Thursday, 29 May 2008

Scott McClellan: Worst Type Of Hypocrite

Back in 2003, just as the march to war was at its height, Clare Short told Tony Blair that her conscience wouldn't allow her to serve in the same Cabinet as him. All it took was the offer of another Government post and Ms Short had a sudden change of heart and stayed put and no amount of twisting, turning or heart rendering justifications could make her look anything other than a complete hypocrite.
By contrast, Robin Cook's decision to march out of Blair's Cabinet in protest and into the sunlit uplands of the moral high ground was surveyed with admiration.
Now former Bush mouthpiece, Scott McClellan, derides the Iraq War as "not necessary," and has decided that "Waging an unnecessary war is a grave mistake."
"When words I uttered, believing them to be true, were exposed as false, I was constrained by my duties and loyalty to the president and unable to comment," he said. Welcome to the party Scott and to think all it took was a massive book deal.
Not for you an eloquent demolition job on the Presidents position at the time, much rather continue to pump out the propaganda your boss handed to you to read although, as you yourself state, your loyalty to your President, despite your supposed reservations, over-rode any of those overpowering feelings of remorse you have been miraculously struck with now.
If you felt that what you were saying at the time was such a grave mistake, why wait until 4 years later and safely out of the way before uttering any opposition to them?
Your chance of making any impact on public opinion and helping to prevent an 'unnecessary war' was when you had a live worldwide audience and plenty of opportunities to voice your opinion or refuse to be complicit in a potential genocide if you felt this strongly about matters.
The harsh truth is that you are a seedy opportunist with the integrity of a used car salesman who liked being in the spotlight, being well paid and being the mouthpiece justifying your boss's actions more than you cared about your country bombing Iraq.
You may make a few dollars from your grubby book deal but that just makes you the worst type of coward and a utter hypocrite with a few extra dollars.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

John McCain Hits Lefts Buttons

Clever old John McCain. I watched him today as he gave a speech at the University of Denver and the guy hit two hot button issues for the left and came away leaving more than few lefty eyebrows raised.
First up was the Environment which he promised to make it his number one priority and he has long been a champion of cleaning up the Environment.
Secondly admonished past Republicans and Democrats on their efforts to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He said: "If you look back over the past two decades, I don't think any of us, Republican or Democrat, can take much satisfaction in what we've accomplished to control nuclear proliferation." He then set out his plan to reduce Americas Nuclear capability to its absolute minimum, and cancelling the development of nuclear "bunker-busting" bombs and working with Russia and China to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
"Today, we deploy thousands of nuclear warheads. It is my hope to move as rapidly as possible to a significantly smaller force."
Over to you Obama because on two of the most leftwing issued you can find, McCain is stealing your ground.
All the credit to McCain because this will lose him votes from the more hardline right wingers but he is either putting his principles above the more rewarding perception of being a typical neo-conservative Republican and he should be applauded for that or he is making an excellent play of cutting Obama's legs from under him.
Over to you Obama.

Brits Doing American Accents, And Failing.

Being the arrogant bunch of twits we are, us British tend to slaughter anyone else attempting our accent. Poor old Dick Van Dyke is still held as the high watermark for Grievous Bodily Harm on our accent when he set it on fire, put it out with a jet of his own special water and then spread rumours about its mother's promiscuity as Bert the Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins.
Kevin Costner's go at speaking Blighty in Robin Hood was awful and even the actress who played Daphne in Fraser just sounded weird and she's English while David Boreanaz's stab at Irish in Angel sucked more than his vampire character ever could.
To balance things up, the Radio Times have got stuck into Brits attempting American accents and failing dismally with Michelle Ryan winning the honour for her portrayal of the Bionic Women, which has now been cancelled.
Other bad yank accents included Eddie Izzard in The Richies, Annie Friel in Pushing Daisies and Hugh Laurie in House.
Even to my English ears Michelle Ryan's American accent was rubbish but i was impressed by Hugh Laurie in House especially when his normal accent is so quintessentially English.
I haven't seen Izzard or Friel so can't comment on what they do to the American accent but Michelle, you will now always be known as the Dick Van Dyke of American accents which is actually better than being remembered for being Zoe Slater in Eastenders.
Come to think of it your cockney accent wasn't that hot then either.

Egg On All Our Faces

Boy, am i embarrassed. For the past five years i have been crazily under the impression that when the US president landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in a navy jet against a backdrop of a huge sign bearing the legend "Mission Accomplished" he meant the war in Iraq.
Maybe if i had paid more attention when he said that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," and "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror" i would of realised that what he was actually talking about was the USS Abraham Lincoln itself.
Luckily we have the White House spokeswoman Dana Perino to clear up what we didn't see or hear what we thought we heard.
"The president wasn't referring to the Iraq war as such. Instead, he was congratulating just that "particular" crew on having accomplished its "particular" 10-month mission" she explained before saying that the President was aware that the banner was no specific enough to get this message across.
Glad that's all cleared up and just in time to hear Ms. Perino explain how when Bush said when he discussed invading Iraq with God, he actually meant Barney the Presidents Dog, but his autocue was upside down.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Rescued Divers Not Making Many Friends

Seven helicopters, three planes and six boats managed to rescue two divers who had gone missing on the Great Barrier Reef on Friday.
How the couple, both experienced divers, became separated from their charter boat and were rescued in an intensive air-sea search operation after floating for 19 hours is being debated.
They blame the dive crew for failing to spot them when they resurfaced 200 yards away from the boat and of being negligent in their own search for them.
The diving crew state that the pair not only ignored safety advice to stay with the diving group but they had 22 people standing on the boats roof looking for them with binoculars and there was no way they came up anywhere near the boat. A happy ending regardless of who was at fault.
Now it gets murky because within hours of being scooped from shark-infested waters, the pair had set themselves up with an agent, a tabloid deal, US and British TV interview deals and a possible book and film deal earning them an estimated £500,000.
Understandably, this has not gone down very well in Australia with Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh, saying that the hunt for the pair had been an expensive operation and there had been an "extraordinary rescue effort gone into keeping them safe and if they are going to profit from their story, I don't think a contribution back would go astray. It would be a very welcome gesture."
As the rescue service is community funded and relies on public donations and sponsorship, you would think it is the very least they could do.
The couples agent replied to criticism by stating that "They have personal insurance polices and that the holiday company they booked the tour with was also fully covered so if there's any rescue costs to be paid, the insurance companies will pay them."
Police are investigating the incident and i don't have any problem with them making some money out of a life threatening incident but to have set yourself up with an agent and negotiate a fee for your story before your wet-suit is even dry is very tacky and ethically shaky.
There is a split of opinion over whether the couple should contribute anything to their rescue after all, the insurance will cover any costs but i think that if they are making money from this, they should be handing over a very generous donation to the people who saved their lives, and i mean a VERY generous donation.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

McCains Pastor Problems

As politicians such as Tony Blair found out, mention God while in office and people start sniggering and thinking you have gone soft in the head but in America it is actively encouraged to name drop the big guy every chance you get but this seems to be causing a few sticky moments for two of the Presidential candidates.
First came Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, with his interesting take on Aids and his call for God to damn America. Now it emerges that a pastor with links to John McCain, John Hagee, who has some interesting views of his own.
Senator McCain sought the endorsement of Rev Hagee but it didn't take long to throw up remarks he had made claiming that Hitler was doing Gods work and described the Catholic Church as The Great Whore.
To his credit and aware of the damage suffered by a dithering Obama over the Rev Wright affair, Mr McCain quickly described the comments as "crazy and unacceptable".
To those of us outside of America, the rantings of a televangelist are used only to make the point about just how destructive religion can be in America, when an Arch-Bishop sticks his oar in over political matters in the UK he is patronisingly told to sit down, shut up and go back to counting his candles.
The relationship between religion and politics is fraught with danger, it can also place in the spotlight the beliefs of the candidates and as Obama and now McCain are finding out, you really can be judged by the company you keep and they would both do well to keep the God fearing community at arms length.

Another Eurovision Song Contest Failure

Millwall Football Club are so disliked by everyone else that they have a song celebrating that they are so disliked by everyone. After finishing last yet again in the Eurovision song contest last night it should be Britain singing 'Nobody likes us but we don't care' because either we are so utter bobbins when it comes to writing a tune or we are just about as popular as a condom in the Vatican with our fellow Europeans.
To be fair our song was rubbish which is ironic as the singer, Andy Abraham, was a binman before wasting his career on this dross but ours was Bohemian Rhapsody compared to some of the offerings from other countries. Spain put forward a guy playing a kids plastic guitar and they trounced us and if it wasn't for San Marino and Ireland, we wouldn't have got any points whatsoever.
The reason we have a fine record of finishing bottom or close to it every year is because, and it is hard to believe i know, but we have no close friends in Europe. All the Scandinavian countries gave each other top marks as did the Balkans and former Soviet nations and of our nearest neighbours in the West, only Ireland bothered to take pity on us floundering at the bottom of the pile and chuck us eight points and San Marino threw us six.
The UK commentator Terry Wogan decided that the lack of friendship being shown to us is down to the odd illegal war or two that we have undertaken recently which the Labour MP on BBC News agreed with, stating that "I think there's actually probably a deeper story here. People across Europe are fed up with Britain's over-close relationship with the United States and the Iraq War."
Good point until you realise that Israel - who know a thing or two about starting dodgy wars and being close to America - finished 9th and geographically, they are not even in Europe.
Although there may be a grain of truth in this hypothesis, and i am as keen to blame Tony Blair for our failings as the next person, we were still left with a bad song that was not as bad as some other songs, but nevertheless everyone liked the least. We are still left wondering why, when we can turn out some great pop songs, we can't compete with Bosnia Herzegovina or Azerbaijan when it comes to writing a decent European song.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

And The Most Peaceful Country Is...

Although you may not believe it when you recall Bjork bouncing the head of a journalist off the tiled floor of an airport, but Iceland is the world's most peaceful country according to the findings of the Global Peace Index Survey.
The index studied 140 countries for such indicators as military expenditure, relations with neighbouring countries, human rights, prison population and murder rates to award an overall score and ranking.
Following Iceland in top spot is Denmark, Norway, New Zealand and then Japan. Canada are 11th, Sweden 13th and then it is a long drop to 49th place for the United Kingdom and even further down the page to 97th for the USA. The five worst places to book a package tour are Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Israel.

Interestingly, the five permanent members of the UN who have the final say in the most important decisions concerning global war and peace do not come out very well from the survey.
France are the highest at 36, then the UK (49), China (67), USA (97) and Russia are inside the bottom 10 in 131st place. Maybe we should consider letting the Scandinavians run world affairs for a while.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Gordon Brown Exit Stage Left

Government support is in freefall according to poll after poll including today's
ICM poll that shows that the Labour party is 14 points behind the Conservatives and only 5 in front of the Liberal Democrats.
With Gordon getting a kicking every way he turns the end is not so much nigh as inevitable.
So whenever the next election is, barring an unprecedented collapse of biblical proportions, we are soon to be hailing a David Cameron Conservative Government.
Cameron is the consummate right winger and a professional toff. From the exclusive Heatherdown Preparatory School (where the Queen sent her kids), on to Eton College and then Oxford where he met up with some of the people who are now in his shadow cabinet.
Straight from Oxford, Cameron joined the Conservative Party so apart from a 3 month stint as an admin assistant in Hong Kong between semesters while at Eton, the right honourable Dave has no actual work experience whatsoever.
Should it matter that the man who has only known the very best schools and has next to no experience of employment and comes from a highly privileged background, is now going to be making life changing decisions for the rest of us?
The only alternative to the depressing thought of someone who can honestly say he hasn't got a clue how 99% of us feel, is for Labour to remove Gordon, shift back towards the left and pray that they can elect somebody so far away from the Blair/Brown years that voters can see Labour are on another path. David Milliband would be my choice but if i was him i would keep my head down and wait until after the next election and the imminent removal of Gordon Brown before throwing my hat into that particular ring.
The only other option is to indulge in some of that postal vote rigging we keep hearing about. There must be a website that shows you how to go about it somewhere.

The Real Problem

The cost of food have risen by 6.6% over the past year, energy price have shot up over 15% and the guy who changes the numbers at the petrol station is in danger of a heart attack. The atmosphere is dirtier than the latest Jenna Jameson DVD and we are going through the worlds resources quicker than we can replace them.
The great and the good continue to scratch their heads and wonder what can we do about it but the answer is obvious but very uncomfortable. There are just too many of us. Now this is where it gets uncomfortable because just what exactly can we do about it?
We can't order people to stop reproducing and who exactly should not be creating offspring? People who wear Hawaiian shirts i hear you say but that is a given.
The present world's population is around the 6.6 billion mark and on its current trajectory, is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. According to the CIA's World Factbook, the world human population is increasing by 211,090 every day.
Imagine the planets resources that another third of us again will consume and that is the real problem not to mention the growing conflicts over the dwindling resources.
Our present problems are the symptom but the cause is far too uncomfortable to debate but needs to be addressed somehow. No idea how though without causing outrage somewhere.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Just a Quickie

We haven't dropped by on Victoria Beckham for quite a while so lets see what the walking golf club has been up to lately.
It seems that, with a straight face no less, that she has announced her retirement from singing.
Following her lead, i hereby declare my intention to also retire from singing.
What do you mean i can't retire from something i never was to begin with? She started it.

Friday, 16 May 2008

More Poisonous Spewings From Bush

George Bush's speech in Israel to help celebrate its 60th Birthday was always going to be something to avoid for those of us who don't buy into the Israel good, Palestine bad argument.
Luckily it received next to no coverage here except from the brief mention that he was there and had slipped in a barely concealed barb at Obama.
Like a fool, i went looking for it and the obvious place to look was the Fox News website and sure enough there it was among the rest of the nonsense the President was spewing.
I had purposely avoided posting on the celebrations of Israels 60th birthday because how could anyone avoid mentioning what they have done to the Palestinians over the last 60 years. Not much to celebrate in that particular part of the Middle East when your new neighbour sets about bulldozing 385 of your 475 towns to build their own settlements on over the past half a century.
Of course Bush never mentioned the Palestinians plight whatsoever and to be honest, i never expected him to - that elephant in the room would stay firmly in the corner out of sight - but he did make the claim that anyone who claims that talking with terrorists will result in peace is experiencing a 'foolish delusion' and this idea had been 'repeatedly discredited by history' and even went as far to compare it with Nazi appeasement.
This fits in with the image Bush likes to portray of being the no-nonsense tough guy who shoots first and asks questions later but to the rest of us it just cements his position of being a warmongering moron.
Talking to your enemy is always preferable to the other option. Nobody has ever died by two leaders physically sitting around a table to sort out their differences. You can't count how many have been killed throughout history by following the crazy Bush doctrine.
We would still be burying our dead from the latest IRA bombs if John Major & then Tony Blair had not held talks with the Irish terrorist group. North Korea would be busy adding to their nuclear arsenal if there had been no talks, Libya were persuaded to surrender their nuclear ambitions when Blair 'reached out the hand of partnership' as he called it. If you can be bothered to look you can find countless other examples.
A glance at any decent history book will show that negotiating with your enemy has been far from repeatedly discredited by history. A glance at the shamefully long list of names on any war memorial will show that it should always, always, always be the preferred option. Hopefully one day the world will be void of people with the pathetic and poisonous mindset of Bush and filled with people who think more like Obama.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Standing Behind Hillary

Something that i found out only recently was that the supporters who stand behind the podium when Obama, Hillary or that old bloke give speeches are hand picked by organisers in order to reflect the candidate's demographic reach.
I always assumed they were just ordinary folk who had somehow happened to snag the best seats.
As the winner sets about their victory speech or the loser set about their speech that sounds like a victory speech, inevitably the viewers attention begins to wander and eyes are drawn to the supporters behind the candidate's head.
Black, white, young, old, the suited, the denim clad and everything in between seem to be packed in behind them and whooping and waving their banners enthusiastically. Some have cameras to snap the back of the object of their affections head but all are in a highly excitable state.
Sometimes that excitement can spill over into the sort of behaviour that could be considered inappropriate at a televised public meeting which could explain just why that guy to the right of Hillary in the picture above is wearing boxing gloves.
Maybe he is making a statement about Hillary battling back or boxing clever or something along those lines or maybe the man is wearing them for 'medical' reasons. He does seem to be squinting in this photo so possibly his eyesight is beginning to dim.
Whatever the reason, Hillary's campaign people never saw fit to banish him from the frame so they are obviously aiming for the much maligned and misunderstood men-who-have-to-wear-boxing-gloves-in-polite-company vote.
Good for her but if you find yourself behind one in the booth come November, you might want to give the pen a wipe before you use it.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Is It Time To Invade Burma?

Time for another one in the series of concurrent posts from Cody's It Is What It Is blog and Falling On A Bruise. With the Burmese disaster lurching from bad to worse, the question we are pondering is with a humanitarian crisis unfolding, should we invade Burma?

As many as 100,000 people may have died in the catastrophic cyclone in Burma last weekend and as many again are at risk of disease and starvation according to reports but still the military junta continue to restrict access to aid workers waiting to enter the country. There have been some calls for tougher, collective action including direct intervention and possibly unseating the ruling generals to prevent an already terrible humanitarian crisis becoming an even worse one. The Time website poses the question 'Is It Time To Invade Burma?' but there are two very good reasons why she should not even be thinking along those lines.

Firstly, we have three shining examples from the last decade where we have used, or tried to justify our actions, under the name of interventualism. Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Despite it being one of Mr Blair's final justifications after a host of others had been dismissed, the Iraq War was not about saving the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein. What we did in Iraq had precious little to do with saving Iraqi lives.
Each of our last three wars have been a substantial humanitarian disaster in its own right, from the civilians killed during hostilities, destruction of infrastructure and from the splintering of the invaded country into murderous gangs and militias.
The human costs of not invading would have to be substantially worse than those which would result from the invasion. Given the scandalously high human costs of our latest military adventures, we know that this wouldn't be the case. We would kill more by invading and occupying than if we left well alone.
A legacy of Iraq is that the US and the UK have dealt a hammer blow to the doctrine of humanitarian intervention or to be more precise, uninvited humanitarian intervention, which to many is just an euphemism for attempting to foist a friendly government in place of the old.

Secondly, the situation in Burma is horrific. Increasingly bad things are happening which we can't prevent. Earthquakes, hurricanes and floods are a result of an increasingly unpredictable mother nature and a disastrous lack of concern for our own environment in the case of last two, but that doesn't mean that we can just go stomping into any country we want because we don't think they are doing a good enough job.
George Bush and his administration were pilloried for their actions following Hurricane Katrina but is there really much difference between what the Burmese leadership is doing and the Bush administration refusing Cuba's offer to send 1,600 doctors and 26 tons of medicine to the New Orleans victims and turning down 1m barrels of oil and $5m in aid from Venezuela, along with mobile hospitals, clean water and fuel for the victims of Katrina?
Was that not wrong? Was he not putting his own people at risk because of politics? What would his reaction have been if we were having this conversation in 2005 about invading America because the American leadership were making a hash of New Orleans?
Unthinkable right? So why are we even giving a second thought about it for somewhere else?

Aid is getting through to the victims from the Asian countries and though the Junta are letting the aid in, it's the aid workers they are not wanting.
Whatever we think of their decision, on principle every nation has the right to decide who they ask in to their country and nobody has the right to force themselves onto somebody else regardless of who they are or for whatever reason.

Here for Cody's view on the situation.

Estate Agents & Schadenfreude

Once upon a time, about two years ago actually, estate agents everywhere were parading about in £75 shirts, driving shiny convertible penis extensions, then necking bottles of Moet and burning £50 notes in front of the homeless guy outside the 24-hour corner shop. (Possible exaggeration but you get the idea).
Now you can see them buying their shirts from Tesco, driving Fiat Uno's and searching out the Dr Pepper's closest to its sell by date so they can haggle a few pence off the price.
It is sad sight indeed and then you suddenly remember hang on, they are estate agents and you give a hurrah and begin to think that possibly there is a God after all. Then maybe you throw a tin of ravioli at their head just for good measure.
As the housing market remains frostier than a Siberian winter, estate agents all over the country are being made redundant and having their todger substitutes taken off them, but unless you are married to one or actually are one, nobody cares.
I would humble a guess that only traffic wardens, lawyers and tax collectors generate as much dislike as the estate agent and one of these four are heading towards extinction quicker than you can say delightful bijou residence.
Yes they are lying shysters, driven by greed and are chiefly responsible for pricing most people out of the housing market by driving up house prices in the first place, so its no surprise there's zilch sympathy for them.
They made a fortune out of doing bugger-all when prices were rising and took a percentage of the sale price so arm yourself with rotten tomatoes, put on your pointiest shoes and kick the poor sods while they are down.
Now let's see what we can do about taking down the Inland Revenue next.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

US Military Secret...Keep It Quiet

Psst. Come here. Lean closer because this is a bit hush hush.
You know that cosmetic surgery you have been saving up for. Well i know a way you can get it absolutely free. Just sign here, and here and report for military training at Fort Knox. Enjoy your new breasts and Baghdad.
Although it is not a secret as such, US military officials don't like to advertise the fact that one of the perks of joining Uncle Sam's military machine is free cosmetic surgery.
Anyone in any of the four branches of the military and members of their immediate families can get free face-lifts, nose jobs, breast enlargements, liposuction, or any other kind of cosmetic alteration although bizarrely if you want to go up a few bra sizes, you have to supply your own implants.
The Army’s rationale for performing the cosmetic operations is that it maintains the skills of the surgeons in doing reconstructive surgery on soldiers who have been wounded.
With the military struggling to entice young men and women into this choice of career, i am surprised that this is not more widely used as a recruiting tool although with private cosmetic surgery costing thousands, you can understand why they want to limit those who know about it to a minimum. The last thing they want is loud mouthed bloggers to publicise it.
So if you are in the military or are the immediate family of someone who is, pop along to a military training facility and ask about their range of face lifts, botox injections and nose job procedures.
You may have to spend the rest of your life piecing your life back together after the trauma of serving in Iraq or Afghanistan but at least now you can do it with perfectly straight teeth and without those crows feet.
Just don't forget to take along your implants if you are considering the boob job.

Friday, 9 May 2008

They Built A What??

I wasn't really paying attention to the excited scientist babbling away on the TV.
The Worlds greatest experiment..yada yada yada...countdown to the big moment in a few weeks...blad di blah di blah...calm down guy or at least grab a test tube and go behind the screen for five minutes.
Then the brainiac suddenly caught my attention with his calm observation that "Although we can't say for sure what will happen, we are not expecting a black hole to envelop the globe though". What the f...!!
Apparently scientists have spent more than a decade building something called a Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland which is going smash atoms together to recreate the conditions just after the 'Big Bang' when the universe was created. I repeat...What the f...!!
As the L'oreal adverts say, here comes the science bit.
Atoms will race around inside a 17 mile tunnel at virtually the speed of light in an atmosphere colder than outer space and collide together to create temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the sun.
Despite admiting they don't know what will happen, scientists are laughing off claims that the experiment will create black holes to swallow up the planet or some sort of apocalyptic event that will destroy us all which is reassuring.
Still, might not hurt to bring any summer holidays forward a few months, just to be on the safe side.
Oh, and i would give Switzerland a wide berth this year.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Is McCains Past His Best?

Hillary is not contemplating giving up so she is saying but the problem with a further prolonged Democrat election is that they are damaging each other much to the glee of the McCain camp who must be thanking their lucky stars this set of unexpected circumstances fell in their lap.
When a Democrat successor does finally emerge an issue i am sure will be used to beat McCain around the head with is his age which begs the observation, will the Republican senator being 72 by Election Day be his downfall?
For a man of his years, John McCain does look good and as yet there have been no gaffes or slips that can be used as a pointer to an aging mind but you can guarantee that the first one he does make will be leaped upon with relish.
The Liberal Democrats recently removed Menzies Campbell from the party leadership because the constant harping at his 69 years overshadowed anything he had to say and was especially bought into focus when he lined up alongside his comparativly youthful opposition.
McCain's age, it seems, joins Hillary's gender and Obamas colour as issues to be danced around but ageism is not such a taboo subject so the comedians, talk show hosts and media can be relied upon to keep it at the forefront of voters mind and could well be driven home if Obama wins as looks more and more likely, and the two of them do a stage debate that the politicians seem to enjoy doing over there.
Obama will be 47 this August and looks fresh, fit and youthful while McCain will look everyone of his 72 years alongside him and from another political era. His Vietnam adventures that his team look to drop into conversations only age him further.
Maybe his age won't be the deciding factor but it will be an issue and in Obama, the Democrats have a latte man to the Republicans hot cocoa man.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Left Or Right?

I have always managed to sort the left leaning males from the right leaning males by hairstyles. In my mind right wing men have short, gelled and smart hairstyles while lefty men usually have long or hair that goes in whatever direction the wind is blowing.
Of course this is just my own rule of thumb but in 2003 Psychologists at New York University conducted a review of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants and came up with traits that reveal our personality and political orientation.
If your front room is messy, cluttered, colourful and contains maps or flags, then you are on the left side of the political fence.
If its neat, clean, organized, brightly lit and contains paintings or pictures of buildings you are on the opposite side.
Lefts have more books, are impulsive, optimistic, more likely to listen to classical music or jazz, enjoy abstract art, like romantic comedies, write in a diary and play musical instruments. They are also more open, inquisitive, excitement-seeking, creative, and travel more.
The right are more likely to be religious, like country music, prefer radio chat shows, are orderly, decisive and more conscientiousness in their duty, and rule-following. The most common derogatory term used to describe them is stubborn or jobs-worth. They think the world is a dangerous place and have a greater fear of death.
The left are more likely to see grey areas and are able to see both sides of an argument which often see's them branded as indecisive.
If you are still unsure about your orientation and find you have a foot in either camp, the reports authors have devised a quick test to work out your orientation.

Fill in the blanks of these incomplete words: coff__, sk_ll, and _oney.

If you are more likely to vote for the long haired indecisive type with a messy living room, you see coffee, skill, and honey.
If you are more inclined to put your cross beside the short haired candidate with the Dolly Parton CD, you see coffin, skull, and money.

Hmm, I Recognise That One.

I haven't done this for ages but thanks to UK Gold and there lack of any programmes after 1995, here is a bunch of actors and actresses from old TV shows.

None of these were the star of the shows but they were all major characters. Usual rules apply, a million pound courtesy of Cody's bank account for anyone guessing all 7.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Genesis to Revelations

atheist n· unbeliever in God or deities: somebody who does not believe in God or deities

"Do you really believe that man descended from monkeys?" mocked the woman sat opposite me.
"Yes, and you really believe that man was made from dust?" i replied. Apparently she did and to think she was laughing at me!

I like to think that as long as those that do believe don't try and shove their religion down my throat, i won't shove my atheism down their throat. Of course that doesn't mean i won't argue the toss about it although i know that i am on very shaky ground because i have never actually read the bible.
I live opposite a man of the Church and we often get into theological discussions and i usually rely entirely on him for anything bible related but the foundations of any religious argument i put up is set on sand because i am always relying on other people or their interpretations of what the bible says.
To right this wrong i have borrowed a dog-eared copy of a Bible from the local Church and plan to work through it although the first thing i notice is that it is a tad over 350 pages long, has no pictures and the writing is really small on each page.
Whether i can put aside my sneering nature and read it as many others do and believe each word that it is telling me i will have to see but the first few pages contain such pearls as Adam lived to the ripe old age of 930 so it won't be easy.
It doesn't bode well for the rest of it but i will give it a go.

Fritzl: Mad or Bad

Nobody could fail to feel revulsion while reading about Joefs Fritzl and how he held his daughter captive in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.
To most of us it seems a forgone conclusion that he now faces a long stretch in prison for the inhumane treatment of his family but psychiatrists are investigating his state of mind to see whether he is fit to answer to his crimes in a criminal court.
"My personal opinion is that Josef Fritzl is mentally ill and therefore certifiably insane. I believe that my client doesn't belong in prison but rather in a closed psychiatric clinic," said the lawyer and so begins the debate over was he responsible for his own actions.
What he subjected his daughter to was so shockingly evil that you could easily conclude that it could not be done by a sane person. He must therefore be insane. Problem is that it then leads to the proposition that the more awful and horrific the crime, the more likely it is that the perpetrator is insane, and we do not put insane people through the normal trial procedures.
You could also make the argument that for him to set about achieving what he did for 24 years, he must have been in full control of his faculties otherwise he would have been discovered years ago.
The diminished responsibility argument doesn't seem to sit too well with the public who feel that the offender escapes being punished for their crimes under the full weight of the law and justice has not been done.
We will have to put our faith in the psychiatrists who ultimately make the decision whether he was bad or mad.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Gordon In The Brown Stuff

Mummy, who is that man slumped crying in the corner?
Why, That's Gordon Brown dear, he runs the country.
He looks sad. Why is he crying Mummy?
Well, you see dear, he waited 10 years to take over from his old boss and you remember that bad word that i called your Uncle John?
The one that began with T and sounds like BossBot?
Yes, well it turns out that everyone thinks Gordon is an even bigger one than his old boss.
But why Mummy?
Lots of reasons sweetie.
Mummy, is it because he is implicit in the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, cut the 10% rate which means the rich pay less tax while those on lower incomes pay more, the high price of petrol and the impending 2% tax rise pencilled in for Autumn, the credit crunch, Northern Rock, the swathe of public service strikes threatening the country and a perceived lack of any leadership qualities whatsoever?
Yes dear.
And because he looks grumpy and miserable all the time?
I imagine some people don't like that honey.
So mummy, does that mean Mr Cameron from the Conservatives is going to move into Mr Browns house soon?
I'm afraid so dear. After Labour lost so badly in the local elections it seems the country is sending a strong message that the Labour Party is a dying duck just waiting to be put out of its misery.
Is that nice Mr Cameron going to better than that nasty Mr Brown mummy?
Probably not sweetie, the Conservative Party are even worse but people are just fed up with Labour and their wars, lies and spin.
Gordon is still crying Mummy. Can i go and kick him?
Sure you can darling, then maybe we will stop at McDonald's on the way home. No darling, don't kick him there, aim for between the legs. That's it. Good shot.

Technical Difficulties

So let's go live to Lucy, are you there Lucy?
"F***** piece of *****"
Lucy doesn't seem to be ready yet so let's give her a few minutes and, oh, its OK, she's ready. So Lucy, can you hear me?
"I'm going to throw you out of the F****** window you lousy ***** computer..."
Lucy, hello, Lucy?
"Nothing but problems, F******* hopeless **** **** *****"
Lucy, we are live. Hello, Lucy?
"F*** ******n ****** b**** ***** and ***** **g"

Well I'm sorry about that, we seem to be having some technical difficulties so while we try and sort them out, here's Julia with the weather.
Thanks James, all across the country, it's going to F****** rain.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Recent Keywords

What with the name of my blog, i get a few people ending up here who are searching for treatment of bruises and abrasions. To my knowledge the only thing you can do with a bruise is watch it go purple and slowly fade to yellow so i am not actually much help on that front but it is not just my shaky medical advice that draws people to here. A quick look on my Statcounter page shows that some search engines are showing people here for a strange array of reasons.
My recent keyword activity includes users writing some strange things in and being told there request will be answered here.
Some make sense as they are topics that have issued forth from my keyboard such as 'Michael Moore donate money', 'bobo experiment' and 'coffee & chocolate'.
Some are a bit more head scratching like in 'compare napolean and hitler', 'derogatory names for northerners' and 'small bald spot, woman' although my guess would be that at some point, in some post, i have written those combination of words.
The last category is just weird and include 'compliments i can pay my wife','how to get short hair for men', 'how to accumulate excessive wealth' and the amusing 'ich bein welsh'.
Not so much worried what the searcher of the phrase 'lucyp nude on brighton beach' was looking for. More concerned about whether they found it.