Saturday, November 30, 2002

A person identified only as a "senior Republican official" is denying that there is any truth to the stories linked below.

David Burnside, UUP MP, however, is abounding with optimism, stating "I do not believe a word of this and I hope people treat it with the contempt it deserves. It is the latest in a long line of con jobs and no self-respecting unionist will trust it."

The question is, whose con job is it? Martin McGuinness is saying the reports are ''totally unfounded and misleading'' and that the recent reports "basically amount to totally unfounded speculation and I think they are quite mischievous".

The report from the BBC is here.

Not a word of this in the New York Times, but this is probably because they needed to save space for the significantly more important issue of George Harrison's estate.

From the Washington Post, via "Reuters".

And the Boston Globe, via the Associated Press.

Friday, November 29, 2002

From the Times:

THE IRA is edging towards an historic declaration that its war with Britain is over, sources close to the Northern Ireland peace process have disclosed.

It is believed to be nearing a decision to announce that it has given up its military operations and will decommission all weapons and end punishment beatings and surveillance activities.

So far, it looks like the only source anyone is citing is "newspapers". Apparently, neither Sinn Fein nor the UUP could be reached for comment yet.

Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator, Education Minister in the suspended Ulster Executive and a former IRA veteran, is spearheading secret moves to persuade IRA leaders to remove for ever the threat of violence hanging over Ulster. Both the Irish and British Governments are believed to have set an unofficial deadline of the end of February for a substantial move from the IRA.

Here's the story from "Reuters" in the UK.

Here's the scoop from The Daily Wanker.

It looks like it's only a rumor so far, but...

The Irish Republican Army, which opposes British rule in Northern Ireland, was moving toward a historic declaration that its war with Britain was over, British newspapers said Saturday.

The papers, citing no specific sources, said the IRA -- which has waged a three-decade war against Britain -- was nearing a decision to announce that it has given up its military operations and will decommission all weapons.

(emphasis added by me, mostly to keep myself from getting too excited.)

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Dumbass Alert

After 52 days without food, a skin-and-bones [Susan] Moloney ended her state Capitol hunger strike Wednesday against Gov. Gray Davis. The Democratic governor, she said, has failed to protect old-growth trees in California as he promised.

Christ. And I thought Bobby Sands was an idiot.

While she didn't change the governor's views, she persuaded the state Senate to hold a hearing on ancient trees next year. And that was enough to convince her that she can start eating, she explained.

Read: "Senator! Senator! There's some dumb broad threatening to starve herself to death on the steps of the Capitol if California politicians don't hug more old growth trees!"

"Okay. Tell the skinny moron we'll hold a conference next year to discuss the gravity of the situation and throw her some tofu."

"I'm willing to give my life for the forests, but I'm not willing to give it for a governor who refuses to keep an important campaign promise," she said Wednesday.

Stop! No more! She's willing to die for the trees! Did someone say "Darwin Award"?

I guess I'm supposed to write some "this is what I'm thankful for" post today. Yeah, I'm thankful for family, friends, health, blah, blah, blah. Why be cheesy and boring? I like to take time to be thankful for the little things - I'm thankful that I saved my receipt for "Attack of the Clones" because it was total crap and I want my money back. I'm thankful that my neighbor who likes to blare mofo-bitch-ho-gangsta rap at all hours is moving soon. I'm thankful that there's Jack Daniels' in the cupboard, a steak in the freezer, and the best goddamm album ever made in the CD player. But most of all, I'm thankful that I wasn't born in some place like Kenya or Cuba.

Happy Thanksgiving. If you live somewhere where it isn't celebrated, you really ought to try it once. It's a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

In a biography of Martin McGuinness by Liam Clarke & Kathryn Johnston, the publisher's note claims he has been described as "the second most powerful man in Britain after Rupert Murdoch". Okay, let me repeat that in case you weren't reading carefully:

the second most powerful man in Britain after Rupert Murdoch

Even staunch admirers of McGuinness have to admit that's a stretch...

Monday, November 25, 2002

In the event that I will continue to be pulled back in, feast your eyes on this, and have a good belly laugh as a consequence.

You have been duly commanded.

Just out of curiosity, does the fact that the lovely Ms. Jones is back and posting regularly mean that my services are no longer needed?

Or is this one of those "I try to get out, but they keep pulling me back in" kind of deals?

A fellow named Rich writes in, saying he was unable to get through the whole of this:

Sinn Fein national chairman Mitchel McLaughlin urged Bertie Ahern`s government to use its position in the United Nations and European Union to press for dialogue after the shooting dead in Jenin of a British UN aid worker and three Palestinians and the recent wounding of an Irish human rights worker by Israeli soldiers.

Describing the killings and the wounding of Irish human rights activist Caoimhe Butterly as an outrage, the Foyle MLA said the time had long since past for the United Nations to intervene.

"Last week`s wounding of Caoimhe Butterly brought home to Irish people the daily experience of ordinary Palestinians over the last number of years," Mr McLaughlin said.

"The UN has a responsibility to take the Israeli Government to task and to end the silence of the international community in relation to this and many other attacks."

The official response of the Israeli government:

Dear Milton McLaughter,

Up yours.

The Knesset