Monday, January 29, 2007

One more sleep to go...

Dark Side of the Moon album cover. more sleep till Roger!

One more sleep till the big old fella
Comes onto that stage
And sings his songs
And makes me SHOUT!
(with joy, that is)


Oh my lordy I can hardly wait!

I'll see you on the dark side of the moon...

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Join the Global Peace March!

Anti-war protest in New York. Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know by now that I am not shy of telling America (and Britain to some extent) what I think - especially when it comes to the decisions made by GW "The Decider/Escalator" Bush.

Nearly four years ago, on 15 February 2003, I was one of millions of people protesting across the world against the Bush/Blair governments' plans to invade Iraq. I think most of us knew at the time that our protests would fall on deaf ears, that Bush and Blair had already made up their minds and weren't interested in what the world thought of their illegal war. Yet up to 30 million of us protested anyway. I was there because I felt it was something I had to do - I had to stand up and be counted, and I had to register my protest - even though I knew it would make no difference at that stage.

Anti-war protest in Berlin. We were part of the biggest worldwide demonstration in history. Back then the anti-war protestors in America were attacked, vilified, called "traitors" and "un-American". It was pretty tough being against the war if you were an American. It was also pretty hard if you weren't an American - because we knew that those who made the decisions simply weren't listening to what the rest of the world thought.

What a difference four years makes. Over 3,000 dead American soldiers, up to 600,000 dead Iraqis, and a country descended into civil war, at a cost to America of over 361 billion dollars and counting. Now 64% of Americans think that the War on Iraq was a mistake. Fifty-one percent of Americans now "strongly" disapprove of Bush's job performance overall, a majority for the first time. Just 17 percent strongly approve - a 3-1 negative ratio.

AVAAZ. There's a huge anti-war peace march planned for this Saturday January 27 in Washington DC, organised by United for Peace and Justice. Hundreds of thousands of protestors are expected - all there to tell George Bush just what they think of the war on Iraq, and to ask the new US Congress to block the military escalation in Iraq and demand a diplomatic solution and a real plan to end the Iraq war.

And I'll be there too - in a virtual capacity - courtesy of - the world in action.

Read on, to find out how you too can be a part of the virtual protest...

Anti-war protest in Jakarta, Indonesia. Members of at the march on Saturday have pledged to carry banners and flags representing those of us around the world who are opposed to the ongoing war on Iraq, and its current escalation. It's easy to take part, and to add your name and country to the growing list. When I signed up this afternoon the numbers stood at around 55,000. A few hours later and it's at 65,000 and still rising. Join the Global Peace March! was co-founded by Res Publica, a global civic advocacy group, and, an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States. From their website:

Our aim is to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people -- and not just political elites and unaccountable corporations -- shape global decisions. members are taking action for a more just and peaceful world and a vision of globalization with a human face.

In our inter-connected world, the actions of political leaders and corporations are having a profound impact on all of us. To match the power and reach of global leaders and borderless corporations, members are building a powerful movement of citizens without borders. As citizens without borders, we might not have the resources of governments, corporations or the media, but working together we can bring together millions of people around the world and make global public opinion really count on major global issues like poverty, climate change, human rights and global security.

We have a voice. Let's use it. The US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi government are part of the problem, sending tens of thousands more American troops will only fan the flames of this conflict, and it's endangering us all. It's time to demand a real plan to end the war. 
Add your name to the petition and join the march. Tell your friends before Saturday, and make the number on your country's placard big!

Anti-war protest in Korea. I was browsing through old posts on this blog last night, and I came across this mega-rant - Speaking Truth to Power - can get you into trouble - which I'd quite forgotten about. It explains pretty clearly why I feel I have the right to speak out about what's been happening in America over the past 6 years.

In it, I ask the hypothetical question that some Americans may ask when reading my blog: What right do I have to pass judgement on your country?

Here's a bit of my answer:
I think firstly it's because what happens in America affects what happens in the rest of the world. Like it or not, America is the only superpower on the planet right now, and the fact that it's being ruled by a man I believe to be a sociopath, in a manner more befitting a King than a President, scares the shit out of me.


Anti-war protest in Italy. I see estimates of the dead in Iraq since the war began, and I am horrified that over 2,750 American lives and up to 600,000 Iraqi lives have already been sacrificed by Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and the rest of the criminals in the White House. Sacrified for a lie, for oil, for imaginary WMD, in order to force democracy at the point of a gun, for whatever-the-hell this week's "reason" for the invasion might be - and still Bush insists on "staying the course" in Iraq, even as that beleaguered nation decends into civil war and anarchy.


Wage peace. I see ordinary Americans slowly but surely losing the very freedoms that Bush has sworn an oath to protect, and I see him and his cohorts destroying, piece by piece, the Constitution that his country was founded upon. I see them paying scant regard to the opinions of anyone else in the rest of the world, and I see their arrogance as they stomp all over the rights of ordinary citizens in their own country - and I wonder when (or even if) America is going to wake up and realise what's happening in "the land of the free and the home of the brave". From over here, it doesn't look as free to me as it was even six years ago, and the brave appear to be very few and far between right now.

The only power I have, not being able to vote or make financial contributions to the Democratic campaign in the US, is to get as informed as I can, to speak out, and to write what I know and how I feel in my blog. That's it.

Stop the war. These are some of the reasons why I'll be part of the virtual Global Peace March this Saturday, representing New Zealand as part of the interconnected global community. I hope that, unlike four years ago, we will make a difference. I also hope you'll join me - or even better, if you're able, join the march in Washington DC.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

YouTube Campaign to Impeach Bush

YouTube, how do I love thee? I got a msg in my YouTube inbox today from drachnid01, wondering if I'd be interested in watching his video response to freesouljah's YouTube Campaign to Impeach Bush. Man, I love the way that all those tubes on the internets are interconnected... it makes life very interesting.

So - was I interested in drachnid01's video response? HELL YES! It's a brilliant piece of work. Here it is - a good dozen reasons to impeach both Bush and Cheney for their War of Terrorism:

Nicely done, drachnid01 - that's a pretty full-on set of reasons you got there.

So now let's track backwards and see the original video from freesouljah that inspired drachnid01. Follow me down the tubes, people!

Gotta love freesouljah - what a mellow dude!

Now if you watched that video, you'll see that it in turn was a response to warren25smash's YouTube Get Out Of Iraq Campaign - which currently has over 33,000 views. Here it is:

...and so it goes on. warren25smash posts a whole lot of videos on YouTube - he's a very angry, very passionate person, who's got a lot to say about Bush and the war on Iraq. He's getting pretty well known for swearing on his videos - and I can't really say I blame him. The insanity of Bush makes me swear on a regular basis. I just don't do it much on YouTube...

Speaking of responses to Dubya (that's Mister 28% to you!), I rather liked Senator Jim Webb's response to Bush's lacklustre State of the Union address last night. Here's Jim:

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

Right on, Jim! In addition to showing him the way, would you mind also showing him the door? Now? Thanks, man.

Interesting links

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yaay for the working bee!

We've been vaguely talking about having working bees at each other's houses (or rather, in each other's gardens) for a while now, and Lou and Jason (being the efficient and organised people that they are) decided to actually get one happening today.

Quite a few of us turned up at L&J's this morning (plus Jason's mum and dad), and we got so much done! It was heaps of fun - it's nice working on a project with a whole bunch of your friends. Lou project-managed and made us all a fabulous lunch, and we all got stuck in and did whichever part of the garden project appealed to us.

I was feeling in quite a "listening" frame of mind, and I really enjoyed quietly sitting in my corner of the garden, clearing weeds, and listening to everyone chatting away while they worked. Found a very cool stick insect on my hat, really hurt my back - it's agony now - I can't find any sitting position that's remotely comfortable - and had a lovely time! Here are all the pictures...

Click on a pic for the larger version.

Briget hiding in the bushes at the start of the day

Jason and the pile of bricks - start of the day

Lou - ready for anything!

Half-finished path, first thing this morning

Jason & John putting in the posts for the raised bed

Checking the levels

Kurt laying the path

Bruce fixing the fence

Steve & Gabby doing a bit of weeding

Finishing off the first level of planks on the raised bed

Kurt with his completed pathway

Kurt "practising" with Otis

Bronja, Gabby, Otis and Steve

My stick insect!

Finishing off the second level of the raised bed

The completed raised bed

Laying bricks and sand around the raised bed

Jason smoothing out the sand

Hmmm - Briget's either tired, thirsty, or she just ate a bee...

Jason & Bruce finishing off the bricks

Kurt - he-man!

Lou taking a break

My completed corner of the garden - look - no weeds!

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kittens and penguins stop traffic on Auckland motorways

Okay - a kitten and a penguin, but you get the general idea...

This is just too cute for words:

Lucky the kitten.
This is Lucky, a kitten rescued from the centre of a six-lane motorway in Auckland yesterday. Somehow, the poor pootie had managed to dodge the traffic and get to the centre median strip of the motorway - where he was spotted by many drivers, some of whom called police and the SPCA.

Two motorcycle cops were sent to rescue him - and they actually stopped the traffic in order to get to him. The poor wee kitty had been stuck out on the road for more than an hour by the time he was rescued. He's got a few cuts on his face from where stones flew up, grazed paws and he lost a few claws trying to cling to the road, but apart from that he's doing fine.


Here's the full story - Police close motorway to rescue kitten - there's a video there too.

Every time I think about it my stomach gets all clenched up in knots thinking how lucky he is to have survived, and how close he came to using up all nine lives in one go, and how incredible it is that he didn't rush out into the traffic again - and how wonderful it is that the police actually stopped the traffic on the whole motorway, just to rescue him. Wow. I love New Zealand!

Little Blue Penguin. And then today - it was a penguin's turn to stop traffic!

All day today motorists on the Auckland Harbour Bridge have been calling the motorway monitoring company to tell them that there was a penguin waddling across the bridge - and there was!

Auckland Harbour Bridge. It took them all day to find it, but finally this afternoon as they were doing another check of the barrier, it popped its head up and they were able to rescue it. Apparently it walked from the Auckland side, almost to the top of the bridge. Wow. It's not a small bridge, either!

Here's the story - Penguin waddles up motorway and onto Auckland Harbour Bridge. I suspect it was actually a Little Blue Penuin, like the one in the picture above - rather than the slightly less common Emperor Penguin they've used to illustrate the story on the NZ Herald site. Snigger.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

How to get up in the morning

Bailey asleep. As those of you who read my blog regularly will know, I'm something of a night owl by nature. I just can't get up in the morning. I generally manage to stagger into work at some time after 10am, feeling very sheepish, and I think I'm very fortunate to be working with such understanding colleagues, who (thus far) haven't given me a hard time about it. Brian did give me an alarm clock as his Secret Santa present, though... Hmmmm. :)

During the holidays it got really extreme, because I also love to sleep. If I don't have to get up, I'm more than happy to sleep for 10-12 hours (with much snoozing going on in the latter part of that time).

Problem is, I then need to stay awake for a normal day's length of 16 hours or so before I feel tired enough to go to sleep again. 16+10=26 - which means that when I do sleep for that long, my bedtime gets later and later and later as the days go on. By the end of the holidays I was going to bed at 5am and getting up sometime after 3pm. Not good, when you have to get back into something of a sensible routine for work!

This also happens at weekends on a regular basis, even when it's not the holidays. I sleep in until about 2.30pm, and by the time I get up, most of the day is gone. Wasted.

Today (Sunday) I got up at 7.45am. I had a shower, made myself a coffee and sat down at my computer. By 9.30 I had read and recommended a dozen Daily Kos diaries, checked the CH and thought about what else I needed to do for The Gathering website.

Then I spent an hour or two writing this morning's blog post, and a couple more hours figuring out how to make a Google Map of The Gathering's Canaan Downs site, complete with map, satellite and hybrid views, an overview insert, a fully zoomable interface, and a whole bunch of little clickable info windows - with working line breaks. Go me!

By the time I usually start thinking I really should get up, I was in the garden de-mossing and weeding the terrace. It's now more than half-finished. After a few hours in the garden (and another half hour taking photos of all the pretty flowers in my garden) I settled down to watch Survivor: Cook Islands (today we reached the episode where the self-centred Candice got booted out - hooray!). Then I watched Whale Rider and cried all the way through, and now I'm back at my computer writing my second blog of the day.

Anyone who knows me in real life will have fallen from their chair in shock at the bit where I wrote "Today (Sunday) I got up at 7.45am" and they'll still be on the floor as they read this.

How did this self-confessed night owl do it? And will she continue to do it? Read on, gentle reader, read on...

Winnie asleep. Last Monday was our first day back at work after the holidays. I had had about 4 hours' sleep, and when the alarm clock went off, it was such a shock to the system I sat bolt upright in bed - and then got out of bed, took off my PJs and got into the shower. By the time I realised what I'd managed to do I was halfway through my shower and was feeling really quite awake. Amazing!

Later that day I was having a bit of a surf around the internets and I noticed a link entitled How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog) by a guy called Steve Pavlina. Being a bit of a blogger myself (really? I bet you never knew that...), I thought I'd take a quick look, just out of interest. Very sensible stuff, which basically boiled down to "write interesting and original stuff that is of value and which people will want to read".

I didn't end up reading the whole thing, because the headline How to Become an Early Riser in Steve's Best of... list caught my eye. Hmmm. "Well, I have been feeling guilty about letting the team down by being continually late for work, and Brian did get me that alarm clock, and I do feel remarkably good today, which is amazing considering I only had 4 hours' sleep and got straight out of bed when the alarm went off this morning.... can't hurt to take a look, can it?"

So I did.

Steve reckons there are two schools of thought on how to get up early. The first is that you must live your life by the clock. Go to bed at the same time every night, get up at the same time every morning, using an alarm clock if you need to. Bleagh! A free spirit like me (read: rebellious grownup stuck at age 12 when it comes to getting up), live by the clock? No way!

The second school of thought is that you do what your body tells you. Go to sleep when you're tired, get up when you wake up. Which is basically what I've been doing - and it doesn't work too well when you like to sleep (and snooze) as much as I do. Nor does it work well when you actually do, you know, have to get up and go to work every day.

Steve's idea was to combine the two methods. The deal is that you can go to bed whenever you like, but you must get up at the same time every morning (using an alarm clock if you need it), regardless of the time you went to bed. So you get into bed when you are tired, and you don't actually try to sleep until you are ready to sleep (which is when it feels like you'll drop off within 5 minutes). He recommends reading in bed until you get sleepy, which is something I love to do, and have always done.

Then when the alarm clock goes off the next morning, you must get up straight away (no snoozing!). After a few days your body will adjust, so that if you went to bed late the night before, you'll feel tired earlier and will go to bed earlier the following night.

Now - the tricky bit - How to Get Up Right Away When Your Alarm Goes Off. Oh my God. I am SO the worst in the world at this. I just can't do it! In fact I'm so good at not doing it that I actually switch off the alarm in my sleep, and carry on sleeping for another hour or two - which is why I'm always late for work. I should say was always late for work - because for the whole of this past week I've been arriving at work before 9am. It's a miracle! How did I do it? Well funnily enough, Steve has another blog post on that very subject. Brilliant!

Steve reckons that your 10-o'clock-last-night brain - the one that said "hmmm I would really like to get up at 7.45 tomorrow morning - I'll set my alarm..." is much more reliable than your 7.45am "oh my god I'm so TIRED - do I have to get up? Just 5 more minutes I promiszzzzzzzzz..." brain. Makes sense to me! So what you've gotta do is train your muscle memory to do the getting up for you, so as to stop your 7.45am brain interfering and stopping you getting out of bed.

Same principle as Pavlov's Dog. Pavlov did some research where he rang a bell whenever the dog was fed. After a while, the sound of the bell (with no accompanying food) caused the dog's mouth to water. In the same way, you have to train your body to get up automatically at the sound of the bell, so that by the time you realise what's happening, you're out of bed and in the shower.

He actually recommends practising getting up, so as to train yourself to do it automatically. You set the scene for going to bed (although it's actually daytime). Close your curtains, brush your teeth, put your PJs on, get into bed, set the alarm to go off in 2 minutes' time, and pretend to sleep. When the alarm goes off, do some deep breaths, big stretches, get out of bed... and than do it all again.

I didn't actually have to do that. For the past 6 days out of 7 I have got out of bed the moment the alarm goes off. It's miraculous.

I think for me it was a culmination of a buildup of guilt about always being late to work, plus feeling that I was wasting the days by sleeping through them, and my body clock getting extremely out of whack during these holidays - and a method that came along at exactly the right time, which appealed to me because it still allows me to be a rebellious teenager at night, as long as I agree to be a sensible grownup in the morning. I think that's key, actually.

The whole thing was crystallised for me yesterday (Saturday) when I failed the first it's-the-weekend-but-I'm-still going-to-get-up-early test, and ended up snoozing until about 2.30pm. I woke up every few hours after 7.45am (when I actually felt pretty good!), and each time I woke up I felt more and more tired, and more and more like crap. By the time I finally got out of bed I was feeling like a zombie with a big bad headache and a grumpy mood. Yup - well that just about sells it for me!

It feels as though this weekend (and especially today) has gone on for ever because I've got so much done and I feel so awake and alive - it's wonderful! I'm planning to keep this up now, because it feels great, and it also makes me a better team player. Everyone at work has been astonished this week. "Why are you here so early, webweaver?" they ask me at 9.30am. "I'm practising getting up," I say.

Thanks Steve!

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Where's your backbone gone, Helen?

On Friday, Jim Anderton was asked his opinion (as the government's duty minister) on Bush's surge escalation speech and his plan to send even more troops to Iraq. He answered thus:

It is hard to see how an additional 20,000-25,000 troops are going to be capable of making any real difference and this has an eerie Vietnam revisited element to it.

One wonders whether the lessons I would have expected to be learnt from that fiasco have been learnt in any way at all.

It is literally years since Mr Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and announced the war was over. I don't know whether he remembers that," he said.

It is very easy to get into (wars) but very hard to get out of them. The US is not the first or the last military power to find that out.

We remain consistent with our original view about military action not being a sustainable or long-term contributor to the peaceful development of Iraq.

Well, yup, I'd agree with that, Jim. Spot-on in fact. Couldn't agree with you more.

Soon after his comments were made public, Helen Clark (with bloody Winston right behind her) was scrabbling like crazy to try and distance herself and her government from Jim's comments. She claimed they were not made on behalf of the government (although as duty minister, that's part of his job - to answer questions on behalf of the govt). According to the Dominion Post:
Miss Clark said the situation in Iraq was of great concern to New Zealand, as it was to the whole international community, but she steered well clear of any criticism of Bush's campaign or the plan for more troops. She said Iraq's neighbours and the broader international community had a role to play in supporting reconciliation in Iraq.

...and Winston said Jim's comments were
ill-informed and regrettable

and that
His comments certainly do not reflect the views of the Government

Oh really? Well they bloody well should, IMHO! What happened to the Helen Clark who quite clearly stated that New Zealand had NO interest in being part of the "coalition of the willing" when Georgie-boy was going round the world trying to drum up support for this illegal war four years ago? Where's your backbone gone, Helen?

Good grief. Why are you suddenly so afraid of offending the US by speaking the truth (or standing up for a minister who speaks the truth)?

Yaay for the Greens (I love the Greens!). Here's more from the Dom Post:
Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the true colours of the Government were beginning to show when Miss Clark and the Government did not have the mettle to back Mr Anderton's criticism of Mr Bush's "bumbling" in Iraq.

"It is clear to all New Zealanders that the US-led Iraq invasion has been a disaster from the start and it is also very clear that throwing another 21,500 troops at the problem will not fix it," Ms Fitzsimons said.

Mr Anderton had been "right on the button" when he described Mr Bush's war in Iraq as another Vietnam.

Miss Clark and Mr Peters seemed to be more concerned about not offending Mr Bush than "telling it like it is," she said.

Yaaay! Go Jeanette!

You know, someone should mention to Helen and Winston that they need to pay more attention to the US, and to the response of a number of Republican senators who couldn't run away fast enough from Bush after he'd made his speech.

Take for example this Kansas City Star report about the response to Bush's speech. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) all have serious doubts about Bush's plan. In addition, Colonel Oliver North (FOX News Military Analyst) and Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) also disagree. Oliver North, for goodness sake! When even Ollie doesn't agree with ya, you're in serious trouble...

And look who was talking to Robert D Novak at the Washington Post on January 1 - even before the announcement was officially made.

Oh, and while they're at it, Helen and Winston (and John Key too) really ought to take a look at Bush's numbers when it comes to the military. A Military Times poll at the end of December showed that for the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way Bush is handling the war. In 2004, when his popularity was peaking, 63 percent of the military approved of Bush’s handling of the war.

Wow. That's a big slump - from the men and women who are out there actually fighting (and dying/being maimed by) your stupid war, GW! Seems as though they might be the ones who'd actually, like, know what's going on in Iraq, eh?

Helen, Winston and John might also like to take a look at the American people's level of approval disapproval of Bush's escalation plans. Barely 11% think it's a good idea.

Really, guys - didn't they ever teach you that the best way to stop a bully is to stand up to him? Get your backbone back, Helen!

And finally - let's ask the New Zealand people what they think of Jim Anderton's comments. Oh look! What a surprise! Most people agree with him! In fact, according to the Dominion Post:
A poll by showed almost 80 per cent of the more than 3500 respondents agreed Iraq was becoming another Vietnam.

An informal Dominion Post street poll in Wellington produced a similar result, many echoing Mr Anderton's views.

"He's right on the button. Why shouldn't he say what he thinks?" said John Viles, a 54-year-old IT project manager from Paraparaumu.

Tokoroa teacher Barbara Taylor, 66, said Miss Clark should get off the fence and support Mr Anderton.

"The whole point of being a politician is to make those sort of statements."

But let's give the last word to John Key, because a comment this stupid really does deserve to go right at the very end. Key said:
Mr Anderton's "anti-American" comments had left New Zealand's foreign policy in a shambles and would weaken the Government's attempts to improve relations with the US... Miss Clark needed to take action against him - possibly sacking him from the Cabinet - for putting his personal views across as those of the Government.

Asked for his position on Mr Bush's latest move, Mr Key was non-commital, saying New Zealand was too far away to judge the best course of action.

Oh puh-leeeeze! Get off your high horse, John, and go find yourself a clue.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush announces more death and destruction

So Bush did his latest little speech last night on how, in order to achieve "victory", America must send yet more of its troops to Iraq, to fight and to kill and to be killed. Yeah way to go, George! That's the ticket! You stupid fucked-up little MORON of a man.

Before Bush's speech my man Keith Olbermann set out a blistering list of the lies, untruths and changing-their-story from Bush and the neocons on Iraq since 9/11. It's one heck of a list. Why would ANYONE trust Bush? This I do not understand. Here's Keith:

I'm so far past angry these days at GWB and the rest of the neocon sociopaths, it's just not funny. These days I'm just seethingly resigned to their endless stupidity, greed, lies and downright insanity - and nothing - I mean NOTHING they do surprises me.

And now GW "The Decider" Bush has become "The Escalator" - because you'd have to have no brain at all not to see that "surge" is just "escalation" with a nice new suit on - and he repeats the same old same old SHIT he always spews "blah blah 9/11 blah blah terrrrrists blah blah freedom blah blah blah al Qaeda blah blah insurgents blah blah fight them there so we don't have to fight them over here blah blah" - oh and while he's at it he shakes his (obviously rather inadequately small) sword at Iran yet again...

I didn't watch it because I cannot BEAR to watch that man - he makes me want to yell and throw things at the TV - I can't watch Blair either, fucking deluded sycophant that he is. So I read the transcript instead, and watched it being live blogged over at Daily Kos. MUCH concern over there about the Iranian sabre-rattling bit - because, as someone pointed out - if you think Iraq's been a disaster, wait until the (already weakened and depleated American troops) try taking on the Iranian army! Iraq is going to seem like a walk in the park compared with that scenario.

Is Bush an End Times believer? Is he trying to create the correct environment for the Rapture? Someone should tell him he's going straight to Hell - but of course, he wouldn't listen. He never does. Bastard.

The editors of The Guardian aren't too impressed. Here's how their Leader article begins:

George Bush's announcement last night that he is going to pour more troops into Iraq was the last throw of the dice in a misconceived enterprise that has dragged his country, this country and the Middle East into a nightmare.

Shades of Viet Nam are all around us, as this deluded and delusional man tries desperately, and at any price, to avoid taking responsibility for this collossal fuck-up - and wriggles equally hard to get out of admitting that he has LOST and that "Victory" was never going to be a possibility in the first place. Mission accomplished indeed.

Illegal, immoral wars, wars begun as an invasion of another's sovereign territory, for whatever reason, rarely turn out well. How's that karma treating you, Georgie?

In other news, GWB will henceforth also be known, courtesy of the very reactionary Chris Matthews, as "The Only Commander-in-Chief we've got" (hey George, you gotta start worrying when even Tweety is snarking about you).

Although a mere 11% of the population thinks that a surge is a good idea, Mister Bush goes ahead and announces it anyway. I can only pray that the Dems suddenly grow a backbone and do all they can to stop this madness from continuing. Senator Edward Kennedy's bill to prevent an escalation without the approval of Congress would be a start. Here he is announcing it on Wednesday. It's a bloody good speech, actually.

So.... can we talk about impeachment yet? Huh? Huh?

My God. This insanity must be stopped - not least because of the numbers of additional Iraqis (and American troops) who will be killed and injured as a result of this madness, but also to stop Bush before he "surges" across the border into Iran and engulfs us all in World War Three.

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