Monday, June 30, 2003

Well. It comes to something when British journalists criticise American journalists - pot calling kettle grimy arse? - but recently I think they are justified. In a recent survey Finland emerged as the country with the freeest media, Britain was (if memory serves) about 11th and America was below us!

I'm not going to crow because I think our media is pretty shoddy - but for the Americans to be even worse served? The mind boggles.
Link from Buzzflash, by the way.

Discuss what you like - you're the boss!
Shame. Katharine Hepburn dies at 96. Actress Katharine Hepburn, who won a record four best actress Oscars during a career that spanned much of the last century, has died aged 96.

Great actress, great films. She will be missed.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Ooh look, the Tories are two points ahead aren't British people clever...just think, if more of them switch over, we could be enjoying many more Conservatives like this former leader of Peterborough. Nice.

I hope Irish people won't be too offended by the old buffoon.
On the Guardian website: Former US senator Strom Thurmond dies aged 100. I must admit I don't know much about him.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

This is dedicated to the youngsters in the blogosphere who wonder what things were like under the Tories. In one word - bloody terrible.

This is from a propaganda email from the Labour party but I make no apology for that.


Shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin visited Brixton in south London to make a speech on crime on Wednesday. However the reality is that crime doubled under the Tories, and with the Tories pledged to cut public spending by
20 per cent, then fewer police on the streets would not help combat crime.

Home Office minister Caroline Flint said: "The Tories have not learnt their lesson. Oliver Letwin is committed to massive cuts to public spending. During the last general election he drew up Tory plans to slash public
spending by £20 billion. Now he has gone further and is supporting the Tories' commitment to 20 per cent spending cuts across the board. The Tories' plans would inevitably mean dramatic cuts to spending on the
police and the resources they have to fight crime." More: link to official Labour website
Today is a good day. For once, Britain is on the side of the angels as UK signs UN anti-torture protocol and yet at the same time our erstwhile partners in Afghanistan the US are going completely against the spirit of the United Nations as privately, the Americans admit that torture, or something very like it, is going on at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. When will Americans wake up and realise that what is being perpetrated in their name will come back to bite them?

Some Americans realise it now. I say not enough of them do. Perhaps you can help?

Torture is wicked and wrong. Discuss.
The US supreme court has overturned a ban on gay sex in Texas. As the BBC so very nicely put it, this presents a dilemma to President Bush. My guess is that he will say nothing, or present some high-profile claptrap to force this important ruling further back in the newspapers - those that decide to report it, of course.

I like the little piece at the end too - mentioning that oral sex in private is illegal in 13 states. How would you even police that? Sometimes I feel that even though the language of the US is English, I still need a translator. Those 13 states sorely require the rapt attention of cunning linguists.
You know how unpopular Americans are at the moment? Yeah, nearly as unpopular as us Brits. But at least now they can do something about it! The t-shirt may start people thinking that those damn Yankees aren't all bad. And that would be good. I think.

So, go abroad but remember to wear your t-shirt!

Discuss I won't wear no damn fool t-shirt for no-one. You ain't getting me up in no plane!
It's true then. The good die young. At this rate Margaret will die at 102.

Perhaps it isn't so much that the bad die later, it is just that it seems that way. I bet he didn't leave any large bequests to charity in his will.
By the way, in order to see why you should insult Michael Savage (the weiner), take a look at the Take Back the Media site and others. This Savage idiot is sueing them because he wants to suppress free speech. He must not get away with it!
Today is Savage Michael Savage day. Now, I've never heard of the guy and I've never listened to him on the radio but I understand he is very small in the underpant department, if you know what I mean. This is probably where his right wing rage springs from.

So I'd just like to insult someone who really deserves it and say MICHAEL SAVAGE SUCKS.

Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Let me see if I have this straight. We went to war with Saddam because he was a vicious dictator with an appalling human rights record and he possibly had nuclear weapons, right? What are we to make of this news item about Bush's meeting with the Pakistani President where he promises the dictator with blood on his hands $3 billion. Is he giving them the money so they can buy more American weapons? The article doesn't say. Just some platitudes against the "wor on tirror". Which is presumably Republican-speak for killing people who object to the Pakistani government - that is, democratically minded people. It's enough to give you hives.
Of course Bush wouldn't have anything to do with dodgy Asian dictators
Well, you surf around and you find the blogs edited by 20 somethings who seemingly have little to say, or blogs that have been abandoned ("last updated 20th June 2002"). Just occasionally you come across a little gem, which is what I present to you. Perhaps he should update more often (and lose the beard) but he's on the right track at least.
I don't understand where the right wing gets off, personally. The right wing media in America has completely skated over the issue of WMD's, as I understand it because it could undermine a right wing Government. The right wing media over here is busy digging as much dirt as possible because they are hoping to get rid of the best Labour Prime Minister ever. Already they are trying to foment revolt against Tony and while I don't see eye to eye on all issues, I think he has broadly got more right than wrong, and anything is better than the current batch of Tories.

Of course I would like to see more left wing policy, but compromise is part and parcel of politics.

I want a new Prime Minister because...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

You are the little prince.

Saint Exupery's 'The Little Prince' Quiz.
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to Plucky Punk for the link. Fancy mistaking a boa constrictor eating an elephant for a hat! :)

I know that what is most important is invisible to the eye.

I've listened to Radio 1 for about 30 something years now and it has varied in quality enormously. Broadly I like it and the DJ's, except Sara Cox annoys the hell out of me - too much horsiness, too much Bolton, too much Eminem. Mark & Lard are still the only people pronouncing his name correctly too.

It's a shame that M & L aren't on in the graveyard slot any more - they were funny, irreverent and played some great music.

Nemone is quite cool, but I really LOL with the Dreem Teem (or however you say it). Sunday mornings, very funny.

Because of all the Eminem recently (it drives me mad) I've been tuning to Radio 4 - the best pictures of any radio station. But I'll probably tune back after a few weeks. I need my music.
Radio One, good morning?
The more I think about it, the more I think sign makers in this country are forever killing themselves laughing in their offices. Take a sign I saw today. A big white van with "AMBULANCE" written on it. Below it said "Thank you for your patience".

Monday, June 23, 2003

For a long time, this has been an almost Big Brother free zone. No longer. Popping my BB cherry is a great story about the latest addition to the house. Here's the story about the new contestant: "Gaetano, 30, has already created excitement on the African Big Brother after he was seen romping in bed with another housemate Abby.

'The blanket did some very heavy duty heaving as Gaetano's horizontal mambo began," the official Big Brother Africa website said. "Blanketed bottoms bounced up and down as the heavy breathing began in earnest.'" Read the full story at this deeply sad site.

Horizontal mambo! How quaintly oldfashioned. Meanwhile Cameron has been saving his seed, it is five thousand years old (allegedly)...
Reflecting more on the William story, I wonder if there is yet another power struggle going on in the secret services. Special Branch are being left holding the baby this time - but surely GCHQ and MI5 would have been all over this like a rash? I mean, what is the point of GCHQ monitoring every single phone call in the country if they can't even stop one stand-up comedian? The story I've heard is that the Cheltenham boys use computers to pick out meaningful phrases from all the phone calls they've put together. Surely "Osama bin Laden" "gatecrash" and "Prince William" would have triggered something? So poor old Special Branch has been left to pick up the pieces and get the flak. I think this kind of intelligence failure is all too common, and is probably due to MI5 and MI6 trusting no-one, it seems, except the Americans. "Yeah, here, take these secret codes we spent years developing and make them into a commercial product you can sell back to us. No, of course Britain doesn't need the money...".

Let me see now, how good is the protection of our royal family? I know, how about if someone were to dress up as Osama bin Laden in a pink ballgown and then climb over a wall to gatecrash William's 21st birthday party? That is about as ridiculous as it comes...except there's more. The man was a stand up comedian, to boot. This is a great quote from the article "He was arrested inside the castle after mingling with 300 guests, including all the senior members of the Royal Family except Prince Edward, at the Africa-themed fancy dress party.

At one point he shared the stage with Prince William as guests laughed, assuming he was part of the entertainment."

Of course next time, he might actually *be* Osama bin Laden, and Britain becomes a republic overnight as no-one can be bothered to take the post of monarch. So, a happy story on all counts.

Well, this is nice. A Canadian Republican gets cash handouts from the Canadian government to make a film lionising Bush. Ahh, the irony. And I don't mean that in the Bushian sense of something made of iron either.

Instead of the real story of Bush turning tail and hiding out like the most chicken of chickenhawks, we get treated to a complete rewrite of history. How unbelievable is it Larry?, I hear you ask. Well, it has Bush speaking eloquently and at length for a start, that should give you a clue. Then it has him making impromptu speeches. He never gave an off-the-cuff speech in his life that Karl Rove didn't write for him!

Still, I'm only angry because he cheated his election, has plunged the world into chaos and is spending even more on arms than ever before. Makes me twitchy.Discuss will the real Bush please sit down?
Well a lot has happened over the weekend - Peter Hain has retracted what he said about tax (shame) and Mrs W has full control of the new Harry Potter. So I don't know what happened in the book. I read that the book is being translated into French and will be released before Christmas in France - which is nice.

Discuss what is happening in the world?

Friday, June 20, 2003

Here's another blogging Brit but I thought I would shamelessly rip off her site:

Now that American aircraft and military have reorganized IRAQ'S landscape,
US intelligence has discovered that they have renamed some of their towns.

These new names include:

1. Wherz-Myroof
2. Mykamel-Izded
3. Myturbin-Izburnin
4. Waddi-El-Izgowinon
5. Pleez-Ztopdishit
6. Kizz-Yerass-Goodbi
7. Ikantstan-Disnomore
8. Wha-Tafuk-Wazi-Tinkin
9. Oshit-Disisabad
10. Imma-Dedshmuck

Yeah, yeah, schoolchild humour I know!
Well, sorry today hasn't been as interesting as some of my previous postings. I guess I'll have to get a head of indignation going over the weekend and have a good rant on Monday. Well, if I can be bothered. It should be a good weekend, we have a friend coming over on Saturday and a birthday tea for my sister on Sunday. Oh, and of course Harry Potter is out tomorrow so I may have to take Monday off...only kidding. I'll have finished it by Sunday.

Of course the other thing is that I've blogrolled lots and I've been archived so now the left hand side of WMA is shorter than the right hand. I'm not sure I like that, it looks like I haven't been writing enough.

As far as Galloway goes, maybe he is guilty as hell, who knows? He was a bit insulting towards Tony and Dubya but no worse than a lot of others. I'd like to see him move the writ against the Telegraph, then I would feel happier about supporting him. Obviously the Telegraph are prepared to tough it out because they have very, very deep pockets. But they have allowed their hatred of George to go beyond reason, and that isn't healthy. Perhaps one day they will make a film about all this and call it the Blair Witch Hunt Project, after the journo.
A quick Google and...what have we here? A list of all the smears on leftwingers in the UK - and the apologies afterwards. As the article makes clear, with psy-ops only the smear is remembered, never the apology.

So, given the secret services (very poor) reputation, what does anyone think the probability is that the Telegraph documents will be found to be forgeries? Why would a secret document in an Arabic speaking country have words in English on it? Why were secret documents left lying around? How come they found this very convienently but cannot find huge quatities of WMD's?

Why go to all this trouble just to get another MI5 agent into the Labour government?
SLOPPY SLOPPY SLOPPY. Reuters is now making the same mistake I had to bring the BBC to account for. The wonderful J K Rowling is again alleged to be richer than the queen . Now, this is just bad journalism. The Queen owns land equivalent in size to a county, and with building land being worth in excess of £500,000 an acre, this makes her pretty wealthy. Even assuming it is all farmland still means it is worth more than £10,000 an acre. Usually counties are measured in square miles, and there are 640 acres to a square mile. Whereas Joanne has worked very hard for her money, she is still only worth a few hundred million. She isn't a billionaire like the richest woman in the world. Yes, that'll be Elizabeth Windsor.

For comparison, Dorset is 980 square miles, or about 627000 acres. At (say) £10,000 an acre, Queen is worth...£6,000,000,000 at a conservative estimate.
You would have thought they would have known better. "Gorgeous" George Galloway has won more libel actions than practically any other politician - yet the Christian Science Monitor and the Daily Telegraph chose to attack him with forged documents from Iraq. Shades of the Zinoviev letter! Perhaps his membership will now be reinstated since he has secured an apology - any other action and I think it will go badly for the Blairite parachuted into his Glasgow constituency. We need more irritants to the establishment like George and the wonderful Tam Dalyell, not less.
Shock announcement as Government Minister says the rich should pay more tax. That much is, I hope, obvious. My thought, while I applaud Hain's announcement, is that the problem isn't people who earn money but people who inherit money and most of all, land. Two thirds of the land in Britain is owned by a very small minority. Making large land owners pay a proper rate of tax on their land will have two effects: it will lower the price of land, and target taxation where it belongs - the super-rich. Making hardworking dentists and consultants pay more tax doesn't make much sense but targetting multimillionaires does.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Ooh err. That's torn it. What do you think?
Loyal Americans are required to visit this web site. Even though I support the Prime Minister (well, mostly anyway) I am absolutely flabberghasted. Personally, I am not one for overt shows of...well anything really. The comments, especially, leave me dumbfounded.
Discuss Thank You Tony?
Well, I've found a site with an interesting quiz on it at Bingobowden - try the quiz, you might like it. I would like to thank Skippy the Bush Kangaroo for the kind mention on their site too. Well done Skippy, now where is the dog that fell down a well? Really? I'll get over there right away!
OK, I'm desperate. Mrs Wallybrane and I have a good friend who is heading back to Hong Kong after she has just got married. Now we need to get them a nice wedding gift that isn't too heavy so they can take it back with them. Does anyone have any ideas? I would be very grateful (extra links and kudos?). Please help!
Discuss Wedding Gift Ideas
Constitutional change continues and the biggest deal is the abolition of the post of the Lord Chancellor. He occupied a strange position in the unwritten constitution - head of the judiciary, a member of the House of Lords and a Government appointment. Obviously with such an arrangement, and the fact that the Conservative party ruled Britain practically forever, the current judiciary is packed with, shall we say, less that left wing judges? Add to that the fact that over 80% went to public (private) school and are usually the offspring of the richer families and you have a particular stratum of British society represented by judges, and very few others. The Labour party has proposed the the judiciary be selected by an independent panel and this is, I feel, a step in a very positive direction. For instance, if every judge continues to have gone to Eton or Harrow, we can at least ask why.

But of course the biggest news continues to be Big Brother...
Which is more important?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Good news, philosophy fans! I've tracked down the article in New Scientist which appeared a few weeks ago by the Dalai Lama. Normally, I haven't got any time for religious leaders but I was very impressed with this article. The other pieces are quite thought provoking too.
Tell me what you think
It's the little things in life that make it really. Mrs Wallybrane was on the bus today and noticed a sign: "Kilmore Residential Home".

On a different note, my personal blogosphere has expanded a little more with Plucky Punk's Happy links being kind and a mention of the virtual online theremin from The Sideshow.

I should really put my hands up and say that I found the link for the theremin on a message board of Making Light's blog and as I have now been told by Feòrag NicBhrìde of Pagan Prattle who to give credit to, I can assign credit where it is due. It is very cool.
Tell me what else I have forgotten...
Your Greatest American poll by the BBC won by cartoon character. Yes, Homer Simpson was voted top of the poll. Abraham Lincoln was second with Martin Luther King third. Next was another "larger than life" character, Mr T. Personally I find it rather excellent that in the top four there is only one white man. One disappointment with the poll is that none of top ten entries were female.

Anyway, as Peter Snow is wont to say, it's only a bit of fun.
Who is your Greatest American?

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Brilliant satire especially if you know the tune to "The Model of a Modern Major General". I found the lyrics via Madeleine Begun Kane's page
Well, even more about me. I'm trying to become a school governor for my local infants school. I don't know how long it will take or even what is involved so I'll keep you posted. I'm keen to get it right because my son will be attending it soon - so I want it to be good!
I'm a school governor and I want to tell you about it
I think I like the blogosphere, you meet such nice and helpful people. I've had a couple of messages in the last two days, both were really positive so I'd like to give a heads up to Cleophas at Fresh n Juicy. From his blog, it sounds like he's from Dorset too. Which is a bit scary.

I've also heard from Lorelei at From the Inside Looking Out and it is always nice to hear from lady bloggers. She wrote a nice piece saying unnecessarily kind things about this blog, which as you know is just thrown together from sellotape and odd bits of cardboard. So to everyone in blogland: you reap what you sow, and if you link to me I will do my utmost to link to you.

Monday, June 16, 2003

I know that people like to rename things in terms they can understand but here's a good one: Network Storm. It puts me in mind of a whole raft of new employment opportunities: web weatherperson, web weather presenter.

"Hi my name is Anon Weatherperson and here is the web weather. A high will build around Seattle as Microsoft release more bug fixes. A low in the Pacific will be caused by night time in Japan, expecting to fill in later. An email hurricane will be expected later in the Florida area as Jeb Bush tries to fix votes in the area again. Goodbye, and thanks for listening."
Send your CV to the web weathercasters
I guess that some people haven't heard there's a war on terror going on. I wonder how long it will be before these weapons of mass destruction are destroyed?

As far as I'm concerned, I want to see a reunited Ireland but these terrorists don't do anyone any good. Tell me what you think
Mrs Wallybrane recently got a job offer from an interview she went to the other day. I don't think the hours were too bad but the pay wasn't great. As she said, we would get more money if I did a couple of hours overtime a week. Still, I'm sure she'll find something soon - she is very talented. And has a better degree than me. My main qualification, though, always means I'm better paid. I'm male.

Can someone REALLY explain why women get worse pay than men? Is it just because women don't join unions, or what? Tell me how badly you are paid
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale fame) writes about George Orwell's books. I still blame George Orwell for getting me to join the Labour Party. I know a lot of bad things have been written about Orwell - how he was a spy, a class traitor, and all the rest. I just think he wrote some of the most thought-provoking books in the English language. "Down and Out in Paris and London" and "1984" should be on any well-educated person's reading list. The whole point of 1984   is, to my mind, that we should prevent it. Although the book makes some accurate predictions about the future - endless war, constant surveillance, absolute obedience to the Republican party - it was meant as a warning. Well, that's what I think. If there is hope, it lies with the proles. Orwell - good to the core or crashing bore?

Friday, June 13, 2003

Troubled teens make fun of social workers car. "America's finest news source" is at it again - passing off the truth as satire. I don't like to be judgemental but I think social workers and their ilk are some of the finest human beings that ever walked the earth. Too often, people who are absolutely essential to our civilisation are denigrated. Teachers, civil servants, sewage workers, dustmen, social workers, environmental health - without these people, civilisation collapses and we return to some kind of 18th Century hell.

Which is where we come to the political bit. The Tories want to cut 20% of ALL public spending. My guess is that they won't cut the police, the courts, the military. No, it will be everyone else that makes life a relatively pleasant experience in Britain. I read that 40% of employment is provided by the public sector. That equates to about 8 million people. 20% of 8 million is about 2 million unemployment statistics - even more when the multiplier effect is taken into account (once a Keynesian, always a Keynesian!).

So, when the Tories come to power - the economy will nosedive (money taken out of economy), unemployment and interest rates will shoot up but at least shares will do well. So that's alright then.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Well, my blog neighbour Fresh 'n juicy has come across a great story about German Sunday trading laws. I know it doesn't sound a promising story, but this sort of thing will affect millions of lives in a very direct way. I think the lack of Sunday trading was part of the reason the German economy stayed so strong for so long, you know. Shop 'til you drop or what?
Here's a great blog and this entry really speaks to me. It isn't just a US problem, either. Although the UK still has a couple of liberal(ish) newspapers, media ownership is continuing to be concentrated into fewer and fewer hands worldwide. The Rupert Murdochs and Conrad Blacks of this world seek to dominate all news, on all media, everywhere. This is not healthy for democracy. As a start, all cross media advertising should be banned - for instance the Sun newspaper should not be able to advertise Sky satellite television. Also, the media barons should be made to stick to one medium - newspapers OR satellite OR TV OR Radio OR book publishing OR CD manufacture.

It is not right that Murdoch (for instance) can own all of these mediums, let alone use anti-competitive measures drive other entrants out of the market. Yes, Rupert needs taking down a peg or two
How cool is this? Very, very cool. Your very own virtual online theremin. The theremin is one of the earliest electronic musical instruments and is responsible for a lot of science fiction scary music. A great download. Tell me about your music
Here's a fine news story - arms company bribes foreign government. Gosh, I am so shocked. There I was, thinking merchants of death were models of financial probity and one of them goes and tries to pay bribes! What next? Arms companies selling weapons to vicious, mad dictators? Everyone knows that could never happen...

The real worry for me though, is the fact that the US of all people are accusing BAE. US weapons companies are well known to be some of the worst for bribes, kickbacks and so on. Perhaps that has changed, but I'd be surprised if it has.

While we are on the subject of kickbacks, does anyone still wonder any more how Mark Thatcher got so rich, so quickly? Tell me what you think

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Matrix Reloaded spiked by Egypt's censors. Quite right too. Dangerous things, ideas. People might start thinking. Tell me your ideas

Well, many of the bloggers I respect have layers so here goes:

Name Martin
Birth date 14th July 1963
Birthplace Dorset, UK
Current Location Berkshire, UK
Eye Color blue
Hair Color brown
Height 5'8”
Righty or Lefty Righthanded
Zodiac Sign Cancer

Your heritage English
The shoes you wore today Trainers
Your weakness Mistrustfulness
Your fears Injustice
Your perfect pizza Vege-roma
Goal you'd like to achieve Career in politics

Your most overused phrase on IM a/s/l
Your thoughts first waking up Must think of cold showers...
Your best physical feature Hands
Your most missed memory My father

Pepsi or Coke Diet Coke
McDonald's or Burger King BK
Single or group dates Group dates
Adidas or Nike Who cares?
Chocolate or vanilla Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee Cappuccino

Smoke No
Cuss Regularly
Sing badly
Take a shower everyday Bathe every day, electric shower needs fitting.
Do you think you've been in love Yes
Want to go to college Been there, done that, got the degree.
Like(d) high school Hated.
Want to get married Not again.
Believe in yourself Yes.
Get motion sickness No
Think you're attractive Not too bad for 40.
Think you're a health freak No.
Get along with your parent(s) Sometimes
Like thunderstorms Love them.
Play an instrument No.

In the past month...
Drank alcohol A few glasses of wine and a little port.
Smoked No
Done a drug Only alcohol.
Made Out No
Gone on a date No.
Gone to the mall? Yes
Eaten an entire box of Oreos? No.
Eaten sushi No.
Been on stage No.
Been dumped No
Gone skating No
Made homemade cookies No
Gone skinny dipping No
Dyed your hair No
Stolen anything No
You sound boring I am

Played a game that required removal of clothing Yes
If so, was it mixed company Yes
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated Yes
Been caught "doing something" Yes
Been called a tease Yes
Gotten beaten up Yes
Shoplifted No
Changed who you were to fit in Yes, I'm doing it now.

Age you hope to be married I am married.
Numbers and Names of Children One, Adam
Describe your Dream Wedding The one I had
How do you want to die At age 150 after seeing my great-greatgrandchildren graduate and having been Labour Prime Minister.
Where you want to go to college Been there, done that.
What do you want to be when you grow up I have still no idea.
What country would you most like to visit Italy. I've heard it is nice.

In a guy/girl.
Best eye color? Green
Best hair color? Brown
Short or long hair Short
Height 5’ 3”
Best weight No idea. Whatever looks balanced.

Number of drugs taken illegally None, ever.
Number of people I could trust with my life At least a dozen.
Number of CDs that I own Over 200. Eclectic.
Number of piercings None, ever.
Number of tattoos None, ever.
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper? Lots. A inveterate letter writer.
Number of scars on my body No really large ones.
Number of things in my past that I regret 42

Tell me about you
This is so amazing, I'm going to steal it wholesale from Just Another Blog In The Wall

George W. Bush

Past work experience:
• Ran for congress and lost.
• Produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
• Bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas,
company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
• Bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal
that took land using tax-payer money. Biggest move:
Traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago White Sox.
• With fathers help (and his name) was elected Governor of Texas.

• Changed pollution laws for power and oil companies and made
Texas the most polluted state in the Union. Replaced Los Angeles
with Houston as the most smog ridden city in America.
• Cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas government to the
tune of billions in borrowed money.
• Set record for most executions by any Governor in American history.
• Became president after losing the popular vote by over
500,000 votes, with the help of my
father's appointments to the Supreme Court.

Accomplishments as President:
• Attacked and took over two countries.
• Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
• Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
• Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed
in any 12 month period.
• Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of
the stock market.
• First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
• First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
• First year in office set the all-time record for most days on
vacation by any president in US history.
• After taking the entire month of August off for vacation,
presided over the worst security failure in US history.
• Set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips than
any other president in US history.
• In my first two years in office over 2 million
Americans lost their jobs.
• Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work
Americans than any president in US history.
• Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.
• Appointed more convicted criminals to administration
positions than any president in US history.
• Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than
any president since the advent of television.
• Signed more laws and executive orders amending
the Constitution than any president in US history.
• Presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and
refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
• Presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history and
refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
• Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
• Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to
simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15
million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.

• Dissolved more international treaties than any
president in US history.
• My presidency is the most secretive and unaccountable of
any in US history.
• Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration
in US history (the 'poorest' multi-millionaire, Condoleeza Rice
has an Chevron oil tanker named after her).
• First president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union
simultaneously go bankrupt.
• Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of
any market in any country in the history of the world.
• First president in US history to order a US attack and military
occupation of a sovereign nation.
• Created the largest government department bureaucracy in
the history of the United States.
• Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending
increases, more than any president in US history.
• First president in US history to have the United Nations
remove the US from the human rights commission.
• First president in US history to have the United Nations
remove the US from the elections monitoring board.
• Removed more checks and balances, and have the
least amount of congressional oversight than any
presidential administration in US history.
• Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
• Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
• Refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners
of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
• First president in US history to refuse United Nations
election inspectors (during the 2002 US elections).
• All-time US (and world) record holder for most
corporate campaign donations.
• My biggest life-time campaign contributor presided
over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds
in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
• Spent more money on polls and focus groups than
any president in US history.
• First president in US history to unilaterally attack a
sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations
and the world community.
• First president to run and hide when the US came under
attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
• First US president to establish a secret shadow government.
• Took the biggest world sympathy for the US after 911, and
in less than a year made the US the most resented country in
the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
• With a policy of 'dis-engagement' created the most
hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
• Fist US president in history to have a majority of the
people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the
biggest threat to world peace and stability.
• Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be
awarded government contracts.
• Set all-time record for number of administration appointees
who violated US law by not selling huge investments in
corporations bidding for government contracts.
• Failed to fulfill my pledge to get Osama Bin Laden 'dead or alive'.
• Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder
the leaders of our country at the United States Capitol building.
After 18 months I have no leads and zero suspects.
• In the 18 months following the 911 attacks I have
successfully prevented any public investigation into the
biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
• Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans
than any other president in US history.
• Entered office with the strongest economy in US history
and in less than two years turned every single economic
category heading straight down.

Records and References:
• At least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine
(Texas driving record has been erased and is not available).
• AWOL from National Guard and deserted the military
during a time of war.
• Refuse to take drug test or even answer any
questions about drug use.
• All records of my tenure as governor of Texas have
been spirited away to my father’s library, sealed in
secrecy and unavailable for public view.
• All records of any SEC investigations into my insider
trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy
and unavailable for public view.
• All minutes of meetings for any public corporation I
served on the board are sealed in secrecy and unavailable
for public view.
• Any records or minutes from meetings I (or my VP)
attended regarding public energy policy are sealed
in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
• For personal references please speak to my daddy
or uncle James Baker (They can be reached at their
offices of the Carlyle Group for war-profiteering.) "

Tell me about your favourite Bush deeds
So Hans Blix really was leant on by the Bush Administration. Read what the former UN weapons inspector thinks. And if the US don't want the UN, I'm sure London would willingly give it a home. It is, after all, several thousand miles closer to most of the US's conflicts. Tell me what you think

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Did that Political Compass thing again and got Economic Left/Right: -9.75 Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.21. I think I've got more left wing since I last did it, which is a worry. Let me know if you get further into the bottom left hand corner than me, I'd be interested to hear from you.Tell me how you did
Once in a while you come across a story that reaffirms your faith in human nature. Here is a great story of a Muslim human rights activist which should give anyone with an ounce of humanity in them a lump in their throat.

This is the kind of quiet, slow activism which gets the most lasting results in the long run. Demonstrations are flashy and soon forgotten. It is the long donkey work of agitating and organising which pays dividends. Good luck to you, Abdel. Tell me what you think
I've recently been posting on The Blue Bus, mainly because if America sneezes then Europe catches cold. And if America is in a rightwing war frenzy, then Europe had better watch out. It may be contagious. On another note, who will the US invade next? Let us examine the options. North Korea - no oil (thank you Mr Wolfowitz) so no invasion. Cuba - too easy, and too useful. Libya - no, too well armed and difficult to attack. Pakistan - well, they do have WMD and a military dictator for President and a history of human rights abuse. But since when have these things mattered? No, it will be Iran because it is all about the oil. Oil and power. Let me just check the chronology - Afghanistan last year, Iraq this year - Iran obviously next year. Unless they find some other small easily defeated country with lots of oil - Azerbaijan? Let's not forget, the invaded country should ideally be wracked by war/sanctions for the last ten years or more, have a low population density and a lot of oil. Who fits the bill? Hmm. Tell me what you think

Monday, June 09, 2003

I've just had an email from those awfully nice people of the Labour Land Campaign. There is a Land Value Taxation website associated with the campaign but this is due to be updated, I'm assured. Rather cleaner and more self-assured looking Andy Wightman, the author of "Who Owns Scotland" gives several good reasons why land ownership should be changed north of the border. Finally, the famous ex-GLCer Dave Wetzel makes the case in the Observer - A chance to make vacant space pay to make housing decisions more rational. Finally, the seminal book "Who Owns Britain" by Cahill still does not have the website it deserves. Get it together lads. The book is fantastic and deserves a wide readership.

Friday, June 06, 2003

You all know by now that I believe fervently in the freedom of speech: everyone is entitled to my opinion. Please consider voting for ABBA if you happen to be a US citizen. And for goodness sake start listening to Michael Moore!
Possibly the most beautiful song ever, here are the lyrics but the music is wonderful:


[Liz Fraser]

Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath
Gentle impulsion
Shakes me makes me lighter
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath

Nine night of matter
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath
Black flowers blossom
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath

Water is my eye
Most faithful mirror
Fearless on my breath
Teardrop on the fire of a confession
Fearless on my breath
Most faithful mirror
Fearless on my breath

Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath

Stumbling a little
Stumbling a little

Crikey. I love the lilt in "my eye". If I could bottle the shiver it always gives me...note to self: must buy more Massive Attack. Tell me about your favourite song
Another great quiz from the BBC.How much do you know about America? I think I did ok, I got eight right. Tell me how you did
Still trying to get more links on board, so please forgive the less frequent updates. I'll probably do some maintenance work this afternoon too, adding links to the discussion board and so on.

On another matter, other people have their full name and details about their lives on their blogs but I'm not sure I'm ready for all that. I'd like to link to some of my letters in the newspapers though, before they are all archived.

While I'm writing this "train of consciousness" a teenage girl approached me the other week and asked me to buy her some alcohol. I said no, but I was wondering why I did. Yes, it is illegal and yes, I could have got into trouble but fundamentally I don't have a problem with teenagers drinking alcohol, so long as it is sensible. There was a certain level of fear there - teenagers are pretty scary - but I think it was mainly the view that the law is there for a reason. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it is there. Maybe another day I would take a different view. I know for those of you out there whose views are black and white this seems trivial, but the rest of us have to deal with shades of greyness. Discuss this blog

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Some of the satire on the web is really good. Here is some of the other sort. But amusing, nonetheless.Discuss this blog

Beagle releases bolts and fires successfully. This is great, and I'm really pleased all is going to plan. I hope everything continues this smoothly. Look at the Mars Express locator site for its present position. Discuss this blog

This is what I signed up for, all those years ago. The old Clause 4 IV:
"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."Discuss this blog
Care about free trade? Care about the future of the world? Either way you should sign Oxfam's online petition. Without fair trade there cannot be free trade. I may be a socialist but I also know a good thing when I see it. Hurry up and sign!Discuss this blog

The cat is out of the bag now. The Conservatives will make swingeing cuts to NHS support staff. I think they want to make everyone go private. The NHS as you may or may not know employs around a million people in Britain and is probably the most efficient healthcare system in the world, in that it treats everyone, for free with some of the most advanced medical equipment in the world, with the least amount of Government money.

It is, although not commonly commented upon, a socialist success story. The NHS knocks spots off any other form of privatised healthcare in any category you care to mention. Yes, the French have higher healthcare standards but they also pay a lot more. Americans pay three times as much per person, yet get worse healthcare - how does that work? Ahh - because it is largely private, of course. Silly me. Discuss this blog
A few more links, and at last a way to give me some feedback. But that would entail some people coming to the site, I guess :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Have you ever been to Liverpool? It is a very interesting place - if you go to the right places you bump into half the acting population of the country. I'm sure the Liverpudlians will have an excellent year, so long as they don't hark back to the sixties too much - there is a lot of good young talent coming out of Liverpool and the Beatles cast an overlong shadow if you ask me.

So look out for 2008!
Discuss this blog

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I know this is usually just a stream of surfing blog but I can smell your spicy brains. You have been warned.
Hooray!! Liftoff and Europe goes to Mars thanks to the Open University, German engineering, a Russian spacecraft and...US airbags.

I think we all know where the weakest link is going to be here - I saw the programme on the making of Beagle 2 and my main impression is of airbags bursting calamitously.

Still, here's the spin put on the launch from a US based website. Please don't expect any unbiased views from the site. They are only doing their job.

Monday, June 02, 2003

No life on Mars eh? That's rubbish and everyone knows it, apart from me apparently. I've just found incontravertible proof of life on the red planet. The devil, as they say, is in the detail. Right at the bottom of the article it mentions that oxygen forms 0.13% of the atmosphere. Now, free oxygen isn't something you associate with a dead planet - normally any oxygen will react over a long enough period with just about anything.

When you add in the fact that Mars' rocks are strongly reducing, it all adds up to the fact that something is making oxygen.

Strong sunlight on rocks? Maybe, but I'd like to see what Beagle 2 turns up.
Really incensed about The Wright Stuff on Channel five slagging off the best Prime Minister we've ever had. Perhaps he hasn't read the Scott Report or even knows of it's conclusions?

Before we throw Blair out with the bathwater, let us spend a little time considering the alternatives. The Conservatives supported the war from the get-go. The Lib Dems are all things to all men (and women). It probably would have been better for the UK to stay out of the Iraqi war, on balance but I am sure Bush would have leaned VERY hard on the Labour government if we had joined with other Europeans.

Incidentally, saw Bush visiting Auschwitz. How ironic. His family's banking business was up to its neck in Nazi Gold during the Second World War - their money helped finance more than a few Concentration Camps. Strange the way the world turns.

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