Friday, December 31, 2004

Every death is a death, but Comparing the death count from the Tsunami to the deaths at the World Trade Center gives a sense of perspective. (via Manic who has loads of links about the horror)

The Premier League Chairmen have pledged £1 million between them for the disaster relief. That's £50,000 from you then Doug! Not out of your personal wealth estimated at over £20 millionthough, eh? Well worth a gong!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The War on Want

When the Coalition of the Willing declare their intention to spend as much on helping the victims of the Tsunami as they have spent on waging war in Iraq... I might start to believe their motives.

Monday, December 27, 2004

"To The People Of Islam:
Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders and converted you to Christianity YOU'D ALL BE OPENING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
Merry Christmas"

No... not a sick joke... these people believe this stuff!!!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Fantastic news tonight. Apparently the odious Blue Chip Casinos have decided not to convert one of our local pubs into an all-night gambling den following protests from residents in the area. The people of Bearwood could not have had a better Christmas present.

Tonight we went out to celebrate at the Bearwood Corks Club and listened to some cool jazz from Andy Hamilton and his incredible Blue Notes... and assorted celebrated jazzmen. A great night was had by all... especially Big Chris Price, a legend in many a lunchtime!

Have a nice Xmas everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A satirical portrait of George Dubya composed of monkeys swimming in a marsh has been placed on a billboard at the entrance to a Hudson river tunnel used by thousands of commuters, a week after it was removed from a gallery in Manhattan amid allegations of censorship.


Of course, it's nothing new. If you type the words Bush and Monkey into google you will come across numerous sites like this with pictures which compare Dubya's expression with primates.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Guardian photographer of the year Dan Chung selects his favourite pictures of 2004 and explains why...



Looking out...Zainab Hamid, now 10, lost her leg and 17 family members in the Iraq war.What Dan said: "This girl was one of the lucky ones. A journalist brought her back to Britain and had a prosthetic leg paid for by Heather McCartney!"
Thank heavens it is not just Sandwell that suffers from this assault on good taste and light pollution.

Still, as Howlingspoons reminds us... its downhill all the way from today until Summer.

Monday, December 20, 2004

With God On Their Side

I can remember the ridicule heaped on the head of busy-body Mary Whitehouse when she wanted Python's Life of Brian banned on the grounds of blasphemy. Well frankly, these people deserve the same. There are so many people who want to force their faith on the rest of us... and many of them have the sort of levels of intolerance that beggar belief. Last week on the radio I heard someone calling for a law against religious persecution who, when challenged on the attitude of the catholic church to homosexuality nearly blew his gasket. If a religion is not strong enough to stand its ground against a book, play or film, it has got big, big problems.

Tony Blair says we must maintain the right to detain foreign people without charge (or even telling them what is alleged against them) "on the advice of the security services". Yes... well... that will convince everyone I suppose.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Whitby Watch

Over the last few weeks Lib Dem Watch has been succesfully exposing Birmingham City Council's Deputy Leader, Lib Dem millionaire John Hemming, as a total opportunist. My beef, however, is with his coalition Leader, Conservative Councillor Mike Whitby. You see, Mike Whitby may lead Birmingham City Council... but he lives in my Ward in neighbouring Sandwell and only jumped on the Birmingham Council bandwagon after the people of Sandwell had rejected him a number of times. To complicate matters there is a local park just 300 yards from Whitby's house that is in Sandwell... but is owned and managed (due to an accident of history) by Birmingham City Council. It is by far the most run down and desolate piece of land in the area, with footpaths that are virtually impossible for anyone with a pushchair, wheelchair or anything short of a mountain bike to navigate, and no improvements since Aneka Rice parachuted in about 10 years ago. Community groups in Bearwood are now planning an all-night torchlit vigil outside Whitby's house in protest at the state of the park.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

With apologies to Comrade Hallam (who used to be an MEP) for looking at the bigger picture, but can there be anybody, outside of the most Eurofanatical Lib-Dems, that is the slightest bit surprised by this story about our European partners?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This could not have happened to a more deserving person.

Steve Bell on Blunkett and Prescott.

Don't listen to the miserablists. Eat, drink and cheer up. Life cannot be all about guilt.

The debate about assisted suicide rumbles on... perhaps they should ask him for some advice.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

This letter writer to our local newspaper, The Express and Swastika, purports to be responding to the BNP and then uses the letter to attack the Labour Party for "political correctness". My kids are a bit too old now for Postman Pat.... but I've never heard anyone accuse him of that! Is it true? Or just another Tory fantasy?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

This is the end....

A nice letter in the Guardian Obituaries about the late Kevin Coyne... who can now discuss the finer points of rock and roll with Jim Morrison.
An interesting medical proposition?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004

Sad song

The great Kevin Coyne, rocker extraordinaire, is now the late, great Kevin Coyne. I've got his debut album on vinyl somewhere, recorded and produced by Peel on Dandelion Records. News courtesy of the Fat Buddah who has replaced the extremely ugly picture of a Birmingham City shirt.... with a picture of himself (out of the frying pan...).

A Telephone Scam

If you think Spam is bad... wait until you read this I have been sent by West Midlands Police Fraud Investigation Unit.

"I have been advised of a telephone fraud currently in operation (this applies
to home and/or work telephones - land lines and mobiles):

”If you do receive one of these calls, upon answering the telephone, you will
hear a recorded message congratulating you on winning an all-expenses trip to an exotic location. You will then be asked to press 9 to hear further details. If you then press 9 you will be connected to a premium rate line that costs approximately £20 per minute.

Even if you disconnect immediately, it will remain connected for a minimum of 5 minutes, costing around £100. The final part of the call involves you being asked to key in your postcode and house number which, as you all no doubt know, has serious other consequences.

After a further 2 minutes you will receive a message informing you that you are not one of the lucky winners. The total bill will be £260. Since the calls are originating from outside the UK, BT and other telephone companies are left relatively powerless to act. The only safe solution is to HANG UP before the message prompts you to press 9; even safer is to HANG UP on any unsolicited 'free offer' calls.

This appears to be a variation on a theme, warnings have been circulated
previously regarding calls made by individuals claiming to be engineers
conducting a test on the line and asking for 9,0# and text messages similar to
the routine described above. Do not dial 9 (or 9,0# or 0.9#) for anyone. BT are aware of this and have confirmed the details as being true.

There is yet another scam operating on Mobile Phones. A missed call comes up. The number is 0709 020 3840. The last four numbers may vary but certainly the first four numbers will remain the same. If you call this number back, you will be charged £50 per minute. People have complained about their phone bills, once they have realised the cost of the call but obviously too late for any action to be taken. Therefore do not call back any numbers beginning with 0709."

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Welsh Assembly is suspended because a Labour Member objected to the Queen being referred to as "Mrs Windsor". Love a bloody duck...how much further into the abyss will some of these people drag the Party of Hardie, Bevan and Benn. I'm at my wits end!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Another pin in another balloon

One of the most popular stories about Ronald Reagan was that he was originally cast for Bogart's role in Casablanca. It ain't true.


He wasn't in this either!!! The man was a fraud.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Staying alive

Meanwhile, over at Baghdad Burning, democratic elections are apparently not the first thing on the population's agenda.
A good day for The Guardian. Not only....Monbiot on PFI. In Walsall (A small Borough near Sandwell) a street lighting replacement programme, estimated to cost between 4 to 5 million pounds, was converted into a £65 million PFI contract!
but also...

Steve Bell.... genius!!!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Wissable, highly wissable

Newcastle United Chairman, Freddie Shepherd, claims Man Ure have "lost their way, on and off the field." Now, I cannot stand the glory hunters, or their team, but they have dominated football in this country over the last decade.... and they are currently sailing away from the under achieving geordies... and the last time Newcastle won a major domestic trophy, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister! Bet your advice will be heeded, Freddie.

Blair has at least treated the tittle-tattle about Blunkett at the nonsense that it is, unlike Michael Howard who showed Boris the door for his private indescretions (or for being more popular than him?). Still, if you can mislead a nation into going to war over weapons of mass destruction and 45-minute warnings of armaggedon and not a single person resigns, I suppose the odd leg-over pales into insignificance.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Election Day

I have spent the first two-and-a-half hours this morning, freezing my extremities off, sitting on a polling station in the next Ward to mine where we are fighting a by-election to try to win a Tory controlled seat. The previous Tory incumbent vacated his seat on the Council when he got a job working for the FBI (!). Polling was very, very quiet, only just over 20 voters in two hours. I hope it picks up, just to show the BNP candidate what people think of the crap they have been putting out. Best of luck to our candidate anway, Trevor's a decent bloke who has worked tremendously hard during this campaign, and the one that he narrowly lost in June.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"The prime minister is the real beneficiary of all this nonsense since he is the one who exercises these crown powers of patronage, war-making and treaty-making that allow him to behave like a dictator. " Tony Benn on why Prime Ministers need the Royal Family.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Just when you thought it was safe to go outdoors...

The loathsome Blue Chip Casinos have revived their planning application to try to convert a local pub in my ward into a monstrosity of an all-night casino, supposedly designed to look like an ocean liner. Blue Chip applied for planning permission a year ago and the Council threw out the plans. They tried an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate who also had the good sense to kick it into touch, much to the relief of hundreds of local people who had protested at the notion of this 'thing' appearing in their neighbourhood. When will Blue Chip get the message? We don't want your bloody casino!

The design from hell
If you've got $15,000 to spare, this could be an absolute bargain! Courtesy of ebay pulse. Just make sure the kids don't eat it (or her).

Thursday, November 18, 2004

With God on their Side

A victim of America's other significant September 11th writes to explain that Guantanamo does not represent a break with tradition.
Over at Baghdad Burning Riverbend describes the difficulty of explaining away the actions of the liberators to children.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It would appear that the CIA have not paid their domain bill and We're Not Sorry (see below) has been cut off. However, so they don't feel left out, the ever inventive Manic has devised a site specially for them. Check out We is not sorry, particularly the photo section.
My second favourite blog at the moment (after Bloggerheads, of course) is The Honourable Fiend. From there I was put in touch with this site which allows you to write your own alternative Band Aid lyrics. One suggestion being "Where the only water flowing has been sold to multinational companies".
Forget about ‘freedom fighters’. Discard the notion of Iraqis fighting the invaders. This has nothing to do with that. Margaret Hassan was not ‘executed’ she was murdered, in exactly the same way as the defenceless injured Iraqi murdered in Fallujah. Ms. Hassan was not one of those latter day arrivals in Iraq, bravely broadcasting from Baghdad’s best hotel and greedily devouring every US press releases before regurgitating them for our consumption. Hassan was, like her friend Felicity Arbuthnot and Robert Fisk and others, someone who genuinely cared about the people of Iraq. Cared about them for the last ten years whilst they were being slaughtered by Saddam, bombed by the US and UK, and dying in their hundreds of thousands from a sanctions regime designed to push them back into the stone age.
The world, and Iraq in particular, is a worse place this morning as Margaret Hassan's name is added to the death roll of victims of this war for oil.

The world turned upside down

Shurely shome mistake! In an exclusive interview, Michael Howard says Tony Blair has stolen Tory policies... and he's a crap Prime Minister. Shouldn't he be happy, and us who are complaining?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bandwagon rolling... (jump) ....he's on it!

Yes, Charlie (ride two horses) Kennedy has jumped on board the anti-social behaviour bandwagon. As a councillor who has to try to deal with the problems caused by people who have absolutely no consideration for other people in their community, I say, welcome on board Chas. Thatcher's children, those who believe there is no such thing as society, just individuals, and make it their life's work to terrorise decent working class folk, must be stopped. I don't have all the answers, and I'm sure the sociologists would rabbit on about alienation et al. But for the time being, let's try to make the ASBO's work.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Two more classic saddos from the pro-Bush camp at We're not sorry. These guys would be really scary if they didn't seem so completely batty... actually, perhaps that should be more worrying.

"and leave more burgers for my pal on the left"


It would seem that some of our 'New' Labour MPs are so indistinguishable from the Tories that even Michael Howard cannot tell the difference. Link courtesy of The Honourable Fiend, which also contains this warning for bloggers. Bearing that in mind... I should point out that Martyn Jones MP is nothing like a Tory really, only joking Martyn.... honest.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Different Class

Pulp's Jarvis Cocker pushes all the right buttons with this farewell to John Peel.

I've got fond memories of Tom Waits. His Tom Traubert's Blues was playing on the car stereo going to the hospital on the day my daughter was born, and the tune echoed through my head all day and half of the night as I waited anxiously for her debut.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

In response to the Sorry Everybody site the pro-Bush squad have raised their ugly heads with a site of their own.
Travis Bickle, eat your heart out!

How about... "I am not sane"

Masters of War

"Blair (with the Europeans behind him) is singing the siren song of appeasement." There can be few more loathsome journalists in the country than Melanie Phillips. Just to prove the point, she uses her latest blog entry to congratulate Bush for his resolute stance in support of Sharon.

Friday, November 12, 2004

They may be in the gutter... but they're looking at the stars

Every now and then you read something like this which is very, very funny. Apparently, they have now turned their attention to this man... and if they can't get him, they will be making an offer for him.
Yasser Arafat was buried amongst scenes of chaos as the adoring hordes flocked to pay tribute. Would Blair or Bush excite the same emotions amongst their people.

No comments, now, come on, let's keep this tasteful!

Hell hath no fury...

...like a Cabinet member scorned. Robin Cook on The Great Self-Deception

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Could we shortly be about to hear more about that 'dodgy' intelligence. At the weekend we kept being told about "up to 5,000" insurgents controlling Fallujah and they were "terrorising" the local population.... but not to worry because the US and their puppet Iraqi army forces had "thrown a ring of steel" around Fallujah and were preparing to flush them out. Tonight's news seems to be wavering and the 'intelligence experts' are saying there may only be a small handfull of insurgents fighting a rearguard action, and the ringleaders have probably slipped away (some ring of steel, that eh?)

Am I the only one who feels nauseated when he hears our brave, free and independent news channels matter-of-factly introduce the latest reports from Iraq with the words, "...speaking under the usual reporting restrictions".


One of the 49% on the excellent Sorry Everybody ... but as Manic says, be careful about posting your pic there because you never know who's watching.

Monday, November 08, 2004

With God on their side...


The BBC reports US attack on 'rebel' stronghold. Alternatively, over on ZNet David Edwards describes the media manipulation in legitimising mass slaughter. Rumsfeld on the BBC demonstrates once again his crass ignorance (or barefaced lies...take your pick) by describing the people in Falluja as remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime. In reality Falluja was somewhere Saddam was deeply detested because of his attacks on the clerics... and it was one of the least likely places Saddam followers would have sought refuge. The reality, which the invasion forces have seemingly failed to grasp, is that Iraqis may well have welcomed democracy, but Allawi's CIA regime is not democracy.

Meanwhile, the Israeli press scrapes a barrel that Murdoch will no doubt dip his sticky spoon into before long.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Michael Moore on his first thoughts after the election.

Cpl. Roberto Abad, Sgt. Michael D. Acklin II, Spc. Genaro Acosta, Pfc. Steven Acosta, Capt. James F. Adamouski, Pvt. Algernon Adams, Sgt. Brandon E. Adams, Spc. Clarence Adams III, 1st Lt. Michael R. Adams, Pfc. Michael S. Adams, Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, Lance Cpl. Patrick R. Adle, Capt. Tristan N. Aitken, Spc. Segun Frederick Akintade, Lance Cpl. Nickalous N. Aldrich, Spc. Ronald D. Allen Jr., Sgt. Glenn R. Allison, Lance Cpl. Michael J. Allred, Capt. Eric L. Allton, Cpl. Nicanor Alvarez, Cpl. Daniel R. Amaya, Pfc. John D. Amos II, Lance Cpl. Brian E. Anderson, Airman 1st Class Carl L. Anderson Jr., Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael C. Anderson, Spc. Michael Andrade, Pfc, Spc. Yoe M. Aneiros, Lance Cpl. Levi T. Angell, Army Spc. Edward J. Anguiano, Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Todd Arnold, Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, Spc. Richard Arriaga, Staff Sgt. Jimmy J. Arroyave, Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga, Sgt. Evan Asa Ashcraft, Pfc. Shawn M. Atkins, Maj. Jay Aubin, Capt. Matthew J. August, Lance Cpl. Aaron C. Austin, Spc. Tyanna S. Avery-Fedder, Lance Cpl. Andrew Julian Aviles, Pfc. Eric A. Ayon, Sgt. 1st Class Henry A. Bacon, Sgt. Andrew Joseph Baddick, Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Bader, Staff Sgt. Nathan J. Bailey, Spc. Ronald W. Baker, Spc. Ryan T. Baker, Sgt. Sherwood R. Baker. Pfc. Chad E. Bales, 1st Lt. Kenneth Michael Ballard, Maj. Spc. Solomon C. Bangayan, Lt. Col. Dominic R. Baragona, Pfc. Mark A. Barbret, Pfc. Collier E. Barcus, Sgt. Michael C. Barkey, Spc. Jonathan P. Barnes, Command Sgt. Maj. Edward C. Barnhill, Lance Cpl. Aric J. Barr, Sgt. Michael Paul Barrera, Maj. Carlos Barro Ollero, Sgt. Douglas E. Bascom, Spc. Todd M. Bates, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Battles Sr., Gunnery Sgt. Ronald E. Baum, Spc. Alan N. Bean Jr., Spc. Bradley S. Beard, Spc. Beau R. Beaulieu, Capt. Ryan Beaupre, Spc. James L. Beckstrand, Sgt. Gregory A. Belanger, Cpl. Christopher Belchik, Sgt. Aubrey D. Bell, Pfc. Wilfred D. Bellard, Staff Sgt. Joseph P. Bellavia, Sgt. 1st Class William M. Bennett, Spc. Robert T. Benson, 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein, Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie, Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Bertolino Sr., Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, Cpl. Mark A. Bibby, Sgt. Benjamin W. Biskie, Sgt. Michael E. Bitz, Sgt. Jarrod W. Black, Chief Warrant Officer Michael T. Blaise, Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco, Command Sgt. Maj. James D. Blankenbecler, Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff, Spc. Nicholas H. Blodgett, Sgt. Trevor A. Blumberg, Lance Cpl. Jeremy L. Bohlman, Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey E. Bohr Jr., Lance Cpl. Todd J. Bolding, Sgt. Dennis J. Boles, Sgt. 1st Class Craig A. Boling, Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger Jr, Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Bolor, Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker. Chief Warrant Officer Clarence E. Boone, Capt. John J. Boria, Pfc. Rachel K. Bosveld, Spc. Mathew G. Boule, Staff Sgt. Elvis Bourdon, Pvt. 1st Class Samuel R. Bowen, Staff Sgt. Hesley Box Jr., Pvt. Noah L. Boye, Lance Cpl. Aaron Boyles, Spc. Edward W. Brabazon, Cpl. Travis J. Bradach-Nall, Staff Sgt. Kenneth R. Bradley, Staff Sgt. Stacey C. Brandon, Spc. Artimus D. Brassfield, Pfc. Joel K. Brattain, Pfc. Jeffrey F. Braun, Chief Warrant Officer William I. Brennan, Staff Sgt. Steven H. Bridges, Spc. Kyle A. Brinlee, Staff Sgt. Cory W. Brooks, Sgt. Thomas F. Broomhead, Sgt. Andrew W. Brown, Tech. Sgt. Bruce E. Brown, Lance Cpl. Dominic C. Brown, Cpl. Henry L. Brown, Pfc. John E. Brown, Spc. Larry K. Brown, Spc. Lunsford B. Brown II, 1st Lt. Tyler H. Brown, Spc. Philip D. Brown, Pfc. Timmy R. Brown Jr., 1st Lt. Tyler H. Brown, Cpl. Andrew D. Brownfield, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal, Lance Cpl. Cedric E. Bruns, 2nd Lt. Todd J. Bryant, Sgt. Ernest G. Bucklew, Spc. Roy Russell Buckley, Pfc. Paul J. Bueche, Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, Sgt. George Edward Buggs, Spc. Joshua I. Bunch, Staff Sgt. Christopher Bunda, Staff Sgt. Michael L. Burbank, Staff Sgt. Richard A. Burdick, Spc. Alan J. Burgess, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey C. Burgess, Pfc. Tamario D. Burkett, Sgt. Travis L. Burkhardt.
Pfc. David P. Burridge, Pfc. Jesse R. Buryj, Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr., Pvt. Matthew D. Bush, Pfc. Damian S. Bushart, Sgt. Jacob L. Butler, Capt. Joshua T. Byers, Cpl. Juan C. Cabralbanuelos, Pfc. Cody S. Calavan, Sgt. Juan Calderon Jr, Sgt. Charles T. Caldwell, Spc. Nathaniel A. Caldwell, Staff Sgt. Joseph Camara, Spc. Michael C. Campbell, Sgt. Ryan M. Campbell, Spc. Marvin A. Camposiles, Spc. Isaac Campoy, Spc. Ervin Caradine Jr., Spc. Adolfo C. Carballo, Pfc. Michael M. Carey, Cpl. Richard P. Carl, Pfc. Ryan G. Carlock, Pfc. Benjamin R. Carman, Staff Sgt. Edward W. Carmen, Spc. Jocelyn L. Carrasquillo, Sgt. Frank T. Carvill, Capt. Christopher S. Cash, Spc. Ahmed A. Cason, Pfc. Jose Casanova, Lance Cpl. James A. Casper, Capt. Paul J. Cassidy, Staff Sgt. Roland L. Castro, Sgt. Sean K. Cataudella, Lance Cpl. Steven C. T. Cates, Pfc. Thomas D. Caughman, Staff Sgt. James W. Cawley, Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey, Petty Officer 3rd Class David A. Cedergren, Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Ceniceros, Cpl. Kemaphoom A. Chanawongse, Spc. James A. Chance III, Staff Sgt. William D. Chaney, Chief Warrant Officer Robert William Channell Jr., Spc. Jason K. Chappell, Pfc. Jonathan M. Cheatham, Sgt. Yohjyh L. Chen, Lance Cpl. Marcus M. Cherry, 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers, Spc. Andrew F. Chris. Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Christensen, Spc. Brett T. Christian, Spc. Arron R. Clark, Staff Sgt. Michael J. Clark, Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline Jr., Pfc. Christopher R. Cobb, Lance Cpl. Kyle W. Codner, 1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin, Pvt. Bradli N. Coleman, Cpl. Gary B. Coleman, 2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, Sgt. Russell L. Collier, Sgt. 1st Class Gary L. Collins, Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Collins, Chief Warrant Officer Lawrence S. Colton, Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga, Sgt. Robert E. Colvill, Sgt. Kenneth Conde Jr., Sgt. Timothy M. Conneway, Spc. Steven D. Conover, Capt. Aaron J. Contreras, Lance Cpl. Pedro Contreras, Sgt. Jason Cook, Command Sgt. Major Eric F. Cooke, Sgt. Dennis A. Corral, Chief Warrant Officer Alexander S. Coulter, 2nd Lt. Leonard M. Cowherd, Spc. Gregory A. Cox, Pfc. Ryan R. Cox, Lance Corporal Timothy R. Creager, Sgt. Michael T. Crockett, Staff Sgt. Ricky L. Crockett, Sgt. Brud J. Cronkrite, Lance Cpl. Kyle D. Crowley, Pvt. Rey D. Cuervo, Pfc. Kevin A. Cuming, Spc. Daniel Francis J. Cunningham, Staff Sgt. Darren J. Cunningham, Spc. Carl F. Curran, Cpl. Michael Edward Curtin, Staff Sgt. Christopher E. Cutchall, Pfc. Brian K. Cutter, Pfc. Anthony D. D'Agostino, Spc. Edgar P. Daclan Jr., Capt. Nathan S. Dalley, Lance Cpl. Andrew S. Dang, Spc. Danny B. Daniels II, Pvt. 1st Class Torey J. Dantzler, Pfc. Norman Darling, Capt. Eric B. Das. Spc. Shawn M. Davies, Pvt. Brandon L. Davis, Staff Sgt. Craig Davis, Staff Sgt. Donald N. Davis, Spc. Raphael S. Davis, Staff Sgt. Wilbert Davis, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey F. Dayton, Pvt. Jason L. Deibler, Spc. Lauro G. DeLeon Jr., Sgt. Felix M. Delgreco, Sgt. Jacob H. Demand, Staff Sgt. Mike A. Dennie, Spc. Darryl T. Dent, Pfc. Ervin Dervishi, Spc. Daniel A. Desens, Pfc. Michael R. Deuel, Pvt. Michael J. Deutsch, Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Dickerson, Cpl. Nicholas J. Dieruf, Spc. Jeremiah J. DiGiovanni, Spc. Jeremy M. Dimaranan, Spc. Michael A. Diraimondo, Spc. Anthony J. Dixon, Spc. Ryan E. Doltz, Sgt. Michael E. Dooley, Chief Warrant Officer Patrick D. Dorff, Petty Officer 2nd Class Trace W. Dossett, Lance Cpl. Scott E. Dougherty, 1st Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, Pfc. Stephen P. Downing II, Spc. Chad H. Drake, Pvt. Jeremy L. Drexler, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, Staff Sgt. Joe L. Dunigan Jr., Spc. Robert L. DuSang, Spc. William D. Dusenbery, 2nd Lt. Seth J. Dvorin, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason B. Dwelley, Pfc. Sheldon R. Hawk Eagle, Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., Cpl. Christopher S. Ebert, Sgt. William C. Eckhart, Spc. Marshall L. Edgerton, Pfc. Shawn C. Edwards, Spc. Andrew C. Ehrlich, Sgt. Aaron C. Elandt, Spc. William R. Emanuel IV, Lance Cpl. Mark E. Engel, Spc. Peter G. Enos, Senior Airman Pedro I. Espaillat Jr. Pfc. Analaura Esparza Gutierrez, Sgt. Adam W. Estep, Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, Pfc. David Evans, Cpl. Mark A. Evnin, Pfc. Jeremy Ricardo Ewing, Sgt. Justin L. Eyerly, Pvt. Jonathan I. Falaniko, Sgt. James D. Faulkner, Pfc. Raymond J. Faulstich Jr., Capt. Brian R. Faunce, Capt. Arthur L. Felder, 2nd Lt. Paul M. Felsberg, Spc. Rian C. Ferguson, Master Sgt. Richard L. Ferguson, Master Sgt. George A. Fernandez, Staff Sgt. Clint D. Ferrin, Spc. Jon P. Fettig, Cpl. Tyler R. Fey, Sgt. Jeremy J. Fischer, Sgt. Paul F. Fisher, Lance Cpl. Dustin R. Fitzgerald, Pfc. Jacob S. Fletcher, Spc. Thomas A. Foley III, Sgt. Timothy Folmar, Gunnery Sgt. Elia P. Fontecchio, Spc. Jason C. Ford, Capt. Travis A. Ford, Chief Warrant Officer Wesley C. Fortenberry, Sgt. 1st Class Bradley C. Fox, Spc. Craig S. Frank, Lance Cpl. Phillip E. Frank, Staff Sgt. Bobby C. Franklin, Pvt. Robert L. Frantz, Pvt. Benjamin L. Freeman, Sgt. David T. Friedrich, Spc. Luke P. Frist, Spc. Adam D. Froehlich, Pvt. Kurt R. Frosheiser, Pfc. Nichole M. Frye, Sgt. 1st Class Dan H. Gabrielson, Lance Cpl. Jonathan E. Gadsden, Capt. Richard J. Gannon II, Spc. Tomas Garces, Lance Cpl. Derek L. Gardner, Cpl. Jose A. Garibay, Spc. Joseph M. Garmback Jr., Sgt. Landis W. Garrison, Sgt. Justin W. Garvey, Spc. Israel Garza. 1st Sgt. Joe J. Garza, Pfc. Juan Guadalupe Garza Jr, Spc. Christopher D. Gelineau, Lance Cpl. Cory Ryan Guerin, Cpl. Christopher A. Gibson, Pvt. Jonathan L. Gifford, Pvt. Kyle C. Gilbert, Command Sgt. Maj. Cornell W. Gilmore, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald A. Ginther, Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, Spc. Michael T. Gleason, Cpl. Todd J. Godwin, 2nd Lt. James Michael Goins, Spc. Christopher A. Golby, Spc. David J. Goldberg, Lance Cpl. Shane L. Goldman, Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzalez, Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez, Cpl. Jesus A. Gonzalez, Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez, Lance Cpl. Victor A. Gonzalez, Cpl. Bernard G. Gooden, Pfc. Gregory R. Goodrich, Sgt. 1st Class Richard S. Gottfried, Spc. Richard A. Goward, 2nd Lt. Jeffrey C. Graham, Sgt. Jamie A. Gray, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael J. Gray, Sgt. Tommy L. Gray, Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray, Cpl. Jeffrey G. Green, Lt. Col. David S. Greene, Pfc. Devin J. Grella, Spc. Kyle A. Griffin, Staff Sgt. Patrick Lee Griffin Jr., Cpl. Sean R. Grilley, Pvt. Joseph R. Guerrera, Chief Warrant Officer Hans N. Gukeisen, Pfc. Christian D. Gurtner, Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, Pfc. Richard W. Hafer, Staff Sgt. Guy S. Hagy Jr., Spc. Charles G. Haight, Lance Cpl. Michael J. Halal, Pfc. Deryk L. Hallal, Pvt. Jesse M. Halling, Pfc. Andrew Halverson, Chief Warrant Officer Erik A. Halvorsen, Capt. Kimberly N. Hampton, Sgt. Michael S. Hancock.
Pfc. Fernando B. Hannon, Sgt. Warren S. Hansen, Sgt. James W. Harlan, Sgt. Atanacio Haro Marin, Staff Sgt. William M. Harrell, Sgt. Foster L. Harrington, Pfc. Adam J. Harris, Sgt. Kenneth W. Harris Jr., Pfc. Torry D. Harris, Pfc. Leroy Harris-Kelly, Pfc. John D. Hart, Sgt. Nathaniel Hart, Sgt. 1st Class David A. Hartman, Sgt. Jonathan N. Hartman, Staff Sgt. Stephen C. Hattamer, Staff Sgt. Omer T. Hawkins II, Sgt. Timothy L. Hayslett, Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hazelgrove, Sgt. David M. Heath, Spc. Justin W. Hebert, Pfc. Damian L. Heidelberg, Pfc. Raheen Tyson Heighter, Spc. Jeremy M. Heines, Staff Sgt. Brian R. Hellerman, Staff Sgt. Terry W. Hemingway, Cpl. Matthew C. Henderson, 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II, Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Hendrickson, Sgt. Jack T. Hennessy, Spc. Joshua J. Henry, Pfc. Clayton W. Henson, Spc. Armando Hernandez, Spc. Joseph F. Herndon II, Pfc. Edward J. Herrgott, Spc. Jacob B. Herring, Sgt. 1st Class Gregory B. Hicks, Spc. Christopher K. Hill, Spc. Stephen D. Hiller, Sgt. Keicia M. Hines, Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart, Sgt. Nicholas M. Hodson, Sgt. 1st Class James T. Hoffman, Spc. Christopher J. Holland, Staff Sgt. Aaron N. Holleyman, Staff Sgt. Lincoln D. Hollinsaid, Spc. James J. Holmes, Spc. Jeremiah J. Holmes, Cpl. Terry Holmes, Airman 1st Class Antoine J. Holt, Pfc. Sean Horn, Master Sgt. Kelly L. Hornbeck. Staff Sgt. Jeremy R. Horton, Capt. Andrew R. Houghton, Lance Cpl Gregory C. Howman, Pfc. Bert E. Hoyer, Spc. Corey A. Hubbell, Pfc. Christopher E. Hudson, 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedler, Staff Sgt. Jamie L. Huggins, Spc. Eric R. Hull, Cpl Barton R. Humlhanz, Lance Cpl. Justin T. Hunt, Spc. Simeon Hunte, 1st Lt. Joshua C. Hurley, Lance Cpl. James B. Huston Jr., Lance Cpl. Seth Huston, Pvt. Nolen R. Hutchings, Pfc. Ray J. Hutchinson, Pfc. Gregory P. Huxley Jr., Spc. Benjamin W. Isenberg, Spc. Craig S. Ivory, Pfc. Leslie D. Jackson, Spc. Morgen N. Jacobs, Chief Warrant Officer Scott Jamar, Cpl. Evan T. James, 2nd Lt. Luke S. James, Spc. William A. Jeffries, Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert B. Jenkins, Sgt. Troy David Jenkins, Spc. Darius T. Jennings, Pfc. Ryan M. Jerabek, Sgt. Linda C. Jimenez, 1st Lt. Oscar Jimenez, Capt. Christopher B. Johnson, Spc. David W. Johnson, Pfc. Howard Johnson II, Spc. John P. Johnson, Pfc. Markus J. Johnson, Spc. Maurice J. Johnson, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael Vann Johnson Jr., Spc. Nathaniel H. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson, Chief Warrant Officer, Pfc. Rayshawn S. Johnson, Pvt. Devon D. Jones, Capt. Gussie M. Jones, Staff Sgt. Raymond E. Jones Jr., Spc. Rodney A. Jones, Lt. Kylan A. Jones- Huffman, Sgt. Curt E. Jordan Jr., Sgt. Jason D. Jordan. Staff Sgt. Phillip A. Jordan, Cpl. Forest J. Jostes, Spc. Spencer T. Karol, Spc. Michael G. Karr Jr., Spc. Mark J. Kasecky, 1st Lt. Jeffrey J. Kaylor, Spc. Chad L. Keith, Lance Cpl. Quinn A. Keith, Lance Cpl. Bryan P. Kelly, Cpl. Brian Kennedy, Chief Warrant Officer Kyran E. Kennedy, Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon, 1st Lt. Christopher J. Kenny, Spc. Jonathan R. Kephart, Cpl. Dallas L. Kerns, Chief Warrant Officer Erik C. Kesterson, Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan, Spc. James M. Kiehl, Pt. Jeungjin Na Kim, Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly. Spc. Levi B. Kinchen, Staff Sgt. Lester O. Kinney II, Pfc. David M. Kirchhoff, Staff Sgt. Charles A. Kiser, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Brian Kleiboeker, Spc. John K. Klinesmith Jr., Sgt. Floyd G. Knighten Jr., Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric L. Knott, Spc. Joshua L. Knowles, Staff Sgt. Lance J. Koenig, Cpl. Kevin T. Kolm, Pfc. Martin W. Kondor, Chief Warrant Patrick W. Kordsmeier, Capt. Edward J. Korn, Sgt. Bradley S. Korthaus, Cpl. Jakub Henryk Kowalik, Sgt. Elmer C. Krause, Pvt. Dustin L. Kreider, Pfc. Bradley G. Kritzer, Capt. John F. Kurth, Sgt. 1st Class William W. Labadie Jr., Sgt. Joshua S. Ladd, Sgt. Michael V. Lalush, Lance Cpl. Alan Dinh Lam, Spc. Charles R. Lamb, Spc. James I. Lambert III, Pfc. James P. Lambert, Sgt. Jonathan W. Lambert, Capt. Andrew David Lamont, Staff Sgt. Sean G. Landrus, Gunnery Sgt. Shawn A. Lane. Pfc. Moises A. Langhorst, Spc. Tracy L. Laramore, Spc. Scott Q. Larson Jr., Chief Warrant Officer Matthew C. Laskowski, Staff Sgt. William T. Latham, Pfc. Karina S. Lau, Cpl. Jeffrey D. Lawrence, Staff Sgt. Mark A. Lawton, Lance Cpl. Travis J. Layfield, Staff Sgt. Rene Ledesma, 2nd Lt. Ryan Leduc, Cpl. Bum R. Lee, Pfc. Ken W. Leisten, Staff Sgt. Jerome Lemon, Spc. Cedric L. Lennon, Pfc. Farad K. Letufuga, Spc. Justin W. Linden, Spc. Roger G. Ling, Spc. Joseph L. Lister, Staff Sgt. Nino D. Livaudais, Sgt. Dale T. Lloyd, Sgt. Daniel J. Londono, Spc. Ryan P. Long, Spc. Zachariah W. Long, Pfc. Duane E. Longstreth, Sgt. Edgar E. Lopez, Lance Cpl. Juan Lopez, Sgt. Richard M. Lord, Staff Sgt. David L. Loyd, Capt. Robert L. Lucero, Pfc. Jason C. Ludiam, Lance Cpl. Jacob R. Lugo, Pfc. Jason N. Lynch, Pfc. Christopher D. Mabry, Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald, Lance Cpl. Cesar F. Machado-Olmos, Pfc. Vorn J. Mack, Lance Cpl. Joseph B. Maglione, Spc. William J. Maher III, Staff Sgt. Toby W. Mallet, Chief Warrant Officer Ian D. Manuel, Pfc. Pablo Manzano, Pfc. Lyndon A. Marcus Jr., Staff Sgt. Paul C. Mardis Jr., Cpl. Douglas Jose Marencoreyes, Master Sgt. Jude C. Mariano, Spc. James E. Marshall, Sgt. 1st Class John W. Marshall, Pfc. Ryan A. Martin, Staff Sgt. Stephen G. Martin.
Sgt. Francisco Martinez, Pfc. Francisco A. Martinez Flores, Pfc. Jesse J. Martinez, Spc. Michael A. Martinez, Pfc. Oscar A. Martinez, Spc. Jacob D. Martir, Sgt. Arthur S. Mastrapa, Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, Lance Cpl. Ramon Mateo, Spc. Clint Richard Matthews, Lance Cpl. Ramon Mateo, Cpl. Matthew E. Matula, Staff Sgt. Donald C. May Jr, Pfc. Joseph P. Mayek, Spc. Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr., Lance Cpl. Joseph C. MacCarthy, Pfc. Ryan M. McCauley, Cpl. Brad P. McCormick, 1st Lt. Erik. S. McCrae, Spc. Donald R. McCune, Spc. Dustin K. McGaugh, Pfc. Holly J. McGeogh, Sgt. Brian D. McGinnis, Spc. Michael A. McGlothin. Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott R. McHugh, Hospitalman Joshua McIntosh, Spc. David M. McKeever, Spc. Eric S. McKinley, Pvt. Robert L. McKinley, Staff Sgt. Don S. McMahan, Sgt. Heath A. McMillin, 1st Lt. Brian M. McPhillips, Cpl. Jesus Martin Antonio Medellin, Spc. Irving Medina, Spc. Kenneth A. Melton, Cpl. Jaygee Meluat, Petty Officer 3rd Class Fernando A. Mendezaceves, Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa, Staff Sgt. Eddie E. Menyweather, Spc. Gil Mercado, Spc. Michael M. Merila, Spc. Christopher A. Merville, Sgt. Daniel K. Methvin, Pfc. Jason M. Meyer, Sgt. Eliu A. Miersandoval, Spc. Michael G. Mihalakis, Pfc. Matthew G. Milczark, Cpl. Jason David Mileo, Pfc. Anthony S. Miller, Pfc. Bruce Miller Jr., Staff Sgt. Frederick L. Miller Jr.
Sgt. 1st Class Marvin L. Miller, Sgt. Joseph Minucci II, Sgt. First Class Troy L. Miranda, Spc. George A. Mitchell, Sgt. Keman L. Mitchell, Sgt. Michael W. Mitchell, Spc. Sean R. Mitchell, Pfc. Jesse D. Mizener, Staff Sgt. Jorge A. Molinabautista, Pfc. Anthony W. Monroe, 1st Lt. Adam G. Mooney, Lance Cpl. Jason William Moore, Pfc. Stuart W. Moore, Sgt. Travis A. Moothart, Spc. Jose L. Mora, Sgt. Melvin Y. Mora, Pfc. Michael A. Mora, Master Sgt. Kevin N. Morehead, Capt. Brent L. Morel, Petty Officer 3rd Class David J. Moreno, Sgt. Gerardo Moreno, Spc. Jaime Moreno, Pfc. Luis A. Moreno, Spc. Dennis B. Morgan, Staff Sgt. Richard L. Morgan Jr., Pfc. Geoffery S. Morris, Pfc. Ricky A. Morris Jr., Lance Cpl. Nicholas B. Morrison, Sgt. Shawna M. Morrison, Sgt. Keelan L. Moss, Spc. Clifford L. Moxley Jr., Sgt. Cory R. Mracek, Sgt. Rodney A. Murray, Sgt. Krisna Nachampassak, Spc. Paul T. Nakamura, Spc. Nathan W. Nakis, Pvt. Kenneth A. Nalley, Chief Warrant Officer Christopher G. Nason, Maj. Kevin G. Nave, Spc. Rafael L. Navea, Spc. Charles L. Neeley, Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neff II, Pfc. Gavin L. Neighbor, Spc. Joshua M. Neusche, Cpl. Dominique J. Nicolas, Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice, Spc. Isaac Michael Nieves, Lance Cpl. Patrick R. Nixon, Spc. Allen Nolan, Spc. Marcos O. Nolasco. Sgt. William J. Normandy, Spc. Joseph C. Norquist, 1st Lt. Leif E. Nott, Staff Sgt. Todd E. Nunes, Spc. David T. Nutt, Cpl. Mick R. Nygardbekowsky, Spc. Donald S. Oak Jr., Pfc. Branden F. Oberleitner, Lance Cpl. Patrick T. O'Day, Spc. Charles E. Odums II, Spc. Ramon C. Ojeda, Cpl. Terry Holmes Ordonez, Cpl. Brian Oliveira, Spc. Justin B. Onwordi, Spc. Richard P. Orengo, Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando, Lance Cpl. Eric J. Orlowski, 1st Lt. Osbaldo Orozco, Pfc. Cody J. Orr, Staff Sgt. Billy J. Orton, Sgt. Pamela G. Osbourne, Lance Cpl. Deshon E. Otey, Pfc. Kevin C. Ott, Sgt. Michael G. Owen, Lance Cpl. David Edward Owens Jr, Sgt. Fernando Padilla- Ramirez, Pvt. Shawn D. Pahnke, Spc. Gabriel T. Palacios, Capt. Eric T. Paliwoda, 1st Lt. Joshua M. Palmer, Staff Sgt. Dale A. Panchot, Pfc. Daniel R. Parker, Pfc. James D. Parker, Pfc. Kristen Parker, Cpl. Tommy L. Parker Jr., Sgt. Harvey E. Parkerson III, Sgt. David B. Parson, Staff Sgt. Esau G. Patterson Jr., Master Sgt. William L. Payne, Sgt. Michael F. Pedersen, Staff Sgt. Abraham D. Penamedina, Spc. Brian H. Penisten, Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen, Staff Sgt. Gregory V. Pennington, Pfc. Geoffrey Perez, Staff Sgt. Hector R. Perez, Sgt. Joel Perez, Spc. Jose A. Perez III, Pfc. Luis A. Perez, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Perez. Spc. Wilfredo Perez Jr., Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Pernaselli, Staff Sgt. David S. Perry, Pfc. Charles C. Persing, Staff Sgt. Dustin W. Peters, Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson, Staff Sgt. Brett J. Petriken, Staff Sgt. James L. Pettaway Jr., Staff Sgt. Erickson H. Petty, Pfc. Jerrick M. Petty, Lt. Col. Mark P. Phelan, Pfc. Chance R. Phelps, Sgt. 1st Class Gladimir Philippe, Sgt. Ivory L. Phipps, Capt. Pierre E. Piche, Pfc. Lori Piestewa, Capt. Dennis L. Pintor, Spc. James H. Pirtle, Pfc. Jason T. Poindexter, 2nd Lt. Frederick E. Pokorney Jr., Staff Sgt. Andrew R. Pokorny, Spc. Justin W. Pollard, Spc. Larry E. Polley Jr., Sgt. Darrin K. Potter, Pfc. David L. Potter, Sgt. Christopher S. Potts, Spc. James E. Powell, Lance Cpl. Caleb J. Powers, Cpl. Dean P. Pratt, Pfc. James E. Prevete, Pvt. Kelley S. Prewitt, Sgt. Tyler D. Prewitt, Pfc. James W. Price, 1st Lt. Timothy E. Price, Lance Cpl. Mathew D. Puckett, Sgt. Jaror C. Puello- Coronado, Staff Sgt. Michael B. Quinn, Staff Sgt. Richard P. Ramey, Sgt. Christopher Ramirez, Spc. Eric U. Ramirez, Pfc. William C. Ramirez, Pfc. Christopher Ramos, Spc. Tamarra J. Ramos, Pfc. Brandon Ramsey, Pvt. Carson J. Ramsey, Sgt. Edmond L. Randle, Pfc. Cleston C. Raney, Capt. Gregory A. Ratzlaff, Spc. Rel A. Ravago IV, Spc. Omead H. Razani. Spc. Brandon M. Read, Pfc. Christopher J. Reed, Pfc. Ryan E. Reed, Sgt. Tatjana Reed, Staff Sgt. Aaron T. Reese, Spc. Jeremy F. Regnier, Sgt. 1st Class Randall S. Rehn, Sgt. Brendon C. Reiss, Staff Sgt. George S. Rentschler, Sgt. Sean C. Reynolds, Lance Cpl. Rafael Reynosa- Suarez, Sgt. Yadir G. Reynoso, Cpl. Demetrius L. Rice, Sgt. Ariel Rico, Spc. Jeremy L. Ridlen, Pfc. Diego Fernando Rincon, Cpl. Steven A. Rintamaki, Sgt. Duane R. Rios, Capt. Russell B. Rippetoe, Pfc. Henry C. Risner, Sgt. 1st Class Jose A. Rivera, Cpl. John T. Rivero, Spc. Frank K. Rivers Jr., Sgt. Thomas D. Robbins, Sgt. Todd J. Robbins, Lance Cpl. Anthony P. Roberts, Lance Cpl. Bob W. Roberts, Spc. Robert D. Roberts, Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Robsky, Sgt. Moses D. Rocha, Pfc. Marlin T. Rockhold, Pfc. Jose Francis Gonzalez Rodriguez, Cpl. Robert M. Rodriguez, Spc. Philip G. Rogers, Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Rooney, Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker, Staff Sgt. Victor A. Rosales, Pfc. Richard H. Rosas, Sgt. Scott C. Rose, Sgt. Thomas C. Rosenbaum, Sgt. Randy S. Rosenberg, Spc. Marco D. Ross, Sgt. Lawrence A. Roukey, Capt. Alan Rowe, Spc. Brandon J. Rowe, Sgt. Roger D. Rowe, 2nd Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier, Spc. Isela Rubalcava, Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin, Sgt. John W. Russell. 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan, Chief Warrant Officer Scott A. Saboe, Spc. Rasheed Sahib, Cpl. Rudy Salas, Cpl. William I. Salazar, 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz, Capt. Benjamin W. Sammis, Spc. Sonny G. Sampler, Spc. Gregory P. Sanders, Pfc. Leroy Sandoval Jr., Spc. Matthew J. Sandri, Staff Sgt. Barry Sanford, 1st Lt. Neil Anthony Santoriello, Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, Pfc. Brandon R. Sapp, Staff Sgt. Cameron B. Sarno, Staff Sgt. Scott D. Sather, Lance Cpl. Jeremiah E. Savage, Capt. Robert C. Scheetz Jr., Spc. Justin B. Schmidt, Spc. Jeremiah W. Schmunk, Pfc. Sean M. Schneider, Cpl. Dustin H. Schrage, Maj. Mathew E. Schram, Lance Cpl. Brian K. Schramm, Spc. Christian C. Schulz, Master Sgt. David A. Scott, Pfc. Kerry D. Scott, Spc. Stephen M. Scott, Spc. Marc S. Seiden, Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert, Pfc. Dustin M. Sekula, Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Serio, Sgt. Juan M. Serrano, Staff Sgt. Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III, Spc. Jeffrey R. Shaver, Maj. Kevin M. Shea, Spc. Casey Sheehan, Sgt. Kevin F. Sheehan, Sgt. Daniel Michael Shepherd, Sgt. Alan D. Sherman, Lt. Col. Anthony L. Sherman, Pfc. Harry N. Shondee Jr., Lance Cpl. Brad S. Shuder, Capt. James A. Shull, Pfc. Kenneth L. Sickels, Lance Cpl. Dustin L. Sides, Cpl. Erik H. Silva, Pvt. Sean A. Silva, Sgt. Leonard D. Simmons. Pfc. Charles M. Sims, Lance Cpl. John T. Sims Jr., Spc. Uday Singh, Spc. Aaron J. Sissel, Pfc. Christopher A. Sisson, Pfc. Nicholas M. Skinner, Petty Officer 3rd Class David Sisung, 1st Lt. Brian D. Slavenas, Pvt. Brandon Ulysses Sloan, Lance Cpl. Richard P. Slocum, Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Slocum, Pfc. Corey L. Small, Sgt. Keith L. Smette, Capt. Benedict J. Smith, Sgt. Benjamin K. Smith, Pfc. Brandon C. Smith, 2nd Lt. Brian D. Smith, Chief Warrant Officer Bruce A. Smith, Cpl. Darrell L. Smith, 1st Sgt. Edward Smith, Chief Warrant Officer Eric A. Smith, Pfc. Jeremiah D. Smith, Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., Spc. Orenthial J. Smith, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer, Sgt. Roderic A. Solomon, Cpl. Adrian V. Soltau, Maj. Charles R. Soltes Jr., Sgt. Skipper Soram, Pfc. Armando Soriano, Cpl. Tomas Sotelo Jr., Pfc. Kenneth C. Souslin, Spc. Philip I. Spakosky, Pfc. Jason L. Sparks, Cpl. Michael R. Speer, Staff Sgt. Trevor Spink, Maj. Christopher J. Splinter, Sgt. Marvin R. Sprayberry III, Pvt. Bryan N. Spry, Sgt. Maj. Michael B. Stack, Pfc. Nathan E. Stahl, 1st Lt. Andrew K. Stern, Staff Sgt. Robert A. Stever, Maj. Gregory Stone, 2nd Lt. Matthew R. Stovall, Pfc. William R. Strange, Sgt. Kirk Allen Straseskie, Pfc. Brandon C. Sturdy.
Spc. William R. Sturges Jr., Spc. Paul J. Sturino, Lance Cpl. Jesus A. Suarez Del Solar, Spc. Joseph D. Suell, Spc. John R. Sullivan, Spc. Narson B. Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Vincent M. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter, Pfc. Ernest Harold Sutphin, Chief Warrant Officer Sharon T. Swartworth, Spc. Thomas J. Sweet II, Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Swisher, Maj. Paul R. Syverson III, Sgt. Patrick S. Tainsh, Sgt. DeForest L. Talbert, Sgt. 1st Class Linda Ann Tarango-Griess, Spc. Christopher M. Taylor, Maj. Mark D. Taylor, Capt. John R. Teal, Staff Sgt. Riayan A. Tejeda, Lance Cpl. Jason Andrew Tetrault, Spc. Joseph C. Thibodeaux, Master Sgt. Thomas R. Thigpen Sr., Cpl. Jesse L. Thiry, Sgt. Carl Thomas, Staff Sgt. Kendall Thomas, Spc. Kyle G. Thomas, Sgt. Anthony O. Thompson, Spc. Jarrett B. Thompson, Sgt. Humberto F. Timoteo, Capt. John E. Tipton, Pfc. Joshua K. Titcomb, Spc. Brandon T. Titus, Spc. Brandon S. Tobler, Sgt. Lee D. TodacheeneCpl. John H. Todd III, Sgt. Nicholas A. Tomko, Master Sgt. Timothy Toney, Pfc. George D. Torres, Lance Cpl. Michael S. Torres, 2nd Lt. Richard Torres, Spc. Ramon Reyes Torres, Lance Cpl. Elias Torrez III, Sgt. Michael L. Tosto, Spc. Richard K. Trevithick, Pfc. Andrew L. Tuazon, Staff Sgt. Roger C. Turner Jr., Pvt. Scott M. Tyrrell, 2nd Lt. Andre D. Tyson, Spc. Eugene A. Uhl III, Lance Cpl. Drew M. Uhles. Rick A. Ulbright, Pfc. Daniel P. Unger, Spc. Robert Oliver Unruh, 1st Sgt. Ernest E. Utt, Sgt. Michael A. Uvanni, Staff Sgt. Gary A. Vaillant, Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez Jr., Sgt. Melissa Valles, Spc. Allen J. Vandayburg, Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip, Chief Warrant Officer Brian K. Van Dusen, Lance Cpl. John J. Vangyzen IV, Lance Cpl. Gary F. Van Leuven, Staff Sgt. Mark D. Vasquez, Spc. Frances M. Vega, 1st Lt. Michael W. Vega, Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez, Cpl. David M. Vicente, Sgt. 1st Class Joselito O. Villanueva, Cpl. Scott M. Vincent, Staff Sgt. Kimberly A. Voelz, Staff Sgt. Michael S. Voss, Spc. Thai Vue, Lance Cpl. Michael B. Wafford, Sgt. Christopher A. Wagener, Sgt. Gregory L. Wahl, Staff Sgt. Allan K. Walker, Sgt. Jeffery C. Walker, Sgt. Donald Ralph Walters, Pvt. Jason M. Ward, Pfc. Nachez Washalanta, Lance Cpl. Christopher B. Wasser, Pvt. David L. Waters, Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, Maj. William R. Watkins III, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher E. Watts, Chief Warrant Officer Aaron A. Weaver, Spc. Michael S. Weger, Staff Sgt. David J. Weisenburg, Spc. Douglas J. Weismantle, Pfc. Michael Russell Creighton Weldon, Lance Cpl. Larry L. Wells, Chief Warrant Officer Stephen M. Wells, Spc. Jeffrey M. Wershow, Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley, Sgt. James G. West, 1st Lt. Alexander E. Wetherbee, Spc. Donald L. Wheeler, Sgt. Mason Douglas Whetstone, Pfc. Marquis A. Whitaker. Staff Sgt. Aaron Dean White, Lt. Nathan D. White, Sgt. Steven W. White, Lance Cpl. William W. White, Pfc. Joey D. Whitener, Spc. Chase R. Whitman, Spc. Michael J. Wiesemann, Cpl. Joshua S. Wilfong, Sgt. Eugene Williams, Lance Cpl. Michael J. Williams, Spc. Michael L. Williams, Sgt. Taft V. Williams, 1st Lt. Charles L. Wilkins III, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Willoughby, Spc. Dana N. Wilson, Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Wilson, Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson, Lance Cpl. Lamont N. Wilson, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wilt, 1st Lt. Ronald Winchester, Spc. Trevor A. Wine, Lance Cpl. William J. Wiscowiche, Spc. Robert A. Wise, Spc. Michelle M. Witmer, Pfc. Owen D. Witt, Spc. James R. Wolf, 2nd Lt. Jeremy L. Wolfe, Sgt. Elijah Tai Wah Wong, Sgt. Brian M. Wood, Capt. George A. Wood, Spc. Michael R. Woodliff, Spc. James C. Wright, Pfc. Jason G. Wright, 2nd Lt. John T. Wroblewski, Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Wyatt, Pfc. Stephen E. Wyatt, Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski, Sgt. Henry Ybarra III, Pfc. Rodricka A. Youmans, Sgt. Ryan C. Young, Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Zabierek, Spc. Nicholas J. Zangara, Spc. Mark Anthony Zapata, Pfc. Nicholaus E. Zimmer, Cpl. Ian T. Zook, Lance Cpl. Robert P. Zurheide Jr.

May they rest in peace.
And may they forgive us someday.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Can anyone spot a theme in this and this and this ? All letters from the Express & Swastika website in the week when the BNP said they are going to contest a local by-election.

"A lot has happened since then (1997) - including the fact that Blair is now one of the most experienced and respected leaders on the world stage." Alistair Campbell, not content with re-writing history... but giving us a dubious spin on the present in The Guardian.

If you don't look too closely at the absurd Carrotman, this is a pretty good site for those who want to eat fresh food rather than stuff which is injected full of preservatives and shipped half way round the world before being repackaged by Tesco or Sainsburys.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Peel

Andy Kershaw turned his Radio 3 programme last night into a tribute to John Peel. Avoiding any sense of over sentimentality, Kershaw just played some of the terrific music many of us had come into contact with through Peel. You can catch the full programme for the next week on the BBC Andy Kershaw web pages... what a pity I cannot find a way to save the programme onto the hard drive. I bet Poons knows a way!

Let's go get him lads! Osama has been found! (from manic)

Smart dog!



Thanks to Mike Oborski

Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's (not) his Party... and he'll sulk if he wants too!

An egotistic former Labour politician joins an emerging political party and announces his intention to break the mould of British politics…then throws his rattle out of the pram because he cannot have everything his own way. Farewell David Owen, hallo Robert Kilroy Silk. Owen formed the SDP with Shirley Poppins and her mates, and then ended up being sucked into Liberal Party and eventually into the dustbin of history. Kilroy only joined UKIP to publicise himself and because their inherent xenophobia closely matched his extreme views on race. Now if he can’t be the leader he wants to wreck not only the EU… but UKIP too. What’s the chance of UKIP being swallowed up and incorporated into the Tory right-wing? Incidentally, how quaint of the Beeb to censor LBJ's quote about Hoover. He said he would rather have Hoover "inside the tent pissing out".

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

RIP John

You feel your own sense of mortality when those you have admired so much start dying off. Paul Foot, Brian Clough...and now John Peel. The most innovative and influential man in British popular music, has died in Peru. For large sections of a whole generation of people, Peel will be greatly missed. He helped to shape our whole musical outlook,and beyond, (I'll never forget the tingling feeling the first time I heard The Captain playing Big Eyed Beans from Venus with the guitar solo intro "Mister Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note....and let it float"). Peel was always moving on to something new, and we would 'discover' it a year or so later. There are those like The Liverpool Scene, Medicine Head, Kevin Coyne, who were terrific without finding or craving 'fame'. Others like T. Rex, The Bonzo's, Rod Stewart went on to great heights but probably never achieved the quality of their material in the Peel days. He hated the 'star' syndrome and positively delighted in uncovering obscurity despite the fact that many of those he championed going on to fill giant stadiums and become the very sort of showbiz 'personalities' he chided. He used to do a regular stint at Mothers Club in Erdington in my youth and he was such an amusing and approachable person. I could even forgive him that dreadful Radio 4 programme.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Stuff your bloody casinos

A fair number of people in my Ward campaigned succesfully against a company called Blue Chip Casinos from opening a gambling casino in the heart of their community. Some were opposed because it was scheduled to open 20 hours a day, and they didn't want the noise and nuisance in the early hours of the morning. Some thought it would attract prostitution, drugs and organised crime. Some were moralistic and opposed to the whole notion of gambling. For me, I did resent the noise and nuisance, but I also resent the way these casinos will suck money out of working class communities and transfer the income to their fat cat US sponsors... and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (who, if we believe the chattering classes, is apparently opposed to the gambling bill). I know its not popular, but I do want an increase in graduated income tax and funds spent on pensions, the NHS and public services, and we can do that without the leeches in the gambling business contributing to the cost of human misery.

Bang!

Whew! That makes me feel so much safer.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A guide to brummie-speak

Anyone for arse cream? Or would you prefer a bag of suck?

Gasp!

£73 Million goes up in smoke in Sandwell.

Help needed

Steve (or BykerSink) or Our Man in Hanoi, is trying to raise money for what sounds like a truly marvellous project in Hanoi. The aim being to take street kids and give them a grounding in working a running a restaurant. If you, or a trade union, business or voluntary agency are in a position to assist him to raise funds, drop in on his site (the post headed smiles and tears tells you as much as you need to know... about Steve and the Koto project). Oh... and he's had a VIP visitor.

Even the President of the United States sometimes has to stand naked...

Martin Jaques (a man I don't have to try too hard to disagree with) argues in The Guardian that the concept of the nation state is still intact, despite all the predictions of globalisation, economic interdependence and the spread of the multi-national corporations. He cites the political weakness of the EU and the dominance of US imperialism in Iraq to justify his argument. I find it somewhat comforting to find that as usual I think Jaques has got it completely wrong again. The US example seems particularly weak. The imperialist aggression in Iraq is about extending economic power and influence... power and influence aimed at strengthening US capital, not extending 'democracy' or political influence over or on behalf of the Iraqi people. As Michael Moore ably demonstrated in Fahrenheit 911 the US governmental administration was effectively neutered in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers by the power of Saudi investment in the United States. When the brown stuff hit the fan, it was all too clear who was calling the shots and it wasn't the little fellah in the White House. The Multinationals and giant economic institutions have no nation, they have no concept of patriotism, they think that is for mugs. Unemployment in Detroit will not pull on their heartstrings if there is a bigger buck to be made in 'communist' China or the back streets of Thailand. The EU argument is easier to sustain, but the whole issue of the single currency is about centralising economic control to sideline the influence of the nation states... and in a true Orwellian way creating a European political institution to reflect the new economic circumstances. It is not all that new you know... this notion that the political instituitions change to reflect the economic organisation, why, an old German philosopher sitting in the British museum said as much about 150 or so years ago.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Walsall blasts back

Earlier in the week I made some lighthearted and, let's face it, downright insulting remarks about the town of Walsall. Well now I have got my comeuppance. I had an e-mail from someone who berates me for hypocrisy for taking Boris Johnson to task for allowing insulting and patronising remarks about the City of Liverpool, whilst doing the same thing myself about her home town. Furthermore she says, for someone so keen on markets, why not give credit to Walsall for its excellent streetmarket? Of course, she is spot on. My remarks, although joking, were insulting and I'm sorry if they upset you Jean, or anyone else... and the Walsall market really is great. I hear, by the way, they have recently started selling oysters, which brings to mind Frank Skinner's remark that eating oysters is like "licking phlegm off a tortoise."

Smoking

It would appear that Liverpool Council is about to ask the government to introduce legislation which would allow the city to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. I went to Ireland last year not long after their national ban on smoking in the workplace, which effectively does the same thing. The one major difference it would appear, is the way the law would be enforced. In Ireland the responsibility is that of the employer, bar owner, restaurant owner etc. They could be fined for what amounts to putting their staff at risk by allowing smoking on the premises. This seemed to work fine and the customers appreciated the publican's dilemma and respected the ban. If in Liverpool the onus is placed on the police to go into a pub and start issuing fines or arresting people, it has the potential to lead to a lot of trouble... or the ban simply not working very effectively.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Scousers

Drove up to Liverpool yesterday to meet student daughter, and we went to see the fabulous Youssou N’Dour at The Philharmonic Hall. He essentially reproduced his album ‘Egypt’ together with a 12 piece Egyptian band and some traditional Senegalese musicians. Before that she took me for an extended tour of Liverpool City Centre… nice place I thought. Frankly I can't go along with all those people who think that the public school tub of lard Boris Johnson is a jolly good chap who was honest enough to admit his mistake. Anyone who has read Rogan Taylor's book on Hillsborough would appreciate the pain of the relatives... and any city which still steadfastly refuses to buy The Sun is OK with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Walsall

For many more years than I care to think about, I have worked in Walsall (or Walsall Nil as their football team is affectionately known). I was referred to this unique site by Jim at Slave to the 11C. It is unique because the author obviously likes the place, (rare in itself) but in describing it, he makes the place sound just exactly as bad as it is. For instance, the Homepage bears the legend "People always leave Walsall smiling". Yes... but of course, that could be because they're leaving! As my workmate used to say, "The only good thing that ever came out of Walsall was the A34.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

At last!

After what seems like years of trying, we finally managed to get the Bearwood Farmers' Market off the ground this morning. There were only a handful of stalls, and there is an obvious need to attract a greengrocers... but there was a good variety of bread and baking, meat and fruit... and most importantly of all, loads of punters. In the coming months we want to make it into a community event. Involve the local jazz club, get the school kids to do carol singing at Xmas and perhaps involve the local Woods Trust by giving them a stall to sell produce such as wood chip, holly etc. It was well supported... and I'm chuffed.

Bearwood Famers' Market

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I hate commenting on things based simply on news headlines because they are usually so inaccurate and sensationalised that you often find the truth got lost in the telling somewhere. But as this is a report about the BBC from the BBC, perhaps there is an element of accuracy somewhere. Apparently a 'marketing' professor has been commissioned to carry out an 'independent' review of BBC 3 and BBC 4 and he has decided they are not sufficiently popular. BBC 4, he advises, should stop making arts prograsmmes that virtually no-one watches. BBC 3 should scrap its news programme, whilst BBC 4 should also either scrap or revamp its news programme. Yes... why not fill it up with wall-to-wall 'reality TV' programmes, gardening and house relocation crap, interspersed with brain-numbing soap operas. The news could be revamped Sun-style and have the headlines read by topless models. That'll pull 'em in, eh Mr Marketing Man. Public service broadcasting? Gods teeth!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What's so funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

I had a letter this morning from a constituent who wants to know how in all honesty I can remain a Labour councillor whilst this Government is pursuing a war in Iraq that I am so clearly and fundamentally opposed to. I have written back to her explaining why I can, but I thought I would copy some of my thoughts on the subject here.

If I, or anyone else of a left persuasion didn't stand, does anyone for one second imagine that Labour would leave the seat uncontested? Or do you think they would find some bright-eyed New Labour Blairite (or old fashioned and old right-Labourite, for that matter) to stand in my stead. Would that move the forces of progress one-inch further forward, or persuade Blair, who would be delighted if we left, to call an immediate halt to hostilities and bring the troops home.

I cannot stop the war in Iraq, bring peace to the Middle East, stop the genocide in Darfur... or even be much more than a voice in the wilderness about privatisation in Sandwell. But I can help the two refugees who came to my surgery two weeks ago, give support to the residents group fighting the mobile phone companies who want to put even more masts in their back garden, help the old chap who is waging a one-man war against the post office, try to get rehousing for the single woman with four kids under 6 years of age(!) and living in a third floor flat without a lift, and on, and on and on. I know Tory and Lib Dem councillors would also do their best at this sort of thing too, but I happen to think I can also do a good job.

I have respect (ouch) for comrades who have left the Party, or never even joined it, and are now in RESPECT, but at the moment I know, and so do 99% of them, that they cannot win seats, and therefore influence things in the way that I wish to do so. I once worked with a chap who joined Nupe, even though virtually the entire workforce were in Nalgo, because he said, "Nupe were more left-wing". I respected his principled stand, but when it came down to arguing with management, stopping redundancies etc. his principles stood for precisely nowt! So, those of us on the Labour left will have to continue shouting from the sidelines, winning the odd vote and hoping to exert some influence whilst acting as the conscience of the Party, those comrades who are shouting but didn't even want to come to the match, will have to keep on prodding us and acting as ours.

I suspect she won't be happy with my response, but if she wants to join in and disrupt the BNP leafletting in my Ward this Saturday... she's more than welcome.

Fireworks...not yet

David Blunkett may well be the most authoritarian Home Secretary since... well, Jack Straw, at least, but there will be a lot of people who will breath a sigh of relief if the new law on fireworks prevents neighbourhoods having to suffer a recreation of the blitz for about two months either side of the so-called 'bonfire night'. No doubt there will be much hand-wringing in Lib-Dem circles about nanny states and draconian laws, but on working class housing estates it will be much welcomed.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

It's Official

Go to The Conservative Party's website... type in dracula in the search box ...and guess what comes up!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Good on ya, Lin!

Sandwell Labour councillor and Mayor Linda Turton has taken a stand against animal cruelty. Perhaps now she will have her house surrounded by hooray Henrys and the sons of long forgotten pop singers... (if Brooklyn Beckham was named after the place he was conceived in, where was Otis Ferry conceived?)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Treading on your toe to cure a headache

I can't say I wasn't warned. When I said I was seeing a chiropractor for my bad back people muttered darkly about 'seeking a second opinion'. The pain was too bad. I didn't listen. So I went for my treatment... (and bloody expensive it was too). I was lifted up and lain down on a bench. "Relax your shoulders" she said. I did as I was told. My shoulders were completely relaxed... and unprepared. Whooomph! With all her might she literally bashed me in the back. "There... did you here that noise" she said, "that was the air coming out of your back." "No" I replied "that was the air coming out of every orifice in my body... and possibly the sound of one of my ribs cracking." I limped out, battered. For the last two nights I have been in agony... not from my back, but my ribcage. Turning over in bed is an exercise of major proportions, like an oil tanker manoeuvring in the English Channel. Back to the acupuncturist, I think.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Samarra Burning...

The horrors of liberation described at Baghdad Burning "It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, seeing the corpses pile up and watching people drag their loved ones from under the bricks and steel of what was once a home.
To top it off, we have to watch American military spokespersons and our new Iraqi politicians justify the attacks and talk about 'insurgents' and 'terrorists' like they actually believe what they are saying... like hundreds of civilians aren't being massacred on a daily basis by the worlds most advanced military technology.
As if Allawi's gloating and Bush's inane debates aren't enough, we have to listen to people like Powell and Rumsfeld talk about "precision attacks".

You can take the boy out of Newcastle...

...but you'll never take Newcastle out of the boy! BykerSink, Our Man in Hanoi has been on the march for peace again, this time in Vietnam!

I haven't posted for a few days due to a mental paralysis caused by my bad back. The Chiropractor has given me a good mauling, and now I feel like I have got several broken ribs... but at least it has taken my mind off my back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

I hate the winter. I detest the cold and the damp and the fact that you go to work in the dark, and when you come home it’s dark again. I loathe snow. Whereas other kids would roll around having fun in the stuff I would retreat indoors and only go out if it was absolutely necessary. My kids didn’t inherit this loathing, and couldn’t understand why their dad didn’t join in with the sledging and snowballing like other kids dads did with wild abandon. Now, to make matters even more miserable as we enter the countdown to winter, I’ve done my back in somehow. My GP has given me an appointment a week away (how’s that for reducing waiting times, Tone) and over the last few days I’ve had acupuncture from a Chinese health shop and been x-rayed and beaten up by a chiropractor… and it is still bloody agony and I’m dying from sleep deprivation. Coupled with my daughter leaving for University… heaven knows, I’m miserable now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Help support ZNET

ZNET, the radical left website, urgently needs money. If you can spare a tenner, give them a hand. Here are a couple of examples of the work they collate on the web.
"At Baath party headquarters, another team - led by a Major Kenneth Deal - believed they had discovered secret documents which would reveal Saddam's weapons' programme. The papers turned out to be an Arabic translation of A J P Taylor's The Struggle for Mastery in Europe. Perhaps Bush and Blair should read it." Robert Fisk, consistently brilliant on Iraq.
"Ayad Allawi has about as much sovereign control as Fidel Castro has over Guantánamo bay." Tony Benn, on Labour and the War.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Who says Black Country men don't know a thing or two about seduction? Ah, he's from Shrewsbury... that explains it!

A love supreme

The Wikipedia link on the date bar above tells us that if he had only laid off the white powder, the great John Coltrane could have been enjoying his 78th birthday today. The world would have been incalculably richer for it too. Turn on your speakers, sit back, enjoy.

Aaaargh!

Courtesy of mmChronic comes How chav are you?, which, despite the fact that it is from your Soaraway Scum, is actually quite good (especially the Quadrophenia pic). How did Jim at Chavwatch site Slave to the 11C manage to miss this one?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Haven't we seen this movie before?

"As for the Labour opposition, who should be riding high in the effort to turn out this government, they claim to be the party of brotherhood, but they seem to have taken their interpretation of it from the earliest biblical example – Cain and Abel. It doesn’t really matter whether Denis Healey or Tony Benn is the bloodstained victor. Neither the bankrupt right nor the hard left of the Labour Party have anything to offer this country any more. Their slide downhill has gone too far. It is irretrievable and irrecoverable. The party’s over."
So said David Steel, 23 years ago to his Party Conference, just before he told delegates that they were the new party of government and that "I have the good fortune to be the first Liberal Leader for over half a century who is able to say to you at the end of our annual Assembly: go back to your constituencies and prepare for government." That was September 1981. In the election of June 1983 the Alliance was hopelessly defeated as the Tory voters stuck with the Tories they knew. As the Lib Dems tell people in more detail what they DO stand for, they will say, Sorry Charlie, but pigs don't fly!

Eye eye

I'm all in favour of councillors having websites... and bloggerheads has done a lot to promote them, but is this Joe 90 impersonation absolutely necessary?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Oh dear... oh very, very dear

Seems just a little on the expensive side to me, but as I am one of the Scrutiny councillors appointed to look into this matter, I had better not comment further.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Decisions, decisions, all the time, decisions.

Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Being a newspaper hack is hell. Just look at the sort of gut-wrenching decisions they have to take to maintain their integrity.

Twisted logic

David Aaronovitch in The Guardian draws the conclusion that because British people who followed the golf at the weekend supported Europe against the United States it would be logical if they also supported the European Constitution and the entry into the single currency. One can only hope he was joking, but it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between a spoof and Aaronovitch's so-called 'serious' pieces.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A giant

Words like "Great" and "Legend" are much over used, bandied about to describe the likes of Wayne Rooney, who may or may not, one day, be exceptional... but to anyone who loves the game of football... this man was a true legend who will still be talked about in 100 years time. Brian Clough died today.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The leaving for Liverpool...

Eldest daughter Sian moved in to her flat on the campus of Liverpool University to-day amidst much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth... she was OK, that was just me and her mother. It doesn't seem to matter how much you prepare for it, it really does hit you when they go. The coming back home and the realisation that her room was empty..(and may never again be filled) that's when it hit me! I think I'll go and thumb through all those old photos one more time...

Friday, September 17, 2004

"As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality" from 70 things you may not know about Leonard Cohen in The Guardian Friday Review, also including "He is a lifelong manic depressive" (suprise, anyone?) and the fact that he played a bit part in Miami Vice.

In the same Friday Review a good write-up of the excellent Rachid Taha's new cd, which includes his "Rock the Casbah" tribute to Joe Strummer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Voice of little America... be scared. Culled from The Inside of my Head.

It's nothing to do with us...

When local authorities decide to sell off their council housing to 'not-for-profit social landlords' they always say they are doing it in the best interests of the tenants. Walsall MBC embarked on this particular route three years ago, giving staff and tenants a promise that jobs were safe with all the new funds the social landlord could attract, and tenants would have a major say in any developments because tenants would sit on the board of the companies. What they omitted to point out was that the financiers and accountants would control the board, and tenant board members would have to sign a pledge saying their first loyalty was to the company... not their fellow tenants. The trade unions warned it would end in tears, and within a year 100 staff had been made redundant, and now the tenants are finding out what sort of pig in a poke they have bought. The councillors, meanwhile, say..."we're powerless, don't blame us."

According to George Monbiot the issue of hunting is a class war. If we accept that analysis, surely this must be the first recorded case of the police turning their batons onto the ruling class? Things could be turning our way...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Spy satellites

I've always been a bit sceptical over the claims made proclaiming the virtues of spy satellites. I think the fuss all started when the JFK administration threatened to start the Thirld World War over missile bases in Cuba photographed by US Spy Planes. Then came the satellite era, and for years we were led to believe that if you so much as scratched your arse in a suspicious manner in the Sahara desert someone in the Pentagon would know about it. The myth started to crumble when the claims about 'weapons of mass destruction' turned out to be a load of spurious nonsense. Now, when the North Koreans claim to have blown up a mountain in order to build a hydro-electric facilty, US officials are saying "We still don't know what it was, and we're not speculating." Surely they could drop a hint by telling us whether a mountain appears to have been demolished?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

100 photographs that changed the world

That's what Life Magazine have called this collection, although you only get to see 28 of them on the web site and it implies you have to subscribe to see the rest. There is an obvious in-built US bias at work here, but there are some pretty powerful images (and some very gruesome ones too), including this one from The Land of the Free.

Lynching 1930
A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called the sentence of “Judge Lynch.”) Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we woul’d like to think.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

It's Working!

I am indebted to Poons for his technical expertise in reviving my dead computer. I have spent ages today reloading all the bits and bobs of software and reconnecting the internet connection (with help from the service line from my Internet Service Provider who advised me that typing in my connection data was much easier if you plugged the keyboard in first) and now, normal service returns. So, if you are having any problems that mean your computer needs repairing... this is a shameless plug for The Computer Whisperer on 0773 0775 085.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Savage by name...

The poor lad was sent off and left the field in floods of tears, and now he is threatening(?) to quit...

...and the only thing that drowned out the cheers was the sound of a nation laughing!

Shooting yourself in the foot

Thanks to Manic for this link to the Indiana News, where the Monroe County Coroner has been teaching people gun safety.

Hell hath no fury....

The patronage of the Prime Minister, coupled with the denigrating of colleagues via the media, is the Prime Minister's style. Using the No. 10 machine in a manner which is undemocratic, unaccountable... and to most people wholly unacceptable. Clare Short in the Guardian.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Steve Bell on the tensions behind the Cabinet reshuffle. Just brilliant!

Monday, September 06, 2004

A minute's silence

On Saturday morning my computer upped and died. No warning, no explanation... dead! PC bloody world have quoted me something exhorbitant just to look at it, and I have refused their kind offer. So for the moment blog postings will have to be squeezed in at work. Normal service will be resumed as soon as I can find a way round this situation.

Souness eh? Thank heavens for that. Without O'Leary stretching the pennies as far as he can, we'd be certainties for the drop I reckon. We have only got thirteen players on the books who have made more than 20 Premiership appearances.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Naughty

Thanks to Jim at Slave to the 11c for this... check out what's going on in the garden in the third picture!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Lib Dem/Tory alliance moves closer

Those of us with practical experience of the Lib dems know that the first glimse of anything vaguely resembling power, they wrap up their principles in a nice little bundle and throw them away. This latest book of Liberal ideas, a veritable privatiser's charter and apparently much appreciated by Chucky Kennedy, begins to position them for a possible coalition with Howard and co. after the next general election. One more damn good reason for Labour to ditch Blair and move onto the higher ground.

Another one bites the dust.

You become more aware of your own sense of mortality when people you knew in your youth start to die. I felt a shiver up my spine this morning when I read that Carl Wayne, former lead singer of The Move, had died aged 61. I was never keen on The Move, and Carl Wayne was far too much of the ‘oily pop star’ for my liking, but I did used to see him in his pre-Move days as the frontman for Carl Wayne and the Vikings. Way back in the mists of time I recall seeing them as support for The Kinks at the Carlton Ballroom (later re-named Mothers, a hippy venue of some repute where The Pink Floyd recorded the live bits of Ummagumma) on the very night that ‘You Really Got Me’ made it to No.1. That sense of doom came looming large again when I thought of that, because Dave Davies of The Kinks has also had a spot of bother with his health recently. I think I'll pop along for a health check-up.

Carl Wayne (centre) with his Vikings Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Habeas Corpus RIP b.1679 d.2004

If you're worried about the post Sept 11th abuse of power in Guantanamo, read Balders and see how in 2004 you can be accused and locked away without being charged, tried or convicted. Time to be scared.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A hard rain

I know it's just nostalgia and in reality our childhood Summers were never actually month upon month of cloudless blue skies as the sun beat down on our kickabouts and we didn't always play games of cricket in the street until it got dark on boiling hot evenings. But surely we did used to have some sort of Summer. For those of us who feel reinvigorated by a few sunny days strung together (yes, ok, it's not supposed to be good for us) this Summer has been a bloody disaster, and the consequences for those who make their living out of tourism in our coastal resorts, possibly terminal disaster. Not even a glorious Summer's day for our last Bank Holiday of the year. Depressing.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Away the lad

BykerSink at It's wrong to wish on Space Hardware is flying out to begin his VSO in Vietnam on Thursday and has posted what is likely to be his last missive from this country for some while. If you get the chance, wish him luck via his comments box, and then add Our Man in Hanoi to your links to follow his progress. For fairly obvious reasons around political sensitivity the new site is likely to be missing some of Space Hardware's bite, but if the site to date is anything to go by it will still be a cracking read as Steve tells it like he sees it... warts and all.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

"Although few liberal-minded voters have illusions about John Kerry, their need to get rid of the 'rogue' Bush administration is all consuming."

John Pilger in a powerful piece in The New Statesman points out, for those pinning their hopes on John Kerry, that when it comes to asserting US Imperialist power the Republicans and Democrats are united. Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan and Clinton.... Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan... "The real debate is neither Bush nor Kerry, but the system they exemplify; it is the decline of true democracy and the rise of the American 'national security state' in Britain and other countries claiming to be democracies, in which people are sent to prison and the key thrown away and whose leaders commit capital crimes in faraway places, unhindered, then, like the ruthless Tony Blair, invite the thug they instal to address the British Labour Party conference."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Oil Flow

Oil, Thatcher, U.S., Mandelson and coup plots. Daniel Brett makes the links.

Terror suspect detained

Someone called Mark Thatcher has been detained in South Africa accused of funding international terrorism. For some strange reason Bush, Blair, Straw and Rumsfeld haven't demanded he is handed over, shackled and detained with the other 'suspects' in Guantanamo Bay. "Thatcher protests coup innocence" says the BBC and it would appear that this particular terrorist suspect is going to be given the opportunity to justify his actions by due legal process. Good job he was captured by a civilized country eh?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Doing it for themselves...

In my Ward in Sandwell we have a stunning piece of natural woodland that is in the process of being saved from years of decline by local people. Although the park is in Sandwell, it has been owned by Birmingham City Council for generations and naturally, with their priorities being in the City, the park stumbled into decline. Well, local people decided enough was enough, formed the Warley Woods Community Trust, and have taken over the running of the land themselves. It hasn't been easy, but we are gradually seeing things turn around and one of the benefits to the Woods and the community has been the Green Gym, and if you want to get fit without kitting yourself out in lycra or busting a gut in the gym, it's a pretty good way to do it.
Not a post about global uncertainties I'm afraid, but one about local people doing something for their own community (even if they have had a grant from the bloody lottery).

Warley Woods

Monday, August 23, 2004


Darren 'sicknote' Anderton prepares to make his Birmingham debut.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

This is apparently a label from an item of clothing made by an American company for the French market. For those non-French speakers amongst you, the care instructions read:

Wash with warm water
Use mild soap
Dry flat
Do not use bleach
Do not dry in the dryer
Do not iron
We our sorry that our president is an idiot
We did not vote for him



Thanks to Peter Gasston from whom I unashamedly nicked this.

Back slapper

It must be because I gave him a favourable mention, but Daniel Brett (not to be confused with David Brent) has now, in his review of blog sites, described me as "left leaning", (the cheeky sod, it makes me sound like some sort of cross-dresser) and then sweetens the pill by saying I am "perhaps the blogging community's most favourite councillor". Some you win... some you lose eh?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Food for thought

Daniel Brett asks whether Muslim's are the new Irish in respect of 'terrorism' allegations, and also raises some concerns that I certainly share about the impolications of the recent arrests and continued attacks on civil liberties in 'the war against terrorism'.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The let's have a party, party

I don't know why Stephen Stills and Neil Young weren't invited along for the ride, but Crosby and Nash are making their bid for the White House. Hey...showbiz to the Oval Office, it worked for The Gipper.

Who says the drugs don't work, eh?

40 quid to see the neighbours from hell!

Apparently our less illustrious neighbour, Small Heath Alliance, are charging the mug punters of Birmingham £40 a game to see their side for 'premium' games this season... £40 in order to allow thir porn king owner to pay someone called Muzzy £35,000... a bloody week!

nervous

Tomorrow morning eldest daughter will find out if her A level grades are good enough for her to take up an offer from Liverpool University to study politics. I think I'm more nervous than she appears to be. I really hate those gits who earn a living from the media twittering on about how A levels are much easier than when they were at school. I wish they would shut up and consider the impact their pontificating has on the pupils concerned... particularly those who don't get their grades.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More Sept. 11th conspiracy theories than you can shake a stick at

Courtesy of Space Hardware, I refer you to a whole string of Sept. 11th (why do people in this country insist on saying 9/11?) conspiracy theories at Rigourous Intuition. Spooky, eh?

Monday, August 16, 2004

The British Summer

Having just come back from the Algarve, my heart goes out to the residents and holiday makers in North Cornwall who have had to suffer the dreadful flooding we saw on the news this evening. Strangely, 52 years ago today saw some of the worst floods on record in Britain in Devon. I think I'll get the 2005 holiday brochures tomorrow.

Watching them : watching us

If you haven't already linked to the excellent Daily Mail Watch, give it a try, it's good.

"Let's begin with this: 77% of Venezuela's farmland is owned by 3% of the population, the 'hacendados.' " Greg Palast on Chavez's victory.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Venezuela

When BykerSink departs these shores for Vietnam next month, the blog world will be much poorer unless he is able to find the time and inclination to maintain both his Space Hardware site and his new postings about life in Vietnam. Today, for instance, Byker considers Venezuela in the context of oil reserves, US interests, Cuba, democracy and dictatorship, and comes up with a potential recipe for disaster. I hope it is just pessimism, but I suspect it is a pessimism firmly rooted in historical lessons, and Chavez could turn out to be another Allende.

For more on Venezuela, read this article by Selma James, one of the observers to the referendum.