All entries for Sunday 11 June 2006

June 11, 2006

More respect for human rights from the Bush Administration…

...or not.

Colleen Graffy, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, excelled herself in the school of defending the indefensible a few months ago when she claimed that Guantanamo Bay detainees were being treated fairly (despite the evidence to the contrary).

Well today she's gone a step further by claiming that the suicides of three detainees were "a good PR move".

I'm not always a big fan of the Liberty brigade, but Graffy's comments show absolutely no respect for the human rights of the three people who killed themselves. There's been practically no evidence shown that these people are guilty of any crimes, so to suggest that they would go to the extreme of committing suicide as "a tactic to further the jihadi cause" is just the sort of speculation that is completely unhelpful. It's not really much different to saying "all Muslims are terrorists", because the lack of information given to the public means that the detainees could be, for all we know, just an innocent guy walking down the street. The typical American knows them only to be a Muslim man, who never had any right of reply to the propaganda pumped out by the State Department and the Pentagon.

The U.S. keep saying they want to close Guantanamo, but those words are completely empty until they do it.


Ah the Yanks and their 'soccer'!

You gotta love those damn Americans. From the New York Times (about yesterday's game):

A terrible game, really. Beckham clearly the man of the match, but few others did anything of note.

Beckham the best player in the game? He wasn't even the best player on England's right flank!


And in better news…

Another great task on Big Brother – getting the housemates/participants/idiots to stand on small podiums.

That's it.

They don't know it, but the person who stays on for longest gets immunity from eviction. But I can help thinking that alternative 'tasks' might make for better television.

  1. Strap all the remaining housemates to a particular device used for killing. We're talking electric chairs, hanging, lethal injection, death by water torture. Housemates have to come to a consensus over which housemate should suffer their impending fate, based on how much they hate each other and who's got the most painful method of extermination.

  2. Starvation. Whichever housemate is first to be eaten by the others wins the series. Have to hope they kept them alive and just ate a finger though.

  3. Toilet bowls contain acid, not water. Don't tell them.

  4. Walls of house move inwards, eventually trapping them in a smaller and smaller space. Only way to avoid certain death is promising never to release a fitness video.

As you can see, there is a certain amount of pain involved in some of these tasks. But they would 1) be justified 2) dissuade people from applying to go in the house 3) make great telly


Just another Saturday night in Leam

Will I miss Leamington when I leave in a couple of weeks time?

Based on last night, no. Firstly, don't worry Jimmy, it was nothing to do with your pleasant company during the Argentina v Ivory Coast game.

It was more the virtually constant alcohol–infused violence going on outside my flat from midnight until 2.30am. I must have heard about five instances of threats to murder and tens of people who weren't just drunk but utterly paralytic. It only ended when several people got badly injured and the police (eventually) turned up.

Listening in bed while a long procession of drunk 'revellers' wandered past, it was remarkable how it sounded like a school playground had moved outside, albeit with the added bonus of broken beer bottles ready to be used as weapons. The guy sat in the middle of the road at 1.30am screaming "why are all the pubs shut" (making Big Brother's Nikki sound like an Oxbridge graduate) nearly took the prize for most pathetic excuse for an adult.

That was until some guy appeared (I was at the window by this point) to batter his girlfriend and anyone who tried to get in his way. Judging by the look of horror on the faces of people who could see it properly, and the resulting pools of blood on the pavement, it must have been a pretty horrific attack.

Interestingly, from two floors up you can work out why there appears to be so few police officers in Leamington most nights. They're all in unmarked cars. I must have seen three different saloons go by, each with police inside (you can only really see their stab–proof vests from above). Unfortunately, this means there's no 'deterrent'. There's just the unlikely chance that you might be spotted by a hidden policeman.

Sadly I suspect that leaving Leamington won't bring an end to living with widespread alcohol–fuelled violence. Living in what essentially is a large village at home, I know that even the smallest places suffer the same problems as city centres. And yet you rarely see village–violence(!) reported.


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