USA

Yellow jerseys and white lies

Lance uses his fingers to demonstrate the amount of times he's taken performance enhancing drugs

Lance uses his fingers to demonstrate the amount of times he’s taken performance enhancing drugs

It’s not about the drugs…or is it?

“I can emphatically say I am not on drugs”, I said… “I know there’s been looking, and prying, and digging, but you’re not going to find anything. There’s nothing to find… and once everyone has done their due diligence and realizes they need to be professional and can’t print a lot of crap, they’ll realize they’re dealing with a clean guy”.


LANCE ARMSTRONG during the 1999 Tour de France (from his autobiography IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE, published 2000)

OK, so it’s easy (and some may say opportunistic) to kick people when they’re down, but some people deserve it. Texas may have a yellow rose, but no longer a yellow jerey.

Columbo Theme Park to be built on South Atlantic Islands

 

Is the Penn mightier than the sword?

Peter "Columbo" Falk on the Falklands

The Hollywood actor Sean (A member of the Ex-Mr Madonna club along with Guy Ritchie and star of 1980s brat pack movies about college boys and girls behaving badly) Penn has come in for a bit of flack after his pro-Argentine anti-imperialist comments on the Falkland/Malvinas Islands.  Even Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has got in on the act.  The trouble is whenever celebrities make ill-advised forays into political or economic analysis, regardless of whose side they take they tend to get ridiculed.  And often rightly so.  After all if Barack Obama tried his hand at acting or if David Cameron attempted to make it as a rock musician they would no doubt be sneered at.

Who’d want to live on a cold wet wind-swept island in the Atlantic anyway?  I pose this question with deliberate irony as I type this, while looking out the window at the cold wet outdoors.

My solution is this.  Give the islands to Argentina as long as they undertake to build a theme park dedicated to the one-eyed Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant “Just one more thing…” Columbo, as played by the late Peter Falk.  It could be called the Falk-Land Islands Theme Park.

 

The Dubya-M-Ds in G-Dubya-B’s head

Oil be the judge of that

This week the Times is publishing serial extracts from a newly published work of fiction – the ghost-written memoirs of George W. Bush, Decision Points. This little gem caught my eye:

“When Saddam didn’t use WMD on troops, I was relieved. When we didn’t discover the stockpile soon after the fall of Baghdad, I was surprised. When the whole summer passed without finding any, I was alarmed.” [Yeah right – even thought the UN weapons inspections report by Hans Blix hadn’t found any evidence for WMDs prior to the invasion]

“The left trotted out a new mantra: “Bush Lied, People Died”. The charge was illogical. If I wanted to mislead the country into war, why would I pick an allegation that was certain to be disproven?”
It wouldn’t be anything to do with the fact that gaining a plentiful supply of cheap oil was more important than the truth by any chance? Or that Dick Cheney told him to?

“While the world was undoubtedly safer with Saddam gone, [try telling that to the hundreds of thousands who were killed after Saddam had been removed] I had sent American troops into combat based in large part on intelligence that proved false. ” [Somehow the word “intelligence” and George W. Bush don’t make good bedfellows].

“No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons. I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do.”

Oil be the judge of that – pull the other one, Georgie.

Tony Blairs All between Iraq and a hard place

Cartoon by Martin Schranks

Ken Macdonald QC’s piece in The Times brilliantly exposes Tony Blair’s real position on the decision to invade Iraq:

“Hindsight is a great temptress. But we needn’t trouble her on the way to a confident conclusion that Mr Blair’s fundamental flaw was his sycophancy towards power. Perhaps this seems odd in a man who drank so much of that mind-altering brew at home. But Washington turned his head and he couldn’t resist the stage or the glamour that it gave him. In this sense he was weak and, as we can see, he remains so. Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that “hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right”. But this is a narcissist’s defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgment: it is certainly no answer to death. “Yo, Blair”, perhaps, was his truest measure.”

It’s doubtful whether the Chilcott enquiry will reveal anything new, but it’s all very simple really:

Q:  Why did the Americans invade Iraq?

A:  Because there’s a lot of oil there and big bad Saddam while doing nasty things to his own people (but that’s beside the point) wasn’t going to give it to them – and coincidentally America’s own oil supplies are running low.

Q:  Why did the British invade Iraq?

A:  Because the Americans told them to (and apparently there’s a lot of oil there too).

Blair didn’t have the balls to say no to Bush.  Nor do his successors have the balls to tell the Americans to fuck off in relation to the extradition  of computer hacker Gary McKinnon who has the right to be tried in his own country.  Uncle Sam has John Bull in his pocket – just like a paedophiliac relationship between priest and altar boy.  The US has enough power and influence to carry on abusing and Britain is too ashamed to blow the whistle.  While the Vatican UN quietly turns a blind eye, pretending they didn’t know anything about it.

El Nuevo Hombre en la Casa Blanca

Era una día historica para los Estados Unidos con la elección del primero presidente de origen africano. Obama empieza su nuevo posición durante un tiempo muy dificil…

What probably makes it even more difficult for Obama is the weight of expectation on his shoulders and his public beatification by the masses as some kind of living saint/saviour of the world figure before he even took up office. That said he does seem to be clued up about the wider world and in touch with the ordinary man/woman on the street – and got to the White House on his own merit rather than on the back of daddy’s oil empire and political pedigree. I believe he’ll do a good job.

The controversial political commentator Ann Coulter  (described by “The Beast” magazine (http://buffalobeast.com/122/50mostloathsome2007.html) as “A skeletal freak who hates the world and lives to anger people into buying her books” doesn’t seem to think so however.  Referring to him as “B. Hussein Obama”,thus emphasising his middle name as if to link him with the former butcher of Baghadad – or better still imply he’s a member of Al-Qu’aeeda – Coulter certainly knows what sour grapes taste like. In the spirit of consistency she should similarly refer to the ex-president as G. Walker Bush. 

I’m informed by a reliable source (ie a bloke who drinks at my local, whose wife’s childminder’s husband’s brother’s wife’s uncle was a builder who refitted Coulter’s kitchen apparently) that Ann Coulter’s middle is Sshole.

So in the true spirit of fair play and consistency she should refer to herself as A. Sshole Coulter.

America Awaits…While the World lives in Hope

With just over a week to go before America decides on the next occupant of the White House, it looks like Obama’s victory is in the bag.  After the unmitigated disaster in Iraq and the financial crisis in full swing the country is ready for change.

It seems that Citizen McCain’s biggest mistake has been his choice of running mate.  Palin, despite her obvious appeal to the ordinary worker and moose hunter is – it’s fair to say – not the sharpest tool in the box.  What was little more than an attempt to win over disenfranchised Hillary Clinton supporters is backfiring on the Republicans.

Meanwhile, on the subject of Republicans and Obama’s alleged connections with terrorists, the PSNI should note that he seems to have inside knowledge of the Belfast Northern Bank robbery:
“let’s help families right away by providing them a tax cut — a middle-class tax cut for people making less than $200,000, and let’s allow them to access their IRA accounts without penalty if they’re experiencing a crisis.”

Cue eerie, deathly silence punctuated by the swoosh of tumble weeds in the whistling wind and the distant clanging of a funeral bell…I’ll get my coat.  Not even Joe the plumber would find that one funny.  Still, better than your average Dylan Moran gag.
 
With the economic gloom engulfing the world like 1992 all over again, (when significantly a Democratic, with a first name beginning with B was elected to replace an outgoing president called Bush – deja-vu perhaps?) the presidential elections have taken something of a backseat on this side of the Atlantic. 
 
Still, whatever critiscisms can be levelled at Obama, at least he’s interesting and intelligent – and after eight long years of its outgoing occupant the world needs someone interesting and intelligent in the White House...

 

Sarah Palin - has this vice presidential campaign ceased to be?

Sarah Palin - has this vice presidential campaign ceased to be?

 Or better still – Palin to insignificance?  A whiter shade of Palin?  Cue eerie silence, etc, etc…
 

 

FR USA Exclusive: McCains unhealthy and tasteless/OBAMA under fire from PALIN and animal rights groups

According to a report published by the Washington-based think tank Fries-R-Us Associates (FR USA), McCains oven chips are unhealthy and lack taste.

Meanwhile, the Washington offices of the Organisation for the Betterment of Alpha Male Aardvarks (OBAMA), a benevolent group which campaigns on behalf of patriarchal South African bush-dwelling anteaters was picketed by a number of protest groups led by the insects’ rights coalition Progressive Ants’ League against Injustice and Negativity (PALIN). 

A spokeswoman for PALIN said “we will continue to barrack OBAMA until we get an apology for the pillaging of anthills in the bush”.  The group alleged that the wholesale consumption of ants by members of OBAMA was particularly accute in an expansive area of grassland in the west of South Africa, in a region known as the Great Western or GW Bush for short.

The ants then marched on to join their fellow insect campaigners for refreshments at the Bee Den.  PALIN’s actions were condemned by a rival anteaters’ group, a creative workshop known as the Dreaming Armadillos.