Tuesday, May 31, 2005
The phrase "follow the money" was first voiced by Deep Throat, the anonymous source whose tips helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon in the early 1970s.
So, who was "Deep Throat" ?
After all these years, even though Woodward and Bernstein never revealed their source, the secret is now out. The man (or woman) who covertly steered Woodward & Bernstein in the right direction by exhorting them to "follow the money" can be named!
Assistant Attorney General Henry Peterson;
deputy White House counsel Fred Fielding;
former FBI Director L. Patrick Gray;
former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger;
then-presidential adviser Alexander Haig;
OR even former President George H.W. Bush, who also served as U.N. ambassador and director of the CIA.
Other names included ABC newswoman Diane Sawyer, who then worked in the White House press office; Ron Zeigler, the press secretary whom Nixon famously shoved; White House aide Steven Bull; speechwriters Ray Price and Pat Buchanan; and John Dean, the White House counsel
The answer is - None of the above.
It is now revealed, the real Deep Throat, was none other than former Number 2 at the FBI.
Now, at the splendid age of 91 years of age, W. Mark Felt finally admitted it was him.
click here to read the full story...
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Thanks to Alan for this, which goes to show its not what you say, but how you punctuate the words.
A visiting minister at the start of the offertory prayer:
"Dear Lord," he began with arms extended and a rapturous look on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..."
He would have continued, but at that point a little girl (who was listening intently) leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mummy, what is butt dust?"
Church was pretty much over at that point...
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I used to own a Vox AC30 amp, which I thought was pretty rock 'n roll at the time.
But an old 1966 Marshall amplifier, said to have been owned by Jimi Hendrix, could now be sold for a cool 3/4 million pounds.
This site has all the details.
What was I thinking at the time ? Vox AC30 over a Marshall amp seemed an obvious choice to me.
Must have been in a Purple Haze, I guess.
I could add a few more puns, but All along the Watchtower, Hendrix fans are howling Hey Joe, as the Wind cries Mary, while I look Straight Ahead with my Gypsy eyes at the Foxy Lady...
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
In yesterday's newspapers, we had this.
Three sisters have given birth aged 12, 14 and 16.
Their Mother blames schools for not teaching sex education properly.
So the natural inclination is to ponder why the mother feels it's not her fault, but the Government's for not adequately teaching young girls about sex education.
Her accusation might just be relevant in the older girl's case. However, whose fault was it that both younger children made exactly the same "mistake" as their elder sister ?
Meanwhile, the State is paying this family a combined £31,000 per year in State benefits for the next (say) 16+ years.
Click here to read more...
And then what ? Does the cycle repeat itself ?
One can feel outrage at the cost to society. Or, the waste of young lives, Or even the folly of adults with a parenting style that apparently allows a 12 yr. old daughter to conduct a sexual relationship in their own home.
A deeper question, is why a 12 or 13 year old seeks affection and love in a sexual form at such a young age.
Or, is this just the new career move ?
Meanwhile, God must be playing a really deep game.
In todays news, another family.
Another 13 year old mother called Beckie. See how already she becomes more than a statistic.
Only this time, Beckie is diagnosed with bone cancer at 14 and is dead at 16 !
Beckie's biggest regret in life was that her daughter would grow up never knowing who she was. She said she was not scared of dying but of leaving people behind, like her daughter. It was this which drove her to make a legacy video for Courtney.
She started filming using the family's video camera,
Where is my moral stance now ?
It's just such a sad story.......
When Beckie was too ill to continue filming her video diary, her sister Vicky took over.
Filmed sitting on a beach in Bridlington one evening with her camera, Vicky asks: "If there is a God up there, if you are up there, just please help us. You always seem to take the good people away and leave the bad people here. There's all these rapists and murderers about. There's no justice."
For once, I'm speechless.
You can read more here, OR, watch BBC1 tonight at 10:35pm.
Beckie died in late September 2004,
We'll know more about baby Courtney after watching tonights BBC1 TV programme.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
It seems an age ago when I learned Swahili. Well, KiSwahili to be precise.
just for you, here are some useful phrases when travelling to East Africa.
Welcome = Karibu
Goodbye = Kwaheri
Thank you = Asante
You’re welcome = Karibu
Yes = Ndiyo
No = Hapana
How are you? = Habari?
I’m fine, thanks? = Nzuri
Obviously not a lot of call for Swahili in the UK.
Although, I once taught these phrases to our team on one of those silly management seminar team building jollies.
I also got our team to sing "One Man went to mow" in Swahili, which won us the round.
What do you mean ? What else was there to blog about on a quiet weekend ?
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Most of our Police force in UK are "the good guys" and trying to do a difficult job the best way they know how.
I was pointed by Alan and Patrick to this poem online about a good cop. American source, but same principles apply to our UK police officers too.
The original has many verses. This is an extract, with thanks to The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi .
You don't remember me, do you...
I was the one who held your hand, wiped the blood out of your eyes, and calmed you down while the Fire Department cut you out of what was left of your car.
I was the one who called you at 2 a.m. to come pick up your 16 year old daughter because she had been drinking too much.
I was the one who knocked on your door at 4 a.m. to let you know your 16 year old daughter would never be coming home again.
I was the one who did CPR on your 3 year old after you found him in the pool.
I was the one who helped deliver your new baby when you didn't quite make it to the ER.
You don't remember me, do you...
I was the one who escorted your son's funeral procession from the church to the cemetery and cried behind my sunglasses because he was my friend, too.
I was the one watched over your place while you were on vacation.
I was the one who worked for you on Christmas Day so you could be off with your family.
I was the one who joked around with you after your truck got hit by a train and you walked away without a scratch.
I was the one was able to talk your husband into going into counseling with you.
You don't remember me, do you...
I was the one who got shot when I pulled over a car for a traffic violation and the driver turned out to be an escaped convict who had sworn he would never go back to prison.
Oh, by the way, my memorial service is at 2 p.m.
Will you remember me now?
For all the good cops. You know who you are.
You can click here for the complete version...
Friday, May 20, 2005
Alan commented on my post yesterday about Ronnie Wood and gave me a link to some of Ronnie Wood's artwork and a charity he supported for their work with children caught up in war and conflict.
you can see some of Ronnie's artwork online here...
Also, more here about his support for the charity "War Child"
In checking this link I was appalled to read these statistics.
60 million people have been killed in wars during the 20th. Century.
- of which more than 80% were civilians, mostly women and children.
In last 10 years alone, more than 1.5 million children were killed as direct casualties of war,
- plus 4 million children wounded
- and 10 million children traumatised by war.
As you read this piece, more than 30 wars and conflicts are still being fought.. Yet, here we are in 2005 and millions of people are pro-active about anti-war campaigns and committed to seeking PEACE.
What more can we do? Any ideas?
Watched a quick clip of Ronnie Woods gigging on Ch.4 tonight. Looking very crinkly now, but still plays a mean guitar. He didn't really shine on this set with the Charlatans though. Ronny was playing slide guitar, so couldn't hear any of his trademark showy licks and finger frettin' godliness. Amazing that he has cleaned up his act in recent years and still playing gigs at all.
Also saw Pete Doherty with the Babyshambles. Very sad to see this erstwhile fine songwriter and poet, reduced to mumbled replies instead of fluent responses to camera. I really hope he can clean his act up and fulfil his potential for so much more than being a recovering heroin/cocaine abuser.
He was a published poet at just 16 yrs old, and capable of touching lyrics in songs like "For Lovers" and other tracks. He deserves more, I hope he can sort himself out in time to grow into his lyrical talent.
Whom would you feel has yet to achieve their artistic or musical promise ?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I heard a radio DJ talking on his show today with Suggs (of Madness) about motorbikes and scooters.
Suggs was saying he had an old scooter which was his pride and joy to drive. However, he was not driving it unless absolutely necessary as he had acquired 9 points on his licence in last month due a speed camera recently installed nearby. It seems he has been ticketed 3 times for speeding between 30 and 35mph in a 30mph zone.
Fair enough, he broke the law; children or old people could be knocked down and killed. He paid his penalty x 3.
In the news today, a police constable was cleared of speeding and dangerous driving. He decided to take a new unmarked police Vauxhall Vectra out for a "familiarisation" test.
When the vehicle was checked after his impromptu road-test, other officers were shocked to see the onboard video had clocked the police driver travelling at:
60+mph in a 30mph zone
120mph in a 60mph zone
159mph in a 70mph zone on the M54.
It's OK though because 1) he's a PC. 2) he's an advanced driver. 3) he's trained in the use of firearms.
This was his defence. Plus the fact he was "...was driving in accordance with his training, honing his skills while possible and testing the vehicle's capabilities so that if he was required on an urgent call he would be driving safely."
So, he was cleared of driving at speeds even Royal Soc. for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said were dangerous.
In fact, RoSPA said "...We don't believe 159mph can ever be justified on public roads. Even in emergencies we consider that driving at 100mph or more is too dangerous."
So, you and I can be charged and convicted for driving at 33 or 35mph in 30mph zone and a PC can exceed 60+ in a 30mph zone on a routine "road-test" and go on to achieve 159mph on the M54. Yet, he was cleared of speeding and dangerous driving.
What's your experience ?
...you can read more here if you doubt the facts.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Think what you will about the firebrand British MP, you cannot accuse him of being a weak timorous speaker. His ire was raised by being publicly charged (traduced)in US Senate documents about illegal oil dealings; without being asked a single comment or given the opportunity to make any defence before these documents were published in the public domain.
Not surprisingly, He flew over to Washington in combative mood and thundered his impassioned oratory/speech at the hapless Senator Norm Coleman and powerfully rebutted all their accusations, batted away their questions and managed to include a public lecture of disgraceful behaviour over the Iraq war at the same time.
Like British politicians, many Senators are lawyers first, and politicians second. How can they subvert the normal mechanisms of due legal process, for cheap short-term political gain.
You can read the BBC news report here....
Or for American readers, you can read Herald Tribune report here...
Never mind the merits of this particular case against George Galloway, the disturbing thing to me is how powerful Committees, whether in UK, USA or whereaver; are able to blame or incriminate peope by name, without first giving them the right to defend or reject claims made about them.
More and more, this political "spinning" which became endemic in Britain's last Labour Govt, under Tony Blair, seeks to subvert truth and justice in the name of politics.
Oh, I remember now; being in politics is a "career". Dog eat dog. Justice, Law, Truth, et al, was their previous lives.
Monday, May 16, 2005
(pic from BBC web-site BBC news )
Here's a real-life tale of mystery and personal tragedy.
This young man was found wandering on the beach at Sheerness in Kent five weeks ago in a state of distress and still has no name.
He was picked up by the Police, frightened, confused, clothed in totally wet Dinner Dress suit and bowtie, mute and so unable to say anything about who he was and where he came from.
He is still in a hospital in Kent, being treated as an amnesiac.
The fascinating thing is he is a very talented piano player, possibly a classical musician. Yet he is apparently still unable or unwilling to speak.
Strangely, somebody didn't want his true identity to be traced, because all identifying labels had been carefully cut out of all his clothes.
Do you know who he is ? ...you can read more of this bizarre story here
We went to
John Lewis to look at baby things this week-end.
En route to our intended purchase, I saw a cute little red plastic car.
About as big as a plastic potty. Hang on, it is a potty.
You lift off the roof of the car and it becomes a convertable.............
How cool is that ? Well, not very cool, it seems to me.
Picture the scene. You get little toddler to associate the little red
"Come on, little person, wee etc..." as you toilet train them to use the little red
Brilliant ! Jobby well done, so to speak.
Then, when you take your well-trained little toddler out in the car, shopping, or to see your friends.......
That's right. you have to train him/her to stop peeing, or worse, in the real car
How confusing is that to your little person ?
Saturday, May 14, 2005
- iblog on shuffle mode.
34. Most women are introspective: "Am I in love? Am I emotionally and creatively fulfilled?"
Most men are outrospective: "Did my team win? How's my car?"
Played here in random order - iblog on shuffle mode.
2. Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage.
They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
Friday, May 13, 2005
"I don’t mind admitting that I’m wrong, but I rarely am...."
Does it really exist, is the question posed in a paper?
Well, this link says it does...
This sick craze is where
Here's another link...
On TV last night we saw a documentary on these "happy slapping" stunts where people can really get hurt. From burst eardrums, to in one case, two 16yr. old kids set alight a chap who had fallen asleep by a wall. These Happy Slappers set his jacket alight, then kicked him, all the while filming the "stunt" on a camera phone. Said chap was terribly burned and extensively scarred on chest and neck. He will be in pain for the rest of his days.
The answer ? Oh, Yes, it certainly exists in UK and should be banned immediately.
Does "happy slapping" exist elsewhere in the world, or just us lucky Brits ?
Thursday, May 12, 2005
As a bloke, I'm constantly amazed at how a small feotus in early pregnancy can so disrupt the normal hormonal balance in the mother, that she will develop a dislike to tea or coffee, etc, during pregnancy.
Sudden or bizarre food cravings are more anecdotal examples of this phenomenom.
Another example is how the maternal brain becomes so internally absorbed in nurturing and protecting the developing baby, that external events, such as work related facts and figures, become difficult to remember or not important enough to recall.
Now, it seems scientists have surprisingly discovered that cognitive skills can be strongly correlated to the sex of the unborn child.
Research indicates: "More forgetful" tends to predict a girl. "Less forgetful" indicates a boy child.
So far, it's only a small trial, but nevertheless, these unexpected results are due for further study.
Click here to read more....
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
Thanks to this blog for the quote
Today we have the naming of the parts - shirts. (Yes, this is a clue).
Your task, should you choose to accept, is to list the order that one should iron one's shirt, in the "approved" (clue) manner.
Put the following "top tips" into the approved order. (Yes, my order is listed randomly).
1. Cuffs: Inside first, then outside.
2. Body: Use wide end of ironing board, iron front panels first, then the back.
3. Collar: Start with the underside.
4. Shoulder Yoke: Slip each shoulder over narrow end of board, press from shoulder to centre of back.
5. Sleeves: Iron cuff opening side first, then the reverse.
6. Viola!: Re-press the collar and hang it up.
Once you've listed the above in the correct order, ...you can click here to reveal the correct answer.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
There were VE day ceremonies on Sat/Sun in many other countries this weekend.
George Bush came over from USA to a US miltary cemetary in Holland to respect the 8,000 American fallen forces. Then he went on to share a similar National State occasion with Pres. Putin in Moscow, which turned out to be a huge State event.
In fact, more than 50 world leaders, including US President George W Bush, have been paying tribute in Moscow to the Soviet people's sacrifice in World War II, but not our Mr. Blair.
Pics were shown of Bush driving Russian President Vladimir Putin's Soviet-made Volga car. As a gesture of what, I wonder ?
Even Pres. Jacques Chirac lit a flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arc de Triomphe, Paris.
All we had in London, was a very low key semi-official affair at the Cenotaph, attended by Geoff Hoon (WTF!!!) and Prince Charles, plus many veterans and famiies.
The Queen was not invited, despite this event being held on VE Day every year until this year.
Tony Blair (
However, the BBC staged a "Party to remember" in Trafalger Square which 15,000 people enjoyed, plus millions via TV.
Monday was the turn of the Channel Islands. I'm glad the Queen was invited. Guernsey and Jersey were able to properly mark this event in history, as they wished, with respect. They even mark it as a Bank Holiday.
This whole VE Day thing is not just to mark the liberation of Nazi occupation, but importantly, for those who want to reflect their thanks to the fallen.
It's still a sobering thought to me that 40 million people had died by the time World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945.
All that history and Mr Blair can't be bothered to register the value of a formal VE day ceremony. Although, it's said the reason we have no official VE Day this year, is that VJ Day in August coincides with MP's and civil servants holidays in August. Therefore it was decided (no consultation) to hold a joint VE and VJ Day in July.
A bit like lumping the Jesus Easter and Christmas thing together in (say) September !
I wonder what our brave veterans and soldiers, seamen and airmen of more recent theatres of war in Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq, et al, feel about all this.
Nope, it really doesn't work for me either.
Monday, May 09, 2005
...I was moved (like you do) to comment on Pix's pixelated website that I loved the word "discombobulate" which she used in her post yesterday. I said I must try and work it into my blog next week.
Today's Word: dis•com•bob•u•late. Discombobulate (Verb). Brits say [dis-com-bob-u-late].
U.S. Pronunciation= [dis-kêm-'bah-byê-leyt]. See also, Discombobulation (Noun).
Definition 1: (Humorous slang) Perplex, befuddle, confuse, throw in disarray.
Well, already I am discombobulated (Adjective), and it's only Monday.
Today. Pix was discoursing on the trials and tribulations of being invited to see Derren Brown, live at Reading. This is the man who can not only make you choose certain words, numbers or cards; but then tell you in advance what he implanted in your mind to choose!
"Yeah, I know, (says Vicky Pollard) it's only magic."
Here's the thing. I was only commenting on another blog yesterday, about the very same Derren Brown and last Friday's TV show; where he appeared to stage a very dodgy "mind control" stunt. This involved filming a young bloke going into a pub, playing a video arcade game and then falling into a semi-catatonic trance state. At which point, jaunty Derren pops out of a magic cupboard, wheels young bloke off on a (ready to hand, yeah, right) hospital trolley and transports sleeping victim up the street and round the corner into another building which had been mocked up to look exactly like the video arcade game. So, poor victim is then zapped awake and he is then a player in a real life "shoot em up" kill the walking zombies stunt.
There's lots more.... But I won't go on as you may be too terrified to read more, or fall into a catatonic trance-like state and never read my blog again.
Now that would be scary magic. ;-)
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Michael Yon who took the pic below (my post Thurs.) emailed to say I can post more details.
The little girl in the pic, her name is Farah.
The US soldier craddling Farah in his arms as she died is Major Bieger.
Mike gave me permission to quote his story here as he was patrolling with Deuce Four patrol in Mosul. This was the Stryker (US Armoured Combat vehicle) that was targeted by the terrorists when this tragic attack happened.
Mike wrote "..Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. Major Bieger, I had seen him help rescue some of our guys a week earlier during another big attack, took some of our soldiers and rushed this little girl to our hospital. He wanted her to have American surgeons and not to go to the Iraqi hospital. She didn't make it. I snapped this picture when Major Bieger ran to take her away. He kept stopping to talk with her and hug her.
The soldiers went back to that neighborhood the next day to ask what they could do. The people were very warming and welcomed us into their homes, and many kids were actually running up to say hello and to ask soldiers to shake hands.
Eventually, some insurgents must have realized we were back and started shooting at us. The American soldiers and Iraqi police started engaging the enemy and there was a running gun battle. I saw at least one IP who was shot, but he looked okay and actually smiled at me despite the big bullet hole in his leg. I smiled back."
One thing seems certain; the people in that neighborhood share our feelings about the terrorists. We are going to go back there, and if any terrorists come out, the soldiers hope to find them. Everybody is still very angry that the insurgents attacked us when the kids were around. Their day will come.
How desperately sad is that story ?
Friday, May 06, 2005
Michael emailed me today to correct my attribution of his pic, which appeared in NY Post, under their banner. Michael says "...I have absolutely no affiliation with the New York Post, or with the Army other than being embedded."
I am delighted to correct this information on my blog. No doubt, he will take up any issues with the NY Post as well. Click here to see Michael's original work on his own blog... Do go and read it. Michael has the most compelling images and his back stories to the pics really sharpens the reality of this tragic war.
I Come and Stand at Every Door
I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.
I'm only seven although I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I'm seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow.
My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.
I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweet, nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.
All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
May live and grow and laugh and play.
-- Nazim Hikmet
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Meanwhile Ba'ath or Sunni rebels triggered yet another car bomb against passing U.S. patrols.
Just one of five bombings in the last week and 140 people killed.
Here's the story of just one of those terrorist attacks.
"Whose God condones this action in His name ?"
(Photo courtesy of Michael Yon )
Isn't this pic is a powerful symbol of the utterly savage madness of terrorism ?
The soldier carrying the dying child is an American.
The dead child is an innocent victim from Mosul in Northern Iraq.
Oh, and an adult civilian Iraqi was also killed - and 15 civilians injured by this bomb.
The intended victims were the passing U.S. military patrol.
Yet this U.S. soldier shows compassion for a foreign dying child rescued from the debri.
And what of the brave terrorists ?
Do they slink away into the shadows satisfied with their work and at peace with their God ?
Thanks also to this blog where I first saw the pic
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Mark is on a specialist list of Funeral Directors who are on call to deal with recovery of bodies in sudden accidental death in motor vehicles, aircraft etc. As part of this group, he was invited to go to Thailand and has just returned from three weeks in Phuket and other places, helping identify and prepare the remaining victims of the Tsunami. The story of his trip is grim, yet he also has many touching stories to tell.
Mark said the Thai people really went out of their way to look after him and others in the multi national group. Their work in identifying and repatriating the tragic victims allowed the authorities to speed up this difficult work. Apparently, professional counselling was available to those involved in the identification and repatriation of victims. As a stoic Brit, Mark tells me he did not avail himself of this facility; yet he also says his vivid memories will stay with him for a very long time.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
I remember seeing the ship "Rainbow Warrier"on TV, being used as a passive barrier to impede nuclear testing. This being my early awareness of Greenpeace as a lobbying organisation. But that was not all Bob was active in. He did a lot to raise awareness of real cruelty by those involved in whale hunting and seal culling.
I recall many TV clips of the rubber dinghies being launched from M.V. "Rainbow Warrior" to protect whales and seals on those bloody hunting expeditions. This was dangerous and challenging work and all the more exciting because it showed that there was strength in numbers by people protesting together and lobbying for change.
I remember this being an early wakeup call for me about the importance of the ecology movement and the power of peaceful protests. I will remember Bob Hunter as the co-founder of Greenpeace. I will also remember him as the original "Rainbow Warrior". May the big man rest in peace.
Read more about this amazing man here...
Monday, May 02, 2005
Apparently, frog cocktails are regularly served as an aphrodisiac in Peru.
You choose your frog from the bar's tank (if you are a Peruvian in search of naturopathic viagra) and hey presto, your selection is blended (this is sanitised for readers of a normal disposition) before your very eyes.
click here to read more about this sickly treat"