Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kuwaiti Women.

It is very nice to see that Kuwaiti women are now allowed to vote in parliamentary elections. This hasn't always been the case. A journalist who visited the country in the 1980s was appalled to see that women had to walk ten paces behind their husbands but things changed radically after Saddam's invasion and when she returned in the 1990s women walked ten paces in front of their husbands. She was thrilled at the new status afforded to women and asked a passerby what had caused this sexual revolution. "landmines!" he replied.

Bush Hated,/Liked.

Over at Comment is Worthless, Sydney Blumenthal writes that
Congress Republicans are steering clear of Bush as they struggle to hold their seats in midterm polls

So if Bu$Hitler is so unpopular how come Democrats are so keen to be associated with him:
The Nebraska Democratic Party has introduced a new television commercial that highlights Senator Ben Nelson’s long record of independence. The advertisement notes that even Republican President George W. Bush agrees that Ben Nelson puts the best interests of the American people ahead of partisanship.

It is almost as if the Guardian have chosen to titilate their readers by employing a comically partisan democrat lickspittle to produce 'Bush is doomed!!!" screeds.

Comment is Worthless doesn't blame Dumbya for everything though, somethings are Reagan's fault, as Mark Ames informs us:
These workplace rampages, in which an employee blasts his coworkers, are now a regular feature of American life, yet they are still grossly misunderstood and oddly ignored......
...What changed in the US workplace isn't a sudden influx of guns on the market, or an influx of psychos in the workplace, but rather the most obvious and powerful cultural force of all: Reaganomics.

Update: I've just read the comments to Ames's piece and discovered that the man responsible for the massacre was a recent convert to a new religion. Can anyone possibly guess which one?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hoodies Unwelcome In Cumbria

It isn't just Bluewater that objects to hoodies.

Police are investigating the incident, although how exactly they could identify the culprits is a bit of a mystery to me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

King Of Chutzpah.

I've never been overly impressed by Newspapers which view exposing classified security information as "speaking truth to power" regardless of the necessity for confidentiality that may pertain to areas such as counter terrorism. Therefore I yield to no one in my contempt for the New York Times's decision to offer a helping hand to terrorists by exposing a financial tracking program.

However the noisiest of the New York Times's critics in this matter is far more intricately connected to terrorism:
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration Sunday to seek criminal charges against The New York Times for reporting on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.

Rep. Peter King blasted the newspaper's decision last week to report that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.

Peter King may be best known as the IRA's ambassador to the United States. Robert Novak gives a brief summary of his shilling for terrorists:

Rep. Peter King of New York, named by Republican leaders to become the House Homeland Security Committee's chairman, was not pressed to explain two decades of support for the terrorist Irish Republican Army and association with the left-wing Sinn Fein, the IRA's political arm.

King is the only member of Congress in at least five years to travel at Sinn Fein's expense, taking such trips to Ireland in 2000 and 2001. King's pro-IRA posture goes back to 1986. President Reagan declared that Irish Americans condemn the IRA, and King responded: "When Reagan went to Ireland, he might have spoken for some Irish Americans. But he didn't speak for me."
The fact that this evil man who supports the murder and torture of women and children, who is on the payroll of a terrorist organisation has the gall to condemn anyone for not being sufficiently committed to defeating terrorism is breathtaking. Say what you like about the New York Times but they aren't actually having a direct debit from Al Quaeda like this corrupt terrorist.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Early Memories of News Events.

I was born in 1979 , looking at the wikipedia entries for different years since then, I only remember two of the events from 1986, Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal (or the Aygo Maradona, as I thought he was called back then) and the Challenger disaster. On the other hand I can remember loads of events from 1987 so presumably that is when I became aware of the outside world.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

BBC, Take Note.

This report on the future of Canada's public broadcasting, CBC, contains a lot of ideas that should be applied to the BBC.

The CBC should stop broadcasting professional sports and eventually cut all advertising so it no longer competes with private networks, a Senate committee recommended yesterday......
....CBC-TV should be a public broadcaster that fills niches that no one else can or will fill," Ms. Fraser said after tabling the report, which called on the CBC to be realistic about its role. "Not addressing mandate and budget issues simply pushes the CBC, particularly its television services, to chase for ratings and thus to duplicate services offered by the private sector," the report concluded

There is no justification for public broadcasting other than to perform tasks that cannot be done adequately by the private sector. If one looks at the magnificent quality of the best US television dramas there is no comparison with what the turgid shows BBC are producing. In sport does anyone believe that the BBC's performance is anywhere close to matching that of SKY?
As it is the BBC spends ridiculous amounts of money for a very meagre return.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Football Scores.

Like many people I find the main commentators for ITV and the BBC to be horrible to listen to. My first response was similar to Iain Dale's suggestion, promote the better ones.

In a flash of inspiration this afternoon I realised this was completely wrong, we should get rid of them altogether. Most of the information they convey is pretty obvious to anyone with eyes in their head, anything else can be flashed up on the screen in writing. Commentary is superfluous. You are probably thinking that you don't want to just listen to crowd noise, I agree, therefore we should replace the commentary with a musical score!

Each player is given his own theme music which is played whenever he has the ball, a bit like in 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' where Ennio Morricone gives each character slightly different music which is played in subtley different styles depending on the mood. I was thinking of "Jaws" for Thierry Henry, a samba beat for Ronaldinho or the "Laurel and Hardy" theme for Phil Neville.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Playing To Type.

I inadvertently came across the Times Education Supplement's website today. They have a discussion board and what is the number one topic occupying our nation's educators?
Open-toed sandals = unprofessional? Discuss

My opinions is yes, for male teachers at least. I say 'unprofessional' but I suppose I really mean 'disgusting'. Leather elbow patches should go as well.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Too Unruly For Prison? Let Em Out!

With all the furore about leniant sentences this week a self serving claim has cropped up regarding the granting of parole to life prisoners. John Mortimer made the argument on The Week and someone called Mark Leech from an ex prisoners organisation Unlock made a similar point on the Jeremy Vine programme this wednesday, to quote Mr Leech:

The only way our prisons can maintain order, security, discipline and control is to give prisoners the opportunity of early release.
The sort of people who will be too dangerous for a prison if they don't have the incentives they wish, it is hardly safe to unleah them on the general public. It's as though bomb disposal experts decided that their job would be made safer if they let the public handle the trickier devices.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Big Ron's Mate.

The cringe inducing commentary of the World Cup match between Sweden and Trinidad had been remarked upon, with the Devils Kitchen noting:
Though my eyes may have glazed lazily over by about the time the anthems finished I listened with glee as the simile-laden commentator vomited glorious awful on cue, pulling out every Caribean racial stereotype he could muster, even imagining happily that the half time teamtalk would probably consist of the coach telling them all just to "chill". At one point I am convinced Gareth Southgate manfully wrestled him from the microphone just as he was about to launch into "Dem Bois be playin wid sum silkly skills mon" in a deep Rastafarian baritone.

Matthew Turner notes specific examples on his blog including:
The ITV commentator (is it Clive Tyldesley?) has just suggested the T&T half-time team advice from their Dutch manager will be "Hey, just chill". He also added that there would be 'strange scents' from the T&T fan's parties later one. And that - this was Southgate's - they shouldn't be booked for time-wasting as that was the 'natural speed they move at off the pitch'.

Isn't the England versus Trinidad game on ITV? This is car crash tv in prospect. I reckon he's going to black up for the occassion.

Deflation in Action?

According to the Daily Mail:
Heather Mills was fighting to salvage her reputation yesterday after an onslaught of revelations, including sensational claims that she worked as a high-class prostitute.

The estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney was in frantic talks with her lawyers after two former vice-girls said she was paid thousands of pounds a night for having sex with wealthy Arab businessmen.

Now after several hours "research" on the web I have discovered that more attractive prostitutes than Heather Mills make no more than a £1000 a night. So has the price of hookers come down in the last 2 decades or have the figures invented by someone to make the transactions sound less sordid?

No Shit.

U.S.: Autopsy Shows Bomb Killed al-Zarqawi

Good Stuff.

I've avoided linking to other blogs in my posts up until now because my first attempt at blogging in 2002 disintegrated into saying "x has something really good to say about y", but I'm going to start doing so from time to time now. Starting off with Laban Tall's who has three excellent posts. About the imaginary wife beating football fans and acceptable nationalism.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Request.

Does anyone know of any pubs frequented by Swedish or Trinidaian football fans?
Just Asking.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Iraqi Minuteman Butchered By US Death Squads.

Iraq's leading minuteman Musab al-Zarqawi was murdered by Bu$Hitler's minions today. As I'm too caught up in grief to adquetely respond to this I will let the wise people from the BBC's 'Have Your Say' mouth the cliches for me.

Bush and Blair should be ashamed.

Mr Al-Zarqawi may not have been a particularly nice person, but to parade the person of a recently murdered man is shocking and will fuel the insurgency even more.

Kevin Miller, Warrington, United Kingdom

I find it rather stomach-turning to see supposed Christians like George Bush gloating over the death of al Zarqawi. What is there to celebrate in death, murder and violence?

Matty LL, Blue Mountain Peak

Lest we forget, if it were not for George W. Bush there would never have been an Al-Zarqawi.

Henry, Montreal

November is coming,Massacres in Iraq being uncovered,Bush is desperate today Zarqawi.October is reserved exclusively for Bin Laden.

Mike Bustani, Toronto, Canada

? I'm sure the US find new reasons, and a new bogeyman, to justify pacifying the legal and legitimate national popular resistance

Ian Douglas, Cairo, Egypt

Does'nt this action by the coilition forces violate his human rights?

tony, surrey

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What do you call a Sheep tied to a lampost in Wales?....

...That's not funny!

Don't the police have anything better to do?

A pub landlady who used a Welsh flag as target practice at a St George's Day event has been questioned by police over alleged racism

It is clearly a recurrent pattern, earlier in the week there was this:

A RACE storm could be brewing down a fictional Welsh noodle mine.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 37 complaints about a Pot Noodle advert which features miners digging for noodles in a Crumlin pit, accompanied by a male voice choir soundtrack. Some have described the advert as "racist".

The Prime Minister isn't exempt, perhaps Cherie could sue him for Human Rights abuses:

North Wales Police is considering a complaint made against Prime Minister Tony Blair over allegedly using a swear word in relation to Welsh people

Ann Robinson was also questioned by the police for supposed taffophobia, are there any cases I've missed?

Word Hijacked.

I can remember when 'gay' used to mean homosexual but since then it appears that the word has been hijacked by heterosexuals to mean rubbish:

The BBC thinks it's OK that Chris Moyles described a ringtone as 'gay' while on air. But is it really acceptable that the word has come to mean 'rubbish' - and should a Radio 1 DJ be joining in?

Am I the only person who finds the word 'acceptable' slightly creepy in modern Guardian speak? Later in the article the writer says:
In fact, in case Moyles is still unaware of this, the casual use of "gay" - when used other than to accurately describe homosexual men and women - is cruel and derogatory.
It looks like we are going to have to embark on a wholesale book burning of thousands of books published before the 1970s.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Discrimination Industry.

Comment is otiose
he publishers of the Daily Ireland newspaper have launched a £3 million claim against the British government over the denial of advertising revenue. Yes, everyone's favourite bunch of media Provo apologists are OUTRAGED that Her Majesty's Government has not been spending 200k a month with them since their rag came to market last year.
It is needless to say backed by the Equality Commission.

Via A Tangled Web

Eye Catching Initiative.

On a whim I decided to do a google news search for the phrase "Government Announced" in the hope of picking up the latest government gimmicks. I see from the Mirror that:

To help the fight yobbish behaviour, the Government announced nuisance neighbours would face losing benefits.
Anyone evicted for anti-social conduct would lose cash entitlements unless they went to anger management classes.
The thing is I know full well that this is not going to happen, the government know full well that this is not going to happen and the press know full well it is not going to happen but maintaining the illusion of action is hardwired into the government so everyone plays along until it is reannounced next year.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The New Taliban?

Take the following ingredients-
1 Failed State.
An overwhelmingly muslim population
Feuding Warlords.
United Islamist Opposition.
No International Presence since a superpower left a few years earlier.

Stir it all together and what do you get? Well in Afghanistan we got the Taliban. In Somalia:
An Islamist militia says it has seized Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, after weeks of fighting against an alliance of warlords allegedly backed by the US.

Strategy Page was noting the similarities between the behavoiur of the islamist groups in Afghanistan and Somalia last month:
The Islamic Courts militias are doing a full Taliban. In addition to forcibly shutting down bars, theaters and video stores in areas they control, they are blaming everything that has gone wrong in Somalia on Israel, Ethiopia (the usual fall guy in this part of the world) and the United States.

The parallels are obvious. The extent to which this militia controls Somalia yet is unclear but if it emerges that they are now the effective rulers of the country we cannot afford to let the mistakes of the past be repeated, they must not be allowed to have a country to control. The Taliban's alliance with Al Qaeada led to the latter having a secure base from which tens of thousands of potential terrorists were trained, allowing it to happen was the biggest failing of the Western powers in the 1990s and ultimately led to 9/11.

The 'Islamic Courts' are not of course identical to the Taliban, they are more divided and don't have direct foreign backing in the manner that the Taliban did, but it is a worrying development nonetheless.

World Cup Betting.

Looking at the World Cup, I can't help but noticing that France have a very good draw, good players and a significant amount of experience, so I'm going to put some money on them to win. I realise they haven't been playing well but lots of winning teams don't perform well intil the actual competition begins. Although anyone can comment here, this post is as much so I can point to it in a month's time if I win and gloat (or ignore completely if I'm wrong).

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Kissing the Ring.

Tony and Cherie Blair are to meet the Pope, when asked whether he would enjoy meeting with someone whose claims of infallibility have caused controversy, the pontiff said he didn't mind. I just can't wait to see the Pope's face when Cherie presents him with the appearence fee.

Update (Monday 10:47): Great minds think alike, and so do feeble minds. I was watching Have I Got News For You tonight and saw the appearence fee joke made by one of the guests. The show went out on Friday originally so I can't claim to have been plagiarised. I didn't see the Friday broadcast so I'm not a plagiarist either but my humour is generic and obvious.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Activist Released.

Much of the international media was sympathetic to the claims that Sylvio Berlusconi's government contained political extremists and had a cavalier disregard for the rule of law. There was a certain amount of truth in both allegations. The new left wing government has already surpassed Berlusconi in both respects:
BARELY two weeks after taking office, Giorgio Napolitano, Italy’s President, a former Communist, prompted a dispute with the Italian Right by pardoning an extreme left-wing activist convicted of murdering a police chief in 1972.

Given that the Italian left was still using murder as a political tool as recently as 2002 this is a green light to anyone on the radical left who wishes to murder their opponents.

(via Foreign Dispatches)