08 August 2009

Daily Post 08/08/09

The city of Oulu, Finland, was founded in 1605. The Graf Zeppelin began an around the world voyage in 1929. The Great Train Robbery was carried out in 1963 and Richard M. Nixon announced his resignation as President of the United States in 1974. Celebrating birthdays today: Dustin Hoffman, Connie Stevens, Keith Carradine, Nigel Mansell, The Edge and Princess Beatrice. It is Fathers' Day in Taiwan.


  1. Couldn't bring myself to include him in today's birthdays, because I didn't want to seem to be honouring him, but it is interesting to note that today is Ronnie Biggs's 80th birthday.

    It is also the birthday of one of my aunts. She was the 8th child, 8th daughter, born at 8:08 am on 08/08/48, and she weighed 8 lbs., 8 oz. As far as I know, she's never participated in a train robbery.

  2. *As far as I know, she's never participated in a train robbery*

    Just how well do you know your aunt, Montana?

    Surely she’s not Nebraska Wildhack, the scourge of the Union Pacific Railroad?

    Happy Birthday to her anyway.

  3. LOL, Montana. I don't think astrology has anything to do with anybody's personal life. Your aunt is a living proof. Together with the other celebrities mentioned in your opening post.

    Did you know Biggs lived for a time in the south of Tenerife, hid from the world but keeping businesses going? He was nevertheless fished out and sent back to Britain where I understand he served some sentence or other.

    Father's day in Taiwan, consumerism in action, as anywhere else where there exists commerce.

    Was ousting Richard Nixon the introduction of the Bush era? You know, Deep Throat and all that. Or am I wrong?

    Other Presidents of the US had the same or worse grounds to be ousted, too, but everything depended on who backed them. Something which is paramount in politics.

  4. Not aware of any train robbery connection, unless being royal counts as a major heist, but Beatrice of York (birth induced to arrive on the auspicious 8/8/88), was reported to have :

    1. biffed a fellow pupil(Brooke Burfitt-Dons)in the face breaking a front tooth, and

    2. had a fling with Paolo Liuzzi who was allegedly involved in the death of an American college student.

  5. One for stoaty, if he's around:

  6. Jose: I agree with your point about the importance of who backs politicians, but I really can’t think of any US President who’s been more deserving of ousting than Nixon, and that includes GWB.

    Care to give an example and your reasons?

    parallax: I’ve never heard that Andy and Fergie deliberately ensured their baby was born on a particular day just because they thought the date looked good.

    I didn’t think they could fall any lower in my estimation, but if you’re right, they just have.

  7. Morning all

    Any dance music fans out there might want to take a look at Underworld live in Oakland last night - they did a free live broadcast in conjunction with apple and quicktime which was the first ever to be streamed live to iPhones. Innovative lot for such a relatively small outfit.

    Link to the re-run here:


  8. I don't know, Andy, Nixon doesn't look THAT bad in retrospect, although the secret bombing of Cambodia was a bit naughty. I don't know whether his intelligence makes his crimes worse or not. I mean, Bush was such an utter moron he had to delegate everything to Cheney who is, in my opinion, the most evil man since Pol Pot.
    And you have to remember that I firmly believe Cheney was the architect of 911, so Bush, far too dim to be allowed to know anything, was responsible by default.
    So, on balance, I'd be happier with Nixon in charge.

    BTW, have you seen the movie with Anthony Hopkins as Nixon? Rather good, but then I'm a Hopkins fan...

  9. Dan

    Nixon doesn't look that bad in retrospect because we have had the neo-cons since, and all else pales into insignificance by comparison, imo.

  10. Well, Andy, for a start if you ask the US Southerners they will tell you Abraham Lincoln was worth at least a full investigation on his real reasons to start the civil war which killed so many Americans. Not slavery.

    More than 1 million dead in Iraq plus deception to his fellow Americans (and the world) makes GWB eligible.

    Weren't Bill Clinton's lies and behaviour also a reason for demotion?

    And the Presidents having to do with Vietnam? And those who have supported Israel in connection with Palestine? Dead upon dead because of really dark decisions.

    I agree with Dan Pearce on his appraisal now of Nixon in the light of what we have learnt about the American Presidents. He doesn't look so dangerous.

    Not that I think that other leaders in the world are not equally guilty.

  11. I think Montana might agree that the complacency and political naivety of the American people is largely responsible for the appalling quality of leadership since Lyndon Johnson. And I include the Clintons, while not as bad as Nixon and Bush, are a shameless pair of crooks (do read 'Nobody Left to Lie to' by Christopher Hitchens if you doubt my assertion)
    Now we have Obama, clearly a good, intelligent man, who, at a time of crisis and clearly out of his depth, has surrounded himself with incompetents and criminals such as Clinton, Summers, Gates, etc etc

    And yes, Jose, the US isn't the only place. I live in ITALY, for chrissake...

  12. Dan
    Nixon is a masterpiece, a woefully underestimated film...

  13. My mistake.
    Christopher Hitchens' book on the Clintons is called 'No One Left to Lie To'
    Satisfyingly rips the Clintons to pieces...

  14. Jose, Dan et al: I’d agree that there have been Presidents to match Nixon for all round crookedness and world destruction (no names necessary), but in my opinion none have actually beaten him.

    Interesting you mention the bombing of Cambodia, Dan. That was rather more than a bit naughty (I’m assuming you’re being ironic). It was a flagrant breach of International Law to match, oh I don’t know, the invasion of Iraq perhaps. And the people of Cambodia are still suffering as a result today.

    Nixon was never called to account for those war crimes, just as Bush and Blair will never be called to account for theirs. He was brought down by the fallout from Watergate – impeached for lying to Congress or something similar as I recall. Bush and Blair managed to avoid that, but I don’t think history will regard them as that different to Nixon regarding their various crimes in, say, twenty years time.

    And Nixon was also surrounded by the neo-cons of his day, they just hadn’t come up with that name yet. The parallels between RMN and GWB are pretty close, I reckon.

    My assessment is joint equal in the hit parade of American Presidential bastards...

  15. Montana- I always assume from your assumed name, that you live in Montana, but that seems unlikely (unless you're a survivalist).
    East coast, I think?
    Doesn't the time difference prove frustrating for you in running this site?
    Any other Americans contributing to this site?
    Very much looking forward to your thoughts on living in the US, Montana- I haven't been there for years and have NO INTENTION of going back as I think I would be rapidly driven crazy (if I wasn't locked up on arrival) but I LOVED New York- the most beautiful city...

    Incidentally, 'Montana' is probably my favourite Zappa track (from 'Overnite Sensation')

  16. Right, Andy, and Kissinger won THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!?!?
    What a world we live in...

  17. Well, in a way Nixon, or Bush, or Johnson or Kennedy for that matter, or Lincoln or Truman or Eisenhower, or Roosevelt, etc, etc., were not there because they could by themselves rule their country. As neither was Franco, or Hitler or Mussolini, or Stalin (ask Russian Jews), or Pol Pot (grrrr), name him/her you're spot on.

    Sometimes I think that the good part of all those ones might have behaved in an honest, sinless way had they been allowed to go by themselves without any intervention. Or perhaps they could have exerted their saintly thoughts and done away with those Cheney-like evil-doers surrounding them.

    Which brings to my mind why was JFK killed, which to date hasn't been given an answer to. Was he a reactionary to the system? Wasn't money and influences enough to keep him alive?

    Perhaps his brother, Ted, a survivor because his other brother was killed, too, may have that answer and is not ready yet to give it.

    Were Lincoln, Kennedy and the other slain American Presidents having qualms of conscience?

    Has finally Obama learnt from history?

    Only time will tell. I just expect.

  18. Dan
    and Kissinger won THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!?!?

    I did always wonder about that as it seemed such a total travesty at pissing on the meaning of the prize - the man is a monster.

    There must have been politics involved in the decision. although the prize very rarely goes to anyone who truly deserves it - there are lots of unsung people around the world doing amazing things who will die unrecognised.

  19. Response to BiteTheHand's ad hom against JayReilly, (just in case he gets it modded from CiF)


    Well, you really piqued my interest. I have to say I did something I have never before bothered doing before, and decided to check up on what you are claiming was said (particularly as you neither quote nor link the post in which JayReilly is meant to have said what you allege).

    Guess what? Not only did I find it here, but I also discovered that, once again, you are deliberately and gratuitously misquoting someone to impugn their character - (reminds me precisely of a little tiff we had a few days ago about implying that another poster's son was a teenage alcohol abuser who would be "proud" of the time she spent posting on CiF.)

    Here is the paragraph in question:


    "You have said before that you'd be willing to see other peoples daughters in porn but I've not noticed others rushing show their agreement."

    Well yes, i dont mind "other people's" daughters working in porn in the sense that every person on the earth is someone's daughter, and i dont think porn should be banned, so what other option is there other than to acknowledge the right of other peoples daughter to work in porn? Even my own would have a 'right' to work in porn, i just wouldnt want her to. And which proposal of yours have i missed?

    This is happening far too frequently now for it to be a simple mistake. You should be ashamed of yourself for deliberately and maliciously attributing views to people that they have never held or expressed. But, of course, you won't be. You will just try to bluster your way out of it again.


    If people are going to post gratuitous attacks, they should at least make sure that they can't be caught out on them.

  20. Sheffpixie: Alfred Nobel invented high explosive so a peace prize named after him is a little anachronistic...

  21. Dan, Sheff: Yeah, that Nobel Peace Prize.

    There’s obviously some irony in it being named after the inventor of dynamite.

    I don’t know who chooses the recipient each year, but maybe they’re just trying to outdo previous decisions on the irony front.

    Here’s a fly-on-the-wall report from their next meeting:

    “So, who have we got, George W Bush? He’d be controversial and ensure we get plenty of publicity.”

    “Nah, too western, and too obvious. What about Osama bin Laden?”

    “Not very photogenic though. Tony Blair would make a great acceptance speech, full of pathos, but without really saying anything. And JayReilly would get a chance to call him a cunt again.”

    “Right, that’s it; Tony Blair it is. Next up, literature. I nominate JK Rowling. My kids tell me she’s great...”

  22. Brief American perspective on some of what's been said today:

    1. I don't give a flying fuck about anything a white Southerner says about Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War was fought to preserve the union of this nation. The 'great-great grandpappies' that they're always romanticising were traitors, pure and simple. No amount of Southern revisionism is going to change that. Abraham Lincoln was, in my opinion, the 2nd most heroic president this country has had (FDR being the first). Did Lincoln and FDR do some things that can be seen as immoral or unethical? Sure. Name me one human being who hasn't. They did the best they could to overcome the difficulties that were before them. We have no right to expect them to have been saints.

    2. Nixon was seriously mentally ill. And he was evil. Most of the people who surrounded Bush II had been part of the Nixon administration. Yes, Dick Cheney was the de facto President while Skippy was in the White House. Comparing the Nixon & Bush II administrations for levels of venality is like comparing shades of black.

    3. While I'm certainly no fan of the Clintons, I'd have about as much respect for anything Christopher Hitchens said about them as I do for what white Southerners say about Abraham Lincoln and the US Civil War.

    Dan: Montana Wildhack was a character in Slaughterhouse 5. I live in Iowa and I'm pretty sure I'm the only American who ever comments here. The time difference isn't a huge frustration for me right now, but during the school year, I only get to be online for a little while before everyone else starts going to bed.

    Now for something completely different:

    BTH. Douchebag, as we Yanks are wont to say.

  23. You are so right, Andy. Politics has got itself into that prize and this not only with the Peace ones, the other prizes are also laden with politics.

  24. Montana

    here's an American we can all be proud of...a stand-up kinda guy who'll fight for his 'beliefs'


    #Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

    Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

    Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

    This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”#

  25. MF

    He is even more of a nutter than even I originally thought. Gog and Magog. Uhuh.

    Don't we normally hospitalise people in this country if they go round spouting stuff like that?

  26. Gog and Magog? I thought they were hills (the only ones) in Cambidgeshire..? Right, that's it... I'll have to start wearing my own tin foil hats now (might as well, couldn't flog em to the Bilderbergers)...

  27. Ooh - they closed Marina's thread early tonight. Worried about Sralan taking out a libel suit against the Graun too, no doubt :o)

  28. BB: I’m sure that The Guardian wouldn’t let a little thing like that worry them.

    They are inveterate campaigners for freedom of expression, after all ;-)

  29. BB: can you just clarify this emoticon business for me?

    Is * ;o) * the same as * ;-) * or is it slightly different?

    The crucial point of * ;-) * seems to be the * ; * suggesting a wink.

    Does the difference between * - * and * o * (presumably suggesting a fatter nose) have any significance, or do you just find it easier to type?

    And what about the difference between * o * (letter) and * 0 * (number)?

    There may be a whole field of meta-linguistics here that I’ve yet to discover...

  30. MF: Interesting article, but a little confusing for me, because it's been fairly well-known over here since day one that Bush considered the attack on Iraq to be a mission from god and that many NeoCons were actively hoping to provoke Armageddon. This is the United States we're talking about. People who consider the Bible to be literally true are not considered whackjobs here. People who believe that Methuselah really did live to be 900 years old are common as dirt in this country.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is pretty difficult to overestimate the ignorance of the average American. My brother is a case in point. He's an industrial engineer. His education is in science and mathematics, yet he believes the Bible to be literally true. I don't understand how it can be possible, but it is.

  31. andy

    I just think ;o) looks funnier than ;-)

    Montana - it must be seriously soul-destroying, for sure. Luckily we are nowhere near as chock-full of religious bigots in this country, not that there isn't a strong evangelical movement trying its hardest to gain a strong foothold here. We like our religion discreet and well-mannered, generally speaking, not worn on our sleeves and sold like double-glazing.

  32. BB: It’s not that you’ve got a big nose, then?

    *Ducks to avoid flying teapots, etc*

    Another early night for me

  33. Montana

    Yeah, it was pretty widely known here that he saw it as a divine mission. I'd just never realised his intelligence was so good that he'd identified the individual minions of Beelzebub responsible. Mind you I'm sure the CIA has friends in (very) low,(very very hot) places.

  34. andy

    Good job you've gone to bed or it would have been an empty wine bottle upside da head for you, mate!

    MF and Montana

    I can just imagine how Chirac would take a conversation like that. The French are even more modest about their religious beliefs - especially in politics as a supposed laic republic - than we are. He must have been trying so hard not to burst out laughing...

  35. I'm not always sure how much of Bush's stupidity is real and how much of it is feigned. The Texas accent is a complete con, for one thing. He grew up on the East Coast. He went to Andover, FFS -- that's pretty much the American equivalent of Eton.

  36. MW - yeah, the "Good Ole Boy" image wears a bit thin, doesn't it.

  37. Monkeyfish, oh my god, that is one of the funniest, most disturbing quotes I've ever seen.

    Cheers BB, i was getting ready to sift through BTH's latest smear campaign when I saw you'd already done the legwork and found the quotes, thanking you kindly!!

  38. Hmmm, a late post, probably overlooked now tomorrow's daily chat is already aired.

    BB - are you quoting BTH or Jay in context? you post a quote here on UT (in Cif context but out of UT cognisense)and expect the UT readers to know the history?

    Isn't this behind-the-back-biting confined to an off-the-field comment in the sweaty locker-room?

    Anyway BB from this perspective BB reads: Bear-Baiting.

    Hey, but I guess you're getting high-fives (>5<) from your jock-strap mates :)

  39. Its a public blog, parallax, BTH can come and comment here if he likes. I doubt he will, he's been caught telling porkies about other posters, again. But he's welcome should he choose to.

  40. thanks Jay, I'm predisposed to support either side - but unless the argument is fully exposed here - I don't understand why BB is crowing ... which has led me into deep water on the next thread. My argument is mainly (I know the *ones who choose to be confined* have a different agenda ) but why bring the constantly tortured ones out into the UT public arena ?

  41. parallax

    "why bring the constantly tortured ones out into the UT public arena ?"

    Try "constantly attacking ones" - that is nearer the mark.

    And why the UT public arena? Simple. He lurks here and frequently refers to this place in CiF posts when seeking to diss people personally. I am simply returning the favour.