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The Sidereal Record Straightener - Archives
My fears of the election-day tactics of the Republicans. Hopefully unfounded.
Even if they don't manage to get people's votes disallowed, or made 'provisional', just tying up the officials on the day in very Democratic precincts, in a swing state, might be enough to cause long lines, which will discourage voters.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Atheists and Agnostics Group
Mon Apr 14th 2008, 02:52 PM
Ten years from now, political historians will mark Sunday night's Compassion Forum as a watershed moment in modern American political history. It wasn't the answers from the politicians that made the event such an historic experience - truth be told, there weren't any earth-shattering revelations or memorable one-liners. It was questions that were asked, who was asking them and who was answering.


But the watershed moment wasn't what that columnist thought. It was when Barack Obama was asked:

"Senator, if one of your daughters asked you -- and maybe they already have -- Daddy, did God really create the world in six days? What would you say?"

'Watershed moment', 'jumped the shark', 'crossed the credibility horizon and disappeared up its own singularity' - whatever you want to call it, I think that marked the moment when the American political process finally gave up all pretence at being run by grown-ups, and sat down and sucked its thumb. Diebold will be along to change its diapers shortly.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in United Kingdom
Thu Jan 31st 2008, 12:24 PM
A review of The British Constitution by Anthony King in the London Review of Books raises the prospect of a close election, Labour getting less votes but more seats than the Tories, and getting a lot of seats in devolved Scotland and Wales, challenges due to the 'banana republic' natures of postal voting, and what the Queen should do when there's no constitutional guidance for her:

The stars that lined up to clear the way for New Labour’s constitutional tinkering are now moving quite rapidly apart. In fact, it is not hard to imagine the result of the next general election producing its own perfect little constitutional storm. Say the national result is something like this: Tories 38 per cent, Labour 36 per cent, Lib Dems 18 per cent, with Labour and the SNP neck and neck in Scotland. This would produce a hung Parliament, with Labour probably having more seats despite having lost the popular vote (and in England the Tories are sure to have won the popular vote by an even larger margin than the national result; they managed to win more votes than Labour in England even when decisively losing the 2005 election). If the election is close, especially given the various haphazard experiments with postal and other kinds of voting that the government has introduced in recent years, there are almost certain to be legal challenges to some of the results, which would test the willingness of the courts to use their oversight to interfere in the political process (this is, after all, a voting system that was described by a judge only a couple of years ago as one that would ‘disgrace a banana republic’). The queen, meanwhile, whatever the courts decide, would have to invite either Brown or David Cameron to form a government, which would in turn depend on what concessions Nick Clegg could extract from either of them for the Lib Dems, and on how much confidence either could place in the continued support of their backbench MPs (likely to be more of a problem for Brown than Cameron). What the sovereign should do – or be advised to do – in these circumstances is emphatically not a part of the British constitution that is written down.

The negotiations are likely to be complicated by the attitude of the major parties to Scotland. The Tories are bound to point out the inequity of a Scottish Labour leader being propped up by Scottish Labour MPs, despite having failed to win the popular vote in Scotland, where the population is already over-represented at Westminster, never mind having been trounced in the popular vote in England. If the result is that Brown cannot form a government, and Cameron becomes PM, he is likely to want to use his powers to make sure the situation does not arise again, either by renegotiating the terms of Scottish representation in the House of Commons, or by pulling the plug on Scottish subsidies, or even by allowing the Scots to go their own way altogether, perhaps after a new election in which he offers the people of England the prospect of Scottish independence. This seemingly far-fetched succession of events, in which the party of union morphs into what King calls ‘the party of disunion’, is not impossible, and would fit the pattern of what Iain McLean, a political scientist (and friend of Gordon Brown), has christened the ‘Slovak scenario’. Slovakia achieved independence from the Czech Republic not at the point when Slovak independence leaders finally persuaded their own population to make a break for freedom, but at the point when Czech politicians had finally had enough, and to the surprise of many Slovaks, cut their ties with their ungrateful and permanently dissatisfied neighbours. What price then Blair’s dream of the permanent exclusion of the Tories from government? It is more likely to be the Labour Party that finds itself out of power, perhaps both north and south of the border, for a generation.

Before we reach this point, or any of the other unplanned scenarios that could emerge out of the chaos, it might be a good moment to consider the codification of the British constitution. King considers, and dismisses, the case for establishing a constitutional convention to try to introduce some coherence into an increasingly incoherent system. This is not because he believes that the problems will iron themselves out in the long run, but because he doesn’t think the politics would work. Until things start to go seriously wrong, a convention would seem to most people like a waste of time – just another talking shop, when the politicians ought to have more important things to worry about. And that, of course, is the problem. When things do go wrong and the politicians start to get seriously worried – when, for example, a contraction of the economy produces an English nationalist reaction against the featherbedding of the Scots – it will be too late: at that point the politics will be too raw for the considered detachment that a constitutional convention needs. In truth, the politics of constitutional conventions are nightmarishly difficult to get right. If the public can see what is at stake, and has a chance to vote in delegates to defend their sectional interests, as in Germany in 1919 or Iraq in 2005, you get bad constitutions. On the other hand, if the public doesn’t take any particular interest, and lets the lawyers and politicians get on with it, as at the European convention in Brussels of 2002-3, then you also get bad constitutions. What one wants, as at Philadelphia in 1787, is for an engaged and passionately committed public to be represented by delegates who cut themselves off from the public during their proceedings. And that is simply not going to happen in the world of the Today programme and Good Morning Scotland.

I think he's right that no-one is going to try to address this - fixing postal voting (as in 'getting it somewhat reliable', not 'fixing it around the policy') is unlikely to be addressed before the next election, let alone the other stuff. It could be an interesting election, the next time around.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Latest Breaking News
Wed Sep 26th 2007, 10:39 AM
The heart of the argument in March 2003 was whether we could allow Dr. Blix and his colleagues more time to complete their inspections. The problem was that, although we wanted to allow Dr. Blix more time, there was not an effective international consensus for doing so.

Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, House of Commons, 12 Oct 2004

Of course, that may just be Straw trying to cover his arse in case of future Hague prosecutions. Still, 'I was only doing what Bush told me' probably won't be much of a defence.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Latest Breaking News
Sat Jun 23rd 2007, 09:13 AM
... We've been pushin' this 'unitary executive theory' for some time now, 'bout how any kind of decision has to be made by my office, an' there ain't no one who can tell me otherwise. But now, we need to move to the 'null executive theory', because some of those decisions are catchin' up on us - so it looks like we need to show there ain't no such thing as an 'executive' after all. Jus' think of it like that cat in 'Alice in Wonderland' - when you think you saw somethin', it just gradually starts to disappear - total amnesia in the Justice Department, so they can't have been there at all, an' can't have done anything illegal; no records about the Veep, so it looks like he never existed, and his energy task force sure didn't, ya get ma drift? An' finally, there's just a little cheesy grin left of li'l ol' me, so I can be to blame for anythin' either, understand? But don' you worry, the grin'll stay long enough to tell you what to do. It's jus' that no-one has ever sent a grin to jail before, so I reckon I'm safe like that ..."

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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in United Kingdom
Mon Jun 04th 2007, 09:09 AM
Boy, I bet you just can't wait to see it, huh?

Brace yourself, Sheila, here it comes:

Olympics get new logo in motion

Sebastian Coe, chairman of London's Olympic organising committee, has unveiled a "multimedia" brand image and logo for the London 2012 Olympic games.

The branding, which replaces the multicoloured Thames river-shaped "ribbon" that threads its way through the current motif, is considered to be a key stage in the transformation of the London bid from the status of successful candidate to host city.

London 2012's new brand aims to help establish the games as a credible property among young people in the UK, who the Olympic movement is desperate to reach.

The organisation said that the new emblem aims to be "dynamic, modern and flexible" and "will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks".

You should be good and pumped by now, I hope.

I mean, this brand image is going to establish credibility with young people - it's got to be something pretty damn impressive.

It works with new technology - so it must be something really advanced, mustn't it?

But it also works with traditional media networks. How amazing is that?

Forgive me if I quote just a little more than DU normally allows - because this is just so exciting:

It is meant to embody four key "brand pillars" of access, participation, stimulation and inspiration.

"This is not just a marketing logo," said the culture minister, Tessa Jowell, "but a symbol that will become familiar, instantly recognisable and associated with our games in so many ways during the next five years."

Not just a marketing logo! It embodied stimulation, inspiration, access, and participation! Well, let me tell you, I've felt accessed, participatory, inspired, and, above all, stimulated, ever since I saw it. Especially in the pillar department. Uncontainably stimulated, in fact. I just can't hold it back any longer.

Here it is:

I know. You're all speechless, aren't you? You feel over-stimulated. It's because you've seen it on a new media network, isn't it? Maybe I should have chosen the blue, green or orange alternatives to show you.

Phew, I'm off to have a lie-down in a darkened room. Thank God we only get the Olympics every 60 years or so, or we might have to withstand the same stimulation again in our lifetimes.

Still, it makes you proud to think that's the image we'll show to the world for the next 5 years, to symbolise striving, excellence, friendship and competition, doesn't it?
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Jun 02nd 2007, 05:44 AM
Nevertheless, we have vulnerabilities:
Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism.

That's right - judicial processes are for the weak, and they make the US 'vulnerable'. The same goes for those pesky international fora, like the United Nations. Oh, and terrorism, which is obviously in the same set as the UN and courts.

The more I look at that quote, the more appalled I become.
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Peggy Noonan says the White House thinks its base is stupid. No wonder, with the way she's worshipped Bush for years.
Because, Peggy, that's what most Republicans have done since about 1960 (and, in the case of McCarthyites, well before that too). You shouldn't be so surprised - it's just that now you find yourself getting pissed on, rather than being the urinator.

On edit: she has the reactions of a dinosaur:

The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005, when the president declared that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation.

Err, shouldn't that have been more like January 2002, with his "Axis of Evil" State of the Union speech? Whatever his real policies were before then, his public "I'm going to tell the world how to run itself, by force" ideas started then. If you'd been awake then, and not so busy damning any Republican opponents as unpatriotic yourself, you might have been able to use the one aspect of conservatism that can be useful - caution. Maybe that then would have made a difference in Nov 2004, you dumbass, Peggy.

For examples of how much Noonan is fooling herself, and lying to us, here's her reaction to that SotU (warning: have a bag handy. Your vomit will be copious):

The president was blunt in unveiling what will perhaps be known as the Bush Doctrine. And that is that the United States will no longer hope for the best in the world and respond only after being attacked; we will, instead, admit and act on the facts of the WMD era and actively search out our would-be killers wherever they are and whoever supports them and shut them down dead. The Clinton model of inadequate response based on ambivalent feeling is over; likewise the Bush I model of cat-herding coalitions and anxious diplomacy is over, though coalitions and diplomacy are nice, especially when everyone agrees to do the same thing at the same time in the same way.
Mr. Bush also is not by nature given to laundry-list speeches. One senses he understands that politicians who do them are trying to obscure the fact that they don't have a philosophy. They hope the adding up of program upon program will give the appearance of philosophy. But Mr. Bush has a philosophy. It is conservative. Freedom is the God-given and natural state of man, the government exists to protect man's freedom, and the greatest and most reliable freedom protector in all of human history is: us.
For a man who is famously not smart Mr. Bush certainly is smart. The president seems to me these days to be operating as a person of essentially two halves. The first half is Sheer Gut--a sharp and intelligent instinct, an inner shrewdness, an ability to see the bottom line, decide priorities, and see the difference between what is desired and what is needed. The second half, as the liberal pundit Bill Schneider said on CNN after the speech, is "character." People can tell, Mr. Schneider said, that when Mr. Bush says he's going to do something he actually means to do it.
And it's also true that those who once dismissed Mr. Bush and now praise him are demonstrating an honesty and high mindedness that is wonderful to behold after the sapping, sour 1990s. It really is refreshing--literally refreshing--to have a president people admire and can follow cleanly again.

That's beyond hero-worship - it's more like a new religion. For Peggy, Bush was The Chosen One.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Latest Breaking News
Wed May 30th 2007, 10:42 AM
"Paleoclimate information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is
unusual in at least the previous 1300 years. The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer
than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume led to 4
to 6 metres of sea level rise." You manage to draw the opposite conclusion from AR4.

"Nor do I think ... that man is creating the problem". More from the SPM: "The understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the Third Assessment Report (TAR), leading to very high confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6 <+0.6 to +2.4> W m-2 ... Changes in solar irradiance since 1750 are estimated to cause a radiative forcing of +0.12 <+0.06 to +0.30> W m-2"

You say "if they're even warming". Again, a quote: "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level". There's no 'if' about it.

The water vapour content of the atmosphere depends overwhelmingly on temperature, since if goes through a cycle in a matter of days, as opposed to carbon dioxide, which is on the scale of centuries. This means it is not a driver of long-term change, but a potential feedback mechanism. Anyone who had actually read the IPCC reports would know this.

I thus have to agree with you on one thing: you are an idiot.

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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Atheists and Agnostics Group
Thu May 24th 2007, 10:00 AM
You'd think it had to be satire. It's that ridiculous. But I don't think Norris does satire. Looks like the EAC headquarters will be getting a visit from a figure clad in black, handing out righteous Christian punishment to us blasphemers. Let me quote a bit (these links go to World Nut Daily - I went there so you won't have to - why giving them the advertising hits?):

For best results, this should be read in the voice of Stan Smith from 'American Dad!'

America is facing a new religious horizon in which atheism is becoming a formidable foe
Today many more antagonist groups and individuals to theism abound, and they are using every means possible for global proliferation – from local government to the World Wide Web. ... Of course no list of atheistic advocates would be complete without mentioning the ACLU and Planned Parenthood
these organizations and individuals would love nothing more than to help society look with distain upon Christianity and, ultimately, make its components illegal. In fact, right now, they are coalescing and rallying at least 5 million of their troops to mount counter offensives to Christianity.

For that reason I believe theistic patriots need to be wise to atheists' overt and covert schemes, exposing their agenda and fighting to lay waste to their plans.

Step 1: Initiate restrictions and legislation against theism and Christianity

For these liberal groups to win the war of ideological dominance, they know they must minimize the effects of Christianity, which many are doing (unbeknownst to others) behind the scenes through lobbying and legislation. In fact, two significant actions occurred on the National Day of Prayer just two weeks ago!
Eroding and erasing theistic language in culture is a growing trend. Earlier this year George Washington dollar coins were not only inscribed with the words "In God We Trust" on their edges, but many excluded them entirely! Such minting modifications are a flagrant defiance against theism and a public reflection of the place God is now relegated – to the fringes of society.
I urge you to write the president and your representatives today to encourage the overturning of this ungodly, religiously restricting and unconstitutional piece of legislation, erroneously titled by the misnomer, "Hate Crimes Prevention Act."

I will list a few others in this second part of my treatise to expose atheists' agenda to ban Christianity from the courts of culture.
While you think your kids are innocently surfing the Web, secular progressives are intentionally preying on their innocence and naïveté.

What's preposterous is that atheists are now advertising and soliciting on websites particularly created for teens.
Even Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins is on personal campaign and militant quest to spread his name, books and atheism all over the Internet by hoping young people will post his graphics on their MySpace page. Rather than question or critique his methods as slick marketing, young atheists are proud to post his links, follow and defend him like a religious sage, and cite his texts as infallible truth.

Step 3: Package and promote atheism as reasonable and scientific

Presenting atheism as scientific fact might be secularists' greatest plan and others' point of greatest gullibility, in hope of winning the battle for the ultimate view of reality. And hailed as their chief advocates are men like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, Oxford University's ethologist and evolutionary biologist, with his book, "The God Delusion," atheists' newest "bible" or authoritative text.

So what credentials does a man like Dawkins have to discuss the presence or absence of God? Answer: He's "a scientist." And the fact is anyone in our age who is a naturalist professor or wears a white lab coat can virtually speak upon any issue (even God) and their words are received as gospel – unless of course they are a theist!

(via Goosing the Antithesis)

So, Chuck, is that a beard, or just month-old foam from your mouth?
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in United Kingdom
Thu May 17th 2007, 06:27 AM
Interview on NBC:

Brian Williams: Would you do it again? If you knew it all today, WMD threat wasn't there, what was going to happen in the aftermath, no plan for follow-on strategy, would you make the same decision to go with President Bush?

Tony Blair: I would make the same decision to remove Saddam, yes.

Brian Williams: Did you in fact say to him, as was reported in the Bob Woodward book, I'm with you until the end?

Tony Blair: I told him I was with him once it was clear that Saddam wasn't going to comply with the U.N. resolutions. You know, I've never made any secret of the fact that this wasn't an act for me of simply well America wants it and that's what we've got to do. And I believe that September 11th was an attack on all of us and my own view now today is even clearer than it was back then.

He says he'd have still invaded if he knew there wasn't a WMD threat (OK, we basically know that anyone with half a brain knew there wasn't a threat, especially with the access to intelligence that Blair had, but at the time he was all "45 minutes to launch"), and then moments later says it was about Saddam not complying with UN resolutions. But he did, you fucking liar! The UN inspectors had to flee the country to avoid getting killed by your bombs, Blair!

And then, to twist the knife of power-crazed neoconservative duplicity once more in the guts of democracy and accountability, he mentions September 11th.

Fuck me, I think I may despise him even more than Thatcher now.
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About a year ago, I wrote up what I've found out about the Henry Jackson Society - which seemed to be shaping up as a possible successor to the PNAC, judging by its 'international patrons'. It seems to have stayed more as a discussion group, though it did publish a book. But part of my interest derived from the "Committee for a Strong Europe", which had previously been talked about by a PNAC member as a successor to that organisation - but had then failed to materialise, either on the web, or anywhere apart from the various blogs speculating about it.

Well, now it's turned up on the web - / . It has various articles on it, reprinted from things like The Weekly Standard, mostly from 2005 - but looking at the Google caches, it seems to have sprung into existence in mid-February 2007 (though the domain name was registered in Jan 2005 - seemingly based in Madrid).

Some of the articles are headed "Committee for a Strong Europe"

but some are headed "The Madrid Initiative", although that name doesn't seem to mean anything (it was occasionally used as a name for the anti-WMD "Proliferation Security Initiative", in which several countries (the usual suspects - USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany and more) claimed the right to stop and search any ship on the high seas, if it was suspected of carrying WMD-related material. This seems to have been aimed at North Korea).

Ironically, its "Statement of Principles" is blank (as is its 'Manifesto'). It also interestingly reprints an article by Frank Gaffney called "Our Saudi Enemies" - not standard PNAC stuff.

Anyway, this is as much a way of getting their pages indexed on Google, by linking to them, as anything. But I do wonder who's behind the site, this time.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Latest Breaking News
Tue May 01st 2007, 07:38 PM
Source: BBC

The BBC has now published a full transcript of an MI5 bugged conversation in which the bomber discusses leaving the UK to join jihadi extremists in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas.

The media were briefed that Khan and fellow bombers were "clean skins" - men with no previous record of terrorist associations.

But evidence following the end of the trial reveals MI5 photographed Khan as he met other extremists, followed him home - and by the summer of 2004 they knew his surname and that he owned a car.
The committee, which comprises MPs and Lords, is expected to examine claims that West Yorkshire Police special branch was not told about the MI5 surveillance operation.

Read more:

Not only did MI5 have Sidique Khan's name as a contact with 'Q' - the suspected plot coordinator who is still at liberty in the UK - before the fertiliser plot arrests were made, they found out after the arrests that the car that the arrested men had travelled in was registered to him as well.

But here's the real shocker:

"The amount of time I spent editing this bastard," says Mr Gilbertson. One sequence features President George Bush citing the word "crusade" after 9/11, repeating his threat and proceeding to a horrific history lesson about the Crusaders of old "like an unholy tide of demons let loose upon the earth". The presentation then twists into horrific images of mutilated, dismembered and slaughtered children in Iraq, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere. "If these pictures can make me cry," says Mr Gilbertson, "what effect are they going to have on some impressionable Muslim youth?" According to reports after the bombings, the man regarded as the bombers' ringleader, Mohammad Sidique Khan, distributed what newspapers called "horror DVDs". By October 2003, Mr Gilbertson had become so alarmed by his own work and the discourse around him that he went to the local Holbeck police station. He says he was told to send his material to West Yorkshire police headquarters. The package he sent to the force's HQ in Wakefield included examples of the DVDs he had produced, a contact number at which he could be reached and a list of names, including two of the bombers - Shehzad Tanweer and Sidique Khan - as well as the recipients and senders of their email traffic.

He heard nothing; his warning, he claims, disappeared into a black hole. "I only wish I had had some access to MI5. I probably could have got them in there, before the bombs went off."

Mr Gilbertson's package was addressed to the anti-terrorist squad. Asked this week about Mr Gilbertson's approach, a spokesman for West Yorkshire police told the Guardian: "It's going to be almost impossible to trace what happened to a specific item of mail. We don't have an anti-terrorist squad, and there's no way of saying to where it might have gone from the mailroom. We get all sorts of material on extremist groups - but it's impossible to say whether this made its way into the intelligence system, whether it was discounted as low-level intelligence or whether it was acted upon in some way."

Martin Gilbertson told BBC Newsnight tonight that the Iqra bookshop's computers were taken by the police in a raid - transcript from the programme:

Back in Leeds, MSK and others running the bookstore were using the computer expertise of Martin Gilbertson, but by October 2003 Gilbertson was becoming increasingly worried about the Beeston extremists and supplied copies of material they produced to the West Yorkshire Police. He also supplied a list of names including MSK and the second London bomber Shehzad Tanweer.

After our coverage of the Crevice trial, Martin Gilbertson contacted the programme to reveal that months after he'd given the tipoff to West Yorkshire police, the computers and the Iqra bookshop were seized in a police raid. This raid was about the same time surveillance began on the leader of the Crevice plot, Omar Khyam.

Khyam was followed up the M1, travelling with Sidique Khan in February 2004. By June 2004 MI5 knew the car was registered to Sidique Khan. At this point, searching on that name would have unearthed the references to Sidique Khan we've described.

In October 2003, Sidique Khan's name was known to the West Yorkshire police as being involved in Islamic extremism. By mid 2004, MI5 knew Sidique Khan had twice had contact with the arrested suspects in a UK terror plot - and his address in West Yorkshire. Despite him talking about 'jihad' and terrorism on recorded conversations with their suspects, MI5 never talked to West Yorkshire police about him - they dismissed him as a fraudster (hey, you might think they'd let the local police know about that too, wouldn't you?) But West Yorkshire knew he was in an extremist group. A year later, he was the leader of the 7/7 bombings.
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I just want to give this a bit of transatlantic publicity. It'll show you how childish the right wing blogs in the UK can be - and how underdeveloped blogging in the UK is, if this person can have a claim to be a, or even 'the', leading UK political blogger.

Background: "Guido Fawkes" (real name: Paul Staines) is a blogger who gets the occasional tipoff from political sources, and so has broken a couple of minor political stories (along the lines of gossip) a few hours before the print media. He has talked this up to being called a 'leading political blogger' - successfully enough for Newsnight, the BBC's flagship news-in-depth programme, to give him 10 minutes on why political journalists shouldn't get friendly with politicians - he claimed that bloggers like him had 'cleaner hands' (despite him getting those stories from somewhere). Fawkes is generally a Tory (he was involved in Conservative student politics).

Tim Ireland is a liberal blogger who has done some good in UK web politics - he harried 10 Downing Street until they finally got an email address that the public could send messages for Tony Blair to, for instance, and promoted MPs starting their own blogs. He's highly critical of Fawkes, who he says edits critical comments out of his blog, or uses sock-puppets on other blogs. He also criticises Iain Dale for similar tactics - he's a sometime Conservative candidate who is a leading UK blogger, and who now webcasts a political channel on the Net, and who has published several political books, including a 'guide to UK political blogging' (Dale and 'Fawkes' have even published an anti-New Labour book together).

Today's development, from Tim Ireland's Bloggerheads site:

Basically, if you follow any permalink from anywhere at (which includes Guido 2.0), or at Iain Dale's Dairy (hosted at, you will be redirected to the front page of the related site... and away from any evidence that Iain Dale and Paul Staines would rather you didn't take a closer look at.
UPDATE - Dizzy confirms he was behind the introduction of this kiddy-tech and includes his most common trademark... a thinly-veiled threat: "Now, I must get back to reading up on Movable Type and how insecure it is."
UPDATE - See comments. In a further breach of the kind of trust that's essential to blogging, Dizzy has now amended his code so any link to his site from this one or Iain Dale's Dairy redirects to in other words, any new visitor who happens across a post about Dizzy on this site will be forcibly and unexpectedly redirected to a NSFW website. He's excelling himself today... and appears to be so drunk on the technical side of what he's achieved that he is blind to the cultural side.

UPDATE (6pm) - Paul Staines has done a 'monkey do' and configured his site to redirect all links from or to any page on his website ( to (as Tygerland puts it, with; "No warning. No heads-up about being 'not safe for work'. Nothing.") - despite my pointing out here that the NSFW thing is going to be a major issue for people even if the redirects in general are not. Gotta love that devil-may-care attitude.

This is indeed the case, at the time of writing. The site isn't that bad, but it is indeed 'not safe for work' at somewhere fairly strict. Dale still just redirects to his homepage, but the principle of trying to discourage others looking at past entries on his blog still seems childish and fundamentally against the spirit of blogging.

When I compare this behaviour with some of the political blogs in the USA, or sites like DU, it makes me feel ashamed to be British. These 2 blogs really are counted as 'well-known' - for instance, a recent BBC guide to political blogs lists both of them, in quite a short list. And their idea of political discussion is trying to make it difficult for opponents to see what they say - or to put rude pictures on their screens.

So, if anyone ever tells you that 'Guido Fawkes' or 'Iain Dale' are worth looking at, they're not. They make 'Little Green Footballs' look professional.
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Posted by muriel_volestrangler in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Apr 23rd 2007, 01:41 PM
I show you the historians' view that triremes were crewed by paid volunteers, and because that doesn't fit your pet theory, you say my view is equivalent to Holocaust denial?

I've never been so fucking insulted on DU. I never said that the Knights Hospitallers didn't use slaves, nor did I dispute that some of their slaves were Jewish. I just pointed out that historians don't think slaves were used in triremes, ancient or medieval. That puts a big hole in your idea of why Perle and his partners chose the name 'Trireme'. But rather than showing any counter evidence (hint: showing that Nostradamus knew of the existence of triremes isn't evidence that slaves were use to row them), you call me an 'apologist' (I presume you mean for Perle), and then suggest I'm like a Holocaust denier? Outrageous. After that, I have to wonder if you're calling me an apologist for Hitler.

To make it clear: you did care about the number of oars a trireme had ("It is the term for a three banked slave galley"), but faced with evidence against the 'slave' part, you've backed into a gross insult against me. It's the biggest 'ad hominem' argument I've ever had attempted against me. It's despicable.
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