11 Reasons Why Tony Blair Must Resign

[NEW – ImpeachBlair.org]

Let’s see if I can get through this without mentioning the war….

1. Tony Blair has lost the trust of the people. Support from his own party is also in short supply. How can a man in this position expect to run his own party, never mind the country? He simply does not have the currency required to run the government. It’s as simple as that. But here are ten more reasons for you to chew on…

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Posted in Tony 'King Blair | 5 Comments

01-12 June, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet another landmark for the unprecedented un-president….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He also asks:

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

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

War trophies are also a no-no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1996 Cottingham High School (Harland Way, Cottingham)

1998 Longcroft School (Burton Road, Beverley)

1998 Denstone College (Uttoxeter, Staffordshire)

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

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

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

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

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

My presentation is entitled:

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

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

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

1. I’m as busy as all hell.

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

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

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

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

What’s causing the uncertainty?

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

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

BBC – Fuel protest plan for city centre.

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

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

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

Fuel crisis tests Blair’s leadership

Fuel protesters ‘like cornered rats’

Warning on fuel protest dangers

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

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

A quick distraction….

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

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

Right, now, where was I? Oh, yes…

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

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

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

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

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

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005.

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

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

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

Bwahahahahahaha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*cough*

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

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

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

Anthony Wells – Swivel-Eyed Loons Triumphant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Circle those wagons, boys!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hereby call for the following Googlebomb:

Opportunist

That is all.

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

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

UPDATE – Some details and comment over at DailyKos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link via Atrios. Click here to read some comments.

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

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

One down….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The name of the project is The Big Intervention.

You need to be ready.

Bloggerheads regulars (and irregulars):

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

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

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

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

Get to it.

Erm, please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“International law? I better call my lawyer…”

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

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

*cough*

And now this.

Here are some opinions.

Here’s a dirty great flame war.

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

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

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

Oh, do you want some good news?

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

Exactly.

(does small victory dance)

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

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

NotCon is going to be fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(makes rude face at peeps who didn’t)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now to the guts of it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I say again:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Date
20040608
Useful
Time
20:07
Check your vision.

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

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

It really is ever so much fun. Trust me.

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

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

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

This time around he’s nowhere to be seen.

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

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

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

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

Vote Bush/Zombie-Reagan in 2004!

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

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

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

Oh, and in completely unrelated news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Postal vote trial boosts turnout!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drop me a line.

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

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

Blog:Vote comments on Doctor Vee’s efforts.

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

Not only, but also:

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

UPDATE – Whoops. Link now fixed.

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

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

Something you need to know:

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

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

Two reasons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll see you in the morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re going for it.

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

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

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

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

UPDATE – And there goes Newcastle!

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

First they start whispering, then they start talking…

(Link via Perfect.co.uk)

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

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

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

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

May lead to the exposure of facts? May?

Pfft. And they call me an optimist.

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

Yes. Because it will all be over by Christmas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

18-28 May, 2004

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Date
20040518
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:44
Tinfoil helmet optional:

Nick Berg’s Killing: 50 Fishy Circumstances, Contradictory Claims, and Videotape Anomalies

Old munitions being dug up by ammo-hungry insurgents have sparked some rather optimistic ‘WMD tip of iceberg’ claims. FOX’News’ is leading the charge.

Feel free to skip these two if you don’t know or don’t care about recent developments in the world of MT and other blog formats:

Mark Pilgrim dumps MT in favour of WordPress, explaining that ‘all non-Free software is a dead-end’.

A general link to WordPress is also charting well this morning.

Dave Winer announces that the Frontier kernel will be released as open source.

Just nudging the top ten, Andy Kaufman is a man as good as his word and John Scalzi has a few words for about-to-be-married gays and lesbians.

Finally, here’s a rather commercial and merkin-centric blog survey. I stopped after ‘annual family income’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040518
Tony Blair
Time
09:52
Jack Straw was on Radio 4 this morning. He described the current leadership froth/fluff/genuine-movement-type-thing situation as being part of ‘mid term difficulty’. Reuters carry the first recent reference to this terminology in this piece, which also puts forward the idea that Iraq ‘could constitute a poisoned chalice for Blair’s successor and be no help to the party’.

This works in quite well with another assertion by Mr Straw this morning – that the call for war did not come from Mr Blair; it was voted for by the House of Commons.

Yes folks; this war belongs to everybody, not just Mr Blair. Remember; youuuuu voted for it! (Well, your MP did. After Mr Blair presented his ‘evidence’ in parliament. Which may or may not have been massaged. Subconsciously. Oh, and after the whips had a quiet word with MPS about further ‘evidence’ – that didn’t go on record.)

Get rid of Mr Blair and the problem remains; and then we won’t have The Great Leader on hand to help us solve this problem. That he didn’t cause.

Sun – PM: I will not cut and run!

He said: “The task of leadership when things are difficult is precisely not to cut and run but to face the difficulties and overcome them.

“The choice we have is not just as a coalition but as a world now.”

He said Iraq “was wrecked and degraded under Saddam Hussein,” adding: “Have we got the will to see it through to a country that’s stable and democratic and operates in the best interests of all the Iraqi people?

“We will continue until we have got the job done.”

Mr Blair later warned there will be “no ducking out” from ANY of his responsibilities.

He insisted that he still had the moral and political authority to keep our boys and girls serving in the Gulf state.

Mr Blair added: “Before the war in Iraq Saddam Hussein was in charge, brutalising his people and destroying their country.

“We are trying to make the country better with the support of the vast majority of Iraqis.

“Every time there’s a terrorist incident or somebody is assassinated that to my mind is the reason not for cutting and running or ducking out.”

Ministers backed him after reports that Mr Blair might quit as PM early.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said the reports were “a bit of silliness”.

A source close to Gordon Brown said they would not be “diverted by malicious, divisive and baseless gossip.”

Deputy PM John Prescott told Labour MPs he was “fully behind the Prime Minister”.

I hope this message is getting through, people… there’s more at stake here than one man’s career. There’s also Iraq.

Stay with me, because this last bit can be confusing…

It’s wrong to tie Mr Blair to Iraq, as he is not responsible.

It is wrong to try and remove Mr Blair, as he is responsible for Iraq.

Hang on, let me try and rephrase that so it makes more sense…

We cannot remove Blair from leadership because of Iraq… erm, because of Iraq.

Better?

No, didn’t think so.

Labour: I See Red (Labour Needs Leadership Change)

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Date
20040518
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:10
I’ll be working on posters ‘as and when’ today – and keeping a sharp eye out for news of Brian Haw, who is due in court today. (UPDATE – He has been granted bail and ordered to return on 1 June.)

I’ll also be posting a job ad later this morning. Just a short-term contract for a local designer who knows their way around Movable Type. The overall design is done, we just need someone to carve what we want out of MT. It’s a no-brainer, but the job needs to be done quickly.

Here’s your chance to bug me for details before I actually post them…

5, 4, 3, 2…

UPDATE – Ok, here it is. Pardon the ‘copy and paste':

We require a committed freelance designer/developer with proven experience of the Movable Type platform. You will be using provided flat Photoshop files to create custom layouts using Movable Type, HTML and CSS. Basic technical requirements include:

- Professional and proven ability to author sites within Movable Type (ability to hand code).

- Excellent understanding of HTML and CSS (ability to hand code).

- Good working knowledge of Photoshop/Fireworks.

You will be working remotely so you’ll need your own home office with relevant software. In the first instance please mail movabletype AT screenpages DOT com with URLs stating your responsibilities on these sites design/build, and your CV in Word or PDF format. This is an immediate requirement so the successful candidate will need to be able to hit the floor running! We will offer an attractive hourly salary for the right person.

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Date
20040518
Activism
Time
15:54
Download and display some nifty fake images. (There’s a little bit of truth in each and every one.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040518
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
16:03
Independent – Allies accused of breaking Geneva Conventions on civilian losses: … the Americans and the British do not bother to keep count of the people they have “liberated” and then killed. This is not usual in modern warfare. In most past conflicts, attempts were made to keep a tally of civilian losses. Legal experts say that, particularly in the case of Iraq, it is the duty of occupying powers to do so under the Geneva Conventions.

UPDATE – Heh. The perfect solution to the Abu Ghraib prison problem: rebranding.

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Date
20040518
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
17:05
www.instruction-manuals.co.uk

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Date
20040519
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:29
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has spent £15 million on mercenaries in Iraq.

Apparently there’s a world of difference between a private military company and a private security company… but being a naive peacenik, I simply did not know that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040519
Normal People
Time
09:30
German couple advised by fertility clinic to ‘try sex’: A clinic spokesman said: “We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate.”

Man Arrested After Motel Room Is Coated In Vaseline: After Roger Chamberlain checked out last week, the cleaning crew discovered mattresses and bedding were slathered with the slippery stuff. Vaseline covered the TV set, furniture, carpeting and towels — and everything else in the room.

We can only assume that this includes the bible in the bedside table.

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Date
20040519
The Happy Poster Project
Time
09:35
Best. Reaction. Ever.

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Date
20040519
GMail
Time
09:37
GMail attains currency status before it even launches. I’m willing the bet that there’s something in Google’s T&Cs that says being this ‘nice’ is a little bit naughty.

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Date
20040519
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:40
Six Apart continue with their “Hey, stop! Now, listen… let’s not be hasty” marketing programme.

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Date
20040519
Opportunities
Time
09:47
Britain’s Oldest Nudist Camp for Sale!

Cease your sniggering! This is serious:

Regulars at the discreetly-named North Devon club told the paper they were fearful about its future – and also concerned at visitors coming to view the property. “We’ve had all sorts just wandering in. We even caught one man hiding in the bushes taking pictures. He was lucky he wasn’t lynched,” said 67-year-old Glenys Banner, who has spent every summer at the camp for 23 years.

(Link via the full-to-overflowing Attu Sees All.)

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Date
20040519
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
09:56
Roll up, roll up – place your bets! When do you think Tony will step down or get the shaft?

Ever the optimist, I’ve gone for Tuesday 15th June 2004.

BBC – Blair’s leadership back on menu: Ministers are all rallying round in public, of course but there is little doubt that old feuds – between Robin Cook and Gordon Brown, for example – have been patched up and new alliances are being made. Backbenchers, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly nervous about the safety of their own Commons seats. If Tony Blair really has become an electoral liability, many of them will pay the price.

Fun things to do:

My stats show only 200 or so views of Labour: I See Red from the parliament.uk servers. We need to bump this up a bit.

Your mission today – if your local MP is of the Labour variety – is to send them a link to this important political message.

The email address of any MP is dead easy to work out. If their name is John Smith, it’s smithj@parliament.uk – I’m sure you can work out the rest for yourself. Go to it. (Be nice.)

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Date
20040519
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
10:37
Thirtysomethings find comfort in weekend pajama parties and plan the ultimate sleepover. Well, something has to fill the void left by Friends and Sex In The City.

Totally unrelated:

This competition is designed to remind us that it’s nearly time to waste another summer watching nobodies do nothing.

Mind you, it could get exciting. I refer you to this post from June last year: Incidentally, I was quite worried last month that the Big Brother house was a prime UK target (poor security, high visibility, low payload requirement, guaranteed footage, etc.) but now I’ve relaxed a bit. Nothing to do with decreased vigilance, it’s just become obvious that no-one is watching the damn thing.

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Date
20040519
Pluggage
Time
10:37
Time once again to plug Giltsharp’s short story competition. 50 Swiss Quattros are going begging and all you have to do is string a few words together on your blog.

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Date
20040519
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:55
BBC – US ‘abuse soldier’ faces court: The first American soldier charged over the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal is set to go on trial in Baghdad. Specialist Jeremy Sivits is accused of taking the photos – including one of a “human pyramid” of naked prisoners – which sparked international outrage.

A candlelight vigil has been held in his home town of Hyndman, PA.

Jeremy Sivits, “our hometown hero.” The folks at Hyndman Middle-Senior High must be especially proud. Perhaps they can use some of Jeremy’s snaps to liven up their Pictures page.

Moving right along to where responsibility lies… (hint: look up)

UPI – Army, CIA want torture truths exposed: But what enrages many serving senior Army generals and U.S. top-level intelligence community professionals is that the “few” in this case were not primarily the serving soldiers who were actually encouraged to carry out the abuses and even then take photos of the victims, but that they were encouraged to do so, with the Army’s well-established safeguards against such abuses deliberately removed by high-level Pentagon civilian officials.

ABCNEWS.com – Former Abu Ghraib Intel Staffer Says Army Concealed Involvement in Abuse Scandal: Top military officials have claimed the abuse seen in the photos at Abu Ghraib was limited to a few MPs, but Provance says the sexual humiliation of prisoners began as a technique ordered by the interrogators from military intelligence. “One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women’s underwear,” Provance said. “If it’s your job to strip people naked, yell at them, scream at them, humiliate them, it’s not going to be too hard to move from that to another level.”

Bag a statue, send a reminder.

UPDATE – A long comments thread relating to that last link is available over at Atrios.

It was also there that I found this chunky nugget…

I’m not putting any helpful text in this link, sorry. You need to follow, read and poke around yourself on this one.

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Date
20040519
Church & State
Time
10:56
Village Voice – Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move: …we’re not supposed to know the National Security Council’s top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios. But now we know.

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Date
20040519
Activism
Time
10:58
I’ll be working on some more ‘Fake Image’ posters later today. I can’t source the actual Sun ’45 minutes from doom’ front page, so I’m going to have to take the piss with an obvious mock-up, I think.

UPDATE – Luke from Expats reports on yesterday’s Bush Snr protest. They got shunted into a Free Speech Zone – the second provided for the Bush family on British soil.

This from Luke: A man was arrested right in front of me for “breach of the peace” for refusing to protest inside the barricades, which was outright unnecessary and can only fan the flames of anger from the other protesters.

UPDATE – Scotsman – Action Hint over Parliament’s Noisy Demonstrator: Possible action against a one-man demonstration opposite Parliament is being carefully considered at the highest level of Government, the Commons heard today.

So, sending the muscle in hasn’t worked, ditto for bullshit terrorism ‘threats’ and charges. What else can they come up with to silence Brian Haw?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040519
Flash Music Video
Time
12:15
JPEG Baby is world-famous in Germany again (NSFW site). This single link is resulting in 100 visitors an hour.

UPDATE – Ahahahahaha! Found via the same site, an excellent (and also NSFW) Flash game: Spermicide! They won’t get away with using that music for long….

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Date
20040519
War on ‘Terror’
Time
12:36
The new ‘security’ screen in the House of Commons isn’t balloon-proof:

BBC – Commons suspended: The House of Commons has been suspended during Prime Minister’s question time after a balloon filled with purple powder was thrown at Tony Blair.

(Email heads-up from BigDaddyMerk.)

UPDATE – Please note the subtle alteration to the ‘Labour: I See Red’ banner.

UPDATE – Refresh that BBC link for an increasing amount of detail. The projectiles weren’t thrown from the public (screened) gallery, but from the press gallery.

There’s more from the Guardian. Not that you need my help from this point on. The wires are alive with this. It’s already been reported on CNN, in New Zealand, in South Africa, etc. etc. etc.

So, when do you think we can expect new anti-protest (sorry, best make that ‘anti-terror’) screens for the press gallery and the side gallery? Should do wonders for the growing bunker-mentality that’s served us so well in the past.

UPDATE – Tom Watson is also bringing us fresh news from the purple powder front. Apparently John Prescott was a right old hero, and jumped to cover the powder so it wouldn’t spread.

UPDATE – And here’s the slow-motion replay (1.2Mb AVI) , coming to you courtesy of chachacha.co.uk. Take a look at the shake of the head at 00:14. Blair knows exactly what this is – and what it’s not. Ditto for Brown and Prescott. Makes the whole ‘cover the powder up so it doesn’t spread’ moment look more like housekeeping than heroism. But that’s just me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040519
Guantanamo Bay
Time
15:38
“That’s not the way we do things in America.” – George W Bush, April 30, 2004

Oh, really?

Guardian – Former Guantánamo chief clashed with army interrogators: The commander of Guantánamo Bay, sacked amid charges from the Pentagon that he was too soft on detainees, said he faced constant tension from military interrogators trying to extract information from inmates.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040519
Activism
Time
17:54
There are three new posters on a newspapery theme now ready to roll on the ‘Fake’ Image Poster Project page. Download, print, and distribute at will.

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Date
20040520
The War on….
Time
10:58
1. Yes, I found it amusing.

2. Yes, I think it was a stupid thing to do.

Bear with me…

Blair is a man who simply doesn’t listen. His ‘leadership’ has been almost as distant and enclosed as Bush’s.

Remember, I’ve felt the shut-out first hand. I was receiving email intended for Tony Blair for months-stroke-years, and it wasn’t until post-11/9 (please note correct formatting of date) when I was receiving email from high-profile Muslim groups that his communications department suggested that maybe I could spend time vetting and forwarding the emails to his constituency address – before swiftly moving back to the position of pretending that I didn’t exist.

So I can not only empathise with the position of Fathers-4-Justice, I can also tell you with some degree of confidence that you are going to see more and more of this kind of action if Blair continues to:

- operate contrary to (or oblivious to) public feeling

- use willing, almost ‘in house’ media to shift his personal spin

- pass off stunts like The Big Abortion as public consultation.

But there’s one other thing that Blair gets up to that really gets my goat. It’s the massive error in judgement that should be keeping you awake at nights.

Blair deliberately manipulates the (very real) threat of terrorism to serve his own agenda.

And this stunt was an asset for Blair from the moment they decided to use flour bombs.

So let’s congratulate Fathers-4-Justice for an inspired campaign move. We can see the results today in the headlines that read:

FATHERS SEEK JUSTICE IN COMMONS

*cough*

Had Fathers-4-Justice not pulled their stunt yesterday, many of the headlines would have read:

HOWARD TAUNTS BLAIR OVER LEADERSHIP

Take a look at what was being discussed when the flour hit the fan.

or…

HOWARD: BLAIR MUST STAND UP TO BUSH

Independent – Howard’s message to Blair: Time to stand up to Bush: Michael Howard breaks ranks with Tony Blair over Iraq today by calling on the Prime Minister to speak out publicly against the United States when he disagrees with President George Bush.

Well, truth be told, if we had media with brains and balls, the headlines would mostly read:

HOWARD: HYPOCRITE & OPPORTUNIST

Instead, a condom full of purple flour has become a ‘powder missile’. This taps directly into the public’s fears of biological weaponry, doing Bush & Blair’s War on ‘Terror’ a grand service and – surprise, surprise – Murdoch was on the case before the purple haze settled (see right).

And today, The Scum contributes to the ever-growing culture of fear with:

THEY COULD ALL BE DEAD!

Shocking! True! But more than a little misleading. (Oh, and please do note that the pictures of Posh as a teenager are given an equal amount of space. And top billing.)

Actually, perhaps this headline should read:

*WE* COULD ALL BE DEAD!

Especially because the Blair government is soooo concerned about terrorism that MPs have been given no advice or training on any procedures to follow if there were a terrorist attack in the House of Commons. Instead they build screens that serve more to separate us from the seat of democracy and damage what’s left of the concept of open government in this country.

And when there is the possibility of a biological agent on the loose (however unlikely that may seem) you have people like David “Don’t Panic” Maclean herding his Tory charges out the door, crying; “Get out, out, quickly now.”

I think we can all be thankful that Fathers-4-Justice do not have access to their children. Had they been brought on the day, they would no doubt have been used as human shields by wild-eyed Tories rushing for the nearest exit.

Sending potentially contaminated MPs to wander into the lobby and beyond and even have a stroll outside if they wanted to? If we must discuss this matter in terms of an actual possible maybe perhaps terrorist threat sometime maybe possibly in the future (that you can count on), can the focus please be on practical measures we can take to protect the people and their representatives?

No?

OK, let’s just build another screen and ban the public from Westminster altogether. We can use the same security drive to shift that shouty fellow across the road. I mean, we have to protect democracy from terrorism, right?

UPDATE – From the BBC, some promising promises from Peter Hain and – shock horror – use of the non-panic words ‘flour bomb’.

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Date
20040520
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:00
I blogged this yesterday, but it’s worth repeating, as it’s f’ing jaw-dropping stuff…

Village Voice – Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move: …we’re not supposed to know the National Security Council’s top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios. But now we know.

Is Bush’s policy guided by people who believe the world is about to end and that we should be helping matters along? Is Bush one of these people?

He certainly has no problem giving them government funding so they can brainwash the kiddies.

You should worry about this. You should worry about this a lot.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Activism
Time
11:10
Via Toby

What governments and corporations get up to when they don’t think anyone is paying attention.

UPDATE – Also, there’s this from Y. Bee Normal..

Permission to protest? Denied! We must do what we can to protect our endangered Republicans…

And for those that need reminding:

Sack Bush: The Bagged Statue Experiment

The ‘Fake Image’ Poster Project

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Normal People
Time
11:43
Where is that smell coming from? (Link via the non-smelly Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
How Weblogs Work
Time
11:50
The initial analysis from the Memespread experiment is ready. There’s also some coverage at Wired to be had. (Links via Me and Ophelia.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Goodbye, George
Time
12:16
Guardian – Hostilities force Bush into deep hole : The conservatives’ growing awareness that failure may be imminent has generated a backlash against the more radical “neo-conservatives” such as Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith at the Pentagon, who are blamed for persuading President Bush that an invasion would be relatively easy.

(Link via Sensible Election, who also point us to this ruling on Bush’s Medicare ‘news’ segments.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Advertising Genius
Time
13:47
I Want To Believe.

UPDATE – Oooh, look. It’s even managed a mainstream injection.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Photoshopping
Time
14:47
Woof!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
The Bush Administration
Time
14:53
Yahoo – Pentagon Stops Payments to Iraq’s Chalabi

Yahoo – U.S. Troops Raid Chalabi’s House in Iraq

FYI, Chalabi was a major source of that ‘darn good intelligence’ relied upon by the Bush administration.

UPDATE – Here you go, this should keep you busy.

UPDATE 2 – There’s more on this and the bombing near the Syrian border over at Back to Iraq.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
15:02
Say what you like about Specialist Sabrina Harmon, I think she has a lovely smile.

What a shame she wastes it on naked Iraqi bottoms and people who have been beaten to death.

UPDATE – An i-Poddish treat from the streets of NYC. Oh, and a close-up here.

(Link via Abnu.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Church & State
Time
18:04
If you’re in America, you can watch it on PBS tonight. If you have a beefy computer with a wide pipe, you can watch it anytime you like (Windows Media or RubbishPlayer):

Frontline: The Jesus Factor – ‘Examining George W. Bush’s personal religious journey, its impact on his political career and pResidency, and the growing influence of America’s evangelical Christians.’

(Cheers to Y. Bee Normal for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040520
Flash Music Video
Time
21:19
I think I’ve just been out-done (1.4Mb Flash – also contains a bitchin’ guitar solo).

UPDATE – Link now fixed. Follow and enjoy!

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Date
20040521
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:24
Busy day today, but I do have these for you…

Bush and his lovely little neo-cons are so concerned about their litigious society that they’re planning to use writ-happy parents as part of their censorship drive.

U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings – Bush’s failed Mideast policy is creating more terrorism: Now everyone knows what was not the cause. Even President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Listing the 45 countries where al-Qaida was operating on September 11 (70 cells in the U.S.), the State Department did not list Iraq. Richard Clarke, in “Against All Enemies,” tells how the United States had not received any threat of terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion.

Bush may acknowledge that there was no terror/Iraq connection before the war, but he suggests or infers it every chance he gets. Oh, and here’s some more good news on ‘the central front on terror‘ that he’s so proud to have created. (Here, have a look at Little Johnny Howard bleating this defensive mantra as recently as yesterday.)

Yahoo News – GI: Boy mistreated to get dad to talk: A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father’s resistance to interrogators.

Has Andy Kaufman returned? Snopes gives it ruling.

Anil Dash steps forward to try and clam the MT storm.

Wired reports on gmailswap.com

Troy in Fifteen Minutes

Robot protest!

Does what is says on the tin. But looks kind of naff.

And finally, Re: Statue-bagging

That’s what I like about Moveon.org; they think big.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040521
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
11:27
www.marryyourpet.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040521
Flash Music Video
Time
11:28
I don’t understand. Why make something in flash and ‘broadcast’ it as a compressed video? Wouldn’t the .SWF file be more accessible, smaller in file size and offer higher resolution?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040521
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:34
The Ultimate War Sim: Like my Grandpa always said, there were no naked human pyramids in Starcraft.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040521
Bunch of Stuff
Time
16:52
Another incredible car makeover that’s sure to impress the chicks, the incredible quality of local newspapers and how upset some people can get about the theft of their digital eyebrows. All this and more in this week’s B3ta newsletter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040521
Flash Games
Time
18:10
Cheat! (Read the instructions over somebody’s shoulder for maximum enjoyment.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Goodbye, George
Time
09:53
Awwww, poor widdle Bushie fell off his bike and got a boo-boo on his face. Of course, it didn’t happen because he’s a witless and uncoordinated buffoon who can’t even stay upright on a Segway, it happened because he’s a go-getting he-man…

McPaper – Bush suffers cuts, bruises while biking: “It’s been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose,” (White House spokesman Trent Duffy) said. “You know this president. He likes to go all out. Suffice it to say he wasn’t whistling show tunes.”

What a guy! I vote we get him one of those quad-bikes. I hear they’re pretty lethal. If we want to go all out, we can buy this remote-control quad-bike and make sure the job gets done right next time. Hell, if the topsoil is loose enough, we might even be able to plant him head-first like a lawn-dart.

UPDATE – Some thoughts on this and other pResidential misadventures from the London News Review.

UPDATE 2 – Experience a fish/barrel moment and enjoy the heartwarming laughter of the American people.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
I. Want. My. Windmill!
Time
09:55
Power to the people – by rooftop turbine: The Swift Rooftop Wind Energy System, developed by the Edinburgh company Renewable Devices Limited, supplies the power directly into a home’s individual existing mains supply. Each turbine is made up of five two-metre rotor blades encased in an outer-rim, like a wagon wheel, and it sits just 1.5 metres above the height of a house.

Ooh, lookie – they have a website. That needs optimisation. I’ll let you know how I get on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:59
Hooray for the good ship Lynndie England, and all who sail in her (Link via ScaryDuck.)

US tactics ‘heavy handed’ says Straw memo: The first cracks in Britain’s coalition with the United States over the occupation of Iraq were exposed last night by a leaked government memo which revealed deep misgivings about America’s “heavy-handed” tactics in the war-torn country

Gen. Zinni: ‘They’ve Screwed Up’: But Zinni broke ranks with the administration over the war in Iraq, and now, in his harshest criticism yet, he says senior officials at the Pentagon are guilty of dereliction of duty — and that the time has come for heads to roll.

The Marine’s tale: ‘We killed 30 civilians in six weeks. I felt we were committing genocide’: The Marines were told that Iraqis were filling ambulances with explosives, and that soldiers were dressed as civilians, but after pouring fire into vehicles and hearing no explosions, they started to doubt the truth of these claims.

Hmm, sound to me like the Marines were sold some kind of terror/Iraq lie. Mind you, there’s still a chance they can keep a lid on all of this…

Sydney Morning Herald – Rumsfeld bans camera phones in Iraq: Quoting a Pentagon source, (The Business newspaper) said the US Defence Department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
South West Trains
Time
10:11
############################################################

Peter is the latest South West Trains victim to stand tall. He’s cooking up a passenger protest!

“I want to be able to give a representative group of passengers the option to travel on time, so I’ll be looking to hire a coach to run from Alton Station to Farnham Station. If I can get a reasonable quote for the journey then there will be no cost to passengers, otherwise there’ll be a nominal fee to recoup the cost. ”

Ahahahahahahaha!

Do go and check it out – and if you’re going to nab a link today, do consider making it this one; this plan deserves support.

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:18
Topping the chart, it’s a good old-fashioned blog-broken sex scandal! Wonkette has an exclusive photo and The Washington Post has the report.

Coming a close second and gettings links from all sorts of magical places, a new song from Eric Idle, dedicated to the FCC. (It’s a 2.98 Mb MP3, and NSFW without headphones.)

Also, there’s most of the war stuff collected in the post below and two links relating to Michael Moore:

A report from MichaelMoore.com

Andrew Anthony asks some awkward questions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Tories are Triffic
Time
10:27
From The Mirror, who you know have every reason to be careful lately

The Tory Leader and his Drug-Dealer Cousin: A drug-dealing cousin of the Conservative leader was named in connection with a Royal Pardon allegedly linked to “large sums of money” changing hands. The cousin, Simon Bakerman, has been linked to the case of two notorious heroin barons who got out of jail early in what an MP on Friday described “scandalous” circumstances. The Royal Prerogative in the case was authorised by Mr Howard when he was Home Secretary in 1996.

UPDATE – Ooh, look; here’s some interesting background via the Observer, courtesy of Google, and a related report from the same period, also from the Sunday Mirror.

If you want to track this story as/if it develops, set up a Google News Alert.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Inneresting
Time
10:32
Photos of an abandoned Japanese mining colony.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
The BNP
Time
10:40
You’ll want to be quick if you want to see this; the server can only take a minor beating.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Tony Blair
Time
10:44
You may want to pay to read this, you may not..

John Rentoul is of the considered opinion that Tony can’t be shifted and that Labour can’t lose and he cites this prediction.

Time, I think, to found The Voter Apathy Party and go with posters like:

WHY BOTHER VOTING? YOU KNOW LABOUR’S GOING TO WIN.

Or, we could colour our futures with a touch of optimism…

The Scotsman – Cook tipped for role of kingmaker: When the former Foreign Secretary quit his Cabinet job as Leader of the House of Commons immediately before British and American troops went in, few fancied his chances of a comeback. But now that the Prime Minister’s Iraq strategy has foundered, and there is open speculation in parliament about whether Mr Blair can survive, the Livingston MP is not only on the road back to office, he is being tipped as a future kingmaker.

Watch the show, link if you have a website, send a copy if your local MP is of the Labour variety.

UPDATE – Bless the Interwebnet. Oh, and cheers Al. Mind you, I’d still be happier if it were a real party that you could actually decide not to bother voting for.

UPDATE 2 – More on the worth of John Rentoul’s words over at The Uk Today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Video
Time
12:45
Watch George W. Bush prepare to make a very important announcement (streaming Windows Media file). The punchline is a kicker.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
The Bush Administration
Time
13:49
Good news! Great care is being taken to place the right people in the right jobs in Iraq.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
14:45
Quote Of The Day: “Bad people have celebrations, too.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
OK, So I’m a Comic Book Geek
Time
14:58
I have got to get me a copy of Alyas Batman En Robin. You can find out more about this incredible film here and here. (And if you live in the US or Canada, you can pick up a stray copy on eBay here.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Video
Time
16:01
Star Wars Kid in Ep III? Forget that. Check him out starring in Ep IV (3.4Mb WMV). This is a (very) late arrival to the party, but it’s well cut and the music works a treat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Flash Games
Time
16:05
Defender!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
Opportunities
Time
16:12
The Israeli spy agency Mossad is recruiting! You can find the online form you need here. (Cheers to ScaryDuck for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
17:06
BBC – Disney strikes Moore movie deal: Miramax chiefs Harvey and Bob Weinstein will distribute satirist Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, despite an earlier ban by backers Disney. … It is believed the deal will force the Weinsteins to repay Disney the money spent on the film so far, but that Disney will not receive any of the movie’s profits.

They’re going to be sor-ry…..

There’s no release date for the UK yet, but (show of hands) who wants spend their hard-earned money to go and see this as soon as it comes out? We can all go together and dress up as Disney characters and eats lots of popcorn and stuff.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040524
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
17:57
U.N. Iraq Draft Gives No Exit Date for Foreign Force: A new U.S.-British drafted U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing sovereignty for an Iraqi caretaker government approves the presence of the U.S.-led force there but sets no date for the troops to leave.

Tonight’s speech will be interesting. Assuming, of course, that you get a chance to see it.

UPDATE – Almost missed this… Morgue Records Show 5,500 Iraqis Killed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:14
Transcript.

Key excerpts.

Short version: Terror, terror, freedom, Saddam, terror, Abu-Gargd, Aboogravy, Abu… nevermind. We’re building a shiny new prison (applause). We have a plan (applause). Sorry, no details as yet. Hard times to come, terror, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction. We have a vision: us vs. them. I thank you (applause). (Phew! I think they bought it…)

And this is how much he knows/cares about it. Reuters are being very kind about this. Than first pronounciation actually came dangerously close to ‘Abu Gay Rape’ – talk about a Freudian slip.

He also did his best to associate Abu Ghraib with Saddam Hussein before kindly offering to burn down the barn after the horse has bolted. Not even this is news. The bold plan to purge guilt and destroy evidence was announced last week.

Quote of the Day: “So my feeling is, tear it down. Get rid of it Not just because of what a few soldiers did, but because of also because of what that symbol meant to Saddam, and show the Iraqi people, ‘Hey, we don’t want that kind of torture anymore.'”

Hey, torture is bad, m’kay?

Oh, and there it is again: ‘Abu Ghraib, Saddam’… ‘Abu Ghraib, Saddam’…. just keep repeating it and will become as natural as ‘Iraq, terror’.

Saddam is evil. The building is evil. We have a vision and it is holy. Now let’s move on….

The draft resolution does not give the Iraqis powers to make the troops leave: It does not give a definite timetable for the foreign force to leave and calls for a review after a year. An elected Iraqi government, after January, can also call for such a review. A review, however, would be similar to an open-ended mandate and would not mean the force would leave unless the Security Council, where the United States has veto power, decides it should do so. Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham acknowledged there was no authority for Iraq to ask foreign troops to leave.

But they will leave if asked nicely.

Finally…

Poll: Iraq Taking Toll On Bush

I ashamed that it’s taken this much just to get him on the back foot…

UPDATE – One day we will all look back fondly on the days of near-to-infinite Bush/terror flame wars at Fark.com

UPDATE – Two from the London News Review for you…

Bush foresees a “chaotic” future in Iraq.

Bush plans to demolish Abu Ghraib prison: another step towards that Nobel Peace Prize.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
RWCs
Time
10:18
It was bouncing around yesterday that this off-the-cuff remark was a fabrication, but look at the wingnuts eating it up.

‘Revealed’ by Drudge, printed by Murdoch’s Washington TimesKerry pokes fun at Bush mishap. They also feel compelled to point out that Kerry has fallen off a bike, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:25
Futurama Panomaras.

Author booed for bagging Bush. He even dared to (*gasp*) infer that the pResident is a liar!

Curse the liberal media!

Got a book in you? Would you like one? (No, wait…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
Compare & Contrast
Time
10:29
Guardian – What have we done?: The horrific images from Abu Ghraib have come to define the ill-starred occupation of Iraq, but what do they really tell us about America? Are they simply the work of a few rogue soldiers, or the result of the new foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration, which find ready approval in an increasingly brutalised society? Susan Sontag on the ugly face of the war on terror.

Independent – UN troops buy sex from teenage refugees in Congo camp: Teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being sexually exploited by the United Nations peace-keeping troops sent to the stop their suffering.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
WMDs
Time
10:35
Yahoo – Nuclear Experiment Planned at Nevada Site: The experiments technically do not violate the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty because no critical mass is formed and there is no full-scale nuclear explosion. Anti-nuclear groups criticize the experiments as contrary to the treaty’s spirit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
Updates
Time
10:44
Re: Tom Watson’s site.

It seems to be an automated switch to a holding page. But getting any kind of answer or support for this unannounced change is proving difficult. Just one reason why we’re already making moves to change providers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
Tony Blair
Time
11:32
The UK Today comments on recent Iraq Polls: At the end of the day, a poll on Iraq is pretty pointless. Tony Blair is going to continue with his sacred policy in Iraq, regardless of what pollsters or protestors say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
South West Trains
Time
11:37
Did anybody else see that pathetic launch of new rolling stock at Waterloo yesterday? I’d provide a link, but apart from 30 seconds on BBC news, it got the zero coverage it deserved. FFS, they had a bunch of women prancing about in 60’s gear to say goodbye to the old stock. You’d think the last thing they would want to do is remind people that until now they’ve been paying through the nose to ride around in carriages that are close to 40 years old.

If you currently travel from Alton Station to Farnham Station, prepare to protest. If you travel elsewhere on this crappy and unreliable network, why not have a word or two with your fellow victims about group bus charter for a month?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
RWCs
Time
15:06
Is Rush Limbaugh still abusing prescription medication, or has he simply gone ‘street’ and started smoking cheap crack before he goes on air? (I know it’s rough going, but do try to hang in there until the last paragraph. It’s a whopper.)

UPDATE – Here you go; this should cheer you up. Always works for me.

UPDATE – Oh dear, I fear my sides will split with laughter. So clever. So very devastating…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
It’s War! And You Just Volunteered!
Time
16:39
Torture: practice makes perfect.

UPDATE – Also, here’s another nail in Bush’s coffin, courtesy of El Reg.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040525
Goodbye, George
Time
16:53
If you have a blog, please do blog this…

Stirling Newberry – Justice must be seen to be done: It is time for someone, someone with something to lose, (to) come forward and state the obvious: we have, installed in our oval office, a man who is so unfit for the duties – by reason of a pathological dishonesty and complete disregard for the welfare of the citizens of this country – as to demand that we remove him, and his party, from power – and then use every law and organ of government to investigate the nakedly criminal underpinnings of that party.

UPDATE – A small thought for you; the longer we allow this to go on, the weaker we look. As this morning’s first post should show, I feel a significant level of guilt that I haven’t done more myself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:34
Apart from the minor distraction of a kick-arse computer makeover, Blogdex tells a story today…

Guardian – US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq war: An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress…

Washington Post – Bush Poll Numbers On Iraq at New Low: Public approval of President Bush’s handling of the conflict in Iraq has dropped to its lowest point with growing fears that the United States is bogged down and rising criticism of Bush’s handling of the prison abuse scandal…

McPaper – History lesson: GOP must stop Bush: Thirty years ago, a Republican president, facing impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, was forced to resign because of unprecedented crimes he and his aides committed against the Constitution and people of the United States.

And, yes, this is related. It all comes down to the polarisation caused by this fundamentalist administration and – glory be – expectation of the rapture to come. It’s the ultimate Us vs. Them battle… and everyone cast in flesh is invited.

Enter God Zone – the country! Frank Miller will be pleased.

1. Please excuse the obscure literary reference

2. I make no excuses for referring to graphic novels as literature

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
The War on Terror
Time
10:02
Take your tinfoil helmets off; you won’t be needing them…

CNN – Sources: Major terror attack possible this summer: Several U.S. officials said Tuesday that intelligence indicates there is increasing concern about the possibility of a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, perhaps as early as this summer. Such an attack might take place before the November presidential election in an attempt to affect the outcome, the officials said.

Possible? Possible? Try very bloody likely.

The longer Bush & Blair are allowed to maintain their lies and play their games, the more likely this is to work. (It worked in Spain, but only because Aznar played the game that Bush and Blair are still playing right down to the wire.)

Waiting for a major election to enact change is a mistake for three reasons:

1. A crime is in progress. It’s our duty as citizens to bring the criminals posing as our leaders to justice, and not hang around waiting for karma to sort them out.

2. The only way to fight the terrorists is to rob them of their assets. Their primary asset right now is the indefensible actions of our governments. This works for them from the ground up (the more people who have sympathy for their cause, the more able they are to move freely and take action).

3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the longer we wait, the weaker we look.

The effectiveness of terrorism is rooted in fear. Bush and Blair have been taking that fear and enhancing it (!) in order to turn it into some kind of asset. (Like, say, using it to justify a pre-emptive strike against a nation that had nothing to do with the current terrorist threat.)

Waiting for what passes as democracy these days to sorts things out will invite the worst kind of trouble.

/rant

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
Established Media
Time
10:33
My, my, my – there is a change in the air, isn’t there?

To think that only yesterday I was wondering what Mr Murdoch’s exit strategy was. Not that you’re likely to see anything like this in a Murdoch paper…

New York Times – The Times and Iraq: But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.

If you’re looking for someone to thank for this, look here.

(Links via this post at Atrios.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
12:14
London News Review – The Blair Bush Rift: it’s all about elections: If we pick apart the argument between Britain and the United States over the running of Iraq after June 30, we can see that it is all about two leaders facing the end of their political lives. It is about elections, leadership, and legacy. As you might have expected, it isn’t actually about the Iraqi citizenship at all.

The UK Today – Bliar: According to the soaraway Sun, Tony Blair plans to make an historic speech before the UN General Assembly. In my eyes the only way such a speech could be consider historic would be if it contained key phrases such as “I apologise for the reckless and unwarranted invasion of a soveriegn state without your authority.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
Photoshopping
Time
14:13
Mmmmm, rapturous…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
Church & State
Time
14:30
Praise Him!

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Date
20040526
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
15:08
The Register – Did Rumsfeld ban Iraq camera phones?: Rojas, a more sceptical reporter than many, believes it’s possible some reporters have been fooled into picking up the (satirical) Farce story as news. But here’s the thing: it seems pretty likely that Rumsfeld will be pushed into making the satire come true – or at least, into trying.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
The Bush Administration
Time
16:58
All this spin is making me dizzy.

Keep the mantra kickin’, folks:

Abu Ghraib = Saddam, Abu Ghraib = Saddam

Bush good, Saddam bad! Bush good, Saddam bad!

We can’t allow an isolated incident involving a few misguided soldiers to ruin the good reputation of this fine administration.

*cough*

General Miller lied to congress, doo-dah, doo-dah: A U.S. Army general dispatched by senior Pentagon officials to bolster the collection of intelligence from prisoners in Iraq last fall inspired and promoted the use of guard dogs there to frighten the Iraqis, according to sworn testimony by the top U.S. intelligence officer at the Abu Ghraib prison.

UPDATE – Those pesky rotten apples need sorting out, yes they do…

UIP – Army kept whistle-blower in locked ward: The Army kept a soldier whistle-blower in a locked psychiatric ward at its top medical center for nearly two weeks despite concern from some medical staff that he be released, according to medical records.

Now, let’s all wait patiently for the story about soldiers who were put on high-risk duty after giving voice to crazy notions about humanitarian treatment…

UPDATE – It gets betterer and betterer – the U.S. is holding some Iraqis hostage in an attempt to get their relatives to surrender, and they’ve been doing it for some time now. In fact, some of the ‘detainees’ that were abused appear to have been women taken hostage in order to make their husbands surrender. Say it with me: Genevna Conghawfdfdg… Geneva Carnbwfdh… Geneva Cownahdsdf… ah, the hell with it. It’s a whole new world. Old rules don’t apply.

(Damn, I knew we should have taken Bush Snr. into custody when we had the chance.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
Flash Games
Time
19:18
I know it’s been a rough couple of days WHAT WITH ME SHOUTING AT YOU AND EVERYTHING, but here, via FunJunkie, is a nifty game to calm your nerves (the controls kind of remind me of the most excellent Spaced Penguin).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040526
The War on Terror
Time
21:14
Al Qaeda ready to attack! Be afraid!

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Date
20040527
Is That Real…?
Time
09:58
Neil Gaiman on the reality of the Chernobyl photo-diary and the ‘childless couple told to try sex’ story.

Neil should pick up the latest copy of Private Eye (1107), which has further details on the latter…. and a knockout story on page 2 regarding torture methods in Iraq that I’ve half a mind to repeat here in full later today (seeing as they can’t be arsed to broadcast stories like this online).

UPDATE – Yep, here you go. They owe me for ripping of Tom’s Teens page in its entirety without permission anyways….

From Private Eye No. 1107:

Concern over American forces’ use of torture will not be news to US vice-president Dick Cheney. He was warned about the practice as long ago as 1992 when he was defence secretary for George Bush Snr.

In 1988 US senators investigated claims that American-backed “counter insurgency” operations in Central and South America, particularly Honduras, had included abusive interrogations. The senators were shocked to discover that two CIA manuals used to train interrogators recommended torture. They included techniques similar to those that have been used more recently at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

After the senate investigation the CIA added a new preface to the manuals, stating: “The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorised nor condoned.” However, the National Security Archive, a historical project at George Washington University, uncovered a 1992 memo to Cheney warning that, even after the 1998 investigations the US government was still circulating Spanish language guidebooks with the torture instructions.

It warned Cheney that the “offensive and objectionable material in the manuals… undermines US credibility and could result in significant embarrassment”.

The memo was stamped “SECDEF HAS SEEN”, and Cheney scribbled on it “I concur” referring to the recommendations that the manuals be withdrawn and the human rights component of military training be re-emphasised.

The senate investigations that led to the 1992 memo to Cheney were spurred by revelations of torture by US-backed forces in Honduras. The US ambassador to Honduras, who was implicated in the scandal, was one John Negroponte. Mr Negroponte is now the US ambassador to… Iraq.

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Date
20040527
“The same thing we do every day, Pinky…”
Time
10:05
The most linked UK weblogs, May 2004.

Well, shucks…

(reaches for tissues)

Now seems as good a time as any to remind you that you only have a few days left to make your nominations for the 2004 New Statesman New Media Awards.

Even if you just to do it to cheer me up or egg me on, please do it – and please do present your nomination in the proper context.

This isn’t a formal political website. It’s just me – one guy, with occasional help from other bloggers – dealing with matters as I see fit. Sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’d like to think that I’ve done some small amount of good just by speaking up from time to time and/or inspiring others to do the same.

(reaches for sick bag)

Bloggerheads is also responsible for a few firsts, and one last. The most notable first is the first genuine weblog by politician anywhere in the world, which came about mostly because of efforts to sort out the last world-leader to get a publicly-accessible email facility. (Which, incidentally, is so brilliantly conceived (1, 2) that it can be of immediate use to our new PM when he or she takes charge.)

*cough*

Well, that’s torn it. Modesty is currently cowering under the desk and afraid to show its face, so I’m free to say the following (while also acknowledging that that Tom Watson was born to blog with or without my help):

It has to be noted that the blogs that emerged after Tom’s in the U.S. (Gary Hart, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark and George W. Bush, in that order) grew mostly along party/campaign lines. By the time Bush’s campaign team cottoned on, they had a complete abortion on their hands. Here in the UK, the pattern is clearly very different. The blogs by MPs and Councillors that followed Tom’s (you can see a sequential list here) were of the personal variety, and thankfully quite well-established before the grand joke that is the Big Conversation came along.

We’re still battling to convert more MPs to the correct use of this channel, but without an established pattern of genuine communication, something like Tony Blair’s Big Abortion could very well have set the tone instead. Scary, huh?

Actually, I should probably let you know that recently I’ve come to a decision about the tactics I should be using to spread the correct use of weblogs amongst MPs ahead of the next general election. A few peeps are in on this, but mostly it’s a big secret-squirrel thing.

It’s not going to be easy, and it’s certainly not going to be pretty… and it’s not going to happen unless you give me a bloody good reason to put work and necessary updates to this blog to one side for a wee bit.

OK, now looks like an even better time to remind you that you only have a few days left to make your nominations for the 2004 New Statesman New Media Awards. Unless you’ve done so already.

(reaches for a fresh cup of really hot tea)

UPDATE – Oh, let’s be honest. It’s probably going to happen anyway… but I’d much rather be a happy and well-rewarded worker. Wouldn’t you?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040527
Photoshopping
Time
10:07
Abu Hamza has been arrested. On an extradition warrant issued by the US government. On the day following their big unspecified terror alert thingie. Just when things couldn’t look worse for Bush & Blair.

I’m just saying is all…

(Image posted to B3ta.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040527
In The News
Time
15:02
The UK Today – Abu Hamza: And is it not just so timely that no sooner does the US issue a warning of a serious terror attack in the US, than the UK’s most loud-mouthed pain in the ass suddenly falls victim to deportation to the US. Maybe I’m reading more into this than is there, but it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that there has either been a deal done with the US, or else the UK security services have slipped the US some dodgy information on Hamza. Either way it all seems just too tidy.

I also heard the comments from Hamza’s lawyer on Radio 4 that Balders refers to. And about 20 minutes after that, I heard Norman Tebbit cite gay marriage as a cause for this week’s primary distraction, the obesity epidemic.

Nothing to do with our workstressfearconsumeworkstressfearconsume lifestyle, or the fact that we have so little choice when it comes to food that we may as well be eating out of a trough. (Lord Sainsbury, I’m looking in your direction.)

Also nothing to do with the ‘we wish to regulate ourselves’ food industry that cries ‘nanny state!’, but spends millions every year telling us what to eat.

The kids? That’s the parent’s problem. Nowt to do with TV commercials telling kids that they can be popular, successful sports heroes by topping up on sugar-coated Frosties. Also nothing to do with marketing pushes reaching right into schools.

Expect maximum volume and minimum change.

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Date
20040527
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
15:29
An archived replica of Washingtonienne is now live, thanks to Wizbang.

Also of interest, and charting quite well on Blogdex today, is this excellent overview of wing-nuttery.

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Date
20040527
Goodbye, George
Time
15:38
And now a few words from the actual President of the United States: In December of 2000, even though I strongly disagreed with the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to order a halt to the counting of legally cast ballots, I saw it as my duty to reaffirm my own strong belief that we are a nation of laws and not only accept the decision, but do what I could to prevent efforts to delegitimize George Bush as he took the oath of office as president. I did not at that moment imagine that Bush would, in the presidency that ensued, demonstrate utter contempt for the rule of law and work at every turn to frustrate accountability… So today, I want to speak on behalf of those Americans who feel that President Bush has betrayed our nation’s trust, those who are horrified at what has been done in our name, and all those who want the rest of the world to know that we Americans see the abuses that occurred in the prisons of Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and secret locations as yet undisclosed as completely out of keeping with the character and basic nature of the American people and at odds with the principles on which America stands. I believe we have a duty to hold President Bush accountable – and I believe we will. As Lincoln said at our time of greatest trial, “We – even we here – hold the power, and bear the responsibility.”

Keep it up, America. You’re *this* close to saving our asses from WW3.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040527
A Blog Is Born
Time
16:41
Best. Blog. Title. Ever. Some tasty content, too.

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Date
20040527
Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade
Time
18:44
Do you remember how The Sun reacted to breaking news of the torture of Iraqi detainess?

Day One: Less than a 1/4 page. 130 words.

Day Two: Leading with George W. Bush’s version of events, 229 words.

Recently a Labrador puppy was thrown off an overpass and today, The Sun is there with a massive 3/4 page and 270 words!

You read that right, folks. According to Rebekah Wade, Iraqis are less important than dogs; and to prove it, she’s decided to follow outrage with action by offering a £1000 reward (see their fabbo poster) for “information leading to (the) arrest or conviction of the thugs responsible.”

Of course, me just pointing this out makes me an enemy of puppies everywhere. That’s the kind of monster that I am.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040527
The Interwebnet
Time
19:04
How it works – 1

How it works – 2

UPDATE – I shouldn’t laugh. Check out this History of the Interweb that I wrote for Tesco back in 1998…

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Date
20040528
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:30
Independent – Abu Hamza: dangerous terrorist – or political pawn?: Suspicions that the timing of the extradition hearing was a stunt to help focus attention away from the Iraq war were heightened when John Ashcroft, the US Attorney General, held a press conference in New York to publicise the charges. His planned arrest was also leaked to The Sun’s political editor hours before it took place, ensuring a positive front page story on anti-terrorism. Raymond Kelly, the commissioner of the New York police, described Mr Hamza as “a freelance consultant to terrorism groups worldwide”.

Ashcroft. Again.

Sensitive information leaked to The Sun to ensure a positive tone is set. Again. (Incidentally, being charged with a crime proves your guilt. According to The Sun.)

Am I the only one who considers this to be embarrassingly obvious?

Abu Hamza is a very shouty and dangerous man. And I don’t like him. But you really have to take a look at the dates on the list of charges and ask yourself one simple question:

Why now?

A kind of related tangent (you need to know where my head is at)…

Night before last, our SKY box had a nervous breakdown and stopped receiving satellite signals. Yesterday, the wife talked to the kids and the kids came to a decision that surprised the hell out of me.

Until yesterday, SKY had been regarded as a necessary evil in our house (I’m not the sort of person to stamp his Daddy-feet and demand that such-and-such a newspaper or such-and-such a service provider isn’t allowed in my house) but now things have changed.

Last night we advised SKY that we were cancelling our subscription. We made a point of telling them why. Right now they’re bleating about contracts and us paying until a certain date (even though we can’t see what we’re paying for, but SKY will happily repair the box if we maintain our contract etc. etc.) but our household has decided to stop funding the willing conspirator Rupert Murdoch. Not in a month from today, but from this moment forward.

SKY had obviously heard this kind of thing before. The main line they had at the ready was “but he’s not even on our board of directors.”

We. Don’t. Care.

We know where the money ends up, and we know what Murdoch does with it. And he’s not getting any more from us.

Of course, this means that I won’t be able to watch BBC Parliament (UPDATE – it’s available on Freeview – Huzzah!) or track the antics of FOX News. Or enjoy new episodes of The Simpsons. This decision also complicates the need to check the print version of The Sun from time to time.

But…

I. Don’t. Care.

Not one more penny for Murdoch. Ever.

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Date
20040528
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:33
Some harmless misdirection, a list of Googlebombs and this…

Scott Rosenberg: For the Times, this transparency thing is still very new. And admitting that major stories that helped launch an ill-conceived war were at best careless and at worst fraudulent is a painful thing for any journalistic enterprise. But admitting mistakes is the first step toward preventing their recurrence. Now if we can only get our president to understand that principle.

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Date
20040528
Interesting Times
Time
10:37
This long weekend, I’d like you to do me a favour. I’d like you to think very seriously about the following…

If you could take measures that didn’t amount to an empty gesture, that might very well bring about real change, what would you risk personally to be rid of the this criminal and his accomplice?

I’m serious.

And if you come to a clear decision, I’d like you to tell me about it. Please.

Speaking for myself, ongoing job security and even the continued existence of this website have become secondary concerns. But I’m not going to piss anything away unless I think I can actually make something positive happen.

(waves nervously to bosses and hopes they don’t panic)

If you come to a clear decision, I’d like you to tell me about it. Please.

I’m speaking to readers, friends, clients, and lurking politicians here. If you’ve never emailed before, now is the time.

Do we take action, or do we turn our heads and hope that it will all sort itself out?

If you come to a clear decision, I’d like you to tell me about it. Please.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

04-17 May, 2004

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Date
20040504
Updates
Time
14:42
Sorry, no updates today bar my swiftly expressed opinion that the torture images published by the Mirror are almost certainly of the staged variety (up a bit with the rifle; left a bit, left a bit – great, now give me pain *click* – give me agony *click* – give me outrage – *click*) and the news that Labour: I See Red has climbed to 12th position for the search query ‘labour leadership’.

Head down, arse up… and onwards we go.

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Date
20040504
Christianity Watch
Time
15:02
How could one possibly find fault with the notion of corporate prayer?

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Date
20040505
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
10:26
I’ve been watching the two main tabloids and their coverage of the Iraq torture issue very carefully.

Rebekah Wade at The Sun deserves a blasting for brushing US torture aside.

Piers Morgan at the Mirror and the twats that shifted the obviously staged photos of British troops ‘brutalising’ an ‘Iraqi prisoner’ deserve a right and proper shafting for – amongst other things – giving Wade just the ammo she needed to breeze right over this.

Day One

Friday 30th April 2004

The Mirror

There are boobs on the front page, but a significant amount of room has been left to highlight ‘torture-lite’, US-style. The core story runs at 486 words. 5 images are shown, including those that are most damning (and most likely to outrage your typical tabloid reader).

The Sun

Murdoch’s Sun buries the story on page 6. Less than a quarter of the page. They show one picture (the chap standing on a box). They do not show grinning soldiers watching naked bodies in obscene poses or building human pyramids. The coverage is limited to 130 words. No editorial. No outrage. Well done, Scum.

Day Two

Saturday 1st May, 2004

The Mirror

More front page coverage and several articles, but this time with similar accusations levelled at British troops – based on what can only be described as carefully staged photos. The most damning thing this collection of images could turn out to be would be a reconstruction commissioned by the armed forces based on an actual or alleged event. But instead they are presented as genuine candid shots, and the damage is done.

The Sun

The Sun finally comments on the US torture images; but they only do so when they can lead with the words of George W. Bush. Today’s coverage is expanded to a mighty 229 words (not including the editorial headlined ‘Bad Apples’) and begins with; President George Bush yesterday condemned US soldiers responsible for the “despicable” torturing of Iraqi prisoners. The more damning images are finally published, but not in print; only on the website. The front page is dominated by a Beckham non-story and Michael Jackson. Conspiracy theorists will note that Mr Jackson seems to get arrested, charged or searched every time Dubya has a PR disaster on his hands. Myself, I think the front-page priority this time around is more likely to be the result of Rebekah Wade’s pathological hatred of (alleged) kiddy-fiddlers.

Sunday – a day of rest and tabloid alternatives.

Day Three

Monday 3rd May, 2004

The Mirror

The Mirror stand by their exclusive (or knee-deep in shit, depending on your point of view).

The Sun

The Sun finally run with a front page about the torture of Iraqis, but only when the images concerned can be dismissed as fakes. This time they show every image in a multi-page spread that goes to 929 words. There is no further mention of the genuine photos but, God help me, they say something in their editorial that I can actually agree with; If the experts are right and the Iraq photos are fakes, they are the most dangerous forgeries ever.

Day Four

Tuesday 4th May, 2004

A celebrity gets caught having Interweb sex or some such and the front pages return to business as usual. For anybody depending primarily on The Sun for information, the impression is left that there were some torture allegations, but authorities are Right On Top Of It and Doing The Right Thing – and the pictures were faked anyway, weren’t they?

Richard Littlejohn mouths off today, and is paraphrased on the front page of the website as saying; Something about photographs of British troops abusing an Iraqi prisoner didn’t ring true. (When what he actually says is; But something about those photographs of British troops abusing an Iraqi prisoner didn’t ring true. They looked suspect from the off.)

Strange that they would be forced to shape the words of our own version of Rush Limbaugh.

But even stranger is this…

To make sure that everybody gets the ‘point’, The Sun again tackles the faked photos (in yet another multi-page spread) while ignoring the importance of the real ones. Wade sets out to prove how easy it is to fake such images by setting up two teenage boys (aged 14 and 17) to do exactly that. The result is – in a newspaper headed by someone normally rabid about child pornography – images of teenage boys posing in their underwear and pretending to urinate on each other.

UPDATE – Guardian – Pressure grows on Mirror editor: Pressure was today mounting on Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan as he faced growing calls to resign if the paper’s pictures of Iraqis being tortured by British troops prove to be faked. And he is expected to be called before a parliamentary committee to answer questions about the provenance of the photographs, which rival newspapers today claim to be part of an elaborate hoax.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040505
The Bush Administration
Time
10:41
The Claim Vs. Fact Database is the mutt’s: The Center for American Progress has launched this new database project to chart conservatives’ dishonesty – and compare it with the truth. In this database, each conservative quote will be matched against well-documented facts, so that users can get a more accurate picture of the issues.

Not that you’ll be able to do anything with this information…

Washington Post – Patriot Act Suppresses News Of Challenge to Patriot Act

Washington Post – Cheney Praises Fox News Channel – Vice President Calls Network ‘More Accurate’ Than Others: Fox News styles its coverage as “fair and balanced,” but it has a heavy stable of conservative commentators that makes it a favorite around the White House. It is unusual for a president or vice president to single out a commercial enterprise for public praise.

Oh, and George W. Bush was so outraged by the torture of Iraqi prisoners (note – don’t forget to mention that things were far worse under Saddam Hussein) that he kept a lid on this investigation for close to 4 months. (While you’re browsing the always-useful Memory Hole, do take the time to look at their expanded gallery of images of abuse.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040505
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:55
Pat Tilman’s brother says: “Pat isn’t with God. He’s f — ing dead. He wasn’t religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he’s f — ing dead.”

George W. Bush says: “There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren’t necessarily — are a different color than white can self-govern.”

John O’Neill says: I was on Mr. Kerry’s boat in Vietnam. He doesn’t deserve to be commander in chief.

Too much for you? Why not instead fill your mind with Hollywood gossip Popbitch-style, Pacmanhatten and bunny rabbits re-enacting The Shining in 30 seconds?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040505
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
11:18
Parties launch local election battle.

Blair attacks Howard as ‘high priest of Thatcherism’.

The ammo Blair is using looks awfully familiar… dare I say ‘I told you so’ again…?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040505
Pluggage
Time
11:36
Remember those USB Swiss Army Knives everybody got so excited about a month or so ago? They’ll be shipping pretty soon, and Giltsharp are keen to give a few away. There’s also an added bonus for bloggers. If you nab a link from Bloggerheads today, please make it this one:

Giltsharp’s Swiss Army Knife Short Story Competition

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Date
20040505
Activism
Time
13:40
FCC inundated with Oprah complaints. A glorious lunch-time read.

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Date
20040506
Scam Alert
Time
09:48
Cheers to Neil from the European Ecommerce Association for the heads-up on this one:

This is neat and classic little scam that relies on the usual mix of brand-related trust, urgency, greed and stupidity.

Hey, you’ve won an X-Box! All you have to do is go to the site (now removed) and claim your prize. There is the small matter of $19.99 for shipment costs, but that’s no big deal, right? Of course, if you want to pay for the shipment and get your prize, you need to provide details of your debit card (“no credit cards due to technical reasons”) and your PIN number…

From: “Ken Kawaguchi” kkawaguchi@pikoprizo.com

Subject: Youve won a Microsoft X-Box. (This is not spam)

Greetings,

Your email address was entered into our Microsoft X-Box promotional competition by either yourself or a friend, or perhaps a family member, at http://www.pikoprizo.com

This is a prize draw, you have actually won a brand new Microsoft X-Box Gaming Console!

Your package also includes these top 5 games:

- Halo

- Metal Gear Solid 2

- Max Payne

- Splinter Cell

- Panzer Dragoon Orta

You are now invited to login to our website and claim your prize that you have already won. There are only 5 winners in total this month, out of thousands of emails, so do count yourself lucky!

We have provided the following web link for you, it is temporary and expires in 72 hours. If you do not login within this time, your winning shall unfortunately be returned to the prize pool.

Here is your link! http://www.pikoprizo.com/cgi-bin/script.cgi?code=C3498349349&winner=il@eeauk.com&ref=L2384938493493

On this page you will need to enter this pass code number to proceed:

209581

This is very important. Do not lose that number!

Put in your address, and we will send your X-Box to you.

We hope that you will enjoy your new X-Box gaming console.

Congratulations on winning,

From Microsoft and the PikoPrizo.com team!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040506
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:14
In the top spot, MSNBC’s (originating) version of the Memory Hole document blogged yesterday:

Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade

Dominating most of the rest of the top ten is a number of different versions of the same link. This one is the print-friendly version. Heaven knows why Disney thought they would come out looking good with this little effort (mind you, the keyword ‘Eisner’ should be a bit of a giveaway). FFS, it was one of the lead stories on BBC radio and online this morning:

New York Times – Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush: Mr. Moore’s agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney’s chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush’s brother, Jeb, is governor.

This news item from the ‘and they walked away’ department is doing nicely:

Construction worker survives nail gun accident. Six nails were embedded in his skull and spinal column.

Also nudging the top ten and due further attention, the chaps who set up their own ‘right wing think tank’, dedicated to the collapse of the liberal welfare state. The stunt they pulled was inspired. I won’t spoil it for you; go and see.

Finally, today’s main distraction (I smell B3tan) is:

Badgers and banana-phones!

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Date
20040506
Christianity Watch
Time
10:16
This isn’t me.

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Date
20040506
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:26
Washington Post – New Prison Images Emerge – Graphic Photos May Be More Evidence of Abuse: The collection of photographs begins like a travelogue from Iraq. Here are U.S. soldiers posing in front of a mosque. Here is a soldier riding a camel in the desert. And then: a soldier holding a leash tied around a man’s neck in an Iraqi prison. He is naked, grimacing and lying on the floor. Mixed in with more than 1,000 digital pictures obtained by The Washington Post are photographs of naked men, apparently prisoners, sprawled on top of one another while soldiers stand around them. There is another photograph of a naked man with a dark hood over his head, handcuffed to a cell door. And another of a naked man handcuffed to a bunk bed, his arms splayed so wide that his back is arched. A pair of women’s underwear covers his head and face.

Isn’t human nature wonderful? Actually, this is kind of related, but we’ll have to get back to the point very quickly after this; a porn site has released graphic images showing US troops raping and sexually abusing Iraqi women (watch out for NSFW ads). The images are obviously fakes, but are reported to have been used as propaganda tools by ‘at least two Arabic-language websites’. The core site involved – iraqbabes.com – appears to have been hacked, and today features this lovely picture of a horse.

Right, back to the point…

Iraqis unmoved by Bush’s TV offensive. Even in damage-limitation mode, he still can’t bring himself to say the ‘s’ word; that was left to Rice. I particularly love this nugget: Mr Bush said the people of Iraq “must understand that what took place in that prison does not represent the America that I know”.

Given that Bush doesn’t read newspapers or watch television and only meets ‘real people’ carefully vetted by his PR team, one can only wonder what the America he knows is – and if it actually exists anywhere outside of his tiny little mind.

Moving right along…

Bush scolds Rumsfeld. There’s talk of Rummy being for the chop. Right now it’s only talk, but one more shocking image should be enough to do the trick.

$25b sought for Iraq, Afghanistan. I remember very clearly the reaction to Bush’s request for $87bn in September ‘to continue the fight on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan’. News that some of this money was used to brutally quell protest at home instead of fighting terror passed most by, but the bulk of them sure felt that hit to the hip pocket. Many Americans found their voice as a result. And f**k me if they aren’t need now more than ever…

Talk-show host Jay Severin seems to think that “the vast majority” of Muslims living in the US are not at all loyal to the country and stand ready to take over when the time is right (that will probably be when you’re in the shower and have soap in your eyes, so do keep a head-towel of your own handy – just in case). When it was suggested by a caller that listeners befriend them, Severin said: “You think we should befriend them. I think we should kill them.”

But not before stripping them naked, putting sacks over their heads and piling them high in the nearest corner, right? I mean, come on – swarthy middle-eastern peeps are less than human. That’s why the death of a US soldier is a tragedy and the death of an Iraqi civilian is a statistic. (One that you probably wouldn’t even be aware of without independent reporting.)

It’s also worth noting that when Saddam’s soldiers played this game, it was called ‘torture’ – but now, when Bush’s soldiers do it, it’s called ‘abuse’…

The final word on this I leave to Riverbend, from this, her latest post: And you know what? You won’t hear half of the atrocities and stories because Iraqis are proud, indignant people and sexual abuse is not a subject anyone is willing to come forward with. The atrocities in Abu Ghraib and other places will be hidden away and buried under all the other dirt the occupation brought with it…

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Date
20040506
The End of Democracy
Time
11:29
Diebold critics hail California decision: Last week’s announcement that California had decertified its Diebold electronic voting machines and recommended criminal and civil investigations into the company had local Diebold critics cheering, but Maryland’s elections chief said nothing has changed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040506
The Bush Administration
Time
11:37
Tucked away in an Atrios thread is this very interesting comment that tracks several evasive answers from the White House regarding what Bush knew about the atrocities in Iraq and when. With this, you have to keep in mind that – when the search for WMDs was scaled back to the search for possibly-maybe-potential-WMD-programmes – the one bit of ammo that Bush kept falling back on was Saddam’s ‘rape rooms’ and how they were a thing of the past, praise Jebus.

What did the pResident know and when did he know it? The army knew about it in January. Bush was still banging on about rape rooms in February:

“Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell, and Iraqi men and women are no longer carried to torture chambers and rape rooms …” – Bush, remarks on “Winston Churchill and the War on Terror,” Feb. 4, 2004

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Date
20040506
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
12:13
Labour: I See Red continues to find an audience amongst disaffected voters. Robin has very kindly credited it as ‘perhaps the UK’s first political viral campaign,’ but I’m not sure how correct that description would be.

The Greens claimed a first with this ‘online viral film advertising campaign’ in 2002, and this anti-Euro campaign was launched in 2000.

I watched the last general election with interest and even ran a commercial/subversive element during it, but don’t recall anything that stands out apart from a variation of Dancing Paul, the Stereo MPs. This performed well, but had no message.

There was also Labour’s lame text to a bunch of young voters at 11pm on the eve of the election, promising 24-hour pubs. Which turned out to be a broken promise, BTW.

Anyway, I have Something Better in mind for the Bush administration. This would be a plea from the international community to the American people.

Core Message:

America is bigger…

America is better….

… than George W. Bush.

You saved our asses in WW1

You saved our asses in WW2

This is your chance to save our asses from WW3

(extract tongue from cheek)

There’s more, but I want to keep it at secret-squirrel status for now.

To make it happen, I need a choir, recording equipment and a bunch of other stuff I don’t got. Finding the right people could make it happen on the cheap, but often this takes time and leads to disappointment.

So really I need money. Anybody got any bright ideas? Who would agree with that core message and be free & willing to part with the cash that would allow me to deliver it?

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Date
20040506
Pluggage
Time
12:15
Cheers to WTFAYBOA, The Whole Wide World Of Fat Buddha and The Ultimate Insult (and now Ghost of a Flea) for their pluggage of Giltsharp’s Swiss Army Knife Short Story Competition.

Something to keep in mind is the fifty (count ‘em – fifty) Swiss Card Quattros on offer to bloggers. Response rates for creative-based competitions hover around 10% or thereabouts. You also have to consider that only 2-7% of web users own and run their own website. Do the maths. Then get typing.

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Date
20040506
Doing The Rounds
Time
12:33
Man’s hole makes him world-famous on the Interweb, crashes his website. No Goatse jokes, please.

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Date
20040506
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
14:22
Oi!

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Date
20040506
Activism
Time
14:28
Urban75 reports on the May Day picnic and Unreality TV needs you.

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Date
20040507
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:46
I’m going to be busy today with a little project. Oh, and some work.

Here are a few things to tide you over…

Happy Posters:

Kev and his mate had to make a news report for uni, and chose The Happy Poster Project as their subject. I got a solid kick out of it (actually, it pretty much made my week), but you may not care quite as much. At least, not enough to download a file this size. Your call. You can visit Kev’s site and have a poke around first, or download the video directly (25.6mB MPEG).

Labour Needs Leadership Change:

Watched ITV news last night. Trevor MacDonald said this in his headline rundown:

“Seeing red; John Scarlett is named as the new head of MI6.”

No connection, just spooky is all.

Oh, and Labour: I See Red is today the top search result in Google for the search query ‘labour leadership’.

Thanks to all who linked for your support and Google-juice. (A special nod goes to Dave Weeden for his unprompted, keyword-weighted whoring.)

Torture, Bush & Rumsfeld:

What did they know and when did they know it?

What did they do to rectify the problem? Or did they simply try to hide it…?

Is this an isolated incident, or simply one visible result of a wider culture of torture-lite?

Well, here are some bags, smiles and reports from July 2003.

They knew. They had to know. And for quite some time. They’re only feigning outrage now because the wider population found out about it.

And that’s what my little project is going to be about.

Please stand by.

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Date
20040507
Activism
Time
12:04
OK, here it is. Grab a sack and get ready for action:

Sack Bush: The Bagged Statue Experiment

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Date
20040507
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
14:50
I bet this helps.

I bet this doesn’t.

UPDATE – Bloody hell! Take a look at how many people are buying into Bush’s photo-op. And here’s another touching moment for your delectation.

You tell me that this isn’t staged; I put it to you that the timing is awfully convenient. (Oh, and for future reference, you might want to file ‘It almost sounds like a corny email chain letter’ under the same category as ‘this is not spam’.)

UPDATE 2 – So who can the RWCs blame for the torture (sorry, ‘abuse’) besides Bush and Rumsfeld? Try women, feminists, Muslims, and the academic left. (Link via Atrios.)

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Date
20040510
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:57
Have you bagged a statue yet? I got my morning off to a good start with a cracker in Guildfrod High Street. With that done, I can get on with some late bloggage…

Let us begin with some levity…

Bush Apology Sparks Torrent of Global Goodwill

We begin on such a note because Rush Limbaugh is a hero to me…

CBS – Rush: MPs Just ‘Blowing Off Steam’: “I’m sorry, folks. I’m sorry. Somebody has to provide a little levity here. This is not as serious as everybody is making it out to be.” (Link via Ionicus.)

And so it goes on. You really need to take this on board, because – as ridiculous as Limbaugh may sound to us – this argument will win many over. Especially those that still buy the Iraq/911 lie. I actually heard some woman from Lynndie England’s home town defend her on the basis that perhaps this was a natural and understandable reaction to that terrorist attack. That Iraq had nothing to do with.

You also need to take a close look at the people who swallowed Bush’s Great Humanitarian Moment hook, line and sinker.

Back to the matter at hand:

Slate.com – Rape Rooms: A Chronology – What Bush said as the Iraq prison scandal unfolded.

And a quick word or two on what our own Dear Leader knew and when he knew it:

CNN – Red Cross warned UK of abuse: The Red Cross told British officials as early as February that British troops had been accused of mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a government spokesman said Sunday.

The argument that keeps this report under wraps (yet another selective use of ‘precedent’ by the Blair government) won’t last. I think we can expect to see something by Thursday at the latest. Meanwhile, you may wish to chew on this:

#(Independent – US military confirms existence of horrific pictures and video: The Bush administration was bracing itself last night for the release of new pictures and video footage from Abu Ghraib which show US soldiers having sex with an Iraqi woman prisoner, troops almost beating a prisoner to death, and the rape of young boys by Iraqi guards at the jail. Senior officials have warned that the new images and details of the abuse and torture at the prison west of Baghdad will be even more shocking than those already released.

And this:

Guardian – UK forces taught torture methods: The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.

These are also troops and contractors that are quite likely to believe that Iraqis were behind the September 11 attacks, who see their government detaining alleged terrorists in Guantanamo Bay in breach of the Geneva Conventions and hear their pResident refer to these ‘killers’ in a way that makes it quite clear they deserve no such rights. These are troops and contractors who work within a culture where prisoners are bagged and tagged upon capture as a matter of course, which basically means that they’re represented as less than human before they even arrive at the prison.

All together now: “It puts its bag on its head and it gets into the truck.”

Grab a bag, find a statue, and leave a reminder. Today.

UPDATE – CNN – Pentagon culture led to prison abuse

Y’know, one thing I’ve seen very little focus on so far is the purpose of the interrogation sessions that follow this ‘preparation’… do you think that maybe – just maybe – most of the questions focused on the search for WMDs that don’t exist?

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Date
20040510
Orwell Was Right
Time
11:00
Halliburton Pulling the Plug on GI Communications: A week after a scandal broke involving photos of American troops torturing Iraqi prisoners, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, & Root is pulling the plug on private electronic communications with the folks back home, apparently at the request of the Department of Defence.

Well, the soldiers have been clamped, but the citizens haven’t. Yet. Read the latest post from Baghdad Burning: Everyone knew this was happening in Abu Ghraib and other places… seeing the pictures simply made it all more real and tangible somehow…. We heard about it all… we heard stories since the very beginning of the occupation about prisoners being made to sit for several hours on their knees… being deprived of sleep for days at a time by being splashed with cold water or kicked or slapped… about the infamous ‘red rooms’ where prisoners are kept for prolonged periods of time… about the rape, the degradations, the emotional and physical torture… and there were moments when I actually wanted to believe that what we heard was exaggerated. I realize now that it was only a small fragment of the truth. There is nothing that is going to make this ‘better’. Nothing.

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Date
20040510
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:05
The Great Blogger Relaunch

StopDesign comments on the new Blogger

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Date
20040510
The Happy Poster Project
Time
11:11
Bit of a strange day to blog this, but Limbaugh has called for levity, so here we go:

James has submitted this picture of happy people and Nick has been busy pasting posters around the Warwick University campus.

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Date
20040510
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:15
Washington Post – Dissension Grows In Senior Ranks On War Strategy: Their major worry is that the United States is prevailing militarily but failing to win the support of the Iraqi people. That view is far from universal, but it is spreading and being voiced publicly for the first time.

MSNBC – The Price of Arrogance: Since 9/11, a handful of officials at the top of the Defense Department and the vice president’s office have commandeered American foreign and defense policy. In the name of fighting terror they have systematically weakened the traditional restraints that have made this country respected around the world. Alliances, international institutions, norms and ethical conventions have all been deemed expensive indulgences at a time of crisis.

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Date
20040510
Labour Needs Leadership Change
Time
11:17
Even spookier news for you on the Labour: I See Red front:

Guardian – Labour trains its guns on Howard

Blair’s strategists have decided to launch an attack on the Tory record, specifically that of leader Michael Howard. They have decided to do this not with a 30 second TVC, but with a two-minute+ music video. Sound familiar so far? Hang in there; it gets better:

The soundtrack has been provided by… Simply Red.

UPDATE – You just have to check out this excellent post by Bykersink, a link-annotated version of REM’s It’s The End Of The World As We Know It.

UPDATE 2 – I couldn’t possibly comment, but I encourage you to.

UPDATE 3 – Bwahahahahahaha!: Angry Conservative chairman Liam Fox fumed: “This sort of negative personal campaigning will only reinforce the impression among voters that the Government has no real ideas.”

Could this be the same Liam Fox who was on the judging panel of Let Down By Labour, the official Tory party request for fresh ideas for negative campaigning?

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Date
20040510
Pluggage
Time
11:30
Win a SwissMemory USB Swiss Army Knife. It can’t all be doom and gloom, now can it?

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Date
20040510
Church & State
Time
11:45
The Silver Ring thing is coming to the UK!

Guardian – Teens told a silver ring and a vow of chastity are best way to combat sexual epidemic

Independent – Over sex and over here: US virgins to preach restraint to British teens

First, I’m going to remind you of this entry from Bloggerheads back in January, then I’m going to warn you – and them – that a warm welcome is being prepared. If you want to help in any of the target cities, drop me a line.

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Date
20040510
Consume!
Time
12:20
Wear your Lion of England Diamond and Gold Ingot with pride!

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Date
20040510
Flash Music Video
Time
12:48
Hey Hey 16k!

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Date
20040510
Photoshopping
Time
14:10
More levity for our friend Rush Limbaugh.

Also, there’s this defining moment.

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Date
20040510
Jolly Good
Time
16:02
Check out socialscrutiny.org – ‘your one-stop shop for Government propaganda’.

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Date
20040510
In The News
Time
16:42
Oops, almost missed this: Michael Moore responds to ‘engineered story’ claims.

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Date
20040510
Photoshopping
Time
17:02
The 4007th Project has just hit home with these lovely people (it’s nice to be nice to the nice).

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Date
20040510
Inneresting
Time
17:08
Belly Dancing – How To Be An Appreciative Audience Member

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Date
20040510
“The same thing we do every day, Pinky…”
Time
17:49
Voice. Found.

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Date
20040510
Google
Time
17:49
Proogle works just like Google, but is thoughtful enough to display PageRank. It’s sure to be taken down within the next couple of days, so play with it while you can.

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Date
20040511
Activism
Time
09:29
My bagged statue remains bagged.

What’s the bet that a dozen council workers walked past it yesterday and assumed the bag was there for a jolly good reason?

Do yourself and the folks around you a favour and bag a statue today.

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Date
20040511
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:31
Dug up by Joe:

“After being hooded I was led to the helicopter and I was thrown bodily into the helicopter. During this exercise my hands and wrists were hurt due to the others handcuffed to me not being pushed equally. (Before being led off to the helicopter, I understand that one of the hooded men, now known to be F. McGuigan, collapsed when the hood was first applied.) On being put into the copter, the handcuffs were removed and were applied to the back of the hood to tighten it around the head. The helicopter took off and a journey which I would estimate to have taken about an hour began. The helicopter than landed at a destination unknown to me and we were taken from the copter and led into a building and eventually into a room where I was made to stand in a search position against a wall. My position was the same as for other men – fully stretched, hands as far apart as humanly possible and feet as far from the wall as possible. Back rigid and head held up. Not allowed to relax any of the joints at all. If any relaxation of limbs – arms, elbow joints, legs, knee joints – someone came along and grabbed the limb in a rough manner and put it back into position again. After being against the wall for a few hours. I was taken away and brought, I was told, to a doctor. Sometime during this period I was taken out of this room, put into a helicopter and flown away. I was always handcuffed and hooded. When the ‘copter landed I was put into a lorry, driven a short distance, transferred to a jeep, five-minute journey, put into another ‘copter, taken for half-hour journey. End of journey put into a police van, driven short distance, five-ten minutes, beaten about the face and body, transferred to other vehicle. Holding my face, asked why, said that I did not want to be beaten again. Assured that I wouldn’t be. Brought into a building, hood removed, shown detention form. Hood replaced, return journey as before.”

Iraq? No, Ireland.

Entirely unrelated link follows…

Guardian – Troops broke the law, admits Hoon: British forces broke the law when they forcibly placed hoods over the heads of Iraqi captives last year, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, was forced to admit yesterday as he faced intense criticism over the government’s handling of a Red Cross report into alleged abuses.

Whoops, and here’s another one…

Army Times – Editorial: A failure of leadership at the highest levels: (But) while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership. The entire affair is a failure of leadership from start to finish. From the moment they are captured, prisoners are hooded, shackled and isolated. The message to the troops: Anything goes.

Damn it, don’t these people ever shut up?

Time – How a Pentagon email sought to contain the prison abuse scandal: It’s not exactly every day that the Pentagon warns military personnel to stay away from Fox News. But that’s exactly what some hopeful soul at the Department of Defense instructed, in a memo intended to forbid Pentagon staff reading a copy of the Taguba report detailing abuse of detainees at prisons in Iraq that had been posted at the Fox News web site.

Ah, finally, some common sense; this is all Jimmy Carter’s fault. Him and the rest of us filthy liberals and appeasement monkeys…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:33
Finally, Google has a blog.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Established Media
Time
09:35
Boston.com – Blogs colliding with traditional media: But this new form of media is colliding with old-hand political structures, such as the House of Representatives Press Gallery, the initial gatekeeper for credential requests. Officials there decided that independent blogs do not fit their standards of “media,” and passed their applications down the ladder a rung, to the convention staffs that handle credentials for student and weekly papers.

Meanwhile…

Oregon Daily Emerald – Esteemed journalist lectures on ethics: The media industry has been infested by the rise of pseudo-journalists who go against journalism’s long tradition to serve the public with accurate information, Los Angeles Times Editor John S. Carroll told a packed room in the Gerlinger Lounge on Thursday. “All over the country there are offices that look like newsrooms and there are people in those offices that look for all the world just like journalists, but they are not practicing journalism,” he said. “They regard the audience with a cold cynicism. They are practicing something I call a pseudo-journalism, and they view their audience as something to be manipulated.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Animal Kingdom
Time
09:41
Beware the Hornets From Hell! (Link via Everlasting Blort.)

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Date
20040511
Consume!
Time
09:43
Find out who holds your testicles.

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Date
20040511
Flash Thingies
Time
09:45
Hooray for the BNP and their ability to make me spit blood.

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Date
20040511
Church & State
Time
09:51
Guardian – America’s virgin soldiers are on their way – ignoring the dangers of abstinence for teenagers

I won’t quote from this, because I want you to follow the link and read it all. I’ll have a another link to follow this one, hopefully later this morning.

In the meantime, I’d urge you all to contact the press office of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and request that he make a statement regarding the abstinence movement.

UPDATE – Here ’tis: Read Angel’s comments on The Silver Ring Thing.

Then blog your own. But not before you’ve contacted the press office of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting that he make a statement regarding the abstinence movement.

Hey, you could even kill two birds with one stone and blog the message you send. (I know there’s no email address, but a call will be more effective. But, if you wish, you can use these instructions to send an email to his fax machine.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Free Speech
Time
10:47
Brian Haw, the Parliament Square peace protestor who has spent almost 3 years in a continuous anti-war protest vigil opposite the Houses of Parliament, has been arrested and his possessions / extensive protest display removed, in a sudden midnight police operation.

The bastards! The goose-stepping, freedom-hating, protestor-baiting bastards!

UPDATE – Brian Haw has been released, and his possessions have been returned to him, but this live webcam shows that his presence isn’t quite what it used to be. More soon.

UPDATE 2 – Does anyone here work in London and have the time to pop down to Parliament Square for a first-hand update? I’d love a few choice words from Brian.

UPDATE 3 – From the above press release: Apparently, police were concerned about a suspect vehicle, some distance away. They imposed a security cordon under the terrorism act and the area was cleared of other members of the public before an incident took place in which Mr Haw was arrested, and 3 supporters (including 2 women) who were present at the time, were also threatened with arrest.

Ah, no witnesses. No cameras. God bless the terrorism act.

I ask you, is this a responsible use of laws designed (supposedly) to combat terrorism?

You’ll remember the recent and quite ridiculous claim by Charing Cross police that Brian Haw poses a security risk and his placards could be used by terrorists to hide a bomb. You may also recall that the ‘security’ screens installed in the House of Commons came just a few weeks after Tony Blair was heckled from the public gallery.

How much longer does the Blair government expect to get away with using the terrorist threat to quiet dissent amongst the locals?

UPDATE 4 – BBC – Commons war protester is charged. Some very telling details in this short report. Please keep in mind that this is only my impression of how things panned out:

The cops spark a security alert, which legally obliges Mr Haw to leave the area. Past behaviour and/or what is said by police at this time leaves Mr Haw with the clear impression that his camp will be disrupted or dismantled as part of the security operation (over a vehicle we still know sweet-bugger-all about). Mr Haw refuses to move. Police attempt to move him bodily, he struggles. Now they have him on assault, too.

Brian Haw is due to appear in court on the 18th. I’m going to suggest to the Stop the War Coalition that there be two shows of support on this day. One to celebrate (and protect) the sanctity of his patch at Parliament Square and another protesting police harrassment at the courthouse.

UPDATE 5 – Now I think about it, having too many people at this location gives the police an excuse to clear everybody from the area. So perhaps what we really need is an outstanding stand-in. An anti-war MP perhaps?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Photoshopping
Time
13:04
Had to be said.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
13:17
Fox ‘News’ attempts to defend the indefensible with a triple-reverse-spin.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040511
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
14:04
Oh, FFS… New Bush space speech planned (link via ScaryDuck).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
Inneresting
Time
09:27
An early day motion brought to our attention by BigDaddyMerk.

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Date
20040512
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:28
Lots of the same ol’ same ol’, but there is news that the Internet Archive can now store one petabyte. A petabyte is a million gigabytes.

There’s also this…

Wired – Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives: Browser hijackers are malicious programs that change browser settings, usually altering designated default start and search pages. But some, such as CWS, also produce pop-up ads for pornography, add dozens of bookmarks — some for extremely hard-core pornography websites — to Internet Explorer’s Favorites folder, and can redirect users to porn websites when they mistype URLs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
Christianity Watch
Time
09:35
Weeping cardboard Christ draws Texas pilgrims

Oh, and you have contacted the press office of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting that he make a statement regarding the abstinence movement and the Silver Ring Thing, yes?

(Don’t forget; you can send an email to his fax machine using these instructions.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace
Time
09:48
CNN -Mexican Air Force pilots film UFOs: A videotape made widely available to the news media on Tuesday shows the bright objects, some sharp points of light and others like large headlights, moving rapidly in what appears to be a late-evening sky.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:34
Right, this is not going to be pretty, but it has to be done. Please bear with me….

Independent – American beheaded as torture backlash grows: A group linked to al-Qa’ida released a video last night showing five of its members beheading an American businessman in Iraq, in what it said was revenge for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail by US troops.

Let’s get one thing straight. Taking the torture of Iraqi detainees (there’s an excellent new feature on this issue at rotten.com) and merely using it as political ammo against Bush is wrong. Highlighting that this abuse is symptomatic of everything that is wrong about the invasion of Iraq and the Bush administration’s conduct in the War on Terror is not. IMHO.

Washington Post – Mistreatment Of Detainees Went Beyond Guards’ Abuse: Problems in the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq extended beyond physical mistreatment in prison cellblocks, involving thousands of arrests without evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of suspects starting from the moment of detention, according to former prisoners, Iraqi lawyers, human rights advocates and the International Committee for the Red Cross.

What al-Qaeda have done here is shameful. They’ve jumped on the bandwagon and hijacked the issue for their own ends with this outrageous execution ‘in the name of the Iraqi people’. Oh, and they’ve chopped some guy’s head off, which is also in itself more than a little bit naughty.

This is a direct link to the complete video.

(5.3Mb WMV file)

This is a direct link to footage of the execution.

(1.5Mb WMV file.)

It’s not pretty. I certainly wouldn’t advise downloading it purely out of curiosity.

With a steady head, we move on to the always-sensible words of Rush Limbaugh:

Left Will Blame Terrorist Savagery on Bush

Well, I won’t. I’ll blame it on al-Qaeda. Because they know just how to manipulate Bush. Him and all his little wingnuts.

Rush ‘Wingnut-Prime’ Limbaugh himself actually delivered the ‘obvious’ message on behalf of Mr Bush in this same broadcast (so please do excuse me as I quote him wildy out of context): This is what this is all about. Al-Qaeda is in Iraq, huh? Al-Qaeda is in Iraq, is that right? I thought there was no connection.

Well, there wasn’t. Until Bush charged into Iraq without UN backing and lying through his teeth about that connection. But that’s not going to stop Bush and Co. from spinning their own atrocities with a little bit of ‘this is what we’re fighting’ bullshit. (Instead of, say, blaming it on Bill Clinton letting homosexuals into the military.)

It’s a blatant lie, of course – but that won’t stop it from working. And so the violence will continue. Bush will make out that he’s calling the shots, but he’s being played by al-Qaeda every step of the way.

UPDATE – Flame wars. The only winning move is not to play.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
The Bush Administration
Time
10:53
Bush diverted money earmarked for Afghanistan to staging areas outside Iraq. Months before the war started. Without approval from Congress.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
Told You So
Time
11:01
MSNBC – Abu Ghraib and Beyond: “There was extraordinary pressure being put on MI [military intelligence] from every angle to get better info,” says Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the former 800th MP Brigade commander, who at the time was responsible for Abu Ghraib and other Iraqi prisons. “Where is Saddam? Find Saddam. And we want the weapons of mass destruction.”

(See the end of the first post in Monday’s bloggage.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
12:03
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe: “I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations, while our troops, our heroes are fighting and dying.”

What was that about flinching from the facts?

UPDATE – Today seems as good a day as any to view the World Press Photo of the Year for 2003.

UPDATE 2 – A mouth being fired off without first engaging the brain? Sounds like a cue for Rush Limbaugh to speak up again: “(James Inhofe is) what I will call a ‘real guy.’ This is a man who is in touch with the people he represents.”

Let’s be fair, now. That statement could be true, but only if … (I’m sorry, but finishing this sentence would involve me saying something very unkind and not at all true about the good people of Oklahoma).

UPDATE 3 – Guardian – Too easy to blame Bush: It’s time this smug bubble was burst. For the abuse epidemic in Iraq is not an exclusively American disease; it infects us too. We cannot sit back and watch the senate hearings and the Rumsfeld press conferences as if this were only their story: we are up to our necks in it. That remains true, even if you believe Geoff Hoon over Piers Morgan. What’s at issue here is not a single disputed incident. Assess the evidence and what you see is not a blip or a lapse by a few “bad apples” (to deploy another complacent cliche). What emerges is a catalogue of abuse over a long and sustained period.

Grab a bag and get to work. Reminders are needed here and abroad, now more than ever.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
It’s War! And Somebody’s Making Babies!
Time
14:13
LNR – Lynndie England: up the duff without a paddle: Four months? Do the math. She got herself impregnated in January – at precisely the moment she knew trouble was heading her way – because she reckoned that pregnancy would earn her more lenient treatment.

UPDATE – Ooooh, I’m such a bitch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040512
“The same thing we do every day, Pinky…”
Time
14:28
Well, not quite. Tonight I shall be spending time with people. Instead of hiding in my web-shed and grinding my teeth at the injustices of the world.

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Date
20040512
Flash Thingies
Time
16:34
Let us pray.

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Date
20040513
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:40
I’m incredibly busy today. Please excuse the short post.

Annie has a short report on last night’s blogger meet if you’re interested. Following the links should lead to more.

I was thinking last night that a weekend/daytime meet (say, a picnic at Richmond Park) might be a good idea for all those bloggers with partners and kids. Would this be a cool thing, or a little bit too weird for some people? Let me know what you think.

Angel has emailed the Archbishop of Canterbury an excellent letter, prompting him to make a statement on the developing incursion of the abstinence movement in the UK. Please, please call his office today or write a letter of your own. We have to do something to curtail these shouty Christian fundamentalists who dress up a recruitment drive as a health programme, and a statement from Rowan Williams would be a bloody good start. The contact details you need are here and there are instructions for sending an email to the fax number supplied here.

Two weird things from last night:

- Tart-carders have started spraying the inside of phone booths with perfume. Presumably to get you in the mood for lurve.

- There were some video screens above the upstairs urinals, designed to show advertising. They don’t have any takers at the moment, so right now the screens show the logo of the company that built them. This mostly involves a very realistic animation of flames, so basically you get to stand there and watch something burning. While you pee.

From Blogdex:

One for the wingnuts. (Oh my gosh, look where the trail starts).

How long does it take to fill up 1 Gig of storage with spam?

Timeline showing the history of the English language.

#(Complete Ghostbuster suit up for grabs on eBay. Some pant-wettingly good images here if you’re more than 46% geek. Go see.

Independent – The story of Nick Berg – a tale that haunts America.

Warning: This isn’t a gruesome picture, but it’s more disturbing than the video.

BBC – New abuse photos are ‘even worse’: US lawmakers have been viewing yet more photographs and videos of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers. The unpublished images are reported to include examples of US troops torturing and humiliating captives. Senators shown the pictures by Pentagon officials in a closed-door session described them as “disgusting” and “significantly worse” than anticipated.

New York Times – Harsh C.I.A. Methods Cited in Top Qaeda Interrogations: The Central Intelligence Agency has used coercive interrogation methods against a select group of high-level leaders and operatives of Al Qaeda that have produced growing concerns inside the agency about abuses, according to current and former counterterrorism officials.

And finally, no, I can’t find the FT article this mentions, either. Anyone?

UPDATE – Thanks, Jez:

Financial Times – Comment – The saviour of democracy is run by a unilateral bully

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040513
Activism
Time
11:21
Emergency Demonstration – Saturday 22nd May 2004, 11am – Central London

“The whole world is horrified at the terrible pictures of torture of Iraqi prisoners now emerging. They are the tip of an iceberg of abuse – dozens of civilians have died in custody of British and American troops in occupied Iraq. The Stop The War Coalition has responded to calls from groups and individuals, for a emergency demonstration to respond to the atrocities being committed in Iraq.”

Details and links will follow as soon as they come in.

I’m still kicking myself for not making the time to drop by to see Brian Haw yesterday, BTW. Oh, and on the same day Brian is due to appear in court on bullshit charges, George Bush Snr will be having a special dinner to raise funds for sonny-boy’s ‘re’-election campaign.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040513
Consume!
Time
12:09
How to make banks hate you.

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Date
20040513
Updates
Time
12:27
Bloggerheads will now go quiet until next Monday, while I switch to a new server.

Silent running engaged. Data transfer commencing…

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Date
20040517
Updates
Time
10:06
Friday’s post that didn’t quite work out….

If you can read this, the new server works just fine.

Panda Golf should keep you busy for a while. But turn your speakers off first.

Announcement.

Perspective.

UPDATE – Clarification.

The external development aspect comes just in time for me. MT would be my format of choice, but when I make a post, I want to be able to click a button that makes the post indexable only if I wish it to be. This is only one of about a dozen issues I have to think about, but I will be changing to a new blogging format soon. Details later.

Jaw. Floor.

Tony Blair is an arse. And he picks his nose (pass it on).

The Scotsman – How to sort out our teenage-sex muddle: Ostensibly, the motivation behind The Silver Ring Thing is to stop teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but its founding father, the Rev Denny Pattyn, makes no secret of his belief that the end of the world is nigh. If that doesn’t send his impressionable young audience rushing off to have as much sex as possible while they still have the chance, nothing will.

Pfft!

A great letter from Balders to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Have you written yours yet?

Cold Turkey by Kurt Vonnegut: But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America’s becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.

A nicely thought-out and well-put piece, which is more than can be said for the efforts of this game-playing wingnut.

More wingnuttery from one of the masters of the genre; apparently the media have been letting us down by obsessing over torture issues and not playing the footage of the execution.

Moving right along and wrapping up quickly…

Friends in Iraq – 1

Friends in Iraq – 2

Friends in Iraq – 3

The Outrage Family! Brilliant! Genius! Mooorrre!

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Date
20040517
World Famous in….
Time
10:10
A word from Abnu (amongst others): I just about freaked on Friday night watching Aaron Brown interview Andrew Sullivan live in the 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST timeslot. Throughout the interview with Andrew Sullivan about bloggers the headline caption on the TV screen displayed the word “Bloggerheads” so, I suppose somebody owes you some money, or at least an apology…uh oh.

The end result of this fleeting fame was 21 people searching for ‘bloggerheads’ in Google and finding this site. Probably as a result of them thinking; “Hey, that’s a cool name for a weblog. I wonder if….”

UPDATE – Folling that Andrew Sullivan link may well lead you to this ‘email of the week’: For me, the Abu Ghraib photos acted as slate clearer. Like you, after I first saw those photos I fell into a deep funk where I started to question everything that had made me a staunch supporter of the war. While in this funk I realized that much of my rationale for going to war was underpinned by an unformed, yet felt assumption that it would go well. Those photos yanked that all away. So then what happened? Into this void gets poured the images of an innocent civilian being savagely beheaded. Now unencumbered by unspoken assumptions that this would be easy, I see the true nature of what we are up against, and am more committed to winning this thing than ever before.

*sigh*

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:19
Newsweek – The Roots of Torture: The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war.

New Yorker – The Gray Zone – How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib: The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror.

New York Times – Illuminating blacked-out words. That headline is spot-on. The results of are very illuminating.

Of course, I shouldn’t say anything about it. Just in case..

Loïc Le Meur – French blogger arrested by the Police because of his blogging: Christophe criticizes the city management so much that they have tried to stop him for months, the city mayor has even sent him threats over the phone… that he recorded and blogged, of course.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
Tony Blair
Time
10:21
Blair must be in trouble if one of the best ditto-heads he can dig up is Geoff Hoon. We heard all sorts of stuff over the weekend about the ‘froth’ of leadership discussion within the Labour party, the most interesting developments being the comments of John Prescott and the reports of a secret meeting between Prescott and Brown.

Blair’s latest line (he daren’t play the ‘B-b-b-ut what would you do without me?’ card this time around) is that he wants to stay the course and finish the f**k-up he started.

Sadly, the bottom line is that he doesn’t have the currency to do this or address any issues at home. The lies that led to the illegal war in Iraq and the mismanaged, misrepresented war on terror just keep getting in the way.

Blair is a spent force. Damaged goods. And he has to go.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:31
BBC – Baghdad blast kills Iraq leader: The current head of Iraq’s US-appointed Governing Council has been killed in a car bomb blast near the headquarters of the US-led coalition in Baghdad.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
Fake Images
Time
10:34
Warning; this opinion-piece is not worth paying for.

In the final paragraph, Philip Knightly states that; “The Iraqis struck back with their own terrible images: the execution by beheading of Americna hostage Nick Berg.”

What was that about ‘perception’ again, Philip? Me, I could have sworn that al-Qaeda was behind this. Mind you, they did do it in Iraq, so I can understand the confusion….

Change of subject….

Independent – The fakes that finished an editor, and the truth that won’t go away.

I’ll be developing a special poster campaign sometime soon for the march this weekend and beyond. The theme will be ‘fake images’…

One thing I need and don’t got is a scan of the Sun’s ’45 minutes from doom’ front page. Any ideas of where and how I can get my hands on a copy of this without paying Mr Murdoch for access to his archives?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
Established Media
Time
10:54
The Daily Mail is finally online with a halfway-decent presence. (Link via Tom.)

1. I love the property search on the front page, but this feature really needs an additional ticker that tracks rising/falling house prices due to asylum seekers, street hoodlums, cancer in mice

2. Will they dare to publish any of their all-too-regular Interweb scare stories online?

3. How about the many ‘original’ stories and features they print that are actually stolen/plagiarised from sites on the Interweb (where everything is free)?

UPDATE – Ah, yes. I forgot about this interim website that has served the Mail well ahead of this most recent launch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040517
Music
Time
11:41
Eurovision. I just wanted to state for the record that I picked the winner. (I loved Germany’s song, but knew it wouldn’t stand a chance.)








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

19-30 April, 2004

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

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

*cough*

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

Tony Blair: I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr….

Tony Blair: I was right!

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

CNN: Woodward shares war secrets

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

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

Johann Hari: Richard Littlejohn is an ass.

I smell Murdoch. So does Nicholas Watt.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Oh dear….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Iraq, see Baghdad Burning.

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

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

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

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

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

Or did they…?

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

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

NO to EU – 1.2%

YES to EU – 0.3%

No opinion – 42.7%

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

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

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

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

And this:

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

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

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

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

Just under that is this:

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

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

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

BloggerCon Notes 1

BloggerCon Notes 2

BloggerCon Notes 3

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



(Link via ScaryDuck.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving right along…

CNN: Fury over Diana crash photos

I’m outraged!

(show me the pictures)

It’s shameful!

(show me the pictures)

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

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

e-politix – Blow for Blair as Express backs Tories

Guardian – Express gives up on Blair

Reuters – Blair loses paper’s support over EU vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040422
Photoshopping
Time
13:39


Had to be done.

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

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

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

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

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

Doonesbury gets harsh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stand by.

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

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

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

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

FFS…

1. Blair must think we have very short memories.

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

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

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

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

Job. Well. Done.

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

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

And definitely related, because you could be next…

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

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

Compare and contrast…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Stand by. Please do stand by.

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

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040423
Advertising Genius
Time
11:31
Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha!

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

Includes the Best. Question. Ever:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panda Software Reports a Spam Message That Downloads a Trojan

‘Bin Laden Captured’ E-mail Downloads Trojan

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

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

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

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

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

Moving right along…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The image turning America against Bush.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On a completely unrelated note:

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

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

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

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

2. Oh, FFS…. (Link via James.)

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

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

Labour: I See Red (Labour Needs Leadership Change)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guardian – Tories unveil new campaign advert

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

From a comment at this Voxpolitics post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

FEBRUARY 2003: EVE OF WAR

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

Labour – 14%

Conservatives – 0%

(Lib-Dems – 100%)

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

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

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

(ahem)

Moving right along….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link. Discuss. Enjoy.

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

Cheers all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, we have this…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awesome. Absolutely awesome.

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

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

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

Click here for a lovely 1024×768 desktop version.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Link via Backword.)

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

Resist is still on the case and determined to march.

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

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

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

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

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

That said…

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

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

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

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

So, next year…

I won’t be marching.

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

Just to see how they like it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: Pete Broderick

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

Date: 23/4/2004

Subject: Spam

–>

–> Hi,

–>

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

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

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

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

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

–> at the foot of most pages of SPAM.

–>

–> With Repect

–>

–> Pete Broderick

–>

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

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

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

–> projects?etc.

From: Pete Broderick

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

Date: 23/4/2004

Subject: April’s planning

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

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

–> application/octet-stream.

–>

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

–> The SUBJECT : 0i09u5rug08r89589gjrg

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

–>

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

–> start hostilities against Sth Korea, over accident.

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

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

BBC – Ex-ministers rally to Blair on EU

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

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

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

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

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

Climb you little bugger, climb!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Makes. Me. Sick.

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

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



UPDATE – Hooray for tasteful headlines!

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

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








Posted in Page 3 - News in Briefs, Uncategorized | Comments Off

01-16 April, 2004

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Date
20040401
Good Advice
Time
11:25
Do watch your step today. And if you’re going to have fun with people, try not to over-do it, try not to be too obvious, and try not to be too cruel.

UPDATE – White house to be painted black to shield it from terrorist attack! Wow! Woman grows extra breasts! Zowie!

UPDATE 2 – Andrew Orlowski falls hook, line and sinker for G-Mail. So have many others. Slashdotters and Farkers see the moon story as a feint. I’m inclined to agree. Still, they’ve gone to a lot of effort, so let’s just sit back and enjoy the show.

UPDATE 3 – If you want to have some fun yourself today, I’d suggest this classic or this one. (Warning: NSFW)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
In The News
Time
11:26
School officials in Flint, Michigan deny that lesbian gangs are roaming the halls, beating people up and enticing ‘straight’ girls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:28
Top Spot: Our side just got a little bit louder. Finally there’s a grain of truth to the ‘liberal media’ myth.

Taking out the two positions under this, Newsmap, ‘an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator’ that is totally awesome.

Just under that and climbing fast:

Proof that you can fool some of the people some of the time if you have enough money to throw at the problem. Also, some right-wing webaganda that ohmygodidon’tbelieveit Instapundit helped to launch into orbit. I’m seriously hoping it’s a joke.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Photoshopping
Time
11:35
Theme: If the British royal family actually had to work for a living…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
How Weblogs Work
Time
11:36
*snigger*

(Link via Abnu.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:38
“The bodies were hanging upside down on each side of the bridge. They had no hands, no feet, one had no head.”

Don’t worry, this is only an “uptick in localised engagements”. There’s no need to worry your head about the level of private security forces in Iraq or fear that not all Iraqis are happy with their shiny new mobile phones and satellite dishes.

PS – We took this brave action to save the good people of Iraq. It is for their sake now that we must crush them and their evil ways!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Inneresting
Time
11:40
Some action from the ‘duck and cover’ days. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Activism
Time
11:43
This is not a joke, but it is laughable. There have been many attempts to shift Brian Haw, including ‘sending the boys round’ in the middle of the night, but to manipulate the terrorist threat in this way to silence one man’s voice is beyond the pale.

11 days after two men managed to evade ‘security’ and climb Big Ben, we’re expected to believe that bombs hidden behind bits of cardboard across the road are a threat? Puh-lease!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Hatstand
Time
11:47
Mr T Vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Tony Blair
Time
11:48
I can’t think of a better day to release this:

BBC – Immigration minister Hughes quits: Tony Blair’s official spokesman said Ms Hughes had quit after it became clear she had given a “misleading impression – albeit unwittingly” to Parliament.

Are you as staggered by that quote as I am?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Viral Marketing
Time
11:49
Up, up and awaaay! Seems familiar

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Animal Kingdom
Time
11:51
Don’t worry, you can all come and stay at my place. We’re just about to have a new bug screen installed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Pluggage
Time
11:52
The game I’ve been working on is meant to have a bit of an 80’s flavour, so I figured it wasn’t complete without some overblown cover and/or manual artwork. With you shortly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Consume!
Time
11:56
BMW have gone to a lot of effort today.

BigDaddyMerk has just emailed me to let me know that they’ve put a half-page ad in The Times to publicise this remarkable innovation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Consume!
Time
12:19
Two, please.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Photoshopping
Time
12:35
Hahahahahahaha! If you’re a non-B3tan, you may need this first. But by then it won’t be funny anymore. Your loss. You should spend more time in the playground.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Yawn
Time
13:59
Bloody hell; it’s dangerous out there today. And with the involvement of the Interweb, nobody’s quite sure when midday is.

Jaclyn Smith nude!

Metafilter is on a free-for-all edit-me binge.

Trans-Atlantic train travel is on the way!

GMail is reported by the BBC and is front page of today’s Evening Standard.

UPDATE – And now we have this nifty snap from Toby.

FFS, even the chap who runs museumofhoaxes.com is hedging his bets.

UPDATE 2 – And now we have copycat virtual/imaginary girlfriends turning up on eBay, just to add to the general confusion (borderline NSFW):

GIRLFRIEND – Imaginary Girlfriend for a week!!!!!!!!!!!

*Imaginary Girlfriend* 22 year old english student

Nagging Virtual Wife – NOT Virtual Girlfriend

Follow the madness if you must.

God help us If this turns into another Ghost In A Jar episode.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Photoshopping
Time
15:14
Bwahahahahahaha! Nothing like a spot of joy to brighten up International Headache Day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
Pluggage
Time
15:49
OK, here it is; and you chaps get to see it before it even goes live on the main site:

Corgi Model Car Racing

Like all good model car races, this one takes place on the bedroom floor, but watch out for the cat, and do clean up the track afterwards.

I almost broke my neck tripping over your things yesterday – and while we’re on about it, why aren’t you outside, it’s a lovely day etc. etc. etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040401
NSFW
Time
17:57
Best. Maxim. Hottie. Ever.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Google
Time
09:35
Bloody hell, talk about owning the zone. This was the picture on Blogdex this Friday and Saturday, with Google’s actual gag (dismissed by me and others as a feint) topping the list, Gmail all over the place and no room for anything bar Kinja (a new personal blog aggregator that also features some ready-picks if you can’t be arsed making such editorial decisions yourself).

First of all, I think it’s important that I take a bite of humble pie, so you take what’s coming as it’s intended:

I was wr-wr-wr-wr…

I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr…

I was wr-wr-wrong.

There, now that’s out of the way…

I’m a big believer in Google. I like what the basic fundamentals of its ground-breaking and ever-developing algorithm are doing for the web.

I’m not quite as big a fan of AdWords and the way it’s being sold. I’m not sure how things are in the US, but here in the UK, most businesses don’t even take the time to consider organic SEO as an option. In fact, most trad-heads skip right over it and assume that pay-per-click schemes are SEO.

Some AdWords reps have been contributing to this by appearing as supposed ‘SEO seminars’ that are really PPC seminars. Early in the piece, this involved someone espousing the values of the core database and leaving the sell for AdWords unsaid. As softly-softly as this is, it still crosses the line for me. Way, way waaay over the line is one of their reps appearing at another, more recent, seminar and saying that organic SEO is nothing more than gambling, and that AdWords allows you to reach this ‘same’ audience without risk.

Coming from a representative of the company that revolutionised the way the public conversation drove search results, this is a bit rich.

“Welcome to the Interweb. If you’re a business; there’s no need to connect to the community, just bring your cheque books and leave your brain at the door.”

Smart move, huh?

SEO is about more than getting the top search result for ‘widgets’ (but if you’re one of those rare companies that actually make a genuine connection to the online community, you can pretty much take this as a given). If you run a reasonably high-profile company, people are going to be talking about you. Do you want to be part of this conversation, or simply an ad that appears to one side?

I’m not saying that AdWords doesn’t have its place, but it should not be presented as if it’s SEO and it should not be suggested by Google representatives that SEO is a waste of money.

And recently it has been. This suggests to me that Google, as it grows and the focus on profits increases, is running low on basic equipment such as moral compasses for staff.

Now we have Gmail, and already concerns are being raised about privacy issues (more on this from Wired).

This was the factor that convinced many folks that it was a joke. Me included.

The World Wide Web is primarily a publishing arena. The conversation is public. If you run a database of this public conversation, feel free to insert and target ads at will.

Certain parallels have been drawn to Google successfully saving and maintaining a web-based Usenet archive via Google Groups (feasibility of data storage, the model of the conversation-string, etc.). But again, this is a public forum. I don’t have a big problem with Adwords tagging along.

But email is private. I’d like mine to stay that way.

Google can insist that they will keep everything groovy and above board until they’re blue in the face, but the hints of greed (and corruption of the Google creed) in the UK are enough to make me concerned, even without the introduction of Gmail.

Consider the scale of what can be done with this information if there is a failure to maintain best practice.

Think also about the people who will be using the system to plug their services. The advertisers. Paragons of virtue, one and all.

An example:

Right now, if someone uses your brand name or trademark or company name etc as a ‘trigger word’ in an AdWords campaign (check out peeps targeting ‘tesco’) to see this in action), you have the power to stop it, but you have to spot it yourself first and make a complaint.

This is a bit off in my book, but there are economic realities to deal with and Google is used widely enough to make most people aware of such shenanigans (except the current regime at Tesco, obviously).

But if there’s a campaign that’s guilty of passing off or hijacking your name that only appears within an enclosed email system (scroll down to bottom for screengrab), how the hell are you supposed to find out about it?

Just one possible example to show one vulnerability. The wrap-up I’ll leave to this comment on Slashdot: It’s simple: too much information concentrated into any one set of hands — even hands as apparently benign as Google’s — invites abuse or — even if Google never bends to that temptation — tempts others to steal that data.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
The Bush Administration
Time
09:47
You’ll want to spend some time this morning following The Yawning Boy saga. You can see a copy of the clip here. (His name is Tyler Crotty, just in case you’re not aware and/or want to do a quick news search.)

I love how the Bush administration took a firm hold of him and pumped him full of ADD drugs for this Late appearance. I also love how the story has reached all the way into the land of British children’s television.

Cliche abuse follows:

‘Twas the yawn that heard ’round the world…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:50
Yet another lame quiz what makes you think about the grammar takes out the top spot, but the real buzz is about political blogging:

From the John Kerry For President blog: In light of the unacceptable statement about the death of Americans made by Daily Kos, we have removed the link to this blog from our website.

From Atrios: They’re trying to get their guy elected, and they’re going to do what they think is necessary (I’ll let others judge the wisdom), but it shows they’re not ready to really have a blog and interact with the rest of the blog world. They should just pull down all their links.

Which is more or less what he’s done himself to make his point.

From BopNews: But this is something that was going to happen, and it will happen again, because the web creates memory, and all of a sudden, leaves open to exploitation a huge amount of political speech that was never before traceable.

UPDATE – If you have the stomach for it, you may wish to watch it all unfold between Instapundit and Daily Kos. Oh, and blogged by me a few days ago: (Some Clarke thing that has nothing do do with this issue)… is a testament to how even our beloved two-way channel can be manipulated if you have enough brown-shirts ready and waiting to whore your links. Interestingly, a quick look at the link cosmos through Blogdex or Technorati for most of this propaganda shows a trail that begins at Instapundit and/or Little Green Footballs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Goodbye, George
Time
10:15
Damn the liberal media scum. Damn them all!

The Independent – ‘I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa’ida would attack cities with aeroplanes’

Washington Post – Top Focus Before 9/11 Wasn’t on Terrorism: Rice Speech Cited Missile Defense

IndyStar – White House admits keeping Clinton files from 9/11 panel

The Observer – Bush and Blair made secret pact for Iraq war

Telegraph – Bush’s administration is worse than Nixon’s, says Watergate aide

UPDATE – More? You want more? Oh, go on then…

New York Times – Mired in a Mirage: By holding back documents, officials, information, images and the sight of returning military coffins, by twisting and exaggerating facts to fit story lines, by demonizing anyone who disagrees with its version of reality, this administration strives to create an optical delusion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
I Believe In The BBC
Time
10:22
The Observer – A big hand for Michael Grade: Unanimously recommended by the independent interview panel, whose procedures were closely monitored by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Grade is the most legitimate appointment as BBC chairman in modern times. He does not need to show his independence because he is a government supporter or contributor to Labour party funds. He is his own man. That Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and her Conservative shadow, Julie Kirkbride, could both say he was the right man at the right time is, for those who believe in the BBC, something of a coup.

Later today I’ll be putting an archive statement on I Believe in the BBC. It was of a time and all that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Animal Kingdom
Time
10:31
Size does matter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Consume!
Time
10:33
2,744 tobacco ads for you, via The Ultimate Insult.

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Date
20040405
The Lib-Dems
Time
10:36
LNR – Charles Kennedy: a 12-step program for political recovery

It would be nice to have someone in place who actually pictured himself leading a nation instead of a noisemaker.

UPDATE – Also good from The London News Review: The dogs of war go corporate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Tim Yeo
Time
10:49
I’ve decided to have some poster fun with Tim Yeo. Go and see.

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Date
20040405
Your Arse (And How To Get Off It)
Time
10:53
For some reason my brain is alive with projects involving Flash and/or music-video-type things.

If you can play, sing, record, arrange, and deliver as a compressed MP3 (or source existing MP3s and compress those) then I need your help.

If you can hack a decent Flash show, then I could do with some back-up on this, too. (I can edit Flash at home, but not on my current work ‘puter, which really holds things up.)

Some ‘shoppery is involved here and there, but I’ve mostly got this covered. Still, I could do with someone who can take hi-res screengrabs from DVD. If not, I’ll be reduced to taking photos of my television again.

If you can help with any of the above, then please do get in touch. Those what get involved will help to decide what gets done first. (Broadly, the projects involve either exploring the Star Wars universe or targeting George W. Bush and/or Extremism.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Inneresting
Time
11:11
What does breast milk taste like?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Video
Time
11:36
Will the B3ta pilot actually making it to broadcast signify The End of Days? Discuss.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Flash Music Video
Time
12:34
Squeal like a pig for me boy!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
In The News
Time
14:03
Disney’s worst nightmare made real:

Disney World character arrested: Orange County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Walt Disney World employee who plays “Tigger” on charges of fondling a girl, 13, and her mother as they posed for a photo with the costumed character.

I do keep wondering how many diddling Ronalds there have been in the past and if McDonalds are as good at keeping such things quiet as the Vatican…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
14:50
The Australian Football League has recalled more than 200,000 Auskick CD-ROMs after a picture of a topless woman was found amongst the data.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
15:10
Sydney Morning Herald – Inquiry to find attacks need not have happened: The leaders of the independent commission investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks say the evidence gathered by their panel shows the attacks could probably have been prevented.

That’s a but premature, isn’t it? Escpecially when you consider this…

Reuters – White House to vet 9/11 report before release: The White House will vet “line by line” the report of an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks before it is publicly released, the commission chairman said on Sunday.

All in the name of national security, of course.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
Bunch of Stuff
Time
15:41
Huzzah for straight pride! Hooray for targeting vulnerable women! (Links via the increasingly addictive Attu Sees All.)

Hey kids! Free Comic Book Day is headed your way this summer! On July 3rd, all you have to do is walk into a comic book store and pick up a free comic. There are ten great titles to collect, but this one is my personal favourite.

(Why oh why oh why wasn’t there a comic book on the subject of teenage abstinence?)

AMERICAN POWER: PREQUEL

by Chuck Dixon & Greg Land

Superstar artist Greg Land and master of action Chuck Dixon unleash America’s new living weapons in the war against terror! They bomb civilians, hurt innocents, and spread fear. But those that have chosen to inflict pain will reap what they’ve sown! Now, the world’s modern monsters will face a new, devastating and living arsenal! Supported by the technology, muscle and brainpower of the U.S. Armed Forces, the next stage in human evolution will scour the globe and deliver justice! Lock and load for high-stakes, high-explosive military action as the enhanced soldiers code-named Ivictus and Scapel strike!

I found this via Die Puny Humans, which also led me to this entry at the blog for Kansa City Independent Comics, which led me to this free comic/leaflet from PeTA with a woman stabbing a bunny on the cover.

BTW, PeTA are now in control of meat.com (which used to be a really naff speculative directory), and this company that often gets mistaken for PeTA sells knives. Isn’t the Interweb wonderful?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040405
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:35
Slugger O’Toole writes for The Observer on public dialogue and its influence on the popular politics of Northern Ireland.

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Date
20040405
Updates
Time
18:39
Archive message now live on the I Believe In The BBC page. Attu and Kevin added to the blogroll. That’s about it.

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Date
20040405
eBay
Time
20:57
Kind of boring, I know…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
GMail
Time
10:01
This chap is testing GMail: The joy and genius of gmail is that you pay nothing except having a few unobtrusive ads shown sporadically, and so everybody wins…. Since I feel compelled to provide a summary, I’ll just say that unlike Segway it’s nowhere near disappointing, and if folders and convenience issues make you as frustrated as they used to make me, you’re going to love it.

Tra-la-la, isn’t life grand…?

This chap is speculating: Ignore for a moment the observations about Google leapfrogging their competitors with more user value and a new feature or two. Or Google diversifying away from search into other applications; they’ve been doing that for a while. Or the privacy red herring. No, the story is about seemingly incremental features that are actually massively expensive for others to match, and the platform that Google is building which makes it cheaper and easier for them to develop and run web-scale applications than anyone else.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
In The News
Time
10:02
Angry druids have offered a £1000 reward to help catch the vandals who have splattered day-glo paint on the RollRight Stones.

If they’re low on funds, I do have a nifty fund-raising idea specifically for Druids. No kidding.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Google
Time
10:07
Blogged a few days ago:

Any Googlebomb that other bloggers consider to be objectionable will soon prompt a competing Googlebomb.

This isn’t quite exactly and totally the same thing, but the same forces are at work. Doing quite well on Blogdex (6th yesterday; 4th today) is this call for a Googlebomb to knock the anti-semitic site www.jewwatch.com from the top spot for searches for the word ‘jew’ (you can see the current state of play in the screengrab on the right).

The folks behind www.removejewwatch.com are taking another route; they’ve started a petition and are insisting that Google remove the site from their database entirely.

This isn’t the first religious war in Google, just in case you were wondering.

Oh, and on an entirely unrelated note

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Loving America
Time
10:11
Check your tags.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
A Blog Is Born
Time
10:15
Newsdesigner.com is an interesting treat, taking a close look at editorial design and its role in getting core messages and/or subtle nuances across.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
10:31
Coverage of the Posh & Becks infidelity rumour took up every inch of space from pages 1 through 9 in yesterday’s Sun. Today their front page screams: Becks’ girl is bisexual (pedants and lawyers, please note the apostrophe).

A good thing with all this trauma laid bare for the world to see that the Beckhams have Page 3 girl Anna (22, from London) onside and hoping that Posh and Becks ‘can patch up their differences’…

Says Anna: “Victoria and David are the nation’s golden couple and they enjoy the admiration of millions. Sadly, they seem to spend much of their time apart these days. They must find a way to accommodate both their careers.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:34
New York Times: Leaders of 9/11 Panel Say Attacks Were Probably Preventable: Their remarks drew sharp disagreement from one of President Bush’s closest political advisers, who insisted that the Bush and Clinton administrations had no opportunity to disrupt the Sept. 11 plot. They also offered a preview of the difficult questions likely to confront Condoleezza Rice when she testifies before the panel at a long-awaited public hearing this week.

Speaking of which…

CNN – Photo may have nudged Bush on Rice testimony: A historical photograph may have helped persuade the White House to let national security adviser Condoleezza Rice testify before the independent panel investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks… The photo, published in The New York Times on November 22, 1945, shows Adm. William D. Leahy — White House chief of staff under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman — appearing before a congressional panel investigating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Inneresting
Time
10:38
New US study finds that teenage lesbian or bisexual girls are many times more likely to smoke regularly than straight girls their age.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:23
Healing Iraq yells ‘coup d’etat in progress’ and a trail of links beginning at Instapundit has everybody ready to reach for high-tech weaponry in order to save a few more innocent Iraqis. Erm, from themselves. (You watch; if the Bush administration needs it, US public opinion will turn on the Iraqi population faster than you can say ‘Aznar was a big fat liar and paid the price.’)

These thoughts from Riverbend: Let me make it very clear right now that I am *not* a supporter of Al-Sadr. I do not like clerics who want to turn Iraq into the next Iran or Saudi Arabia or Kuwait… but it makes me really, really angry to see these demonstrations greeted with bullets and tanks by the troops. Why allow demonstrations if you’re going to shoot at the people?

Someone should let Riverbend know that protestors are terrorists.

The Independent – US may send more troops as deaths rise: An edgy President George Bush tried to brush off the problems, insisting America’s plan to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqis on 30 June would not alter. In a speech in North Carolina, he said: “The deadline remains firm. Terrorists can’t stand freedom.”

See? See? Terrorists, one and all. Why, just take a look at their grisly methods. (BTW, it needs to be noted for the record that ‘shock and awe’ bears no relation to ‘fear and terror’….)

(ahem)

Now you may not agree with the politics or the methods of the al-Sadr mob, but this looks like a popular uprising to me. Perhaps even a war.

Yep, looks like war to me. Ooh, look who gets to play along.

But don’t worry your head about it. A line was drawn under this months ago. It’s time to move on. We’ll sort this minor blip out shortly and get on with the serious business of mobile phone distribution.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Games
Time
11:25
Worst. Arcade. Ever.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
South West Trains
Time
11:25
Scaryduck has had enough: Travelling on SWT, you really give the impression that the company don’t give a shit about the customers. The staff try their hardest, but in a system so utterly borked, they really are pissing in the wind. And if the company insists on dressing them up as the Fat Controller, no wonder morale is so low. And just to show it’s profits first, customers second, I really don’t need to look further than my own local station.

You’ll be needing this, people:

South West Trains – How To Complain

In other news, Thames Trains, the train company involved in the Paddington rail crash was fined £2m yesterday. Last year they made £65m. So there’s a still a profit to be made, even if people die.

UPDATE – I’ve travelled on SWT recently and it appears to me that they’re running the old stock into the ground ahead of their replacement with spiffy new stock. On one train, two carriages were in service with faulty doors. The measures taken to ensure our safety were quite impressive. Both doors had bright yellow and black stickers on them. The toilet was also broken, but it didn’t have a yellow and black sticker. Someone had taken the time to fix the lock on the door, though. By replacing the knob with a wood screw wrapped in electrical tape.

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Date
20040406
Video
Time
11:40
A new video from IFAW is a bit graphic, and quite PeTA-esque but we do have to save the heffalumps. Because they’re pretty. And they’re bigger than us.

UPDATE – The Guardian – Warning sounded over huge UK trade in illegal ivory

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Date
20040406
Richard Desmond: Label Pending
Time
12:33
Enter The ‘Express Meets Forum’ Writing Competition!

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Date
20040406
The War on Terror
Time
12:46
Hooray.

Learn more about Osmium Tetroxide.

Isn’t the timing funny? Again.

UPDATE – More from The UK Today

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Date
20040406
Christianity Watch
Time
13:54
I want one.

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Date
20040406
Told You So
Time
15:06
The Register has had a long-overdue makeover. Part of it involves (finally) inserting article titles into the Page Titles. I advised them to do this. Two. Bloody. Years. Ago.

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Date
20040406
Inneresting
Time
16:25
Olly olly oxen free! (Link via Balders.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Video
Time
16:46
This is why kids throw away the toy and play with the box.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040406
Virus Alerts
Time
16:52
I’m getting quite a few scrubbed copies of Netsky.Q and its cousins lately. The difference between this variant and others is the level of sophistication in the message delivery. Many of the messages would prompt an immediate response from most unwary web users. Some also come with their own ‘all clear’ message.

Example:

Are you a spammer? (I found your email on a spammer website!?!)

+++ Attachment: No Virus found

+++ MessageLabs AntiVirus – www.messagelabs.com

This ‘Mail Delivery Failure’ variant is also devilishly clever:

If the message will not displayed automatically,

follow the link to read the delivered message.

Received message is available at:

www.bloggerheads.com/inbox/manic/read.php?sessionid-799

(Hidden under this link is a command to open the attachment.)

God forbid anyone who actually speaks English should give this a try. (Ooh, or perhaps it’s all part of their cunning plan to convince us that they’re cyber-activists operating out of Russia… instead of wankers living in their mother’s basement.)

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Date
20040407
The War on Porn
Time
10:25
Baltimore Sun – Administration wages war on pornography: Drew Oosterbaan, chief of the division in charge of obscenity prosecutions at the Justice Department, says officials are trying to send a message and halt an industry they see as growing increasingly ‘lawless’. “We want to do everything we can to deter this conduct” by producers and consumers, Oosterbaan said. “Nothing is off the table as far as content.”

Translation: Soft porn to hard porn, we want to be able to poke our noses anywhere.

As I’ve pointed out before, the developing War on Porn is as big a lie as the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, in that there is a real threat, but it’s being manipulated to target something else entirely. A full-scale War on Porn (complete with rabid ‘champions of public opinion’) allows the government to destroy the support network of any citizen it chooses to target with a mere wave of the finger. Their computer would be seized and studied as a matter of course.

Even Instapundit labels this a Very Bad Idea (but, typically, offsets this with suspicions that ‘a Democratic mole’ has set this up in order to help Republicans look stupid).

From Game The World: I had gotten to the point where I had thought that my bad opinion of John Ashcroft was a result of some seriously selective reporting. Now comes this crackdown on pornography that shows me that I should pay more attention to my first impressions. Add this to the story about how the Patriot Act is being used in cases with no connection to terrorism, and you can see my truly deep ambivalence to the Bush Administrations attitude toward law enforcement.

Lots of background can be found via Classical Values. You’ll want to watch how this develops very, very, closely. And speak up before it’s too late.

Americans, if you need some ammunition for the playground on your side of the pond, there are two names you’ll need; Richard Desmond and Rupert Murdoch.

Richard Desmond, a Labour party donor and ardent Blairite, has a rather interesting background in pornography. Searching for ‘desmond’ on this page will lead you to all sorts on interesting articles on their relationship.

Rupert Murdoch peddles soft pornography (and supports the policies of Bush and Blair through thick and thin) via his UK tabloid newspaper The Sun. It was The Sun that George W. Bush chose to give an exclusive interview to when he visited the UK last year. (It was also The Sun that claimed that cheering crowds drowned out protestors when Bush appeared at the hot dog stand set up out front of Buckingham Palace.)

See also the separate post today about the editorial content that often accompanies topless girls on Page 3 of Murdoch’s Sun. Oh, and every time Blair gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, The Sun either pander to paedo-fear, xenophobia, or lust for celebrity sex-gossip (today complete with nipple-slip) in order to bury important stories that might harm The Leader Who Can Do No Wrong.

Perhaps George and Tony can discuss these ideological conflicts when they meet in Washington next week.

Permalink: http://www.bloggerheads.com/x-archive.asp?viewblog=20040406&date=07/04/04

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Date
20040407
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
10:29
Another one I had to scan for fear that this just would not be believed in America. Today, the girl who chooses to empower herself by appearing with her breasts out on Page 3 of ‘the nation’s favourite newspaper’ is Natasha (21, from Torquay). She believes it’s vital that our troops remain in Iraq and says: “Our boys are doing a fantastic job peacekeeping. To give in to a minority of extremists would be an insult to the brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting to free Iraq from its evil regime.”

UPDATE – Rich informs me that the lovely Natasha Mealey – when not making editorial comments on our government’s foreign policy – appears in the occasional music video. Including the clip for Somebody To Love by the Boogie Pimps where milk-hungry babies parachute from the sky in pursuit of her ample breasts. (The video is suitably hat-stand, but this rehash/loop of a song annoys the hell out of me.)

Click here to see the video.

Click here to send email to Natasha.

Note – On the above page is a link to a ‘Win a Date with Natasha’ competition. To enter the competition, all you have to do is email her at date@natashamealey.net with ‘a question that you’ve always wanted to ask.’ I’m so very, very tempted…

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Date
20040407
The Bush Administration
Time
10:31
Hooray for whoever cared enough to bring us a working replacement of the Sloganator.

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Date
20040407
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:33
erm, and ‘smart marketers who embrace this high-traffic phenomenon’… Blogging Is Booming. But do watch your step.

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Date
20040407
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:07
pResident Bush’s resolve is ‘unshakable’. He wants to continue keeping the wrong force in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

I agree withdrawing troops is a silly idea with all of this going on. The only solution I can see to this problem created by Bush and aided by Blair is… the removal of Bush and Blair. New troops from all nations, courtesy of the UN and an efficient hand-over to democratically-elected leaders as soon as possible.

A fair democracy has a hard time of it anwhere there’s a crisis. How is the US supposed to set one up when they’re the cause of the crisis?

There you go; just a few thoughts from a misguided peacenik. We’re all a bit barmy, you know.

In fact, David Blunkett is convinced that we’re all going a bit mad.

Hmm, now I think about it, the Mental Capacity Bill looks set to authorise euthanasia for those suffering from dementia. This brings us one step closer to an even more efficient solution. Not too great for me and you, but at least Blair, Blunkett and Co. will be able to form and drive policy without a bunch of fruitcakes running around criticising their great and good works.

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Date
20040407
Music
Time
11:09
Damn, I wish I’d though of this. I watched the Kajagoogo reunion jobbie last night. There was many an awkward moment to enjoy, and Limahl admitting that he had to look up his own lyrics on the Interweb was a classic.

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Date
20040407
Activism
Time
11:30
Aldermaston 2004 – Join the Easter hunt for the UK’s Weapons of Mass Destruction!

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Date
20040408
Follow Up
Time
09:52
The Corgi Model Car Racing Game (Bedroom Floor Circuit) is ticking over nicely at about 1,500 visitors a day.

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Date
20040408
Google – The Adsense Trial
Time
10:03
Adsense is officially on notice.

I’ve had it set up on Bloggerheads, strictly on a trial basis, for two months now and have earned just over fifty American dollars. Whoopee.

And just take a look at the stuff they’ve got me promoting lately. (Cheers, Tim.)

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Date
20040408
Sex, Sex, Sex (the boys are marching)
Time
10:10
Pravda reports that in ‘in many Middle Eastern countries it is prohibited to eat the sheep you had sex with’ …

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Date
20040408
Told You So
Time
10:12
Atrios points a finger at this transcript of Bill O’Reilly who boldly says: The safety of the American military must become the top priority. The interest of the Iraqis themselves second.

See? It is all about freedom.

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Date
20040408
Curse the Liberal Media
Time
10:18
Al Franken fisks Sean Hannity’s ‘litany of lies’ about John Kerry.

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Date
20040408
Consume!
Time
10:20
The latest fashion must-have: eyeball jewellery.

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Date
20040408
The Bush Administration
Time
10:22
Watching porno movies while driving may be banned. But watching Barney is OK.

Incidentally, the Baltimore Sun article about the developing War on Porn (read yesterday’s bloggage) currently holds the top spot at Blogdex. Later in the morning, it’s sure to be Rumsfeld and Rice all the way.

(I know that Rice’s testimony will be broadcast live in the US, but does anybody know if it’s also being broadcast live in the UK? If so, I need to top up on popcorn. To throw at the screen.)

UPDATE – Cheers to Martin, who informs us that Rice’s testimony will be broadcast on CCN Europe at 2pm GMT. Nicholas chips in to tell us that BBC News24 is also promising coverage from 2pm.

UPDATE 2 – And now we go to this live report.

UPDATE 3 – Just Kidding. Here’s someone who is blogging it live.

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Date
20040408
Christianity Watch
Time
10:32
Here’s a bunch of Jesus-related links from Bloggerheads two years ago, complete with a story that’s well-worth repeating in light of this story about a church trying to teach children about the crucifixion of Jesus by whipping the Easter bunny and breaking eggs:

So where did they lose me?

I’m still wondering that myself, but on this day in particular I’m reminded of a certain Sunday School lesson at the aforementioned Baptist church. The same teacher who maintained that men have two less ribs than women was teaching us about Easter. Easter Eggs, she said, were representative of Christ’s tomb, as you open them on Easter Sunday and lo-and-behold they’re empty. Praise Jesus! She then went on to inform us that eggs with Smarties or other such sweets inside were therefore an abomination. I’m not sure how those little solid eggs or milk chocolate bunnies work into this theory, but at the tender age of six I didn’t think to ask. I was too busy trying to look up her dress.

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Date
20040408
Flash Thingies
Time
10:44
A nifty time-wasting Easter Bunny for you. (Link via FunJunkie.)

UPDATE – And now, tripping bunnies.

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Date
20040408
Consume!
Time
12:41
What. A. Tosser. Good thing he’s found the perfect channel to toss on, though.

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Date
20040408
Photoshopping
Time
13:14
Heh. I had this exact same thought.

The B3ta Messageboard is a great place to be today. A 4-day weekend looms and minds are wandering. Politics is tempting, but today I’m Stuck on Jesus:

Jesus No. 1

Jesus No. 2

And here’s an oldie but a goodie.

(Oh, but if you do want politics, best place for Condi and Rummy comments should be Atrios and The Washington Monthly. Me, I’m still trying to find a TV.)

UPDATE – OK, just one on politics. This source image was impossible to resist.

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Date
20040408
Art
Time
13:54
On the front page of Michael Moore’s website today is an awesome photo-mosaic of George W. Bush formed of the faces of American service men and women who have died in Iraq.

You’ll want to read this statement from the artist.

Personally, I don’t think he has a damn thing to apologise for. It’s the most powerful and eloquent visual statement on the war that I’ve seen to date. The picture doesn’t project a message; it evokes a truth from deep inside you and will cause significant chest pains in anybody with strong feelings about this war.

You should prepare yourself to see this everywhere before the end of the day. And again and again and again until Bush is out of the White House and losing money for his father’s mates.

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Date
20040408
How Weblogs Work
Time
14:59
OK, I’ll play.

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Date
20040408
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
15:07
Ah yes, and the only way to get ranked in the Most Cool section is to link to the site. Gotcha.

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Date
20040408
Flash Games
Time
17:20
Balance that kitty! Go! Go! Go!

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Date
20040413
Updates
Time
10:23
Hello peeps! I’m not sure what you did over your 4-day weekend, but we managed to piss most of it away redecorating.

Some serious grass-seeding went on in the back garden, particularly on that little strip of land in the back garden that other people’s cats enjoy crapping on so much. This time we’ve popped some netting over the top so this section of yard has a chance to establish itself, instead of being used as a large litter box.

If you come inside and walk this way – –> you’ll see that the upstairs bathroom has been stripped of peeling wallpaper and painted with three coats of water-resistant emulsion. The light fitting has also been replaced. That pile of junk in the corner? Oh, that’s the old light fitting installed by the previous owner.

The grade of wire used isn’t designed to stand up to anything more than intermittent exposure to a 20 watt bulb and this stuff (connected to the mains by a range of connectors that look like they were salvaged from the bottom of somebody’s tool box). This wiring quietly lurked behind a foil stove-top grease pan thingie which seems to have been installed as some kind of heat shield.

The result was a big melty mess – and one very near miss – with the live and neutral wires looking particularly strained and the sleeve for the earth wire burned right through.

So, after ‘wasting’ an hour or two double-checking the batteries in our smoke detectors and triple-checking all of our other light fittings for hidden surprises, we moved on the bedroom.

Come this way – –> and watch your step (there’s furniture everywhere and we’ve yet to return the steamer).

The natty wallpaper with little love-hearts all over it is finally gone and now sits in sodden lumps in two large garbage bags destined for the tip. We had to be choosy about the bathroom paint, but budget was an issue and the main priority in the bedroom was to Get. Rid. Of. That. Wallpaper.

Because of this, we chose the cheapest, nastiest emulsion we could lay our hands on; Magnolia own-brand matt emulsion from Homebase. £8 for a 5-litre bucket. £9 for a 10-litre.

Yes, you read that right; the paint costs less than the buckets it comes in.

It took four coats to come good, so we’ve spent the last 3 nights sleeping on the sitting room floor. And unable to shower for most of that time because of the fun & games in the bathroom.

So really my holiday starts today. I’m showered and shaved for the first time in 4 days, and tonight I get to sleep on a real bed in my own room. Without having to tolerate those little love-hearts all over the walls and without dying peacefully in my sleep from smoke inhalation.

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Date
20040413
Weekend Reading
Time
10:35
Mostly the Independent over this long, long weeked. Here are the bits that didn’t get laid down to protect the carpet from paint-splashes….

Two from Robert Fisk:

A war that was founded on lies and illusions has one simple truth: Iraqis do not want us

The planners of the war in Iraq have just one answer to their critics: ‘shut up’

Also, see this:

Tony Blair: Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq

… get the fisking (or perhaps morrising) it deserves:

At last, Blair identifies the real threat: complacency: The PM mounted his latest defence of the Allies’ troubled mission in the pro-war Observer. Nigel Morris highlights the gaping holes, contradictions, and double standards.

A top letter in Saturday’s Indy: Sir: So the Conservatives want our help in making a 30-second television advert? I have the perfect one: “Labour is half-heartedly dragging us into a war of terror that cannot be won. Labour is reluctantly failing to raise sufficient taxes to to fund our ailing schools, hospitals and public services. Labour is toying with restricting immigration. Labour is thinking about curbing your freedom through the introduction of identity cards. We would do all of this and more with far more enthusiasm.”

ROBERT L WEST

Manchester

I’m going to see if we can’t interview this chap for the Desmond thing we’ve got going over at Interwebnet.org:

From blue blood to blue movies: porn baron risks family’s wrath

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Date
20040413
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
11:07
www.dogshatebush.com

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Date
20040413
Useful
Time
11:09
Uptime? Pft! Gimme that inbound link data: Uptimebot.com

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Date
20040413
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:42
Right up the top; this tool that lets you see images from the most recent entries at LiveJournal.com (which led me to this very strange, NSFW picture and almost certainly ‘shopped picture) and a report that Gopher is still alive and kicking. Climbing fast is the Gurus Vs. Bloggers design shootout and news that music labels are trying to up the price on music downloads.

Beyond the tech, it’s mostly missives from the left and right. Actually, mostly the right….

Things is tough in Iraq. The solution proposed in an editorial in Murdoch’s New York Post? Drop the hammer. Reality is immaterial. We cannot trust Arab opinion. And so on.

While you’re pondering this and other Western/Arab matters, take a few minutes to check out the LittleGreenFootballs or Late German Fascists? quiz. Then reassure yourself that – even if there never was a connection between Iraq and terrorism – a war had to be fought somewhere in order to fight terror.

There you go – clear as mother’s milk.

Oh, and there’s also this PDF of a ‘largely historical’ document that gave no warning of who or where; it just happens to be titled “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S”… *cough*.

UPDATE. Oh, and how. They had no idea about the ‘how’ either.

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Date
20040413
The War on Porn
Time
11:44
I smell a bandwagon…

Here’s a picture of John Ashcroft’s face, made entirely of little porn people.

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Date
20040413
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:47
Protester fails to arrest PM: A 61-year-old anti-war protester tried to make a citizen’s arrest on Prime Minister John Howard before being wrestled away by security staff.

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Date
20040413
Flash Games
Time
11:51
Taxi!

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Date
20040413
Christianity Watch
Time
11:52
Scientists discover another face on flip side of the Shroud of Turin. Perhaps it’s a really big cash note thing from Them Days. And we don’t see many of them because they were discontinued. Because they were a bugger to fold.

Oh, I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud here…

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Date
20040413
Inneresting
Time
11:55
Yet another fabulous collection of ye olde album covers. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20040413
On This Day…
Time
11:58
Please be aware that this Thursday is National High-Five Day.

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Date
20040413
Useful
Time
14:46
NotCon 2004. You’ll want to be there.

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Date
20040413
South West Trains
Time
15:00
What’s the bet it was the cheapest crane they could get?

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Date
20040414
Coming Up
Time
10:02
Hoo-bloody-ray for Ashley Revell, who has won his ‘double or nothing’ bet of his life savings and scooped £135,000.

And in the process – with the help of that nice Mr Murdoch fellow and countless newspapers following the ‘story’ – injected into the public psyche the idea of the economic redemption via high stakes gaming.

And just in time for Tessa Jowell’s and her new ‘loose and free’ gambling bill to benefit.

You’ll want to watch how this develops very closely. ‘Problem gaming’ and kiddie gambling is the least of the troubles you can expect from the widespread introduction of high-stakes slot machines and walk-in casinos in your local town.

Some will succumb totally, yes. And it will be a golden age for roaming loan sharks. Quite a few more punters (the type that – after a few drinks – currently spend £50 chasing a £30 jackpot) will, with higher pots to chase, manage to piss away most of their pay for the month and have to crawl back to reality, somewhat poorer, but hopefully wiser. The grand majority, however, will go in out of curiosity and gamble a sizeable but affordable stake away ‘just the once, for a laugh’ and/or only occasionally – possibly as part of their social/weekend routine – until the novelty wears off.

Of course, the government gets to wet its beak in the process. So what this amounts to for most Brits is an extremely inefficient one-off tax hit.

The government will also get a tiny taste of tax income from the shadow economy, as high-stakes gambling of any kind provides the opportunity for some pretty serious money laundering. (I don’t know how things are in Sydney at the moment, but a few years after the new casino was established there, the practice of cleaning money via the casino was so commonplace that some drug dealers were being caught using high-value chips as currency on the street.)

Watch it. Carefully. (Actually, you might want to actually do something about it as well. Your call.)

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Date
20040414
Just Plain Sad
Time
10:06
Poor Al. Especially striking for me, considering what was blogged yesterday: One thing I would like to ask everybody to do, though… please, go out and get carbon monoxide detectors for yourself and your loved ones. If my parents had had one in their home, there’s a very good chance that they would still be with us today.

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Date
20040414
GMail
Time
10:19
A draft law is being drawn up by Californian Democratic Senator Liz Figueroa, who calls Gmail “an invasion of privacy”.

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Date
20040414
RWCs
Time
10:20
Call for direct action, or unfortunate choice of words? Either way, the right-wing bloggers are all over it.

And calling for assassination is so very, very like us. You cannot trust the left. We’re all a bit mad. Etc.

Also doing the rounds and charting quite well on Blogdex three days running, Wizbang’s selection of carefully honed and oh-so-clever misinformation.

The funny thing is they’re claiming that they smell desperation…

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Date
20040414
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:27
A Strategy for Iraq – by John F. Kerry

Transcript of President Bush’s press conference

If you’re having trouble telling the difference between the two, one carries the the ever-reliable terror/Iraq/terror/Iraq/terror/Iraq mantra, and the other doesn’t.

A spokesperson for the Bush administration also took full advantage of the passing of time to set in stone the WMD lie on BBC Radio 4 this morning. Because Saddam had WMDs in the past and the war is now in the past (kind of) she quite happily asserted on more than one occasion that the war was good and proper because ‘Saddam had WMDs’.

*sigh*

Also: My eyes! The goggles do nothing! and a quick fisk for you.

Also worth peeking at; a chart-topper from this time last year.

UPDATE – Kevin Drum watched and blogged the press conference live. A highlight I’m dying to watch when I get home tonight:

9:25 – “What’s the biggest mistake you made after 9/11?” Bush just froze. He couldn’t answer for literally 30 seconds. “I can’t come up with something under the pressure of the press conference.” Huh?

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Date
20040414
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:48
The Rove-scripted and Rice-fed ‘silver bullet’ line is sticking with me for some reason.

Sorry, boys and girls, only magic could have stopped 9/11!

I’ll try to avoid the words ‘smell’ and ‘desperation’….

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Date
20040414
Inneresting
Time
10:53
Links to The Museum of Unworkable Devices and the Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness come to us courtesy of Abnu.

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Date
20040414
The War on Porn
Time
11:01
Fundamentalist Christian Anti-Porn “Accountability Partner” Caught Diddling the Diaper Crew

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Date
20040414
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:04
Baghdad Burning: The hostage situations are a mess. I watch television and it feels like I’m watching another country. All I can think is, “We’ve become one of *those* countries…” You know- the ones where hostages are taken on a daily basis and governments warn their civilians of visiting or entering the country. It’s especially sad because even during those long years during the blockade and in between wars and bombings, there were never any attacks on foreigners. Iraqis are hospitable, friendly people who always used to treat foreigners with care… now, everyone is treated like a potential enemy.

And the longer this goes on, the harder it will be to draw together a legitimate coalition to fix the Great Big Mess created by Bush and Co.

If Blair continues to cozy up to this administration instead of using the ‘influence’ he’s bent over so often to secure, I am going to be very upset.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
The War on Terror
Time
11:36
Pfft!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Photoshopping
Time
11:36
Congratulations to Matt Gilbert, who has won this recent Guardian ‘shopping comp with this ‘inspired’ entry.

Is it just me, or are they all a bit rubbish?

(Link sniffed out by Martin. Added sniffiness by yours truly.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Flash Music Video
Time
11:53
JPEG Baby cracks the language barrier. Again. Hundreds of visitors have turned up at Bloggerheads as a result of this one post and the link has also spread to all sorts of European blogs, sites and discussion groups, so cheers to Bluephod for the plug.

Just to let you know, the next flash project will involve Star Wars, I just need to draw a few assets together before I start building. You’re going to love it. You’re really, really going to love it….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
12:47
We have Posh & Becks, you have Michael Jackson (now with added accusations). Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

(For those with poor memories, that search of Neverland and the arrest warrant that followed took place the last time George W. Bush was in danger of looking very stupid.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Bunch of Stuff
Time
13:33
Lots of familiar stuff here, but you’ll love the way it’s presented. The page just begs to be explored.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Welcome To The 21st Century
Time
14:02
Yes, but can these robots survive a direct metor strike?

(Mechanical servants? Rocks from sky? You, sir, speak of the impossible!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
It’s War! And You Just Volunteered!
Time
14:19
Nader Tells Youths to Brace for Draft: “The Pentagon is quietly recruiting new members to fill local draft boards, as the machinery for drafting a new generation of young Americans is being quietly put into place,” Mr. Nader said in a press release sent out to constituents and posted on his Web site during the weekend.

‘Quietly’ is right.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Video
Time
15:36
“We have activity but I don’t think we need to report it.” (Link via BigDaddyBlog.)

Much cheerier than this footage, I’m sure you’ll agree.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Goodbye, George
Time
15:48
For your reference: A Busy Person’s Guide to the Bush Press Conference

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Consume!
Time
17:30
Woof!

UPDATE – And WTF?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040414
Inneresting
Time
18:04
Some excellent scans of WWII proper-gander for you to enjoy. (Links via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:36
The tops spots are all taken up by Amazon’s new search portal and news of Amazon’s new search portal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Tony Blair
Time
09:38
This information came via Private Eye, but they can’t be bothered to put this kind of thing live on the web, so I will.

See it for yourself at Hansard:

Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): May we have a debate to clarify what should constitute a matter for ministerial resignation? If it has become a resignation matter inadvertently to mislead Parliament and the people over the Home Office and immigration, why is it not a resignation matter inadvertently to mislead Parliament and the people over weapons of mass destruction and Iraq?

Mr. Hain: Quite simply because there was no misleading involved on the question of Iraq.

What, not even subconsciously?

UPDATE – Not only, but also:

Tony Blair and The Precautionary Principle

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Flash Thingies
Time
09:39
Celebrating the 3rd anniversary of an Interweb classic: Hyakugojyuuichi Forever!!

You can see a copy of the original Hyakugojyuuichi! here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Fair and Balanced
Time
09:43
Bwahahahahahahahaha! It would seem that the Middle East is also beset by filthy liberals.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
09:48
pResident Bush’s press conference – White House transcript

Watched the full magilla last night. Bush was almost certainly to wearing an earpiece and being fed information, which cast “you know, I just — I’m sure something will pop into my head here” in a whole new light. The poor man was screaming for help. None came.

I also love the new storyline, heralded by former FBI director Louis J Freeh in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, that provides new backup for the Iraq/terror ‘connection’ and also explains Bush’s failure to act on pre-911 intelligence.

1. Bush wasn’t to blame. It was Al Qaeda flying the planes. So they’re reponsible. Obviously. Oh and the UK failed, too. Not that Bush did. Fail, that is. So there. (oh, there’s more on this point here if you want it.)

2. Now for the biggie: America wasn’t on a war footing then, y’see. America needs to be on a war footing to be able to fight – and prevent – terror. Doesn’t matter who the war is with, they just need to be on a war footing. Bush used the phrase ‘war footing’ five times during this press conference, just to be sure that we got the point. Because, gawrsh darn it, he’s simple failed to communimicate it properly before.

Bet I can do it in four words or less:

http://www.google.com/search?q=orwell+1984+perpetual+war

I also love this:

“We knew they were hiding things — a country that hides something is a country that is afraid of getting caught.” – George W. Bush

*cough*memoryhole*cough*

But that’s just me thinking out loud. For proper analysis what like the pros do, see that filthy liberal rag, the Washington Post.

Plus, we also have the wonderful news that Bush and Sharon have cooked up a plan that solves the Palestinian problem by ignoring Palestinians. Me, I’m waiting for the speech that goes: “We’re not building a road map, we’re building a road. And roads need bulldozers!”

UPDATE – And here’s a picture, boys and girls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
The War on Terror
Time
09:52
1-2-3-4, I declare a flame war.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Richard Desmond: Label Pending
Time
09:54
A top post by Balders:

Desmond – Keeping a finger in the pie?

I had a nifty idea for rating the quality of the porn in Mr Desmond’s fruiter titles, but it wasn’t worth doing if they were ex-titles. Now I can forge ahead with it. Dog bless Bladers and his research finger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Consume!
Time
09:57
Anti-Barbie becomes Russian icon: An unglamorous schoolgirl has become a feminist icon in Russia after she was entered for an online beauty pageant by a friend as a prank.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Games
Time
09:59
Which Lara Croft is the superior Lara Croft?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Animal Kingdom
Time
10:02
Another sign that the End of Days are upon us. Best keep your nail clippings; you’ll need them in heaven.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Flash Thingies
Time
10:03
The Attaaaaaaaaaaaaack of the Giant. Red. Octopus!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Activism
Time
10:04
Six years that took. Six bloody years. BTW, that’s not action from Mr Blunkett. That’s re-action. There is a difference. More from the BBC.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Normal People
Time
10:12
Man detained after teaching his dog to play ‘fetch’… with an axe.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:14
Tom Watson helpfully points us to the Conservatives’ intention to put the Internet at the heart of its advertising activity.

The money is already wasted, I’m sorry. The aim should be to put the Internet at the heart of its communications activity.

1. The whole viral=video idea of treating the web like a TV channel and hoping that people will happily share your advertising is outdated. Successes are ntoable, but few.

2. True viral of any kind requires a genuine connection.

3. Name me one Conservative MP who has a weblog. Go on, just one.

But, feel free to ‘create advertising history’ if you feel you must. I’m sure they’ll do really well out of it. I mean, it’s not as if one of their key ministers has been publicly bitch-slapped over a previous Interweb abortion.

UPDATE – Ooohh, I have a brilliant idea to subvert this. And it’s damn easy to subvert, because they don’t have an established online network. Email me for details if you want to play.

UPDATE – A comment or two from The UK Today

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
12:37
Congratulations to the folks at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who still haven’t worked out that this isn’t Tony Blair’s email address.

(You can check the PDF file this is from and see it for yourself if you like. Cheers to Joe for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
14:54
Hooray for Engrish!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Flash Thingies
Time
15:12
Hypnoterror! Oh, and I haven’t mentioned Model Car Racing for a while…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040415
Activism
Time
15:17
A little birdie tells me that George Bush Snr. is coming to town on May 18th for a $1000-a-plate fundraiser (the missive I saw includes a request that cheques should be made payable to Bush Cheney ’04 Inc.).

The fun is expected to start after 4:30pm at The Landmark. Mark your calendars.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
The Bush Administration
Time
09:12
BBC – In Blair Bush trusts?

The Bush Press Conference Response Generator

Slate – Trust, Don’t Verify: Bush’s incredible definition of credibility.

TPM – We may be for freedom. But if the people we’re trying to ‘free’ don’t think that’s true, then it scarcely matters.

And with all of this going on and Blair meeting with Bush for yet another nutsacking, what does the Express run with? Diana, Hitler and Immigants.

“Immigants! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them.” – Moe Szyslak.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
Google
Time
09:20
Google’s response to the ‘Jew’ search result.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:21
Government of Canada versus BlogsCanada

Also:

1. Pop Idol-style show will select potential MPs

2. Vote For Me

3. Posted at Bloggerheads 13th October, 2003

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:26
The Australian – Iraqi ‘beaten to death’ by US troops: An Iraqi has died of his wounds after US troops beat him with truncheons because he refused to remove a picture of wanted Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada Sadr from his car.

Baghdad Burning – Media and Falloojeh: To lessen the feelings of anti-Americanism, might I make a few suggestions? Stop the collective punishment. When Mark Kimmett stutters through a press conference babbling about “precision weapons” and “military targets” in Falloojeh, who is he kidding? Falloojeh is a small city made up of low, simple houses, little shops and mosques. Is he implying that the 600 civilians who died during the bombing and the thousands injured and maimed were all “insurgents”? Are houses, shops and mosques now military targets?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
Updates
Time
09:32
Bloggerheads is going to the mattresses. Bloggage will be slow in the near future.

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

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

For Iraq, see Baghdad Burning.

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

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

Back soon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
15:21
Ooooooooooooooooooh, spooky!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040416
Communicating Online
Time
17:46
This is totally far-out and right-on guidance for associate spamming. (Link via NTK.)



Oh, and the genius fronting letdownbylabour.com is one Gavin Barwell. Just thought you’d like to know.

Apart from that profile on Conservatives.com (and this profile at westminsterwanderers.com) Gavin has no personal web presence to speak of, but he’s young, so obviously has Interweb knowledge coursing through his veins. And – let’s be fair – he has been involved with some impressive online initiatives…

I clearly remember Save Our Supplements rocking my world. This little campaign (supported by Target Publishing Ltd, ‘publisher of trade magazines within the natural products, organic and CAM markets’) was so hot that even my kids heard about it in the playground and came home bugging me to top up our stash of natural vitamin and mineral supplements before they got banned by The Man.

These bitching ‘More Politicians’ posters also went totally viral, as did this high-impact little number. (Both are PDF files, so you may not bother downloading them. But they’re sheer genius; trust me.)

Gavin was also behind the distribution of ‘I Believe’ by email. Erm, to people who may or may not have opted in to receive email from the Tories.

(It’s called ‘spam’, Gavin. Just in case you haven’t reached that chapter in Carol Vorderman’s Guide to the Interthingie yet.)








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

16-31 March, 2004

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:24
A well-deserved chart-topper this morning:

City officials city fall victim to Internet hoax, consider banning items made with water.

To learn more about the threat of dihydrogen monoxide, the “odorless, tasteless chemical” that can be deadly if accidentally inhaled, click here. Or use any search engine, most of which present this Snopes entry on the first page of results.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Activism
Time
10:32
Flashmobs with a purpose: Protests in Madrid organized by SMS, chatrooms.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Guantanamo Bay
Time
10:33
Sydney Morning Herlad – US frees 26 from Guantanamo Bay: The US military today said it had released 23 Afghan and three Pakistani citizens from the US Navy prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, leaving about 610 still in detention. In a brief statement, the Pentagon did not say specifically why the 26 were let go, but said each case was reviewed separately to determine whether a prisoner was of further intelligence value to the US and whether he was believed to pose a threat to America.

I love bold-assertion-with-zero-details about one of them going ‘back to the fight’, it’s almost as if they can’t resist tacking on an ‘I told you so!’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace
Time
10:43
Once again, astronomers make life hell for astrologers. Blood will be spilled one day, you mark my words.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
The Bush Administration
Time
10:45
The Scotsman – Bush Administration Accused of Manufacturing the News: The Bush Administration is being investigated for producing “ready made” television news packages in which actors were paid to pose as journalists, it emerged today. “TV news releases” were sent to local stations to be run as part of main news programmes. But Federal investigators have launched an investigation into whether the adverts were “propaganda”, amid allegations that they were an attempt to “manipulate the press”.

UPDATE – More on this here at the New York Times and here at The Guardian (latter link requires registration).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
11:05
Once again, we turn to The Scum for Blair’s lies in their purest form. Today’s editorial space is devoted 100% to convincing readers that the Spanish have flip-flopped at the whim of terrorists, when in reality what cost Jose Maria Aznar his job was one callous manipulation of the terror threat too far. Blair has also manipulated the threat in many questionable ways, and is very worried about parallels being drawn. That’s why The Scum finds it so very important that they set the tone with this today:

WHAT is Tony Blair to make of the extraordinary outcome of the Spanish election? Putting it bluntly, it is the first time a terrorist act has toppled a government. A nation believes it can opt out of the war on terror. Like their new Prime Minister, Jose Zapatero, the Spanish are living under a dangerous delusion. He has convinced 43 per cent of his shell-shocked voters that the war on Iraq is to blame for the carnage in Madrid. Now he promises to pull 1,300 Spanish troops out of Iraq in July. It is unpleasant to criticise a nation at a time of great mourning, but what the people of Spain have done is very wrong. Their country was not targeted by al-Qaeda because it supported America and Britain. The Muslim terrorists are out to destroy the modern way of life which they hate. Their wicked acts have precious little to do with events of the 21st century. The Muslim fanatics of al-Qaeda want to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages. They are fighting a war which, in their warped minds, began 500 years ago. New York, Washington, Moscow and Madrid have been attacked. But so too have Islamic countries like Turkey, Indonesia and Iraq. This is truly a war on the world and we are ALL in it. In Britain, there are many who use Blair’s perfectly proper support of America as an excuse for sniping and sneering at the world’s only superpower. They are everywhere — on the left of the Labour party, throughout the Lib Dems, in the Guardian and at the BBC. They are content to shelter under American firepower but like all who would occupy the moral high ground, they are overcome by altitude sickness and feel the need to empty bile over their protectors. There are even some in Government who seem to waver. So where does this leave Blair? The Prime Minister has acted with great courage and skill since the horrors of 9/11 awoke the world to the threat it faces. He was entirely right to give full backing to President Bush and our great ally across the Atlantic. No one should delude themselves that Britain would have been a safer place if we’d sat on the fence like Germany and France. Blair deserves the country’s full support.

The poor ‘shell-shocked’ voters. They deserve our full sympathy because they’ve just been blowed up, but you have to admit that they’re acting a bit loopy. Kind of like that hysterical Clare Short woman. And let us not forget 911! With great courage and skill, Blair took the hand of the shell-shocked Americans and invaded Iraq to reduce the threat of terror by doing away with an evil dictator who wanted us blowed up as well. The only way to fight terrorism is to support Tony Blair 100% and believe everything he says!

(What do you mean there’s no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda? They both want to see us blowed up! What further proof do you need?)

UPDATE – I haven’t commented on their ‘hooray for taking the law into your own hands’ front page, but somebody else has. Pfft!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Consume!
Time
11:10
Now the Spanish are all traitorous socialists, what is to become of the this classic dish? Will The Supreme Court have to step in again, banning the unholy combination of onions and eggs, or will simple rebranding suffice?

‘Liberty Omelette’ has a nice ring to it, but I prefer the snap of ‘Broken Egg Breakfast’…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Anyone but George
Time
12:10
Time’s guide to ‘the suddenly fast and loud presidential race’ is a jolly good read, but if you want to retain a fair and balanced level of input, you’ll want to start by watching Kerry and Bush’s campaign output side-by-side.

Also interesting is this somewhat belated side-by-side video of Dean and Bush. The Bush segment is drawn from this video of him looking somewhat squiffy 6 years after he gave up drinking. Alone. Or gave up drinking alone.

Me, I’m not too fussed about whether or not he took a drink at a wedding in 1992. Or when he choked on that pretzel. Hell, I wouldn’t even blame him for taking a few drinks this time last year. I’m even OK if he is drinking every day right now and lying about it.

What I have a problem with, and what I think we have a right to know, is how often is wakes up hung over in strange rooms like this one and how long it takes him to get out. Without cheating.

UPDATE – It took me 45 minutes. Having your view change every time you click somewhere that’s not-quite-near-an-object is a right pain in the arse, but don’t let it stop you poking around. Oh, and cheers to Mirjam for the Crimson Room link. It’s not as if I have any work to do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
It’s War! And You Just Volunteered!
Time
12:11
Slowly but surely…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Video
Time
12:20
Some very cool aircraft footage courtesy of the plane-lovin’ folks at the Alexis Park Inn.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Normal People
Time
12:49
Meet Ulrich Haarbürste. He likes to write stories about Roy Orbison being wrapped up in cling-film.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
The War on Terror
Time
13:23
What every atrocity needs is a snappy name. It doesn’t have to be original. Just snappy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Richard Desmond Is a Pornographer
Time
13:31
The Indepenedent – BoI withdraws funding for purchase of Desmond adult titles: Bank of Ireland yesterday confirmed it had pulled out of a deal to finance the £20m acquisition of 45 of Richard Desmond’s adult magazines by the publisher Remnant Media following protests from its customers.

Poor Richard, just when he had some lovely bunnies lined up….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Photoshopping
Time
14:08
Farkers invited to post their ‘technical best.’ Proceed with caution; it’s a big download from multiple servers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
Spain: Beacon of Democracy
Time
15:49
Luke from Expats just got back from Spain and has posted the following in reaction to all the ‘terror wins’ and ‘Spaniards are cowards’ garbage:

“I could not say this more clearly: The Spanish were not voting in fear, but in defiance.”

“The word on the street was that Aznar had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and that as of 5PM on the day of the bombings functionaries within the Spanish government had been told from on high to exploit every opportunity to blame ETA. Aznar himself called several newspapers (including Britain’s Observer) to personally press this line. This was too much for the Spanish to take.”

“… the PSOE did not ‘win’ in the traditional sense. Aznar and the PP lost, because the Spanish people had had enough of deceit and opportunism, and they wanted their country back. In the clearest street-level grassroots sense of the phrase, they voted with their feet.”

Well said, that man.

UPDATE – You may also wish to give Peter Kilfoyle a moment or two of your time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
16:19
Yes, but what was the donkey doing in southeastern Afghanistan in the first place? Sorry, that whole backpacking to learn computer skills and meet a wife story just won’t wash. Everybody knows that donkeys are a bit queer and love a bit of barnyard servicing. Chase me! Chase me! You couldn’t make it up. Etc.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040316
The War on Terror
Time
16:41
Yahoo! News – Bush says foreign troops should stay in Iraq.

The best bit is this quote: “…al-Qaeda has an interest in Iraq for a reason. And that interest is they realize this is a front in the war on terror.”

This is an excellent example of the new line that Iraq and the War on Terror are linked (and therefore have always been linked) because of the terror attacks happening in Iraq. Because it’s a front on terror. That we helped to create by illegally invading that country after claiming that it had links to terrrorists.

Infuriating, isn’t it?

UPDATE – Spain’s new socialist Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says here: “Military intervention in Iraq was a political mistake. It divided more than it united, there were no reasons for it. Time has shown that the arguments for it lacked credibility. You cannot bomb by chance. You can’t lead a war with lies.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:56
I have a lot to get on with today, so you won’t be seeing much of me, I’m sorry.

Here are a few snacks to keep you going.

Topping Blogdex: David Blunkett the Great Humanitarian strikes again.

Google has just gone live with another significant update to their algorithm and it looks like most clients will be very happy with the results.

One thing I always check on after an algorithm change is how my long-term generic query project is going. This time last month, the Universal Church of the Interactive Network had just climbed to 62nd place for the generic query ‘religion.’ Today it’s in 43rd place. Slowly but surely… (Oh, if you search for it in Google.co.uk and specify pages from the UK only it’s 3rd.)

What else, what else…?

Ah, here we go. Email:

YourParty has launched with a new site.

The Movement had a record deal, but the company they were signing with went bust. Then their manager dumped them. Then they got thrown out of their studio. Oh well, at least they’ve got their health.

On the subject of bands, you’ll love what The Descendents are up to. Check out the growing flyer archive and wonder at how fantastic other ‘old guard’ sites could be with a little extra typing and scanning. (Link via Ultimate Insult.

Mark Cuban has a weblog. Who he? Hrm. Perhaps I should make a living out of selling weblogs to rich eccentrics. I tried to start up with Prince Charles last year, but didn’t get very far.

I have no idea what this guy is banging on about. As far as I’m concerned, the world was created – human beings, Grand Canyon and all – at 9am on October 23rd, 4004 BC.

Wibbler would like to bring this proposed bill to your attention. He also invites you to watch Donald Rumsfeld squirm after a failed bluff about what he may or may not have said about Saddam being an imminent threat.

UPDATE – More on this from Metafilter

Finally, take a look at what I was thinking this time last year. Difference between now and then? Now you can send email to Tony Blair. Not that he’ll listen. The arrogant, lying, appeasing tosspot.

Sorry, just spitting some bile from the moral high ground…

*cough*

Meanwhile, the police warn us of terror attacks but the police are working ever so hard to stop them and citizens are being asked to keep an eye out for suspicious bags and we don’t have any bins on the London Underground, just a few thousand hidey-holes where I’ve seen litter lay for months on end but they’ll be searching passenger bags anyway, no doubt a little bit extra over the weekend but the measure won’t be used to harass protestors, anti-terror laws have never been used to do this and they are there to protect us from terror attack but an attack is inevitable and we’re all going to die.

And breathe….

I’ll be marching this Saturday, and urge you to do the same. The map of the route is hidden here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Photoshopping
Time
10:24
Ooooh, look what The Guardian is up to.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:43
A coward and a traitor! He deserves what’s coming to him if he fails to present himself for Guard duty.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
The Interwebnet
Time
10:48
Via The Fix comes this handy registration bypass tool.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Christianity Watch
Time
10:57
Toby wishes to bring to your attention this, a far more disturbing bill in the works.

UPDATE – But, as we all know, the only dangerous fundamentalists are those who wear towels on their heads. God is love, right? With his Word as law, what could possiblye go wrong?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Trains
Time
11:22
Via The UK Today, we learn of louder whistles that will make the trains run on time. How about bigger sticks to beat the passengers with? Or guard dogs to chase the lazy buggers on and off the carriages? To cries of Mach schnell! Mach schnell!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Normal People
Time
13:08
Have you seen an Angel today?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
Photoshopping
Time
13:45
The Coca-Cola Nazi Advert Challenge now has a special home all its own.

Send them your art.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
14:12
Huzzah to FunJunkie for discovering these free paper models of Star Wars vehicles.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
NSFW
Time
15:58
– Go to www.financepage.co.uk

- Click ‘Focus’

- Look for the hidden ‘s0e’ link in the graphic above ‘The Market’

- Every link you follow in that next section – with the exception of the panic button – is NSFW.

I can’t help but wonder what the point of this subterfuge is. Nudie pictures are still easy to spot as nudie pictures, even if they are surrounded by dull finance-oriented graphics.

I can see this becoming common knowledge very soon, too. So your IT manager will know exactly what it means when he sees repeated downloads from financepage.co.uk in your HTTP logs.

UPDATE – Here’s what the B3tans made of it and here’s the chap who built it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
The Bush Administration
Time
17:16
Hooray for Henry Waxman for bringing us The Iraq on the Record database, which contains ‘237 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq that were made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice.’

The full report is available for download as a PDF file, or you can just access what you need via the handy lie-finder. The Washington Post reports.

Brilliant. Now who will build one of these for Blair, Hoon, Straw, Campbell and all their mates?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040317
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
17:34
*cough*

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040318
Updates
Time
11:21
Busy. Work to do. Need filthy lucre. Art-wank sector of my brain going into overdrive for the march on Saturday. Plus a new project for interwebnet.org in the final stages of development. I may blog this afternoon. Then again, I may not. Cheers all.

PS – Confession is good for the soul. Happy Anniversary.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040318
Bunch of Stuff
Time
12:36
A clear-headed post on the current cries of ‘Appeasement!’

An enlightening post on Lisa Myers’ ‘Why didn’t Clinton kill Osama when he had the chance?’ story

Riding high on Blogdex:

1. Watch Rumsfeld squirm, courtesy of MoveOn.org

2. The Iraq war lie-finder.

3. Don’t click on http://www.sunrise-adams.biz/ – it’s only there because of comment or referral spam and will repeatedly try to install a porn downloader on your ‘puter.

4. Localised searches from Google. Only useful if you live in the US.

Calpundit’s move to washingtonmonthly.com (see top link) is also charting well. As is this report on the Al Qaeda statement that allows right-wingers to scream ‘Appeasement!’ and left-wingers to giggle at Al Qaeda’s endorsement of Bush. A relevant flame-war is here, if you have the stomach for it.

Hands up who would believe a story written by The Sun based on a letter addressed directly to them from the U.S. Embassy?

Thought so.

Here The Scum dutifully reports on the ‘guilt’ of four freed Guantanamo Bay detainees, complete with ‘fair and balanced’ headlines such as ‘ENEMY ON OUR STREETS’ and ‘ENEMIES WITHIN’.

This comment at The UK Today nails it.

Oh, and today’s Page 3 girl in The Sun has some thoughts on the budget. Natasha (21, from Torquay) welcomes the move to ‘sweep away Whitehall waste’. She says: “I don’t want my tax wasted on pen-pushers and bureaucrats. The axe should fall next on those silly politically-correct council jobs.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040318
Photoshopping
Time
15:47
A little treat for you on this special and happy day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040318
Normal People
Time
16:22
I was looking for a picture of a sock. I found a picture of George Harrison meeting a man who is wearing a sock.

From ‘The Life Story of the Singer from Deep Purple’. This site also includes a How Pure Is Your Devotion To Deep Purple? quiz.

I’m going home now.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Flash Games
Time
09:20
So cool and so fun that it’s already old news. Yet another awesome Yeti/Penguin game.

Hint: Angle it right, and the seals do their best to help out.

(Link found via Funjunkie; game is already 3rd on Blogdex.)

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Date
20040319
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:23
Looks like people just can’t get enough of tracking the lies of the Bush administration and watching Donald Rumsfeld get caught out. They still hang in there at 1st and 2nd place respectively (but the Yeti/Penguin game is sure to crack the top spot within an hour or so).

A new chart topper for you: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English. My favourite is – and always has been- forte.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
The Bush Administration
Time
09:27
I hate to draw yet another Nazi parallel, but I can’t help but feel that very soon the U.S. is going to suffer from a massive brain drain.

365gay.com – LGBT Federal Workers Lose Job Protections: Gay and lesbians in the entire federal workforce have had their job protections officially removed by the office of Special Counsel. The new Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered.

And it’s just persecution we’re dealing with here, but an administration that’s less-than-helpful or openly hostile to scientists that dare to engage in actual science. The state of the economy doesn’t help either. Things are look up, you say? Then why is Donald Trump looking to make a buck by trademarking the phrase You’re Fired?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:47
MySociety awarded £250,000 by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. This post includes a list of projects submitted by the public that now look very likely to go ahead.

That’s quite inspiring. Do I dare chase funding for some of my less subversive projects?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Sex, Sex, Sex (the boys are marching)
Time
11:01
Man sues after ‘male enhancement’ product fails.

On a somewhat related note, Jessica Pivik laments the decline of the hand-job.

Stop laughing at the back! You know very well how committed the Bush administration is to curtailing teenage pregnancy and the spread of STDs. That’s why Bush is seeking to double funding for abstinence-only education. But the effectiveness of the programme is in question and this new round of funding looks like it’s going to some people who may not have the control of STDs as their highest priority.

Take Denny Pattyn, founder of the Silver Ring Thing, for example. He believes that we’re approaching the End of Days and it’s his duty to recruit as many souls as possible. He’s not concerned with the physical health of his charges, because he’s not entirely sure that this will be an issue for very long. He is instead primarily concerned with their spiritual health. Fair play to him, but he has no business taking funding that’s earmarked for the control of pregnancy and STDs.

So I think it’s time for a compromise. I think it’s time to grasp the nettle firmly and introduce a programme that will win hearts, minds and souls across the country while limiting teenage pregnancy and the spread of many common STDs.

I call this programme Hand-Jobs For Jesus.

Those who wish to take part, please step forward for the laying on of hands.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Activism
Time
11:09
Ther’ll be a report later this afternoon about what I have planned for the march tomorrow. Some posters (old and new) will also be available for download. Hang in there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade
Time
15:21
On the subject of Rebekah Wade and the downloading and publication of child pornography to shift her papers and boost her ego…

For background see:

Bloggerheads – Wed, March 9, 2004

Bloggerheads – Wed, March 10, 2004

Now, agreement and some extra data from from Private Eye No. 1102 (19 March – 1 April, 2004):

On May 8 last year, after police decided to give (Pete Townshend) a caution plus five years on the sex offenders’ register, (Wade) wrote a furious article insisting that he should have been charged: “A court should decide whether Townshend should be punished.” Why take such a hard line? Because, Wade thundered, “every person who views child pornography – even if only once – creates a market for the evil peddlers of filth”.

Thanks entirely to Rebekah Wade, every reader of here paper has now viewed child pornography, even if only once. She has thus done far more to “create a market” for it than anyone else in Britain. According to her own logic, Inspector Knacker should prosecute the flame-haired filth peddler without delay.

But it suddenly occurs to me that – for this to happen – one of us may need to file an actual complaint. So, who wants to play hardball with the ginger-freckled one?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Consume!
Time
15:23
From Toby:

BBC – Coke recalls controversial water: Coca-Cola is to recall all bottles of its Dasani water in the UK, after levels of bromate were found to exceed legal levels, Reuters has reported.

Funny because they deserve it. Hilarious because they put the stuff in there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Activism
Time
15:30
Tony Blair says: “The idea that if we were to give in over the issue of Iraq that would be an end of the matter in so far as they (possible attackers) are concerned is completely and hopelessly naive.”

He just doesn’t give up insulting us and our intelligence, does he?

*sigh*

1. Granted, changing our Iraq policy will not stop us from being a target for terrorists. But the invasion of Iraq certainly didn’t help matters, now did it? Hooray to Hans Blix for coming right out and saying it.

2. That’s not the f**king issue, and Blair knows it. The issue is his manipulation of the terrorist threat for political gain. It screwed Aznar, and he’s next if he keeps it up.

Many of us still remember the note on which this War on Terror started. The 11th of September, 2001 was a great day to bury bad news. Jo Moore may be long gone, but the culture remains.

Oh and remember the tanks in Heathrow during the week before the million-strong march? We still haven’t been told why. Was it stage management or mismanagement? Either way, it places us at greater risk.

Right. Saturday…

The march will start in Hyde Park (Speaker’s Corner) and proceed to Trafalgar Square (here’s a map of teh route if you need it and a webcam facing Trafalgar Square if you want to view the final assembly from out of town).

I have the following to hand:

50 A4 ‘One Down, One And A Halfwit To Go’ posters

Click here to download a copy for yourself

25 A3 ‘Deaf To All Reason’ posters

Click here to download a copy for yourself

25 A3 ‘Guilty of Treason’ posters

Click here to download a copy for yourself

The posters print out as A4. Enlarging to A3 is a doddle if you have access to a suitable photocopier but – as you can see – I’ve planned on something a bit bigger.

This just in: The Rasterbator is as awesome as it seems.

Two hours. One tarp. One can of spray adhesive. 90 sheets of A4 paper.

Result: One 2m x 3m poster showing exactly why we went into Iraq.

Oh, and a fume-induced hallucination of Tony Blair and George W Bush having rough sex on my kitchen table while Osama bin Laden spanks them both screaming: “Who are you? You’re my *bitches*, aren’t you?”

(ahem)

I also have two unmade posters, one of Bush the 911 hero and one of ‘Deaf To All Reason’.

The plan will be to try and put one or both of these up ‘live’ (as an art/wank installation and performance piece) on a suitable section of protective hoarding as the march passes through town and/or as it arrives in Trafalgar Square. (These are slightly smaller and, using my trusty staple-gun, will come together much faster than the sticky mess you see before you.)

If this looks unpossible, doesn’t work out, or if I’m cautioned for disturbing the tourists again, then I have the other posters for distribution throughout the crowd and my large back-up that you see here.

(As massive as this poster may look in my kitchen, I’m sure it will appear somewhat tiddly when I reach Trafalgar Square, but I’m emotionally prepared for that.)

I hope you choose to march tomorrow. If you do so in London, I hope to see you there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:37
Would any Bloggerheads readers care to subvert American Candidate? If so, sign up now. We’ll nut out the details later.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
I Believe In The BBC
Time
16:02
Dot Journalism – Beeb defenders rally online. OK, so it’s not the New York Times, but it’s a nice piece and Jemima picked up on an off-the-cuff remark about Rupert Murdoch that pleases me more every time I look at it: “He’s got his massive media networks – we have our little web pages.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040319
Bunch of Stuff
Time
17:25
A brilliant find, courtesy of NTK. Please note the source of the only errant arrow on this page and which way it’s pointing.

The latest B3ta newsletter, another spark of light in my otherwise dreary afternoon, leads us to this brilliant game that challenges you to shoot the Invader Nuns as they emerge from the Mother Superior Ship and this, the rather NSFW Labour Government Scandal Generator. A few more towels on the bed wouldn’t go astray. Just a thought.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Activism
Time
10:01
Not arrested. Just busy. Here’s something to tide you over.

Something to chew on: Many people I talked to on Saturday were urged by loved ones not to attend just in case they got blowed up. The fear factor is sure to have had an effect on numbers.

UPDATE – Here you go; Luke got some shots off, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
13:05
The Guardian – History will damn them: In the past 12 months, deserters from the Bush/Blair cause have revealed piecemeal the reality. War was planned long in advance against a soft Arab target that nobody much liked.

But, hey, why wait for history when we have Richard Clarke and Jimmy Carter?

CBS News – Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link?: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism advisor to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn’t seem to be one. The charge comes from the advisor, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes. “Frankly,” he said, “I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he’s done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it.”

Actually, he did worse that ignore it; once threat became reality he manipulated it. Once he’d finished shitting his pants and reading that story about a goat, that is.

This thread over at Atrios should give you an idea of the impact of this interview. RWCs are already lining up trying to discredit Clarke. He’s in for a rough week.

UPDATE – Here’s a response from renowned bastion of truth, Condaleeza Rice.

The Independent – Carter savages Blair and Bush: ‘Their war was based on lies’: Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has strongly criticised George Bush and Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war to oust Saddam Hussein based on “lies or misinterpretations”.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
13:24
If memory serves, these screen shots from 911 survivor disappeared pretty sharpish last time they came to the fore. You may have to be quick to see them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Interesting Times
Time
14:07
BBC – The killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. What’s your reaction?

Mine (in order of occurence):

1. Shit. Fan.

2. Another day of explaining that “bad man gone” does not equal “all is well”…

3. The flame war at Fark should be interesting.

2. Liar.

3. Hyprocrite.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
14:10
Six Apart is launchingTypekey, a comment authentication service designed mostly to do away with impersonation and comment spam. Find out more about what it is and what it isn’t.

Also, Six Apart and Ublog SA have signed an exclusive representation agreement in Europe.

Of slight interest to non-bloggers; is this the first blogged proposal?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Art
Time
14:23
A wonderful exploration of our world and how much of it is media and/or information space. This is why you have a headache when you get home.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Activism
Time
14:26
Another image from Saturday for you. I really should do a full photo report when I get the chance, but I’m bust juggling toy cars and mustard sachets right now.

Don’t ask…

Charting well on Blogdex (mostly thanks to a plug on LGF) is a collection of protest signage complete with sarky commentary.

1. Yes, quite of few of these do miss the point, hijack the issue or rate as completely hatstand.

2. The right has its fair share of crazies and idiots, too.

The Guardian – Hain demands security investigation after scaling of Big Ben: In a statement yesterday Harry Westaway said: “I just hope people recognised we just wanted to make a statement about the war and not about security.” Greenpeace spokesman Ben Stewart said: “If our actions have exposed a security flaw – and we are not really convinced that they have – then that has got to be a good thing for everyone concerned.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
14:41
Never mind the suitcase bombs, just going to hospital can kill you! (Assuming, of course, that you actually make it to hospital.) You will fear the killer bugs, so says Melanie (23, from Watford): “People need to feel safe in hospital. There’s a growing feeling hygiene standards on the wards are not as high as they were a generation agao. With all the money thrown at the NHS recently it’s startling to see a killer bug spread so rapidly.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Coming Up
Time
14:50
This Observer report on Saturday’s demonstration includes “assorted Big Issue sellers” in its list of those in attendance.

However, what the reporter fails to mention is that the people selling Big Issue were fraudsters one and all. More tomorrow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Activism
Time
16:20
More photos of the London demonstration via Indymedia.

The Bush/Hero poster features in Collection No. 6. Reason/Treason combo appears in this, the 2nd photo report.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040322
Art
Time
16:58
OK, done with the mustard. Now I’m onto toast.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Seems Fair…
Time
10:29
During the demonstration on Saturday, there were a number of women doing the rounds in Trafalgar Square, touting The Big Issue.

The selling or buying of this magazine in such circumstances did not seem at all out of place. In fact, this article in The Observer casually lists the sellers as part of its ‘all types’ rundown.

The problem is that not one of these people was a genuine and authorised vendor of The Big Issue.

I knew this straight away because I recognised the ‘uniform’ from an encounter well over 18 months ago:

- Babe in Arms

- Kids In Tow

- Scarf On Head

- Lots & Lots of Gold Teeth

- Fake Vendor ID (or, in this case, no ID at all)

A quick word on that last encounter; I may have been a little harsh on the bogus vendor. This practice robs The Big Issue and authorised vendors of income, but this scam is almost certainly gang-related, so the children and the women involved are victims themselves.

Hell, I’m even willing to be admit that they may be homeless or at risk of homelessness. If this were the case, they would be more than welcome to sell The Big Issue, I’m sure… but I’m also sure that dragging babies or children around at all hours of the days and night would violate the Vendor Code of Conduct (available via this web page) in that it places these children at risk and is certain to ‘bring The Big Issue into disrepute.’

The Vendor Code of Conduct also insists that vendors refrain from ‘aggressive behaviour or offensive language’ and that they carry and display a badge whilst selling.

So, call it a knee-jerk reaction if you like, but as each and every seller of this type has told me to ‘fuck off’ when I’ve asked to see their ID or questioned its authenticity, I’m of the opinion that they would not make suitable vendors even if they did wish to apply.

Moving right along…

The big question, especially considering that profit is the motive, is where do they get their stock?

I think I may have the answer and – regrettably – it’s not a pretty one.

Again we turn to the Vendor Code of Conduct, which forbids the supplying of magazines to ‘suspended vendors, non-vendors for re-sale to the public, vendors who have been refused magazines from the distribution outlet’ or anyone else who intends ‘to sell on your behalf.’

1. Consider how many immediately visible aspects of this scam play on human weaknessneses. It’s pretty likely the supply line also relies on exploitation of the weak-willed.

2. If organised gangs were raiding distribution outlets on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure The Big Issue would have no problems publicising these crimes and tackling the problem, but I’ve emailed them a number of times about this and have never received a reply, so I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to assume that a significant amount of re-selling is going on and The Big Issue is either hoping that it won’t come to light (it will) and/or that the problem will simply go away (it won’t).

Of course, that’s just an opinion at this stage. It’s strengthened by a lack of any reply from The Big Issue, so perhaps you’d care to get in touch with them today and ask them for clarification.

Wherever this stock is coming from, the problem of unauthorised vendors should be a priority for BI, but this gang appears to be well-organised and well-established. Why let them continue when they stand to do so much damage to the magazine and the people it helps?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:18
Here’s an unofficial transcript of Richard Clarke’s appearance on 60 Minutes.

Meanwhile, as yet another whistle-blower shows what Bush’s War on Terror is really all about, RWCs continue to bleat that the ends justify the means, thanks in no small part to this selective collection of placards including some that – I do agree – are ignorant and/or offensive in the extreme. And, of course, this tears every argument we have against the war to shreds, which makes for very handy conversation fodder when you want to avoid talking about yet more damning evidence against the Bush administration and the lies that are finally, publicly, falling apart.

John McGuinness says it best: You’ll notice that Lileks never engages serious opponents to the war — nope, it’s always a silly celebrity, a college kid on a web board, or a silly protestor.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Richard Desmond Is a Pornographer
Time
11:21
Telegraph – Bank forced to apologise over ‘porn’ acquisition: The bank pledged to review its lending policies after admitting that it extended more than £5 million of debt financing to Remnant Media. The company used the cash to buy the adult magazines from Mr Desmond, whose portfolio of top-shelf publications included Asian Babes, Readers’ Wives, Mothers-in-Law and 60 Plus.

All very embarrassing, but it seems like Desmond has offloaded his porn just in time for the big bid. ‘Seems’ being the operative word. The latest issue of Private Eye suggests that this is little more than an ‘arm’s length’ deal and Desmond is retaining his adult channel Television X and the adult contact magazine Forum, so I think he still qualifies as a bonafide pornographer… but soon I’ll be asking for your opinion.

UPDATE – And it’s sure to be very interesting when I do. I didn’t know that Desmond owned Attitude magazine. It also passed me by that Desmond’s Star has been lambasting gay storylines on TV in the same week he launches a new soft-porn channel Gay TV. Cheers, Scott. Keep your eyes peeled. We’re about to have some fun with Mr Desmond.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Normal People
Time
11:29
Cheers to Abnu for this wet-yourself funny look at Hot Or Not listings.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:31
New Technorati beta launches. Well, it looks much prettier…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
The Happy Poster Project
Time
11:35
A lot of traffic is coming in to The Happy Poster Project via Atuu Sees All and I can see why; that’s one very fine link log he’s got there. Bookmarked for the blogroll….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade
Time
11:40
Sun sez ‘Our Boys in Flames’ under attack from ‘Revenge mobs’ in Basra : British troops were set ablaze in a firestorm of fury yesterday over the assassination of Muslim terror boss Ahmed Yassin. Fourteen soldiers were injured – three seriously – in petrol-bomb attacks by hate-filled mobs screaming Yassin’s name in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Ah yes, this would be that Iraq/911/Terrorism/Palestine link, then. Nothing to do with frustration over unemployment and poor amenities in that region.

Too bad there’s no Page 3 girl today. I’d really like to hear some bare-breasted thoughts on the matter.

(For fine commentary on that adjacent statement by Lord Greville Janner, see this post at The UK Today.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Established Media
Time
12:01
Tch. They’lll let anyone be a journalist these days.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Animation
Time
12:06
You’ll probably need broadband to enjoy this totally awesome 1258-frame GIF.

UPDATE – More can be found here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Art
Time
12:11
Cover Art from Pulp Magazines, Periodicals and Vintage Magazines. and The American Gallery of Psychiatric Art. (Links via The Ultimate Insult, both bookmarked for future photoshopping fodder.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
12:16
Read all about the doctor who left his patient on the operating table so he could cash his paycheck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
The Interwebnet
Time
12:18
We can only hope that Karl’s drivers are at least half as good as his banners.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Flash Games
Time
12:19
Homeland Insecurity; fun and educational. Roll, click and learn.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Guantanamo Bay
Time
13:39
I laughed milk out of my nose when I first heard that Capt. James Yee had been cleared of all charges of espionage because of ‘national security concerns’. (You might want to take a few minutes to compare some media coverage on this.)

That War on Terror solves just about everything, doesn’t it? Clears any drain, removes any stain…

Actually, I’m beginning to think that Capt. James Yee will be remembered as the nexus between between the War on Terror and the Bush’s upcoming War on Porn, especially considering the grudge-f**k the Army still plans on subjecting him to, no doubt in order to damage and discredit him.

What other reason can there be? If it’s Army policy to publicly stamp out sexual impropriety in such a way, how do you explain their shielding of the men accused of prisoner abuse in Iraq?

UPDATE – You’ll also note that this latest round of charges against Capt. Yee has made just about every news service. But we don’t hear much about this, now do we?

Female GIs report rapes, assaults by fellow troops. Pentagon accused of foot-dragging.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
In The Courts
Time
14:00
Dane Carlson has an interesting idea for anyone wishing to dodge jury duty in California. I’m warming up my man-nipples just in case.

(Of course I’m kidding. I’ve done jury duty before and would do it again in a shot. But yes, I *am* playing with my man-nipples. Because it’s fun.)

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Date
20040323
Google
Time
15:00
Yahoo Style Porn Search Engine YaSEXHoo! Copies Booble Idea: Once again, porn people are playing “come and get me” with large web sites and Internet entities, looking for law suits to build their traffic via online news outlets making a big hoopla over the whole thing.

Oops. Forget I said anything, then.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
The Bush Administration
Time
15:46
I was working overtime cutting out images of cars (fun game on the way, folks) so I missed the Newsnight interview with Richard Clarke. There’s a RealPlayer version here, but I think I’ll live with the transcript on this same page. (I hate RealPlayer so much that I’m not even willing to install an old slightly-less-hijacking version.)

RICHARD A CLARKE: I have had to stand up to people in the past, never to a president, but I believe there are certain lines that you don’t cross, and one of them is you don’t make up intelligence and you don’t cherry pick intelligence to suit your political agenda.

JEREMY PAXMAN: Are you saying that he made it up?

RICHARD A CLARKE: I am saying that the President and his administration have given an impression that Al-Qaeda was involved with Iraq in a serious way, and that perhaps Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

Curse the BBC and their anti-American agenda; they didn’t prompt him to use the word ‘subsconciously’….

(Cheers to Adam for the heads-up. You’re one step ahead on my missus, mate. Can you cook?)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Activism
Time
16:00
The Rasterbated posters from Trafalgar Square have been included and ‘cooled’ in the Rasterbator gallery.

More photo collections are turning up at this Indymedia feature. I may just submit mine to this collection, as I’m pretty sure I won’t have time to draft a full photo report like last time. At least not this week.

These are quite powerful images and you can see some more large pics of the Bush/Blair mega-poster in this new collection.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Flash Thingies
Time
16:15
Bwahahahahahahaha! Simple and clever always does it for me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
16:21
Do you remember the first time you read ‘Dear Raed’? To be honest, I had to dig into my archives to trigger my memory. And I never quite cottoned onto him as a writer.

Riverbend, on the other hand…

I’ll never forget the first time I read this. (Though it was the same day that I invoiced Tony Blair, which – I must admit – does help with the mental filing.)

This recent entry also deserves your attention and should be brought to mind every time you’re told how much happier Iraqis are now they have mobile phones, satellite dishes, flunjers, capdabblers and smendlers:

A year later and our electricity is intermittent, at best, there constantly seems to be a fuel shortage and the streets aren’t safe. When we walk down those streets, on rare occasions, the faces are haggard and creased with concern… concern over family members under detention, homes raided by Americans, hungry mouths to feed, and family members to keep safe from abduction, rape and death.

And where are we now, a year from the war? Sure- we own satellite dishes and the more prosperous own mobile phones… but where are we *really*? Where are the majority?

We’re trying to fight against the extremism that seems to be upon us like a black wave; we’re wondering, on an hourly basis, how long it will take for some semblance of normality to creep back into our lives; we’re hoping and praying against civil war…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
16:42
Typekey: do you want the patriot-act paranoia, the hilarious rant or the voice of reason? Your call.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040323
The Bush Administration
Time
16:50
Listen to Rush Limbaugh blowing Dick Cheney live over the radio. Sorry, there’s no other way to put it.

UPDATE – Pandagon’s post on this interview and attacks on Richard Clarke in general is worth reading in full (comments and all), as is this jolly good fisking of the White House response.

Seriously, guys. Impeach. Impeach. Impeach.

Now.

Please?

Look at how much changed in Spain in three days. In Israel in two. There are over 7 months until the election.

Look how ruthless this administration is. Look at how clumsy they are. What makes you think that they’re not going to do something incredibly bold and downright f**king stupid between now and November?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Flash Thingies
Time
10:39
Via one of many foreign blogs that have recently discovered The Happy Poster Project

Opera Baby!

It should make your morning. Cheered me up no end.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:43
Mark Pilgrim’s TypeKey rant and Six Apart’s response to user concerns in FAQ format take out the top positions.

A Wired article on RRS feeds is climbing fast.

(guilty look)

There’s also a 5-year-old boy who took a bag of marijuana to school and was sprinkling it over a friend’s lasagna like oregano before being collared.

But the one to catch you should be this very interesting article by two chaps who have been purchasing old ‘wiped’ hard drives and retrieving their data. Prepare to shudder: In fact, only 10 percent of the drives I purchased had been properly sanitized. Much of the data we found was truly shocking. One of the drives once lived in an ATM. It contained a year’s worth of financial transactions—including account numbers and withdrawal amounts—from a organization that had a legal requirement to not divulge such information. Two other drives contained more than 5,000 credit card numbers—it looked as if one had been inside a cash register. Another had e-mail and personal financial records of a 45-year-old fellow in Georgia. The man is divorced, paying child support and dating a woman he met in Savannah. And, oh yeah, he’s really into pornography.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
South West Trains
Time
11:01
A month after completely screwing up a meeting with 16 MPs and their researchers, South West Trains have attempted to make up for it with a form letter and £10 in travel vouchers.

Way to placate me, SWT. Your form letter doesn’t even give me details of the incident that caused the delay.

- What caused the points failure?

- Why was the delay more pronounced than with most other point failures?

- Why did it take you 30 minutes just to decide that we should go backwards because we couldn’t go forwards?

FFS… the letter also promises me that 2004 will be ‘a time for genuine improvement in performance’ and informs me of shiny new rolling stock on the way very soon. Meantime me and everybody else on their network pays top dollar to sit (maybe) in carriages that are decades-old and held together with wood screws and electrical tape.

Today I discover via this post at Annie’s London Underground Tube Diary that SWT is up fro an award (Rail Station of the Year) at tomorrow night’s first-ever London Transport awards.

I’m tempted to go down there and do a little picketing and heckling. Just to be mean, I can use my travel vouchers to pay for 89% of the train ticket there and back. What do you think?

UPDATE – Ooh, now you’ve gone and done it. I already have a placard in mind: YOU GET BACK-SLAPPED, WE GET BUTT-F**CKED! Keep feedback coming in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
The Bush Administration
Time
11:31
It’s the right-wing press to the rescue!

Murdoch’s New York Post goes with the ‘Richard Clarke is a fantasist’ angle.

The always-balanced National Review begs for a fisking on this one.

Can I start?

“At the height of the presidential campaign season, Clarke has made irresponsible and untrue allegations that the Bush White House was indifferent to the threat posed by al Qaeda in the months leading up to the 9/11 attacks.”

As Atrios points out, the White House was responsible for a 3-month delay on Clarke’s book. The timing of its release is their fault as much as anybody’s.

You can run the URLs for both of those articles through Technorati to see a bunch of RWCs accept and endorse this bull and bluster without question if you like. They’re already describing the 9-11 Commission as a ‘joke’ because they know what’s coming.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Christianity Watch
Time
11:43
Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!

Something else to brighten your day…

BBC – Monty Python’s Life of Brian to go head-to-head with Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ: Adverts will challenge Mel Gibson’s blockbuster with the lines “Mel or Monty?”, “The Passion or the Python?” Distributor Rainbow said it hoped the film would “serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel’s movie”.

Huzzah and hurrah. The intelligent application of satire and hatstand in the ongoing fight against Extremism.

I do believe I will try to write a nice email to one or all of them. Terry Jones looks like a good start.

(Heads-up via ScaryDuck.)

UPDATE – Terry Jones can be reached through Casarotto Ramsay & Associates (contact Jenne@ or Abby@ ). Now I have place to send it, it’s time to draft my email.

UPDATE 2 – Email drafted and sent.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
The War on Terror
Time
11:57
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”…

As usual, we turn to this pinko broadsheet for an enlightened view: A sceptic might accuse Fact, which is funded by distributors and cinema chains, of scaremongering to protect industry profits…. Rita Katz, a leading US investigator of terrorism finances (says), “I have never found, in any of my investigations, any terrorist attacks financed by the grey market” in counterfeit videos, DVDs or music.

UPDATE – Kuro5hin – Congress: File-sharing and piracy linked to terrorism?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
12:18
Today is a cracker: Katie (19, from Liverpool) says ‘pop hunk’ Enrique Iglesias should not worry if he is under-endowed: “It’s not size that’s important, it’s what you do with it. And Enrique has got a nice bum and nice body so that makes up for it. Even if he has a small willy, it wouldn’t put me off him in any way.”

UPDATE – The Sun article on this subject wonders what Anna Kournikova makes of the whole thing and goes on to speculate on the size of other celebrity lunch-boxes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
12:29
Well said, Balders.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Consume!
Time
12:31
The Ultimate Insult todays gazes in wonder and the riches within Sam’s Toy Box. Me, I’m not all that impressed. Does he own a Merlin? No. He also appears to live life without any Lego, the poor dear.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Doing The Rounds
Time
12:43
Martyn found this joke in the most recent Newsnight newsletter and wanted to share:

“Doctor, Doctor, I think I’m going deaf!”

“Really? What are the symptoms?”

“…?!?… They’re a cartoon family on TV…why?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Flash Thingies
Time
16:11
Grow. Up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040324
Michael Carroll
Time
17:49
Michael has been ordered to pay £70 costs and submit himself to a 12-month drug testing order.

The Sun is all over it, of course, describing him today as having ‘swaggered’ out of the courtroom, which is a complete lie. It was actually more of a saunter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:19
Two from the left:

Slate – Dick Clarke Is Telling the Truth – Why he’s right about Bush’s negligence on terrorism.

Richard Clarke terrorizes the White House: In a provocative Salon interview, the former terrorism czar fires back at the Bush administration, blasting its “big lie” strategy and “attack dog” Dick Cheney.

One from the right:

FOXNews – Transcript: Clarke Praises Bush Team in ’02

You’re all grown-ups. Make up your own minds.

Also charting well this morning:

A county in Oregon has banned all marriages – gay and heterosexual until they can decide who can and who cannot wed and Victor Hanson argues that liberals are fat-walleted and all talk, while with Republicans ‘you know what you get.’ Watch RWCs chew it up with glee.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Flash Games
Time
10:23
Waste an entire morning playing with Lego. (Link via Funjunkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:26
A Calendar of US Military Dead during the Iraqi War.

This link came via the happied-up IdleType, who also features this incredible collection of manipulated ultrasound images.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Art
Time
10:33
Some demented cartoons for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Richard Desmond Is a Pornographer
Time
10:39
You may have noticed this header/headline at Bloggerheads in the past.

However, I must shamefully admit to basing this assertion my own personal opinion, formed from quite limited research.

All of that changes from today. In fact, you are quite unlikely to see this header/headline again until the following has reached a satisfactory conclusion…

The nex project for Interwebnet.org aims to settle this matter once and for all:

Is Richard Desmond a Pornographer?

(We) intend to establish exactly what role – if any – pornography played in the building of his empire, and what percentage of that empire is currently involved in the production, distribution or broadcast of pornography (be it soft, heavy, big, bouncy or otherwise). We will then balance this with the sector of his empire that is not involved in the production, distribution or broadcast of pornography (be it soft, heavy, big, bouncy or otherwise). In each case, we will attempt to calculate how widely the porn and non-porn material was distributed and what monetary profit was gained from each activity.

By doing so, we hope to establish whether the title ‘Richard Desmond the pornographer’ is fair, if it applies now, and if it should apply when he finally unloads some, none or all his adult-oriented interests on the long and arduous path to respectability and knighthood.

There’s some poster and magazine insert action to enjoy, but if you really want to get your hands dirty, you’ll need to help with the research.

We want numbers, we want facts. Send anything verifiable in and we’ll run it past the public.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Consume!
Time
10:54
Make your old banger into a supercar on a budget of £30. The reactions to his plans and their realisation are hilarious. As is the design solution for the dual exhaust. This guy’s a bloody genius of the highest order.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Interesting Times
Time
12:37
I can see the need to show him to the media, but the parading of this boy still made me feel uncomfortable. And is it just me, or does that third shot look like an album cover?

UPDATE – I’m also amazed that Rebekah Wade isn’t foaming at the mouth over the release of this filthy child pornography.

UPDATE 2 – Well now we know; it’s not just me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
A Blog Is Born
Time
13:08
Noam Chomsky now has his very own weblog and RWCs are already lining up for a comment flood. Beware the attack of the mental giants.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
The War on Terror
Time
13:28
Jose Aznar – “But before I go, just let me say this…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040325
Interesting Times
Time
18:24
‘Little bomber’ fascinates Israeli media. Crikey! It’s Jade with a fuse!

*shame*

(Stands in corner. Looks through wall.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040326
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:28
A busy one today. I have a keyword research project to start and a game to finish. There’s a lot of other stuff going on, but filthy lucre comes first.

I did manage to get get this off my chest this morning, but have no time to comment on Tony’s brave PR exercise or Lawrence Lessig’s freebie read.

I have some fun in mind for Tim Yeo, but that’s going to have to wait for a bit. Still, it’d be nice to know how many readers actually live in or near his constituency. Got a mo? Drop me a line.

I’m thinking of using the mighty Rasterbator to do a huge Happy Poster, but I’m trying to find a place to do it with *permission*. And it’s not turning out to be easy.

If you want to help out, the best thing you can do is provide some grist for the mill on this:

Is Richard Desmond a Pornographer?

Googling can reveal some interesting bits and bobs, but we’re really after the stuff that isn’t being published and/or broadcast online.

If you know a journalist; ask them what they have to hand. I’m willing to bet that a lot of research has been done and not a lot done with it.

Another thing you can do is talk to anyone you know who reads OK! magazine *and* either the Daily Mail or The Express and get me a quote regarding what they know about Richard Desmond (please provide with your quote a first name, age and county of residence).

I promise you, just asking will be fun. But try not to upset the poor dears…

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Date
20040326
The Bush Administration
Time
11:30
CNN – Bush pokes fun at himself at dinner.

Guardian – Bush jokes about search for WMD, but it’s no laughing matter for critics.

Washington Post – Democrats Call Bush’s Comedy Skit Tasteless.

But hey, that’s OK. As FOXNews notes, it ‘segued into a sombre ending’…

Aaand cue the inevitable ‘thread of infinity’ at Fark.

For me, the contrast between this and Richard Clarke being the first (and so far only) government respresentative to apologise at the 9-11 Commission speaks volumes. As does Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to label the apology as ‘arrogant’. See how well this ties in with the ‘self-important fantasist’ theme?

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Date
20040326
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:26
At the top, Noam Chomsky’s new blog, which today has closed comments after an invasion by freepers, footballers and assorted RWCs.

Under that, 100 movies that deserve more love, and a wide variety of views on Richard Clarke’s testimony:

Washington Post – Clarke Stays Cool as Partisanship Heats Up.

Time – Richard Clarke, at War With Himself.

Slate – Richard Clarke KOs the Bushies.

New York Post – Clarke’s Collapse.

There’s lots to chew on this over at Oxblog today. A sample: Now, if Clarke were so persuasive, why did Charles Krauthammer, Rich Lowry, and Romesh Ratnesar (of Time) have such an easy time coming up with compromising material? One reason is that the Bush administration has been remarkably forthcoming with once-classified material that helps discredit Clarke.

Meanwhile, Atrios brings us this article about the Republican rush to discredit Clarke and Kevin of Calpundit wonders Who’s going to be the next administration turncoat to go ballistic on George Bush?

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Date
20040326
Inneresting
Time
14:23
Toilet paper.

Tissue paper.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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Date
20040326
Friday Afternoon
Time
15:30
Damn. I hoped to have a sneak preview of that game ready, but no dice. You’ll just have to wait.

Check out the latest B3ta newsletter instead. It’s got demented eBay shoppers, Post-It note madness and Magic 8-ball dissection.

Oh, and I found this great time-waster over at Bingobowden. Have fun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040326
Normal People
Time
17:36
Meet John Paul Riley. He’s into wrestling and amatuer philosophy. Could be worse.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040329
Weblog ‘Marketing’
Time
09:53
My greatest fear about the Raging Cow campaign was that it would be held up as a great success, leading to a number of copies based on this flawed model. Think how bad comment and referral spam has gotten in the last 12 months. God forbid we should be invaded by tosspots with a serious budget.

That’s why I’m happy to be a small part of at least one curriculum.

(For an example of how fast a bad idea spreads, see Howard Dean’s campaign-site-posing-as-personal-blog, cited every other day this time last year as Political Weblog Prime. This detached approach was quickly adopted by Wesley Clark and George W. Bush.)

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Date
20040329
Google
Time
10:09
Google has gone live with a more streamlined, minimalist look on the front and throughout the results (which should look even neater once the last of the ‘sponsored’ listings fade away). Search options and service extras are enjoying a bit of a new push as part of this makeover, and Froogle has also graduated to the front page, suggesting that it’s finally about to come out of beta status, ready for a little regional testing.

Strangely, they’ve shunted their version of the ODPthe Google Directory – right into the background. This includes the removal of the category links previously displayed under resulting sites with ODP listings. I can’t see this move being a popular one, unless they have a superior directory of their own just about to go beta.

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Date
20040329
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:11
Back-of-the-neck tingles await you in this report of of a rummage through Stanley Kubrick’s archives. They sound like they rival Tony Benn’s. How many scanners and researchers do you think it would take to put the whole shebang online?

After a quick and totally justified nose-picking, we see a similar sentiment being raised with this request for audio recordings of Lawrence Lessig’s new book. Right now they’re all but done. It took 3 days.

Another ‘successful’ blog-spammer pops their head up, before Elena’s photo report of a motorcycle tour of the Chernobyl area make a welcome return to the chart. It’s hosted with Angelfire, which means that this small amount of attention is sure see the site temporarily disabled for excess use of bandwidth in about 15 seconds. Go and see it while you can. (And if you can’t, bookmark it so you can see it tomorrow.)

Climbing fast: A new group-blog on the subject of evolution and the opportunity to send an email to your future self.

I’ll leave the Bush/Clarke content for another post.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040329
The Bush Administration
Time
11:05
The Independent – Clarke fends off White House dirty tricks: After a week of relentless attacks on its credibility, the White House is desperate to muzzle Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief who claims that the Bush administration was too preoccupied with Iraq even in its first months in office to pay proper attention to the most immediate threat to national security. Shutting him up, though, is not proving easy. None of the usual attack-dog techniques – character assassination, intimidation and reciprocal mud-slinging – has entirely worked on Mr Clarke, though it has not been for want of trying.

This article covers or references a lot of the Clarke-bashing listed here as recent chart-toppers on Blogdex. That they charted so well is a testament to how even our beloved two-way channel can be manipulated if you have enough brown-shirts ready and waiting to whore your links. Interestingly, a quick look at the link cosmos (through Blogdex or Technorati) for most of this propaganda shows a trail that begins at Instapundit and/or Little Green Footballs. I look forward to what they have to say when this criminal gang is finally voted or thrown out of office. Me, I’m betting on a modicum of denial.

Happily, the best chart performer on this issue today is this transcript of Richard Clarke on Meet The Press. Back-tracking (mostly through Technorati) reveals a number of people who actually watched Clarke deliver one answer after another. This contrasts nicely with Bush’s recent bumbling and fumbling appearance on the same show.

Actually, the latter transcript is worth another look for an entirely different reason, especially as the interview begins with a question regarding Bush’s reluctance to launch a commission to look into ‘intelligence failures’ leading up to Iraq war. You also have to keep in mind how (ahem) open and forthcoming his administration has been with the 9-11 Commission. Then take a look at this quote and think about the resources they threw into trying to destroy Richard Clarke.

“And… but I will continue to work hard to unite the country. I don’t speak ill of anybody in the process here. I think if you went back and looked at my comments, you will see I don’t attack. I don’t hold up people. I talk about what I believe in, and I lead, and maybe perhaps I believe so strongly in what we are doing around the world or doing here at home.” – George W. Bush, Feb 8 2004

But of course we’re not allowed to call him a hypocrite or a liar. That would be a personal attack. And quite possibly a hate crime.

UPDATE – Want more? Snigger at Condi Rice giving her best ‘cat’s bum’ face, visit Atrios to watch him nail her lies and take a look-see at this Time feature on Condi, Bush and Clarke. Finally, you might want to read Kevin Drum’s report on Clarke’s book (and the many comments that follow).

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Date
20040329
Consume!
Time
11:07
There is nothing I could say to make this funnier. No, wait… perhaps there is. Your savvy burglar knows about decoy/hidden wall safes, book safes, rock safes and can safes. Now a determined burglar, fresh from his hunt through the garden for out-of-place looking rocks and his scan of your walls and shelves for known-brand decoys, will be reduced to sniffing undies to determine authenticity. Then again, perhaps a quick rummage would reveal the crinkly presence of bank notes in your daks.

Hmm. My advice is to buy a pair and slip a mousetrap inside. Just to add injury to insult.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040329
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
11:18
Frank Rich: Faux journalism is the White House’s new ally: There is no point in bothering with actual news people anyway, when you can make up your own story and make it stick. No fake news story has become more embedded in our culture than the administration’s account of its actions on Sept. 11. As The Wall Street Journal reported on its front page this week – just as the former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke was going public with his parallel account – many of this story’s most familiar details are utter fiction…. Yet the fake narrative of Sept. 11 has been scrupulously maintained by the White House for more than two years. Although the administration has tried at every juncture to stonewall the Sept. 11 investigative commission, its personnel, including the president, had all the time in the world for the producer of a TV movie, Showtime’s “DC 9/11: Time of Crisis” The result was a scenario that further rewrote the history of that day, stirring steroids into false tales of presidential derring-do. To shore up the Karl Rove version of Sept. 11 once Richard Clarke went public with his alternative tale on last Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” the White House placed Condoleezza Rice on all five morning news shows the next day. The administration is confident that it can reinstate its bogus scenario – particularly given that Rice, unlike Clarke, is refusing to take the risk of reciting it under oath to the Sept. 11 commission.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040329
The Bush Administration
Time
11:24
Read about this bunch of liars.

Read about them calling Richard Clarke a liar.

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Date
20040329
In The News
Time
11:28
Woman traces obscene phone caller and corners him in a public phone booth.

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Date
20040329
Goodbyes
Time
11:30
Keep half an eye on the B3ta messageboard today for any number of references and tributes to the recently departed Peter Ustinov.

UPDATE – Here’s mine.

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Date
20040329
RWCs
Time
11:38
ProtestWarrior.com: Proud to turn a blind eye to the idiots on their side.

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Date
20040329
Interwebnet.org
Time
11:41
Is Richard Desmond a Pornographer? is already 4th in Google when you search for his name. More specific searches (such as those looking for a connection between Mr Desmond, his adult channels and his adult magazines – recently sold or otherwise) more often than not bring us up in the top spot. This situation will only improve as we expand on the content and keep asking that all-important question.

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Date
20040329
LOTR
Time
12:13
The Lord of The Rings: ‘see spot run’ version.

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Date
20040329
Advertising Genius
Time
13:19
Dragon ‘hoax’ turns out to be a complete fabrication.

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Date
20040329
Told You So
Time
17:21
*sigh*

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Date
20040330
Activism
Time
09:57
CNN – Group protests outside Rove’s house: Hundreds rallied Sunday outside the home of Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser, urging legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from high school to legalize their status and qualify for in-state college tuition. Emira Palacios, the group’s co-chair, said Rove agreed to meet with group leaders in his garage but then chastised them for protesting in front of his house and scaring his children.

His children?

Washington Post – Demonstrators Swarm Around Rove’s Home: (A protestor) said that Rove was “very upset” and was “yelling in our faces” and that Rove told them “he hoped we were proud to make his 14-year-old and 10-year-old cry.” A White House spokesman said one of the children was a neighbor.

Pfft! Just goes to show that you can’t keep a good liar down.

Run either or both of these links through Technorati and you’ll see a lot of bleating about how this is going too far.

Karl Rove has rights! Why can’t these people go through proper channels like the rest of us? Just who do they think they are? Won’t somebody pleeeease think of the children? And so on…

1. Perhaps these people would be less inclined to harrass Karl Rove at home if the current administration’s policy didn’t involve curtailing the average citizen’s legal right to protest and be heard.

2. Karl Rove was thinking of the children. He saw their presence as leverage, and even enhanced the truth a bit to make the most of his moral objection.

This is a telling symptom of public frustration. I have the feeling it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

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Date
20040330
Google
Time
10:00
Google introduces Personalised Search. Potentially useful to many, but not to me. I need – and like – my data raw.

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Date
20040330
Christianity Watch
Time
10:02
Republicans are outraged that John Kerry would use the Scriptures as political leverage. This day just keeps getting better and better.

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Date
20040330
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:08
Washington Post – Rice 9/11 Testimony May Be Released: After resisting for months, White House officials worked yesterday to negotiate a compromise that would allow public release of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the independent commission looking into the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to administration aides. These aides said the White House believes Rice’s refusal to testify is becoming a political problem and officials are looking for a way out. The leading possibility is for Rice to submit to another private session with the commissioners and allow them to release a transcript, the aides said.

This is why things like media control and Free Speech Zones are so vital to the Bush administration. Just take a look at what happens when we’re allowed to make a little noise.

UPDATE – More on this from Kevin Drum.

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Date
20040330
The End of Democracy
Time
10:11
Wired – How E-Voting Threatens Democracy

There goes your vote. Oh, and here comes searches of your home or office without any of that pesky warrant nonsense.

Today is a good day to decide to impeach. Just think about it; that’s all I ask.

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Date
20040330
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:16
Some bloody good advice for anyone operating a weblog and wanting to build their audience.

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Date
20040330
Video
Time
10:20
Trunk Monkey makes me want to invest in a depreciating asset, and the Suburab Auto Group is a name I trust. I mean, they have a 9-11 memorial on their front page; what more could you want?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Only Interesting to Hardcore Geeks
Time
10:30
Did Evan Bayh’s web designer steal John Kerry’s style sheet?

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Date
20040330
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
10:31
Finally, a tit-tastic editorial that actually sounds like it came from the model herself:

Today Ruthie (22, from Kent) is suspicious about male scientists who claim housework beats cancer. She says: “I’m sure this study is just a plot by men to get their wives and girlfriends doing the housework.”

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Date
20040330
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:37
When Tony Blair manipulates the terrorist threat to justify an illegal invasion of Iraq, The Scum is there, full blast, with ‘Our Boys’ and ‘Let’s Get Saddam’. But when the issue is Europe, just watch how fast the tune changes: It is wrong for the Prime Minister to use terrorism to scare us into believing the European constitution is good for Britain.

Littlejohn comes out all guns blazing, too, and asks: Why is the proper response to a terrorist outrage in Madrid handing over the running of Britain to an unelected, unaccountable bunch of foreigners?

More:

He insists it is a “tidying-up” exercise, nothing that we should worry our silly heads about. Anyone who argues otherwise is “dumb”, he adds contemptuously.

Sorry, Dick. You’re not allowed to play this game and wonder out loud if Clare Short might be going a bit bonkers. Oh, and we all remember you sneering at ‘Guardianistas’ with their Bliar placards…

Blair is lying. Not spinning, not economical with the truth. Lying.

Finally:

He is proposing to rush this through without a referendum. It is the act of a dictator not a democrat.

That would be the referendum that your boss plans to subvert, then?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:13
Bloggers used in attempt to unseat incumbent Republican in Pennsylvania.

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Date
20040330
Photoshopping
Time
12:20
Last night a special music and ‘shopping project hit me like a bolt of lightning. It’s going to take some time, but it’s definitely going to be worth the effort. It’ll be bigger than JPEG Baby and The Star Wars Photoshopping Project combined. I may have to do the flash meself – or I may have to ask for a little help bringing the final show together. Flashers: let me know if you’re lurking and want to play.

PS:

Useful.

Wonderful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Normal People
Time
13:01
Surely there are more efficient (and hygienic) ways to distribute pornography…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Useful
Time
13:05
Via Off On A Tangent comes this handy fast food conkulator. Now you only need to carry your laptop and the Interweb around with you all day. The Interweb can get a bit heavy, what with being made up of 10 billion or so pages and all, but you shouldn’t be afraid of a little heavy lifting. The exercise will do you good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Tolerance
Time
13:43
Chavs now have their very own category in Yahoo.

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Date
20040330
Spam
Time
14:29
Bwahahahahahaha! (Link via Balders.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Literature
Time
14:36
Pfft! Woof!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
Normal People
Time
17:17
Jeezum crow! If you went to DragonCon 2001, you would have found this waiting for you. And this. And this.

You’d think at least one of them would have the decency to dress up as Chewbacca.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040330
The Bush Administration
Time
18:01
Tharrr she blows! Rice to testify in public and under oath to the 9/11 commission.

The fun thing is she won’t be able to say anything in public that contradicts what she said in private.

Also on the positive side, though Bush & Cheney will still be testifying in private, they won’t just face the two co-chairmen, but the entire commission. Including Bob Kerrey.

More from Atrios, who is also questioning the latest attack on Richard Clarke – a gay smear.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040331
Bunch of Stuff
Time
09:57
Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Flash Thingies

Farewell, Sloganator…

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Viral Marketing

The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman. Fighting for Truth, Justice and American Express.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Christianity Watch

“Mass isn’t a time for people to voice their opinions about what they agree with or disagree with.” Showing anti-gay propaganda is fine, though.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

South West Trains

Passengers yearn for the return of British Rail. Two words: election issue.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

The Bush Administration

This Is Not America. Fa-la-la-la-la.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)

Condi Rice will testify under oath before the 9/11 commission. But there are hitches…

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

NSFW

Action figures that get a lot of action.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!

Iraq: Focus switches from finding WMDs to finding A Possibly Imaginary Intention to Develop Weapons of Mass Destruction Preliminary Programmes.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Anyone But George

Salon.com asks is Bush is creepier than Nixon. Bush did get a little Nixon action, you know….

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Music

All hail the beatbox harmonica!

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Seems Fair!

Wal-Mart stocks Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, but not Robert Greenwald’s Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. Apparently the latter has been deemed unpatriotic. No matter. Wal-Mart do stock a wide variety of more mainstream fare, including D.W. Griffith’s The Birth Of A Nation

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

In The News

Ongoing hoax prompts string of restaurant managers to strip-search employees and/or customers.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Art

The Circus of Disembowelled Plush Toys.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Civil Liberties

The UK Today on Blair’s crackdown on ‘Britain’s 5,000 most prolific criminals.’

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Sport

Fruit Fly Fight Club!

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Video

Download the entire original version of Night of the Living Dead. Brains are the new black.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Huzzah!

Tom Watson has been promoted to the role of Uncle. And, just to show that there’s no preferential treatment on this blog…

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Inneresting

Tabloid photos from the Los Angeles Herald Express (1936-1961)

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

Follow Up

Afghan soldier who had sex with a donkey released without charge. And still without a girlfriend.

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

The War on Terror

MI5 agents foil bomb plot. Security sources are playing down suggestions of any direct link between the arrested men and al-Qaida, but The Scum runs with a ‘Home Grown Bin Laden Gang’ headline today. When’s someone going to arrest them for possession and distribution of large amounts of fertiliser?

Must finish fun driving game. Must finish boring specification document.

To work!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040331
Flash Thingies
Time
11:43
Spring is here! Enjoy Koit’s view on the fantabulousness of life. (Erm, but if you’re viewing it at work, do use headphones.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040331
Photoshopping
Time
11:48
Funnier than a turnip shaped like a thingie.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040331
Cool, Just Cool…
Time
13:34
Vroom! Does this look familiar?

Whoever decided to go live on the site for the Batman movie with just these images of the Batmobile, I doff my cap to you. Also nice to see that Warner Bros. aren’t wasting time with unnecessary domain names.

(Main link via Ramblings and Revelations.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040331
Weblog Marketing
Time
14:38
The effect described is real, but as usual Andrew Orlowski has the wrong end of the stick and his conclusions are skewed rubbish.

1. Google is improving its link-diddling detection every day.

2. Any Googlebomb that other bloggers consider to be objectionable will soon prompt a competing Googlebomb. Example.

Having a web presence is somewhat akin to having a vote online. Don’t have a web presence? Tough. No vote for you. I’d like to think that’s fair; you’re either part of the ecosystem or you’re not.

Also, if you have a more influential presence, it usually means there are more people watching what you’re up to. There aren’t a lot of political shenanigans you can get away with without a fair amount of support, and you’d want to be pretty straightforward about any commercial links.

Andrew Orlowski is also pretty good at blog-bashing, but blogs themselves only have a marginal advantage. Any pronounced effect involves the involvement of other people. Yes, weblogs make this level of involvement more efficient and immediate, but without the people, you’re lost.

Try diddling links for commercial purposes in any automated fashion (or in a way that is clearly out of order) and you will either get slapped down by Google or more angry people than you can shake a link at.

So there.

UPDATE – Also on this topic, and fresh to my Inbox: Martin Lloyd’s case study of his MBA Blog

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Date
20040331
Updates
Time
17:29
Boring specification document complete. Game time tomorrow.

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Date
20040331
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
17:37
Well, well, well… look at what The Scum is up to.

It’s no surprise, really – but it is nice to see Rebekah ‘Red Mist’ Wade asking such a thing in the weekly reader survey, just in case.

Do you think she’s losing her nerve?








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

01-15 March, 2004

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Date
20040301
Page 3 – Words of Wisdom
Time
09:34
Actually, I’m amazed they took this long…

A few papers (here’s one) noted over the weekend that a whispering campaign has been deployed to taint Clare Short’s quite serious charges by suggesting that perhaps she’s gone a bit barmy.

The Scum, by digging up this bucket of cold sick with a quick phone-poll of MPs, feel bold enough to come right out and say it. Today’s Page 3 editorial is a whopper: Today Anna (22, from London) is delighted that Clare Short’s barmy bid to ban Page 3 girls is doomed to fail. Anna said: “This shows what nonsense she has been spouting. Hopefully this poll will make her shut up at last. She should keep her prudish beliefs to herself and leave us alone.”

Yes folks, you can safely ignore the crazy lady who wants to take your tits away and is telling such nasty stories about our PM.

The super soaraway Scum reveals the following on the facing page: RANTING Clare Short has been accused of treachery by Britain’s top civil servant…. Last night, one critic even suggested she needed a PSYCHIATRIST while others labelled her “bitter” and said her credibility was zero.

Labour MP George Foulkes also backed this claim that it was her credibility “at rock bottom” and not Tony Blair’s, but the final flourish (and a Cheek of the Week award) goes to Alastair ‘fuck Gilligan‘ Campbell: “It’s very sad that people who have been in positions of authority now behave in a way that just reveals a bitterness that is very, very deep.”

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Date
20040301
It’s Law! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:19
The Independent 28 Feb – Clare Short: Was Attorney General leant on to sanction war?: The suggestion, however, that the Attorney General’s opinion may have been manipulated is very serious. There is no doubt that the way in which a truncated opinion authorising war appeared at the very last minute was very odd.

Indeed.

In fact, I’m curious to know why Lord Goldsmith needed two sides of A4 in which to say “Oh, go on then…”

The Independent 29 Feb – Revealed: Attorney General changed his advice on legality of Iraq war: Lord Goldsmith’s full opinion on the legality of the war has never been made public. The desire to keep it secret is believed to be the main reason why the Official Secrets Act prosecution of Katharine Gun, a 29-year-old former employee of GCHQ, the Government’s monitoring centre, was abandoned at the Old Bailey last week. The case could have revealed that in November 2002 the Attorney General believed Britain required specific authorisation for war from the UN Security Council, but that he later changed his stance.

And for what reason? Could he have been subconsciously influenced?

The Guardian 29 Feb – Beware smoking Guns: The reason why many think that Tony Blair remains one leak away from resignation lies in what is known and supposed about the legal advice he received just before the war. Gun’s lawyers were determined to get their hands on it.

And it may very well come to light…

Torygraph 1 Mar – Major calls on Blair to publish Goldsmith’s war advice: John Major added to growing pressure on Tony Blair to publish the Attorney General’s full advice on the legality of the Iraq war yesterday after a respected Labour peer said Washington ordered it to be made more hawkish shortly before the conflict began.

UPDATE – Well, perhaps not

Will the magic of spin & secrecy save Teflon Tony again? I keep turning on the television and expecting to see live footage of 10 Downing St…

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Date
20040301
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
10:21
The Guardian – Report Clears Australia on Iraq Claims. Basically, everyone’s sticking to the same story. It wasn’t cherry-picked or influenced intelligence, it was bad intelligence. And there’ll be an inquiry to establish that as soon as possible.

A clear gap has been shown between what was known and what was presented to the public but this was part of a “more moderate” push for war than used by the US or the UK, so that’s OK….

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Date
20040301
Video
Time
10:41
Life moves pretty fast…

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Date
20040301
Church & State
Time
10:42
Washington Post – Bush Ejects Two From Bioethics Council: President Bush (has) dismissed two members of his handpicked Council on Bioethics — a scientist and a moral philosopher who had been among the more outspoken advocates for research on human embryo cells. In their places he appointed three new members, including a doctor who has called for more religion in public life, a political scientist who has spoken out precisely against the research that the dismissed members supported, and another who has written about the immorality of abortion and the “threats of biotechnology.”

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Date
20040301
Christianity Watch
Time
10:45
Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams and mussels are an abomination before the Lord! This is a lovely piece of work. Now all they need to do is find a picture of Dubya tucking into some heathen grub and they’ll be set.

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Date
20040301
Guantanamo Bay
Time
10:49
Freed inmate claims ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. Patriotic US music including Bruce Springsteen’s Born in The USA blared day and night, according to the former inmate.

(And before you start, Born in the USA can be described as patriotic, just not very nationalistic.)

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Date
20040301
Tony Blair
Time
11:01
Some good stuff over at The UK Today lately; including a post about Cherie’s clearly bollocks claim that Tony once did it tough on the streets.

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Date
20040301
Google – The Adsense Trial
Time
11:14
The Ultimate Insult appears to have lost its Adwords account because of what was said in this one comments thread, where – in response to the news that Scott had lost his job – several folks used the ‘f’ word.

I’m sure you’ll pardon me for saying that Google is being a bit fucking precious. You will, but Google won’t. In fact, I’m willing to bet they’ll be along sometime soon to withdraw the whopping great $21.50 I’ve earned so far whoring out my site.

FFS, isn’t there someone at Google in charge of not stuffing up the brand before the float? Things seem to be going from bad to worse at the mo. Even their central database is screwed beyond all recognition.

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Date
20040301
The Happy Poster Project
Time
11:22
Lots of submissions to get through. I’ll update the poster selection and bring you a report on the Guildford hit sometime this afternoon.

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Date
20040301
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:26
Dean team described as ‘dysfunctional political family’. And a money pit.

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Date
20040301
The Happy Poster Project – Guildford
Time
17:13
The Saturday mission was called on account of sickness. Even the rescheduled mission on Sunday was left to me on my lonesome, but in the end I was glad I didn’t take the kids… the experience was pretty soul-destroying.

I’m not sure what things are like in your neck of the woods, but in my local High St, there are very few local interests. In fact, with the exception of some boutiques (who have a big rod up their butt about minimalism anyway) just about every store belongs to a larger chain and the manager needs to check with head office before wiping his or her arse. (Or, they can just say ‘no’ to everything, which saves everybody a lot of time.)

What I soon found out was that – in Guildford High Street – giant messages like 50% OFF, EASY CREDIT NOW and YOU BUY PHONE NOW are fine, but there simply isn’t room for just a few millimetres of happiness. Full-stop. No exceptions. I don’t care what you’re not advertising.

(Folks, do keep this in mind next time your favourite chain store runs a campaign pretending to be your friend or a champion of the community. They’re a bunch of lying, uncaring c**ts.)

About halfway down the High St, I gave up and just started half-heartedly handing them out for display in the staff room. However, I soon realised that I was cheating myself (and others) and decided to hit North St with a renewed sense of porpoise.

It didn’t last.

The Tell It Like It Is Award for this mission goes to the young chap in Game’s North St store who pretty much set the tone for this leg of the trip by saying flat out: “Get real, mate. It costs sixteen grand to put a poster in that window!”

Actually, he seemed strangely proud of this, as if his ability to reject me on the basis on my inability to pay 16K somehow distanced him from the five-and-change he gets paid each hour to look at the inside of this same window.

Ho-hum.

The folks in the bargain Homeware UK store just down the road were much nicer, and came good with the first full window display of the day. I was so chuffed, I stopped to buy some batteries.

Onwards and upwards, I continued the climb up North street and was rejected by every storekeeper, with the exception of one brave soul in MVC who risked his manager’s displeasure by decorating an interior pillar.

A greater degree of success was to be had off the main drag, but it was Sunday, so not all of these stores were open and even those storekeepers I did find that were able to operate with some autonomy were suspicious that their off-broadway window-space was about to be hijacked by some clever-clogs marketing campaign. I can’t really say that I blame them, with increasingly cheeky advertisers and a going rate of about sixteen grand a window on the main drag.

Pizza GoGo in Chapel St was the last notable success. They were very happy to see a friendly face and more than happy to host a poster, so I have no problems at all pointing out that they have a much wider delivery area than you would expect and await calls from hungry peeps in outlying villages. Their number is 599 999. (I haven’t tasted their pizzas, but they’ve got friendly staff and happy windows, and that has to count for something.)

I’m hitting a smaller town next time around, and hoping for a greater degree of success.

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Date
20040302
Established Media
Time
08:58
Paul Carr – Why Drudge is bad for online journalism: “…we need to be much, much more proactive in hunting down genuine scoops, even if that means tearing ourselves away from Google for two hours to hit the phones and pound the streets. Only then can we hope to undo the Drudge effect and allow online journalists to take their rightful place on the media landscape, competing head to head with Fleet Street’s finest.”

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Date
20040302
Inneresting
Time
09:04
Why do the Oscars pretend to run overtime every year?

Oh, and what does ‘kumbayah’ mean?

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Date
20040302
The War on…..
Time
09:07
I think there’s a number of valid comparisons between the rise of fascism in the 1930s and what going on in America right now, but this hijacking of Anne Frank’s diary as part of a brainwashing curriculum in North Korea disgusts me.

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Date
20040302
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:22
www.downingstreetsays.org

UPDATE – Now the subject of a BBC article. Cheers to Andrew for the heads-up.

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Date
20040302
Literature
Time
09:28
Summarise a novel in 25 words or less. I swear some of these have been ripped off from a similar exercise summarising movies.

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Date
20040302
Art
Time
09:30
Whittle something nifty and sell it via an Art-o-mat. (Latter link via Partial To The Bean.)

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Date
20040302
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:35
Oscars blah-blah, winners blah-blah. Mel is the devil, no, liberals are just being intolerant… no, it is true, Mel is the devil!

Ah, here we go…

A little girl feels no pain and – remarkably – the world feels no fear.

Monsters lurk in our oceans and are marching on Norway, but we’re more excited about past puddles on Mars.

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Date
20040302
The Interwebnet
Time
09:46
Pew Internet Project releases report on content creation.

The summary of findings has bloggers as 2% of the online population, which corresponds with