.

Right now, Karl Rove is probably thinking what a nice backdrop this makes for George Bush’s speech.

UPDATE – Public reactions via the BBC website.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Video
Time
14:03
I figure you could do with some small amount of cheer. Here’s something reliable from the archives:

David Hasslehoff sings Hooked On a Feeling

Also, this might be of use: How to fold a T-shirt Japanese-style.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Inneresting
Time
14:47
How did salt and pepper become the standard table spices?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
14:52
Washington Monthly – Zell Miller Round-Up: At times like this, I wish more people watched the conventions. If more of the country had seen Miller’s ranting, cowardly attack last night, the election would probably be as good as over.

Andrew Sullivan – The Miller Moment: The man’s speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.

Slate.com – Imperial President Opposing Bush becomes unpatriotic: The 2004 election is becoming a referendum on your right to hold the president accountable. That’s the upshot of tonight’s speeches by Vice President Dick Cheney and Zell Miller, the Republican National Convention’s keynote speaker.

Andrew Sullivan – Bush – A Superb Speech: That’s why, despite my deep admiration for some of what this president has done to defeat terror, and my affection for him as a human being, I cannot support his candidacy. Not only would I be abandoning the small government conservatism I hold dear, and the hope of freedom at home as well as abroad, I would be betraying the people I love. And that I won’t do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Dead Blog Holiday
Time
16:07
Farewell, Bykersink, hello Our Man In Hanoi.

PS – Aw, shucks! (looks at floor)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
17:10
Please welcome to the stage the proxy blog for Paddy Tipping and the proxy blog for Paul Keetch. Both have been added to the navbar and the How To Run a ‘Proxy’ Weblog on Behalf of Your MP page.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040903
Newsflash
Time
17:34
Aaaand cue endless lame comments about (giggle) strokes (and – quite possibly – claims that he was watching Zell Miller when the chest pains started).

Clinton To Undergo Emergency Heart Surgery.

Here’s the Republicans’ big chance to go heavy on the compassion; but that joke about bleeding heart liberals must be pretty hard to resist.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The War on Stupid
Time
09:54
If Beslan is Russia’s 119 (please note correct formatting of date), then we can expect the next casualty to be common sense.

At the core of this is the blinding effect an atrocity has. And – more often than you may care to admit – a government’s wish to exploit this heartlessly… while labelling those who try to highlight this as heartless.

For some reason, to focus too much on what causes an atrocity somehow affiliates you with it – and suggests you have no feelings for the victims (when blind rage is the only ‘suitable’ response).

There are even those that would be so incensed that they would actually accuse you of supporting the evil-doers and/or having the capacity to undertake an atrocity or two yourself.

So please do excuse me for being a heartless, child-murdering bastard…

Belfast Telegraph – Beslan: The unanswered questions

Observer – Women at heart of the terror cells: Almost all of the more than 12 attacks on Russia in the past year have involved women – ‘black widows’, avenging the deaths of family members in Russia’s conflict in Chechnya. The survivors of the three-day Dubrovka theatre siege in October 2002, where 18 of the 50 terrorists were women, are among those who have suffered at the hands of the black widows.

Slate.com – Chechnya – What drives the separatists to commit such terrible outrages?: As many as 600 people, many of them children, are dead, and hundreds more are injured. The two-day hostage crisis that ended in an 11-hour gunfight is the most horrific in a harrowing chain of terrorist attacks in Russia. Russian officials are saying al-Qaida did it. But the truth is far more complicated.

UPDATE – Oooh, look. I’ve got links to Al Qaida:

Al-Qaida (Wikipedia)

Yahoo! Directory Middle East – Political Groups – Al Qaeda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
An American Election
Time
10:18
Kevin Drum thinks a liberal sense of fair play is being used against us. Professor Bainbridge begs to differ. Leading Democrats think Kerry should be fighting back. Poll figures like this and talk of Kerry being behind compound the pressure. Several weekend leaders here in the UK pondered on the possibilities of dealing with Bush for the next four years.

Fiction and fear is winning over fact. Is it too early to cry?

ABCNews – Bush Glosses Over Complex Facts in Speech: President Bush glossed over some complicating realities in Iraq, Afghanistan and the home front in arguing the case Americans are safer and his opponent cannot deliver.

New York Times – How Kerry Became a Girlie-Man: Only in an election year ruled by fiction could a sissy who used Daddy’s connections to escape Vietnam turn an actual war hero into a girlie-man. As we leave the scripted conventions behind us, that is the uber-scenario that has locked into place, brilliantly engineered by the president of the United States, with more than a little unwitting assistance from his opponent. It’s a marvel, really. Even a $10,000 reward offered this year by Garry Trudeau couldn’t smoke out a credible eyewitness to support George W. Bush’s contention that he showed up to defend Alabama against the Viet Cong in 1972. Yet John F. Kerry, who without doubt shed his own blood and others’ in the vicinity of the Mekong, not the Mississippi, is now the deserter and the wimp.

George W. Bush: a coward and a liar is a weapon. Use it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:28
By all means, let’s crack down on animal activists. Pay no attention to the large corporations making a killing in the background. They are of no concern to you.

Instead, you should focus on the heartless elite who kill and torture animals.

Torygraph – Blair to force through Bill to ban hunting: Tony Blair will make hunting the “nuclear issue” of the next election by using it to embarrass the Tories and push through fundamental reform of the Lords, it was disclosed yesterday.

With only One Big Issue that can realistically be brought into play before the next general election, Blair has chosen fox hunting. Think about that. And also have a quiet think about what’s been dropped…

The UK Today – Corporate Killing: So the government has decided to shelve its revised legislation on corporate killing until after the next election. Which wouldn’t be too shocking were it not for the fact that Labour have been banging on about this legislation for at least 10 years. And during that 10 year period campaigners reckon that 3,000 workers and 1,000 members of the public have died in work-related incidents yet only 11 companies have been convicted and just 2 directors jailed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The War on Terror
Time
10:30
Miami Herald – Graham book: Inquiry into 9/11, Saudi ties blocked: Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, SpadeMusic.com has set up a mirror for the Pentagon Strike flash video.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
Flash Thingies
Time
10:32
Jaws in 30 seconds… with bunnies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:33
Stalker builds better mousetrap.

The cat’s on the roof.

Woof!

Ben Hammersly – The emerging two cultures of the internet: The challenge for the internet community, and especially anyone who wants to make money online, is to make the internet a less evil place. Not in content, but in the struggle to get anywhere at all. Meanwhile, people who can’t filter spam, or block pop-ups, or prevent viruses from spreading, are themselves responsible for these things. There are two cultures growing – those who can filter, and those who can’t – and it may well be up to us who can to help those who can’t to join the modern world, lest they drag everyone back with them.

UPDATE – I will reluctantly include this link for those who may have missed the joke-type thing above.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:47
Boris will be live sometime later this week or early next. Hang in there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The Tories
Time
10:48
The votes are in and the winner of Tories in Turmoil, the man you chose to be the next leader of the Tory Party, is… David Blunkett!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
Pluggage
Time
10:56
You have until this Friday to get an entry in for the Swiss Army Short Story Competition II. If you have a weblog, it’s the closest thing to an outright giveaway there is.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The War on Terror
Time
10:58
On Crisis Command last night, there was a perfect example of how Blair’s actions over Iraq have crippled our ability to deal with actual threats against the nation. The tanks-into-Heathrow stunt was actually mentioned specifically when the players were discussing the mobilisation of the army. In the circumstances, this was the right thing to to, but they felt unable to do it because of potentially bad PR.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
Photoshopping
Time
12:56
Hooray for Dr Bunsen Honeydew and able assistant, Beaker!

I was so inspired, I made this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
The (Now Reluctant) War President
Time
15:17
Oh joy. Because John Kerry listed his citations on his campaign website and someone filed the correct paperwork, we have this sideshow to deal with…

SMH – Pentagon to check Kerry war record: In a fresh blow to John Kerry’s flagging presidential campaign, the Pentagon has ordered an official investigation into the awarding of the Democratic senator’s five Vietnam War decorations. News of the inquiry came as two of the first polls released since last week’s Republican convention said President George Bush had opened an 11-point lead over his rival – the widest margin since serious campaigning began. The inquiry is to be carried out by the Inspector-General’s office of the US Navy, for which Senator Kerry served as a Swift Boat captain for four months in 1968, making two tours of duty. He was wounded in action and subsequently awarded three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. But, for the past month, the details of Senator Kerry’s military service in Vietnam have become shrouded in a controversy that the navy now feels warrants a full-blown search for the truth.

Boston.com – Vietnam duality challenges Kerry: The attacks on Kerry by the swift boat group, however, have stunned many in the camp and left Kerry frustrated that the media have not dismissed the charges as unsubstantiated. “What has surprised me is the voracity with which they have tried to attack his heroism,” McKean said. “I have never seen people lie so egregiously and get away with it. This is as close to McCarthyism as you can get in a campaign. The print press has worked hard to discredit it, but television just replays the charges over and over.”

And now this inquiry gives them something else to masticate on. (Cue leap of logic in countless editorials: an inquiry is happening, therefore *something* must dodgy.)

Meanwhile, the Cowardly Liar swaggers on unhindered.

Associated Press – Bush’s National Guard File Missing Records: Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.

This isn’t the pay records that were ‘inadvertantly destroyed’ we’re talking about here, but documents that were supposed to be amongst those released. But weren’t. But don’t go expecting an inquiry into that anytime soon.

UPDATE – Judicial Watch is essentially a tool of Richard Mellon Scaife, who provides almost all its funding.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
RWCs
Time
15:22
Young Republican Kicks Female Protester – guess which one was arrested….

Also, from the Independent’s RNC diary: At one prayer breakfast I was handed a leaflet advertising RatOutAChurch.org, an organisation which places moles inside liberal churches to monitor the preacher’s comments for any hint of political endorsements.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of Bush’s attempt to recruit supporters from 1,600 religious congregations in Pennsylvania.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
16:37
Car Bomb Near Fallujah Kills 7 Marines

US warplanes pound Najaf

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040906
George W. Bush
Time
17:45
George W. Bush struggles to define tribal sovereignty. (Quicktime format. Blogged before as an MP3, but it’s much more fun on video.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
How To Think Like An Evil Bastard
Time
09:57
There’s lots of pondering, debating and hand-wringing going on in the liberal camp in the US at the moment. Rove is playing the dirtiest of games, and many people are asking if the time hasn’t come to take the gloves off.

In this very long Fark thread, the words of m00 caught my eye: It’s interesting that the party who is criticizing Bush for trying to win the war on terror even if it violates the founding principles of this country, is suddenly calling for Kerry to win the election even if it violates the founding principles of this country. Winning the election/war isn’t the most important thing. Keeping our values are. If we have to compromise those values to win either, what’s the point? … If Kerry has to become Bush to beat Bush, that’s just as bad as giving up all our freedoms to save them from terrorists.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, some people have decided that the birth of something very promising should be hammered at immediately in order to score a few quick points. Guy nails it with this post:

Para Ingles Ver – Asking for a halt: While I supported Bloggerheads’ call to arms to encourage our elected representatives to take blogging up, it now seems to have spawned out of control. ‘Stalking’ an MP by setting up a blog in their name was a good idea, if only to emphasise to the individual in question that there was a space out there with their name on it – literally. And in some cases they provide a service by informing logged-on people what their MP is up to. But what about when an MP or prospective MP takes up the challenge? Should they be left to get on with it? Take the blog of Lib Dem candidate Jody Dunn in Hartlepool. She’s doing one while there is another which claims to shadow what’s she’s doing but is clearly against what she stands for. Similarly there are the campaigning blogs like Labour Watch and Lib Dem Watch who are scrutinising the parties, from a biased starting point.

I think I should take responsibility for the whole ‘stalking’ thing. I didn’t set a good example with Tim Yeo and I started the proxy-blog project when I was feeling more than a little pissed off. The proxy-bloggers have, by and large, been very good about maintaining/adopting a positive/balanced tone, but along the way I’ve taught folks the power of taking politicians to task via weblogs. And some people are now doing this with a hidden – if obvious – agenda (though – thankfully – many of these folks appear to have missed a few important technical or cultural points, and so are doing their shouting from a very quiet corner on teh Interweb).

Take this attack from DunnIn for example, which is not only as vacuous and offensive as calling John Kerry ‘French’… but also pretty hypocritical when you consider that we know nothing about the person doing this level of digging.

Stay with me here, because this isn’t a defence of what I’ve been up to myself, but an attempt to let you know where my head is at…

I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty open with the blogging community. I have political and professional agendas, but they’re clearly stated. There are also a few lines that I won’t cross.

Tim Yeo and the issue of adultery/paternity is one of them.

George W. Bush and the issue of the abortion rumours was another.

Please note the use of the word ‘was’…

A dirty game is being played and Kerry’s hands are tied. Plus, the stakes are pretty damn high.

Perhaps it’s time for someone else to call Bush on this and at least try to extract a denial.

Not purely for reasons of strategy, but because he makes an issue of it.

Common Dreams – For Bush, Abortion Gag Rule is Only the Beginning: One of George W. Bush’s first acts as president — literally on his first full day in office — was to delight conservative supporters by reinstating the Global Gag Rule. The rule prohibits U.S. foreign aid money from flowing to overseas family planning organizations that provide abortion services or even talk favourably about abortion to their patients or the public.

White House – President Bush Signs Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003

Also, the abortion rumour may be an important factor in Bush’s time in the Guard. (If it’s true, the timing suggests that this is why he was rushed off to Alabama.)

Does the end justify the means?

Does this argument even have to made in this case?

How will this impact on the campaign for political weblogging and necessary calls for moderation here in the UK?

My head hurts.

UPDATE – Here’s some background for you. Also, the tone’s a bit rough, but this post is worth noting for its claim that Flynt’s appearance is the only transcript that has ever been erased entirely from the CNN site.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Established Media
Time
10:00
Brand Republic – Russian editor fired over use of Beslan hostage photos: The editor of one of Russia’s oldest newspapers, Izvestia, has been fired over publication of pictures of wounded and dead children from the three-day school hostage drama in Beslan. According to sources in the Russian media, the firing of respected editor Raf Shakirov was initiated by the Kremlin, which was infuriated by newspaper coverage of the Beslan hostage drama…. Izvestia published some of the most thorough, probing accounts of the crisis, and it was one of the earliest Russian media outlets to doubt the government’s estimate that about 350 hostages were being held captive in the school… During the crisis, state-owned Russian media tried to ignore what was going on. On Friday, when the drama was coming to an end, two of the main state-owned Russian TV channels did not interrupt their regular programming.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Compare and Contrast
Time
10:02
George W. Bush: a coward and a liar

Idiot Son of an Asshole

Dress-Up Dubya

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Inneresting
Time
10:05
“6079 Smith W! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Photoshopping
Time
10:07
Being a partial study of a man who lacks courage, a brain, and a heart….

(Large version posted to B3ta.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:12
Well, Beslan managed to keep boobs of Page 3 for two whole editions, but The Sun tries to make up for it today with three young ladies in a poolside page three-some. They also lead on the front page with Andrew Smith, and take full credit for his resignation based on their hard-hitting report into his staff downloading pornography (and not of the state-approved kind).

The Sun – PM resigns (No, not Tony but the Porn Minister): The man heading the “Ministry of Porn” quit last night, sparking a Cabinet reshuffle and a Downing Street power struggle. Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith resigned 12 days after The Sun told how staff had called up two million pages of internet filth, including child abuse sites, on work PCs. Mr Smith, 53, jumped before he was pushed by Tony Blair.

So there you have it. It was The Sun wot done it. And now they’ve got Brown “under siege”.

Daily Record – Smith is ‘Pushed Out’ for Reshuffle: But insiders said he was forced out to make room in the Cabinet for a reshuffle to enhance the PM’s authority. Blair is determined to signal how serious he is about staying in his job with the reshuffle, expected today. And Smith’s departure has cost Chancellor Gordon Brown a close ally. He failed to make a major impact at the DWP – one of the key portfolios in a run-up to a general election. Hewas seen as a ‘safe pair of hands’ but criticised for a lack of flair and his failure to deal with sensitive issues. Then came the embarrassment of the DWP being branded the Ministry of Porn after thousands of staff were caught looking at indecent sites on office PCs.

You can just smell it, can’t you?

Andrew Smith’s resignation letter and Tony Blair’s reply.

So, here we are, finally heading for a reshuffle. The last time this was due, all we got was a new joker slipped into the pack.

Now we have reports that Alan Milburn is on his way back into the cabinet.

For news and updates, you could do far worse than the proxy blog for Alan Milburn, but I have the feeling I may be keeping an eye on this too…

Guardian – Former Labour allies round on Blair (August 9): Some of Tony Blair’s oldest and closest ideological allies in the Labour party abandon their support for his leadership today, saying he is endangering the viability of the party, eroding trust in politics and embracing a market ideology largely indistinguishable from the Conservatives’…. There are three former cabinet ministers on the board: Alan Milburn, Robin Cook and Clare Short.

Guardian – One Blairite who could yet be Labour’s next leader: Alan Milburn’s prospective return to government, if it happens, would be an event of great and intriguing importance. It might even help to define the shape of British politics for a decade to come. Here’s why. After seven and a half years, Labour clearly does not yet face an overwhelming external challenger. The Liberal Democrats can win almost any by-election that comes their way; Hartlepool, it appears, is currently theirs to lose. But neither the Lib Dems nor the Conservatives have a serious hope of forming the next government, and perhaps not even the one after that. Labour’s chief current challenge, therefore, does not come from without but from within – and could even be called existential. This internal challenge does not mean that Tony Blair’s leadership is under immediate threat, though some would like it to be… Milburn is potentially a big political figure in his own right and Labour has surprisingly few of them. He was a good minister, he talks well and he comes across as a normal human being, as well as someone with a life. He would be one of the few members of the government – Peter Hain is another – who seem instinctively at ease with the scale, diversity and force of the changes that have taken place in British life over the past 20 years.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
An American Election
Time
10:13
Via BigDaddyMerk, we find a Republican who was turned by the convention. Go and say something encouraging, by all means.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Established Media
Time
10:16
Daily Howler – We’re close to having a state-run media: Bush can deceive you as much as he likes. A conquering man sits atop a white horse, and as we saw in the wake of Zell’s speech, your “press” lets him say what he pleases.

The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004

Save the latter for lunchtime.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:41
Washington Post – Political Victory: From Here to Maternity:What’s the difference between the protesters outside the Republican convention and the delegates inside? There are many, of course, but one will ultimately skew American politics and the culture wars in the Republicans’ favor, regardless of who has God or reason on her side. It’s the divide between who is having children and who isn’t. (reg reqd.)

Heh. And a totally unrelated link that’s also charting well for some strange reason… Indiana University study: having children significantly lowers parents’ IQs.

New book claims that Bush took cocaine at Camp David

Clinton tells Kerry to shut up about Vietnam

Netflix and TiVo to announce partnership, offer downloadable movies

A Girl’s Guide to Geek Guys

Beslan – a well-written view from the right (sparked by recent comments from Art Spiegelman)

Help Beslan children

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
George W. Bush
Time
10:43
Heh. Nosemonkey notes that Le Monde have started referring to Bush as the ‘outgoing’ President.

Compare this with FOXNews, who are busy declaring the race to be won a little earlier than last time (currently aided as they are by Bush’s alleged 10 point bounce).

UPDATE – Rising Hegemon – Enjoy Your Bounce, ’cause it Ain’t Lasting

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
RWCs
Time
10:58
Be warned that you may need to enable your satire-detector. This one dances very close to the truth…

Linwood Barclay – Latest smear alleges Kerry was AWOL with Bush

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
12:00
Call for Film Submissions for Time to Go John : Real Eviction: an online site for short films, and cinema release feature made up of a series of quality political films, some sad, some funny, some downright shocking. A comedian in front of a live studio audience will contextualise the films and provide links.

The campaign is being run in association with Spinach7 magazine. Heads-up via Anthea.

Now all I needs is a chat with someone who knows about exporting Flash for broadcast…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
14:51
BBC – Blair to reshuffle ‘by weekend’: Tony Blair has said there will be a Cabinet reshuffle by the end of the week – but not on Tuesday as some in Westminster have been speculating.

Keep an eye on the proxy blog for Alan Milburn for updates. Mike’s been on the case since the day before yesterday.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040907
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
15:18
Back to Iraq – 1,000… almost: Another grim milestone in the Iraq war is imminent. Iraq Coalition Casualties reports there are 998 U.S. casualties as of Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. GMT +0300. By the time you read this, there may be 1,000 or more U.S. dead in Iraq.

Meanwhile…

Guardian – Chalabi nephew loses Saddam trial role: Salem Chalabi, the man organising the trial of Saddam Hussein, has been sacked from his job after allegedly failing to return from Britain to face a murder charge in Iraq…. In an email to the Guardian, he said he had been appointed to the “independent tribunal” overseeing Saddam’s trial for a period of three years – and that its status had been enshrined in Iraq’s transitional administrative law. Without changing that status it was impossible for him to be sacked, he said.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Flash Games
Time
09:53
Cow Marathon – instructions are in a foreign language, but you’ll work it out. Worth doing for at least one level if only to see the udder-jigging dance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
The War on Terror
Time
09:54
LNR – The cost of (not) running al-Qaeda: A new report suggests that Bin Laden is not in fact the main money-man behind al-Qaeda. But he’s still a very naughty boy.

Speaking of al Qaida, there sure are lots of ways to spell it (see ‘Notes on Naming’). You’d think with all that funding, they could at least sort their branding out.

(Incidentally, there are many ways to spell Al Qaeda, but only one way to pronounce ‘Abu Ghraib’…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
09:57
Troops need your help to stop Halliburton from getting them killed in order to save a few bob.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Activism
Time
09:59
AlterNet – First They Came for the Protesters: In a country that engages in preemptive war against a small nation that had neither the intention nor the ability to attack us, preemptive suppression of dissent is the next logical step…. At the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, 420 people were arrested – more than 75 of whom were locked up for sleeping in a large space used for making puppets. It wasn’t until April 2004, almost four years later, that the final arrestees stood trial and were acquitted on all charges.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Consume!
Time
10:01
From UK Bright Life, the people who brought you the plastic typewriter that could save you £1000.00 ‘on the cost of buying a computer’ (scroll down to see) and the local version of the ‘marketing breakthrough’ that is the GFX-100 indoor TV dish antenna comes what is probably the most useful product ever.

Care for your loved ones long after they’re gone with all-new Monument Cleaner! (It also allows you to show an equal amount of respect and love for your garden ornaments.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
119 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:06
The New York Review of Books – Pinning the Blame: The administration fought the commission at nearly every turn – at first denying it sufficient funds, then opposing an extension of time, refusing it documents, trying to prevent Condoleezza Rice from testifying in public. The White House, in a pre-emptive move, told the commission that Bush would not testify under oath, and insisted that he appear along with Vice President Cheney. The main partisan division within the commission, I was told, was over how hard to press the White House for information that it was holding back. In its effort to achieve a unanimous, bipartisan report, the commission decided not to assign “individual blame” and avoided overt criticism of the President himself. Still, the report is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration for its behavior before and after the attacks of September 11.

UPDATE – See also SummerOfTruth.org, which is promoting a series of events to expose 911 failures, lies, and cover-ups.

And yet even more… Newsweek – A Case Not Yet Closed: In the summer of 2002, congressional investigators probing the September 11 terror attacks made a startling discovery. A college professor and longtime FBI informant in San Diego had dealt extensively with two of the 9/11 hijackers. The informant became close to the future terrorists after he’d rented them rooms in his house. The connection raised plenty of questions: What did the informant know about the activities of his housemates? And why hadn’t the FBI said anything about the connection? The discovery led to a closed-door confrontation between the FBI and Florida Sen. Bob Graham, co-chair of the joint House-Senate panel investigating 9/11. Convinced that the bureau was stonewalling, Graham tried to slap the FBI’s chief counsel with a subpoena to produce the informant. “With the subpoena still in hand, I approached him, holding it inches from his chest,” Graham writes in his new book, “Intelligence Matters,” which deals with his efforts to get to the bottom of the 9/11 attacks. “He leaned back from the subpoena as it if were radioactive.” The FBI counsel asked for extra time to see if something could be worked out. In the end, the FBI refused to allow Graham and his colleagues to question a crucial witness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
The (Now Reluctant) War President
Time
10:06
TexansForTruth.com are trying to get a ‘Where was Bush?’ ad to air and need your help. You can download a copy of the ad if you like, but the site is very popular today, so your mileage may vary.

UPDATE – Bandwidth exceeded. And then some. New location is here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
10:08
Perfect.couk have an excellent overview of the upcoming general election in Australia.

They also point us to faux-blogs for John Howard and Mark Latham.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
An American Election
Time
10:13
ABCNews – Cheney Says ‘Wrong Choice’ of Kerry Risks Terrorist Attack: Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack. The Kerry-Edwards campaign immediately rejected those comments as “scare tactics” that crossed the line.

Read some comments on this from this post at Atrios.

NBC5.com – Republican candidate says Christ would not vote for his Democrat rival: Keyes, who has focused his campaign on abortion, said that his statement about whom Jesus would vote for was based on Obama’s pro-choice votes in the Illinois Senate. (So, yes, there is a kind of demented logic behind it.)

Oh, and ScaryDuck wishes to bring to our attention this prophetic artcile from the Onion, dated 18 Jan 2001:

The Onion – Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Christianity Watch
Time
10:15
Jesus appears out of nowhere to watch over an urban tree trunk in Wake County, Carolina.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:18
The UK Today has a few thoughts (and many links) on the upcoming reshuffle.

Also, there’s this… Guardian – Labour chairman rounds on critics: Ian McCartney, the Labour chairman dogged by speculation that he is about to be sidelined, yesterday hit back at his “unacceptable” anonymous critics and insisted he was still the man for the job.

Oh, and something else at The UK Today erm… today…

This month government ministers will be given the power to duck any awkward questions they may be asked as all unanswered parliamentary questions will be dumped by the end of the October session.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Consume!
Time
10:24
Wind From Hurricane Frances for Sale on eBay

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Established Media
Time
10:28
Nosemonkey has an excellent post here on the Russian government’s blatant attempts to manipulate and restrict coverage of the Beslan hostage tragedy.

Heres’ an old link for you to chew on…

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
George ‘Wibble’ Bush
Time
10:34
Another new headline. Should come in handy….

Reuters – Bush: OB-GYNs kept from ‘practicing their love’: .S. President George W. Bush offered an unexpected reason on Monday for cracking down on frivolous medical lawsuits: “Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

Flip-flopping… pah! What about flib-flubbing? FFS… this guy is a total moron and hopeless without Rove pulling his strings.

You can see and hear this gaffe in this 508Kb WMV file.

This latest slip of the tongue reminds me of the old joke about a gynaecologist who says to his patient: “Ah, yes. I can see the problem. Easy to fix, but would you like me to numb you first? Yes? OK, then. Num-num-num-num-num…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:28
First off, a welcome for Emma, who just went live and appears to be planning a final year dissertation based in part on political blogging.

Second, a ‘thank you’ to John Dixon from Adamsdown. He knows why.

Finally, some news. I spent most of last night entering back-dated articles, press releases and parliamentary appearances into the near-to-complete Boris Johnson weblog. Once we sort out the domain/DNS issue, all that remains is to prime the main engine – Boris himself.

The site will go live before this happens (perhaps Friday, with any luck) with a fun activity to keep folks busy while we co-ordinate the whole Westminster/education thing.

UPDATE – Here’s a little something to set you salivating: Boris Johnson – So what’s wrong with clubbing seals?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
How To Think Like An Evil Bastard
Time
11:49
I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who don’t know the answer to this question: Who is Karl Rove? More here. If the name is new to you, I advise you to Google away and follow your nose.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Compare and Contrast
Time
11:58
Two scenes from York Road, Hartlepool:

Police warn Labour activists over street disorder outside the Liberal Democrat HQ.

Charles Kennedy and Jody Dunn accused of making an illegal right-turn.

Also of interest is this article from the last election.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
The (Now Reluctant) War President
Time
13:40
AP – More Bush Guard Records Released: The Pentagon and Bush’s campaign have claimed for months that all records detailing his fighter pilot career have been made public, but defense officials acknowledged Tuesday they had found two dozen new records detailing his training and flight logs after the AP sued and submitted new requests under the public records law…. The newly released records do not include any from five categories of documents Bush’s commanders had been required to keep in response to the gaps in Bush’s training in 1972 and 1973.

Boston.com – Bush fell short on duty at Guard: The reexamination of Bush’s records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush’s attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush’s unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ”satisfactory” — just four months after Bush’s commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months.

New York Times – Missing in Action: The sheer volume of missing documents, and missing recollections, strongly suggests to me that Mr. Bush blew off his Guard obligations. It’s not fair to say Mr. Bush deserted. My sense is that he (like some others at the time) neglected his National Guard obligations, did the bare minimum to avoid serious trouble and was finally let off by commanders who considered him a headache but felt it wasn’t worth the hassle to punish him. “The record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligations he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard,” writes Gerald Lechliter, a retired Army colonel who has made the most meticulous examination I’ve seen of Mr. Bush’s records (I’ve posted the full 32-page analysis here – 100Kb PDF). Mr. Lechliter adds that Mr. Bush received unauthorized or fraudulent payments that breached National Guard rules, according to the documents that the White House itself released.

The reponse from the White House is an interesting bluff. They assert that Bush would not have been honorably discharged if he had not ”met all his requirements”…

And he wouldn’t have jumped the year-plus waiting list to get in if he hadn’t been exceptionally worthy, I suppose…

Cheers to Mirjam for the heads-up. This ain’t over yet. Then again, maybe it is. A lot counts on whether this makes it to TV screens. That’s another advantage the Swifties had. Warm bodies.

Bush’s AWOL Scandal: Let’s Break Through the Media Barrier

UPDATE – TexansForTruth exceeded their bandwidth. The site can now be accessed here.

You will want to download, print and read the PDF document mentioned above! Below are some extracts from the conclusions:

“Bush’s commander, who according to Bush’s biography was a friend, probably thought Bush lost interest in flying, wanted out of the ANG prior to fulfilling his commitment, and did not press the issue. It is likely that he knew pursuing any corrective action would have brought him much aggravation and been damaging to his own career because Bush was politically well connected in Texas.”

“In the final analysis, the record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligation he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard and completed his pilot training, despite his honorable discharge.”

And I think that’s being rather charitable. As the AP story notes, the new records show his unit joined a “24-hour active alert mission to safeguard against surprise attack” just after he bunked out. I would argue that this is the kind of thing a politically well-connected person would have advance knowledge of.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Flash Music Video
Time
14:07
It’s a lie.

What’s AWOL?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Bush: AWOL
Time
16:40
Here’s Kevin Drum’s round-up, just in case you don’t like mine.

US readers: Ben Barnes. 60 Minutes. Tonight. 8 pm ET/PT Watch it. Tell your friends. (And tonight is… ladies night… on CBS)

Would someone mind taping it for me and sending it by post? PAL would be great, but I can handle NTSC in a pinch. Drop me a line if you can help, and we’ll talk about postage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
An American Election
Time
16:46
John Kerry’s Cincinatti speech and related resources: But then, George W. Bush made the wrong choices. He himself now admits he miscalculated in Iraq. In truth, his miscalculation was ignoring the advice that was given to him, including the best advice of America’s own military. When he didn’t like what he was hearing, he even fired the Army Chief of Staff. His miscalculation was going to war without taking every precaution and without giving the inspectors time. His miscalculation was going to war without planning carefully and without the allies we should have had.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade
Time
17:29
It’s official: reading The Sun makes you thick! (Spotted by ScaryDuck.)

The fake story also got a generous airing on FOXNews, which is quite shocking when you consider how careful both outlets are with their facts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040908
Photoshopping
Time
17:46
Top notch Bush ‘shop.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Diversions
Time
09:29
Play Spot the Virgin. I got 47%. I suck. (I guess that makes me a technical virgin).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Inneresting
Time
09:32
Comparing the signatures of statesmen past and present. Surprisingly, Dubya doesn’t use an ‘X’. Perhaps he finds it hard to spell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cock-Up
Time
09:34
Monroe County Coroner shoots himself while trying to demonstrate gun safety.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:51
Al Gore continues to find his voice – drink deep; soak it up.

Police discover secret-society cinema in Paris – probably a hardline cell of Jerry Lewis fans.

How people read the news – please note the importance of the headline and the poor attention paid to piffling things like details and conclusions.

Media View Kitty Kelley’s Bush Book With Caution – and the Swifties get prime-time. Interesting, no?

Some Ken Jennings news – if you don’t want your Jeopardy viewing ruined, look away now.

Log Cabin Republicans Vote to Withhold Endorsement from President Bush – and I’m sure you can guess why.

Make a pare aeroplane with flapping wings – it beats work.

Should I rip this? – a helpful shart for those lacking a moral compass.

Thunk!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
10:04
Independent – Milburn agrees election role as Blair faces down Brown: The countdown to a general election began as both Mr Blair and Michael Howard reshuffled their frontbench packs in an attempt to sharpen their parties’ performance. Mr Milburn was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster after Mr Blair persuaded him to return to frontline politics less than 15 months after resigning his position as Health Secretary to spend more time with his family. Blair aides said Mr Milburn would be Labour’s “policy supremo” in the run-up to the election expected next May. The move threatens to create tensions with the Chancellor Gordon Brown, who is due to take overall charge of the party’s election effort.

Guardian – Familar tantrums – but Blair-Brown political marriage is not over yet: Plenty of Labour MPs would like to see Mr Blair driven from office – for domestic revisionism and foreign adventurism – even if its costs the party 50 Commons seats. Preferably they would like him out before the election, but (on one count) have only 62 signatures, 20 too few to trigger a ballot. He will not walk until he decides he has become a liability. No polling evidence points convincingly to that and Mr Brown has always hesitated to attempt the coup that just might succeed but split the party in doing so. Cowardice or loyalty? MPs disagree.

-

From: Tim Ireland

To: milburna@parliament.uk

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 10:02 AM

Subject: Your campaign strategy

Dear Alan,

Congratulations on your appointment. I can only assume that you stand by the editorial from a recent issue of Renewal that suggests the best way forward for Labour is without a Tory at the helm:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,9061,1279153,00.html

http://www.expat.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/08/11/do1102.xml

If not… well, let’s just say that I hope we can still be friends after the general election.

Cheers

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

-

UPDATE – The future of Brown – today!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Consume!
Time
10:10
As blogged in March: You know those anti-piracy trailers at the start of home videos? The new one over here at Airstrip One by FACT: The Federation Against Copyright Theft (which has also been running in cinemas since February) has a well-evil demon chappie with a maniacal grin processing his pirate videos in a foundry (as you do) and stamping his illegal copies with a big branding iron in the shape of an ‘X’ (as you would expect). The voice-over boldly warns us that “video piracy funds terrorism”…

Guardian – Terrorism, Actually: This is a grave charge – far graver, for example, than one previous anti-counterfeiting cinema ad, which warned that if you bought your videos from the dodgy bloke down the market, he might not give you a refund when the picture quality turned out bad. A sceptic might accuse Fact, which is funded by distributors and cinema chains, of scaremongering to protect industry profits.

The new campaign is even bolder – and has Jonathon Woss onside to help fight the scourge of piracy (which funds terrorism and kills little baby ducklings). Oh, and their photoshopping is crap. Read more here. Have a jolly good laugh here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Bush: AWOL
Time
11:03
CBS have released fur new documents following their interview with Ben Barnes, the man who helped Bush jump the waiting list and dodge Vietnam in the Air National Guard. Which Bush bunked out of both times his unit was about to see action. (The beaky clucker.)

1. This prime-time report almost got shoved into a graveyard slot on two regional arms of the network.

2. The simplest approach would be to attack Barnes, and you can see this part of the game begin to unfold here and here at Talking Points Memo. They’ve called up the digital brownshirts and they come right out with a full attack on the GOP wesbite. Interestingly, they appear to trying to cast him as a perjurer. But he’s only a perjurer if he did indeed lie to protect their man. It’s partisan politics (not that the Swifites were funded by the Repulicans or anything). And his sudden discovery of a conscience is a flip-flop. It’s pathetic.

Here’s Bush lying his ass off about his departure being above board and here he is claiming that maybe Vietnam would have turned out better if he had been sent.

Here’s Atrios, giving credit where credit is due and here’s Salon doing the same thing.

Lukasiak Study Proves Bush Was Legally AWOL

Now to the guts of it all:

Washington Monthly – National Guard Smoking Gun?: This story is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry’s accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true.

Washington Monthly – What Else is the White House Hiding?: The real question now is: what other documents does the White House have? Obviously they’ve had these sitting around for a while, and just as obviously they’ve held them back even though they claimed in February that they had made available every known document related to Bush’s National Guard record.

AMERICAblog – White House Cover Up?: The White House claimed they had released ALL the documents, now tonight, conveniently after 60 Minutes shows the NEW documents on TV, the White House somehow releases the very documents it said it never had? Where did the documents come from, and why didn’t the White House release them BEFORE 60 Minutes exposed their existence? And finally, what else is the White House hiding?

So bang goes the ‘past history’ defence. This story isn’t just about Bush failing to carry out a direct order from his superior in 1972 or the sugar-coating that followed. It’s also about lies, cover-ups and obfuscation. Right now. From the man asking America to trust him on everything from the economy to the war on terror. In places, there are actions that appear to be downright illegal.

I have a busy day today, so please allow me to close with an excellent roundup of this and other issues by Nosemonkey.

Interesting that Bush would want to duck out of debates, isn’t it? Rove obviously knows this is a key weakness. An unscripted Bush is a disaster waiting to happen. (But I’m sure he’s been boning up on tribal sovereignty – just in case.)

For updates, watch:

Atrios

Daily Kos

Talking Points Memo

Washington Monthly

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
The War on Terror
Time
11:54
Buzzflash – Hey, Dick, We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists: “If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again,” Dick Cheney said on September 7th, threatening the American public that if we elect Kerry and Edwards rather than Bush and Cheney, we’ll be attacked by “terrorists.” But that statement was unambiguously intended to influence our votes by terrifying us. Cheney wants us to vote for him for fear that otherwise we and our loved ones will be subjected to random attacks. By the usual definition of terrorism, Cheney has joined the terrorists.

Also see this inspired photoshop.

So, what’s it to be? Thawing Osama out in October or letting one slip through the net in November?

UPDATE – Boston.com – Bush laments loss of life in Iraq; says United States making progress there: Bush refused to answer questions from reporters. He simply stared at a reporter who asked if he agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion that if Democrat John Kerry is elected, “the danger is that we’ll get hit again” by terrorists.

So, are we talking a nasty stare, a pointed stare, or a vacant stare?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
An American Election
Time
11:56
New York Times – Book Unflattering to Bush Draws His Campaign’s Fire: Anticipating a barrage of unflattering accusations and innuendo about President Bush’s personal life in a soon-to-be-published book by the celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley, the Bush campaign has opened a wave of advance counterstrikes intended to undermine her credibility. A representative of the White House recently called Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News, to discourage that network from broadcasting interviews with Ms. Kelley about the book on its “Today” program and on its MSNBC cable program “Hardball With Chris Matthews,” a network executive said.

Bush: a lying cokehead surrounded by liars who don’t want you to know about his cokeheadedness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Music
Time
12:02
Commander and Thief – a nifty MP3 made up of cleverly edited Bush soundbites.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Updates
Time
12:41
Europhobia has been added to the main navbar (but not site-wide, as this is a headache with the site in its present state).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
SEO
Time
12:44
iPod World is live. Brand new site, with very little scaling on the Generic Keyword Strategy. A lot will count on good directory listings and link popularity. The former is going to be a tad problematic, especially in the ODP, as this category has no editor (usually means long delays) and this category is already full of ‘podders (dilutes effectiveness of listing).

UPDATE – Also of interest; New Google Toolbar Brings Browse By Name.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Anyone But George
Time
12:52
World Wants Bush Out of the White House: Poll (The filthy liberals at the BBC are carrying it, too.)

George Bush, This is Your Life

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
13:19
Perfect.co.uk – Bombing in Jakarta influences Australian election campaign.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Photoshopping
Time
13:22
Quite possibly the best Bush: AWOL ‘shop to date (link via Matt).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
An American Election
Time
14:42
Bush faces pressure over drugs and draft

dailyKos on what’s rumoured to be in Kitty Kelley’s book on the Bush Family

Book Unflattering to Bush Draws His Campaign’s Fire

Kitty Smells a Rat at CNN

Amazing how these people can attack and run and hide at the same time isn’t it?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
14:49
Bush: AWOL is all over the place, but there is no mention of George W. Bush in today’s Sun. At all. Instead, they choose to inform us that Madonna’s son Rocco just took his first bike-ride without training wheels. No surprises there, but please also note that Bush:AWOL has been big news online for two days now and Fark has yet to run it on the front page. They do, however, find room for the Madonna story. I’m glad I removed Fark from the navbar. The bias is so obvious, it’s painful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Christianity Watch
Time
14:54
Catholic Voters Given Leeway on Abortion Rights Issue – OMG! Is the Pope French?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Sudan
Time
16:13
Heads-up via Toby… tharrrr she blows!

BBC – Powell declares genocide in Sudan

A cynic would question the timing, but you know I’m not like that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040909
Updates
Time
17:52
Don’t expect a Boris preview tomorrow. The domain process won’t be complete until mid-weekend. Think Monday.

Early meeting and then work-work-workity-work tomorrow, so bloggage may be light.

Until then, here’s a copy of the latest document to be released by the White House. The implications should be clear. (Sorry the fonts are a bit dodgy.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
In The News
Time
10:00
The ‘And Finally…’ war continues to escalate – dog shoots man.

Not only, but also… miracle dog walks in way likely to scare most sensible people (2Mb WMV file).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:02
MAS – Few Detainees Given Hearing at Guantanamo Bay: The Pentagon has admitted for the first time that at least one of the nearly 600 prisoners currently held by the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay was incorrectly determined to be an “enemy combatant” the Navy Secretary announced on Wednesday.

New York Times – Army Says C.I.A. Hid More Iraqis Than It Claimed: Army jailers in Iraq, acting at the Central Intelligence Agency’s request, kept dozens of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention facilities off official rosters to hide them from Red Cross inspectors, two senior Army generals said Thursday. The total is far more than had been previously reported.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
The War on Terror
Time
10:06
This seems to suggest that the War on Terror isn’t as important as embarrasing Putin….

Guardian – The Chechens’ American friends: The Washington neocons’ commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own.

Also, via cheeky monkey Nick Barlow, we have this from Rum and MonkeyThere Is No Pressing Need To Panic!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Bush: AWOL
Time
10:48
Are some of latest Bush documents forged?

If so, then was the fraud perpetrated by CBS, or this just a smoke-screen? Were the documents fed to CBS as a deliberate attempt to create a smoke-screen? In other words, have CBC been Morganed?

After all, these documents being fakes do not add up to a vindication of Bush, only a very big distraction.

LGF (wingnut central) – Bush Guard Documents: Forged: There is absolutely no way that this document was typed on any machine that was available in 1973.

DailyKos – TANG Typewriter Follies; Wingnuts Wrong: Against my own better judgment, but because I believe that the more rapidly charges are countered, the better, I spend a goodly portion of the last day researching — shudder — typewriters of the ’60s and ’70s. As everyone on the planet no doubt knows by now, the hard-right of the freeper contingent — specifically, LittleGreenFootballs, a site which frequently is cited for eliminationist rhetoric and veiled racism, and PowerLine, a site linked to with admiration by such luminaries as Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt — discovered that if you used the same typeface, you could make documents that looked almost — but not exactly — like the TANG documents discovered by CBS News. This qualifies as big news, of course, so from those two sites, the story has spread into the mainstream media through the usual channels, most notably Drudge, NRO, etc. I do not believe there is any truly “new” information here, but I hope to condense it in one easy-to-digest reference. So here are some point-by-point findings re: the “forgeries”….

ABCNews – Son of Late Officer Questions Bush Memos: “I am upset because I think it is a mixture of truth and fiction here,” said Gary Killian, son of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984. Gary Killian, who served in the Guard with his father and retired as a captain in 1991, said one of the memos, signed by his father, appeared legitimate. But he doubted his father would have written another, unsigned memo which said there was pressure to “sugar coat” Bush’s performance review.

ABCNews have also dug up a quote from Killian’s widow. We can only assume that they’ll draw the line on digging up Killian. (Boy, they sure move fast when they want to, don’t they?)

Drudge also springs into action alerting the world to the CBS internal investigation. (And if there’s an investigation, then something *must* be dodgy, etc. It’s all about *focus*, baby.)

Take a mo. Cleanse your palate with some satire and then some hard questions about the crayons used by TANG in 1973. Right. Back we go….

Pacetown – But Why?: Why someone would attempt to bring attention to Bush’s service record at this point of the game? That’s the easy question. But why create a forgery (and let’s assume that’s what they are) if it’s going to be such a bad one?

Washington Monthly – Evening Update: At this point, there are enough legitimate questions about these memos that I really think CBS is going to have to provide additional information if they want them to be taken seriously.

CBSNews – New Scrutiny Of Bush’s Service: CBS stood by its reporting. “As is standard practice at CBS News, the documents in the 60 Minutes report were thoroughly examined and their authenticity vouched for by independent experts,” CBS News said in a statement. “As importantly, 60 Minutes also interviewed close associates of Colonel Jerry Killian. They confirm that the documents reflect his opinions and actions at the time.” The White House distributed the four memos from 1972 and 1973 after obtaining them from CBS News. The White House did not question their accuracy.

But why didn’t they question their accuracy? The documents suggest that Bush used his influence to skip service and have his records diddled. Did the White House not question the authenticity of the documents because this sounded so entirely plausible or was this a set-up? You have to wonder…

Washington Post – Some Question Authenticity of Papers on Bush: A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network’s sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents’ alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone and Hodges replied that “these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time. These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people,” the CBS News official said. “Journalistically, we’ve gone several extra miles.” The official said the network regarded Hodges’s comments as “the trump card” on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Viral Marketing
Time
10:53
Create your own mariachi song.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Consume!
Time
10:56
Psst! Wanna buy a watch?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Europe
Time
10:57
Europhobia – Robert Kilroy Silk: Twat: Having gone to Brussels as an MEP (yep, voters are stupid), announced he’s going to “wreck” Europe (prompting incoming Commission president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso to laugh out loud), “get our country back” and all sort of other headline-grabbing populist crap, he’s now said that he aims to “change the face of British politics forever”. Well, that’s nice and patriotic, isn’t it, you fake tanned buffoon?

(*sniff* – you had me at ‘twat’…..)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
George W. Bush
Time
11:01
One. Simple. Question. But who will get there first?

(If that 2nd question seems familiar, here’s why.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:03
Now, we’re getting down to business….

Alan Milburn’s staff post on the proxy-blog about how busy they’ve been lately. Go and say something nice.

Do bloggers need to fear the whips? Well, that question may be answered sooner rather than later. Tom Watson, the first blogging MP, is now a whip himself (scroll down to bottom).

The preview of the Boris Johnson blog should be live on Monday. Some tweaking will be required once the domain is assigned (it’s an MT back-end thing) so perhaps Tuesday. Do hang in there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Photoshopping
Time
11:09
Did you catch Alastair Campbell on They Think It’s All Over last night?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
An American Election
Time
11:18
LNR – Cheney and Bush: using NLP to hoodwink America: Basically, in boiling down their message to this single point of fear, and constantly associating this fear with the flimsiness of the flip-flop, the Republicans are using simple Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques to baffle and control a nation. NLP is all about implanting ideas through suggestion, through patterns of speech – anchoring emotions and forcing thoughts. Bush and Cheney are not trying to reason with the electorate, they are programming them using fear, using keywords, repetition, reinforcement, and threats.

Funnily enough, I agree. From Bloggerheads Fri, August 06, 2004: Blair was very careful not to lie outright about the Iraq/terror connection (that didn’t exist), but he used the word ‘terror’ and Iraq’ or ‘terror’ and ‘Saddam’ or ‘terror’ and ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in the same sentence more times that I can count. This careful and deliberately proximal use of key phrases and concepts painted a false – and useful – picture.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Flash Games
Time
11:24
Save the kittens! (Link via The Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Bush: AWOL
Time
13:39
TANG Forgery Source Revealed!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
13:59
OK, now I’m angry… from today’s Independent (Pandora – not online, sorry): The race to succeed Peter Mandelson as the MP for Hartlepool later this month is turning into a dirty tricks campaign that would make even the Prince of Darkness blush. Labour’s first piece of election literature – to be formally released at the weekend – was printed yesterday, and duly leaked to Pandora. It is devoted to a character assassination of the Lib Dem candidate, Jody Dunn. Headlined “outrage at Lib Dem candidate’s insult to town”, the leaflet repeats an entry in Dunn’s internet diary in which she is supposedly rude about Hartlepool. Describing an afternoon campaigning with Simon Hughes, Dunn noted: “Everyone we met was either drunk, flanked by an angry dog, or undressed.” Labour now claims that “the Lib Dem from Darlington has insulted the people of Hartlepool”. Dunn, for her part, is livid at being targeted by a negative campaign. “This leaflet is sad and ridiculous. The weblog reflects what happens on the campaign trail”, said a spokesman yesterday.

You can see the relevant entry on Jody’s blog here.

This attempt to run a campaign on xenophobia alone is bad enough, but I find the exploitation of a weblog in this way to be particularly irksome.

I’m also not a big fan of the anonymous dipwits who are trying to overwhelm Jody’s blog in the comments. Who are probably the same people.

Here’s a lesson for you Jack: You cannot come charging in on someone’s personal webspace and/or into an online community and deliberately try to disrupt it, intimidate visitors, stifle discussion and spread discord – and then defend that with bleatings about your right to free speech.

I’ve been trying to stay out of Hartlepool, but I’m sorely tempted to get involved at this stage.

(Cheers to Peter for the heads-up.)

UPDATE – Meanwhile, Ros Taylor channels Comical Tommy – or does he?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
15:19
Scotsman – Lord Butler says weapons evidence ‘very thin’ : In his first public comments since publishing the results of his inquiry in July, Lord Butler said the weakness of a government dossier on the threat posed by Iraq had “come home to roost” as no such weapons had been found. Lord Butler told the House of Lords that he and his inquiry team had not doubted that Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, had acted in “good faith in concluding that Saddam Hussein had concealed stocks of chemical and biological weapons.” He pointed out that most other countries and Hans Blix, the former chief UN weapons inspector had shared that view…. “How grave a fault that was in the context of the lead up to the war is a matter on which people will and should reach their own conclusions,” Lord Butler added.

There you go. See? It’s up to us. Now if only we had a choice in the next general election, we could sort this out for ourselves…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Anyone But George
Time
16:37
“What if Bush wins?”

No, really. What if Bush wins?

Secret-service agents used to stop reporters talking to anti-Bush protestors

Bush Vs. Jesus

More on the Font Follies

Chew on some numbers.

And, just in case you missed it; someone, somewhere must ask George W. Bush this one simple question. Link, donate, and dare to dream.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040910
Only Interesting To Bloggers
Time
17:22
Uh-oh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040911
119 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
09:50
Happy anniversary.

Independent – We should not have allowed 19 murderers to change our world. (Requires subscription. Use BugMeNot or check out robert-fisk.com, where it should appear sooner or later.)

UPDATE – Yup, there you go.

Today, you should spare a thought for the victims. All of them.

By my reckoning, there’s about 90,000 dead (and a few million besides ‘merely’ suffering) because of the way this unique mix of tragedy and spectacle has been ruthlessly exploited by the Bush administration in the pursuit of power and profit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
The Bush Administration
Time
10:55
(deep breath)

OK, here we go…

UPDATE – This post now available on a permanent page for linkiness.

FACT: George W. Bush somehow jumped a 12-18 month waiting list to join the Air National Guard. This allowed him to avoid service in Vietnam.

By a month. Despite lower-than-average test results, Bush was somehow given priority over others and accepted into the Guard a month before he became eligible for the draft. The records (eventually) released by the White House clearly show they he opted out of service overseas. You don’t have to dig any further, or consider and more of the information below to conclude that George W. Bush did his best to avoid service in Vietnam. His best defence for this action is as follows:

“I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment, nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.” – President George W. Bush – 1990

Please note that in this quote he makes no excuses for wanting to avoid service in Vietnam.

FACT: George W. Bush cannot fully account for his time served following his transfer to Alabama.

Even when you ignore questions about why he was transferred, and that the only witness they could dig up ‘proving’ that he served didn’t actually see him do so, you are left with the following; despite this being a major issue and the armed forces having a fetish for record-keeping, no records have been produced that conclusively proved that he fulfilled his obligations.

FACT: George W. Bush never saw combat

Whether you accept the version that he was AWOL or that he was on approved leave, the fact remains that Bush was absent from his units in Alabama and Houston at precisely the same time these units were assigned active home-defence duty.

FACT: George W. Bush lied about seeing combat.

“I’ve been to war. I’ve raised twins. I’d rather go to war.” – President George W. Bush – 2002

‘Nuff said. (Oh, but there’s another lie about the amount of time he served here.)

FACT: The White House has – at the very least – been less than forthcoming with pertinent documents.

The White House has claimed to have released ‘all’ of the records relating to Bush’s military service. On the three occasions that they have released varying sets of records. That’s three times they’ve released ‘everything’, folks. This is suspicious on its own. Even more suspicious is their claim that the records that (theoretically) could prove Bush served his time in the Guard were ‘inadvertently’ destroyed.

FACT: The White House also released their own versions of the allegedly faked documents.

The documents that currently have interwebbers bickering about typefaces, proportional fonts and superscript do not prove any of the above. Nor does their being fake disprove any of the above. All they suggest is that Bush used his political influence (which was considerable even at that time) to dodge service and have the record “sugar coated” in order to hide this. That they were also released by the White House – without challenge – following their release by CBS suggests one of two things.

1. That they somehow knew the documents were fake, but wanted to see CBS discredited on this matter.

2. That they did not inspect challenge the documents because they considered their version of events to be entirely plausible.

The documents – even though they have yet to be conclusively debunked – are already being used as ‘proof’ that George W. Bush was not AWOL. It is already being asserted – without proof – that they originated from the Kerry camp. This particular aspect of one very big distraction is particularly telling because…

FACT: Republicans supported the Swift Boat attack on John Kerry.

Knowing full well how dodgy Bush’s service record was, the Republicans did not discourage the Swifites. Far from it. The Swift Boat Veterans for the ‘Truth’ were funded by high-level Republican donors and even enjoyed legal advice from a lawyer working for George W. Bush’s election campaign.

Media outlets that were friendly to the Bush administration helped to enhance their profile and sell their story. This story was based on a pack of lies and has been debunked on a number of fronts (as opposed to just one debunking – possibly – in the case of questions about George W. Bush’s military record), but the impression of doubt remains due to the way the story was sold by a willing media.

As incredible as it may seem, this system works.

John Kerry’s outstanding service record is a problem.

Solution: cast doubt, use media muscle.

George W. Bush’s less-than-exemplary service record is a problem.

Solution: cast doubt, use media muscle.

Take a close look at the outright lies used to distort some facts and the doubt used to cloud others, then consider the following….

Why is this important?

It shows George W. Bush was a liar, a cheat, a coward, a scoundrel, and a poor servant to the people of the United States.

It suggests heavily that George W. Bush is a liar, a cheat, a coward, a scoundrel, and a poor servant to the people of the United States.

Iraq, the economy, health, the environment, and the so-called War on Terror; all of these issues and more are presented by the Bush administration using the same outright lies, the same clouding and the same use of media muscle.

Even bigger lies – or concepts, if you will – (adjusts glasses, taps pipe) are used to hide these lies from their people…

Liberal Media – You may see some differing opinions in print, but rarely on television. And television is what counts. Yet we are assured that the liberal media is all-powerful, and hides a frightening agenda. The lie of the liberal media makes people afraid of biased influence, when in truth it is the accusers who show bias bordering on the criminal. Those who do not work to feed Bush’s lies directly to the public are actually crippled by this lie, for fear of being seen as biased. Please note the multi-faceted use of fear, when you also consider…

The War on Terror – If the war is against terror, why does the Bush administration use terror against its own people? Here comes another lie; those who question the War on Terror don’t believe in the terrorist threat or are on the terrorist’s side. Sometimes both. I’m here to tell you that the threat of terrorism is real, but the War on Terror is a lie. And George W. Bush is the living embodiment of this lie.

George W. Bush Will Protect You – No he won’t. It’s an illusion. A lie. George W. Bush himself is an illusion. He lives, breathes and survives on lies. He is the creation of a man that most Americans have never heard of and/or do not pay nearly enough attention to; Karl Rove.

You Cannot Trust Bush-Haters – My personal favourite. There are people who ‘hate’ Bush, and therefore lack perspective. They are not to be trusted, as they have an agenda. Their hate blinds them to the truth.

I’ve seen the truth, but it’s the lies that are blinding.

I refuse to be crippled by the claim that I am an unreasonable person guided by hate.

I refuse to accept the charge that I am putting people at greater risk by questioning the Bush administration.

I’m also realistic enough to know that the defeat of Bush is the just the start.

Even a complete unmasking and humiliation of this idiot will only serve to partially weaken the machine behind him. But that’s where the war against this machine starts.

Question what you see and hear, by all means – but don’t allow yourself to be distracted by a battle – a feint – over proportional fonts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
An American Election
Time
11:01
Running Scared – It’s Good to Be King: Because then, the rules don’t apply to you. Or at least it would seem so in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times reports that, against all probability, George W. Bush missed the filing deadline to get on the ballot in Florida. The deadline was Sept. 1, but because that’s when the RNC was, they didn’t file the papers until Sept. 2. This apparently won’t stop the GOP though, and the Democrats are already folding under.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
The Interweb
Time
11:02
Goatse appears on front cover of Time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:03
There you go… y’see? It was all a happy accident… oh, and somehow more defensible because they only authorised torture (lite) for one or two prisoners (who were no doubt really, really bad men) and this isn’t quite as bad as chopping someone’s head off….

MSNBC – Rumsfeld defends Pentagon in abuse scandal: Amid allegations he fostered a climate that led to the prison abuse scandal, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday that the military’s mistreatment of detainees was not as bad as what terrorists have done. “Does it rank up there with chopping someone’s head off on television?” he asked. “It doesn’t.” Rumsfeld acknowledged once again that he had approved harsher interrogation methods for suspects captured in the global war on terrorism, but said the rules were meant only for the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility for terrorist suspects and had nothing to do with Iraq, where the prison scandal first emerged.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
RWCs
Time
11:09
Swifties come right out and say it; they wanted to go public with “one version of the truth”….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
Guantanamo Bay
Time
11:11
Air Force Spy Trial to Proceed Despite Modified Evidence.

Keep up the facade, at all costs.

Guardian – Rumsfeld’s dirty war on terror: The CIA analyst had been sent there to find out what was going wrong. He was fluent in Arabic and familiar with the Islamic world. He was held in high respect within the agency, and was capable of reporting directly, if he chose, to George Tenet, the CIA director. The analyst did more than just visit and inspect. He interviewed at least 30 prisoners to find out who they were and how they ended up in Guantánamo. Some of his findings, he later confided to a former CIA colleague, were devastating.

(I’m amazed they’re not strapping the detainees to roofs as Hurricane Ivan passes over. That’d settle the question of guilt and the ‘their God, our God’ matter once and for all.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
RWCs
Time
11:19
Another poor soul, blinded by hate.

Evil Sheep also has some issues.

There’s only one language these people understand.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
South West Trains
Time
11:32
South West Trains have finally admitted that they can’t cope with passenger levels. A new timetable is on the way; prepare to suffer.

UPDATE – Same again from the BBC. This issue has a lot of people hitting the search engines; traffic on my South West Trains page is heavy. Almost (dare I say it) congested.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
George W. Bush
Time
11:38
Does he not know where his heart is, or is putting your hand over your liver an even greater sign of respect shown only by alcoholics?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
Sillyvision
Time
12:00
Happy Days To Return! Further proof (if you need it) that all is right with the world.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
Updates
Time
13:14
This morning’s post on the AWOL ‘forgeries’ now has its own page.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
13:29
Please ignore this. It can’t possibly be true, because these images are fake.

Independent – MoD faces more than 40 cases of abuse and killings in Iraq: British lawyers are now taking court action over more than 40 cases of alleged abuses and killings by British troops in Iraq – including fresh claims that unarmed civilians were murdered, tortured or recklessly shot.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
An American Election
Time
14:53
Bush visits Swift Boat donor. Thanks, buddy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
15:43
Washington Post – Key General Criticizes April Attack In Fallujah

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
The Bush Administration
Time
16:42
Guardian – Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con ‘crazies’ row: A furious row has broken out over claims in a new book by BBC broadcaster James Naughtie that US Secretary of State Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as ‘fucking crazies’ during the build-up to war in Iraq.

Boston.com – Powell targets terror comment: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday he believes Senator John F. Kerry would, if elected president, respond to terrorism “in a robust way,” challenging a comment made last week by Vice President Dick Cheney.

If Powell’s not careful, he’s going to miss out on his pardon…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040913
He Speaks French, You Know…
Time
17:00
Mr. Cheney, answer the question!: Dick Cheney and George Bush have tried to mislead the American people about a direct link between Iraq and September 11th. They are playing the politics of fear to cover up their failed policies on the economy and Iraq. Yesterday, Secretary Powell said he sees no direct link between Saddam Hussein and what happened on September 11th. Dick Cheney needs to answer the question: Who’s telling the truth – you or Colin Powell?

Moulton woman says she lost job for sporting Kerry sticker on car.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Bush: AWOL
Time
09:55
Blogdex is today saturated with links to articles or posts from right-wing bloggers who are either backslapping each other for the ‘good’ they’ve done and the credit they’ve received for it, bitching about the media not crediting them (and/or (*gasp*) denigrating them as “right-wing nuts”), or desperately trying to track down the source – all the while operating with a blind spot that means they won’t even consider Karl Rove as a suspect.

For the record: I don’t care if they’re bloggers or journalists or both. The primary sources are ultra-right-wing and cannot be trusted to carry out anything close to an independent investigation. Not that this is what is going on here. What we’re really looking at is one big cloud of smoke.

Here’s a bunch of links; mainly collected here for my reference. At the top is the only link worthy of headline inclusion, because this headline Says. It. All.

Memos debate eclipses content

http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110005611

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/13/opinion/13safire.html

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/007814.php

http://wizbangblog.com/archives/003652.php

http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007454.php

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2004/09/some_credential.html

http://instapundit.com/archives/017736.php

And now, a quick word from the ultra-left:

Take names – the memos are not forgeries: Now, I think it’s time for us to take names. Hold the people that are pushing this dishonest diatribe accountable. Not just the bloggers and Drudge, but also those within the mainstream media who chose to run with the forgery angle before all of the facts were in.

(Thread also contains the following true – if rather defeatist – statement: “the Bush corporate media has done its job and the word FORGERY is firmly planted in the minds of the sheep”)

The final word I leave to Counterspin Central: The next phase of “Memogate” will be to pin it all on the Democrats, particularly on John Kerry. (In fact, it’s already started.) If you want to know why this issue matters, and why you have to keep e-mailing all the stories that debunk the “forgery” theory to your local press with angry defiance, that’s it. Remember, whether the memos themselves were typed versions of Killian’s own handwritten notes, or forgeries, is irrelevant. (Worth reading in full, this one. Click and consider.)

UPDATE – An excellent and detailed overview of the ‘forgery’ sideshow from Ornicus: Rather hilariously, all of these critics are doing themselves exactly what they’re accusing CBS of doing: Running with “facts” and “analysis” that are materially false and ultimately bogus, and rushing them out without double-checking them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Flash Games
Time
09:57
Play all the Yeti games in one amazing round of snowbound sports; it’s the Ylympics!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
RWCs
Time
09:58
A nifty link from Shane (who has also given me some thoughts to ponder): Who in your family or community has donated to Kerry or Bush?

Should keep the violence ticking over. Let me know how you get on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely! It’s Over!
Time
10:06
Newsweek – It’s Worse Than You Think: As Americans debate Vietnam, the U.S. death toll tops 1,000 in Iraq. And the insurgents are still getting stronger

Time – Mission Still Not Accomplished: The Bush Administration would prefer to avoid any bloody showdowns until after the U.S. presidential election in November, but it faces hard decisions now. The crisis on the ground imperils prospects for Iraq’s national elections in January, the results of which could determine how quickly the U.S. can draw down its troop levels. For a legitimate vote to go forward, U.S. and Iraqi forces must soon wrest back control of the country. But there are no easy ways to do that.

Back To Iraq – It’s Worse Than You Think… :And in the midst of all this violence, most of the Iraqi Interim Government is out of town. Security Advisors, heads of important ministries and the chief of the new Mukhabarat are all mysteriously absent. The Iraqi security forces are a joke, with the much talked about Fallujah Brigade disbanded for being feckless and – worse – riddled with insurgents who were being paid and trained by the U.S. Marines. Thousands of Iraqis are desperate to get a new passport and flee the country. These are often the most educated Iraqis – the have the money to get new passports and travel – so the brain-drain will accelerate. The poor and the disenfranchised are finding their leaders in the populist and fundamentalist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr or in the radical Islam of the jihadis, who are casting a long shadow on this formerly secular country. Iraq has its own home-grown Wahhabists now, something it didn’t have 18 months ago. In the context of all this, reporting on a half-assed refurbished school or two seems a bit childish and naive, the equivalent of telling a happy story to comfort a scared child. Anyone who asks me to tell the “real” story of Iraq – implying all the bad things are just media hype – should refer to this post. I just told you the real story: What was once a hell wrought by Saddam is now one of America’s making.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
In The News
Time
10:27
Fathers 4 Justice have struck again, with nationwide television coverage last night and the front page of every newspaper this morning:

The only problem? Apart from the occasional paragraph, and maybe this BBC piece, coverage is limited almost entirely to the security implications. The same result they got from their Commons protest.

One of the main problems is those damn costumes.

The thing about comic books is that the artists don’t have to deal with things like the reality of sagging spandex. Even when huge budgets are thrown and creating ‘real’ versions of those costumes for movies, mileage can vary. (Take a look at the closing scene of Batman Forever. Batman and Robin run toward the camera in slow motion, dramatically backlit and shrouded in mist. But the whole illusion is shattered by Batman’s rubber ears bouncing around like a pair of rubber penises.)

If you’ve ever dressed up in one of these costumes for any period of time (or seen anyone dressed up in one of these costumes for any period of time) you will know that even the ones with enhanced muscle tone do very little to sell a convincing illusion. You don’t end up looking like a superhero; you end up looking like a goofball in a costume.

That’s one of the main reasons why the media aren’t grabbing onto the responsible-but-hard-done-by father angle. This story is over the moment one of these guys is pictured atop any structure in tights. Because they look like an irresponsible goofball in a costume.

(The other reason is that the media simply don’t like attention seekers. Particularly successful ones. Dammit, they worked hard to get where they are and they’ll be damned if they’re going to give a voice to a jumped up, self-styled…)

Another thing I noted from the BBC coverage is that they really seem whipped these days. Not only did the Very Real Threat of Terrorism get woven in throughout the story, the BBC also noted how reasonable the police were being by giving the intruder glasses of water.

Clue-by-Four: The police kept giving him water because they knew that sooner or later he would have to expel the excess fluid.

*sigh*

But I will close by saying something about security issues, myself:

Fathers 4 Justice do have something in common with terrorists, in that very few people are asking why they do what they do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:28
Gnnnnnnnnn*

Shouting about it isn’t going to do any good; it just has to be dealt with.

There will be no preview of Boris today. The domain thing has proved to be a more complicated issue than it first appeared. Even if I can (finally) get people moving on it today – which I probably can’t – it won’t propagate through the system until well into tomorrow.

Still, that does mean that during the education process tomorrow we can post anything we like, as the blog is still only visible in the temporary staging area.

So that’s a lemon for you, some slightly tart lemonade for me. Sorry about that.

UPDATE – If you wish to keep yourself busy, drop by and say hello to Jody Dunn. Sensible people are finally starting to outnumber the shouty Labour flunkies (who actually appear to be one person operating out of his – possibly taxpayer funded – webshed).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Photoshopping
Time
10:36
A Batman bandwagon is already rolling on the B3ta messageboard. It may prove distracting.

UPDATE – Couldn’t help it. Sorry. (Posted to B3ta.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Consume!
Time
10:38
What a great vehicle. It not only chews through the gas, it gives you no choice but to drive and park like a selfish bastard.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
The War on Stupid
Time
11:52
Putin exploits terrorism threat in grab for power. Sound familiar?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Music
Time
14:04
Go, Mrs Miller, GO! (Poke around Frank’s Vinyl Museum as much as you please, but do *not* leave Mrs Miller’s page without checking out Downtown.)

UPDATE – I know it requires ReallyCrapPlayer, but some things transcend personal format issues. (Oh, do take the time to discover The Beatle Barkers, too.)

UPDATE 2 – I’m spoiling you today. Here’s a bunch of classic TV theme tunes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Activism
Time
15:36
Brian Haw to appear before magistrates today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
An American Election
Time
16:45
Houston Chronicle – Guns for votes: It’s truly a dark day: White House watches law sunset and waits for endorsement of NRA.

New York Times – Kerry Faults Bush for Failing to Press Weapons Ban: Mr. Bush said during the 2000 campaign that he supported the ban on 19 types of semiautomatic weapons passed in 1994, and he has repeatedly pledged to sign an extension if it reaches his desk. But the National Rifle Association – which backs his re-election – was eager to let the ban lapse, and Mr. Bush did nothing to push Republican leaders in Congress on the issue.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Christianity Watch
Time
16:59
Hooray! The pill is a ‘chemical abortion’! (The first person to use the word ‘pre-emptive’ gets a slap.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
South West Trains
Time
17:06
ITV – South West Trains’ drivers to strike: The union said the dispute flared over the attempted imposition of new working rotas without agreement.

It doesn’t say that this has anything to do with the new magic timetables, but you can bet that it does.

Cheers to BigDaddyMerk for the heads-up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Tony ‘King Blair
Time
17:12
Tony Blair draws another line under Iraq and suck up to the unions at the same time: “Even if I’ve never been away, it’s time to show I’m back.”

Pfft!

(I leave any further comment to Perfect.co.uk)

UPDATE – No I don’t. Please note how gracefully he refuses to apologise for Iraq and links it to 911. Again. Full text of his speech (minus the uncomfortable silences) here.

Balders is sure to have something to say about this sooner or later. Keep an eye out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
The End of Democracy
Time
17:18
One for Simon, because he once asked for details that I was unable to give at the time…

The Raw Story – Instant election replay: Suppressing minority voters: In 2000 , an estimated four million Americans were disenfranchised. Those citizens were disproportionately impoverished or from minority racial groups. An improperly conducted purge of voter rolls in Florida caused thousands of legal voters to be turned away at the polls. Police officers set up checkpoints near polling places, stopped African-American drivers, and forced them to step out of the vehicle and show I.D. Non-English speaking and handicapped voters were denied assistance in filling out their ballots. First-time Haitian American voters were denied the right to place their vote. Minority voters were told that they could not vote without photo I.D. in violation of the law. These and many other illegal and unethical acts, particularly in the state of Florida, changed the results of the presidential election and the course of our nation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
20:10
Guardian – “He’s just sleeping, I kept telling myself”: On Sunday, 13 Iraqis were killed and dozens injured in Baghdad when US helicopters fired on a crowd of unarmed civilians. G2 columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who was injured in the attack, describes the scene of carnage – and reveals just how lucky he was to walk away.

WARNING – This is a disturbing account, complete with a disturbing image. In other words, you won’t be able to draw a line under it in a hurry.

More here at Metafilter and a detailed report here. (But remember, if you read these and look at the pictures or videos linked therein, you’re only helping the terrorists.)

Independent – US missile attack kills 13 civilians in Iraq: “The helicopter fired on the Bradley to destroy it after it had been hit earlier and it was on fire,” said Major Phil Smith of the 1st Cavalry Division. “It was for the safety of the people around it.”…. The US military said that a Kiowa, a light reconnaissance and attack helicopter, fired rockets at the Bradley to destroy weapons and ammunition on board. But it is evident from the al-Arabiya video that the rockets landed among people standing or walking far away from the Bradley.

PS – It’s 12 points for an ambulance. Can you say “Whoa, Dude!”?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
Updates
Time
20:13
A bit of general housekeeping and the shift of Washington Monthly to the nav-bar. As part of the update, the nav-bar link to Europhobia is now site-wide.

I’ve provided some extra bloggage this afternoon and evening because there probably won’t be much tomorrow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040914
SEO
Time
21:37
Page 3 – Model Propaganda is now getting a bunch of quality search results for everything from ‘page 3′ (UK only) through to ‘page 3 girls’ to ‘sun page 3′ (internationally)… and the more you link to it, the better these results get. Cheers all.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

16-31 August, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
In The News
Time
11:09
Barring general fuck-ups, the rule is as follows:

If you have a well-kept secret, it won’t hit the news unless someone in your inner circle breaks rank.

If you have an ‘open secret’ that’s pretty much common knowledge, it won’t hit the news unless a newspaper journalist/editor/owner breaks rank.

So the Blunkett Has Affair With Married Woman story is a very curious beastie indeed.

My first thought when the news hit BBC radio on Saturday afternoon (but wasn’t repeated for the rest of the day, mind) was that Blunkett had finally gone too far for someone’s taste and the knives were out.

The next day, the only newspaper to give it serious coverage was the Murdoch newspaper (curiouser and curiouser) News of the World.

News Of The World – They’re both madly in love: Cabinet Minister David Blunkett and his secret married lover met on Wednesday of this week as their three-year affair reached crisis point. Since they were introduced in 2001, the woman —who is in her 40s and has one child—has been the great, passionate love of his life. They meet discreetly in London and, during his rare breaks from a huge workload as Home Secretary, have found time for romantic getaways at his Derbyshire cottage. But she has a family to care for and divorced Mr Blunkett, who famously reads his papers in Braille after he was born blind, is committed to long hours at his job.

And so it goes on. Apart from one or two rather detached references to the as-yet-unnamed husband, the story focuses almost entirely on a true love that will not be denied. There are further references to how hard Mr Blunkett works, the couple’s “huge reservoir of love and affection,” how Mr Blunkett “has fought adversity all his life” and the huge challenges the couple have had to face especially when you consider how hard Mr Blunkett works.

An associated editorial entitled ‘A very human face of power’ assures us that “the Home Secretary’s love affair with a married woman cannot be condoned – but neither is it a matter for resignation.” It goes on to describe David Blunkett as a “human and vulnerable figure.”

Were the story ‘in the open’ and covered by every other newspaper, you could easily classify this beyond-soft coverage as damage control – but there was barely a mention in any other newspaper. Yesterday or today.

So was this a spectacular own-goal… or something else?

Most of today’s coverage reports on the NOTW report and throws in reactions from Blunkett and Blair. We’ll take a look at those in a moment. First of all, you may want to take a quick peak at the only (minor) expansion of the story outside of the Murdoch group, which appears to be suggesting that this was very close to an ‘open secret,’ and/or that the “human and vulnerable” Blunkett is actually about to have a serious breakdown…

The Mirror – Blunkett’s Secret Love: Friends believe the strain on the Home Secretary over his three-year relationship with a married mother in her 40s is beginning to tell. Mr Blunkett’s “irritable and tetchy” moods have alarmed party colleagues for nearly two years. They talk of him “hitting the roof” at the slightest problem. And they worry that he is not recovering properly from a serious operation 20 months ago. One said: “It would make sense that he was also struggling to cope with a very intense but problematic relationship at the same time. “Goodness knows, that is difficult enough for the ordinary man or woman in the street but if you are a public figure and you are trying to keep things private it must impose the most awful strain.”

This article closes (after many a statement from unnamed friends) with a quote from Mr Blunkett that says: “Anyone purporting to speak about my private life does so without knowledge or authority.”

You can read more of that statement here, but you certainly won’t read that snippet about people speaking about this private life “without knowledge or authority” in today’s Scum (scroll down to the bottom of the article linked below and note what parts of this statement they do and don’t use just before we move on).

The Sun – I told him I was tall and blonde: One insider said: “The future of the relationship is unresolved. They are torn. It’s a far from perfect situation but there’s a deep love. They’re finding it terribly hard to deal with. Neither of them knows what the future will hold. It’s actually a very, very sad situation for all concerned. The relationship isn’t going any further forward — but neither is it over. Like any affair it’s an extremely complicated situation. Other people’s lives are affected”…. Another source said: “The meetings have always been at his place, normally in London and very occasionally, Derbyshire. He has one of the busiest diaries in Government but when time allows there are romantic moments. None of this rests easily with David. He has a deep conscience. But this is no casual fling. He’s totally in love with her.”

There it is again…

A deep and profound love. Two people, struggling against hardship. One of them a hard-working civil servant (and, just in case you’re in any doubt, Blunkett’s picture caption mixes his hardships and his hardworkliness; “Dedicated … hard-working Home Secretary Mr Blunkett with guide dog Sadie”). The only difference is that this time the husband is not mentioned at all.

This story is coming from the Murdoch group, but it’s more than soft. In fact, it’s beyond fawning.

At this stage, you may wish to cast your mind back a week or so and consider these thoughts on painted pictures.

While we’re in the past, let’s also consider that last week was a very bad one for Blunkett, what with us finding out that evidence obtained under torture is admissible in our courts and Blunkett’s none-too-popular proposals that including making every offence and arrestable one.

And, if you search for news relating to Mr Blunkett in a real newspaper today, you’ll find (still) no mention of the affair, but heavy focus on the following…

UK ‘sleepwalking into Stasi state’

BBC – Watchdog attacks ID card scheme

But both of these originate from a story in The Times – yet another Murdoch newspaper.

Times – Beware rise of Big Brother state, warns data watchdog

If your head is starting to hurt, soothe it with the knowledge that the report would be public knowledge anyway, but for reasons that have yet to become clear, this dog chose to drop the stick in front of The Times first.

But the affair… ah, yes, the tragic tale of true love beset by hardship… was this also about to come out? Had someone threatened to blow the whistle?

Perhaps the as-yet-to-be-mentioned-beyond-the-abstract husband was foolish enough to signal his intentions. We shall see.

However, unless something like this turns up, we’re left with a rather uncomfortable possibility… that this is some kind of bizarre self-outing. A David Mellor moment – but instead of a family portrait by the gate, David Blunkett and his mistress are the photo opportunity. And the purpose of it all is to convince us that David Blunkett is human.

UPDATE – Pondlife – How blind is love? Oh, and did you notice that I got through all of the above without a single cheap shot about privacy issues…? No, I didn’t think so. All that effort and nobody cares… mutter, grumble… Oh well. Speaking of cheap shots….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:30
Inside Al-Qaeda’s Hard Drive! Sorry, no porn.

We The Media – O’Reilly’s blog begins to take shape.

Electoral Vote Predictor 2004: Kerry 327 Bush 211 – hope springs eternal.

John Perry Barlow 2.0 – The Thomas Jefferson of cyberspace reinvents his body — and his politics: We have to re-engage in the political process we have. Democracy actually works. You could make the argument that it’s working too well in America — people are really getting exactly the government that they want. That is to say, the people who bother to engage themselves in the really tedious work of being a political activist — having meetings in church basements and putting signs on people’s lawns. I have grave misgivings about John Kerry, but I certainly don’t have misgivings about Kerry that equal the terror I have about another four years of Bush. What he’s done to aspects of the Constitution that are there to assure individual rights is breathtakingly bad.

I wouldn’t describe them as grave, but I also have some misgivings about Kerry. A fair amount of indifference sometimes, too. In fact, his value to me can be summed up in one simple picture.

Call it simplistic if you like, but I prefer mild concern to abject horror.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
Inneresting
Time
11:54
I just checked out the claim by The Scum that; “Kimberly (Fortier) sat next to Mr Blunkett… at a Buckingham Palace state banquet for President Bush in November 2003.”

A look at the seating plan for the banquet not only confirms this… it also shows that Charles Kennedy was seated directly opposite Karl Rove of all people.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
Activism
Time
12:04
Guardian/Observer – New York ready to unleash fury on Republicans : (Anti-Republican protestors) run a ‘snitch line’ where people involved in the convention can leak details of events and where delegates have been staying. The protesters are widely believed to have infiltrated several people into working at the convention who will smuggle information out. Moran’s plan is to send out teams of activists to disrupt as many events as possible.

Heh. Ring any bells?

UPDATE – The site mentioned in this article can be found at rncnotwelcome.org – good luck to everybody dodging the Permit Police.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:12
1 – The background thing I was working on? Didn’t work out. I’ll give more details (but not too many) later.

2 – Please welcome the proxy-blog for Gordon Brown!

3 – The next Tory target for the ‘free MT weblog with the works’ offer is going to be… Boris Johnson. I need to dig through some scraps of info that have already been coming in about this later today. Fun should begin tomorrow. Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
Photoshopping
Time
17:09
“Romeo, Romeo! Oh, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

(Couldn’t be helped. Posted to B3ta.)

Also, some cutting satire for you and a short-but-sweet news update…

PA News – ‘Blunkett Affair’ Woman Appeals to Media (I bet she does, I bet she *does*): In a brief statement, issued through her solicitors, she warned that she “will not hesitate to take action in respect of intrusive media coverage of her private life”.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040816
The War on Stupid
Time
17:48
Michael Howard evicted from Tory House of Turmoil! (This includes what may very well be the best political photoshop ever.)

It’s rather convenient, then, that the far superior and more enlightened version of Tories in Turmoil offers you a chance to pick his replacement. (Actually, it’s nothing to do with covenience. Or coincidence. It’s just genius at work, is all.)

Go visit (and pretend that your vote actually counts for something).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
In The News
Time
08:06
Telegraph – Blunkett ‘affair’ woman threatens to take legal action: The woman who is alleged to be having an affair with David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, threatened yesterday to take legal action against newspapers which intruded into her privacy.

Yes, well… best of luck with all of that…

From Bloggerheads Mon, August 16, 2004: But the affair… ah, yes, the tragic tale of true love beset by hardship… was this also about to come out? Had someone threatened to blow the whistle? Perhaps the as-yet-to-be-mentioned-beyond-the-abstract husband was foolish enough to signal his intentions. We shall see. However, unless something like this turns up, we’re left with a rather uncomfortable possibility… that this is some kind of bizarre self-outing. A David Mellor moment – but instead of a family portrait by the gate, David Blunkett and his mistress are the photo opportunity. And the purpose of it all is to convince us that David Blunkett is human.

Hmm, this’d probably do it….



The Sun – Blunkett lover in baby turmoil: David Blunkett’s secret lover is five months pregnant, according to friends. Married Kimberly Fortier, 43, has been telling pals for weeks about the unplanned baby. American Kimberly is due to give birth at the end of the year. Friends say she is now in an “emotional state”. It is not known whether she will stay with husband Stephen Quinn, 60, or devote herself to the 57-year-old Home Secretary.

Assuming it’s all true, of course.

Let’s play Spot The Denial: Last night a Downing Street spokeswoman refused to discuss news of the pregnancy. She insisted: “This is a private matter. We have nothing to add.” But it was reported that Mr Blunkett would “stand by” Kimberly. He has told aides he feels confused after his secret relationship has become public.

Nope, can’t see a denial in there – but that last bit is amusing. Perhaps the confusion stems from a formerly-held conviction that they controlled Murdoch and not the other way around. Perhaps not. A look at the Sun’s editorial today takes us to interesting places. Just give me mo and we’ll return to that. After this…

Yesterday The Mirror parroted most of the Sun/NOTW material, but didn’t have anything new to add apart from this hard-hitting investigation into Blunkett’s first kiss. Today, they appear to be credited with the pregnancy revelation. This is backed by Sky, but the online chappies are a bit slack with the updates. I’ll bring you the link when she goes live.

UPDATE – Yup, here it is. Times two…

Mirror – Blunkett’s Lover Pregnant: Mr Blunkett suspects news of the affair was leaked by an enemy within the Labour party. He is said to be “bewildered” as to how it got out.

If it was leaked by an enemy, how come everybody who has been talking to the newspapers is described as a ‘friend’…? Oh well, no matter. Let’s hear from some more of them and hope some sense will come of it…

Mirror – Home Secretary’s Agony: I Will Stand By Her: Home Secretary David Blunkett will put his career on the line to stay with pregnant lover Kimberly Fortier, friends said last night. The 57-year-old pledged to stand by the American, despite the damage an affair with a married woman could have on his political future. One source said: “He’s so deeply in love that he wants nothing to come between him and Kimberly, even a child.”

And so on and so forth, until we get to this wonderful passage: He has always had a reputation in Whitehall as a workaholic but one insider said: “It is as if he feels there is not much time left in his job and he is rushing to get everything done. It’s very hyper.”

There you go, folks – that’s it in a nutshell. Blunkett has been working to crush civil liberties with all speed so he can get the nursery done in time. Or something.

Back to that Sun editorial, because what really piqued my interest in the Sun/NOTW reportage was how heavily they laid on the ‘hardworking yet vulnerable human being who has struggled through adversity’ muck, especially considering all the inhuman and inhumane stuff Blunkett has been tolerating, proposing and accepting lately.

(Yes folks, we’re straying away from gossip and towards actual news!)

Scotsman – Increase in state databases ‘a threat to civil liberties’: Hazel Blears, a Home Office minister, who yesterday revealed plans for the systematic tracking of the children of criminals in England and Wales, rejected criticism of the government’s approach. “What we are trying to do is put in place some very practical measures to make sure that we have got identity cards so that people are using the right identity. “We know that there are some pretty serious and organised criminals out there who use false identities to traffic people, to launder money, to do drug smuggling,” she said on Sky News.

Take a look at the government line and which broadcaster is helping to feed it to the public. Then take a look at today’s editorial in The Sun (quoted in full below):

The age of the real Big Brother (NOT the TV series) is arriving later than George Orwell envisaged. But there is no stopping it now. In his novel 1984 Orwell predicted an all-powerful snooper state which knew everything about everyone. Soon a mass of cross-checking databases and ID cards will give the Government and big business details about us all. But it is not all bad news. The tax-dodgers will be exposed. The money launderers nailed. Uninsured drivers tracked down. And illegal immigrants exposed. The advance of information technology cannot be turned back. But we’re still an open democracy. And it is up to all of us to make sure we watch the snoopers … just like they are watching us. You can be sure The Sun will be on guard.

NOT the TV series. Glad they cleared that up before telling me I had nothing to fear. Otherwise I may have ended up not-fearing Endemol or something.

Anyway, it’s all being done for a jolly good reason. Page 3 girl Melanie (22, from Watford) even pre-empted this assurance by saying yesterday that she wanted the government to get tough on benefits cheats. She said: “I am staggered how they are ripping off the country. The government should come down very hard on anyone making fraudulent claims.”

So, what are we left after all of that?

Blunkett – Going through some difficulty, but he’s a jolly good chap who struggles through adversity. He’s also hard-working and vulnerable. But virile, byt the looks of things. Did we wention that he had struggled through adversity?

ID cards and Information Databases – Bit scary, but needed to target dole-cheating scum. Besides, that nice Mr Blunkett is in charge. It’s a tough job, but if anyone can struggle through adversity…

The Sun – There to protect us should the government ever step out of line. As it has always done in the past.

UPDATE – Anthony Wells digs up two early media references to Blunkett and Fortier.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
The End of Democracy
Time
08:12
Washington Post – Chavez Defeats Recall Attempt: Leaders of the coalition against Chavez, who has governed the country since 1999, summoned followers to the streets to protest what they said was vote fraud. But former president Jimmy Carter and a team of international monitors said the voting appeared fair and accurate.

LNR – Pity Venezuela: if Chavez had to pick a private company, why was it SmartMatic?: Any politician worth their salt now knows it’s probably worth a punt to say that an electronic election went wrong somehow. And when they do, we need an answer. This won’t come if you use private companies, whose technology will be a commercial secret. It’s especially iffy when the company is a donor to one or more political parties, as we’ve seen in America.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
Weblog Marketing
Time
08:17
This all seems desperately familiar….

New York Times – Warner’s Tryst With Bloggers Hits Sour Note: But as is sometimes the case when marketers try to insinuate themselves into online communities, the company’s approach did not go as planned. Warner – which was part of the Time Warner media empire until February, when it was sold to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. – ran into a culture clash with the small world of MP3 blogs, annoying some of the very people it wanted to win over, especially after one or more people at Warner apparently posted anonymous messages to make it appear that ordinary music fans were defending the label.

Be honest. Be transparent. Have something to offer. Or don’t bother. It really is as simple as that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
08:23
Top link today is this ‘next blog’ link – a new web-ring-thingie feature from Blogger that has link-magically also given participants a rare (if randomised) shot at the top spot on Blogdex.

Then it’s Kerry-probing, Conservative-bashing, more Kerry-probing… Ah, here we go – this is almost enough to make me care about sport…

1 – Free tickets on offer to stop near-empty stadiums being shown on television

2 – Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher’s guts

Also, there’s the Moonie Times refusing to give up on those WMDs and yet more good nes on the democracy front…

New York Times – Suppress the Vote?: State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd “investigation” that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.

Investigating voter fraud in order to commit electoral fraud? Only Bush would be so bold. (Or am I thinking of Darth Vader…?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
The War on Stupid
Time
08:51
Pandagon – Annie’s Got A Gun: Annie Jacobsen, discredited paranoid and the white woman who actually made herself seem like more of a terrorist than the 14 Arabic men she says were acting suspiciously, is back, desperately trying to prove her point. She interviews Billie Jo Rodriguez, apparently also a passenger on the flight, and the results are hilarious.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh FFS…
Time
08:53
Independent – Blair faces Labour conference walkout over invitation to Iraqi Prime Minister: Tony Blair was warned by a member of Labour’s ruling national executive he would face a walkout protest if he goes ahead with plans to invite Iyad Allawi, the leader of the interim Iraqi government, to the Labour Party conference.

Meanwhile…

Independent – Najaf, city of defiance

Back to Iraq 3.0 – A Chat with Iyad Allawi

Oh, and Bush is finally bringing some troops home… from Europe and Asia. Ah, what’s the diff? Troops is troops.

Did anybody else watch this election/policy speech? He damn near took credit for winning WWII, the Korean War, and the Cold War.

He also kept the Iraq/terror/911 link/lie ticking over: “Before September the 11th, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America. He was defying the world, firing weapons at American pilots who were enforcing the world’s sanctions. He had pursued and he had used weapons of mass destruction. He had harbored terrorists; he invaded his neighbors; and he subsidized the families of suicide bombers. He murdered tens of thousands of his own citizens. He was a source of great instability in the world’s most volatile region. He was a threat.”

But what was most interesting was what he said just before this…

“Today, because America and our allies have sent a strong and easy to understand message — (laughter) — the leader of Libya has abandoned his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and America and the world are safer.” – George W. Bush, August 16, 2004

Gadaffi spies gave ‘terror cash’ out in Britain *during* peace talks with Blair – Guardian, August 15, 2004

State Department retracts terrorism assertion – Corrected report to show ‘sharp increase’ – CNN, June 10, 2004

I know, I know – he doesn’t read the papers. Still, you’d think his scriptwriter would pick up a clue or two…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:52
OK, same deal as before. There’s a full MT weblog up for grabs (with free installation, design and consultation) if the right Tory MP chooses to reach out and grab it. This week’s target is Boris Johnson – but we’re going to try a slightly different tack with Boris, for a number of reasons:

A – Boris is a busy man

B – Boris has been known to get flustered when put on the spot

C – Boris is also caught up in this whole Blunkett/Fortier affair

So dropping a bunch of ‘hassle’ emails on the man is unlikely to do any good. Especially this week. We also have to consider the rather short reply from his staff, received by Shane McCracken following this email, which was sent to all the MPs who had proxy blogs in early August…

I am sure you are aware of the weblog that has been set up for you at the address below:

http://www.wibbler.com/boriswatch/

I have a strong interest in democracy and in particular e-Democracy and I was very interested to know your views on the site and what if any plans you had regarding it. I was hoping you could answer the following questions that have also been put to the other seven MPs who similarly have “proxy” weblogs.

1. Were you aware of the site before this email?

2. Were you aware of the concept of weblogs or blogs before the site had been set up for you?

3. Do you have any immediate plans (within the next 3 months) to set up your own weblog?

4. Would you consider asking the author to close down the site?

5. Do you feel the benefits of the weblog (transparency of your policies, feedback from constituents, unmediated communication) would make it worthwhile your time writing one (15 minutes per day on average)?

I hope you can help on this short informal piece of research.

And here’s the reply…

We are setting up our own site for Boris

Melissa Crawshay-Williams

Boris Johnson’s Office

So, here’s what I’d like you to do…

(SNIP)

UPDATE – Stand down! Stand down! I’ve been in touch about this and Melissa is keen. Boris is (reportedly) keen. Hosting issues are being discussed. This looks very, very promising….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
Useful
Time
11:06
Gray’s Anatomy – browsable by thumbnail. If you want to save time, most of the rude pictures are here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040817
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:17
Cheers to Anthony for yet another dynamite heads-up today…

Take a look at the poll they’ve got running on the front page of Conservatives.com:

Poll: What would you most like to see from conservatives.com in the future?

- more local news

- new video content

- extra news from Parliament

- blogging

- more campaign support

We’re finally getting through. Now they (almost) know that they want it. But do they know what it is?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
In The News
Time
09:42
Finally, someone spares a thought for the husband! According to The Sun he was delighted to discover his partner had become pregnant. But somehow they neglected to put the emphasis on was

The Sun – Blunkett rival ‘over moon’: The husband of David Blunkett’s lover told friends of his delight when he found she was pregnant, it emerged last night. The Sun revealed how American Kimberly Fortier, 43, has been having a three-year affair with the Home Secretary. But news she is five months pregnant has thrown their relationship into turmoil. Her husband Stephen Quinn, 60, spoke to pals about the baby before the affair became publicly known. A former colleague of Mr Quinn said: “Stephen told lots of people that Kimberly was expecting another baby and he was naturally thrilled. He was over the moon that she managed to get pregnant again.”

What I love about this – what really, really pumps my nads – is that this story is (supposedly) about the husband, but The Sun seems more concerned with the effect the baby is going to have on the relationship between Ms Fortier and our beloved Home Secretary. They don’t even speculate on what the husband’s (ahem) revised opinion might be.

Speaking of opinions, let’s take a quick detour through some thoughts from the now-emerging columnists…

Sympathy vote for ‘so-in-love’ Blunkett on adultery policy – where the writer in confused about a general lack of frothing at the mouth from the champions of family values. Oh, and a final thought is spared for the husband and child.

Double standards? – where the ‘If he were a Tory…’ point is raised and it is pointed out that; “if someone proves themselves to be incapable of resistance and capable of deceiving some poor husband for three years, it does show something about their character.”

And now, back to the meat…

So far, it’s all sources, pals, friends, close aides and insiders. The only statements we can put a name to have come from Kimberley Fortier and David Blunkett. It’s Mr Blunkett’s that I want to take a closer look a right now, because it make a clear reference to all of those pals, friends, close aides and insiders:

“Anyone purporting to speak about my private life does so without knowledge or authority.” – David Blunkett (from a statement released on Sunday).

But the story was broken – in the most forgiving and fawning way possible – by News of The World, a known ally of (and unofficial distributor of information for) Downing St. This established a very forgiving tone that has held quite well to date.

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. So if we return to his quote with this in mind, it has a certain smack of denial about it….

“Anyone purporting to speak about my private life does so without knowledge or authority”….. really. For True.

And now, a quick word from someone purporting to speak about his professional life…

“( A source/friend said that) Mr Blunkett suspects news of the affair was leaked by an enemy within the Labour party. He is said to be “bewildered” as to how it got out.” – Mirror, Aug 17

Please pardon me for treading over old ground again. I am going somewhere with this. In fact, this time I’ve added some extra italics to help you along…

But the story was broken – in the most forgiving and fawning way possible – by News of The World, a known ally of (and unofficial distributor of information for) Downing St

Theory Two – The small matter of pregnancy made this long-standing affair impossible to hide, so the story is being deliberately leaked and managed by Downing Street, without David Blunkett’s full knowledge and authority.

Perhaps it’s even a little bit of One and Two (i.e. Blunkett is reluctantly being compelled by Downing St to run with the spin – as opposed to thinking with his penis).

The only other explanation that remains at this stage is that the editor of News of the World and/or Rupert Murdoch decided that the scoop was too good to ignore, but they should go really, really easy on poor old Mr Blunkett, who only committed the sin of following his heart. And destroying a marriage. And compromising his integrity. And allowing his personal life to interfere with his work.

UPDATE – Then again, perhaps this is why most media-peeps are going so easy on Mr Blunkett… but Vijay Dutt is in for a surprise if he thinks this latest affair has involved anything close to typical tabloid behaviour.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Normal People
Time
09:48
Meet the people of Malmesbury. I trekked as far as Belinda Sherwood & the Sherston Girls, but went no further. Perhaps your courage will be greater.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Flash Games
Time
09:53
Simple things please even those of us who are out of our tiny minds. (Link via FunJUnkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Diversions
Time
09:55
Tiscali takes a look at some odd and unusual road signs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
The Grand & Dirty Game
Time
09:57
Some Hartlepool links for you:

- Tories seem to give up without a fight in Mandelson by-election

- Swivel-Eyed Loon Update

- A special ‘focus on’ page from The Guardian

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:03
Hmmm, there seems to be a fair degree of self-interest today… and a modicum of self-abuse.

Bruce Sterling – When Blobjects Rule the Earth – the future is already here, it’s just not everywhere… yet.

Wired – ‘Internet’ loses its capitalised status – sadly, this isn’t because we’ve managed to chase off the capitalists.

Washington Post – Blog Interrupted: When Jessica Cutler put her dirty secrets on the Web, she lost her job, signed a book deal, posed for Playboy — and raised a ton of questions about where America is headed.

And finally (as they say), we bring you the good news that a little porn is good for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
The Bush Administration
Time
10:11
Dick Cheney and the falsified flip-flop: Last week, the dissembling veep kept telling voters that Kerry recommended “sensitivity” toward terrorists. Everyone knows that this claim is pure bunk, but pundits hid beneath their desks, too afraid to challenge Cheney’s fake statement. Result? By Saturday, the veep was playing the rubes extra hard….

This comes to us via Atrios, as does this wonderful linkage about the Bush doctrine at work and news of a little girl who had her first Communion declared invalid, because she has a rare digestive disorder and so requested a wheat-free wafer. And by that, I mean one that wouldn’t kill her (or test her faith, depending on how you look at it).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:27
Boris news will head you way as soon as it comes in. Please chill. Meantime…

Rob reports on his meeting with Sarah Teather: On Monday afternoon I met with Sarah Teather in her constituency office on Willesden Lane. We spoke about a number of things: blogging (needless to say), engaging with constituents, getting voice for unreported activities, technology as a barrier (for BELD!) and as an enabler (for local people) and also a little project I’ve been working on.

Rob regrets to inform us that the ‘MPs and Blogs’ presentation didn’t get an airing, because Sarah appears to have already made up her mind about weblogs. A shame, really. To be so young and so set in your ways…

Anyway, Rob also brings us a graph showing whose got the most influence online. The high placement of Instapundit surprises me not at all, but it’s heartening to see the filthy liberal propagandists dominating the top ten.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
119 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:40
Via BykerSink comes today’s must-read…

The Coincidence Theorist’s Guide to 9/11

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Compare and Contrast
Time
11:09
Not that Tony Hawks. This Tony only displays dexterity of the mind.

Not that PETA. In fact, they sell knives.

Not Prince William. At all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Normal People
Time
11:15
Eep!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
The War on Terror
Time
11:20
Bombs Found on Blair Island: Two explosive devices were found in Porto Rotondo on the Sardinian coast today, just hours after Tony Blair ended a visit to the nearby villa of his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi, news reports said.

Please note that the caller who allegedly provided the tip-off claimed to be from “Proletarian Combatant Groups,” but The Sun ignores this bit, and instead takes this same, short PA release and manages to squeeze in a link to Al Qaeda.

Oh, and am I the only one who hears ‘Blair Island’ and immediately thinks of a hollowed-out volcano?

UPDATE – More details from The Guardian, who describe the town of Porto Rotondo as being “1km from Mr Berlusconi’s Villa Certosa.”

Do correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that the nearest town to the villa was Porto Cervo – which would place it at least 30km away by road from Porto Rotondo and perhaps 20km by boat. Not that I would split hairs when our Dear Leader’s life is clearly at stake.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Consume!
Time
13:44
Cafe for cats opens in New York’s Fifth Avenue. It’s summer, so this story should be in your chosen newspaper tomorrow (complete with a pun-tastic headline).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Established Media
Time
15:15
I should have known that Sue Carroll wouldn’t be able to keep her big mouth shut about this Blunkett business (here’s a direct link to the relevant entry for the benefit of the archives).

Please keep in mind that this thoughtful and insightful piece closes with the following: “* I DO feel the newspaper headline I spotted at the weekend – David Blunkett has been seeing married woman for three years – could have been worded better.”

1 – The only article on this subject that was published this weekend was in Sunday’s News of the World. I have a copy right here. Until next Sunday, you’ll be able to check out the online version for yourself. This phrase does not appear anywhere in Sunday’s edition. So there’s no way she could have spotted this ‘at the weekend’ – or at any other time…

2 – Because this ‘poorly worded’ phrase did not appear in any of Monday’s or Tuesday’s or today’s newspapers, either.

3 – In fact, according to Google, the only place it appears anywhere on the web, in Usenet or in the news, is in her own damn column!

In fact, I think we can be pretty sure that Sue Carroll made this up in order to get away with a joke that’s in poor taste without compromising her sanctimonious demeanour. And I’m calling her on it…

To: s DOT carroll AT mirror DOT co DOT uk

From: manic AT bloggerheads DOT com

Subject: Seeing is believing

Dear Sue,

I have been following and documenting media interest in the Blunkett/Fortier affair since the story first broke, but must admit to being confused about the following from your most recent column:

“* I DO feel the newspaper headline I spotted at the weekend – David Blunkett has been seeing married woman for three years – could have been worded better.”

As far as I can recall, the only newspaper to run with this story ‘at the weekend’ was News of the World – and my copy does not carry the headline you mention. Perhaps you have a slightly different copy. Could you perhaps provide me with a scan of the headline you mention and the page it appeared on? I would hate to think that my scrapbook was in any way incomplete.

Regards,

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

UPDATE – Anthony sure is making himself useful lately. He just informed me that this headline did appear over the weekend. It was on page 10 of Sunday’s…. Mirror.

It doesn’t appear in the online version of the article, but it does still appear on the front page of that sister-paper’s website.

Happily, no follow-up email is required. All we have to do with sit back and wait to see if Sue points this out. Then perhaps we can ask why she didn’t mention the source in the first place.

UPDATE 2 – Happily II, the Mirror is not alone in gaffeland. In this Daily Mail article, David Blunkett gains sight and loses his voice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040818
Photoshopping
Time
17:16
Oh dear!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
09:16
For those who came in late: Have a quick peek at this and be advised that Pete Broderick has been emailing and/or CC’ing ‘Tony Blair’ for well over two years now. There are times when I suspect (or, to be honest, hope) that this is all some kind of grand and glorious joke – but chances are these messages are genuine and sincere.

Today, Pete reveals the secret behind Moktada al Sadr’s rise to power…

From: Pete Broderick

To: vice-president@whitehouse.gov, tony-blair@prime-ministerco.uk, president@kremlin.ru, president@whitehouse.gov, marrena.marren@fco.gov.uk, kay.sweet@fco.gov.uk, inquiries@un.org, gerhard.schroeder@bundestag.de, ctc@un.org, clu@fco.gov.uk

Subject: Moktada al-Sadr

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 09:58:01 +0100 (BST)

Hi,

In the first instance, it seems that the young islamic cleric using the name Moktada al Sadr, is in fact a Scientologist, not just any Scientologist, but a senior figure in the HCO Protocol, the Security wing, Colin wayne Jones (born U.k. d.o.b. January fourth 1970). He was responsible for the murder of a pensioner Rosella Middleton, in Birchfield Tower, Birchfield Road, Birmingham, in 1994. He confessed it to me, in 1998. I reported it to Ladywood Police Station in 1998, both through crimestoppers 0800 number. This was while Edward Crew, was Chief Constable, Crew of course was one of the most corrupt Chief Constables the U.K. has ever known, due to his obsession with Verwood, of S.A. A Mentally ill IC3 was framed for the murder by the tail end of 1999. I presume this was soon after Jones came in contact with him, at HMP Birmingham, possibly under an a.k.a.

The conviction came “surprisingly” quick, after I approached the Police in comparison to when the crime was committed.

This of course also prevented, myself receiving the financial reward, of five thousand pounds.

In addition, Paul VI, is still alive, he is in fact JORGE ILES, of [address censored by Manic] B’HAM

He faked his death in 1978, due to his pontifical reign covering the opening of the terrorism that erupted globally, in the knowledge that the both sides of the Cold War, did not originate the Drug Wars, only the corrupt elements Crux Orientalis had running through the three superpowers, and their allies. It is vital for C/O to have him in B’ham, as B’ham is the seat of the existentialist council, they regularly used the underground offices of the local authority, that were used by Churchill, etc during WWII, thatis the main reason that 8 Ethel St, the Scientology base, and Italian Consulate named the Building they are in Winston Churchill House.

Where PIP, is Patrick Fitzpatrick – d.o.b. 18.3.1968 – nominated by Margaret Thatcher, and the HRE thru the Knights of St Columba, and due to him being a spiritual protege of J.Edgar Hoover, Paul Weller a.k.a KEITH BISHOP(RO ring) – d.o.b. 25.5.1958 – is the modern day OTTO, as Cardinal Basil Hume, was considered unsuitable. The present day Cardinal of Westminster is attempting to regain, the Controoler reins of OTTO. Weller is NEO-Nazi, and an archictect of Militant Tendency, hence his invlvement in RED WEDGE. WELLER, was also instrumental in the Union bashing of the 1980’s, and is leading the onslaught against the Firefighters, as a parallel project to that of Startfor.com, that manifested itself most strongly with the veiled attack on Queens, in October 2001. WELLER, as BISHOP, personally led the advance of Cocaine into UK Public Houses, referring intrested parties to the Church of Scientology (RAISE). Such negative innovation by well has led him to inherit Denis Thatchers corporate Empire, as well as drawing him to the attention of Dominic Du Vallon Lohan, and the Riveria Gigolo(Alistair Campbell), and in more recent times Xenia DU VALLON LOHAN, (SKY media/20th Century Fox), who is keen to invest her wealth, that i tied up in the Church of Scientology with Weller. The Wellers Anne, John (a.k.a. Danny fron Ravenscourt park, who lived with temp at the tail end of 1995, onset of 1996, before moving to Cricklewood to share with Matt Mendell),a nd Paul, all agreed to put Nicola Weller, in the Northfield Convent, in order to turn her into a drug addict. This was at the same time that Weller was advancing Cocaine in Birmingham, between 1984-1989. Another avenue was through FOOTBALL Casuals.

One of the reasons Weller returned to Woking in 1999, was his occult beliefs, and Linda Broderick’s/Burnett’s foul up at the Home Office (catering).

While in Birmingham Bishop/Weller became affiliated with Samantha Louise Winn/Bloxham (they met at The Lodge P/H & CoS St Mary’s Row, Moseley), and Colin wayne Jones (Maypole P/h & CoS Moseley).

Weller is the Policy Director Co-ordinator of the Fifth Columnists in the Uk. His financial interests are in prostitution, narcotics, and pornography.

With Respect,

Pete Broderick

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
In The News
Time
09:46
The Sun – Blunkett DNA test – with a quick mention of the husband, primary focus on Blunkett’s anguish at not knowing whose baby it is, and a report from some bloke who says he met Blunkett and Fortier while on holiday.

Of course, Murdoch’s papers are handling this with kid gloves (even though it was a Murdoch paper that broke the story), but not every paper is being as gentle. Ex-Blair-pal and pornographer Richard Desmond has been laying the boot in via the Express, and the Evening Standard has – in this less-than-flattering profile of Kimberly Fortier – made a point of focusing on the spin…

Seducing the power brokers : These anonymous sources spoke of how sad and heart-rending it was for two adults to find themselves in the midst of such a complex love affair. “None of this rests easily with David,” claims one source. “He has a deep conscience. But this is no casual fling. He’s totally in love with her.” The “spun” story, it appears, is that marriages do break up, that falling in love can hurt innocents involved. But according to friends of Fortier’s husband, there is another, less sympathetic side to the story. “Of course, people have affairs, but we have to remember that the Home Secretary appears to have engaged in some kind of affair with a married woman who had just had a child,” says one friend.

There’s also this little snippet that found its way online: DAVID Blunkett has asserted his affair with Kimberly Fortier ‘has never compromised my jobs as an MP and Cabinet Minister’. However, the affair does shed a new light on his comments in the foreword to last year’s White Paper on Anti-Social Behaviour. ‘As a society, our rights as individuals are based upon the sense of responsibility we have towards others and to our families and communities,’ wrote the Home Secretary. ‘This responsibility starts in the family, where parents are accountable for the actions of their children and set the standards they are to live by.’ The paper recommends courses to help parents ‘set limits: they have to make sure their children understand the difference between right and wrong.’ It’s not as easy as it sounds, is it, Mr Blunkett?

But the coverage and the tone is still dominated by Team Murdoch. Take a look at this profile from yesterday’s magazine section of The Times to see them in full-tilt…

Times – Lothario, no: but he is a romantic: (After much fawning and some rather interesting theories)…All this makes it easier to understand why now, in his late fifties, Blunkett cannot resist the coup de foudre of first love, with its promise of the fun and vivacity that he missed out on in his youth. His social conservatism must have disapproved — along with half of the population — of having an affair with a married woman with a young child, but in the struggle with his romantic yearning for a deep relationship, love seems to have won out.

Matters are helped by the Independent and Guardian all but shunning the story (with the exception of this hand-wringing moment, of course) but – here and there – the treatment of the story gets close-to-serious focus. Which is a good thing, because that *is* the bloody story. I’m increasingly convinced that this has been a carefully-managed release by (or on behalf of) the happy couple themselves.

Torygraph – The publisher, the politician, and a question of public interest: Certainly, the Sun and NoW peppered their respective stories with sympathetic quotes from apparently well-informed insiders who attested to the strong bond between the pair and the difficulties that they now face. And Mr Blunkett is particularly admired by Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail (the Home Secretary was guest of honour at a party celebrating the Dacre reign). Not surprisingly, the paper – which could normally be expected to take a high moral tone over married people having affairs, has down-played the story.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:48
It’s the Organizr! It’s DropCash! Two news and exciting tools to help *you* improve your… ahh, who am I kidding?

The Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness should keep you amused until the boss drops by your desk.

Yahoo is selling child-size ‘Pimp and Ho’ costumes. Can someone please alert the Daily Mail?

And Freedom Of Music Choice is back in the charts. I can’t be bothered finding out why.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
An American Election
Time
09:54
New York Times – Just Keep It Peaceful, Protesters; New York Is Offering Discounts: In a transparently mercantile bid to keep protesters from disrupting the Republican National Convention later this month, the Bloomberg administration will offer “peaceful political activists” discounts at select hotels, museums, stores and restaurants around town during convention week, which begins Aug. 29.

Yes, us filthy liberals are known for our violent ways. But get some chicken inside us and it’s all gravy. Or something.

Weirder than that, take a look at The John Kerry Scrapbook, a site that has popped up out of nowhere but has suddenly found a link-audience and is even enjoying (what appears to be) some genuine sharing via Usenet with a day or two of launch.

1 – For a Harvard graduate, she don’t write too good

2 – Sure, there’s no dirt, and the intention appears benign – but it makes Kerry look like an ass

The same question is coming from the left and the right: where did it come from and what is it for?

UPDATE – Atrios of the latest Swift-boat swifties.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Normal People
Time
10:08
A former middle school teacher has admitted raping a 12-year-old student in social studies class and homeroom. Her defence team points out that she feels remorse (deep, deep remorse) and bring forth a medical expert who claims that she ‘lost her perspective’….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Viral Marketing
Time
10:15
Today, The Ultimate Insult points us in the direction of K-Tel Classics.

I’ve seen this before, and:

1 – K-Tel must have miles of this kind of material in their archives (including some of the classic television commercials). It amazes me that they’re not using it to push their current offer to the music consumer.

2 – I bet you didn’t know that K-Tel now sells drugs. (Hey, it’s all part of being in the music industry.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Inneresting
Time
10:22
And folks wonder what us geeks see in Science Fiction. Women in the future wear spandex, people. Or, failing that, metal panties and nipple guards….

(Please note that this collection also features trash, drug-oriented and gay fiction. Yes, that’s the kind of thing Sci-Fi can lead to.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Here Comes The Science
Time
10:44
How to render the Segway Human Transporter obsolete.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Flash Games
Time
12:07
Moody and tricky – scare the crows to stay alive.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Consume!
Time
13:02
Doom 3 – Take a peek under ‘related items’…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
An American Election
Time
15:33
A-men! Go, tell it on the mountain! (Cheers to known billionaire Y. Bee for the heads-up on this one. I hope the New York RNC – the first on this site in 150 years for some unknown reason – proves to be as great an embarrassment for Bush as his London visit.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Normal People
Time
15:58
Meet Jerry Querrard. Jerry has found Atlantis, and will reveal the location to the first person who coughs up 8 million big ones.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040819
Humanity
Time
16:03
Florida man tries to pass barrier to reach his home. Police use reasonable force to stop him.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Spam
Time
09:58
Spammers are sub-human scum. That goes for email spammers, Usenet spammers and comment spammers. They have no respect for your privacy, community, bandwidth or site integrity. And there are days when I wish they would all develop a horrible, painful, disfiguring, inoperable form of cancer and die. Slowly. Then I can send them a bunch of ragweed wrapped up in a lovely bow, with a card that reads: “Want to live? We offer cheap rates on generic anti-cancer drugs that work better than the real thing! Lose weight *and* fight cancer while you sleep!”

(Calms down. Reads Comment Spam Manifesto. Makes further plans to spam-proof upcoming comments at Bloggerheads.)

UPDATE – This week’s B3ta challenge: take the subject lines from your spam email and illustrate them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
RWCs
Time
10:05
Independent – Ann Coulter: The blonde assassin: Does Ann Coulter really believe the outrageous things she says? To the pin-up pundit of the American right, liberals are fascists – and all terrorists are Muslims.

OK, let’s be fair and balanced about this. Here’s a postive spin on Ann Coulter by a Christian libertarian. (Hmm. That totally rad hair-do makes me wonder what Mr T thinks.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
An American Election
Time
10:08
Chapel Perilous shows us the glory of the subtle rewrite:

“The Oval Office is a powerful place. It’s the kind of place where my mother walks in and feels so overwhelmed, she won’t tell me what to do.”

President Bush, August 10th, Niceville Florida

audience:hehehehehmmmhmm

“The Oval Office is a powerful place. It’s — you know, people walk in and just get overwhelmed by the majesty of this shrine to democracy. I do, on a daily basis. And the only person I know that didn’t was my mother, who walked in and continued to tell me what to do.”

President Bush, August 12th, Las Vegas, Nevada

audience: ahahahahahaha!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:10
Bear drinks 36 beers and passes out in campground. Yes, but did it manage to sing?

The Yahoo team now has a blog. The comments are… open!

A new twist to Kerry probing. Who knew that a right-wring group that had ‘truth’ in its name would actually tell lies?

Washington Post – Records Counter a Critic of Kerry: Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry’s most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.

Finally, another big hit from Bad Gas. That’s two chart-toppers in two weeks, folks. (I’d best start sucking up to these guys. They are the future.)

Bad Gas – Doing a Lynndie

- You will laugh out loud.

- You will lose all control of your body as you find yourself pointing and gently flexing your elbows.

- You will smirk.

- You will find it comfortable and continue to smirk.

- You will call a friend who owns a camera.

- They will smirk.

- You will go out looking for trouble.

- You will do all of the above without even asking yourself why.

(Please note that BadGas is getting a hammering today. If the page loads as text-only and/or you have trouble downloading any/all of the image collection, bookmark the page and try again later.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Follow-Up
Time
10:27
Lucky – the rabbit what almost got blowed up – now has a new home. In fact, hundreds of people offered to adopt him. Awwww…..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
In The News
Time
10:33
Right. Blunkett….

The Times lectures us on ethics.

Meanwhile, there’s no mention of Mr Blunkett in today’s edition of The Sun. At all. Perhaps they’ve run out of nice things to say. Or perhaps today is a good day to try and move on…

Evening Standard – Blunkett helped ‘lover’ over passport: David Blunkett helped the woman alleged to be his lover obtain a US passport for her son, it emerged today. The suggestion that the Home Secretary used his position to help married publisher Kimberly Fortier could put him under political pressure for the first time over their relationship. Home Office aides confirmed claims in The Times that he telephoned a senior official at the American embassy to ask for the name of someone she could contact to rush through a passport application. Mr Blunkett then passed the name to Ms Fortier, publisher of the Tory-backing Spectator magazine, with whom he is alleged to have had a secret relationship. There is no suggestion that Mr Blunkett asked for her to be given special treatment but aides today acknowledged that the US officials may have prioritised her case because of the minister’s interest in it.

Here’s a word or two on hypocrisy from The Scotsman, the view from The Friday Thing and some opinions from Mirror readers. At least one of the latter will raise an eyebrow (I also hope that the uniquely vulnerable Mr Blunkett will be able to disentangle himself from this evil temptress).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Christianity Watch
Time
10:54
ScaryDuck advises us that the rapture is nigh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Flash Games
Time
10:58
The Invisibility Game! How well will you manage when you can’t see your cursor?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Normal People
Time
11:01
Ahahahahahahahaha! One can only wonder what happened here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
An American Election
Time
11:02
I managed to stuff this link up late yesterday, so here it is again:

NYC to GOP: Drop Dead: Well aware that it is barren soil for their party’s anti-urban, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, overtly racist ideology, Republican leaders have wisely avoided New York City as a convention site for the past 150 years…. But White House strategist Karl Rove sees the continued exploitation of 9/11 for partisan political gain as Bush’s key to victory in November. That means bringing the big bash three miles north of the hole where the Twin Towers used to stand, where most of the victims of 9/11 were burned, suffocated, impaled and pulverized.

And that’s the guts of it, boys and girls. Bush is still exploiting that nation’s greatest tragedy, and New Yorker’s simply aren’t going to stand for it. Unlike what we saw at the Democratic convention, few of the protests will be partisan… and if they squeeze too tight on where/when protests are allowed, even fewer of them with be peaceful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Art
Time
11:09
Stop Motion Studies should help focus that blank stare that kicks in around lunchtime.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:18
Guardian – Abu Ghraib doctors knew of torture, says Lancet report : Army doctors at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad falsified medical records to cover up torture and human rights abuses perpetrated on Iraqi detainees, the British medical journal the Lancet reported today.

The following may also be of interest…

Washington Post – Abu Ghraib Probe Points to Top Brass: An Army investigation into the role of military intelligence personnel in the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison reports that the scandal was not just caused by a small circle of rogue military police soldiers but resulted from failures of leadership rising to the highest levels of the U.S. command in Iraq, senior defense officials said… Officials also said that the report implicates five civilian contractors in the abuse, and that Army officials plan to recommend that their cases be sent to the Justice Department for possible prosecution in civilian courts.

And here’s the icing on the cake…

New Standard – Abu Ghraib contractor sees profits soar despite torture probe: Virginia-based homeland security services contractor CACI International, whose private interrogators have been linked to torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, said its bottom line increased 42 percent over the last year. From June 2003 to June 2004, which marks CACI’s fiscal year, net income rose to $63.7 million.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040820
Photoshopping
Time
13:25
A topical variation on Preparing For Emergencies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
In The News
Time
09:50
Mirror: Blunkett suffers from whispers! Blunkett is ditched! Blunkett takes holiday! (Well, who can blame him after a weekend like that?)

As with Friday’s edition, there is no mention – no mention – of David Blunkett in today’s Sun. Interesting, no?

This story reminds me of something

An interesting level of support from the Torygraph: Poor Mr Blunkett, the romantic who has struggled against adversity. Somebody is obviously out to get him.

Iain Macwhirter thinks the story is about tabloid justice aiding democracy (when, in truth, the past week has actually showed us how adept this government is at controlling those same tabloids).

Antony Barnett, Martin Bright and David Smith edge closer with a look at Blunkett’s intimate courtship with the media, but it’s Peter Preston who’s closest to the target after a week of media gameplay….

Guardian – Today’s news is not the end of the affair: It was all what the former Sun editor, David Yelland, called ‘a good old-fashioned Fleet Street barnstormer’ in his Evening Standard column. Except, of course, that Fleet Street has ceased to exist in any good old-fashioned sense – and that this tale was full of bad, new-fangled, evasions. Who was dishing lurid and intimate dirt to the News of the World, Sun and Mirror on eerily orchestrated rent-a-quote basis? The NoW had a ‘source’ who reported the star-crossed couple as ‘deeply in love – though neither know what the future may hold’. The Sun had ‘a pal’ who informed us that, ‘like all affairs, it’s extremely complicated’. The Mirror had ‘a source’ with a hotline to Blunkett’s heart and a ‘well-informed source’ who did the DNA testing bit. Four or five separate sources? Or one, ubiquitous ‘pal’ picking up a different phone to a different editor’s office every day?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:55
Aww, wookit all the cute widdle monkeys. Aww, wookit all the cute widdle cewebwities

I’ve dumped Internet Explorer. So have these people.

BugMeNot.com returns! (Neo-Nazi diversions are also explained here…)

Everything else is Kerry/Bush and the wonders of war, which I’m saving for other posts so I can add a little context…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
An American Election
Time
10:44
A week? Pfft! Three days is a long time in politics…

Independent – ‘Veterans for Truth’ or Republican reptiles? Kerry senses hand of Bush in attacks on his war record: Mr Kerry has filed a complaint with government regulators alleging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth “illegally co-ordinated with the Bush- Cheney presidential campaign”.

Independent – Veterans prepare new attack on Kerry: Undaunted by accusations that they were spreading lies on behalf of President George Bush’s re-election campaign, a group of Republican veterans of the Vietnam War were preparing yesterday to launch a new television advert accusing John Kerry of cowardice, disloyalty, and worse, during his time in uniform.

And the new TVC contains a surprise guest…

CNN – Bush adviser quits after appearing in swift boat ad: A volunteer adviser has quit President Bush’s re-election campaign after appearing in a veterans group’s television commercial blasting Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s involvement in the Vietnam-era antiwar movement.

New York Times – Kerry TV Ad Pins Veterans’ Attack Firmly on Bush: Senator John Kerry released a television advertisement yesterday blaming President Bush for a campaign by a “front group” of veterans that Mr. Kerry said had smeared his Vietnam record, as he intensified his drive to gain control in a fight that some Democrats said could undermine his campaign for the presidency. … hold your breath, good bit coming up…) Mr. Bush’s campaign denied any involvement with the effort by the veterans challenging crucial parts of Mr. Kerry’s war record and sent a letter to television station managers calling the new Kerry advertisement libelous.

This article also says that; Mr. Bush’s advisers said Mr. Kerry’s campaign was engaged in an exercise of six degrees of separation and said they had no connections to the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Well, perhaps you’d care to judge for yourself via this article or this handy wall-chart.

The response from the digital brownshirts? They’ve made a chart, too.

This is the classic “See? Your guy is as bad as our guy, therefore our guy comes out looking good!” defence. Expect to see more of it in the coming months.

Quick diversion; let’s see Bush accentuating the positive…

Sports Illustrated – Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads “Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign,” Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. “He can find another way to advertise himself.” (The article includes a link to offending ad. You’ll love the bit about freedom spreading across the world like a sunrise.)

Meanwhile, back in the main tent, check out this filthy liberal rag putting on a show of presenting both sides.

Washington Post – Swift Boat Accounts Incomplete: Establishing the facts is complicated not merely by fading memories and sometimes ambiguous archival evidence, but also by the bitterly partisan nature of the presidential campaign. An investigation by The Washington Post into what happened that day suggests that both sides have withheld information from the public record and provided an incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate, picture of what took place. But although Kerry’s accusers have succeeded in raising doubts about his war record, they have failed to come up with sufficient evidence to prove him a liar.

Makes you sick, doesn’t it? Why aren’t they burning Kerry at the stake, dammit?

Curse the inaction of the liberal media. Why, if they investigated this properly, I bet they’d find destroyed service records and all manner of suspicious shenanigans.

The final word on this goes to Atrios.

UPDATE – If you want to see the Kerry ads, start with ‘Old Tricks’ before you move on to ‘Issues’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s…. oh s**t!
Time
11:17
Hooray for the Bush doctrine!

Yahoo – Iran warns of preemptive strike to prevent attack on nuclear sites: Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities. “We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly,” Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV when asked if Iran would respond to an American attack on its nuclear facilities.

That’s one thing that can’t be undone. Here are over a thousand others.

Mind you, these are just numbers. People seem to be forgetting the greatest casualty of this war; Tony Blair’s hurt feelings. Some people even seem determined to take advantage of his good nature…

Guardian – Mother of dead soldier to sue: The mother of a young British solider killed in Iraq plans to sue the Ministry of Defence, claiming officials breached their duty of care to her son. If the case goes ahead, it will be the first time the government has been sued over the death of a soldier in combat…. She wants to go to court because she believes her son’s death could have been avoided if his patrol had been equipped with an electronic signal jamming device which would have stopped the bomb being detonated.

For a full brain-tickle, take a look at this bloggage from January that tracks similar concerns of another war widow and then consider what that same widow has to say now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
Activism
Time
11:17
Independent – Bush is ‘exploiting 9/11 for re-election’: With only a week to go, the city is in a stand-off with an activist group called United for Peace and Justice that expects as many as 250,000 people to turn out for an anti-Bush rally next Sunday. The group is suing for the right to hold the march in Central Park. The city is refusing, citing probable grass damage…. Last week, a director of the FBI’s anti-terrorism division acknowledged that the agency expects some of the protests to become violent. The FBI has sent out agents to infiltrate some of the political groups coming to New York to try to uncover their strategies. But no actual plot to cause violence has yet been found.

The ‘keep off the grass’ gambit may remind you of something, but don’t expect Bush to roll tanks into JFK. It’s far more efficient to generate an imaginary terrorist threat from amongst the protestors themselves.

In the public mind, the people protesting a government placing them in danger *becomes* the danger (as part of the anti-terrorism budget is being spent policing the people who are – by and large – protesting the Bush administration’s exploitation/manipulation of the terrorist threat). Hell, it may even turn out that way in reality. Turning the screws in the name of preventing violence often seems to provoke violence. I’m going to be a self-important know-it-all now and quote myself: Take a sweet little kitten and squeeze it. Watch what happens.

UPDATE – FBI precautions for convention worry area activists and New York braced for protests at Republican rally

UPDATE 2 – A Protester’s Guide to NYC! Version 2.0

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
11:34
Big-Brother place-getter Shell Jubin appears with her cha-chas out on Page 3 of today’s Sun and says: “Those who sneer at Page 3 lack intelligence.”

Well, that’s me told.

Turns out it’s art. And empowering art, at that: “It’s beautifully-shot and tastefully pioneered the celebration of the female form. In many ways it emancipated women, letting them exploit their assets, earn cash and keep control. I see it as a modern art form.”

So, ladies, if you want to exploit your assets, earn cash and keep control, I suggest you get in touch with The Sun, let them photograph you topless, and then provide and associated ‘News in Briefs’ editorial that focuses on the evils of concentrated media ownership. See how far you get.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:42
First of all, it’s worth noting the nature of this curious blogbeast. Today, poor old Tom takes a beating for pointing out that his comments function can take a beating.

Oh, and there’s this small item…. a bit of housekeeping, as it were….

We are GO for Boris Johnson. I repeat; we are GO for Boris Johnson.

Screen Pages are being very cool about providing the development, but I thought there might be a few interested parties that would want to chip in on the initial design.

The brief is as follows:

- Submit (as a GIF or JPEG) a design concept/template for Boris Johnson’s site.

- Please include the standard weblog functions/aspects (as would appear on a Movable Type platform) in your design, as well as links/navigation for the following static pages – Home, About Boris, Constituency, News, Press Releases, Speeches, Photo Gallery, Conservative MPs Online.

- If you need permission-granted source images of Boris, you have but to ask (but feel free to submit a concept with any available images).

- You have 48 hours from…. NOW!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
Educational
Time
12:32
What happens if I…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040823
An American Election
Time
16:12
Factcheck.org – because sometimes even one dungbeetle can make a difference.

Oh, and this column has some news on hedgefundmistress.com, and an interesting little story about Google and bushhouseofcards.com

Also worth seeing is this comparative study of the two main campaign sites. One focuses mainly on John Kerry, and the other… focuses mainly on John Kerry. A dirty game is the only game they have left. (Latter link via Brian Arner, who also has some thoughts on “freedom spreading throughout the world like a sunrise”. Bush will be claiming to have invented the helicopter next. And the turlet.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
The War on Terror
Time
09:45
The Sun – Airport security scandal exposed: An undercover Sun reporter has exposed chilling security blunders — by smuggling a fake bomb on to a jet carrying more than 220 British holidaymakers…. “Had I been one of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorists, I could have wiped out more than 220 British passengers on the Thomas Cook flight to Majorca — and thousands more on the ground below.”

And – had he been John Carter, warrior of Barsoom – he could have wiped out millions of rebel Tharks and turned Mars into a cold and sterile wasteland.

(Oh my God! Mars *is* a cold and sterile wasteland. That must mean that John Carter is *real*!!! OMG! OMG! OMG! Tell your friends! Close the airports! The Tharks are coming!)

The editorial asks the tough questions (i.e. Why aren’t we plugging every hole, watching every citizen, and electronically tagging every child? Why aren’t citizens fulfilling their responsibility to believe every word that comes out of Tony Blair’s mouth?): Within days, our reporter found himself alone and able to do what he liked in the hold of a holiday jet. He smuggled materials into the airport hidden behind the toecaps of his boots. They could have been the ingredients for a bomb. Yet Birmingham Airport was described in a police terrorism probe as being a potential al-Qaeda target. Surely anyone applying for a job with access to planes should face exhaustive screening? Security checks on passengers are not much use if it is easy for terrorists to infiltrate planes through the back door.

Presumably, this didn’t happen in Heathrow because security there detected this ‘terrorist’ (or should that be ‘journalist’?) and gave him his marching orders. But we have no time to quibble over details, because we have this urgent editorial coming in from Page 3…

Today, Krystle (21, from Manchester) is disgusted at the lax security. She says: “With the massive terror threat hanging over this country, it is incredible that this could happen.”

Yes, incredible. In that it is so implausible that it defies belief. (If that is her thought, she should hang on to it…. she’s almost there.)

Keywords: “Terror.. airport.. threat… real…” Why?

UPDATE – Yet another blood-chilling expose for you to ponder on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
The Bush Administration
Time
10:00
Washington Post – Goss Backed ’95 Bill To Slash Intelligence: President Bush’s nominee to be the director of central intelligence, Rep. Porter J. Goss, sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent in the late 1990s.

Slate – Dick Nixed It – Is this why Bush’s intelligence-czar plan is so half-hearted?: President Bush has only tepidly endorsed the 9/11 commission’s proposal for a new centralized director of national intelligence, and now we have an explanation for his half-heartedness. It seems that back in 1992, when he was secretary of defense, Dick Cheney virulently opposed an uncannily similar notion…. The letter – unearthed by Open Source Solution and reprinted this week on Steven Aftergood’s invaluable Secrecy News Web site – makes for particularly poignant reading. If Cheney hadn’t successfully blocked the measure (his letter moved Aspin to drop it), one of the 9/11 commission’s most urgently advanced proposals might have been in place for over a decade before the terrorist attacks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:44
Let’s begin with a few reminders of what this story is really about…

The Gray Zone

The Roots of Torture

Locked in Abu Ghraib

Then move on to today’s openers…

Independent – Soldier will admit role in Abu Ghraib abuse: “I will be pleading guilty to certain charges because I have concluded that what I did was a violation of law,” said (Staff Sergeant Ivan ‘Chip’ Frederick). “I am hopeful that all those within the army who contributed to or participated in the chaos that was Abu Ghraib will also come forward and accept responsibility.”

*clap*clap*clap*clap*

Also worth noting is this Reuters story, which says that; In his statement, (Frederick) said he had no bad feelings toward Army Spec. Joseph Darby, who informed the military chain of command about the abuse, saying Darby did the right thing.

Why does this matter? Well, there are some people for whom the sky refuses to be blue. The type of people who would attack John Kerry for objecting to what was wrong about the conflict in Vietnam.

Reuters – Family of Iraq Abuse Whistleblower Threatened: Relatives of the U.S. soldier who sounded the alarm about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison said on Monday the family was living in protective custody because of death threats against them. In testimony this month at a hearing for one of the soldiers accused of abusing prisoners, Darby said he struggled with the decision to turn over the photos because he was friendly with one of the accused. What he saw on the CDs containing the photos, he said, “violated everything I personally believed in and everything I had been taught about the rules of war.”

Also happening is this…

Scotsman – Judge threatens to drop Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse case : Colonel James Pohl issued a 10 September target for the government to complete three reports so that they can be used as evidence in army hearings of soldiers charged with abuse at the prison. Col Pohl expressed particular displeasure after being told that only one army criminal investigator had been assigned to review thousands of pages of records on a secret computer server at Abu Ghraib.

A seemingly deliberate go-slow? On something as important as this? Gosh, I wonder what that’s all about…

OK, enough appetisers. The main meal is on its way. Try not to fill up on rolls before it gets here…

MSNBC/Newsweek – A Battle Over Blame: In mid-August, the commission that Schlesinger chairs—handpicked by Rumsfeld from members of his own Defense Policy Board—is expected to issue its final report on abuses by U.S. interrogators stemming from the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal. Newsweek has learned the Schlesinger panel is leaning toward the view that failures of command and control at the Pentagon helped create the climate in which the abuses occurred.

But don’t hold your breath for anything special.

DailyKos – General Fay’s Report On Abu Ghraib Due Any Day Now: The investigation is not being broadened because the investigators ultimately report to people who would themselves be implicated by the investigation. If there ever was a case that cried out for an independent counsel, this is it. Unfortunately, however, it looks like the White House and Defense Department have once again put itself above the law.

Washington Post – Iraqi Teens Abused at Abu Ghraib, Report Finds – Officials Say Inquiry Also Confirms Prisoners Were Hidden From Aid Groups: Speaking on the condition of anonymity because the report has not been released, other officials at the Pentagon said the investigation also acknowledges that military intelligence soldiers kept multiple detainees off the record books and hid them from international humanitarian organizations. The report also mentions substantiated claims that at least one male detainee was sodomized by one of his captors at Abu Ghraib, sources said. “The report will show that these actions were bad, illegal, unauthorized, and some of it was sadistic,” said one Defense Department official. “But it will show that they were the actions of a few, actions that went unnoticed because of leadership failures.”

Yep, there’s your Keep Out Of Jail Free card right there. Leadership failures. Groupthink. All a bit unfortunate, but no actual leaders to blame.

Torygraph – Rumsfeld escapes blame in ‘whitewash’ Abu Ghraib report: “This is a whitewash – a carefully orchestrated one,” said a lawyer who has liaised with military officials involved in the case. “People in the Pentagon have been coming to me in a fury because of the way this has been handled. By naming military intelligence officials as well as the seven military police who have been charged, it will look like action has been taken. But basically it’s still the same storyline of just a few bad apples, way down the food chain.”

This kind of (kind of?) reminds me of the findings of the Butler Report. Blair desperately needed to make a case for invading Iraq with or without the UN, and – via the magic of serendipity – deep-rooted failures in the system somehow magically deliver a flawed (if not fraudulent) document that suited his needs.

Bush and Rumsfeld desperately needed a win in Iraq. One might even be charitable enough to imagine that they actually believed there were WMDs yet to be found. Better intelligence was needed. A decision was made to ‘get tough’. At one stage, they had a memo in circulation that pondered the use of torture, but torture was never authorised. It just so happened that flaws in the system resulted in torture happening by accident.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Humanity
Time
10:52
Independent – Human rights: the case for the defence: The Conservative Party launched a campaign yesterday to ‘curb the rights culture’. But can all their charges be taken at face value?

I’m less worried by the house-of-cardiness than I am by the idea that the Tories have been pushed so far to the right that they’ve begun an attack on, erm, rights…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:56
Taking a closer look at the War Medals of George W. Bush. Hooray for this. It reminded me of an idea for a site that was almost lost in the ether. Idea recalled. Email sent. Iron in fire.

OK, what else is there? A Godchecker, a rather (ahem) spectacular arrest in China (with a surpise ending, no less) and some Plame rumours.

There’s also this, which reminds me of this.

Pretty light on the Kerry-bashing content this morning, isn’t it? Apart from maybe yet another ‘Your Guy is As Bad As Our Guy’ moment. Perhaps I can compensate by throwing this in…

Slate – Holiday in Cambodia – The “Christmas Eve” attack on Kerry is cheap and almost certainly wrong.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Distractions
Time
11:08
Track how far your cursor travels. As if it matters.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:11
Dare you submit a design for Boris Johnson’s weblog? You now have about 24 hours left to conceive, cobble and submit.

(Note – Please do not expect results to be posted publicly. Oh, and I have a function tonight. This may result in a hangover tomorrow. Bloggage may be light.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Inneresting
Time
13:48
Lunchtime!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Photoshopping
Time
15:38
Just had a crack at the Boris job myself. It’s a tad impractical, but it has charm…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:54
Meet Kevin Davis, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Kingston & Surbiton.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Flash Games
Time
16:22
Ready… aim… fire!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Consume!
Time
16:24
Who could possibly say no to a DVD rewinder?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040824
Inneresting
Time
16:42
The Happy Poster Project is still doing its job.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
The War on Terror
Time
09:31
(we assume)

Sent in at 5:30am by a reader who wishes to remain a nonny mouse due to a rather backwards corporate policy regarding Doing Things That Are Not Work…

Mad shit’s been going down overnight. Don’t know if you’ve been up, or heard about this already, but I thought you might like some tasty links.

Right. So reports come in that one Russian airliner has crashed – ‘exploded in mid air’ – and another one is missing. Reports since have confirmed that the second has crashed as well.

The first was *possibly* shot down as it was *possibly* going to *possibly* crash into the *possibly* scarily-named ‘Instrument Design Bureau’ in the town of Tula which *possibly* manufactures *possible* nuclear weapons… though you’d have to be a conspiracy nut to suggest such a thing.

But I digress…

First up, initial reports from the Associated Press jackhammered an Iranian link into our skulls – an example of which is still up on the web here: Both planes were Tupolev Tu-154 jets, the standard medium-range airliner on domestic flights in Russia, other former Soviet states, *Iran* and parts of eastern Europe, according to the Web site Airliners.net.

Later reports removed the reference to Iran – though why it was there in the first place, I don’t know. Turns out that a simple google search for ‘Tupolev Tu-154 + Iran’ throws up Airliners.net as the third link, and the AP monkey has copied and pasted the text. Get where I’m going with this? Like, someone’s received information of a possible terrorist attack over the wires and tried searching for the airplane model involved alongside terms like ‘Iraq’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘IRAN’ etc, found a favourable mention and included it.

So why was it taken out? Look a little further through google’s results and you’ll find references to Iran Air Tours, the carrier which owns some Russian-built planes. Then take that, and do a google search on ‘Iran Air Tours + Tupolev Tu-154′. You’ll see that Iran Air Tours in fact owns a newer model called the Tu-154M’ – note the extra ‘m’ on the end – which were manufactured in 1992 and are 20 years newer than the planes which blew up over Russia.

To summarise: two Russian air lines owns some planes which were blown up by terrorists. An Iranian air line owns some completely different planes. Obviously there’s a connection there.

Now shovel that crap down the wires so it gets repeated over and over, read time and time again and broadcast all over the world.

Still, to someone who isn’t an aviation expert it’s a simple mistake to make, and easily ignored when you’re desperate to get a namecheck for Iran into a major story about terrorism.

Still, there’s more, and this is probably bigger:

A Russian virus expert speaking at a Russian information agency conference in Russia reckons ‘e-jihad’ terrorists will try to disable the internet within the next 24 hours (here’s one link and here’s another). Normally I’d laugh at this, but due to this plane crash business, who knows?

Rumour-mongering! I love it!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:43
Blogger is 5 years old, plus Adsense has been opened up for hosted bloggers. They ask you very nicely not to pee in their pool, but at the same time allow you to drink from their toilet. Or something. I’ll let John explain the rest.

Remeber it was a Kerry-light chart yesterday? Check this lot out! *Ding*… round three: 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 (BugMeNot is back up if you run into any registration walls along the way).

Now, the inneresting stuff…

Tricks of the Trade – I can confirm the proof-reading trick. It can also extend into the display of copy. I once knew a nightclub promoter who insisted on a certain percentage of posters being displayed upside-down at random intervals. It forced people to decode them (i.e read them).

Please excuse the Doc Brown impersonation… Sixty-one-point-eight megabytes!!!) Nevertheless, if you’ve got Quicktime and a pipe that can deal with the download, you’ll want to check this one out. (You maniacs! You blew it up! God damn you! God damn you all to hell!” And so on.)

Man finds digital camera in spooky woods, displays pictures online. Fog descends. Ghost of owner fails to take bloody revenge.

George Takei travels back to the U.S. internment camp where he and his family were imprisoned during World War II. Even on this profound and deeply personal pilgrimage, he *still* has to dodge geeks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:44
Guardian – Guantanamo Britons to be visited by lawyers. For the first time in two years. Man, I can’t wait to wake up from this nightmare, so can get back to the simple things in life. Like having pride in my country and a modicum of trust in my leaders.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
09:52
Today, Natasha (21, from Torquay) gets her funbags out in a completely tasteful and artistic way as she ‘slams’ soccer star Wayne Rooney over his “seedy vice girl romps which have pushed fiance Coleen to the brink of a breakdown” She says: I feel so sorry for her. She’s been a tower of strength and doesn’t deserve to suffer like this. I just hope she will overcome this terrible strain.

No doubt the thoughts of the Sun family are also with Stephen Quinn. Perhaps they’ve limited their coverage of Mr Blunkett to this unrelated and fleeting mention today as a mark of respect. Or perhaps they had to make room for this guide to brothels in Newcastle and Manchester.

UPDATE – From The Scum’s recent Hillsborough ‘apology’ : If they want to hate The Sun, then that is their right. We are hardly in a position to blame them. What we find impossible to take, though, is the way some of Liverpool is turning its anger on one of the greatest footballing talents the city has ever seen. Wayne Rooney is one of Liverpool’s finest sons. On Merseyside, his name should be the toast of every pub, street and school. Instead, he is being vilified by some Liverpool and Everton fans…. One view on a Liverpool website is that by telling his life story in The Sun, Wayne has “signed his soul away to the devil.” Another is that he has “accepted 30 pieces of silver.” For goodness sake, give the lad a chance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Flash Thingies
Time
09:57
Wow, that’s one busy tree.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:58
Thank you all for your lovely designs for Boris. I’ll be showing them off today. And taking all of the credit.

(You still have an hour or so if you want to send something in yourself.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Campaigns
Time
10:01
I urge you all to get behind Poons on his Rizla campaign. You can contact Rizla via this form or rizla AT rizla DOT co DOT uk

(Factoid: Where I come from, Orchy bottles are of enormous use to lorry drivers.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Personal Massages
Time
10:31
Oh, hooray for UKNM, hooray for last night and ‘hello’ to everyone I met.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Newsflash
Time
12:07
Latest on the Russian jet crashes from AP : Witnesses said they heard what sounded like three explosions before the first plane crashed and suspicions of terrorist involvement were compounded when officials said the Sibir airlines Tu-154 had issued a signal indicating the plane was being seized.

BBC: An FSB spokesman said searches had revealed no signs of terrorism but sabotage had not been ruled out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Foreign Affairs
Time
12:34
Well, it’s not like it runs in the family or anything…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
An American Election
Time
13:38
Filthiest. Election. Ever.

1. A top lawyer for the Bush/Cheney re(?)election campaign has also been advising the Swift Boat Smear Team.

2. Swiftian caught dead-to-rights in outright lie.

Is it too early to stick a fork in this?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
13:48
From the filthy liberals at the BBC:

Extracts from the Schlesinger report.

The full report (5.7Mb PDF).

A report on the report.

A comment on the report, including a mention of those who would cast Rumsfeld as a hero in this affair.

I’ll leave you alone with your stunned silence.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Pluggage
Time
14:00
There’s an excellent, fresh crop of posts over at The UK Today. Go see. (Oh, and don’t forget to vote.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
Normal People
Time
15:58
Meet Steve Webber. He’s a walking, talking (and totally convincing) Tony Blair lookalike. ‘Tony’ appears to be marginally more convincing, but somewhat delusional. Neither of them would get past my front door, never mind anywhere near my chequebook.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040825
George W. Bush
Time
17:31
The Dress-Up pResident was photographed wearing a ribbon he did not earn.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Established Media
Time
08:55
Spin Buster – Ambush!: Why was the press complicit in keeping afloat a story so easily debunked? There have been dozens of press failures during this presidential campaign. But this one, even given the Times’ and the Post’s belated efforts to get to the bottom of things, has to rank as a low point. In the end, the whole ball of wax certainly did nothing to help the mainstream press’ credibility with what is an increasingly dubious audience.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Photoshopping
Time
08:58
They’re on a mission from God.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
NSFW
Time
09:01
Totally and completely not safe for work (in fact, I’d even avoid it over lunch if I were you), but this really is a most excellent cautionary tale.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Educational!
Time
09:05
Current Events teacher punished for using Abu Ghraib images in class : ”I expected the principal to protect me as a teacher from individual parents who are upset over one thing or another,” he said. ”The class was called Current Events, and it [the prison abuse scandal] was the number one current event at the time. The photos were being displayed everywhere, on television news programs, in newspapers. I was doing my duty as a teacher. At least that’s what I thought.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
In The News
Time
09:18
Bob Piper has made an interesting comment on Mark Thatcher’s arrest. Daniel Brett has produced a flow chart showing all the people and organisations linked to the alleged March 2004 coup plot. The Sun is more worried about how Maggie is taking it. Today, their Page 3 girl (Michelle, 21, from Oldham) says: “It’s a big blow for Maggie coming so soon after the death of her husband, Denis. The allegations against her son are very serious. I only hope this doesn’t cause Maggie’s health to take a turn for the worse.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Iraq
Time
09:31
Independent – Sistani mobilises his ‘believers’ to march on Najaf in peace bid: The most venerated Shia cleric in Iraq made a sudden intervention in the Najaf crisis yesterday by returning to the country and calling on his supporters to march to the embattled holy city.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Tony Blair
Time
09:51
Faith in democracy… rising.

Hope… returrning.

impeachBlair.org: A group of MPs will shortly publish a report which calls on Parliament to impeach the Prime Minister for misleading the people and Parliament over the Iraq war. There will be a press conference at 2pm Thursday 26 August in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House, The House of Commons.

Updates will follow, of that you can be sure. At this stage, the best I can suggest is that constituents be ready to approach their MP and see where they stand on this issue.

Guardian – MPs plan to impeach Blair over Iraq war record: MPs are planning to impeach Tony Blair for “high crimes and misdemeanours” in taking Britain to war against Iraq, reviving an ancient practice last used against Lord Palmerston more than 150 years ago…. A number of Labour backbenchers are considering whether to back the motion, though it could mean expulsion from the party.

BBC – Blair impeachment campaign starts: In the UK, the power was last used in 1806 and Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price wants to revive it. He is unveiling a report from academics but many experts believe it has no realistic chance of success.

Reuters – British Lawmakers Plan to Impeach Blair: Although it has almost no chance of success and is likely to be seen as little more than a publicity stunt, the plan will throw the spotlight back on the reasons Blair gave the country for going to war, the newspapers said… In 1967 a parliamentary committee recommended the right to impeach should be abandoned as “the circumstances in which impeachment has taken place are now so remote from the present that the procedure may be considered obsolete.” However, the right was never repealed.

Yes, but today, the requirement for the right to impeach seems far from remote. Let’s take a quick break to consider these thoughts from Robin Cook (link via The UK Today)….

Scotsman – Cook berates ‘gutless’ Cabinet for backing war: Speaking in Edinburgh, Mr Cook said that the majority opinion in the Cabinet was against the war in Iraq but ministers failed to speak up for their beliefs. He also claimed that Britain would never have been involved in the war had the Prime Minister held a closed vote of his ministers to find out their views.

And now, let’s get back to the meat in the pudding – the report that’s due for release this afternoon.

Torygraph – Isn’t it time to impeach Blair over Iraq?: They have culled each top-spun, souped-up, over-egged quotation, and set it side by side with what the Prime Minister was actually being told about those WMD. You are left at the end feeling angry and bewildered that Blair should take us all for such mugs. It is not so much that he lied (though many of his statements were at odds with reality): it is rather that he used all his lawyerly arts, and all the trust that is naturally reposed in his office, to communicate to the public a vast untruth.

Hmmm. Sounds like a long-overdue document. And it brings to mind the ever-useful Claims vs. Facts Database.

Scotsman – PM has a case to answer: This report not only details the Prime Minister’s misdemeanours over Iraq but also points to a parliamentary mechanism that could finally hold him to account over the abuse of his office in launching the war.

While we wait for the report, here’s some familiar ground to tread over. Get your blood up. Dare to dream that jelly can be nailed to a wall.

(Incidentally, that quote comes from Boris Johnson – who is also backing this report and the motion to impeach. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:31
Meet Jody Dunn, Lib-dem candidate for the (maybe) Hartlepool by-election.

This is a new ship launched in rough waters, so will result in a fair amount of nail-biting from me.

1. Will blogs be misinterpreted as a campaign tool only?

2. Labour enjoy a healthy margin. If the Lib-ems fail to tackle it, will the blog be grouped with this failure (or maybe even blamed for it)?

3. Tom’s record as a blogger and his role in this by-election further complicates matters.

4. I’m not pointing any fingers, but the Birmingham fight got downright personal and dirty at some stages. God forbid that shoutiness should overwhelm either or both blogs. (See 2)

UPDATE – Here’s what The Guardian had to say about it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Normal People
Time
11:20
‘Fiona’ sure likes those wedding dresses. (Note – I found this when making this lovely picture of Tony Blair in Peach.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
A Blog is Born
Time
12:32
Decide for yourselves.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
The Interweb
Time
12:34
Everybody still here? Good. Carry on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Flash Thingies
Time
12:39
OK, everybody – stop what you’re doing. It’s time for a quick lunchtime quiz.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Distractions
Time
13:24
1. Print this.

2. Leave the sign blank.

3. Put it up on a wall.

4. Wait.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
The Interweb
Time
13:30
What do we want? Wider pipes! When do we want them? Last Tuesday!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Copyright
Time
13:35
This Song Belongs to You and Me: EFF has just announced that the JibJab suit has been settled. The resolution was a complete victory for JibJab, which will be entitled to continue distributing the “This Land” animation without further interference from Ludlow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Activism
Time
14:03
It’s official; Bush protestors will no be allowed to walk on the grass. (Cheers to ScaryDuck for the heads-up.)

I think from this point on, we can pretty much take violence as a given. Well done to the Republicans for getting just what they wanted.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
Tony Blair
Time
15:12
ImpeachBlair.org is now live. The report is available in PDF format.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
16:18
BBC – US admits ‘bounty hunter’ contact: The US Department of Defense has admitted having contact with a former US soldier, Jonathan Idema, charged in Afghanistan with torturing civilians.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040826
In The News
Time
17:21
Kathryn Cramer: Somewhat to my surprise, I find the answer to the timing of the Mark Thatcher arrest: he was getting ready to move to the US where presumably his attempts to liberate the oil of Equatorial Guinea from oppression would be more appreciated.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:13
I’m building a modest but important page at the moment. Research is required. Also, there’s Work to be done. A long weekend looms and clients have to be reached and nailed on certain bits and bobs before they take off early to brave the motorways.

In the meantime, please enjoy this excellent post on 527s and the difference between a ‘flip flop’ and a ‘change of heart’.

Also, you may want to consider this curious development brought to our attention by Wibbler

Guardian – Booth’s chambers will help impeach Blair over Iraq war: Cherie Booth’s chambers, Matrix, are to draw up the document to impeach her husband, Tony Blair, for “high crimes and misdemeanours” in the run up to the war against Iraq, it was disclosed yesterday… Yesterday Elfyn Llwyd, leader of Plaid Cymru, a lawyer and one of the MPs bringing the impeachment, said: “Matrix will not be doing this work on a pro bono basis, they will receive a full fee. Cherie Booth will of course will be ruled out as it would be a conflict of interest.”

Check out ImpeachBlair.org is you haven’t already, and please be patient with the PDF download, as demand is heavy and error messages are common. (BTW, this document could just as easily have been distributed as an RTF with a much lower file size… and there really should be a HTML version as well. I’ve scanned it already, but a full read won’t take place until this weekend.)

Contact your local MP. Find out where they stand. If you have a blog, publish their response and get them on record. (See Underblog, who has already made a start.) When this is all over (Blair’s premiership, I mean, not this small but exciting chapter of it) there’ll be lots of Labour MPs who will claim that they weren’t really behind the war blah-blah-blah. I for one would like to be able to identify the ones who actually took a stand when they had the chance.

Oh, Jody Dunn enjoyed a warm welcome yesterday, with 22 comments in all, but as Tom H notes: “It seems that Labour have already drafted in a few people to moan about any old thing – even if it has nothing to do with the issues in Hartlepool!”

If you’re not a big fan of digital brownshirts, perhaps you’d care to wander over that way today and make nice or offer the odd voice of reason.

More? You want more? Oh, go on then…

Enjoy a lesbian and gay summer camp in the Rockies, where you can stay in comfortable condos and “hold hands with whomever you want”. You’ll especially enjoy the section on rock-climbing. It has a photo that (I assume) shows the appropriate level of gratitude you should display when your partner catches you on the backup rope.

Man, that’s a lot of effort to find a girl you almost met. But true love works that way sometimes, I suppose.

Speaking of true love (and the trouble it can get you into)…

The Western Mail – Critical promise of British troops given in Sept 2002: These commitments given by the Prime Minister to the US President were not revealed to his Cabinet, to Parliament or to the public. In fact, the Prime Minister repeatedly said that no decisions had yet been taken.

PS – The best reports coming out of Najaf are coming via Back to Iraq. Some heady stuff.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
13:12
Someone has decided that Tom Watson needs a slap, launched Comical Tommy and been rewarded with coverage.

My thoughts on Team Comical Tommy? Well, one thing that strikes me is that they either don’t get the Teens page or they’re determined to use it against Tom in the hope that others won’t either:

“Tom is very sensitive about people suggesting that his “laff riot” web page Teens! should be taken seriously.”

(says the man swinging his handbag)

“Despite the website appearing to make it look like he is an out of touch, middle-aged loser, he would like it to be made clear that he is being ironic and in reality is very much down with the kids. Only for real. Not a joke.”

(I’ll explain it again, just in case there are newbies around: The Teens page was not meant to appeal to teens. It was not meant to be funny to teens. It was meant to be funny to people who communicate online on a regular basis.)

Given the issue/s that prompted disquiet in Tom’s comments, I think it’s pretty clear what quarter this site originates from. Some may even argue that Tom asked for it, after the Lib-Dem bashing that has taken place on his blog and during the recent by-election (you can track some of the disquiet relating to the latter via this post).

Wait… back up…

Also possible is that:

- This is someone from another party or interest group, trying stir things up

- This is someone with no political affiliation, just pure outrage

- This is someone just wanting to start a fight for the sheer hell of it

- This is someone deliberately trying to disrupt the development of political weblogs

(Yeah, I know that last one is pretty unlikely. I just wanted to cover as many bases as possible because I love being right.)

Point. Back. On. Here we go…

What we’re looking at here is a potential catfight that will almost certainly spread to Jody Dunn’s new weblog and others. And everybody who hasn’t taken a side will most likely abandon ship. But not before the newspapers catch on and decide to aid their circulation by cheering or sneering from the sidelines.

This is not healthy behaviour. This is not helpful behaviour. And what matters most right now isn’t who’s behind it or who started it… but who’s going to finish it.

Peace be with you.

(Yes, I know I don’t have a comments feature. Please feel free to empty your chambers in alt.irony, on your own blog or via email.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
14:57
OK, here you go… the best of the Page 3 editorials all in one place. Link away and share it with an audience you love. Please. (With any luck, I’ll be in the Top Ten for ‘page 3′ this time next week.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
Updates
Time
15:05
I’ve added a ‘Register To Vote’ button from DeclareYourself.com. You may also wish to have a peek at this page from GWB’s campaign site. (Tch! Somebody forgot to add the words “Vote Often!”)

Hey, while we’re on the subject, here’s an image I cooked up last night that shows the miracle of punctuation.

Oh, and if you can’t make it to NYC next week, perhaps you’d care to attend a party in your local area.

UPDATE – Also of interest…

What if the whole world could vote in the U.S. presidential election?

BBC – Bush admits Iraq ‘miscalculation’: US President George W Bush has acknowledged for the first time that he made a “miscalculation” of what conditions would be in post-war Iraq. Mr Bush told The New York Times that the error was by by-product of a “swift victory” in the initial conflict.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:42
The new proxy-blog for Steve Pound has been added to the nav-bar, and the Blog Your MP page. Go and say ‘hello’ by all means.

The following candidates have also been added to the nav-bar, but I can see this becoming very crowded very soon. I may have to launch a directory instead:

Conservative Candidate Iain Dale

Conservative Candidate Kevin Davis

Lib-Dem Candidate Jody Dunn

Speaking of directories, I’ve also added TheyWorkForYou.com more or less as a ‘the rest’ link and a couple of Official Plugs for the new directory Near.co.uk.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
119 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
17:38
Toy In Candy Bag Appears To Depict 9/11 Attack (Link via Catch.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040827
Flash Games
Time
17:50
Battleship, anyone?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Tony Blair
Time
09:34
BBC – Blair returns to hectic schedule: Tony Blair will start his first day back at his desk after his summer break promoting Labour’s efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour. In his first official engagement he will try to seize the initiative on the government’s domestic agenda. The prime minister’s busy in-tray includes a set of potentially highly-charged political issues. They include new Northern Ireland peace talks, a possible ban on fox hunting, Labour’s conference and a by-election.

OK, so there is an anniversary to be exploited (so long as nobody uses the word ‘terror’), but yobs and foxes again? I thought these guys were supposed to me magicians of spin.

Oh, wait – there is spark of life there after all…

Independent – Howard fury over White House ban: Mr Howard hit back after it emerged that his calls for Mr Blair to stand down over the Iraq war have enraged the US President. The simmering feud was laid bare yesterday as it emerged that Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s most powerful official, told the Tory leader that he “could forget about meeting the President”…. Some Tories suspect a Downing Street dirty tricks operation to embarrass Mr Howard on the eve of the Republican Convention in New York. “You have to wonder how this got out when it did,” said one.

You have to wonder? You have to wonder? FFS, it broke on page 2 of Saturday’s Sun in yet another ‘exclusive’ from Trevor Kavanagh. The man behind the leak behind the leak. And you have to wonder?

From ‘subtle’ spin to pure muscle… What the bloody hell does Tony Blair think he’s doing putting this kind of pressure on the BBC?

Independent – Dyke unleashes ‘avenging fury’ on Blair Hutton, Campbell and the BBC governors: But it is Mr Dyke’s account of his relationship with Mr Blair that will attract most attention. A former Labour donor who even financially supported Mr Blair’s leadership bid, Mr Dyke reveals the Prime Minister sought to change BBC coverage on Iraq even before Gilligan’s fateful broadcast. He reveals that the Prime Minister sent personal letters to both himself and Gavyn Davies, the former BBC chairman, complaining about the corporation’s coverage. “It seems to me that there has been a real breakdown of the separation of news and comment,” Mr Blair wrote.

Jaw. Floor. Especially when you consider which news provider has the biggest problem with the separation of news and comment.

More…

Dyke: Blair ‘Unleashed Dogs on BBC’ over Iraq

No 10’s ‘vindictive pressure’

Dyke: How Blair betrayed me – and the BBC

Downing Street remains silent after Dyke accuses ‘bully’ Blair of interfering with BBC

That silence you hear is Mr Blair’s wish for privacy (hey, it worked for Blunkett last week) but I think we can look forward to some heady indignation and “He’s just plugging his book!” noises sometime this afternoon.

Related…

I read the report from ImpeachBlair.org over the weekend. Today, I’m going to email the organisers and ask why it’s not available in HTML format.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
George W. Bush
Time
09:36
Oooh, look – Bush wearing a ribbon he didn’t earn finally made the news. In one foreign newspaper…

Torygraph – Kerry campaign attacks President over ‘war honour he did not earn’

But – oh dear – linking it directly to the Kerry campaign in the headline? MoveOn.com?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
John Howard: 2nd to Fall?
Time
09:45
ABC – PM calls Oct 9 poll: “This election, ladies and gentlemen, will be about trust,” Mr Howard told a press conference. “Who do you trust to keep the economy strong and protect family living standards? Who do you trust to keep interest rates low? Who do you trust to lead the fight on Australia’s behalf against international terrorism?”

Absent or not, I may have to take part in this. Could all Australian readers please check in by email? Cheers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
A Blog is Born
Time
09:49
Nosemonkey launches Europhobia – “the musings of a one-time Eurosceptic turned pro-European”. You’ll like Nosemonkey. He owns one of those sense of humour thingies. Keeps it in a box. Even feeds it from time to time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:54
Memory Hole – Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote: Anybody who has read many official documents – including those making headlines in the last year or more – has seen plenty of redactions (those portions that are blacked out or otherwise made unreadable). This, we’re told, is for legitimate reasons, such as “national security” or “protecting intelligence sources and methods.” But now we have absolute, incontrovertible proof that the government also censors completely innocuous material simply because they don’t like it.

Plus…

Kerry’s daughters booed at MTV awards – the picture of the Bush twins on the giant screen behind them had nothing to do with it.

Who’s blogging at the RNC?

We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore: How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?

Blogger sacked for blogging… by ‘Friend’ster. Bloggers take action.

Lots more on the RNC. This will be grouped in a dedicated post. Later.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:02
Page 3 – Model Propaganda reached over 8,000 people this weekend, thanks in no small part to this feature at BoingBoing submitted by Rod.

You can backtrack full linkage via Technorati if you’ve got the knowin’, but the two biggest tickles for me this morning include this cracking of the language barrier and this (ahem) impassioned response.

Incidentally, I was (finally) motivated to put the collection together after watching Outfoxed. There’s an NTSC VHS sitting on my shelf if anybody wishes to borrow it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
George W. Bush
Time
10:15
I saw a clip of this hard-hitting Q&A sesssion last night. The transcript doesn’t do it justice, so the following (actual) quote has been edited to give you a better idea of the timing…

AUDIENCE MEMBER: God bless you, Mr. Presi…

THE PRESIDENT: He has, thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: …dent.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
The War on Terror
Time
10:20
How Long Can the Country Stay Scared?: The DHS’s threat warnings have been vague, indeterminate, and unspecific. The threat index goes from yellow to orange and back again, although no one is entirely sure what either level means. We’ve been warned that the terrorists might use helicopters, scuba gear, even cheap prescription drugs from Canada. New York and Washington, D.C., were put on high alert one day, and the next day told that the alert was based on information years old. The careful wording of these alerts allows them not to require any sound, confirmed, accurate intelligence information, while at the same time guaranteeing hysterical media coverage. This headline-grabbing stuff might make for good movie plots, but it doesn’t make us safer.

And now, a totally unrelated link that should make you feel even saferer.

And, finally, Bush admits war on terror is unwinnable. Especially the way he plays it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Flash Games
Time
10:24
Rooftop is secure. Oxygen supply looks good. Target in view… and we are GO for launch!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Activism
Time
10:26
New York Times – Vast Anti-Bush Rally Greets Republicans in New York: A roaring two-mile river of demonstrators surged through the canyons of Manhattan yesterday in the city’s largest political protest in decades, a raucous but peaceful spectacle that pilloried George W. Bush and demanded regime change in Washington.

But, of course, if you rely on Murdoch for news, all you’ll see is the inside of Madison Square Garden. Until there’s violence. Or at least some goofball getting shouty. So I’m sure you can guess what this crackdown nonsense is all about…

CNN – 264 arrested in NYC bicycle protest

A blog entry detailing these arrests, from a guy who took pictures of the cops arresting protestors… and got arrested himself.

Activist bike creator Joshua Kinberg arrested

Bikes Against Bush thwarted

Update on arrest of Joshua Kinberg, Bikes Against Bush

Speaking of goofballs, the Protest Warriors are also on the loose in NYC, which can only help. Here’s a blog entry from of these clever clogs who has trouble understanding some of the harsher reactions. It may have something to do with his assumption that everybody opposed to Bush is a liberal peacenik. More here and a video here. You’ll love watching them defend their attempts to disrupt the march and generally cause trouble with cries for ‘free speech’. I’m not at all surprised that Instapundit find them plugworthy.

*sigh*

Moving right along…

You may also be interested to know that there was at least one geek in attendance.

For more RNC protest coverage, check out Indymedia. While you can…

Secret Service Attempts Subpoena For Indymedia Logs as Part of Harassment Campaign: As was reported in today’s New York Times, the Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation and is demanding records concerning anti-RNC deleagte posts to this website. Specifically, the DOJ is seeking information on lists of 2,200 RNC delegate names posted to our Open Newswire.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
RWCs
Time
10:48
On taking ownership of God… God is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat.

On taking ownership of 119… Mayor kicks off RNC with a flub.

On inadvertently speaking scraps of truth… Bush Calls Iraq a “Catastrophic Success”

And if you need a jolly good lunchtime ponder, juancole.com awaits.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
The War on Stupid
Time
13:10
This week is your last chance to vote for the next leader of the Tory party. Blair and Blunkett are neck and neck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
Richard Desmond the Pornographer
Time
14:44
Scaryduck has a go at Richard Desmond for having a go at the BBC.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040831
RWCs
Time
16:55
What a nice lady. What a clever campaign.

I think we can assume that this is part of the whole ‘Support the Troops!’ thing. And that the other band-aid fell off the gaping wound under her nose.

UPDATE – CNN has a report. Yahoo is carrying the picture. See other people comment on this here, here and here.

UPDATE – Angry enought to want details? OK, I’ve got you covered. Try here, here and here.

UPDATE 2 – Well said, that man.

UPDATE 3 – And again. Never misunderestimate a wingnut’s ability to enrage and inspire.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date