Friday, 31 March 2006

It's All Saddam's Fault!

George Bush is perhaps the greatest idiot-savant the world has ever known, his latest masterstroke being to blame all the current strife in Iraq on Saddam Hussein.


You couldn't make this rubbish up, you really couldn't. Why does this administration never hold it's hand up and apologise; before getting on with making it better, why is it always someone else's fault?

Speaking of someone else's fault (anyway, I thought Iraq was going badly thanks to the liberal media not telling any good news? Whose fault is it? Saddam or NBC?), remember the recent 'blame the media' drive by Bush about how the media were exaggerating reports of violence in Iraq, well the US administration is paying Iraqi newspapers to put in positive stories to tell the Iraqi people how well it's all going.

Hearts and minds people, hearts and minds...

From Iraq to Iran and the head of the IAEA has is about right, Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei said that sanctions were a bad idea and that "we need to lower the pitch" but with Iran joining the US/UK saber rattling by testing missiles today, it doesn't bode well for the future.

We can but hope.

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Urban Myth: Iraq and WMD

I can't get over that some people are still banging this drum and it's angered me so much that I just had to post on it and lay some stuff out there...

1. The term itself: WMD.

WMD is a political term and not a military one and you can tell it's political because it's vague and the reason it's good it's vague is that specific is easier to disprove; what's ironic is that even one of the vaguest terms in living memory has not been proven to exist in Iraq. I'll say that again: NO EVIDENCE OF WMD IN IRAQ. Even though WMD could mean anything from a nuclear warhead, to a mortar round filled with anthrax or a waffle.

2. History of WMD in Iraq.

Like all nations with armies, Iraq used WMD, chemical/biological but never nuclear. You'll be glad to know that the US supplied Iraq with most of it's WMD during the Iraq/Iran war, with France, West Germany and the UK chipping in with the rest; all in the name of defeating Iran. You'll also be glad to know that due to our governments feeding Iraq with WMD to use against Iran, they have the dubious honour of being only second to Japan in number of people killed by WMD in human history. YAY FOR US! I'd like to stress at this point that you remember there is nothing wrong with Iraq owning and using WMD, they weren't alone and if you think they shouldn't have had them then you're a hypocrite. Although why they never used them in the Gulf War 1 I'll never know, in fact no one knows why they were never used.

3. Why 1991 is important.

This is where it gets political. Saddam's secular expansionist madness in Kuwait failed and like all losers in war his nation had to be punished and so came the UN sanctions and the legendary UN resolutions that were used (foolishly) as pretence to invade in 2003. Why foolish? Well, UN resolutions get broken all the time, especially by Israel, who tops the list of broken UN resolutions but we haven't invaded them have we?

The resolutions, in a nutshell, said that Iraq could not develop a whole array of weapons and not just WMD, even surface-to-air missiles within a certain range were banned. So, over the next decade, weapons inspectors were in and out of Iraq and it's weapons (both conventional and WMD) were destroyed, games were played, Iraq played for pride as its means of self-defense were slowly eradicated but the weapons inspectors were working.

4. Bush comes to power, doesn't like Iraq, decides to kick ass.

This is where it all goes a bit wrong, things had been moving along nicely but then Bush got into power. It was clear from the moment Bush got in that Iraq was a target, it was clear that while diplomacy was still be being tabled at the UN, Bush was preparing for war and what follows is a whole bunch of links that help paint the picture of a man that wanted to invade Iraq no matter what.

Here is the story about cooking up plans to provoke Iraq into war.
Here is the story about Blair and Bush agreeing on war months before it was decided.
Here is another story on that.
Here is a story that proves that Bush was lying when he said 'no President wants war' when he'd already drawn up the plans before Powell had been to the UN.
Here is a story about Cheney getting into office in 2000 and wanting to start work on building a case for war against Iraq.

All this is important because if you want to destroy someone enough, you will use any means to justify your behaviour and all of this proves that no matter what, Iraq was going to be invaded and regime change would be taking place. No matter what.

5. US Iraq Survey Group Final Report (the Duelfer Report)

This is the best bit, because this is the US sponsored document that marked extensive research and investigation into Iraq's WMD capabilities and came up with the following:

"ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD stocks in 2003...some weapons existed in Iraq although not of a militarily significant capability."

This of course had been preceded by the UN weapons inspectors saying:

"We have found no indication that Iraq has a currently active program to make nuclear weapons and that there is no credible evidence that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons."

6. BULLSHIT! They moved them to Syria!

This is nearly as funny as the made up story about Saddam getting uranium from Niger (remember that?), the ISG dealth with this myth best by saying:

"ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place."

In media interviews before the addenda were published officials went further, saying they had not seen any information indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria or elsewhere.

8. Summary.

There were no WMD in Iraq.

Bush and pals should have been honest about the fact they just wanted to kick Saddam's ass, I'm sure the US public would have bought it without resorting to lying.

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

The Big Adventure is On!

You may recall me talking about a new show that I was really hoping to be cast in and the good news is…I have the part!

It’s a rather unique project, myself and the other actor (Mark Whiteley) will be walking across Britain, from Bangor to Boston, stopping off and performing en route at a variety of venues; the play will be more of an intriguing cross breed between story telling, stand-up comedy and theatre and promises to be a once in a lifetime experience. It seems to have captured the interest of the BBC who are making a documentary of our big adventure, which will be a nice opportunity for my career and some priceless TV coverage. More facts are available here.

The total journey is some 200+ miles so I need to get fit, with this in mind I walked 9 miles on Sunday, from Kings Cross Station to Snaresbrook Station. I came out quite unscathed…apart from a sore back, a painful right knee and a tender left ankle.

Do I look worried?

Monday, 27 March 2006

Political Flies Buzzing Around The Corpse of Truth

Three political issues are bugging me at the moment, so in no particular order I'd like to share my worry with you...…

1. Bush's war on the US media for making it look at as if Iraq is a hellhole, when in reality things are going very well indeed thank you and stop being so damn unpatriotic.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry, have people not heard of shooting the messenger? Iraq is a mess, Iraq is a warzone, the murder rate (as in non-military casualties, so Iraqi on Iraqi crime killings) has shot up from 11 (for most of 2005) to over 30 a day! A murder rate of 30 a day! That's worse than Washington DC which has 0.7 murders a day!

Iraq is not going well but (all conservatives please read the following before you go mental) I for one didn't expect it to, nation building and supporting Iraq in defining itself and stabilising the infrastructure is not going to be quick or painless, so I don't necessarily see the terrible state it's in as a Bush failure but more of a sadly natural path that has to be endured on the way to hopefully better times. However, pointing the finger of blame at the US media and saying that they aren't showing all the good stuff that happens and they are supporting the terrorists is not only offensive but also flawed. I'll leave you with some thoughts, by it's own targets the US is failing on the rebuilding programme: 77,000 jobs created instead of the 1.5 million promised; 44 water plants working out of 187 promised, the list goes on. Also, Iraq is a security nightmare, journalist's movements are restricted and success stories are not only slow in the making but are put in danger by media coverage.

2. Iran needs to be invaded/bombed/destroyed because they are bad and they have nuclear weapons.

This is terrifying to me because it all seems so arbitrary and unfounded on any evidence at all and you get the feeling that whoever Bush turns his sights on, he can get international leverage to invade/implement sanctions. The case against Iran seems to be based on two things: the fact they didn't co-operate with the IAEA and the comments by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad concerning Zionism.

There is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, no one out there will be able to provide me with any because there is none, not a jot. In fact the body of evidence out there points in the opposite direction and all that Iran wants to do is develop an alternative source of power (as the US government itself suggested and helped Iran do throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s). IAEA visited Iran February 2003 and stated that there was 'no evidence' that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. On December 18, 2003 Iran signed the Additional Protocol at the IAEA headquarters and acted in accord with its provisions pending completion of ratification of the protocol. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on August 9, 2005. In September 2005 the International Institute for Strategic Studies concluded in a report that Iran was still many years away from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

The agenda here is clear, Iran was marked out some time ago as a member of the axis of evil and reasons now have to be invented to position them as a global threat, that's why it is so inconvenient that like Iraq, Iran had nothing to do with al-Qaeda either. That's what makes the comments of President Ahmadinejad so frustrating because it feeds the propaganda beast but there is no doubt that many of his comments have been taken wildly out of context. Why? Ahmadinejad is an interesting character and one that no doubt worries the neo-cons in Washington, no only is he populist (and popular) in his policies (for instance he is ploughing much of the oil revenue into a programme to support young couples into their first home, first job and a good start in life) but also very religious. This couldn't be a worse mix as far as Washington is concerned, add the fact he is virulently anti-Zionist and you have a worse case scenario.

3. Saddam Hussein did have connections with al-Qaeda even though he and Osama Bin-laden couldn't stand one another and are from opposite ends of the political spectrum but we found new documents! Honest!

This old chestnut has been resurrected by some new documents (in fact old documents but translation takes time) that have been released. Let us be clear, as is happening with Iran, a case for war was built around dubious evidence to convince the US public that direct, pre-emptive action (please see Abe Lincoln's thoughts on this) was necessary. As with Iran and nuclear weapons there is still no evidence and this goes for the latest papers. Before I talk about these let me paint the picture of how bloody unlikely it is that Saddam and al-Qaeda worked together:

1. 9/11 Commission said there was no connection
2. CIA and FBI said there was no connection
3. Bush's Presidential Daily Briefing on the issue said there was no connection
4. Saddam was interested in a secular Arab empire, not an Islamic nation state and wanted to expand this across the region, utterly at odds with al-Qaeda
5. Osama saw Saddam as a devil and motherfucker with his secular policies and funded Jihadists in Iraq to carry out attacks on Saddam forces, as well as sending al-Qaeda members to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War

Now onto the new papers themselves, we have no idea of their authenticity, accuracy or the quality of translation. Also, the source of these documents as with much of the data used by the US to take the country to war came from the Iraqi National Congress, a group set up by the US to oppose Saddam after the first Gulf War. Can you see where this is going? I'll say no more apart from I have no doubt whatsoever that representatives of Iraq's government under Saddam met with members of al-Qaeda, just as representatives of the American, French, British, Israeli and Iranian governments have met with members of al-Qaeda.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, 26 March 2006

Abe Lincoln on Pre-Emptive Strikes:

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure....If today he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us," but he will say to you, "Be silent; I see it, if you don't."

Friday, 24 March 2006

Wyoming Redux and Doogie Talons

It's all kicked off here hasn't it? And the bigot post is drawing some undesirable elements out of the woodwork....

And all it goes to prove it that if someone is entrenched in their beliefs they will not see the evidence put before them. There is lot of shouting at walls going on.

Also, if you must post anonymously, please don't use it as a chance to name call otherwise your horrible little diatribe will go the way of the dinosuars.

On a lighter note, I had all but given up on anymore Wyoming based facts coming my way but then rejoice! This blog provided me with the following words on Wyoming:

"Dear Daniel: Nice to hear from you. How is London this time of year? I hear that it is always cold and foggy. Is this true? You look very pale in your blog photo. Perhaps some Wyoming sunshine would do you good. The sun always shines in WYO, even at night. You probably didn't know that. There are quite a few Republicans here. Dick Cheney also paid us a visit recently to tell us that the Iraq War is going swimmingly. I hear that Londoners always say stuff like "swimmingly." Is this true? I must admit that booze is our state drink. We sometimes swill booze while we munch on the haunches of deer and antelope. Many of us are hunters and the rest are gatherers. I hope this post answers some questions for you. Best of luck in your acting career."

And then another blog got back to me, although for some reason she got very cross with me and called me a Jackass, which she then removed when I explained I am just curious. Here are her answers, along with some more comments in the Wyoming Project to have a read over, allegedly, there are some liberals out there...

There is also a new addition to my Links of Note, a blog by Lunch Break co-founder Doogie Talons, which I urge you to visit.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Three Years On: Bush Gets Confused by All The Terror Out There

No wonder Bush is going through an anti-media phase (can someone tell me if it's run by liberals, homosexuals or Jews?) because they keep recording his words for posterity and when he contradicts himself, they keep bringing it up and calling him a liar.

On the 20th March, whilst Bush was in Cleveland, he said the following:

"First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said, at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein."

I beg your pardon?

Let's rewind to three years ago:

"Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda."

I'll leave it to this video and Keith Olbermann:

"Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in the same sentence separated by seven words. Sept. 11th and Saddam Hussein, two sentences later, separated by six words. In a moment Craig Crawford joins me to discuss the fundamental remaining question. Who does the President think he's F'n kidding?"

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

I'm Not Homophobic But…

You can always spot a bigot with a heart and we all know one, the kind of person who says: "I don't have a problem with black people, I even have black friends but some of them are so lazy." or "Don'’t get me wrong, I don't have a problem with women but that feminism stuff goes too far." or "I have no problem with real immigrants coming here but most of them are scroungers." and anyone who has an issue with the paper tiger that is political correctness. Most of these attitudes are rooted in bigotry, ie: a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions differing from his own and who obstinately sticks to the prejudice even when these prejudices are challenged or proven to be false.

"It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong."

Now, you may have noticed that the comments section to this thread has been hijacked with a tat for tatcenteredge, centred on my accusation to this bigot that he is a homophobe, because he believes that homosexuality is unnatural, a sin, disgusting and people who do it will burn in hell forever or some other such punishment for breaking God's laws.

So naturally, I said that he was a homophobe and expected him, like a good Christian, to bask in his hate and distaste of how millions of people express their love for one another and warm himself with the exalted place he would have in God's kingdom whilst all the fags burnt in hell 'cuz don't forget that God hates fags...

But instead, piqued that some one had outed him, he tried to argue that just because he thinks that homosexual acts are wrong that doesn't make him homophobic because homophobic means scared of homosexuality.

Bascially he wants his homophobic cake and eat it via semantic de-constructions and that's simply not on.

You see, when I encounter prejudice, either fuelled by religious or political beliefs, I like my bigots to wear it like a medal; I respect that, it means commitment to the cause. But strangely I encounter a lot of prejudiced people, who when confronted by their prejudice get all defensive: this bigot is one of those.

Homphobia is a fear and/or contempt for homosexuality and homosexuals, you can't say that you disapprove of homosexuality and then say you don't disapprove of homosexuals. The two go hand in hand.

Monday, 20 March 2006

The Wyoming Project: The Results Are In!


Not only is Wyoming sparsely populated but it's clear not many of them are bloggers.

So a big thank you to Redneck Wyoming Woman who answered my questions here and by doing so did not seem much like a redneck at all. Make sure you check out the discussion in the comments regarding drinking booze in open containers.

I think that the Wyoming Christians blog ("Bringing God to the People and the People to God!") responded to my queries by putting up this post, which isn't really much use at all but I find their blog quite funny in an alarming way.

Finally, the Wilds of Wyoming has yet to get back to me, so I'll keep checking back as it is the home of some great Wyoming based images.

I think I like Wyoming.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

The Wyoming Project

After posting on Wyoming and casting some aspersions on this fair state, I've decided to see if my harsh judgements are correct, so today is the birth of...


Basically, I'm going to contact Wyoming based bloggers and see if the following things are true:

Wyoming is very empty
Wyoming is very Republican
Wyoming is very white
Wyoming likes Dick Cheney
Wyoming doesn't like booze
Wyoming hates Bill Clinton
Wyoming would be a bad place for me to live

I will then feedback the results to my faithful readers and see what hard facts we hit upon.

Wish me luck...

Saturday, 18 March 2006

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

7th Wonder and How Empty is Wyoming?

Do you remember me mentioning Stacey who helped make Post Modern Learning Difficulties all the easier to tolerate with her sense of humour?

Well it turns out she is a turn, that doesn’t me she has fits otherwise I’d have said she was epileptic but rather she is creative and sings in a band. This is her, this is the band’s website and you’ll be glad to know it features the legendary Chris Socrates, who not only looks like a man shaped ball of total guitar fun but also has a really cool name.

And then we skip, seamlessly, to the fact that the state of Wyoming is the most sparsely populated of all the American states, even less people than Alaska and Hawaii. I found this out digging around wikipedia and reading more facts than you can shake a stick at. Wyoming is also the state of residence of the vice-chief thief Dick Cheney; I imagine because it always votes Republican, is very white and very Christian and also has alcoholic beverage controls in place.

I think it could be one of the worst places in the world that I could live and if any Wyoming residents wish to pop by and prove me wrong I’d be very happy. In fact, I may go and hunt out some Wyoming bloggers and poke them with the spite stick (which is not slang for my penis).

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

If Ever I Thy Face by Daylight See

The dirth of posts is down to taking part in an excellent workshop on Shakespeare over the weekend, the aforementioned workshop is also responsible for the wrecked state of my knees, the aches spreading across my frame and meeting a girl named Barrett.

The workshop was centred on liasing with movement directors, as well as a conventional director and developing two small scenes for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

It was as exhilarating as it was exhausting, a real joy to work with a physical focus on classical text and it’s always nice to work with new actors and new people and forge new relationships; never mind learning new techniques and methods to beat the ever elusive barriers we all carry. It always strikes me how, as an actor, you throw yourself into very intimate situations at a moment’s notice and on only the briefest of introductions. When I think about what I’ve got up to over the last few days, the mind boggles; it’s like reaching a level of intimacy that usually takes years without any of the investment. It shows you how much artifice we use in our interactions with others, how many barriers we bring.

Needless to say, I made some new friends and sank a few pints of beer and a special mention has to go out to a girl called Barrett (real name Amanda) from North Carolina; who spent most of the night helping me with my southern American states accent.

It is now quite good.

Friday, 10 March 2006

The Gift of Sight

For Marie's birthday last year I decided to try and get her a few original gifts, to really remember the special day and one of them was the gift of sight.

Basically, in Marie's name, I paid for operations that restored people's sight so that they could see again. I thought it would be a good way to celebrate Marie's life with the celebration of someone else's.

The company who organise it, Good Gifts, emailed me with pictures of the people who benefited from the funding and here they are in all in their glory...



Hassan (and his mum)

We can always do something can't we? We can always do something to help our fellow human?


Thursday, 9 March 2006

Post Modern Learning Difficulties

Today I attended a training course on young people with special educational needs, it was un-remittingly dull and totally un-informative and the only thing that saved it from being an utter waste of my life was too fellow trainees, Stacey and Kate, who made me laugh throughout.

Stacey suggested the concept of 'Post Modern Learning Difficulties' during a particularly somber moment in the discussion, which amused me no end and it got funnier as I tried to figure out what kind of disability that would be.

Perhaps it would mean the sufferer would not be able to understand the concept of absolute truths or identities and grand narratives? Or just that they were a bit of a tit? Any other suggestions?

Kate meanwhile kept catching my eye when anyone of the teachers made a terrible gaff or emitted yet another personal anecdote. The teachers, you see, made jokes about people in wheelchairs getting drunk and wanting to be firemen (these two things are not connected by the way...although maybe that's what Post Modern Learning difficulties is?), someone with cerebral palsy wanting to be a footballer and other crass reflections of their personal prejudice.

Oh well, tomorrow I am attending a workshop on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream where I get to be a fairy and then Demitrius.

I love acting.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

I Missed My Own One Year Anniversary

I have been so distracted by the joys of Harlow, Lauren Phoenix and domestic violence that I missed the fact that I've been blogging for a whole damn year.


This is how it all began and it got a bit better here and reached a hits peak here; although I reckon I'm most proud of my post on the American Empire.

And then to spoil it all, Tim highlights possibly the greatest infringement so far into British civil liberties. Here is his post on the matter and I urge you to read it and get informed but in a nutshell:

The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill gives ministers the power to amend any laws they like without the burden of parliamentary approval.

Read that again UK people because ministers will be empowered to amend any and every sort of law from habeas corpus to what they are going to put on your ID card.

And we laughed at Americans for swallowing the Patriot Act...

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Tactical Aesthetics

Last night, as I lay naked in bed, I realised that I hadn’t explained what an earth I was doing in the architectural hellhole that is Harlow, for all you knew, my dear reader, I may have wandered there by accident after a serious bout of 'mental health issues' or due to booze effecting my mind powers.

The reason I was in Harlow however is not exciting or clever; I have taken a part-time job working with disadvantaged young people (something I’ve been doing since 1997) until the acting work begins to flow again like a creative lava.

Yesterday was my first day in my new (old) job, strange to be back in an office environment again, a world away from poncing around on stage for the entertainment of others but all the staff here are really lovely and friendly; even though their job beats it out of them.

Putting something back and keeping it real, you can’t go wrong.

And thanks to the Col. Dr. for a stolen post title.

Monday, 6 March 2006

Harlow Blues

Today I was introduced to the joys of Harlow, when I say joys I am of course being a sarcastic twat, as Harlow resembles an architectural epileptic fit.

Neo-modernist concrete, squat, dwarves belch out into the Essex skyline, totally self-conscious community murals are in visual conflict with public art so hideous it is perhaps a war crime and metal talons claw with rusty pettiness against the ever present shopping centre that sits, like a massive bastard, right in the middle of this car crash.

Luckily the people there are nice, although they have every right to be shits, as they are oppressed by the evil structures that loom over them and jut into their views at every given opportunity. If architecture could breed terrible people, this is the stuff to do it and it cheers me that the folks of Harlow has refused to be corrupted by the madness around them.


Friday, 3 March 2006

Pity the Dog and Lauren Phoenix

You know you want to.

Feel it's pain and feel the pity.

Stroke the screen and ease it's woe please.

Moving on...

I found a hilarious interview with my current, favourite p0rn star, a certain Lauren Phoenix:

Highlights include the discussion of her being the latest in a long line of 'Buttwomen', her wholesome upbringing and how she loves it in the ass.


Thursday, 2 March 2006

He Beats Me But...

In a state of flux at the moment, that means I'm bored as hell so I've been searching the web for some new blogs to get into and I have added a few classics to my Links of Note but then I stumbled upon this blog, which is seemingly written by someone who is married to an abusive partner.

I say seemingly because who knows what games people play, protected by the mask of the www, suppose part of me hopes it isn't real but I have a nasty feeling it is and it makes for car crash reading: I know I shouldn't but I'm staring anyway.

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Lunch Break

Lunch Break is one of my favourite websites and it has just been relaunched. HURRAH!

Not only is it the home of the legendary Idiot Ballads but also one of the best caption competitions this side of the moon (and I urge you to have a stab at being funny).

The distracting links page is pretty neat as well (and not just cuz they link me...) and the volume of spazzy writing on there beggars belief, it also has some sweet pictures such as...


So go visit and be very cool indeed.