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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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7/26/2003

Call Robert Fisk - More American Prefidity

According to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, thirty-one Iraqis have died, and seventy-six have been wounded over the past few days due to falling bullets from the celebratory gunfire over Uday and Qusay's death.

I always thought that firing automatic weapons in the air as a sign of joy was a bad idea...
link frozen in montreal
I tell you, it is the infidel Americans fault. First the looting, then the desecration of those statues, then shooting those boys.....

Big Enertainment?

The wonderful Elizabeth Nickson nails Hollywood to the cross of its own making:
Operating revenues across the industry are expected to drop from 5% (AOL-Time Warner) to 43% (Vivendi). A freaking disaster by any estimation. Turns out that pitching all entertainment at 14-year-old boys has a downside, cause there are few things 14-year-old boys love to do more than play with computers, and get things free.
link national post

Truth will out

I have been surprised that in the discussion of last week's Congressional Report on the Intelligence Climate surrounding 9/11 more has not been made of the 28 censored pages on Saudi governmental involvement. Now a group of women who lost husbands on 9/11 are going to sue for access.
The families have been incensed by claims from people who have seen the blanked-out section that it describes how senior Saudi officials distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable groups and other organisations that may have helped to finance the attacks.

A formidable group known as the Jersey Girls, consisting largely of widows and orphaned children from New Jersey, will meet today to discuss how to see the censored pages.
link sunday london times
The New York Times has the details,
Some people who have read the classified chapter said it represented a searing indictment of how Saudi Arabia's ruling elite have, under the guise of support for Islamic charities, distributed millions of dollars to terrorists through an informal network of Saudi nationals, including some in the United States.
link new york times
The NYT goes on to quote the report as saying
The report quoted several senior government officials, who were not identified, expressing contradictory views. One government official told the panel "that he believed the U.S. government's hope of eventually obtaining Saudi cooperation was unrealistic because Saudi assistance to the U.S. is contrary to Saudi national interests."

Another official said: "For the most part it was a very troubled relationship where the Saudis were not providing us quickly or very vigorously with response to it. Sometimes they did, many times they didn't. It was just very slow in coming."
Why censor the Saudi section? The obvious answer is that the American government has been in bed with the Saudis for too long to allow the publication of really damning evidence. My sense is that while this is true to a degree, there is also a question of timing.

With the present string of successes in the war on terror and the Iraqi invasion the Americans are becoming less beholden to the Saudis. Another year and there will be next to no troops inside the Kingdom and the Iraqi oil fields will be spooling up to significant production. At that point the Americans can and will push the Saudis hard on their financing of terrorism, the madrases in which it incubate and their continued lack of progress in dealing with Saudis who are directly implicated in the terror world. The Americans are also looking hard at the effects of their actions on the succession in the Kingdom. Avoiding an anti-American crown prince may be worth suppressing the section.

But the truth will out and, if the Jersey Girls have their day in Court, sooner rather than later.

Uday's Executioner

For anyone who thinks it would have been a better idea to capture and try the grusome twosome - and they are all over the CBC's revolting talkback - here are a few words ffrom his private executioner....
A CHIEF executioner to one of Saddam’s sons has revealed how he helped drag two victims into a cage to be devoured by lions.

The executioner said that he was ordered to seize two 19-year-old students and take them to a farm of Uday Hussein, Saddam’s oldest son who was killed by American forces last week.

As soon as they arrived the students were dragged to a cage containing the lions and forced inside. ?I saw the head of the first student literally come off his body with the first bite,? he said. He then had to stand and watch the animals devour the two young men: ?By the time they were finished there was little left but for the bones and bits and pieces of unwanted flesh.?
Of course this sort of behaviour was unusual; day to day Uday confined him to the more mundane beheadings,
He was inducted into the barbarous scope of Unit 18’s work in 1999 when he was summoned to Uday’s compound in a Baghdad presidential palace. On arrival, he was ordered to behead a prisoner.

It was his first time.

?The prisoner did not utter a word. I think he had by then resigned himself to his fate. I knew nothing of the man,? he recalled.

Uday did not watch executions but sent a cameraman to film them. On his orders the victims’ remains were returned to their families with the head and body in separate bags.
If there is never a trace of a WMD found in Iraq, which would be a surprise, simply getting the chance to roast this animal was well worth the fight....Now for Dad.

Hitch in Iraq

The coiner of "Islamofascist" is just back from Iraq and was interviewed on Fox.
They pay unemployed kids and imported holy warriors $1,000 in cash if they will just take a pot shot with a throwaway gun or roll a grenade from behind. It's much more like Mafia meets Jihad than any kind of a resistance.
link et seq. fox news
Or this for our lefty friends who consider the Americans and especially the American military a bunch of ignorant thugs,
Mosul is the site of a very famous old Iraqi university. The American forces were refurbishing the place. They were going to tear down some of the outer walls, give this palace to the university. They'd also connected the university to the Internet and to the Web. Helped people contact scholars on the outside world. That was all the job of these very good- humored, very thoughtful officers who were really helping to rebuild the place.

Cultural Exchange Flash

There are worse reasons than this animation about Italians and the EU to have a broadband connection.

Armed and Aboriginal

The National Post, while it misses Mark Steyn's humour is able to crank out the editorial good once in a while. This piece on the farce the billion dollar Canadian Gun Registry has become is a near perfect example of great editorial writing.
In northern Manitoba, among a dozen aboriginal communities with a combined population of more than 17,000, just 847 licence applications have been received. If you believe the hype about the registry, then the government should be sending the RCMP to reserves to round up defiant gun owners, just as the Liberals have said they will jail non-complying non-natives.

But of course, they aren't, and they won't -- though they will no doubt periodically make a symbolic show of enforcing their registry. Why? The answer is simple. As most Liberals realize without admitting, Canada's billion-dollar gun registry will never reduce gun crime, nor save a single life. It exists only because gun control is a fashionable political cause in Toronto and other urban areas where most people would not know a shotgun from a flintlock pistol. But since aboriginal rights is an even more politically fashionable cause, the gun registry -- and all the lives it will supposedly save -- has been trumped on reserves by the Liberal instinct to indulge natives.

What the national Post is missing

Mark Steyn on the "fall" of "fascist" Italy.

7/25/2003

Malcolm Lowry

I just finished reading Pursued by Furies: A Life of Malcolm Lowry, Gordon Bowker 1993 brick sized biography. I'd very much enjoyed Bowker's biography of Lawrence Durrell and I was delighted to find the Lowry lying on the floor of a thrift store, in Brodart mylar cover for $2.00.

What a sad story Bowker has to tell. From a miserable childhood right through to choking on his own vomit in Ripe - a little village in England. Lowry was an epic drunk, a violent and startlingly immature man and a one book wonder. But, to have written Under the Volcano. Lowry poured, literally, his entire sense of how rotten life actually is into this strange, nearly surreal tale of the Day of the Dead in a Mexican town.

The local connection to Vancouver, not that there need to be one but, hey...is that Lowry, having been kicked out of Mexico and, more or less, out of the United States came to live in Vancouver. He hated the city but ended up moving to a squatters cabin across Burrard Inlet on what was then the largely wild North Shore. This image is not actually of Dollarton where Lowry had his cabin, it is a little further along the inlet but it gives the idea. .

In Dollarton Lowry was as close to happy as he ever got and he was able to finish Under the Volcano. That book meant, Lowry rightly remarked, "not a drop of mescal that I have not turned into pure gold, not a drink which I have not made sing."

From our Marketing Dept

Hunting Bambi a hoax. To sell video tapes of faked naked girl hunts where the paintballs are not even real. Given the publicity this has generated the guys in marketing were thinking of staging a looney leftie hunt. The best part is that they are already more than willing to protest naked.

7/24/2003

German Loons

A good deal has been written about what is known as the generation of 1968 in Germany. Radicalized lefties who range between support for the Greens and a nostalgia for the Bader-Meinhoff gang.
News today that 33% of Germans under the age of 30 believe that America may have sponsored the 9/11 attacks suggests that this disease is transmitable intergenerationally.
Asked whether they believed the U.S. government could have ordered the September 11 attacks, 31 percent of those surveyed under the age of 30 answered "yes,'' while 19 percent overall gave the same answer.

Die Zeit said widespread disbelief about the reasons given by the United States for going to war in Iraq and suspicion about media coverage of the conflict had fostered a climate in which conspiracy theories flourished.

"The news is controlled,'' 17-year-old Kenny Donaubaur was quoted as saying. "You could see that in the Iraq war. It doesn't seem to me that you get the full truth.''
link cnn
The goofy part of this is how clearly it demonstates the disconnect between young Germans and, well, common sense.
Gerhard Schroeder has done his nation no favours by pandering to this malicious ignorance. A generation in which a third is able to believe this level of absurdity is a generation which holds very little hope for the future.

7/23/2003

The Future of Newspapering

Instapundit points out a start up blog written by the Editorial Board of the Dallas News.

At a guess, within a couple of years virutally every major newspaper will have some sort of blogging operation. The clever will hire bloggers to actually put some life into their really boring, static web pages. The informality of blogging makes for far more interesting material than the dead tree world of production costs and news budgets permits.


Curiouser and Curiouser

The BBC has a tape of David Kelly expressing serious concern about how Downing Street made the case for war, the Guardian can reveal.

Susan Watts, science editor of Newsnight, recorded her conversations with the weapons expert, who killed himself on Thursday.

In her report she quoted a "source" - now known to be Dr Kelly - suggesting that No 10 was "desperate" for information and had exaggerated "out of all proportion" the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

The BBC believes the tape is the "smoking gun" that will exonerate Andrew Gilligan, the Today programme correspondent who originally reported the suggestion that No 10 included the 45-minute claim in the September dossier on the case for war "to make it sexier", against the wishes of the intelligence community.
the guardian
It could indeed be the smoking gun. But pointed in which direction?
The BBC is claiming the tape backs up the contention that Kelly said more than he admitted to saying before the Standing Committee. It also says that its corespondents checked their quotes with Kelly before going on air. Which pretty much would ensure that Kelly, not the BBC, had lied to the Standing Committee. And that makes a better reason for his suicide.

However, what Watts used in her broadcast is consistent with Kelly's claim he did not believe he was the source for Gilligan's story. His words there are about the tussle between No. 10 and the intelligence service but they are not unambiguous. Rather they could easily be seen as confirmation of a second source depending on how the journalist's question was put.

7/22/2003

How bad were Saddam's Sons?


Bestial. Little wonder that "wild, joyous gunfire erupted through the streets of Baghdad last night" according to the Washington Post.

Blog March



Be ready to hear that blogs for business work. The estimable Coudal Partners are working with 37signals to present a BloggingWorks Workshop in Chicago in September. On that site are links to sets of information for businesses interested in the immediacy a blog creates.

I am running my own little experiment in blog/business/advocacy over at www.libraryfilter.blogspot.com. Free, set up in less than an hour and traffic from the top of Goggle searches for library internet filter.

My suspicion is that blogging technology with CSS will be driving much of the net in the next few years.

Now Dad

Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay were killed in a six-hour firefight today when US forces surrounded and then stormed a palatial villa in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul, a senior American general said.

"We are certain that Uday and Qusay were killed today," said Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez at a news conference in Baghdad.

"They died in a fierce gunbattle," Sanchez added.

link the scotsman

Both of these men had gallons of blood on their hands. With luck, Saddam is not far behind. The question will then be whether the Baathists and the foreigners will fight on without their Hussein paymasters.

Mixed Signals


Nothing more fun that the official Canadian Government Guide to using marijuana. 59 pages for doctors. Better still it will be posted on line.

Now the Government hastens to add this is just for those 582 approved medical users....Yeah, right.

It would be astonishing if lawyers for accused non-medical users do not use the mere existence of the manual as part of an argument to defeat the whole premise of criminality attaching to marijuana use. In essence the new legislation is as open to attack as the old was but there is now lots of evidence suggesting that the ostensible basis of the criminal law, namely the prevention of the harm associated with marijuana use, is not even believed by the government. The actual reason, keep right wing American anti-drug zealots happy, is not going to impress the average Canadian judge.

The full decriminalization was set in motion by the Canadian Courts and will, no doubt, be accomplished by their unwillingness to blight the lives of pot smokers with criminal records of imprisonment. When the courts refuse to take the law seriously it will quickly become a dead letter. About time.

Mullah Filter


On the one hand I am working with a couple of friends to provide the American Library Association with a way of complying with the very lame Children's Internet Protection Act with the least damage to 1st ammendment freedom of speech rights; on the other I see what the mullahs will do to any dissenting speech at all.

The Gilligan Dossier


Via Andrew Sullivan
David Steven kept track of what Andrew Gilligan actually reported and wrote on the BBC Weblog and on air. Not a picture of an objective guy.

7/21/2003

Hoon?


The Scotsman suggests that Geoff Hoon may have to resign over the leaking of Dr. Kelly's name to the press as a person who might have been the source of the "sexed up" dossier report.

I am just trying to figure out what Hoon did wrong here. First, Kelly meets with the BBC reporter Gilligan (as well as two other reporters) apparenly at his own iniative to cast asperisions on the conduct of the war by Blair and Company. he then has second thoughts when the BBC story runs and goes to his superiors to tell them he might have been the source. At which point the decision is made to share this information with the press.

Why was Kelly entitled to a free ride? he broke confidence by feeding information which was not his to feed. That he was a bit shocked that it was spun into the suggestion that senior intelligence source were unhappy with Blair is, sadly, his problem not blairs. I suspect that Hoon would have been within his rights, after learning that Kelly had leaked to the BBC to have fired him on the spot for violating the Official Secrets Act.

Tragic; but it was the BBC's exageration which seemed to have caused the problem not Dr. Kelly's indiscretion.

A ringing defence of the Record "album"


"We like to see our work released in that collective form that we've created it in and have always created our work in and grew up in," said Lars Ulrich, Metallica's drummer and songwriter. "It's about an experience that's 40 or 50 or 60 minutes long. It was always about how those songs fit together: the fast song next to the slow song next to the crunchy one next to the ballad next to the instrumental. There was a balance, and you had all these dynamics within the experience. I like the relentlessness of it, to really pummel and torture people with it as long as possible."
link new york times

I had always wondered how rock and roll was packaged - now I know. The RIAA need not worry that Metallica will be shared from my machine.

Own Goal


The ripples from the sad case of David Kelly are beginning to reach the heart of the BBC itself.

The BBC's confirmation that Dr Kelly provided the information upon which Gilligan based his story has rocked many at the BBC. "Now that it's been revealed that Kelly was the main source, we think Gilligan should resign, and - reluctantly - Sambrook too," said one journalist.

Another said: "The BBC statement is a disaster. On the face of it, based on the evidence to hand, Gilligan sexed up his story. The only other explanation is that David Kelly wasn't being truthful to the committee, but I tend to think now that Gilligan did what he accused Campbell of. And our boss backed him. If that's true, they have tarnished each and every one of us. Until they prove otherwise they have lost my confidence. They should go."
link the guardian

Ms. Jackson take note.

If, as a matter of fact, it is found that Gilligan tarted up Kelly's statements he is obviously toast. But, and here is the critical thing, so are the last remnants of the BBC's objectivity. The culture which encouraged and defended this sort of behaviour is one which has a political agenda and which is out of control.

Lord Hutton's report, if it does anything less than state that Kelly did say what Gilligan said he said and that Kelly lied to the Commons Committee, will be all the ammunition Blair needs for a complete housecleaning of the Board of the BBC and, one hopes, the executives who have allowed the rot to spread so far.

Ms. Jackson and her ex-ministerial cronies would also be logical candidates for the headsman's metaphorical axe.

The Roadmap's byways



How delightful to find that David Warren - Ottawa Citizen and founder of The Idler - posts his articles on line. Not exactly a blog but wonderful nevertheless.

His take on the real agenda behind the Middle East Roadmap makes some sense. His understanding of Arafat and his bleak intentions seems accurate,

It remains, unfortunately, in Yasser Arafat's interest to wait for his moment to blow everything up -- since his own power increases with conflict and diminishes with peace. It is an elaborate game getting him and keeping him sidelined -- one that's still being played. And the Europeans, led by the French, continue to indulge the soft-headed and immodest policy of throwing him diplomatic lifelines, by publicly recognizing him in defiance of U.S. pressure. That is the chief external thing getting in the way.
link et. seq. david warren

Warren is essentially asserting that the Bush plan is to solve the problem without too terribly much concern with the optics. He sees that solution as being a de jure recognition of the status quo with minor adjustments but with the Palestinian terrorists sidelined by their own people and the Israelis relatively secure.
The point is to snuff out the Intifada, and the Israeli response to the Intifada, while building a new, and co-operative, security arrangement between the two sides, modelled specifically on that which already exists between Israel and Jordan.

Warren is not terribly optimistic about the prospects of such a deal, nor am I, but he does make the point that this is a pragmatic solution run by hardheaded people in which the key issues are actually dealt with.

Which would all make a lot of sense if there was any assurance that the Palestinians were willing to disarm their terrorists - which it appears they are not.

In any case I'm putting the site on my blog roll.


The Moon


Amidst all the political blather it is worth remembering that 34 years ago yesterday a man, two actually, first walked on the moon.

7/20/2003

In the Ditch beside the Roadmap


One PA security official told The Jerusalem Post that most of the gunmen came from surrounding refugee camps and villages. "They're back on the streets, this time with more men and weapons," he said. "They constitute a challenge not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian Authority also because they don't accept the hudna (cease-fire)."

In a show of force, the Aksa Martyr Brigades on Thursday night organized a paramilitary rally in Balatta camp, south of Nablus, to commemorate two camp residents gunmen killed last year.

Last week members of the group marched in the center of Nablus, firing into the air and declaring that they would not abide by the cease-fire.

"The Palestinian Authority is afraid of them," said a local photographer. "These men are very violent and they have friends everywhere. Some regard them as heroes and resistance fighters, while others consider them thugs."

Aloul, the governor, said "crooks" is the best term he could use to describe the armed men terrorizing Nablus.

"This is not a new phenomenon," he added. "We're talking about a group of crooks and bandits who have a common interest with the occupation to undermine the society from within and spread chaos."
link jerusalem post

The required civil war in Palestine will be against these armed men. The enforcers of Arafat and the ultimate rejectionists on the Palestinian side.


Idi Amin Dead


Good.

Kelly BBC Mole


Looks like the BBC relied upon The late David Kelly as its sole source for the "45 minute" quote and for the notion that No 10 "sexed up" the dossier on Iraq. However, before his death Kelly stated on oath that he never said anything like this to Andrew Gilligan.

Pace Glenda Jackson but this suggests that Blair, Hoon and Alastair Campbell have been telling the truth and the BBC has been "making it up."

Of course Ms. Jackson is not one to let the facts, or even a judicial inquiry, get in her dramatic way - not for nothing was her Elizabeth I the finest I've seen:

Former minister Glenda Jackson repeated her call for Mr Blair, Mr Campbell and Mr Hoon to go.

"This tragic human disaster came as a result of the artificial war that had been quite deliberately created in my opinion by No 10," she told BBC1's Breakfast With Frost. "We have seen a highly respected, innocent, devoted public servant in my opinion being sacrificed as a result of a quite deliberate political strategy to afford a smoke screen, as someone has called it, for the government."
link et seq the guardian

She is answered, devastatingly in my view, by Labour member Gerald Kaufman, calling full a full review of the role of the BBC:

"This whole series of events was started by the BBC story. None of it would have followed, right through the inquiry, the role of No 10, the role of the MoD and, I am very sorry to say, the death of Dr Kelly... if it had not been for the BBC story," Mr Kaufman said on the BBC's news rival, Sky TV.



X10 camera...The Book


Perv dogs sell cheap digicams....this Brit has all the X-10 popups on one funny webpage. Put your annoyance in one spot.

Brit Left baying for Blood....and they got it



The death of David Kelly, at his own hand, is being spun as the bitter fruit of spin.

Left Labour, still angry at the Iraq war are making the most of the tragedy:

Jackson, the former Labour Transport Minister, became the latest ex-minister to call for the Prime Minister to quit when she described Kelly’s death as "unspeakable".

"Bullets should be bitten," she said. "I don’t see how the government is going to be able to function adequately. This is going to be hanging over the government for the whole period of the judicial inquiry."

Her dramatic intervention followed earlier calls for Blair to step aside from the former international development secretary Clare Short and backbench Labour MPs.
the scotsman

The odd part of this is that Kelly, apparently, committed suicide after 45 minutes of grilling before a Parliamentary Select Committee. Here he admitted that he'd had lunch with the BBC reporter who filed the "sexed up" claims and, though the Minister of Defence, Geoff Hoon wrote a letter in which he suggested that Kelly might have been the "single source" the BBC relied upon for its story, the Committee concluded he wasn't.

The Left Labour backbench, and the tabloids of course, are howling for blood. Blair's preferably, but Alastair Campbell's, Blair's press secretary, in a pinch.

What is odd about all this is the rabidness of the Labour Left. Having been shut out in their opposition to the war and ignored in their knee jerk anti-Americanism, they want vindication of whatever sort. And they are quite willing to capitalize on the death of what appears to be an entirely innocent man to make their point.

Blair, fresh from a masterful performance in America, has to put up with these idiots. The question is for how long? The fifty or so disgruntled lefties are not critical to his majority in Parliament so, does he need to keep them in the tent? At some point legitimate criticism crosses over into full blooded opposition and at that point Blair is within his rights to seek the expulsion of the dissidents from caucus.

If and when WMD's are found in or near Iraq, or, perish the thought, used by the still fighting Saddam I hope Blair uses the moment to toss Cook, Short and Jackson on the same rubble heap currently occupied by the member for Iraq, Mr. Galloway.