BBC NEWS | Middle East | US 'to reduce its forces in Iraq'

Ahhh.. so US troops may be coming home towards the middle of next year, huh? This is good, because a reduction in coalition presence (and, let's be serious, here, that means British and US troops) means that some of our troops will be coming home, too.

So ... like ... just in time for the US elections?

I guess it's gratifying for Brits to know that the deployment and return of British troops is being done in accordance with some other country's political needs. British troops can stop being killed because tickertape parades in Washington DC will be a coup just before the midterms.

I mean, it'd be bad enough if we thought Blair sent our boys off to die for his own political agenda, but for someone else's?

Oh, wait, that's what's been going on all along.

Hang on, how the fuck did the grinning twat get re-elected?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to hear that an and to this may be in sight, but it kinda sticks in my throat that the war is ending, like it began, not because it's right or necessary, but because it's politically advantageous.

p.s. note how the Bush administration is still trying to link Iraq to 9/11

US 'to reduce its forces in Iraq'

The White House says it expects conditions in Iraq will permit a reduction in the number of American forces in the country next year.

A spokesman told journalists progress was being made with the training of Iraqi security forces and that would allow the US to reduce its presence.

President George W Bush is expected to repeat that big advances are being made in Iraq in a speech later on Wednesday.

Correspondents say he wants to give Americans hope that an end is in sight.

The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says the rhetoric from the White House has changed.


Congestion charge to be rolled out nationwide

Now, see, I would be more in favour of this if I thought, for even one second, that this charging would replace paying for roads through taxes and that taxes woul be reduced accordingly.

But it and they won't. Taxes will remain as they are and this is just another way for the government to fleece even more money out of the citizenry.

Congestion charge to be rolled out nationwide:

"CONGESTION charging is to be extended to towns and cities across England under government plans for a fundamental change in the way drivers pay for using the roads.

Local authorities in seven areas were yesterday awarded �7 million to develop a model charging scheme that will be rolled out over the entire road network in the next 10-15 years.

The authorities will study new technology that can target motorists who travel at the busiest times, charging them up to
£1.34 a mile. "


Bengals 42-29 Ravens

This is the kind of thing I'm used to seeing. The Bengals dominated in the first half, holding the Ravens to zippo, then fell apart when they came back. At least they were able to get it back together long enough to score some more and keep the game to a win.


Good: The Bears won.

Bad: The Packers lost.

Ugly: Denver's win over Dallas on thursday.


Do you know what a "Freudian slip" is?

Check it out, a christian t-shirt that states the wearer is "Brain Washed".

I shit you not, this is a 100% genuine christian t-shirt as sold by the christian company "FaithfulWay Christian Shirts" on eBay.

Brain Washed? Is that a t-shirt or a warning label?

I guess these people think they're being clever, turning the accusation around or something. Like someone with a functioning brain would listen to their crap for about thirty seconds and then say "dude, you've been brainwashed", and they can reply "yes, and I'm proud of having had my brain washed".

Yeah, except it doesn't work and the shirt just looks like the wearer is being inadvertently honest through chronic stupidity.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Imo is either praying, bathing, or is trying to conceal a small handgun in his fur. You decide.

George Best 1946-2005

George Best died today at 1255 GMT.

A great man, sadly missed.


George Best on the way out

George Best, arguably one of the greatest footballers ever, is currently in a hospital going through his "final hours". Internal bleeding caused by a lung infection is unstoppable, and he's not expected to last the next 24 hours.

Best was the epitome of the playboy sportsman, he drank, he smoked, he gambled, he fornicated. He once said of his life: "
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

Good luck to you, George. You had a good life, enjoyed every second. In this day and age of political correctness it's just not acceptable to admire someone as dedicated to the enjoyment of life as you've been, but know that we do admire you.

And I think you might have been amused by the upcoming attempts to fit your life into some sort of church-appropriate eulogy.


One of the more amusing ways I've been wasting my time is watching commercials on the telly. I've especially been keeping an eye out for those that allegedly push one message whilst actually promoting (to the inquiring, slightly skewed mind) a completely different one.

For example:

Take the new commercial for the Hummer H3. It shows a family of bears (Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and, if you can't finish that off, you're too dumb to be walking around unsupervised) coming home to find that their house has been "visited". Cups are out, chairs have been sat in, beds slept in. Simultaneously, the Bears are overcome with a shocking realisation! The cars! They rush outside.. Papa Bear's HumVee is there.. Mama Bear's H2 is there.. but Baby Bear's H3 is gone! Cut to the H3 being driven down the road by a blonde - Goldilocks - and the catchphrase "this one's just right".


Or, as I say whenever it comes on, "H3: the car for car thieves". How about "H3, with security features that are so pants, even a blonde could steal it".

Then, there's Miller Lite. I drink neither Miller Lite nor Bud Lite, as both are, in my opinion, making love in a canoe*. But Miller Lite's commercials are grating.

No, that's not strong enough. Miller Lite adverts annoy the hell out of me.

Not only do we have the oft-cited selling point that it has "more taste" than Bud Lite (and cow shit has more taste than strawberry milkshakes. I know which one I'll take, thank you), but now we have this new set of two or three commercials. They depict people watching an American Football game. Halftime rolls around - cue a mad dash to the shops to stock up on more Miller Lite! The "Beer Run"! The race! The spectacle! Not to mention the hilarious (for the lobotomised) scene where one (or more) people arrive too late to grab the last case of Miller Lite, pause, glance at the next fridge stocked to full with Bud Lite, then turn and run out the door to - presumably - find another store to get their "more-tasting" beer from!

Hur hur hur.

Miller Lite: The beer for those too stupid to buy enough beer to last the whole game. Shit, it's not like you didn't know in advance how long the game was likely to last, moron.

*Americans may not be conversant with this old British joke, so I'll explain. Making love in a canoe is fucking, close to water.


Bengals 37-45 Colts

Stupid Colts.

Yes, I missed blogging last night, no it wasn't because I was too despondent. Last night I came down with the worst migraine I've had in about 20 years. Thanks to the ministrations of the wonderful Mrs Doombreed, I made it through okay. She looked after me, made sure I was okay, and even went out in the middle of the night to go get advice from our local drugstore, bringing back some useful potions*1, poultices*2, and drugs*3.

I love my wife so much.

*1: HeadOn - I don't know if it helped, but it certainly didn't hurt.
*2: Well Patch - a cooling patch for my forehead, which was the most incredible thing I've ever felt in my life
*3: tylenol - and this was fun, considering I couldn't get drugs into my body by mouth if ya know what I mean


Fight the power!

A 67 year-old Worcester City resident has invoked the English Bill of Rights to fight a parking fine. The Bill, he points out, prevents government from laying fines against citizens without a trial, making on-the-spot fines - such as those imposed for parking violations - illegal.

The Bill, written into law in 1689, includes the clause "
All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."

Britian needs more people like this to fight the Blair State.

Check it out.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Imo, having finally been caught and tried for his crimes, is safely behind bars.


Colts vs Bengals

Say it ain't so. This Sunday, my Bengals go against the undefeated (take a drink) Colts.

This week's drinking game: Drink whenever a commentator mentions how the Bengals put a stop to the Chiefs' 9-0-0 unbeaten streak - against all odds - two years ago to the week!.

Standard disclaimer:

We do not advocate actually playing this drinking game and any drunkenness, embarrassment, injury, loss of coherence, memory, friendship, money, marriage, sanity, limb or life, that may occur as a result are entirely your own responsibility. You are an individual human being, start acting like it and stop blaming your failings on something you read on the internet or saw on television.


Willy Pete

You may have seen the scandal involving US forces using white phosphorus shells in Iraq - apparently a contravention of a few chemical weapons treaties if the shells were used against civilians. The US military claims they were using them to "illuminate the battlefield" (a story that has since changed).

Well, it seems British forces were using them, too. Only we were using them to "create smokescreens".


Well, we had a good run, people

Oh well, it seems like the honeymoon's over. A UN summit in Tunisia is meeting over the next three days to discuss what to do with the Internet. For too long, apparently, the Internet has been uncensored and uncontrolled - the ultimate expression of free speech and international discourse. But the question may be settled as to who "owns" the World-Wide Web.

The Bush administration, of course, wants the whole thing to be controlled from the US. Other countries - mostly those that heavily censor their citizen's access - want there to be more centralised control under the UN. The EU may well play the trump card and break any deadlock.

I notice, however, that the idea of just leaving it alone isn't surfacing. At the moment, countries are able, through the use of products produced by companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, to decide exactly how much or how little their citizens are exposed to. Any country that values freedom of speech will - theoretically - leave it alone. Any country that wants exacting government control can do so.

Most of us who like to keep one foot in the reality pool knew that the ride wouldn't last forever, and it wouldn't be too long before this, too, became "sanitised" by the few for the greater profit of the few, under the guise of safeguarding the many.

It was fun while it lasted.

Cowboys 21-20 Eagles

Whoa, what a game! After seriously crapping out, Da 'Boys pull a victory out of nowhere!

It was erie watching the last few minutes of the game. There was almost total silence in the Eagles' stadium - most of the Cowboys fans having left and the Eagles fans shocked speechless by the last minute rally.

However, the fact that they won should not prevent the Cowboys from asking two key questions:

"Where the hell was our pass protection?"


"Drew? What the fuck?"


NFL roundup

The Bengals are on a bye (that means they get a week off) so no change to the 7-2-0 this week. Great to see the Colts win, still the only undefeated team in the NFL at 9-0-0. The Bears put up a good show - in really bad orange shirts - for the win, the Packers added another win, going 2-7-0, and the Steelers gave the Browns what is known over here as a "whuppin'".

Tomorrow brings the Cowboys against the Eagles - division rivalry and all that - and poor Philly without T.O. and his mouth. Cowboys dominated last time, so we should have a fight on our hands.


Remembrance Sunday

The eleventh hour will, thanks to the time difference, be at 6am tomorrow (later today, actually), but as with every other year, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I will be thinking of those who didn't come back.

Too often, patriotism becomes confused with jingoism, and words like "honour", "duty", "sacrifice" and "valour" become dirtied in the mouths of politicians who seek to twist them for their own ends. One of the things I try to remember is that we do owe these people. Not because some politician wants us to, but because they fought.

I doubt that many fought for freedom - it's too nebulous a concept. But to fight and die for family, for friends, for countrymen and women, to fight to protect those and that which you love, that is the sacrifice they made.

I'm not interested in comparing or contrasting the previous wars with the current war in Iraq, too much of that is being done already.

I honour those that fought and died for my country. I honour them by deciding issues for myself. I honour them by demanding accountability for those who would send off the next generation of kids to fight and die for their political careers. I am a patriot. I remember.

I can't get a poppy over here, but it's only missing from my lapel.

Scotland 1-1 USA

Nicely done, both sides, especially considering that the US team was mostly "second string" players.

Match report.

England 3-2 Argentina


Okay, so it was only a friendly, but beating Argentina is always a good thing. It's also great to notice that two goals were scored in the closing minutes, as usually England plays well in the first half and goes to pieces in the second. Two for Owen and one for Rooney. Lovely.

Match report.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Imo, who has bravely volunteered to defend the Doombreed household from all small, blue slices of gourd.

And cardboard, apparently.


On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study

This is beyond great.

Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We theorize that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

I can hear the crazies screaming themselves to sleep as we speak...


On Creationism and so-called "Intelligent Design"

I mentioned in yesterday's post that the Kansas board of education has had to redefine the word "science" in order to crowbar the so-called "Intelligent Design theory" into classrooms. I mentioned it simply in order to counterpoint the story of Pennsylvania voters booting out the school board which had recently okayed the teaching of this so-called "theory". However, I was commented.

I thought it would be wise to address the comment, by an individual named Sean, because so many of the anti-science lobby's arguments were represented there.

First, let me state this: ID is not a theory in any scientific definition of the word. If it were, the Kansas board of education wouldn't have had to redefine the terms in order to get it to fit. It's that simple. For those confused, Talk.Origins has a great piece on exactly what constitutes a "theory".

Also, it needs to be stressed that ID is only creationism with its hair combed and wearing a nice suit for its day in court. The distinction is purely a legal one.

But, to the comment:
It seems to me that, for once, students are able to hear BOTH sides of the argument so to be able to decide for themselves! This is certainly an improvement over our students continung to be fed only ONE of two major worldviews without exposure to any alternatives.
This is flawed on several levels. First is the equation of science with mythology. The two are not equals and only real, actual science should be taught in a science class.

The second is the notion that not teaching religion in school somehow precludes learning it. School is the wrong venue for religion. Preachers teach religion. Churches teach religion.
Parents teach religion. State-funded schools should not. Thus, any child will be able to hear "BOTH sides of the argument" because they get the science from school and the religion at home.

The third flaw is a popular fallacy - that either evolution is correct or creationism is correct. But that is rubbish. Even the Vatican accepts evolution as correct. The confusion comes when people believe that evolution somehow speaks to the ultimate origin of life on this planet. It does not. That area of science is called "
abiogenesis" - the study of how a planet without life became a planet with life. Abiogenesis and creationism are at odds, because the former attempts to find scientific hypotheses to explain the origin of life, whereas the latter relies upon the bible. The official position, as noted, of the Vatican is that God created life on Earth, but life does evolve.

Finally, we come to theocentricism. If that's not a word, it is now. The clearly stated belief is that there are only those two options. Science and creationism. The notion that both might be wrong is never entertained. That maybe the world was created by - say - Odin from the flesh of Ymir, or from the egg of the great bird Nyx, or out of Nu, or by Con Tiqui from the lake Collasuyu, or that life was created on the body of the great Goddess torn asunder by Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca in retribution for their transgression, or that life sprang from the thoughts of Tepeu and Gucumatz, or was formed by Gisoolg, are not to be considered, nor is the idea that the world might be some alien experiment, or maybe came into being in some way that nobody's ever thought of. Nope, they want it to be either science or their creation myth.
The issue is not whether intelligent design or evolution is correct.
Shouldn't it be? Shouldn't it be the only issue under consideration when it comes to teaching science as science in a science class?
If evolution is a theory, with both evidence for and against it, and intelligent design is a theory with both evidence for and against it, how can they not be given equal consideration in teaching?
The second part of that statement is a false assumption. See above for the definition of "theory".

And there is no scientific evidence whatsoever in favour of creationism. None.
The bias that exists today is that evolution is taught as fact, without any mention of an alternative solution. What would be sad for our education system, in my opinion, would be to continue teaching only ONE of two major theories, and to continue to present that theory as sientific fact when it remains debatable. At least 2/3 of the population of the world believes in intelligent design anyway. NOT exposing our students to that theory would put them at a serious disadvantage.
Again, note "two major theories", with the references to "more than two" and "not a theory" points made above. Also note the reiteration of the idea that if kids aren't taught religion at school, they won't be taught it at all. Are there no churches?

Evolution is taught as fact because, quite simply, it is fact.

Still, if you want to believe that weakening science in favour of mythology somehow constitutes good educational principle, you're welcome to do so. I just thought that the basic principle of religious freedom which Americans are supposed to cherish would prevent you from imposing that belief upon others.

Keep science in school and religion in church. If you don't want your kids exposed to science, send them to a christian school. If you don't want them exposed to religion, don't send them to church. See? That works out best for everyone. Each person is entitled to raise their kids as enlightened or as ignorant as they wish.

And an atheist's tax dollars shouldn't be used to teach children religion.


Special Powers

The French government has passed emergency legislation in a bid to halt the days of rioting that have raging - much to the delight of Fox News. Included in the package is the right to impose and enforce curfews, and the right to search suspect's homes without a warrant.

There's a great saying: Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So what does history say about situations like this?

Well, first, there's the trend that "emergency powers" passed to handle a certain problem or situation are rarely inspired by that single situation. In the wake of 9/11, both Britain and the USA passed legislation (in both cases it was mostly strengthening and widening existing laws), ostensibly to combat terrorism. Yet in both cases, the powers granted were powers that had been sought by the respective law enforcement organisations for many years, and such powers had been denied in the past. This is not to say, of course, that the powers weren't useful in combating terrorism, but one should not buy the notion that the idea sprung into being on that day. How long have French law enforcement organisations been asking for these powers?

Secondly, there's the trend that such powers will be misused. To clarify: in this sense, "misuse" constitutes an act which would not have been legal without the new legislation, but which is outside of the stated reasons for the new legislation. For example, the Labour party used anti-terrorism laws to eject and detain an old man who protested the government's justifications for the war in Iraq, and the USA PATRIOT act was used to investigate businessmen in Las Vegas who had absolutely no connection to any terrorism, not even causing Tony Blair to get a bit upset. Police chiefs in France probably reacted to the news about warrantless searches by immediately reaching for the files marked "Scumbags We Don't Have Enough Evidence To Get Behind Bars". Many searches will probably be carried out on "suspected" rioters houses.

Finally, and probably most worryingly, such powers are very difficult to withdraw once issued. Britons fought long and hard to end the laws requiring ID cards after WWII, and the war isn't over, they're still at it. When the situation in Northern Ireland seemed to be calming down, moves to reduce the scope of the Anti-Terrorism Acts were blocked repeatedly, and 9/11 simply gave the excuse needed to shore them up beyond any assault. The USA PATRIOT act hasn't been allowed to expire, and they're even talking about widening it further.

As with the examples above, there can be no doubt that the new laws in France will do the job they're touted to do - help police quell the riots, making the streets safe(er) for law-abiding citizens (and, thus, doing the job they're paid for) - but laws don't exist in a vacuum. Even if the laws are issued with the best of intentions, they will be misused, they will be stretched, they will be clung to long after their usefulness has gone.

France has allowed itself to fall into the trap of passing knee-jerk legislation to solve a problem that shouldn't have been allowed to exist in the first place.

That's called "papering over the cracks" and it doesn't work any better for government than it does for decorating.

Thank you Auntie!

It comes to something when even the Beeb recognises the glory that is the Bengals!

Colts 40-21 Patriots

I have never been so pleased to be proved wrong, even if it was only partially. I wrote:

My prediction for this game? The Colts are the better team, but they need to realise that if they're to beat the Patriots. Many stats will be unearthed concerning how many times Manning has been beaten at Foxboro and the like, and the Colts are going to have to beat themselves before they can beat the Pats.

Close game, Colts on top.

Colts on top, yes, close game, no. Even when the Colts didn't challenge the Patriot's third (and easily overturned) touchdown, it wasn't close.

Congrats, Colts. 8-0-0.


Bengals 21-9 Ravens

Okay, any day now, the Bengals are going to go all crap and start losing. Any day. Soon. Yep.

7-2-0 (again, best start since '88, when they went to the Superbowl)

And the drinking game mentioned here has been modified, seeing as it's "the undefeated Colts" at "the champion Patriots". Again, this author accepts no responsibility for any long-term liver damage done whilst playing this game. It's a joke. Don't do it.

My prediction for this game? The Colts are the better team, but they need to realise that if they're to beat the Patriots. Many stats will be unearthed concerning how many times Manning has been beaten at Foxboro and the like, and the Colts are going to have to beat themselves before they can beat the Pats.

Close game, Colts on top.

Happy Guy Fawkes' Night

Hey, I realise it's sunday morning, so it's the 6th, not the 5th, but I was working past midnight so give me a break.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder, treason and plot,

I see no reason why gunpowder treason

should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,

'twas his intent

to blow up the King and the Parliament.

Three score barrels of powder below,

Poor old England to overthrow:

By God's providence he was catch'd

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip hoorah!

So, with the above set to puzzle people; Happy Guy Fawkes' Night!


Pandagon: I'll pick up my chicken wing at the back door, Massa George

What amazes me about this story is not that it happened - I'm getting used to seeing the White House managing to neatly put both its feet into its mouth on various PR stunts - it's the fact that, apparently, nobody saw it coming.

Does the WH not employ people for this kind of thing? Y'know, people to say things like "Hey, locking this cafeteria when we're supposed to be showing our compassion might not be a good thing, possibly."?

And whose bright idea was "go around to the back door"?

Probably the same guy who came up with "let's turn the power back on in New Orleans just long enough for the President to give his speech, then turn it off again"

In a normal world, people would be getting fired over this kind of thing.

Pandagon: I'll pick up my chicken wing at the back door, Massa George

House of Shite

We borrowed the DVD of House Of Wax from a colleague yesterday. Today, we watched it. To quote Rimmer from Red Dwarf 5: I consider it an insult to my backside to have to sit growing carbuncles through such putrid adolescent slush.

It was a bad movie. And, as an aficionado of horror movies, I don't mean it was bad in a good way, such as Braindead, I just mean it was bad.

The plot had so many holes that oftentimes it was hard to see if it was even there, the characters were crap and unlikable, the tragic tormented bad guy act was woefully underdeveloped, and any movie that resorts to having Paris Hilton as a stand-in for eye candy is doomed to failure.

The other girl - I have bothered to remember neither the actress' nor character's name - was far more attractive, actually having those attributes men look for in a women. Y'know, breasts, butt, hips, curves, femininity, body that doesn't resemble a skeleton on a starvation diet. But Paris is in the movie, and thus she was that which we were supposed to be oogling. And, yes, Ms Hilton's explosion into the movie scene, which was supposed to convince the world she was a serious actress, was wooden, boring and involved a strip show. Only as far as her underwear. Wouldn't want anyone seeing her naked or anything, now would we?

And then she dies. Which is the only high point of the movie.

If some crazed maniac holds a gun to your head and says he'll execute you if you don't watch this movie, think long and hard before you answer. It's just not worth it.

Doombreed Rating: pbbbbthbt

Friday Rodent Blogging

Kuzco, having decided that, if the authorities aren't going to grant his petition for a retrial, he'll have to escape, comences to chewing his way to freedom.



The "How Dumb Do You Feel?" Award


Mirror.co.uk - News - SPIDER CAUSES CAR WRECK:


A driver who swatted at a spider inside his car hit an embankment and flipped the vehicle over, critically injuring himself, Austrian police said yesterday. The victim was cut free by firefighters and airlifted to hospital."

Army criticised over failed trial

It seems the British Army is taking flak over the failure of the court martial of seven members of 3 Para. It seems that there is, after all, no evidence and no charges to answer. The star witnesses flown from Iraq to appear for the prosecution turned out to be - let's be charitable - less than convincing and the case was thrown out by the judge.

And people are pissed. Waste of money, they claim (
£8 million) on a trial that should never have gone ahead.

Which is a shame. Especially considering that the same people would be screaming "coverup" if the trial hadn't gone ahead.

Besides, anyone who knows anything about the procedures for British Army courts martial will know that in order for the accused to be acquitted that easily, the prosecution case must really suck. Usually, it's a slam-dunk, no matter how weak the evidence.


Blunkett resigns ... again ...

Bonkers Blunkett has resigned again. Apparently, he was playing fast and loose with Parliamentary procedures concerning what kind of work an MP can do for the private sector.

Oh, next on the "Big Surprise" newscast; Bears and their toilet habits.

Charles and Camilla go Stateside

Yeah, so, it seems Prince Charles and Camilla are in DC, visiting with President Bush and zzzzZZzZZzzzzZZZZZz

Yeah. I don't care and I'm from England.



Well, this may be the most incredibly stupid thing I've ever read:

The Homosexual Movement And Pedophilia

The homosexual activist movement and organized pedophiles are linked together by a common goal:
To gain access to children
for seduction into homosexuality.

Homosexual activists deny that they target children for seduction into the homosexual lifestyle, but the evidence is overwhelming that this is a lie.

There is an ever-increasing effort among homosexual organizations to target public school children, to abolish age of consent laws, and to publish “studies” that purportedly show that adult/child sex is not harmful.

The following reports provide clear and convincing proof that homosexual pedophiles (called pederasts) want children. Homosexuals should not be given special federal protections under “hate crime” laws; they should not be free to promote homosexuality in public schools; nor should they be allowed to marry or adopt children. Many homosexuals are sexual predators who prey on children.

It then goes on to link to many spurious articles "proving" that homosexuality and peadophilia are one and the same thing.

And this isn't one lone whack-job's webpinion page - such as the imcomparable godhatesfags.com - this is the site of The Traditional Values Coalition, a right-wing voice box.

Nice. Yes, my British chums, you thought Screaming Lord Such was a nutjob...


Next on the nomination chopping block...

President Bush has nominated his next bid for the Supreme Court - Samuel Alito.

And once again, all the stops are being pulled out to try to convince the American people that he's not a fundy nutbar, just like Roberts.

However, the extreme right have, it would seem, blown any chance of being able to realistically claim that any candidate is deserving of a straight up-or-down vote, after the savaging they gave Meirs.

For anyone unfamiliar: The President gets to nominate, but Congress votes on whether that person is appointed. A simple majority is required to pass a nomination. So, one can imagine, when one party controls Congress and the Presidency (as the Republicans now do), they can bash anyone through they want. The only option available to the minority party is called the filibuster. The rules of Congress state that a vote cannot be taken until the House has had a chance to debate it. So, in order to block a nomination, the minority party can simply keep on talking, refusing to yield the floor.

Now, the majority can stop a filibuster, but it's dangerous. First, someone needs to table the motion that filibustering in these circumstances is unconstitutional, in which case Congress votes. But it takes a two-thirds majority to pass the motion, so the majority party needs a really big gap to pull it off. Even then, they'd be well advised not to do it because the ruling is final and permanent, meaning that if the situation reverses itself at some future election, the previous majority now finds itself in the minority, but without the protection of the filibuster. Most parties would have to think long and hard before killing the filibuster on something as vital as Supreme Court nominations.

Yeah, it's complicated, but have you seen the British Parliament at all?