BYE BYE BLOGGER!




Saturday, June 08, 2002

Do it, do it, DO IT.




Woo hoo! Matt Welch in the National Post.

(Found via vile Canadian David Janes.)




Northern Ireland violence continues

I only have one thing to say:






Wills in the Wanker.

Wonders never cease.





Friday, June 07, 2002

Pakistan Says Shoots Down Unmanned India Spy Plane




Presumably because it's their life ambition to win a Darwin Award:

Backpackers shrug off Kashmir war threat

Adam, an unemployed software engineer from San Francisco, arrived in India a week ago. Writing e-mails to friends inside the Gold Star internet cafe, he explained why he was ignoring all warnings. "If things escalate, I'll hop on a bus and head south. When I was in Indonesia after September 11 the US said 'Get out now or else'. In the end nothing happened and I'm sure this will be the same."

Adam, you are a very stupid man.




T-O-U-C-H-A-B-L-E

At long last.




Iain Duncan Smith on David Miliband's statement “Third Way triangulation is much better suited to insurgency than incumbency”:

This is a rather neat way of saying that defining yourself by what you’re against instead of what you are for may win elections but it isn’t much use for running the country.

You go, Conservative Party leader guy!




Latest recipient of the Juan Gato With Cheese! Award For Stating the Bleeding Obvious:

New Mayor faces a daunting task

From the Belfast Telegraph, on Alex Maskey, new mayor of Belfast, and current defender of the title of Worst Fucking Job In The World.





First alert of the latest rubbish from the Daily Wanker came from Briff, whose site appears to have been commandeered by someone who takes great interest in trashy reality shows.

After the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington last year we slipped further down the slope. The UN security council gave the US approval to take military action against the assumed perpetrators under Article 51. The council still did not accept a right of retaliation but it argued that the September 11 attacks were so massive that they could be perceived as a declaration of intent by the perpetrators to strike again. Washington was therefore entitled to strike back in self-defence. The argument is controversial, but unless it is challenged by a substantial number of states it will stand as a legitimate new interpretation of international law.

I've said it before. Screw the UN. We don't need their stinking permission to do anything. We're a sovereign nation. We'll defend, organize, govern, constitute, and able ourselves the way we see fit. If any of those pussies at the U.N. don't like it, I've got three words for them: League of Nations.

Many nations have exploited the "war on terrorism", either to gain favour with Washington or clamp down on dissent. The Bush doctrine goes further. The US president is hijacking the anti-terrorist agenda and crashing it into the most sacred skyscraper in New York: the headquarters of the UN.

Excuse me. I'm having difficulty regaining my composure following the fits of laughter that erupted after that one.

If his doctrine is not rapidly rejected by other states, preferably those which call themselves Washington's allies, Article 51 of the UN charter will have suffered a mortal blow.

Here's the text of Article 51:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain inter- national peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Kindly illustrate exactly where and how mortal blow is to be rendered.





Thursday, June 06, 2002

The Gangs of New York trailer is up. It looks like it's going to be really, really awesome. Even with Leonardo DiCaprio.




Dee Dee Ramone is dead.




Charles Austin on the "election" of the new mayor of Belfast:

Cause is still vacationing on the left coast and effect is not returning my calls.




Thanks to the American Kaiser (great blog, by the way) for sending this list of statements and briefings from the White House and other U.S. government sources, which essentially add up to "War is bad. Let's all try and get along" and "Mr. Arafat should learn to play nice with the other children" kind of stuff.




This has been a tough week for those of us whose scepticism about the merits of astrology, faith healing and voodoo leaves us less than entirely enamoured with the concept of constitutional monarchy.

Just to be sure that I'm reading this right, please help me out here. Is Tim Hames actually saying that people who dig the Queen and would like her to stick around are on the same par as those who believe in the Psychic Friends network?




Today's Juan Gato With Cheese! Award For Stating the Bleeding Obvious:

Real security requires more than physical protection





Steven King of the Belfast Telegraph asks a good question:

After a weekend when the IRA and other paramilitaries have been engaged in rioting and sniper fire, is this the night to elect Alex Maskey?




Thursdays at GWAC have from now on officially become Hitchhiker's Day (you know, because Arthur never could get the hang of Thursdays...). So allow me my indulgence, or go away.

"Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that if there's any real truth, it's that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise."
-Frankie the mouse

Douglas Adams




Juan Gato's got some great thoughts on "qualified punditry".





Wednesday, June 05, 2002

From the dipsticks at Warbloggerwatch:

But what we cannot abide are uninformed idiots setting up shop as "pundits" and discharging the most obnoxious opinions imaginable. And with the belief that they deserve an audience.

Hey "warbloggers"! Any of you think you "deserve" and audience, or are you like me, and believe you have to earn an audience?




How cool is this? Here's the supposed official website of Henry Hill, inspiration for Nicholas Pileggi's Wiseguy, which would later become the best movie ever made, Goodfellas.

The "Mobster Guide" section includes entries on "How to Pistolwhip", "Leave an Impression", and "Best Ways to Hide a Corpse", with the following disclaimer:

DO NOT TAKE THIS GUIDE LITERALLY. Although the following comes from years of experiences, trials, and errors, this guide is meant to be a humorous take on the subject, not an actual guide for killing, robbing, intimidating, maiming, or causing discomfort to yourself and others.




A slightly modified Juan Gato With Cheese! Award For Pointing Out That Someone Else Has Stated the Bleeding Obvious goes to the Times:

Alan McQuillan, Ulster’s Assistant Chief Constable, was merely stating the obvious when he declared yesterday that loyalist and republicans were both orchestrating the latest violence in east Belfast, but his honesty is nonetheless welcome.

It's a good thing that editors of the Times give honesty a welcome. Lesser papers might have run commentaries like "Riots? What Riots?", "Who Cares About Belfast, Anyway?", or "It's All the Stupid Unionists Fault".

Of course, pointing out that someone else has stated the obvious is exactly what the With Cheese! award is all about. But I'm not a professional journalist, so I'm allowed to be a hypocrite.




Cat fight alert: Moira Breen, on that poll:

I see I'm on the sexiest female blogger ballot. Surely all bloggers of taste will cast a vote for my modest and refined charms instead of falling for the crass appeal of those brazen sluts who constitute the rest of the list.

Tramp.




A senior Labour MP has fired a broadside at John Prescott after he accused her of playing a role in the downfall of former Transport Secretary Stephen Byers.

Ah, Mr. Prescott. Ever the diplomatic statesman. His public service and even temporization in the past have led him to hurl insults, volley silly accusations, and even punch a man on the street.

Mr Prescott said the [Common's transportation] committee's critical report about the government's 10-year transport plan spelt the end of Mr Byers' career.

Funny, I thought the fact that Byers is a big fat liar is what spelt the end of his carreer.

Mr Prescott said the committee's report had been a "savage attack" on Mr Byers.

But referring to one of your fellow MPs as "Vinegar Lil" is a kind and thoughtful gesture.




Feds Point Finger at Kuwaiti for 9-11

So, it's Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who is to be granted the title of Biggest Prick Alive. Wait until we get our hands on you, buddy. Like John McCain said, "God may have mercy on you, but we won't".




I noticed something after reading this headline:

Suicide Bomber Kills 16 Passengers on Bus

I didn't feel a thing. This sort of nasty headline has become so commonplace these days, that I don't even react anymore when I read them. I don't feel sad, angry, hurt, or worried. Nothing.

That scares the living hell out of me.




David S. Broder on Testing the '04 Waters

Last Friday night, as he has so often before in his almost 40-year Senate career, Ted Kennedy stood before hundreds of the faithful at the Massachusetts Democratic convention, giving them the message.

Hmm...don't drink and drive?

Once again, he told them that their commonwealth and their party had the historic mission to provide leadership that would "bring the American dream to every family and every child," to assure people "a fair wage and a secure pension, good schools, clean water and clean air."

Why stop there? Why not end world hunger, guarantee peace in our time, and promise free beer and porn?

But this time, his task was to convince them that the man who could do this, "a strong American leader in each of these causes, a powerful, powerful national voice for the Democratic Party," is none other than his junior partner for the past 18 years, Sen. John F. Kerry.

I really get bothered when anyone from any political party tries to claim ownership of values like fair wages and good schools. Everybody cares about that stuff. They just have different ideas on how to achieve them.

What comes easily to Kennedy does not to Kerry.

If the man is indeed a potential presidential contender, we can only hope this is true.





Two loyalist tribes hunt their common enemy

They are two distinct tribes, even though they live on the same side of the “peaceline”, share the same political and religious beliefs and, above all, a common enemy.

As trouble flared during four nights of rioting in East Belfast, Northern Ireland’s two rival loyalist groups hunted in separate packs, many with hoods and scarves pulled over their faces.

Local members of the Judean People's Front Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the Province’s largest loyalist paramilitary group, wore gold medallions round their necks, baseball caps and designer jeans — the flash new trappings, police believe, of their growing involvement in the drugs trade.

Their rivals in the People's Front of Judea Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a more secretive and disciplined organisation, huddled on the other side of the Albert Bridge Road in smaller, tightly knit groups.




Today's winner of the Juan Gato With Cheese! Award For Stating the Bleeding Obvious is The Irish Examiner, on the riots in Belfast:

Hostility getting out of control





Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Now here's something incredibly funny:

UNITED STATES CUSTOMS SERVICE CORE VALUES

Don't laugh. I think they're actually serious.

INTEGRITY:
WE KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG AND CONDUCT OUR ACTIONS IN A MANNER THAT WILL BRING HONOR UPON THE AGENCY.

Except when they don't care about right from wrong and conduct their actions in a manner that will make those requiring their services want to physically attack them.

ACCOUNTABILITY:
WE HONESTLY ASSESS OUR ACTIONS AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND OWNERSHIP FOR THOSE ACTIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES.

Unless they can find a way to blame someone else.

FAIRNESS:
WE ACT WITH CIVILITY AND IMPARTIALITY TOWARD ALL. OUR ACTIONS AND OUR DECISIONS ARE BALANCED, BIAS-FREE, AND SENSIBLE.

No they don't.

SERVICE:
WE ENGENDER RESPECT AND CONFIDENCE BY PERFORMING OUR DUTIES IN A COMPETENT, PROFESSIONAL, AND COURTEOUS MANNER.

Respect and courtesy are two things that I've never received from the folks at U.S. Customs. Shit, these are people that don't even bother to return phone calls.

PRIDE:
WE BELIEVE IN OUR MISSION AND EXERT THE EXTRA EFFORT TO UPHOLD OUR PROUD TRADITION OF SERVICE.

My boss has a cousin who used to work for Customs. He said that she was once reprimanded by one of her superiors for being too helpful to a visitor. If their "mission" is to irritate the general public with inconsistent enforcement of regulations and standards, I'd say they're doing a rather fine job.




Bishops unveil plan to remove abusive clerics

A priest who sexually abuses a child - or any priest who has abused more than one minor in the past - would be subject to removal from the ministry, under a policy proposed Tuesday by Roman Catholic bishops. The proposal, which will be voted on next week by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also states that all sexual abuse allegations should be reported to law enforcement authorities and that “all diocesan and parish personnel who have contact with children and young people” should be required to undergo background investigations.

The Catholic Church - always on the cutting edge of doctrine and policy reform.




The riots are still not under control in Belfast.

Two Protestants were wounded by a republican gunman while a bus driver was injured by flying glass after his vehicle came under attack from loyalists in the area.

A police officer sustained a gunshot wound to his lower leg during battles involving up to 1,000 people.

A total of 13 shots were fired at security forces, who returned six rounds, hitting a gunman who was dragged away. Two arrests were made. Sixty-one baton rounds were also discharged in a bid to disperse rioters hurling petrol bombs, bricks and bottles at police and army lines.

As much as it would seem that the human inclination toward self-preservation might dictate that when a soldier points a very large weapon in your general direction and commands you to freeze, show your hands, or whatever, one might be smartly persuaded to oblige his request. Clearly some people are not so inclined. I'm sad for them.




...and the Juan Gato With Cheese! Award For Pointing Out the Bleeding Obvious goes to the Washington Post for this snip:

But defense secretary tells Post that bin Laden is lying low, ill or dead.

I personally hope that he is ill and lying low, suffering from a slow and horrible death. But not before we find him and kill him ourselves.




Don't mention the war, says German coach

Germany coach Rudi Voeller has said it is not right for the media to constantly use references to World War Two in their reports about the triple world champions.

"Sometimes those things are not appropriate," said the former Germany striker, who played in three finals, lifting the World Cup in 1990.

"But I've been in the sport for so long that I am now used to it. From where we are, it doesn't bother us."

Hey, Rudi. If it doesn't bother you, then why mention it?




And the article detailing the poll can be found here.




Oh yeah, and as far as the * and the ** are concerned, I made that stuff up.




Okay, for some freaky reason, Blogger will not let me edit the previous post. Here's the picture I was trying to post:




Has anyone else ever noticed that Gordon Brown always looks like he's asleep?




A BBC poll has found that a majority of Britons find New Labo(u)r not "trustworthy".

Carried out exclusively for Radio 4's Today programme, it suggests a loss in confidence in Labour in the year since the general election.

"I'm shocked", a spokesperson for No. 10 commented. "Every party is plagued with liars and whitewashers. Why Labour should have to bear the burden of public disapproval is rather unclear."*

When asked for personal sentiments on the findings of the recent poll, a representative from the office of Mr. Gordon Brown replied "Shhh. He's napping."**

posted by Emily at 7:24 AM


No person should ever have to witness a sight like this.







Monday, June 03, 2002

Matt Welch posted the first alert I read noting that Warbloggerwatch was finally going to lift its cowardly shroud of nameless posting ("Eric A. Blair" doesn't count).

Good for them. It's about time they stopped with the guerrilla blogging. It's far too easy to mask yourself in anonymity, attack, and retreat. I look forward to the hours of laughter that their folly-filled insights are sure to offer.




Two more people have been shot in Belfast.




Apparently, the rioting is still going on in Belfast. Three people were shot last night.

Houses were set ablaze after petrol bomb attacks and families were forced to flee a loyalist area when stones and missiles were thrown by nationalists from across a peaceline in the Short Strand, a Catholic enclave in a Protestant area of east Belfast.

Nice.

The Progressive Unionist Party leader, David Ervine, who was at the scene when the violence flared, said the man had been taken to hospital after being hit in the back and lower leg. He was described later as "ill but comfortable". The two youths had suffered bullet wounds to their lower legs, Mr Ervine added.

This is the man that was dispensing advice to Israelis and Palestinians about how to find lasting peace only one day earlier.




Thanks to Charles Austin for directing me to this one:

Secret Middle East talks in Britain

Israelis and Palestinians have met in Britain to hold their highest-level talks since the failed Taba meetings of January 2001. Key figures in the Northern Ireland peace process were brought in for the first time to advise the belligerent parties.

With the smashing success those parties have seen in Northern Ireland, why wouldn't Israelis and Palestinians want to seek their advice and use their model for peace?

In three days of discussions, hosted by the Guardian, Irish politicians, including the former IRA commander Martin McGuinness and David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist party, urged both sides in the Middle East to seek outside help in moving the conflict out of its impasse.

I guess this works in the same way that it did like when Clarice Starling consulted with Hannibal Lecter to find Buffalo Bill.