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THOSE Eliot Spitzer jokes:
ELIOT Spitzer, in the Anorak Forums: “It’s depressing to acknowlege it, but the squeaky clean ones are either 1) not, and up to the all manner of no good that they publicly denounce or, b) worse, not up to no good but burning unsuitable books etc.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday joined Republican presidential candidate John McCain and a small band of GOP senators in making a run this week against the billions of dollars in home-state pet projects Congress funds each year.
Obama, locked in a head-to-head battle with Clinton for the Democratic nomination, was the first to declare through a spokesman Monday that he would support a one-year moratorium on so-called earmarks when it comes up for a vote later this week. Clinton followed shortly afterward through a spokesman.
The poobahs of pork in both parties as well as their Senate leaders suddenly found themselves on the spot after stalwartly defending lawmakers’ practice of steering federal dollars to their home states.
Poohbahs of pork.
Both the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, and his main rival, Boris Johnson, recently made separate appearances on the BBC’s Vanessa Feltz show.
Each answered questions from callers and from Ms Feltz for the same length of time. Allowing for the questions, news and travel bulletins and station promos, Mr Livingstone spoke for approximately 35 minutes. In that time, he said 36 things that were untrue or misleading, an average of one every 58 seconds.
What has really annoyed me is that if the evening standard can work out that they are saying untrue things, then why did Vanessa Feltz let them go unchallenged for 30 minutes?
Over the same length of time Mr Johnson said 11 things that were untrue or misleading, an average of one every three minutes 10 seconds.”
Who is the bigger liar?
Says Richard Littlejohn in the Mail:
This is being touted as the “greenest ever” Budget, but none of it adds up.
It’s about raising money, not rescuing polar bears.
A look at Alistair Darling. Is there something of the polar bear about him?
The motion at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference in Torquay next Tuesday runs: “Conference notes with deep concern that many children in our schools appear unhappy and anxious.”
The adults will debate and discuss why children are so unhappy.
Over the next two weeks, ATL members will discuss several topics relating to the mental health of primary age children and the pressures they face in modern society.
Teachers discussing what makes a young child unhappy is a bit like the jockey asking the horse why his face is long. It might be that – and whisper it – school is the biggest problem. It is school that ruins the child’s pursuit of fun.
Question asked; question answered.
It may also be that the teacher’s idea of happiness is not the pupil’s.
Armani is happy eating chips for breakfast, her teacher is not; Blake’s face lights up whenever he delivers a punch to a smaller child’s arm, his teacher’s does not; Romeo is never happier than when he is picking his nose and firing the oar at the girls, his teacher is not.
Cue the Sun: “Britney Spears is set to make a small guest appearance on US show How I Met Your Mother.”
In a lawyer’s office between 2:30 and 3:30 every other Wednesday…
NEAL Lawson: “A wealth of mistakes.”
John Hutton’s planned speech celebrating Britain’s highest earners flies in the face of what Labour should stand for. But there’s still time…
I was going to cut and paste the entire piece and file it under Beyond Parody. But I then wondered if it might be a parody…
THE BritBlog RoundUp, as compiled by Amused Cynicism:
Welcome to edition 160 of Britblog roundup, the weekly roundup of UK blogging! I’d probably best start by apologizing for the lateness of this week’s roundup, I’ve been very busy with my Includipedia website and other stuff.
Our first item is by Chris Dillow, who isn’t impressed by Margaret Hodge’s pronouncements on nationhood and diversity, or the tendency of out “betters” to try to dictate how we think and feel (not that they’ll ever be successful at doing so).
Devil’s Kitchen isn’t the least bit impressed by the government’s latest strategy on introducing ID cards — is anyone these days, apart from the contractors who will make a fortune implementing it? — and quotes The Nameless One as saying:
So I still have to pay for an ID card to access services that I am already entitled to and have already paid for. Jesus Christ, that is a bit of a mind fuck. It is like Tesco saying “I know you’ve just bought your weekly shop, paid for it ‘n’ all, but we’re not going to let you take those goods until that you are entitled to and have paid for until you have signed up for a Clubcard. Oh, and we are going to charge you a small fucking fortune for the Clubcard as well.”They’d be out of business within a week.
Abby O’Reilly at the f-word thinks it’s wrong that mothers are discouraged from breastfeeding in public:
A recent poll of 3,500 mothers across the UK by Kamillosan Chamomile Ointment has revealed the extent to which these negative attitudes have permeated the national consciousness, with motherhood no longer something to proudly embrace but rather something that should be carried out without offending the so-called angelic sensibilities of a country that apparently could not stomach a bit of tit.
More than one fifth of the women who participated claimed they have left their babies screaming from hunger rather than opting for the alternative of feeding them in a public place. Many women fear that they would be judged for their decision to breast-feed, with 38 per cent of new mums banishing themselves to lavatories as they anticipate a negative reception in a public space.
Incidently in Scotland it’s been illegal since 2005 to prevent women breastfeeding in public places. The punishment is a fine of £2500, although personally I think people who break this law should instead be obliged to wear a placard around their necks saying “I object to babies being healthy and properly nourished, because I have ridiculous sensibilities about showing a bit of tit. Please punch me in the face, because that is what I deserve.”
Also at the f-word, Louise Livesey is angry that Thomas Cook couldn’t get her name right:
So I said it should be booked under “Dr Louise Livesey” (that being my name). Apparently they couldn’t do “Dr” only “Miss, Mrs or Ms”. After much heart-rending conversations they said they’d book it in with one of those titles (Ms to be precise) and then get it changed as soon as possible and ask the company to sort out their booking system. And so in good faith I booked. The invoice arrived with the correct name on it. The flight tickets, however, have arrived in the name of “Miss Louise Livesey”. Yes that’s right apparently not only can I not be a Dr I can’t be defined by anything other than presumed marital status.
I imagine Thomas Cook’s computer system was set up to allow only a small number of titles, which didn’t include “Dr”. As a result, they’ve pissed off — and possibly lost — a customer. Which highlights how these days every company is an IT company.
Nosemonkey, aka J Clive Matthews, has a new directory of EU-focussed blogs. He’d like the help of Britblog roundup readers in suggesting blogs he’s missed.
Andew Ian Dodge is unimpressed by Britain’s health food industry:
I have to say that supermarkets in the US are far better at catering to healthy alternatives that in the UK. Even in the biggest supermarket in the UK the choices are limited and unimaginative. What I am most perturbed by is the lack of decent non-white bread here in the UK. You have choice of bog standard stuff or odd harsh ones; no decent pumpernickel or rye to be had.
The alternative is to go into those wonderful healthfood stores. You know the ones staffed by people with dubious cleaning habits lathered up with cheap patouli. These places spend more time going on about how “right-on” they are than actually stocking anything interesting.
I must say this doesn’t agree with my personal experience — my local corner shop sells a wide range of breads. (Then again, I live in the sort of area where this may be more likely to be true).
Jonathan Calder reminisces about the TV programmes Gophers! and 1990.
Stuart Syvret things that the root cause of the Jersey child abuse scandal is the oligarchical power structures on the island (he’s probably right):
This Saturday, at noon in Jersey’s Royal Square, a rally will take place to express acknowledgment and recognition to the victims of child abuse.
It is an opportunity for Jersey to show to the world that 99% of its people are caring, and that they will not tolerate such things happening again.
On many occasions, during the present international focus on the child abuse tragedy in Jersey, I have been asked by visiting journalists: “Why are your politicians so inept? And why is the Jersey media so servile and supportive of the island’s establishment?”
And as the veneer of respectability has been peeled back to reveal the festering midden beneath, visiting, real, journalists have asked “Can the Jersey establishment and its media sink any lower? Can it dig itself into even deeper holes?”
The question asked is – ‘is the Jersey oligarchy willing – or even capable – of learning lessons – or is it doomed to carry on – to laughter from the world press-pack – insisting that black is white and heaping compound errors and yet greater disgrace upon itself?’
Also on Jersey, there was a political rally their last Saturday (the 8th), at which Montfort Tadier gave this speech:
If [Jersey People] were so satisfied with the government, why were they constantly speaking out against them: on issues such as the Waterfront, when public land worth millions of pounds was given away to private developers? Why were they protesting in their thousands at the introduction of GST, a regressive tax which asked old age pensioners to pay 3% extra and their milk, bread and tea and single mothers to pay even more for basic essentials such as nappies, children’s clothes and food? […]
We [Jersey people] are demoralised and frightened. Demoralised, because we feel as if our opinions do not count and frightened, because we fear we may lose our jobs if we say the wrong thing. […]
The island’s politicians, judges, policemen and business leaders are also drawn from a small pool, with many being relatives or lifelong friends. For example, Frank Walker, the island’s chief minister, was until recently chairman of the company that owns Jersey’s only newspaper, the Evening Post. The bailiff, the equivalent of the Speaker in the House of Commons, is also the head of the judiciary. The attorney general, whose job is to give the bailiff impartial legal advice on prosecutions, is his brother. And so the list goes on.
Quaequam blog says that Nick Clegg is more hardline than Chairman Mao:
Who was it who originally talked about letting a thousand flowers bloom? I believe it was a certain Mao Tse Tung. I don’t recall Mao being known for being a particularly weak leader. Why is Clegg inviting us to draw comparisons with him and the great despot? What’s this obsession with being seen to be tough (again)? And isn’t it generally Lib Dem policy to, wherever possible, let a thousand flowers bloom?
Unmitigated England looks at a 1952 edition of Country Life, when you could buy a “a country house near Wimborne in Dorset with 3 sitting rooms, 9 principle bedrooms and 3 bathrooms” for £9,500.
Philip Wilkinson at English Buildings tells me a little-known fact about 19th-century history, that the Chartists had a sideline in property development:
So what does all this have to do with English buildings? Another issue espoused by the Chartists was the lower classes’ access to land. Chartists believed that one solution to the well-being of working people was to give them access to land that they could cultivate. The Chartist Co-operative Land Company was formed and five estates of bungalows were built, each dwelling set in a 2- to 4-acre plot, and allocated to applicants chosen by lot. One such development was at Staunton. Although the land company was short-lived and the bungalows were sold off, many of the original buildings survive, and their design – two wings on either side of a central, gabled section, is unmistakeable. The kitchen was in the middle, with the bedroom and sitting room on either side. The photograph below shows one of the bungalows looking rather like it must have done when built.
Susanne Lamido is being affected by passive smoking — with a difference:
We all know the effect of passive smoking but what about passive smoking of marijuana, weed, hash, wacky baccy, ganja or whatever they call it nowadays. Well apparently I’m getting stoned on it. That’s the medical opinion anyway. Not only does it cause me to cough from a dry throat but the smell is so powerful it actually wakes me up. It’s like an early morning alarm clock when the young man who smokes it is around.
And that’s all for this week, folks. Next week’s Britblog roundup will be by Clairwil, and nominations should be sent to the usual address, britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
The Britblog RoundUp – the best bits on the web…
Worse: “The idiot had just one hand on the buggy, with a cigarette in the other, as breakers crashed over Brighton’s sea wall.”
Shock: “Andrew Hasson, who saw the dad and a pal, said: “They were stupid and lucky not to be swept away.”
He offers no comment on the cigarette. But a nation is sickened.
More beach shots as on the Times. A man is airborne. In his hand the remnants of an umbrella. The sea to his right. The soft wet sand beneath. No cigarette. He might make it yet.
This is “HURRICANE BRITAIN” says the Express on its cover. Had only BBC weatherman Michael Fish been an Express reporter in 1987, he’d not have poo-pooed warnings of a hurricane. He’d have screamed it. And he’d have continued screaming it every day, just in case he was right.
THE London Metropolitan Police Unit’s new anti-terrorism drive tells us: “IF YOU SUSPECT IT – REPORT IT”.
We’ve seen the posters.Now see some more…
They’ve caught one.
THE sound of Satan’s ice-cream van….
THE New Seven Deadly Sins: “accumulating obscene wealth, polluting the environment, genetic engineering, drug dealing, abortion, paedophilia and causing social injustice.”
CHE Guevara makes an appearnce with Barack Obama and Ron Paul.
Says Cuban writer Carmen Peláez in Castro-loving leftists:
“When I started writing the play, I thought people just didn’t know what was happening in Cuba,” she said after the show closed its monthlong New York run last week. “But the longer I live here, the more I realized, they don’t care …
“They would rather keep their little pop revolution instead of saying it is a dictatorship,” Ms. Peláez said. “I had somebody come to me after a show and say, ‘Don’t ruin Cuba for me!’ Well, why not? They’re holding on to a fantasy.”
Better than holding on to a dream…
MICROSOFT VISTA: “One year after the birth of Windows Vista, why do so many Windows XP users still decline to ‘upgrade’? . . . XP users have heard too many chilling stories from relatives and friends about Vista upgrades that have gone badly. The graphics chip that couldn’t handle Vista’s whizzy special effects. The long delays as it loaded. The applications that ran at slower speeds. The printers, scanners and other hardware peripherals, which work dandily with XP, that lacked the necessary software, the drivers, to work well with Vista.”
Vista has been nothing but a pain is the neck from day one. The vista through the Microsoft window is of a puile of steaming dog poo…
Sanjaya Performs At Long Island Bat Mitzvah…
THE Islamic Reformation:
Iran is also the theatre of very optimistic developments. Hashem Aghajari is an Islamic revolutionary-turned-history-professor. He was one of the student activists of 1979 who later fully participated in the brutal repression after Khomeini’s coming to power. He is now challenging the infallibility of the ruling mullahs and calls upon Iranians to think for themselves instead of blindly accepting whatever is preached in Friday sermons, a piece of advice for which he has been sentenced to death. But he is now supported by the students and professors at most of the country’s universities and thousands of ordinary citizens, workers, and cultural leaders.
Where Aghajari wants to reform Islam; the students want a total separation between mosque and state. He wants an Islamic Reformation, but the demonstrators are interested in the creation of a secular civil society. He is a reformer, but they are revolutionaries.
GLOBAL warming is just a theory. Right:
Miklós Zágoni isn’t just a physicist and environmental researcher. He is also a global warming activist and Hungary’s most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Or was..
FAKES: “So the fake memoir—currently in the news with the daily-double outing of Love and Consequences and Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years—is by no means a phenomenon that originated with James Frey. In fact, the history of autobiography is full of them.”
YOU’VE read that Daylight Saving Kills The Planet Faster.
Global warming has killed off two of the four seasons; Nigel Kennedy endures.
EXTREME Mortman looks at The Wire, The Sun And The Death Of Newspapers:
In Wolfe’s sprawling big city drama, the people on top — no matter how crooked or how lying, and no matter whether their stated purpose is to do the public good or harm — always finish on top. In “The Wire” conclusion, the ending appears upbeat — lots of smiling faces, lots of individual accomplishment, peppy music. But the folks who succeeded are, for the most part, crooks and liars.
The point was driven home — actually, bludgeoned home — by the Sun paper winning a coveted Pulitzer Prize, for essentially knowingly lying. David Simon (and did our eyes deceive us, or was that Simon himself in a brief cameo sitting at a cubicle with a sticker that says “Save The Sun”) has the paper winning an award for public service that they most certainly did not deserve. That comes after Haynes, in a newsroom rant, cites journalistic luminaries Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass.
The irony is that today, in real life, newspapers are being done in by the Internet, by bloggers. In Simon’s “Wire,” the Internet is acknowledged — but it’s not the reason for the newspaper’s black eye. It’s their own fault. It’s trampling on the truth, and disinterest in fact checking if it means missing a prize.
THE HERALD: “Will the PM listen to the Home Office or to the experts?
The Scottish Government must be heartily commended for its decision to resist the imposition of compulsory national ID cards on Scottish airport workers and students. In doing so, it serves well the clearly and repeatedly expressed will of the Scottish Parliament. Compulsory ID cards and the associated database are not welcome here.
THE TIMES: “High-flown nonsense over terror – US has a right to airline information.”
When was the last time you let a bunch of potential terrorists into your house? Indeed, when was the last time you let any group of strangers walk around your house without asking them what they wanted or where they were from?