August 31, 2004
Twelve Nepalese hostages have been killed by their captors in Iraq.
Poor sods, not there as combatants just trying to support their families.
My mind turns to Kipling and the Shikaris or professional hunters who came from Nepal.That is the answer that is needed...
The Grave of the Hundred Head
There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.
A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.
Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
As the day was beginning to fall.
They buried the boy by the river,
A blanket over his face--
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
The men of an alien race--
They made a samadh in his honor,
A mark for his resting-place.
For they swore by the Holy Water,
They swore by the salt they ate,
That the soul of Lieutenant Eshmitt Sahib
Should go to his God in state;
With fifty file of Burman
To open him Heaven's gate.
The men of the First Shikaris
Marched till the break of day,
Till they came to the rebel village,
The village of Pabengmay--
A jingal covered the clearing,
Calthrops hampered the way.
Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Bidding them load with ball,
Halted a dozen rifles
Under the village wall;
Sent out a flanking-party
With Jemadar Hira Lal.
The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar's flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.
Long was the morn of slaughter,
Long was the list of slain,
Five score heads were taken,
Five score heads and twain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back to their grave again,
Each man bearing a basket
Red as his palms that day,
Red as the blazing village--
The village of Pabengmay,
And the "drip-drip-drip" from the baskets
Reddened the grass by the way.
They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man's chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.
Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below,
With the sword and the peacock-banner
That the world might behold and know.
Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris--
The price of a white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.
Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more;
For the Burmans said
That a kullah's head
Must be paid for with heads five score.
There's a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There's a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there's Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.
Big Gov only loves Big Co
INDIVIDUALS who try to flee the stress of urban life by "downshifting" and moving to the countryside could be the next target for the taxman.
The Government is drawing up plans to increase national insurance bills for people who leave employment to run small "lifestyle" businesses, The Times has learnt.
People who want to risk their own money, work all the hours they can, be in control of their own destiny are going to made out to be leeches on society. We don't fit with corporate nu-labour Britain. Bastards.
Crossing under the pond
Atlantic Tunnel will make life easier for those of us who like to cross but hate flying.....
Preparing for autumn
I was going to wax lyrical about my weekend, walking round the estate picking blackberries, apples and Damsons. I carried home 10 pounds of these wild plums, some will go into gin, others were used to make the Blessed Nigella's Damson Fool - 1lb Damson, sugars and a pint of Double Cream, yum. But Mr Free Market beat me to it and I don't want you to get the impression we walk hand in hand round the hedgerows. So I won't mention it. So today's recipe is Frumenty. We have been eating this in this part of England for at least four thousand years, but it was a first time for me.
I went down to the barn and "Tak clene whete & braye yt wel in a mortar tyl the holes gon of; seethe it til it breste in water. Nym it vp & lt it cole. Tak good broth & swete mylk of kyn or of almand & tempere it therwith. Nym yelkys of eyren rawe & saffroun & cast therto; salt it;lat it naught boyle after the eyren ben cast therinne. Messe it forth with venesoun or with fat motoun fresch".
I actually had it with Double Cream and Brown suger for breakfast. And very good it was too.
What would you do?
(Oh and I have some Gmail invites to give out if anyone needs one.)
August 29, 2004
A Marine stationed in Afghanistan recently received a "Dear John" letter from his girlfriend back home. It read as follows:
I can no longer continue our relationship, the distance between us is just too great.
I must admit that I have cheated on you twice, since you've been gone, and it's not fair to either of us.
I'm sorry. Please return the picture of me that I sent to you.
The Marine, with hurt feelings, asked his fellow Marines for any snapshots they could spare of their girlfriends, sisters, ex-girlfriends, aunts, cousins etc. In addition to the picture of Becky,
Ricky included all the other pictures of the pretty gals he had
collected from his buddies. There were 57 photos in that envelope....along with this note
I'm so sorry, but I can't quite remember who the fcuk you are.
Please take your picture from the pile, and send the rest back to me.
Take Care, Ricky
George Bush 007 ?
BUSH: THE MISSING YEARS
August 27, 2004
Some time ago I orderd some new sheets from The White Company all very middle class i know but nice sheets.
Got an email from them today which I assume tells me the order is on the way (the title is re: Your The White Co. Order [DespCnf]) but the Entire text of the email is:
You may not reproduce, disseminate, copy, disclose to any other person, modify,
distribute and/or publish this e-mail without The White Company's prior consent.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This message is for the named recipient(s) only. It may
contain information that is privileged or confidential. If you are not a named
recipient or a person responsible for delivering this message to a named
recipient or have received this message in error you should notify the White
Company and delete this e-mail immediately.Unless otherwise expressly stated and
confirmed in this message, the contents of this message are strictly subject to
contract and shall not create a binding legal contract or other commitment on
the part of the White Company.
Well that is clear, another company drowning under lawyers... oh and sue me please..
It's Friday so no German Jokes
"You should always unplug appliances before going to bed at night. There are two excepts to this rule: Fridges and life-support machines. Otherwise you could end up wasting a lot of vegetables"
The rest of the best from the Edinburgh Fringe are below.
My parents are from Glasgow which means they're incredibly hard, but I was
never smacked as a child ... well maybe one or two grams to get me to
sleep at night. Susan Murray at the Underbelly
I saw Lee Majors the bionic man the other day on the Royal Mile. He looked
a million dollars... he's really let himself go... Eddie Bannon at the
My mum and dad are Scottish but they moved down to Wolverhampton when I
was two, 'cause they wanted me to sound like a twat. Susan Murray at the
Q: Who are the most decent people in the hospital? A: The ultrasound
people. David O'Doherty at the Gilded Balloon
I went to the airport to check in and they asked what I did because I
looked like a terrorist. I said I was a comedian. They said, "Say
something funny then." I told them I had just graduated from flying school
Ahmed Ahmed at C34
A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street the other day.. She said,
"Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?" I said, "All right, but
we won't get much done." Jimmy Carr at the International Conference Centre
We have our own local version of Big Brother round my way. It's called
jail. Colin Ramone at The Stand
I joined a dating agency and went out on a load of dates that didn't work
out. And I went back to the woman who ran the agency and said: "Have you
not got somebody on your books who doesn't care about how I look or what
job I have and has a nice big pair of boobs?" And she checked on her
computer and said: "Actually, we have one, but unfortunately, it's you."
Karl Spain at the Gilded Balloon
I realised I was dyslexic when I went to a toga party dressed as a goat.
Marcus Brigstocke at the Assembly Rooms
My dad is Irish and my mum is Iranian, which meant that we spent most of
our family holidays in Customs. Patrick Monahan at the Gilded Balloon
Sleeping with prostitutes is like making your cat dance with you on its
hind legs. You know it's wrong, but you try to convince yourself that
they're enjoying it as well. Scott Capurro at the Pleasance
You have to remember all the trivia that your girlfriend tells you,
because eventually you get tested. She'll go: "What's my favourite
flower?" And you murmur to yourself: "Shit, I wasn't listening ...
Self-raising?" Addy Van-Der-Borgh at the Assembly Rooms
The world is a dangerous place; only yesterday I went into Boots and
punched someone in the face. Jeremy Limb, Paul Litchfield and Dan Mersh at
Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation. Jimmy
Carr at the International Conference Centre
My friend said to me: "You must be more American," so I went to have
botox. The surgeon said to me: "That's $8,000." I couldn't even look
shocked. Shazia Mirza at the Pleasance
I went out with an Irish Catholic. Very frustrating. You can take the girl
out of Cork... Markus Birdman at the Pod Deco
When I was in prison I played football for the stalkers. We weren't bad
players but when one of us would go for the ball, we'd all go. There was
no one looking for space. Rhod Gilbert at the Tron
Got a phone call today to do a gig at a fire station. Went along. Turned
out it was a bloody hoax. Adrian Poynton at the Pleasance
The Butler Report is the political equivalent of saying, "Leave it out
lads, we've all had a drink". Marcus Brigstocke at the Assembly Rooms
Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a
winner and a loser at the same time. Demetri Martin at the Assembly Rooms
I read a book called The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler. It told me things
that I never knew. For instance, when Hitler was having sex he liked to
pee on people. That put me right off him. Martin "Bigpig" Mor at The Stand
An American girl hit on me in a club and asked me to make her an Egyptian
princess. So I threw a sheet over her head and told her to be quiet. Ahmed
Ahmed at C34
Did you enjoy summer this year? It was on a Thursday. Jeff Green at the
Hey - you want to feel really handsome? Go shopping at Asda. Brendon Burns
at the Pleasance
It's easy to distract fat people. It's a piece of cake. Chris Addison at
I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation - but I'm not very
good at it. Arnold Brown at The Stand
If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel,
then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They're
trained for that Milton Jones at the Underbelly
Am I really the brains behind The Office? Put it this way, I was signing
copies of the script in Waterstones the other day. They threw me out. It
appears that you're meant to get permission first. Robin Ince (who
appeared in The Office) at the Underbelly
A shop owner has criticised the law after claiming he caught 300 thieves - but saw only nine convicted.
Steve Lord, owner of Hill Shop and Videos in Stroud, fitted 12 CCTV cameras after losing £30,000 of goods.
Despite giving police pictures of shoplifters, Mr Lord says the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is reluctant to pursue cases.
A CPS spokeswoman said she could not comment on individual cases but added: "Where there is evidence we prosecute."
Mr Lord said: "Unfortunately the CPS deem it, in many cases, to not be in the public interest to prosecute these people."
I rang my local Crime Reduction Offier yesterday (didn't they used to be Crime Prevention? have they given up?) about the new venture and putting CCTV in to the public area to catch any scrotes who want to disprupt my persuit of profit. I got no encouragement or advice on crime prevention, all I got was alecture on the Data Protection act and how I must keep back up copies of films, put notices up etc or I would be breaking the law. And that sort of lawbreaking is much easier to investigate than stopping spotty youths in Burberry hats who have no sense of meum and teum.
And no wonder we have a government which has promoted "The philosophical assimilation of meum and teum,..(which).., must of necessity be followed by their practical confusion, resulting in the sanction of theft, robbery, &c".
August 26, 2004
Still a quagmire in occupied country
Transterrestrial Musings brilliantly points out:
Sixty years after Paris was seized by the "Allies," and the beginning of the American occupation, France remains a failed nation, mired in political corruption and beset by vast pockets of Muslim extremism and anti-semitism, into which the gendarmerie fear to tread. The economy continues to struggle under economic policies driven by failed ideologies, and many of its best and brightest continue to flow out of the country, with only ex-dictators and their families, and hysterical movie stars willing to move there.
Sadly, history has born out the predictions of those who, in the spring of 1944, warned against invading. Many had pointed out what a poor prospect the region was for any kind of democracy, with its long history of belligerence and arrogance, and failed republics....
Hat tip to The Cabarfeidh Pages
Happy happy people
Mood change in countryside ushers new era of optimism ... says the BBC .
No longer are worried about stuffy old things like the F&M which is now "curable", the threatened fox hunting ban or arable farmers suffering from rock bottom market prices. No we are happy because "rural Britain (is becoming) more urban."
So headlines like Farmers face ruin as rain blights harvest or the silly worry that Tony will throw country sports, liberty and livelihoods to the Labour dogs to cheer them up are just
so irrelevant. Remember:
"Cool Britannia was urban. Rural Britain seemed to love conservation, protection and stasis." And now Nu-labour has worked its magic on us country dwellers and were are cool as well.
August 25, 2004
Why Tony will love Kerry
Let us remember it isn't just Kerry who has memory problems:
Scotsman.com - Swallowing Tony and Co's blatant deceptions
The man who currently (but for how much longer?) controls the destiny of the United Kingdom is a stranger to truth. He always has been. It began with silly, pointless attempts to dramatise himself, of which the most notorious was his claim, in a wireless interview in 1997, to have watched his "teenage hero", Newcastle United football player Jackie Milburn, from a seat behind the goal at St James's Park. As football fans pointed out, Milburn left Newcastle when Blair was four years old and there were no seats behind the goals until the 1990s.
Then there was his confession - to Des O'Connor, who else? - of how he stowed away on an aircraft bound for the Bahamas, at Newcastle airport, when he was 14. No flight from Newcastle has ever gone to the Bahamas: in Blair's youth, the Isle of Man was as long-haul as it got. Blair is the most severe case of Münchhausen's Syndrome Without Proxy. The Scouse Spouse has also been infected by the fantasy virus. Without a trace of shame, Cherie chose a function run in aid of Centrepoint, a charity for the homeless, to relate how her husband had slept rough at Euston Station (actually for one night, during his ˜gap" year between Fettes and Oxford).
In Number 10, truth is not an objective fact, but a subjective ‘spin’, defined by what is ‘helpful’ to the Leader’s aspirations or prejudices ...
Top Comic (No German Jokes)
Comedian Tommy Cooper has topped a poll of the funniest Britons of all time, according to Reader's Digest magazine.
Vintage Tommy..."Cos it's strange, isn't it. You stand in the middle of a library and go 'Aaaaaaagghhhh' and everyone just stares at you. But you do the same thing on an aeroplane, and everyone joins in."
"He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books."
"And the back of his anorak was leaping up and down, and people were chucking money to him. I said 'Do you earn a living doing that?' He said 'Yes, this is my livelihood.' "So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me "Can you give me a lift?" I said "Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it.'
"You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice."
"So I went down my local ice-cream shop, and said 'I want to buy an ice-cream'. He said Hundreds & thousands?' I said 'We'll start with one.' He said 'Knickerbocker glory?' I said 'I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes.'
I went to Millets and said 'I want to buy a tent.' He said 'To camp?', I said butchly! 'Sorry, I want to buy a tent.' I said 'I also want to buy a caravan.' He said 'Camper?' I said campily! 'Make your mind up.'
So I went to the dentist. He said "Say Aaah." I said "Why?" He said "My dog's died.'"
"Now, most dentist's chairs go up and down, don't they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought 'This is unusual'. And the dentist said to me 'Mr Cooper, get out of the filing cabinet.'"
"So I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said 'Who's speaking please?' And a voice said 'You are.'"
"So I rang up my local swimming baths. I said 'Is that the local swimming baths?' He said 'It depends where you're calling from.'"
"So I rang up a local building firm, I said 'I want a skip outside my house.' He said 'I'm not stopping you.'
"Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I think it's Colin."
"So I was in my car, and I was driving along, and my boss rang up, and he said 'You've been promoted.' And I swerved. And then he rang up a second time and said "You've been promoted again.' And I swerved again. He rang up a third time and said 'You're managing director.' And I went into a tree. And a policeman came up and said 'What happened to you?' And I said 'I careered off the road.'
Tommy Cooper was in a taxi and when he got to the end of his journey and paid his fare, the cab sat there waiting for his tip when Tommy gave him a tea bag and said, "Have a drink on me."
August 24, 2004
The Times reports:
Piers Morgan has won a payoff of around £1.7 million in compensation for the loss of his job as editor of the Daily Mirror, the tabloid newspaper owned by Trinity Mirror, according to reports.
Lawyers for Mr Morgan, who was sacked in May after refusing to apologise for publishing photographs purporting to show British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners, later exposed as fakes, are believed to have secured the payoff on Friday.
The news comes just days after Mr Morgan secured a record £1.2 million payment from publishers Ebury Press for his memoirs.
Mr Morgan was famously asked to leave the Mirror's offices at Canary Wharf in May without being given the opportunity to collect his jacket from his chair.
Nice reward for recklessly endangering British troops by being a lying fuckwit.
Solicitors can piss off as well
Just popped into my Solicitor to pay their ridiculous bill. I drew up outside and the receptionist said as I walked in - "I'm not sure you can park there, we only have one space and a partner might need it."
That's all right I'm a customer and so I'm more important than a Partner", I replied to which she came back with the obvious.
"But we might need it for someone who is disabled"
Oh yea, really...I was only there for five minutes to hand over a cheque for hundreds of pounds for things like "they checked to see whether a thirty year old warehouse on an industrial site had planning permission to be a warehouse". Ker-ching £350
Bastards the lot of them.
LLoyds bank can piss off
Lloyds bank have just sent me a letter asking me to prove who I am so I can continue to be a signatory of the Parish Council bank account. Something I have been for many years.
Lloyds TSB Bank plc
PO Box 1050
SO 14 2GQ
Re "Account name"
Dear Sir or Madam.
I’m in receipt of what appears to be a forged letter claiming to come from yourselves. The signature is a mere scrawl and pp Business Manager. Which is obviously not the practice of a top financial institution.
I therefore enclose the documents as sent.
I have a strong anti-bullshit policy in place and if anyone thinks I’m going to entertain the ridiculous requirements of the letter in the bizarre chance they are genuine then they can think again.
It struck me that Inheritance tax is not a tax on the rich, it is a tax on the senile.
Inheritance Tax Planning is a whole industry and "the rich" ensure that they use it. From personal observation the people who get caught out in leaving the Chancellor great chunks of money tend to be little old ladies who are no longer the sharpest knife in the drawer. They don't realise they could do something about it, they aren't worried about talking about death, quite pragmatic about it, but they are lost in the world of tax. This maybe for many reasons but senility - Alzheimer's etc has something to do with it.
Here's a suggestion for the Tories: campaign to "Stop taxing sick old people" - if you can't bring yourself to campaign to scrap inheritance tax, campaign to bring in a clause that allows executors to apply retrospective Inheritance Tax Planning on any estate where the deceased suffered mental frailty in the year before death.
i.e. When Aunt Maud, who was as nutty as a Fruit Cake dies, you as executor can go the tax office and say. "Old Maudie wasn't well enough to make proper arrangements and so it is unfair you take her money. She would have given all her grandchildren "x" pounds tax free, done "this" with the family house and "that" with her shares. Consider this is what she did do and now let us see what tax is due."
August 22, 2004
It's for the Kiddies (tm)
The super-rich should be hit with a 50% inheritance tax to allow cuts for the middle classes, a think tank has said.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said the chancellor could raise £147m a year and cut death duty for up to 90% of people.
It said estates of more than £808,000 could be taxed under a banded system.
The left of centre organisation said Gordon Brown should use the extra cash to help Britain's poorest youngsters through the Child Trust Fund.
You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the
company store Government
Where do you start on prats like this? How can you reason with a mindset that believes it is the Governments job to provide for the "kiddies" rather than the parents job?
August 21, 2004
Swiftboats - a reasonable analysis
I'm pleased to see some debate here and elsewhere about the Swift Boat story do thanks to Dean's World for linking to this Washington Post article which is a model of what journalism should be, trying to disentangle the stories.
An investigation by The Washington Post into what happened that day suggests that neither side has been entirely forthcoming, and that each has withheld information from the public record. Which doesn't sound too good for the Kerry camp...
And it also introduced me to the word "roil" a useful and apt addition to the vocabulary.
August 20, 2004
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs is one of Radio 4's most popular and enduring programmes. Created by Roy Plomley in 1942, the format is simple: each week a guest is invited to choose the eight records, a book and a luxury they would take with them to a desert island.
So what would your choice be?
1; The Supremes - Baby Love (Holland/Dozier/Holland) Ooh baby love, my baby love I need you, oh how I need you ...
2: The Undertones Here Comes The Summer
Keep looking for the girls with their faces all tanned
Lying on the beaches all covered in sand
Stretching out their long legs lying in the sun
They know they're beautiful they're having fun
Here comes the summer ...
Everytime I see a beach I think of it, so on a desert island it is a must.
3: Led Zeppelin "Rock and Roll"
I did mention that my desert island is going to have a thirty foot high stack of Marshall speakers and a volume knob that goes to 11 didn't I?
4 Frank Sinatra Songs for Swinging Lovers Music I have rocked babies to sleep to and danced cheek to cheek to....
5 Elgar's Enigma Variations - well I'm English aren't I?
6 Beethoven's Ninth conducted by Leonard Bernstein in Berlin - despite the EU use of it a wonderful bit of music (after leaving the maternity unit when the son and heir was born it first thing that came on the radio, so extra special.) And that concert was the sound of freedom as the wall was knocked down.
7 Beethoven's Seventh - I want it at my funeral..
8 The Police Roxanne, I also need a Clay Trap, my trusty side by side and unlimited copies of it and boxes of carts. What better way to while away those afternoons than shooting the crap out of Sting?
My luxury would have to be a practical choice, beer would be not right on the beach, cold lager is beyond thought, so I think I would learn to roll up and have some Skunk plants which I could also make rope, cloth, cooking oil etc from if I could be arsed.
Book - Darwin The Origin of Species which I have never had the time to read properly, slowly savouring the intellectual rigour and wonder. (see below for an example of his writing).
Go then, what are your choices?
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
BBC and Kerry
I have mentioned before the BBC not mentioning the "Swift Boat Vet " allegations, including the "Christmas in Cambodia" story. Because John Kerry brought them up in a speech they do provide a little coverage:
BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Vietnam dominates Bush-Kerry fray
US presidential contender John Kerry has accused rival George W Bush of using a front group to launch underhand attacks on his Vietnam war record. ...TV ads - paid for by a Republican supporter in Texas - of Vietnam veterans accusing Mr Kerry of lying and exaggerating about the actions for which he was awarded his medals.
So they don't mention any specifics or provide any links - the only "related links" are to:
Senator John Kerry
Kerry presidential campaign
Lee Roystone website
While the stories are interesting the reason this whole saga is fascinating from a blogger point of view is summed up by Dean's World "The big story is, the universe recently changed when no one was looking. .. Everybody who watches politics is talking about a story the mainstream press is choosing to either completely ignore, or to dismissively sniff at."
As Frederick Turner says at TCS
The "mainstream press" may be in the process of squandering a precious resource that its leaders no longer have the institutional memory to recognize as the source of its legitimacy and its living. In the last few years -- essentially since 9/11 plunged us into a new world, a new agenda, that the press did not understand -- the major organs of civilized journalism, once trusted by the billion most effective people on the planet, have given away their credibility upon a trifle.
Everybody now recognizes that such voices as CNN, the New York Times, the BBC, the Washington Post, the major TV networks, the New Yorker, the Guardian, etcetera, are now the express and all-but-explicit advocates of a very special point of view, one with specific political goals. Those goals are certainly different from those of al-Jazeera or the socialist press, but they are in their own way as coherent, exclusive, and unquestioned.
This collective view emerged as a rather well-intentioned product of an age of wild hope, ill-informed academic speculation, and youthful optimism about the world. Nurtured in the great European and American universities, it was statist, existentialist, anti-religious, suspicious of any science that did not support its views, snobbish, pacifist, anti-technological, hedonistic in practice, puritan in theory, postmodernist in its tastes, committed to a social rather than an individual morality, hostile to the virtue tradition, sentimentally Romanticist in its attitude to Nature (which, in an unconsciously Creationist turn, did not include human beings), relativist about cultural differences, legalistic, optimistic about human nature, and deeply hostile to the marketplace. In one sense it was a nostalgia for the aristocratic European world of our collective rose-tinted memory, when the virtues of artists and intellectuals and university-educated people were recognized automatically, and merchants and financiers were "rightly" despised. In another sense it was a yearning for the dear lost days of revolutionary fervor, moral certainty, "free" sex and callow cynicism about tradition and respectability. It was escapist in its worship of Otherness -- cultural, social, political, economic, ideological, sexual, biological -- and conformist in its anxious attention to the next move of its "coolest" current leadership.
August 19, 2004
A man who desecrated a cenotaph in Blackpool on the day marking the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I, has escaped a jail sentence.
Iraqi Harkan Amin, 32, a failed asylum seeker from Oldham, Greater Manchester, admitted outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner.
The Royal British Legion and Russian Convoy Association had laid wreaths which were ruined after the sex act.
Amin was unable to pay the £2,000 fine imposed at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
He was ordered to spend one day in prison in lieu of payment, but as he had already been in custody for two weeks he was released immediately on Thursday.
Amin was spotted on CCTV leaning against the cenotaph eating chips.
He then performed a sex act, wiped his hands on wreaths, continued eating his chips and walked off.
Amin came to the UK in April 2002 but has been refused asylum seven times.
WTF is going on? I'm not sure I can think of an appropriate punishment but a fine which he can't pay so he just walks free doesn't seem right. My suggestions wouls probably upset those of a more delicate sensibility. And I'm not sure I understand why an ayslum seeker who has been refused SEVEN times is still walking around the streets. Oh, is it he is seeking ayslum FROM Oldham, which is how the BBC has written it?
Final thought - imagine if an American soldier had been filmed beating himself off against a Mosque in Iraq and cleaning his fingers on a Koran, what would the headlines have been?
More linking madness
Google Search: "You must obtain prior written permission to hyperlink" brings up 16 sites, and links to them, sue sue sue....
Whereas Google Search: "You must obtain permission to link" only brings up 6 plonkers.
Tim Worstall points out that
Sellotape says "Hyperlinking to this site, is not permitted without the express prior permission of Sellotape." Whoops I think I just did.. Anyway we are a 3M Scotch Tape Household.
My new purchase
my sort of caravan
Numberwatch points out:
Game, set and match
The scientific argument about the global warming myth is now over. The dénouement is summed up in a paper Settling Global Warming Science By Patrick J. Michaels, S. Fred Singer and David H. Douglass. The religious argument, as we have seen above, will, of course, be unending.
August 18, 2004
Piss off you pompous Greek gits
ATHENS 2004 Organising Commitee for the Olympic Games -Website Hyperlink Policy
For your protection and ours we have established a procedure for parties wishing to introduce a link to the ATHENS 2004 website on their site. By introducing a link to the ATHENS 2004 official Website on your site you are agreeing to comply with the ATHENS 2004 Website General Terms and Conditions. In order to place a link embedded in copy interested parties should:
You can't even spell Committee!
a) Use the term ATHENS 2004 only, and no other term as the text referent
Or reference so if I referent(sic) the drug addled spectacle of hopping, skipping and jumping freaks I can't link, oh.
b) Not associate the link with any image, esp. the ATHENS 2004 Emblem (see paragraph below)
The last time I saw an image of "Greek practices" I nearly spilt my drink, I don't think I will look at yours if that is OK
c) Send a request letter to the Internet Department stating:
Short description of site
Reason for linking
Unique URL containing the link (if no unique URL than just the main URL)
Contact point (e-mail address)
Once the request has been mailed, interested parties can proceed to include the link and will only receive a response if ATHENS 2004 does not accept the link. All requests should be sent to:
The Internet Department
Iolkou 8 and Filikis Eterias str.
GR-142 34 N. Ionia, Athens
Tel: +30 210 2004 000
Fax: +30 210 2004 800
The above policy applies for links embedded in copy only and not to links using the official ATHENS 2004 Emblem.
OK I will try and remember to send a request - you guys don't get the twenty first century do you?
Thanks to Blogdial for the link
The road to Damascus
I used to live round the corner from the wonderful Pitt Rivers Museum and spent many a happy hour examining the weaponry and other delights. Must be the only museum that has Victorian Hashish cigars and shrunken heads alongside a display of shields from around the world with a Thames Valley Police riot shield alongside a Aboriginal bark one. The swords included some fantastic examples of Damascus steel, which I never understood how or why had become a "lost art".
Crumb Trail provides an illuminating answer in an article on Wootz.
So the reporter goes up to an athelete carrying a long bar:
"Are you a pole vaulter?"
"No, I'm a German and how did you know my name vas Walter?"
(I think I should have filed that under German Jokes!)
Just checking on Tony's plan to use the introduction of a fox hunting ban as a sop to the labour Loyalists this autumn I came across this:
Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Hunter 'Mistook Wildlife Watcher for Fox'
A badger spotter was left fighting for his life after a hunter mistook his night vision goggles for a fox's eyes and shot him in the chest, a court heard today.
Conservationist Trevor Lawson spent two days in intensive care and had to have a lung removed after being shot while out watching wildlife on farmland in April last year.
Anthony Burns, 52, fired a high-powered hunting rifle after a friend's red filter lamp picked up what appeared to be a "massive set of eyes".
Well that is another good reason for keeping fox hunting, in crowded England it is saferto use hounds rather than "high powered hunting rifles" (unless, of course, you are Mr FM obviously).
Dr Big Brother may see you now.
NHS patients will need three separate identity cards to demonstrate their entitlement to free care and navigate the health service, according to plans by the Department of Health published yesterday. (more see below)
Is it me or are they mad, bad and dangerous to know? What is going on? If you are going to set up a national ID card system at least make it efficient. Not "It emerged yesterday that officials preparing the smartcard had been unaware of the UK's obligation to issue the European health insurance card by December 2005. "
I think the only card that will work for proper health care is going to be an American Express one.
The proposals include a European health insurance card to replace the E111 form, which entitles UK residents to free or reduced-cost emergency treatment when travelling in Europe.
A spokesman said this would be in addition to the NHS smartcard that is being developed to allow patients to book hospital appointments and access their personal "health space" on the internet. The space will store information about treatment preferences, next of kin and personal health records.
The department is also keen to get patients to use a third piece of plastic - the national identity card being proposed by the home secretary, David Blunkett - as proof of entitlement to NHS services. Patients may not be able to register with a GP or get non-emergency treatment without it.
It emerged yesterday that officials preparing the smartcard had been unaware of the UK's obligation to issue the European health insurance card by December 2005.
Already 13 European countries have issued these cards, showing name, date of birth and identity number. Under EU law, they will hold no medical data and cannot be adapted to become NHS smartcards.
A SCOTTISH scientist is to lead a major investigation into the threat to marine life being posed by the rising acidity of the world's oceans, caused by pollution from greenhouse gases.
Translation: "Darling, wonderful news, my job is safe, we got some new money into the department and what is better I, sorry dear we, have got to go to check out the life on coral reefs and sandy beaches all over the world - all paid for. Of course the study will be inconclusive and is bound to need "more research", so I think I'll be alright until my pension starts."
August 17, 2004
From the north comes enlightenment
Iceland's experience of the EEA Agreement has been positive and the decision to remain outside the EU has not caused economic problems of any kind. On the contrary, Iceland has sustained impressive GDP growth ever since 1995, with the sole exception of 2002. Growth was around 4% last year and is forecast at around 4% or more over the next few years. Such growth figures leave no doubt about how difficult it would be for Iceland to take part in European Monetary Union.
The son and heir is going on a school geography trip to Iceland this coming year, I must show him this as Economic geography is all part of the course. Interesting site as the Tuscancentric reporting of the EU makes us forget the other Europe.
Take that spammers
Great - I think it should now be working on this blog, a small problem installing but so what it is an emergency release to deal with spammers. Thanks Jay, I have dropped a tip in the box!
No time to blog today as despamming takes precedence, but please try commenting to check it works.
August 16, 2004
Big Brother cometh
Worries about "Big Brother" government is usually seen as an obsession of the paranoid and geeks -so it is interesting to see today's main headline on The Times - Newspaper Edition
Beware rise of Big Brother state, warns data watchdog
BRITAIN'S information watchdog gives warning today that the country risks "sleepwalking into a surveillance society" because of government plans for identity cards and a population register.
Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, says that there is a growing danger of East German Stasi-style snooping if the State gathers too much information about individual citizens.
He singles out three projects that he believes are of particular concern. They are David Blunkett's identity card scheme; a separate population register planned by the Office for National Statistics; and proposals for a database of every child from birth to the age of 18.
- As I publish that under related news this comes up..
Woman named in Blunkett 'affair'
The woman alleged to be having an affair with the Home Secretary has been named in The Sun newspaper as Kimberly Fortier, the publisher of The Spectator magazine. Mr Blunkett has refused to discuss the claims, insisting that his private life has no bearing on the way he carries out his duties. American-born Ms Fortier, who is in her early forties, is married to Stephen Quinn, who is also in magazine publishing. Ms Fortier has one child.
Oh, so he is now a fan of privacy is he....
The future is vege...
The BBC reports:
Hungry world 'must eat less meat'
World water supplies will not be enough for our descendants to enjoy the sort of diet the West eats now, experts say.
The World Water Week in Stockholm will be told the growth in demand for meat and dairy products is unsustainable
whereas the same debate and arguments delivered at a UN development summit in New York in April said the same but also pushed GM crops to conserve water. I wonder why the BBC prefered to try and turn us Vege rather than suggest that GM crops and technology might be the answer?
Devolved NHS - again
Parts of the health service in Wales, including waiting lists, have got worse since devolution... but don't worry because Welsh Health Minister, Jane Hutt, is in charge "we've got health inequalities, that has to be at the front of my agenda."
No Dear, making ill people better is what you should be concentrating on, or is that what "health ineqaulities" are; "Sorry I can't come in top work today I have a stinking health inequalituy". What is the Welsh for Prat?
Up at six as usual
and then I read this article...Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Book extract: How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson
I wonder if that hard-working American rationalist and agent of industry Benjamin Franklin knew how much misery he would cause in the world when, back in 1757, high on puritanical zeal, he popularised and promoted the trite and patently untrue aphorism "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise"?
It is a sad fact that from early childhood we are tyrannised by the moral myth that it is right, proper and good to leap out of bed the moment we wake in order to set about some useful work as quickly and cheerfully as possible.
Bastard, he makes sloth and idleness sound attractive in the rest of the article...
August 15, 2004
EU Referendum says:
The Euro-army cometh
"The massacre of our proudest regiments isn't about efficiency ...it's about surrendering our soldiers to fight in a Euro-army"
Col. Tim Collins
You hardly need to add anything to that - but if you want the full sorry tale go read, and as others say remove all breakable objects from near the screen beforehand.
August 13, 2004
NHS safe in their hands?
ONE in ten patients admitted to NHS hospitals will fall victim to medical errors, which have now become Britain's fourth-biggest killer.
Medical accidents and errors contribute to the deaths of 72,000 people a year, and they are directly blamed for 40,000. They also cost the NHS £2 billion in increased hospital stays alone.
However, fewer than a third of an estimated 900,000 annual mistakes are properly reported, an independent audit reveals today.
Doctor Curmudgeon & Co.
points ou that he BBC claims that global warming is killing grouse, and deep-sixing the "Glorious Twelfth."
The Countryside Alliance reports "A good, but not record breaking, grouse shooting season is expected to get underway today. The Moorland Association reports that during April and May exceptionally dry, warm weather gave most moorland managers and owners reason to be optimistic. But newly hatched chicks had to endure unseasonably cold air temperatures with frequent heavy downpours of rain for much of June. In a few localised areas, the vulnerable young of ground nesting birds were pelted with hailstones causing survival rates to drop.
Despite the roller-coaster of fortunes, most grouse moors in England, following favourable recent 'grouse counts', will sustain shooting this year with moderate to good bags expected - but overall down by 10-20% on last year."
Heretics - no mention of Global Warming or blaming 4x4 drivers...
Keep your hands off my kids.
Margaret Hodge, the minister for children, is quietly extending her empire to embrace parents, too. In a green paper due out next month, she proposes to teach millions of mothers and fathers how to bring up their children by sending them to parenting classes at public expense.
Such classes can already be made compulsory for parents of truants and thugs. But Mrs Hodge has noticed that middle-class families are rarely summoned before the courts to be reformed in this way. So she plans to spend vast sums of taxpayers' money on a mass programme of re-education.
1) With Margaret Hodge's record ( see extended entry) I wouldn't trust her to see my kids safely over a road.
2) Fuck off, just fuck off. They are our kids not the Governments.
3) Long personal anecdotes deleted - I have had my fill of the caring professions slipping from the helping to the controlling.
Quick example - Physio suggested on a home visit that a hand rail by the front door would be a good idea. Her suggestion that she sent a report to the Social Services who would allocate it as a task and get a contractor to fit one... I asked where she ought to go? "Why?" "Well wouldn't it be quicker and easier if I fitted one myself?" Sheer amazment I might want to do something for my daughter myself - "but if the social do it it is free". Free to me (not to the taxpayer), maybe if you don't count the cost of becoming part of the dependency culture.
From Melanie Phillips:
When Margaret Hodge was made Minister for Children in June, a lot of people could scarcely believe what was happening.
For it was Mrs Hodge who, as leader of Islington council from 1982 to 1992, spectacularly failed to deal with a paedophile ring abusing children in her council’s care. Heavily criticised for presiding over lethal chaos and a climate of intimidation in the town hall , she later tried to pass the buck onto her officials, claiming to have known nothing about the abuse at the time – a version of events her former staff have vehemently contested.
With such a grossly inadequate record in local government, anyone with a smidgin of shame would have quietly bowed out of public life altogether. Making a person with such a history Minister for Children instead was therefore a bit like having the late Robert Maxwell made Governor of the Bank of England.
August 12, 2004
My sort of Reader writes.
Some time ago I wrote about Long Cecil the remarkable Gun made in Kimberley during the Siege.
"Labram had noticed a billet of steel, 3 metres in length, ordered originally as shafting for one of the workshop machines, which was lying in the workshop yard. As it had a diameter of almost 28 cm it occurred to him that a fairly large calibre gun might be made from it. There were no books on gun-making in Kimberley but he remembered attending a lecture given some years previously by Sir William Anderson on the engineering aspects of the subject.
After 24 days continuous work, much of it under shellfire (one or two direct hits had been scored on the workshops and there seem to have been several near-misses), gun and carriage were completed on 18 January 1900."
Go read the rest..
A comment appeared today:
I have built a half scale muzzle loading model of long cecil.She has a weight of about one ton. I have managed to aquire the material to fabricate a full scale barrel.I intend to fabricate a life size, firing replica of the gun, while keeping within our legal requirements, and will do the best I can with the information available.
I am hoping you can identify the wheels used in the original guns construction.I am of the opinion they must be of european origin,however that is just a guess.
I am currently keeping busy on other projects,as this gun is too big to build by myself,and the U.S.Army has currently stationed my son in Iraq,with the queens royal lancers, so this project will have to wait until he returns.
Any information on the wheels would be greatly appreciated.I look forward to your reply.
thank you very much
David L. Bell
Wow, some one must be able to help him. Kim?
No Bias here
There are no pages about "swift boats veterans" from BBC News .
Compared to say:
Your 272 search results for "Bush lies"...
An Anglican bishop wants to ban the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country - because it echoes Hitler's Germany and is "heretical".
The Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, attacked English nationalism in a diocese newsletter.
Well he can piss off, a tearjerker of a hymn if ever there was one, set to great music, I will take that to happy-clappy guitar sing songs anyday:
All together now:
I vow to thee my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
New Bunny on the block
Interesting new blog form an academic who know his arse from his elbow: Blithering Bunny
I will read with interest - we have fighting bunnies down here in wiltshire - this was the local headlines today:
Rabbit starts blaze
A RABBIT set on fire under a bonfire at Devizes Cricket Club, may have had his revenge after taking refuge under the club's groundsman's hut, setting it ablaze.
"A volunteer was burning branches that had come down in the recent high winds and poured paraffin over it to start it burning.
"Suddenly, this rabbit shot out, on fire. It must have had paraffin poured over it and caught fire at the same time. We ran to see where it had got to but couldn't find it.
"We can only imagine that it disappeared down a hole beside the hut because, shortly afterwards, the hut started burning.
"The fire started in the far left-hand corner of the hut but it spread to the whole hut in a few minutes. There was no chance of getting anything out."
Devizes fire station commander Pip Flowers said he had never heard of such an incident before.
He said: "It's very sad for the rabbit."
Of course I am on the Bunnies side as it was one of my ancestors who by a lot of hard work and skill won the prize and medal for successfully getting a breeding pair of Rabbits to Australia.
August 11, 2004
Compare and contrast what the readers of the essential Number watch read in February 2003:
"major scares have been generated by the fallacious extrapolation from high doses to low ones. In reality it can often be demonstrated that low doses of toxic substances and radiations can have beneficial effects (hormesis). Jaworowski gives examples in the case of ionising radiation where authors have ignored clear hormetic effects in their own results. The fact is that small doses of radiation are good for you. The evidence is overwhelming (over 1000 scientific publications). Even back in the Manhattan Project in 1943 it was found that animals exposed to radiation lived longer and had more offspring than uncontaminated controls. Yet all this has been ignored by the regulatory authorities. "Today the BBC reports:
The widely held view that even low levels of radiation damage health has no basis in hard science, a leading expert has said.
Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, former chairman of a United Nations committee on radiation effects, believes low levels may even be beneficial.
He told the BBC Today programme: "Low levels of radiation are probably essential for life itself."
However, the National Radiological Protection Board rejected the claim.
Dr Michael Clarke, of the NRPB, said the scientific consensus was that low level radiation probably did pose a small risk to health.
"The consensus is that every little bit does a little bit of harm, and you extrapolate from what you can see at high doses, down to low doses.
"A small exposure gives you a very small risk. Maybe over the years more science will show that DNA repair mechanisms are stimulated by low level radiation, but it is not clear at the moment."
However, Dr Clarke accepted that there was little hard evidence that low radiation levels do damage health, but he said it was difficult to tease out the effect from all the other potentially damaging factors."
In other words, my job depends on peddling junk science...
A couple shot dead in their seaside bungalow had called police to report a prowler just hours before their bodies were found, detectives have revealed.
A police spokesman said: "Mrs Stirland spoke to an officer in Nottinghamshire just before 2pm on Sunday, saying that her neighbour had seen a man hanging around the house the previous evening.
"..she emphasised that she ... asked for a normal response to a prowler incident.
And what exactly is the "normal response" if it can't prevent the elderly couple getting blasted to death? Probably some junior plod cruising past when he can be bothered, but don't try and defend yourself, Plod is here to do that, or at least having a cup of tea and Jammy Dodger as he fills in yet another form fifteen miles away in the nearest open Police Station Canteen.
Peter Ainsworth MP - I heard him saying it is the government's job to increase petrol taxes to make us all good boys and stop driving and fulfill kyoto and save the whale and and and
What is the f***ing point of having an opposition party if they consist of Tony Clones and Gullible Greens who buy everything the bogusmongers sell?
August 10, 2004
A F***king Hero
Tonight's television treat, a proper Englishman!
One of Britain's oldest families, the Fulfords preside over a huge estate set in over 3,000 acres of countryside, passed on to the eldest son of each generation for over 800 years.
But the Fulford dynasty is under threat due to financial troubles. Head of the house Francis spends much of his time devising money-making schemes to help him raise the annual £30,000 needed to keep the house running, not to mention the cool million required to stop it becoming derelict.
Wife Kishanda has the thankless and never-ending task of attempting to keep such a huge property tidy while looking after the four children - Humphrey, Edmund, Matilda and Arthur, eldest son and heir to the estate.
It's English eccentrics against the rest of the world as the Fulfords fight for survival. Expect high blood pressure and expletives galore in this look at one man's fight to save his corner of England.
More German Jokes
An Englishman's Castle: JOKES FROM GERMANY is the most popular post I have ever done! - and recently some kind Germans have been contributing some Jokes, for instance:
Ein Mann kauft sich Viagra-Tabletten.
Kommt sein Papagei und frißt sie alle auf.
Sagt der Mann:
"Oh Gott, oh Gott, was mach ich bloß?.... Ab in die Tiefkühltruhe, damit er sich wieder abkühlen kann!!!!"
Stunden später erinnert er sich endlich an seinen armen Papagei in der Tiefkühltruhe, öffnet sie und findet seinen Papagei vor, schweißgebadet...
"Was ist denn mit Dir los? Wieso schwitzt Du so? Du bist seit
Stunden in der Truhe!!!!"
Sagt der Papagei:
"Was meinst Du, wie anstrengend es ist, den tiefgefrorenen Hühnern die Schenkel auseinander zu biegen!"
Which translates as:
A man buys Viagra tablets. Its parrot comes and eats it all up. The man says: "Oh God, oh God, which Mach I only?.... Off into the deep-freeze, so that it knows itself again cooling!!!!" Later it reminds, opens hours finally of its poor parrot in the deep-freeze it and finds its parrot, weldingbathed... "is the matter with you what? Why sweat does you in such a way? You are for hours in the chest!!!!" The parrot says: "which you mean, like it are arduous to bend to the frozen chickens the thighs apart!"
Very Gud! Ja.
Edwards - unsuited for the big job?
I'm not an American and I'm not a Republican so in a way it is none of my business. But it does mean I can raise an issue that they can't. In looking at Sen Edwards life and reading his account of that awful time when he lost his son "Edwards' life:
Sixteen-year-old Wade Edwards was killed in April 1996 when he lost control of the Jeep he was driving from his home in Raleigh to the family's beach house near Wilmington, N.C. Grief-stricken, Edwards withdrew from his practice for six months." it struck me that this doesn't sound like a man fitted for Presidency, or Vice-Presidency.
I have friends who have lost teenage children, my own oldest boy is 16, I nearly lost him once in a serious accident, so my sympathy for Edwards is complete. But if you read the full account - not online that I can find - it sounds like he came very close to a nervous breakdown. He stopped work for six months, friends had to come round to "put him to bed" and so on. There is nothing wrong in being literally grief stricken and I think no worse of him as a person for that. But being a President and Commander in Chief requires exceptional talents and aptitudes. And one of them has to be a certain coldness and hardness of heart. His reaction to his son's death is symptomatic of what might be called the emotional incontinence of modern society. Diana's death caused an outbreak of it in the UK.
"Shit happens, kids die, cope with it, stiff upper lip" is not the creed now, but maybe it needs to be for Commanders. So do you think Edwards could order Eighteen Year Olds into battle in the knowledge that some will die? Or would he dither?
I think he would be a dangerous ditherer.
And whilst I'm having a go at US politics; what was going on in Kerry's advisers minds when they made Vietnam the bedrock of his campaign?
1)War heroes don't win votes - Bush senior lost to Clinton, Churchill himself lost after the war.
2)And if you want to play the Hero you should make sure your story is unchallenged. They knew there were many Vets with a grudge against him, and those grudges were going to be aired.
Or is it really that in twenty years in the Senate he has done nothing they can brag about?
Maybe it is just a British attitude, most ex service people I know would rather admit to cross dressing and sleeping with goats than reveal their rank or mention their exploits. And if you ask them directly the most you would get is that "things were a bit hairy at times". Kerry's GI Joe performance would have merely caused laughter..
Personal not political
I have been mulling over whether to post this or not for several reasons so excuse me if it seems inappropriate. But I can't get on with normal blogging until I clear this out of my system.
Four years ago a bombshell hit our lives when we were told our newly born baby had brain damage and to expect that she would have cerebral palsy - extent unknowable.
(We have been incredibly lucky and she has it mildly , though the full range of problems she will have is still unknown.)
In that first meeting as we asked the obvious questions, including "why" and the most frustrating part of the whole experience was that the staff had obviously been trained by lawyers - you may have experienced it with a car accident where the insurance company says "never admit any liability". Here it was obvious they were terrified of being sued so they weren't going to get into a serious discussion of possible causes. I don't want to sue them, but I want to know what went wrong. (It is highly likely that a hidden infection was responsible, and the hospital did nothing wrong, in fact I'm sure the hospital did nothing wrong as I watched the whole procedure.) So I blame my distress and only have one word for lawyers like Sen. John Edwards who have made their fortunes from these cases. By using junk science and their skills they may help some individual cases but they make the general level of care for parents and children worse. They are simply
August 9, 2004
I was saddened to see that Red Adair had died - a fine man.
I note the cremation is planned to take two weeks....
An American General and a British General were discussing the meaning of bravery. They decide that practical demonstrations are in order.
Gen. Norman Greenblatt (Tall, cropped hair, four stars on his shoulders and a multi-coloured group of medal ribbons): Marine!
PFC Cohen: Sir! Yes, Sir!
Gen. Greenblatt: You see that tower over there?
PFC Cohen: Sir! Yes, Sir!
Gen. Greenblatt: Double time up the tower, jump off, and land on your
PFC Cohen: Sir! Yes, Sir!
PFC Cohen runs over to the tower, singing a typical US Marine Corps
marching song, climbs the tower with his rifle gripped in his perfectly aligned teeth, jumps off, and lands on his head. Blood, brains (well, a small amount) everywhere.
Gen. Greenblatt: That is bravery.
General Pennington-Smythe-Smith-Smythe (fairly short, thin, pencil
moustache, effeminate, and carrying a swagger-stick): Corporal Evans!
Cpl Evans: SAH!
Gen. P-S-S-S: Be a good chap, jog over to that tower, climb it, and ... well you know the drill!
Cpl Evans: SAH! BOLLOCKS SAH!
Gen. P-S-S-S (turning to Gen. Greenblatt): No, Norman, that is bravery.
August 8, 2004
Get orf moi land..
You may have caiught the story
"A 73-year-old farmer has been arrested after allegedly using a shotgun to shoot a burglar who was caught on his property.
The man called police after seeing a suspected thief on his farm in Ockbrook, near Derby, at around 6am.
The suspected burglar fled the farm but was later discovered nearby with a minor wound in his leg caused by shotgun pellets.
I think The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler covers it well enough..
August 6, 2004
Some more equal than others
A job advertisement by an art centre -
"The post is only open to African, Asian and Caribbean curators based in England." -
which excluded white candidates could be unlawful, it has been claimed.
A Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) inquiry found the advert for a curator's assistant at the Arnolfini in Bristol may break race relation laws.
Notice the weasel words and excuses in the whole post, and this is after they held an inquiry to consider it.. How long do you think it would take them to quite rightly condemn an advert that said "The post is only open to Anglo-saxon, Celtic and Norman curators based in England."?
August 5, 2004
Statistics on the English vote
Careful analysis of the 2004 Euro English results shows a staggering 3,000 % increase in ‘English’ vote between 1999 and 2004 in the European Elections
In 1999 the ‘English’ vote of was as follows
English Independent Humanist Party 1,049 & (North West)
EDP English Freedom Party 3,066 (West Midlands)
Total = 4,115 Votes
In 2004 English Democrats in the North West achieved 34,110
Representing an increase in the North West of 3,251 % increase in the ‘English’ vote
Across Five English Regions the English Democrats picked up in 2004 130,056 votes
Thus representing an increase of 3,160 %
With the same increase in 2009 the English Democrats are on target to pick up
Only 200,000 votes behind the Conservatives 2004 total
Food for thought...
Filthy NHS part 567
A patient who died after treatment at a cancer hospital in Bristol has arranged to pay for its filthy windows to be cleaned for the first time in seven years.
No comment needed.
Poor old England
SALFORD PRIORS, ENGLAND “ This village, a stone's throw from the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is postcard- perfect. There are rolling fields, undulating country lanes, thatched cottages, and a rugged Norman church. It's the rural idyll that inspired some of Britain's finest poets.
But behind the Cotswold stone and half-timbered exteriors lurks a malaise. Country life is seriously threatened...deprivation is now stalking the countryside....
Pravda tells the truth
Stotty makes the front page of PRAVDA.Ru !
"I should like to apologise for what appears to have been the disgraceful behaviour of the British delegation to the recent climate change conference held in Russia. I believe Russia is doing the world a great service by questioning the wisdom of the Kyoto Protocol and of the 'science' behind the idea of 'global warming'. continues
Sick man of Britain
THE Scottish Executive has failed to demonstrate how billions of pounds of extra investment in the NHS has benefited patient care, according to a highly critical report published today by Scotland's financial watchdog....
Tony Blair is determined to reform the NHS in England, using the private sector where necessary, giving patients more choice and tailoring individual services to the needs of local communities.
However, in Scotland, Mr McConnell has taken a different approach, typified by his refusal to embrace foundation hospitals and privately run specialist clinics, which feature strongly in Mr Blair’s plans.
As a result, waiting lists are falling fast in England, where the new target for a hospital operation will be 18 weeks, whereas waiting times are 40 per cent up in Scotland, where the maximum hospital wait is one year and three months.
It goes on, more money in, less patient care out because it is "a centralised and nationalised NHS responding to ministerial targets rather than clinical care". And here is the Scottish Minister's response:
"We have made it clear to the NHS Information and Statistics Division that they must further improve coverage and quality of management information, .."
Just what they bloody need, more management consultants going round with clipboards, still the BMA recognises the problem: "We would welcome detailed plans of long-term investment in measures to protect and improve public health, such as legislating for smoke-free public places, improving access to healthy food and reducing consumption of alcohol, particularly among young Scots."
How about stop blaming the patients and start running the NHS for them rather than the staff?
The Shame of Scotland
Tim Worstall points out:
Public spending in England has now risen to £5,453 for every inhabitant (2002-03 figure) but in the Chancellor's beloved homeland, following yet more subsidy in his latest spending review, the figure will be a stonking £11,000 for every man, woman and child.
When you consider how Scottish energy, inginuity and philosophy powered the great economic growth of Britain and America two hundred years ago it is sad to see it now as a dependency culture, whining and shuffling along the street looking for handouts and blaming everyone else for its misfortunes.
August 4, 2004
Hours of endless fun today updating blogging softwware and templates toMovable Type Publishing Platform 3.01
All should work and look better now, including Typekey authorised comments. Please tell me of any problems.
August 3, 2004
God save her
From Conservative Commentary - www.truthunvarnished.com via Dumb Jon:
The British monarchy is perhaps the ultimate demonstration of the superiority of the traditional and experience over the reasoned and the planned. As Sean Gabb says, no one could have set out and designed the monarchy as it now exists, yet in its various unplanned and evolving forms, it has secured stability and liberty longer than any of the republics that were produced by the blueprints of history's many revolutionaries and philosopher-kings. It is a sign of the monarchy's strength that the man in the street takes it for granted that this country has a Queen, and we should not idly wish away this advantage. But certainly it is wise for intellectuals and politicos who are wary of staking the fate of the country on the insight and good sense of men like themselves to step back occasionally and reflect, as Sean Gabb does, on just how lucky we are to have the system we do.
Spain says British occupation of Gibraltar a blot on the EU
Spain accused Britain of clinging to its imperial past to the detriment of good relations with its EU partner as the Royal Navy prepared to celebrate three centuries of British rule over Gibraltar.
"It is strange in the 21st century that the military occupation of part of one member state by another should be commemorated within the European Union," Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said in an article published by the daily El Pais.
Wednesday is the 300th anniversary of the capture by British forces of a tiny peninsula on the southern coast of Spain dominated by a 408-metre (1,326-foot) peak overlooking a narrow strait separating Europe from North Africa.
Blot on I say and "vete a la mierda y la axila melenuda de su madre" (I think).
From EU Referendum Blog
Telegraph readers will have already noted this morning's story headed "Heath was ready to give Madrid sovereignty over the Rock", detailing how Ted Heath's Tory government was in 1973 prepared to hand Gibraltar over to the Spanish in a deal with General Franco's regime.
But what is really chilling about the story -if the betrayal of the Gibraltarians is not enough - is the blithe assumption at the time that, within ten years, the European Community would have become a "political and defence union". That was certainly the hope expressed by Alan Goodison, head of the Foreign Office's southern European department, who wrote as much in a note to then foreign minister Julian Amery.
This was seen as the ultimate resolution to the Gibraltar problem, with Goodison opining, "We hope that within 10 years the European Community will become a political and defence union. When that time comes Gibraltar will be neither British nor Spanish. It will be European."
Can anyone explain to me why Traitor Heath's head is not decorating a spike on the Tower of London yet?
"The Law is an Ass"
Travellers who moved into a Wiltshire hamlet last August were told by a judge yesterday they could stay for the time being, despite a "flagrant breach" of planning control.
The 56 itinerants, who say they are traditional Romany gipsies, bought a three-acre field in Minety, Wilts. Without planning permission, they dug trenches and used a bulldozer to install electricity cables and water pipes and to rip out hedges.
Villagers claim that house prices have fallen by up to 40 per cent, and the council applied for a High Court injunction to evict the gipsies.
Yesterday, at a hearing at the High Court in Bristol, Judge John Weeks, QC, said the gipsies could remain at least until after a public inquiry next February.
The judge, who was told that many of the travellers suffered health and educational problems, said: "There is clearly a strong public interest in upholding planning laws and there has been a flagrant and deliberate breach of planning control.
"However, the immediate hardship and suffering which will be felt from the order sought is sufficient to outweigh the public interest in enforcing it."
Speaking after the ruling, Doreen Darby, who sits on North Wiltshire district council's planning committee said: "The law is an ass and it is braying rather loudly."
And then there is the appeal on the planning enquiry etc. They won't be moved for years...
Country boys showing the townies how to do it
Police officers from Wiltshire caught a gunman in West Norwood while visiting London last week.
The five officers were in the capital carrying out investigations in an unrelated case.
They were in Knight's Hill when they saw two men fighting at a bus stop. One of the men produced a gun and fired a number of shots, hitting the bus stop and striking one of the men twice in the leg.
The Wiltshire officers sprang into action and arrested both men in connection with firearms offences.
I'm sure the Met Police would have got there eventually after they had filled out the forms to ensure they weren't being discriminatory in arresting these two gentlemen. Of course in Texas the outcome of two Goblins being lead away for a slap on the wrist might have been different...
It's coming home to
The extinct great bustard is back in Britain after 30 chicks arrived from the Russian steppes on Monday.
The great bustard is the world's heaviest flying bird and can weigh up to 20kg and stand to the height of an adult roe deer.
Unfortunately it was regarded as a great delicacy in Britain and the last one was shot and eaten in 1832.
And Mr Free Market is tooling up ready
Rus et urbes
Rural dwellers in England are increasingly paying more council tax than city residents, but receiving fewer services...
I'm glad someone has noticed, because the revolting peasants have.
August 2, 2004
Just reviewing the all time results of Olympics - Women's Javelin Throw I was struck by who has won the most or as they put it More) Gold Medals - View image, I am sure Ruth does! - and Beate Koch (EG) was third in '88.
Schoolboy humour at its best.