Saturday, 14 April 2007

Sexed up

I suppose one might say that if one waits long enough, the truth will out. Seems the debate about who sexed up the Iraq threat assessment will have to reopen. Given the liars we have as government, it was always on the cards that their work would be revealed. They cannot even get that right.

Birds of a feather

If this report has any bottom to it, then quite clearly a serious transgression took place following the ambush. These were American marines and if we are to trained to react swiftly to enemy actions. Here, even giving them as much leeway as one can, they seem to have mixed innocent civilians in with terrorists, The subsequent removal of the group from active operations seems to support the contention that they did wrong.

We here in Britain have seen the same sort of thing from our troops so it ill behoves us to tut tut at what seems to have happened here. What does occur to me is that there has to be something missing from the training modules which examines frustration. lessening of support for the war and the soldiers' feelings that the general public is unappreciative of their sacrifices. Eve of battle speeches on discipline are easily made. They sound impressive but do not deal with the boredom of routine patrols once the adrenaline has worn off.

That is where the real challenge of soldiering comes to play.

Life Plans

There are a lot of what I call modern day words and concepts in this article but, when I translate these to the more direct words I understand from my past, they do make a lot of sense and reflect ideas I tried to follow in the days when I was a wage slave. Especially so in the last suggestion "Treat Yourself Kindly"

Bad News Day

So, young Wills has split with his long term squeeze Kate. He says he feels that he is too young for marriage. Considering they have lived under the same roof for some considerable period of time, it looks to be a bit late for this change of heart. I hope the lad is not at the head of any Order of Chivalry. For my money and speaking as a former member of the brutal and licentious soldiery, it was to be expected once he had savoured the delights of the Wham, bam, thank you mam lifestyle.

I suppose one might say that this outcome was in his genes anyway. Chazzer took the opportunity of the respect accorded to Royals and was involved in many back-door smuggling romances with the luscious ladies of that time. I always hoped he would have married Susan George who would have made all royal events much more watchable. So, better now than later and another re-run of the Chas and Di story.

More important to me is this damned Iran caper. The Minister is due to make a statement on Monday. Doubtless, he will repeat all the claptrap about where who was. I've wondered all along on the frontier position. Given the hatred that existed between Iran and Iraq at the time of their war, I could not see that there was an agreed frontier. Looks as if I might have tripped over something. If there is really a doubt, it puts our case on very shaky ground.

Our Lads - God Bless 'Em

Watch this.
The lads deserve understanding and support.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Life on Mars

Gene Hunt: I think you've forgotten who you're talking to.
Sam Tyler: An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
Gene Hunt: You make that sound like a bad thing.

That's a keynote quote from the police series that has, sadly, just finished. It set a modern day approach to policing to confront the CID of the early '70s. I knew many of these men. Hard working and dedicated. Loyal to their team. A culture of hard drinking - often alongside the very arch criminals that were their quarry. Unfortunately, their dedication towards getting results in the face of very devious (and often invented) defence barristers was what led to their downfall.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Naval Power

Given what happened to us in the waters around Iran, my guest has some neat views and points on which to ponder.

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Naval power and how it might be deployed.

Hate hate crime

The delayering of a complaint by an American Muslim group struck me as funny - maybe even clever. But, as I read it I became aware of the feeling that the explainer and blog writer was just as twisted as the complainant.


The decision to extend from one year to fifteen months the American forces tour in Iraq is hard news. Hard on families because the losses are high. Despite the px and gallon containers of ice cream that are enshrined in the memories of those of us who have worked with the US forces, conditions are hard. It is not just the deaths; many are suffering mental stresses and strains that condemn some to a living death.

The other point I take is that this demonstrates the level of fighting in Iraq. One thinks of America as a very strong nation with almost untold reserves. Men, money, equipment and the ability to devise and use high levels of technology. All this expended in a 3rd world country that is, by comparision, small and backward.

I include American personnel in my contention that the whole can of beans that is Iraq is just not worth the life of just one Coalition participant. They had their chance to get on board but blew it. Fine. Time to go home NOT to extend the tour length.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Filthy Lucre

Well, Blair wanted a Presidential style of leadership where the buck stops with him. He has now been drawn into the saga of The Hostages Tales. The Defence Minister has accepted that the idea of serving personnel selling their stories was a mistake. The revised arrangements still centre on money

On Monday Mr Browne, who had waved through a Navy recommendation that two of the hostages could sell their stories, reacted to public outrage at the decision by ordering a ban on any future sales of stories pending the result of an MoD review. It is understood that this is likely to recommend a complete ban on Service personnel selling any stories unless all the money goes to good causes or where individuals work on articles, books or films in their spare time with authorisation.

I cannot understand this fascination with money. It is the idea that the people involved should profit from their experience that causes most ire. We have seen the way in which the present government takes every opportunity to line their pockets. Their financial integrity is appalling. Even the wide mouth frog gets in on the action trolling around America on high-priced speaking tours. The freebie holidays at the homes of synchophantic pop stars and businessmen have figured under Blair's watch.
I doubt that there would have been even ten percent of the bother had the returned personnel been put before the media to answer questions. No payment was needed. They are on duty and get paid for that.

Rules, Rules, Rules

The idea of a Code for Bloggers surfaced some 6 to 8 months ago - as my aged brain remembers that is. It was then some gubment busybody seeking to spin their Master and went away without too much debate. However, the idea has surfaced again. This time it has O'Reilly backing and his guru status will add to the demand.

I think it would be wrong. The whole attraction of blogging as I see it is that I can do something which gets me nearer to a feeling that I have had my say. Nearer than any other democratic process. This is, doubtless, a false satisfaction and I have not even convinced my two readers. There will, obviously, be those who abuse this. Somewhere I read of legal action following upon a blog and I could live with that. I am not asking for any especial waiver when I post beyond whatever it is that controls my everyday language and other communications. Are we to ban all demonstrations just because some people somewhere burn the Nation's flag?

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Shake that body

No - I don't know what the heck I was really looking for when I came across this.

Still, I suppose it makes a break from The Sound of Music?

Par King

And, just to even up my comment on New York's finest, here is proof that we here in England are not a whole lot better. Bit like an elephant being constipated by a gnat.

Land of the free

Seems a very insignificant "crime" to me. Given what I remember of demonstrations towards the end of the Vietnam episode, this was a lullaby.

Lower the flag

The Iranian debacle has done one good thing. It has led to much open debate about relationships between UK and much of the rest of the civilised world. From what I have read, my guest Grouchy Old Cripple includes most of the points that have been made so I've included his ideas as a precis of the subject

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The effects of that nonsense in Iran.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Internet - Inquire within; all human life is here

I don't know about you but one of my techniques for passing time when on a long drive or sitting around waiting for something or someone to kick off was to invent really deep questions. Things that engaged the brain to resolve. Maybe improve the human condition.

So - imagine my joy when I found the answer to one of my old problems which was "What do they eat for lunch in a porno film studio?"

Over my dead body

I think there is a phrase somewhere about the cobbler sticking to his last? Cobbler being a shoe mender and the last was an anvil sort of thing he used when working on the soles of the shoes.

I apply it here to those members of the medical profession who put their interpretation of religious strictures before the wishes of their patients. I have such a living will that directs that I be allowed to fade away in the event that the alternative is a life spent plugged into an electrical socket outlet like some condom vending machine. That is my wish. Carefully and fully considered. Discussed with partner and medical adviser. Noted on my medical records. So, I would find it more than a tad vexing should some doctor oppose me. I have no problem with them having a religious belief. Rather that than a Dr Shipman complex.

To me, a far better situation would be that prior to commencing his training, the doctor considered what his responsibilities might include.He has to take the rough with the smooth in my book. If those who, like me, seek a smooth release are denied that comfort - comfort both physically and mentally - then we will have to take matters into our own hands. That leaves the risk of incomplete or botched suicides and a possible feeling amongst the deceased's family that the actions of their loved one was somehow selfish.

To me, doctors (cobblers) should stick to medicine (their lasts).