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  • Monday, February 28, 2005

    Lib Dem leader says 50% tax rate is fair

    According to this article, from Bloomberg, Charles Kennedy, the Lib Dem leader has defended the proposals to raise the top rate of income tax to 50%.

    Led by Kennedy, 45, Britain's third-biggest parliamentary party is aiming to shift the burden of taxes onto wealthier people to make the tax system more ``fair.'' Raising the top tax rate would affect 1 percent of people who earn more than 100,000 pounds ($192,555), Kennedy said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Death of democracy in Haiti

    From the Independent: Death of a democracy

    Gangs of killers roam freely, rape is systematic and the poor eat mud to survive. In Port-au-Prince, Andrew Buncombe finds a people crushed by the dark hand of US foreign policy
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    North Korea willing to return to six nation talks

    From USA Today: Reports: North Korea willing to return to six-way talks

    Citing unidentified "Japan-South Korea" sources, the conservative Sankei newspaper said Pyongyang told Seoul through informal channels recently that it wanted to rejoin the talks in June. The report also said North Korea hopes to strike a bilateral nonaggression pact with the United States ahead of President Bush's expected trip to Asia next fall.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Green Party offers help to prosecute violent oil traders

    According to the Green Party's website, Hugo Charlton, the Green Party's chairman has offered his professional services to any of the protesters who were viciously attacked by violent oil traders. Mr Charlton has offered to help in prosecuting those responsible for the violence. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    50% tax plan for highest earners

    According to this article in the Guardian, the Lib Dems would introduce a 50% tax rate for the highest earners, and would scrap the unpopular council tax:

    Launching his party's alternative budget just weeks ahead of an expected general election in May, Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, also pledged to raise the threshold for stamp duty on housing purchases from £60,000 to £150,000 in order to exempt around 400,000 first-time buyers from the levy.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Fathers 4 Justice hold protest outside Downing Street

    From Politics.co.uk: New Fathers 4 Justice stunt at Downing Street See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair holds talks with Abbas

    From The Scotsman: Blair in Talks with Palestinian Leader

    Tony Blair tonight held talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ahead of tomorrow’s Middle East summit in London. Representatives from 23 countries will attend tomorrow’s meeting which is aimed at kick-starting the stalled Middle East peace process.
    Although, israel is not attending the talks. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Clarke forced to dilute "anti terror" proposals"

    According to this article, from Reuters, our home secretary, Charles Clarke has been forced to bow to pressure that a judge must rule on a minister's plans to place any suspect under house arrest:

    "The application would be heard by the judge as quickly as possible, say within 24 to 48 hours," Clarke said in a letter to his Conservative party opposite number. "The judge would look at all the material on which the application was based and decide whether there was a prima facie case. If so, he would make the order."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Reports Israel planning to build nuclear reactor

    From the World Peace Herald: Israel reportedly planning nuke reactor

    Israel refuses to submit its nuclear facilities, including the Daimona plant in the Negev Desert, to inspection and control by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    100 dead after Iraq bombing

    According to this article, from The Guardian, more than 100 people have died following a suicide bombing in Iraq. That's awful:

    In the deadliest incident since the end of the war, the bomber drove into people queuing outside a medical clinic in Hilla, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, police said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Republican connected company defrauded Iraq of $millions

    According to this article from the Macon Telegraph, a Republican connected company has apparently defrauded the Iraqi people out of $millions:

    The Bush administration decided not to join the whistleblowers' civil suit alleging fraud against the company, run by a former Republican congressional candidate. The whistleblowers' attorney said a Justice Department lawyer told him the reason was that the alleged victim was the U.S.-financed and led Coalition Provisional Authority, not the U.S. government.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush nepotism and war profiteering

    This is an interesting article, from VHeadline.com: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D.: On Bush nepotism and American war-profiteering

    Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., Executive Director, American Center for International Law writes: How have the upper classes in every ostensibly Christian society managed to sustain the blatantly immoral practice of war-profiteering? In the American context, this question can be reduced to a twenty-first century version of Cicero’s maxim: “How does our military-industrial complex make predatory killing so lucrative for its war profiteers?” Toward answering that question, it will be useful to examine the Bush Family Dynasty’s most recent war-profiteering activities.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    London police launch fear mongering campaign

    And just before a general election. Nothing like a bit of fear mongering to get terrorism right to the top of the agenda is there? From Yahoo: London police launch 'terrorism awareness' campaign

    Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair warned that terrorists would remember how Spain's conservative Popular Party lost the elections after last year's train bombings in Madrid, which were blamed on Islamic militants.
    Obviously, the Spaniards were always going to vote out the warmonger in power. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lib Dems tell Blair to publish legal advice

    From the Scotsman: Lib Dems tell PM to publish legal advice for Iraq war

    The call came from the deputy Lib Dem leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, who declared: "Publish and be damned, yes - but don’t publish, and be damned even further."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    52 Vermont towns to vote on anti war resolution

    From Boston.com For many Vermonters, Iraq is on the ballot

    In one-fifth of the state's 251 towns, residents on Tuesday will be asked to vote on a resolution that calls upon President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq and urges the state's elected leaders to reconsider the use of Vermont's National Guard in the war.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Reality of army turns idealist into a deserter

    Well done Jeremiah Adler: Reality of Army turns idealist into a deserter

    "I didn't want to be the average infantryman, the average grunt," says Adler, now 18. He wanted to make a difference, he says, not only to the Iraqis he hoped to help liberate, but to the military itself. But only hours after arriving for basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., he had a change of heart. The Army, he says, wanted to turn him into "a ruthless, coldblooded killer," and he wanted no part of it. He begged to be sent home, even faking a homosexual relationship with another recruit who also wanted out. The drill sergeants screamed their disgust at him, Adler says, but wouldn't sign discharge papers.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US state department claims it is not interfering in Lebanon

    Of course, the US state department has in the past also claimed that it wasn't interfering in Venezuela either. From Yahoo: Official: Syria Troops Must Leave Lebanon

    On Thursday, the State Department said a withdrawal closer to Syria's border was not good enough, explaining that the Security Council resolution "calls in clear, unequivocal terms for all foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon." Satterfield said the international community is "calling for an end to foreign interference in Lebanese affairs." "It is not ... interference for the world to talk of the need for Lebanese to live in freedom," he said.
    No, of course it's not interference. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Israel steps up military operations

    From Reuters: Israel steps up military operations

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said Israel is escalating military measures and would freeze peace efforts after a Tel Aviv suicide bombing unless Palestinians smashed militant groups.
    ......
    But Palestinian officials said talks planned with militant groups in Cairo to discuss a ceasefire with Israel were postponed for 10 days until March 15 due to the Tel Aviv attack. Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim told Israel Radio that Israel would "resume all tactics" including assassinations of Islamic Jihad leaders if Abbas did not rein in militants.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    News from 24th February by elections

    There were 4 by elections held last Thursday. The results, according to this article, from the Scotsman gave the Tories and Lib Dems one gain each, with Labour holding one, and the Lib dems holding another seat. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The symbol of US occupation


    Symbol of US occupation Posted by Hello

    Diesel fumes are a danger to health

    I don't think most people needed a report to tell them that diesel fumes are a danger to health, however, one has been produced, from the Independent: Diesel fumes are danger to health, warns report

    The CSP said it wanted the UK to follow the Japanese example where Tokyo is considering banning vehicles with certain types of engines in built-up areas and wants car manufacturers to make sure diesel engines become cleaner.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    1000 Republicans protest IRA criminality

    The IRA/Sinn Fein must certainly be feeling the pressure now. All sides, including many who many have voted for Sinn Fein are attacking the IRA criminality, the murder of Robert McCartney led to these recent protests of course. From the Guardian:

    The people's revolt against the IRA gang who murdered Robert McCartney continued to grow last night despite Sinn Féin's attempts to defuse the crisis, with 1,000 protesters demanding the expulsion of more rogue republicans.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair & Co reconsidering publishing Iraq advice

    From the Guardian: Rethink on secrecy over Iraq legal advice Read Keir Starmer QC's legal advice (pdf) David Leigh and Rob Evans Monday February 28, 2005 The Guardian See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    French jitters on EU constitution

    According to this article, in today's Guardian, Chirac is getting nervous that the French may turn down the EU constitution. And, so it is suggested that the referendum to adopt the constitution may be brought forward in the country. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    An Environmental Justice Bill

    According to this article in today's Independent, Blair & Co are planning to introduce "tougher penalties" to punish those responsible for polluting the environment: Corporate polluters will have to pay for their damage

    Harriet Harman, the Solicitor General, who is backing the policy, also wants new powers for the Environment Agency to demand court orders to force polluters to clean up the rivers or land they have spoiled. The proposals could upset the business community, but Ms Harman has privately told colleagues that they will be a vote-winner with many Labour supporters who believe tougher action is needed to tackle the problems of polluted Britain.
    Of course, the Greens, and Lib Dems have been pushing these sorts of intiatives for some time now. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    30 more killed in Iraq

    From the Guardian: 30 killed in Iraq suicide blast

    Witnesses said the attack occurred in Hilla, about 60 miles south of the Iraqi capital, where a suicide car bomber drove into a crowd of people applying for work at a government office.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    On Windfarms

    I thought, following one of the commenters posts here, at "A Logical Voice", that I would look into the windfarm subject. Firstly, I took a look at this site to see what the public reaction has been like to windfarms. According to the figures contained in this survey, 51% of those questioned felt that windfarms had neither a positive or negative effect. For those who aren't too sure about the effects of windfarms, there is an assessment here on "THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF OFFSHORE WINDFARMS IN TOURISTIC AREAS (WINDTOUR)". This is however, another survey, it appears from the analysis of the data, that those who were aware of environmental concerns were more in favour of the windfarms than those who were less aware. There are also guidelines issued by governments relating to the environmental considerations of windfarms. This link takes you to the Crown Estate's page dealing with the subject. The page states:

    As with any new marine industry there are many concerns about the potential environmental impact. For example relatively little is known about bird populations and bird movements even in coastal waters around the UK. A significant proportion of proposed windfarm sites are located on shallow sandbank areas which are recognised as important features and habitats for a wide range of species. Through the round one procedure The Crown Estate established a trust fund administered by a steering group drawn from the offshore wind industry and conservation agencies.
    So it does appear as though, in this case, the government is attempting to take environmental concerns on board, in its plans to generate more energy from renewable sources. Whether or not Blair & Co are doing enough on the issue, I haven't found any significant scientific analysis to show that they either are or are not taking environmental concerns seriously enough. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Website for Sibel Edmonds, FBI whistleblower

    You may like to visit this website. Titled "Just a Citizen", it looks at breaking news on the case, as well as important background information about the cover up of information relating to the 11th September 2001, and some information on other whistleblowers. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US arrests 200 Israelis in spying investigation

    This is interesting, from the Daily Telegraph. Apparently, a leaked US government report has shown that upto 200 Israelis have been arrested in America, according to this article, about 140 of them were arrested before the 11th September 2001. However, it seems none have been charged, and most have been deported.

    There is no evidence linking these arrests to the September 11 attacks although some intelligence commentators have pointed to allegations that Israel may have been shadowing Arab militants in America without sharing its knowledge with Washington. The DEA report said most of the students questioned by American investigators acknowledged having served in units of the Israeli armed forces specialising in military intelligence, electronic signals interception or explosive ordnance. It added that one person questioned was the son of an Israeli general, another had served as the bodyguard to the head of the Israeli Army and a third served in a Patriot missile unit.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Town Hall revolt over Iraq war in Vermont

    From the Christian Science Monitor: In Vermont, a Town-Meeting revolt over Iraq war

    His proposal has three parts. It calls on the Vermont state legislature to establish a commission to examine how National Guard deployments are affecting state readiness. It asks the state's congressional delegation to work to restore a proper federal and state balance over Guard units. And it implores both the president and Congress to take steps to withdraw American troops from Iraq.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Torturer General's department urges judge to dismiss agent orange lawsuit

    In the Bush regime world, it's perfectly ok to use napalm, agent orange, or any other banned weapons, no other country is allowed to even consider the possibility of developing weapons of mass destruction, but the US can stockpile as much as it likes. If anyone dare question that, and attempt to bring a lwasuit, then the Bush regime, assisted by the torturer general's office will ensure any lawsuits are thrown out. From the New York Times: U.S. Urges Judge to Dismiss Suit on Chemical Use in Vietnam War See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair using politics of fear

    Blair is attempting to use the same tactics as both Bush and Howard to retain control in Britain. From this article at Yahoo:

    "The politics of fear are stalking the land," said Tony Travers, a political scientist at the London School of Economics. "You can honestly see this in the debate -- if you can call it that -- about immigration and the debate about crime, law and order," he told AFP. "I think there is a more general desire to play on people's dark fears by politicians in a world where ideology has disappeared largely."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Was there a criminal conspiracy by Republicans in Texas?

    According to this article, from the Houston Chronicle, a lawsuit is underway in Texas to determine whether or not Republicans gained control of Texas politics by criminal conspiracy:

    "This trial is about whether clandestine corporations can buy elections in Texas and corrupt the political process," said Cris Feldman, a lawyer representing the Democrats. "Do we want a legislature beholden to out-of-state corporate board rooms or Texas living rooms?"
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Protests outside US European Command headquarters

    From Stars and Stripes: Activists protest outside gates of EUCOM headquarters

    STUTTGART, Germany — About 40 people protested Tuesday night outside the gate to the U.S. European Command headquarters, calling for an end to the “war politics” of the Bush administration.
    Well done to them. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Standing up to the US gains Canada respect abroad

    It certainly does. From The Toronto Star: Linda McQuaig says standing up to U.S. will gain us respect abroad

    The prospect of the arms race moving into space may thrill Washington strategic planners, but it's long been dreaded by most of the world. In 1967, ninety-seven nations signed the Outer Space Treaty banning weapons from space. Since then, there's been pressure for a tougher ban. In fact, Canada has played a key role pushing for that tougher line at disarmament talks in Geneva. Virtually all nations now support a proposed new ban.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The Propaganda Model in Action

    "I'm baaaaaaack!" smugly proclaims Jeff Gannon with no hint of shame for undermining the important principle of "a cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press" that is necessary "in order to preserve the... greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know." [Judge Gurfein on the Pentagon Papers case] The Gannon redux from American Progress: GANNONGATE – MAINSTREAM MEDIA BLACKOUT

    It's a story flush with intrigue – CIA secrets, White House malfeasance, hidden identities, even male prostitution. Yet, as Salon.com's Eric Boehlert describes, the serious questions surrounding White House "reporter" Jeff Gannon have received only scant coverage in the mainstream media; two of the broadcast television networks, "as well as scores of major metropolitan newspapers around the country, have completely ignored it." And evidence of a double standard is plentiful. Just two months ago, "virtually every major news outlet" covered a similar (yet far less egregious) story involving Edward Lee Pitts, the Tennessee reporter "who helped a National Guardsman craft a tough question posed to Secretary Rumsfeld regarding the lack of body armor for U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq."

    Renewed war on enduring worldwide racism and xenophobia

    From the UN News Centre: Renewed war on enduring worldwide racism and xenophobia called for by UN experts

    25 February 2005 – Voicing “profound concern” at continuing institutional and large-scale racism and xenophobia worldwide, a panel of experts appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for renewed counter-efforts at the international and national levels, including education and awareness-raising campaigns.

    “The Eminent Experts are determined that their work should follow a humanitarian vision of an 'ethic of human solidarity,’ based on central values of human dignity, respect for diversity and the importance of effective measures for the protection of people,” the five-member panel said at the end of a three-day meeting yesterday in Geneva...

    Sunday, February 27, 2005

    Milburn claims Brown sidelined claims are "complete and utter nonsense"

    Which probably means that there is some truth in it. From the Scotsman: Labour Denies Brown has Been Sidelined

    Amid growing unhappiness among Labour MPs at the party’s campaign tactics, Mr Milburn insisted that the Chancellor and his handling of the economy were “absolutely central” to their strategy.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair faces a bruising on "anti terror" laws

    From Reuters: Blair faces bruising over anti-terror laws See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Israeli jailed in New Zealand headed Cypriot Spy ring

    From Haaretz: Report: Israeli jailed in New Zealand headed Cyprus spy ring

    One of the two alleged Mossad agents who served a prison sentence in New Zealand following a botched operation, was involved in another failed operation in Cyprus in 1998, according to an article in Sunday's New Zealand Sunday Star Times.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Bush's European "charm offensive" fails

    Europeans are far less gullible than some. From Today's Alternative News: George and Conde in Europe: The "Charm Offensive" Didn't Work

    No European, especially no European leader is as gullible as the American public or as gullible as such American reporters as Andrea Mitchell and her colleagues at ABC and CBS, whose names I can’t even recall at this time. I cite Andrea because she and her colleagues have continually repeated the false mantra that George Bush has said, “He won’t invade Iran, that it’s ridiculous to say so.” Oh, Andrea and friends, how stupid can you be?
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iran ready for guerilla war if US invades

    Well, I guess the US is learning all abour guerilla warfare in Iraq. From Post Gazette.com: Wary Iran readies for guerrilla war if U.S. invades See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister warns of US aggression

    Published on Saturday, February 26, 2005 by the San Francisco Chronicle Venezuelan Warns of U.S. Overthrow Speech points to growing friction with Bush by Robert Collier

    Free For All blog awards

    Ok, let's get away from politics for just a moment. I thought it would make a change to invite all the "A Logical Voice" readers to nominate their favourite blogs. (yes, even if you run one yourself, you can nominate your own blog) So readers are invited to leave a reply to this post, to nominate either their own, or their favourite blog(s) (You can nominate as many blogs as you like), the blog can relate to any subject whatsoever, or no subject at all. The nominations are open until the end of April 2005, The top ten (most nominated) nominated blogs will be put to a vote (via a virtual polling booth on this blog), and if readers wish, when the nominations are closed and the top 10 announced, then those nominated, as well as any others interested will be invited to dispaly the polling booth on their own website or blog. What are you waiting for? Nominate your favourite blogs for the Free for All blog awards here. Sorry, there'll be no real world award, but you'll be able to be smug in the knowledge that your blog was voted the best. (Maybe an image for your blog will be awarded.) Best wishes, and good luck to all nominees.

    Is Blair a war criminal?

    Well, i've answered the question here, but the Sunday Herald asks the question: War Criminal?

    According to eminent QC and Labour peer – and now Sunday Herald columnist – Helena Kennedy, Washington ordered Downing Street to find a legal opinion to justify the war. Certainly, the dominant view in legal circles and in the UK Foreign Office was that a US-led war, outwith the UN’s authority, was not justified. “The legal advisers at the Foreign Office had already taken the view that you needed a second resolution,’’ says Sands.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iraq inquiry head threatens to quit

    According to this article, from the Times, Lord Butler has said that the entire Iraq inquiry committee would have to resign, unless Lord Goldsmith hands over that advice on the legality of invading Iraq. Now, this is getting interesting:

    A senior figure close to the inquiry said Butler, a former cabinet secretary, had told Goldsmith at an informal meeting that his committee — appointed to investigate intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) — needed to see the legal advice Goldsmith had given Downing Street in March 2003. “Goldsmith told Butler to bugger off. He said his legal advice had nothing to do with WMD and he wouldn’t hand it over,” the insider said. “But Butler told him that unless he gave the committee his advice there was simply no point in the committee continuing.”
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Scottish army recruitment falls

    And, no doubt, recruitment figures don't look likely to rise anytime soon, or at least as long as British troops remain in Iraq. From the Sunday Herald: Army recruits fall after Iraq war

    Army sources say perceptions of the Iraq war as illegal and the controversy over abuse of Iraqi prisoners are to blame for the downturn. Last week three infantrymen were found guilty of abusing Iraqi detainees. The controversial suicides at Deepcut barracks are also contributing to a sharp decline in recruitment, while the loss of historic battalions to restructuring has caused anger.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    More "liberated" Iraqis

    From CNN:

    In western Baghdad, two Iraqi civilians were killed and a third was wounded Saturday when a suicide car bomber targeted -- but missed -- a U.S. military convoy, Iraqi police said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Fierce fighting in Ramadi

    From the BBC: Fierce fighting in Iraq's Ramadi And, a flashback to the 9th September 2004, courtesy of MSNBC: Fierce fighting in Fallujah as U.S. toll tops 1,000 See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Did you know the UN inspectors are in Iraq?

    Well, if you didn't, you do now. According to this article, from Yahoo, the US, after blocking discussions about ending the weapons inspections in Iraq is now reconsidering. Obviously Bush's "victory", on the back of talk of Iraq, terrorism and "911" had some role in that decision. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Kurds vow to retain militia

    Danger appears to lurk everywhere in "liberated" Iraq. From the New York Times: Kurds Vow to Retain Militia as Guardians of Autonomy

    Here at a training camp in the eastern hills of Iraqi Kurdistan, there is little doubt about to whom these soldiers owe their allegiance. Many say their first loyalty lies with a major Kurdish political party. Then they offer it to Kurdistan, the rugged autonomous region in northern Iraq the size of Switzerland. There is little mention of the nation of Iraq or the Iraqi Army.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    How pollution and over fishing are destroying Britain's sea life

    This is an interesting article, from the Independent: Britannia ruins the waves: how pollution and over-fishing are destroying sea life See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The power of alternatives to war

    African nations, according to this article in today's Observer have forced Togo's leader to step down. They did this by combining their collective diplomatic powers, not by invading Togo. This shows without doubt that there are alternatives to invading a country when countries join together in unity, rather than hate and war mongering. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Lords will defeat "anti terror" bill

    From today's Independent: Lords 'will defeat terror Bill'

    The Home Secretary has been warned that he faces defeat in the House of Lords next week over his plan to give himself the power to put British citizens under house arrest.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Fears of apartheid in South Africa

    This is certainly worrying: War over land raises spectre of apartheid Racist sellers keep South Africa's must-have homes in white hands Liz McGregor in Cape Town Sunday February 27, 2005 The Observer See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Brown as leader would double Labour's lead

    The Independent reflects on Blair's unpopularity.

    The poll finds that Mr Brown would open up a 15-point gap over the opposition if he were leader, as opposed to a seven-point lead under Tony Blair. Mr Brown would raise Labour's share of the vote from 41 per cent to 46 per cent, at the expense equally of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Private involvement in NHS is not working

    The creeping privatisation of our NHS is ruining the system. Blair & Co claimed, before they got into power that there were only so many days left to "Save the NHS". Far from saving it, they are ruining it: Private scan delays let down NHS patients See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair is an election liability

    Indeed, he is. From today's Observer: Blair is election liability, warn Labour aides

    With private Labour polling revealing that one of the most important sections of the electorate - married mothers - are deserting the Prime Minister and the Tories closing the polling gap, Blairite figures are urging a change in Labour's faltering election campaign. Officials said the Prime Minister would now adopt a less 'presidential' style, appearing in tandem with cabinet colleagues, to head off sniping about his personal unpopularity.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    British troops beat relatives of breadbasket captives

    This is an absolute disgrace. Why is Hoon still in his job? From the Independent: UK troops 'beat relatives of Camp Breadbasket captives' See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Telling companies to "clean up" is not good enough

    The damage has already been done, Sudan 1 infected products have spread, Blair & Co did not advise the EU of the dangers, and the relevant checks and balances were not in place, or applied. Senior heads need to roll. From the Observer: Food giants told: clean up or face prosecution See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The Belgians gave the world chocolates and....


    Please feel free to circulate. I'm sure the Belgians won't mind Posted by Hello

    30 ordered to stay at Guantanamo torture chamber

    From the Seattle Post Intelligencer: 30 Guantanamo prisoners ordered to stay

    The rulings brought to 440 the number of prisoners ordered to remain in custody after their cases went before the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, said Navy Capt. Beci Brenton, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Between 500,000 and 700,000 homeless in America

    In the "beacon of freedom and democracy", in the land of "compassionate conservatism", there are between 500,000 and 700,000 people homeless. Is that "civilised"? Number of Homeless in America Has Grown See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Serial killer suspect "active in church" and a cub scout leader

    From the Daily Breeze: Suspected serial killer who taunted police is arrested

    The BTK slayings began in 1974 with the strangulations of Joseph Otero, 38, his wife, Julie, 34, and their two children. The six victims that followed were all women, and most were strangled to death. Along with his grisly crimes, the killer stoked fears in Wichita by sending rambling letters to the media, including one in which he named himself BTK for "Bind them, Torture them, Kill them." In another he complained, "How many do I have to kill before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?"
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Did Blair sign up for war in April 2002?

    My guess is that he did, based on the lunatic rantings of a right wing fundamentalist extremist from another country, Blair committed British troops to an illegal invasion. From the Independent: The Crawford Deal: did Blair sign up for war at Bush's Texas ranch in April 2002?

    Last September, highly embarrassing leaked documents showed that as early as March 2002, the Prime Minister's foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, was assuring Condoleezza Rice of Mr Blair's unbudgeable support for "regime change". Days later, Sir Christopher Meyer, then British ambassador to the US, sent a dispatch to Downing Street detailing how he repeated the commitment to Paul Wolfowitz, the US Deputy Defence Secretary. The ambassador added that Mr Blair would need a "cover" for any military action. "I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN Security Council resolutions."
    And Blair has already admitted, on several occasions that he would have stood "shoulder to shoulder" with the toxic texecutioner, regardless of any "evidence" on so called weapons of mass destruction. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Religious" right quiet on male prostitute in the White House

    It is interesting, these people who throw their arms in the air and complain based upon "religious" fundamentalism aren't complaining so loud about the male prostitute who had access to the White House, of course, neither have they been whinging about the torturer general's stance on writing into Texan law something which allows a 14 year old girl to have an abortion without her parents consent. Hypocrites? No, never. From Working for Change: Christian right mum on Gannon Affair Why have the 'traditional family values' folks erected a wall of silence around the Gannon scandal? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The Observer creates a blog

    It seems the Observer is the latest media outlet to create its own blog. You can visit their blog by clicking here. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    The US dollar's reign is coming to an end

    According to this article, from Pravda, because of the decisions of various countries to trade in other currencies rather than the US Dollar, the "greenback" is falling in value everywhere:

    The rate of the American currency is sliding on the world markets again. The USD has dropped against the euro, the English pound, the Swiss frank, the Japanese yen and the Russian ruble. Yet another reduction of the US dollar rate occurred because of the decision of the South Korean Central Bank to convert a part of its dollar reserves into euros.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Australian intelligence knew man was a Mossad agent

    From stuff.co.nz: Australians aware of agent's connection to Mossad

    Australian intelligence officials knew the man at the centre of the Kiwi Israeli spy scandal was a long-time Mossad agent well before he began the New Zealand passport operation.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    A corrupted election

    Another useful article for the pro democracy people in the US. From In These Times: A Corrupted Election Despite what you may have heard, the exit polls were right See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Syria denies bombing role

    From SBS News: SYRIA DENIES BOMBING ROLE

    A Syrian foreign ministry official insisted Islamic Jihad's Damascus office had been shut down. The Syrian foreign ministry instead accused Israel of trying to sabotage the Middle East peace process. Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza have denied any involvement in the attack, leading to speculation of a split within the organisation. Seven people have been arrested by Israeli and Palestinian security forces in connection with the bombing.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Military recruiters face resistance from young anti war activists

    From Amsterdam News: Calling all soldiers: Military recruiters face resistance from young anti-war activists

    Wise, who was in the infantry, didn't want to go to war when he was drafted. His father offered to help send him to Canada. ''I took the easy way out by reporting for duty,'' he said. ''It takes a braver person. I let it happen to me? I didn't have a plan. I gave up control.'' He warned the students: ''Please have a plan. Don't let others make plans for you.'' The YaYas, staffed almost entirely by high school students of color, work to make sure young people avoid falling into military service because it seems like the only option for advancement.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Ohio's odd numbers

    This is an interesting article, for all the pro democracy activists in the US. From Vanity Fair: Ohio's Odd Numbers

    The polls opened at 6:30 a.m. There were only two voting machines (push-button direct-recording electronic systems) for the entire town of 2,200 (with students). The mayor, Kirk Emmert, had called the Board of Elections 10 days earlier, saying that the number of registered voters would require more than that. (He knew, as did many others, that hundreds of students had asked to register in Ohio because it was a critical "swing" state.) The mayor's request was denied. Indeed, instead of there being extra capacity on Election Day, one of the only two machines chose to break down before lunchtime.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US did not carry out background checks on Iraq's police and prison system employees

    From the Boston Globe: Report hits US hiring for Iraq jobs

    In one instance, Terry Stewart was sued by the Justice Department in 1997, when he ran Arizona's Corrections Department, for alleged misconduct by department employees that occurred before he was the director, Fine said. Another official, O.L. ''Lane" McCotter, resigned as head of the Utah Corrections Department after a mentally ill inmate died after spending 16 hours strapped to a restraining chair.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair's New Labour hires the "garbage man"

    How interesting, to see that our leaders are now sinking to the levels of US political campaigners. Obviously that's the only way Blair & Co believe they are going to win the upcoming general election. From the Independent: No 10 in new dirty tricks row over role of US 'garbage man'

    He is notorious in Washington as an expert in the use of the internet to spread black propaganda. President Bush was moved to call him a "garbage man". Other stunts included fake photographs of Mr Bush smoking a joint and spoof articles by him.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Saturday, February 26, 2005

    Demand withdrawal of British troops

    You can find a full listing here of how MPs voted on the motion that there was no moral case for attacking Iraq. 206 MPs backed an ammendement in March 2003 to say that there was no moral case for invading Iraq, while 384 went along with Blair's line on Iraq. MPs should know that the British public always has, and always will hold MPs accountable for their actions, and so, in this spirit, let's take a look at the 384 MPs who like sheep, went along with Blair's lies. You may like to contact any of them, and urge them to withdraw British troops from Iraq. Their contact details can be found here. First, the Labour Party MPs who voted against the ammendment: Ms Irene Adams (Paisley North) Nick Ainger (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South) Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East) Douglas Alexander (Paisley South) Donald Anderson (Swansea East) Ms Janet Anderson (Rossendale & Darwen) Ms Hilary Armstrong (Durham North West) Ms Candy Atherton (Falmouth & Camborne) Ms Charlotte Atkins (Staffordshire Moorlands) Adrian Bailey (Co-op West Bromwich West) Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) Hugh Bayley (York, City of) Nigel Beard (Bexleyheath & Crayford) Mrs Margaret Beckett (Derby South) Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough) Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) Clive Betts (Sheffield Attercliffe) Ms Liz Blackman (Erewash) Tony Blair (Sedgefield) Ms Hazel Blears (Salford) David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside) Paul Boateng (Brent South) David Borrow (Ribble South) Peter Bradley (Wrekin, The) Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) Gordon Brown (Dunfermline East) Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend) Russell Brown (Dumfries) Des Browne (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) Chris Bryant (Rhondda) Colin Burgon (Elmet) Andrew Burnham (Leigh) Stephen Byers (Tyneside North) Richard Caborn (Sheffield Central) David Cairns (Greenock & Inverclyde) Alan Campbell (Tynemouth) Ivor Caplin (Hove) Roger Casale (Wimbledon) Ian Cawsey (Brigg & Goole) Ben Chapman (Wirral South) Dr Lynda Clark (Edinburgh Pentlands) Paul Clark (Gillingham) Charles Clarke (Norwich South) David Clelland (Tyne Bridge) Ms Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) Vernon Coaker (Gedling) Ms Ann Coffey (Stockport) Ms Yvette Cooper (Pontefract & Castleford) Ms Jean Corston (Bristol East) Ross Cranston (Dudley North) Jon Cruddas (Dagenham) John Cummings (Easington) Dr Jack Cunningham (Copeland) Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) Tony Cunningham (Workington) Ms Claire Curtis-Thomas (Crosby) Alistair Darling (Edinburgh Central) Wayne David (Caerphilly) Geraint Davies (Croydon Central) Ms Janet Dean (Burton) Andrew Dismore (Hendon) Jim Dowd (Lewisham West) Ms Julia Drown (Swindon South) Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe & Nantwich) Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) Ms Maria Eagle (Liverpool Garston) Ms Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) Jeff Ennis (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Frank Field (Birkenhead) Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Canning Town) Ms Lorna Fitzsimons (Rochdale) Ms Caroline Flint (Don Valley) Ms Barbara Follett (Stevenage) Derek Foster (Bishop Auckland) Michael Foster (Worcester) George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley) Mike Gapes (Ilford South) Barry Gardiner (Brent North) Bruce George (Walsall South) Mrs Linda Gilroy (Plymouth Sutton) Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East) Ms Jane Griffiths (Reading East) Nigel Griffiths (Edinburgh South) Peter Hain (Neath) Mike Hall (Weaver Vale) David Hanson (Delyn) Ms Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham) Tom Harris (Glasgow Cathcart) John Healey (Wentworth) Ivan Henderson (Harwich) Mark Hendrick (Preston) John Heppell (Nottingham East) Ms Patricia Hewitt (Leicester West) Keith Hill (Streatham) Mrs Margaret Hodge (Barking) Geoff Hoon (Ashfield) Phil Hope (Co-op Corby) Alan Howarth (Newport East) George Howarth (Knowsley North & Sefton East) Dr Kim Howells (Pontypridd) Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley) Ms Beverley Hughes (Stretford & Urmston) Kevin Hughes (Doncaster North) Alan Hurst (Braintree) John Hutton (Barrow & Furness) Adam Ingram (East Kilbride) Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) David Jamieson (Plymouth Devonport) Brian Jenkins (Tamworth) Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle) Ms Melanie Johnson (Welwyn Hatfield) Ms Helen Jones (Warrington North) Kevan Jones (Durham North) Ms Tessa Jowell (Dulwich & West Norwood) Eric Joyce (Falkirk West) Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton) Ms Sally Keeble (Northampton North) Alan Keen (Feltham & Heston) Ms Ann Keen (Brentford & Isleworth) Ms Ruth Kelly (Bolton West) Fraser Kemp (Houghton & Washington East) Ms Jane Kennedy (Liverpool Wavertree) Piara Khabra (Ealing Southall) Andy King (Rugby & Kenilworth) Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green & Bow) Jim Knight (Dorset South) Dr Ashok Kumar (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East) Dr Stephen Ladyman (Thanet South) David Lammy (Tottenham) Ms Jackie Lawrence (Preseli Pembrokeshire) Bob Laxton (Derby North) Christopher Leslie (Shipley) Tom Levitt (High Peak) Ivan Lewis (Bury South) Ms Helen Liddell (Airdrie & Shotts) Martin Linton (Battersea) Andy Love (Edmonton) Tommy McAvoy (Glasgow Rutherglen) Stephen McCabe (Birmingham Hall Green) Ian McCartney (Makerfield) Ms Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden) Calum MacDonald (Western Isles) John MacDougall (Fife Central) John McFall (Dumbarton) Ms Anne McGuire (Stirling) Ms Shona McIsaac (Cleethorpes) Ms Rosemary McKenna (Cumbernauld & Kilsyth) Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) Tony McNulty (Harrow East) Denis MacShane (Rotherham) Ms Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) John McWilliam (Blaydon) Peter Mandelson (Hartlepool) John Mann (Bassetlaw) Robert Marris (Wolverhampton South West) Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South) Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton) Ms Gillian Merron (Lincoln) Alun Michael (Cardiff South & Penarth) Alan Milburn (Darlington) David Miliband (South Shields) Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port & Neston) Ms Laura Moffatt (Crawley) Chris Mole (Ipswich) Dr Lewis Moonie (Kirkcaldy) Ms Margaret Moran (Luton South) Elliot Morley (Scunthorpe) Ms Estelle Morris (Birmingham Yardley) Ms Kali Mountford (Colne Valley) George Mudie (Leeds East) Ms Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley) Jim Murphy (Eastwood) Paul Murphy (Torfaen) Bill O'Brien (Normanton) Mike O'Brien (Warwickshire North) Martin O'Neill (Ochil) Bill Olner (Nuneaton) Nick Palmer (Broxtowe) Ian Pearson (Dudley South) Mrs Anne Picking (East Lothian) Colin Pickthall (Lancashire West) James Plaskitt (Warwick & Leamington) Chris Pond (Gravesham) Greg Pope (Hyndburn) Stephen Pound (Ealing North) Ms Bridget Prentice (Lewisham East) John Prescott (Hull East) Ms Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South) James Purnell (Stalybridge & Hyde) Lawrie Quinn (Scarborough & Whitby) Bill Rammell (Harlow) Syd Rapson (Portsmouth North) Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich) Dr John Reid (Hamilton North & Bellshill) Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) Ms Barbara Roche (Hornsey & Wood Green) Terry Rooney (Bradford North) Ernie Ross (Dundee West) Frank Roy (Motherwell & Wishaw) Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd) Ms Christine Russell (Chester, City of) Jonathan Shaw (Chatham & Aylesford) Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) James Sheridan (Renfrewshire West) Ms Clare Short (Birmingham Ladywood) Sion Llewelyn Simon (Birmingham Erdington) Andrew Smith (Oxford East) Ms Angela Smith (Basildon) Ms Geraldine Smith (Morecambe & Lunesdale) Ms Jacqui Smith (Redditch) Clive Soley (Ealing Acton & Shepherd's Bush) Ms Helen Southworth (Warrington South) John Spellar (Warley) Ms Rachel Squire (Dunfermline West) Dr Phyllis Starkey (Milton Keynes South West) Gerry Steinberg (Durham, City of) David Stewart (Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber) Ian Stewart (Eccles) Paul Stinchcombe (Wellingborough) Howard Stoate (Dartford) Jack Straw (Blackburn) Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston) Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) Mrs Ann Taylor (Dewsbury) Ms Dari Taylor (Stockton South) Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West) Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) Stephen Timms (East Ham) Mark Todd (Derbyshire South) Don Touhig (Islwyn) Dennis Turner (Wolverhampton South East) Neil Turner (Wigan) Derek Twigg (Halton) Stephen Twigg (Enfield Southgate) Keith Vaz (Leicester East) Ms Claire Ward (Watford) Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) Dave Watts (St Helens North) Malcolm Wicks (Croydon North) Michael Wills (Swindon North) Brian Wilson (Cunninghame North) David Winnick (Walsall North) Ms Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central) Shaun Woodward (St Helens South) Phil Woolas (Oldham East & Saddleworth) And the Tories: David Amess (Southend West) Michael Ancram (Devizes) James Arbuthnot (Hampshire North East) David Atkinson (Bournemouth East) Peter Atkinson (Hexham) Greg Barker (Bexhill & Battle) Henry Bellingham (Norfolk North West) John Bercow (Buckingham) Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley) Crispin Blunt (Reigate) Tim Boswell (Daventry) Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) Mrs Virginia Bottomley (Surrey South West) Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West) Julian Brazier (Canterbury) Mrs Angela Browning (Tiverton & Honiton) Simon Burns (Chelmsford West) Alastair Burt (Bedfordshire North East) John Butterfill (Bournemouth West) David Cameron (Witney) William Cash (Stone) Sir Sydney Chapman (Chipping Barnet) Christopher Chope (Christchurch) James Clappison (Hertsmere) Tim Collins (Westmorland & Lonsdale) Derek Conway (Old Bexley & Sidcup) Sir Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire South) James Cran (Beverley & Holderness) David Curry (Skipton & Ripon) Quentin Davies (Grantham & Stamford) David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden) Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood) Alan Duncan (Rutland & Melton) Peter Duncan (Galloway & Upper Nithsdale) Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green) Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks) Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster) Howard Flight (Arundel & South Downs) Adrian Flook (Taunton) Eric Forth (Bromley & Chislehurst) Dr Liam Fox (Woodspring) Mark Francois (Rayleigh) Roger Gale (Thanet North) Edward Garnier (Harborough) Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton) Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham & Amersham) Paul Goodman (Wycombe) James Gray (Wiltshire North) Chris Grayling (Epsom & Ewell) Damien Green (Ashford) John Greenway (Ryedale) Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield) William Hague (Richmond (Yorks) Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge) Nicholas Hawkins (Surrey Heath) John Hayes (South Holland & The Deepings) Oliver Heald (Hertfordshire North East) David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells) Charles Hendry (Wealden) Mark Hoban (Fareham) Michael Howard (Folkestone & Hythe) Gerald Howarth (Aldershot) Michael Jack (Fylde) Robert Jackson (Wantage) Bernard Jenkin (Essex North) Boris Johnson (Henley) Robert Key (Salisbury) Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove) Greg Knight (Yorkshire East) Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) Mrs Jacqui Lait (Beckenham) Oliver Letwin (Dorset West) Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East) Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater) David Lidington (Aylesbury) Peter Lilley (Hitchin & Harpenden) Tim Loughton (Worthing East & Shoreham) Peter Luff (Worcestershire Mid) Miss Anne McIntosh (Vale of York) Andrew Mackay (Bracknell) David Maclean (Penrith & The Border) Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire West) John Maples (Stratford-on-Avon) Michael Mates (Hampshire East) Francis Maude (Horsham) Sir Brian Mawhinney (Cambridgeshire North West) Mrs Theresa May (Maidenhead) Patrick Mercer (Newark) Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) Malcolm Moss (Cambridgeshire North East) Archie Norman (Tunbridge Wells) Stephen O'Brien (Eddisbury) George Osborne (Tatton) Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) James Paice (Cambridgeshire South East) Owen Paterson (Shropshire North) Eric Pickles (Brentwood & Ongar) Michael Portillo (Kensington & Chelsea) Mark Prisk (Hertford & Stortford) John Redwood (Wokingham) Andrew Robathan (Blaby) Hugh Robertson (Faversham & Kent Mid) Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) Mrs Marion Roe (Broxbourne) Andrew Rosindell (Romford) David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) Andrew Selous (Bedfordshire South West) Mrs Gillian Shephard (Norfolk South West) Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills) Mark Simmonds (Boston & Skegness) Keith Simpson (Norfolk Mid) Nicholas Soames (Sussex Mid) Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) Sir Michael Spicer (Worcestershire West) Dr Robert Spink (Castle Point) Richard Spring (Suffolk West) Sir John Stanley (Tonbridge & Malling) Gary Streeter (Devon South West) Desmond Swayne (New Forest West) Hugo Swire (Devon East) Robert Syms (Poole) John Taylor (Solihull) David Tredinnick (Bosworth) Michael Trend (Windsor) Peter Viggers (Gosport) Nigel Waterson (Eastbourne) Mrs Angela Watkinson (Upminster) John Whittingdale (Maldon & Chelmsford East) Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone & The Weald) Bill Wiggin (Leominster) John Wilkinson (Ruislip-Northwood) David Willetts (Havant) Mrs Ann Winterton (Congleton) Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield) Tim Yeo (Suffolk South) Sir George Young (Hampshire North West) Others Roy Beggs (UUP Antrim East) David Burnside (UUP Antrim South) Gregory Campbell (DUP Londonderry East) Nigel Dodds (DUP Belfast North) Jeffrey Donaldson (UUP Lagan Valley) Lady Sylvia Hermon (UUP Down North) Andrew Hunter (Ind C Basingstoke) The Rev Ian Paisley (DUP Antrim North) Mrs Iris Robinson (DUP Strangford) Peter Robinson (DUP Belfast East) The Rev Martin Smyth (UUP Belfast South) David Trimble (UUP Upper Bann) You might like to find out about the majorities the sitting MPs have in their constituencies (from the 2001 general election results) by clicking here, then remind them that no majority is large enough to guard against the will of the people. (You may like to remind them of a recent Times poll, which showed that only 29% of the British public thought the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do)

    British soldiers were "high" and gave horses alcohol

    From the Scotsman: UK soldiers 'plied horses with drink'

    The allegations have been made by a cavalryman with more than five years’ service under his belt. He claimed that before one parade being held in the Swiss city of Zurich, a gelding called Unknown was given eight cans of lager to drink by cavalrymen. The soldier told the newspaper: "Unknown still managed to perform all right after that lot but as he got back to the stables he collapsed." Describing the other allegations, he claimed horse manure was thrown over a naked recruit strapped to a fence and during shows troops stole thousands of pounds worth of riding equipment after stallholders were distracted. The soldier also told the newspaper: "Quite a few blokes were high during the Trooping of the Colour as well as a couple of state visits too."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    SNP says record prison figures are shameful

    According to this article from the Scotsman, the SNP have said that "the 4 per cent rise in the average daily prison population was "shameful" and demanded an end to the prison building programme."

    Kenny MacAskill instead called for alternatives for those held in prison for drug addicts and drink related offences.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Britain failed to alert EU about Sudan 1

    More incompetence from Blair & Co. From the FT: Britain 'failed to alert Europe over food dye'

    The Commission said Britain failed to pass on enough information to allow them to carry out checks for contamination by the dye, which is linked to cancer. It also "regretted" the fact that Britain failed formally to pass on new information about the problem and instead simply posted it on a government website.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Talon "news" shuts down to "reevaluate operations"

    Interesting, I wonder what they are "reevaluating"? Talon News Web site closes amid heavy criticism See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Hollywood's dirty little secret

    This is an interesting read, from The Age: Hollywood's dirty little secret

    Where were the British and Canadian troops in Saving Private Ryan? They may have been present in history, but that didn't wash too well with Hollywood ... or the Pentagon
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    9 rescued from Taiwanese fire

    From the BBC: Air rescue from Taiwan tower fire

    Fire raged through the upper floors of a landmark skyscraper in the Taiwanese city of Taichung, killing four before fire crews managed to put it out.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Amnesty International founder dies

    Some sad news, from Amnesty International, unfortunately, their founder has died aged 83: Death of Amnesty International founder

    Mr Benenson founded and inspired Amnesty International in 1961 first as a one-year campaign for the release of six prisoners of conscience. But from there came a worldwide movement for human rights and in its midst an international organisation -- Amnesty International -- which has taken up the cases of many thousands of victims of human rights violations and inspired millions to human rights defence the world round.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Nepal Maoists call off blockade

    From Channelnewsasia.com: Nepal Maoists call off blockade as army says dozens die in clashes

    KATHMANDU : Nepal's Maoist rebels called off a 14-day-old nationwide transport blockade staged to protest King Gyanendra's seizure of power, while the army said at least three dozen rebels died during clashes in the country's west.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Cook calls for greater role for Brown in elections

    From the Scotsman: Cook Calls for Greater Campaign Role for Brown

    “I do have a grave anxiety about the negative tone of some of the campaigning we’ve done over the past month. I don’t actually think that that’s what the public wants out there,” he said in an interview with Channel 4’s Morgan and Platell programme.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Where did he come from?

    This is an interesting article, from the Axis of Logic website: Where did he come from? ... And how did he get here?

    Thompson writes that "bodies like the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, commonly known as 'Chatham House, and transnational counterparts like Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission play a crucial role in formulating policy directions, molding establishment consensus and even testing for likely opposition."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Downing Street warns "sulky" Brown

    While Blair & Co are worried about the possible loss of more than 100 former "safe seats", they are also worried that any potential rift between Blair and Brown will damage the party's standing ahead of the expected 5th May general election. Maybe Britain needs another book, with more damaging allegations about the Blair/Brown rift. Perhaps even a couple of financial scandals, maybe linked to Enron. It would also be nice if Blair would release that legal advice about the invasion of Iraq, and a few possible defections of Labour Party MP's could help spruce things up also: No 10 warns 'sulky' Brown as 100 MPs fear for their seats See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Alistair Darling a top Labour target

    A close Blair ally. A good enough reason to throw Alistair Darling out of his Edinburgh South West seat. From the Daily Record: DARLING TOP OF LABOUR'S DANGER LIST

    Blair was asked by the Record whether he feared losing key Cabinet colleagues such as Darling and Straw. He replied: 'I certainly don't intend doing that whenever the election happens. And I'm sure I won't be facing life without either of those two.' Other Scots Labour seats on the list include Ann Begg's Aberdeen South and John Lyons' East Dunbartonshire constituencies, both of which the Lib Dems have their eye on. The SNP joins the Lib Dems as a threat to David Stewart's Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch, and Strathspey constituency. Russell Brown's Dumfries and Galloway seat is at risk from the Tories while the SNP is after Iain Luke's constituency in Dundee East.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Fears for former "safe" seats

    This is an interesting article, from the Western Mail, at icWales: Fears for former 'safe' seats

    The seats of three Cabinet Ministers are also on the list - Blackburn, represented by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Bolton West (Education Secretary Ruth Kelly) and Edinburgh Central (Transport Secretary Alistair Darling).
    Vote out the warmongers! See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Would you like to join the Mirror's election panel?

    JOIN OUR PANEL TO QUIZ THE MEN WHO WANT YOUR VOTE

    With a General Election looming, the Mirror is putting together a special readers' panel to give you the chance to put Blair, Howard and Kennedy on the spot about the issues that matter.
    Apparently, the Mirror will pay all travel expenses, and invites its readers to tell them a bit about themselves so that, they say, they can represent all their readers. If you'd like to take part, you can post your questions to Mirror Election Panel, Daily Mirror, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 9XP The closing date for questions is the 14th March. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Blair nearly caused abuse trial collapse

    Of course, if the trial would have collapsed, it wouldn't have proved so embarrassing. Following from icTeeside: PM 'nearly caused trial collapse'

    The barrister also accused Mr Blair of having double standards. He said that when the Prime Minister faced allegations over the legality of the war he ordered an inquiry and refused to comment on his guilt or innocence until the conclusion of those investigations.
    And, obviously, readers will know there has not been a full and proper investigation yet into the legality of invading Iraq. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    2 Year wait to see a dead doctor

    This is the state of our NHS system (From Leeds Today): TWO-YEAR WAIT TO SEE A DOC WHO WAS DEAD

    Mrs Warnes, from Leeds, said: "I was starting to think I might be dead before I finally saw a doctor - but I never expected him to be! "I've heard of fiddling the waiting list figures, but this is unbelievable."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    West Africans lift Togo sanctions

    From the BBC: West Africans lift Togo sanctions

    The move follows the announcement by Togolese leader Faure Gnassingbe that he is stepping down after increasing international pressure.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Nuclear terror at home

    This is a good article, from Alternet: Nuclear Terror at Home By Noam Chomsky, Foreign Policy in Focus. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Oil pipeline destroyed in Northern Iraq

    Oil Pipeline Destroyed in Northern Iraq (Yahoo)

    The pipeline connecting oil fields in Dibis with the northern city of Kirkuk about 20 miles away was blown up late Friday, an official of the state-run North Oil Co. said on condition of anonymity. He said it would take at least four days to repair the line.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Curbing arms sales begins at home

    An interesting article from the International Herald Tribune: Curbing arms sales begins at home

    Case in point: Sinopec, China's state-owned oil and gas giant, has subsidiaries that the State Department has hit with sanctions four times since 1997 for selling to Iran materials that could be used to make chemical weapons. However, because these subsidiaries do little or no business with the United States, the punishments - curbs on trade with America - were purely symbolic. Sinopec itself has extensive ties with American companies, dealings Washington could block. Yet the United States refuses to punish it for anything its offshoots do. The reason is simple: American sanctions laws were written so that the government can hold a parent company responsible only if it "knowingly" assists a sale by its subsidiary, a burden of proof U.S. intelligence agencies can rarely meet. Why? Because the U.S. government is largely unwilling to hurt the financial interests of American firms that do business with companies like Sinopec.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Chavez will arm the people

    Whereas, in the US, the people arm themselves, without any real controls. Where's the difference? And if there is a real difference, which is worse? From the World Peace Herald: Analysis: Chavez will arm the people

    Chavez, who has referred on many occasions to a possible U.S. invasion, said, "If imperialism ever has the idea of challenging Venezuela it would have to deal with Bolivar's people, who is prepared to defend their sovereignty, their motherland." He also said he will increase the number of reservists from 35,000 to 100,000.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US Helicopter crashes in South Korea

    From Yonhap News: U.S. Apache Helicopter Crashes See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Walmart ordered to stop harrassing employees in Canada

    Wal-Mart ordered to stop harassing workers in Quebec (from CBC News)

    Louis Bolduc of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which is trying to organize workers at the store, said Wal-Mart was using unfair tactics. "[Getting] the employees in an office with two top managers of the store, asking the employees about the organizing of the union," Bolduc said. "'How many cards? Are you involved?' You shouldn't do that. If you do that, something is going to happen to you.'"
    A US owned corporate giant, which opposes democracy for all of its employees. Surely not! See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Egyptian president orders election changes

    From AP: Egyptian President Orders Election Changes, Paving Way for First Contested Presidential Elections Since 1981 See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Condoleeza Rice top candidate for Nobel peace prize

    One of the top war mongers in the Bush regime is, according to this article from The Union Leader in line for a Nobel Peace prize. How absolutely ridiculous, and revolting to award such a prime example of the Bush regime's war mongering with a peace prize. The whole lot of them should be standing trial for war crimes, alongside Blair & Co. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    IRA expels 3 members over Robert McCartney murder

    As this article in the Guardian states, the level of uprisings in Republican areas is indeed unprecedented. The Republicans who may or may not vote for Sinn Fein have had enough of the criminality:

    The rebellion against the IRA, once seen as protector of the 3,000-strong Catholic area, is unprecedented. Mr McCartney's five sisters and his partner have become folk heroes in their crusade against what they described as a gang of IRA "psychopaths" who were being protected by the movement.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Top US general sees lasting "insurgency"

    Well, it certainly won't help matters by arming your former enemies to the teeth, to battle against the elected Shiites. No doubt those soldiers will be confused about who to shoot at, and may just shoot at anything that moves. (Those who don't already that is) From Yahoo: Top U.S. General Sees Lasting Iraq Insurgency See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    GMB boss says voters must be told truth about the BNP

    According to this article, from today's Guardian, the head of the GMB union has said that voters should be told the truth about the British National Party. Kevin Curran has stated that the numbers of convictions of BNP party members shows that the BNP stands for "violence and intolerance". Mr Curran names and shames BNP members who have been involved in the criminality:

    They include: :: Burnley BNP councillor Brian Turner awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to beating his wife and assaulting a police officer.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Guantanamo Briton worked with anti Saddam Kurds

    From the BBC: Guantanamo inmate breaks silence

    Moazzam Begg, from Birmingham, told Channel 4 News that he went to observe a base run by the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance for two weeks in 1993. In 1998 he said he visited a camp run by Kurds opposing Saddam Hussein.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Kidnapped Iraqi tv presenter found dead

    From the Guardian today: Kidnapped Iraqi TV Presenter Found Dead See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Mad Dog" Adair goes back to Ulster

    This is just one of the reasons why all those convicted for terrorist related offences (from whichever side of the divide) should not have been released in the way that Blair has allowed. From today's Guardian: Adair defies threats and returns to Ulster

    After catching the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin for a day-long visit on Thursday, Adair vowed he would soon be back for good. "They said I'd be shot on sight if I ever set foot back in Northern Ireland but it didn't take an army for me to go walking back around the Shankill Road," he told the Irish News.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    South Africa appeals for exiles return

    According to this article in The Independent today, there will be a conference in London this May to urge South African exiles to return to their homeland, from the article:

    The conference will showcase the opportunities South Africa has to offer for its 1.5 million nationals living in Britain. It will focus on how to start a business in South Africa as well as explain the Black Economic Empowerment programme that seems to have put off potential white returnees. "Each skilled homecomer can create 10 jobs and help alleviate the high unemployment rate in South Africa," says Ms Schaffer, 39, who co-founded the HR campaign when she returned to South Africa last year after 15 years in London.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Powell criticises Rumsfeld's "postwar" planning

    From the Telegraph: Powell criticises Iraq troop levels and rift with Europe

    Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state, has for the first time publicly criticised troops levels in Iraq and spoken of the rifts between himself and Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, that undermined his role as architect of American foreign policy.
    I guess Powell can be more open now he has left office. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    British soldiers sentenced in abuse case

    According to this article in the Guardian today, one of the soldiers got 2 years, another got an 18 month sentence, and the third got only 140 days. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    China proposes business and travel links with Taiwan

    From the Washington Post: China Proposes Business, Travel Links to Taiwan See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Dutch to send commandos to Afghanistan

    Afghanistan "liberated" you say? Why are all those troops still there then? From Reuters: Dutch to send commandos to Afghanistan

    He said the Dutch commando unit, which will expand the Netherlands' military presence in Afghanistan, would also help combat drug trafficking. About 18,000 U.S.-led foreign troops are in Afghanistan hunting al Qaeda and Taliban rebels.
    18,000 troops continue fighting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, such a strange notion of "liberated" Afghanistan some have. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Tel Aviv bomb kills 4

    Tel Aviv bomb rocks peace process Four killed in suicide blast claimed by Islamic Jihad Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv Saturday February 26, 2005 The Guardian See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Sinn Fein alienates Dublin

    From the FT: Sinn Féin alienates its patrons in Dublin

    Amid mounting allegations of IRA involvement in the £26.5m pre-Christmas Belfast bank robbery, Sinn Féin, the organisation's political wing, finds itself isolated as never before. The onslaught, however, is not from its traditional enemies, the pro-British politicians of Northern Ireland or the London government, but from its erstwhile friends and patrons south of the border, the Irish government of Bertie Ahern.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    East European vice gangs operate throughout Britain

    Apparently, the head of Britain's vice squad has stated that east European prostitutes and pimps are operating in every town and city in Britain, according to this article in the Independent. Apparently, women who come over to Britain looking for legitimate employment are lured into the industry by gangs who threaten them and their families: East European vice gangs cover whole of UK See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Iranian blogger sentenced to 14 years in prison

    From Human Rights Watch: Iran: Blogger Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Media crackdown in Kyrgyzstan

    From today's Guardian: Pre-election crackdown for nervous Kyrgyzstan

    Many opposition politicians have been barred from standing, and youth and opposition activists say they plan demonstrations to bring about a so-called "tulip revolution". The opposition fears that the president, Askar Akayev, will use the election to create a pliant parliament. He could then change the constitution, enabling him to stand for re-election for a third term or engineer the appointment of a loyal successor.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    2 Murders and a lie

    From Reporters sans frontieres: Two murders and a lie An investigation of the US Army's firing at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Scientists stifled by the Bush regime

    Not really a surpise, considering their prophet like rantings. From CNN: Scientists feel stifled by Bush administration See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Insider trading scandal at ChoicePoint

    From Yahoo: ChoicePoint Execs Sold Shares After Breach

    ChoicePoint's Top Two Executives Sold Shares Before Breach Was Made Public, Filings Show
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    "Take the word "Kremlin" and substitute (for) "White House""

    This is an interesting article, from the Attytude blog: Comrade Jeff Gannonski and Moscow on the Potomac See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    European companies display wares in Iran

    European firms display wares in Iran There's an interesting quote in this article, from an arms expert, who says:

    "I think that the Europeans would sell their grandmothers to the Iranians if they thought they could make a buck"
    Giving the impression obviously that the US companies would not even dream of doing such a thing. Of course, that doesn't take Halliburton into account. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    ChoicePoint, a "company that would sell your soul to the devil"

    From the Post-Gazette.com website: The company that would sell your soul to the devil

    When you're on such an undemocratic roll, why stop at helping to hijack an election in plain sight when you can earn millions selling the identities of every person gullible enough to have a credit history to shadowy front companies, organized crime syndicates and enterprising con artists?
    See all recent "A Logical Vioce" posts

    Bank of America loses data on 1.2 million federal employees

    Bank of America Consumer Data Tapes Lost

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Bank of America Corp. has lost computer data tapes containing personal information on 1.2 million federal employees, including some members of the U.S. Senate.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Friday, February 25, 2005

    IRA must end criminality and paramilitary activity

    Maybe he's now regretting the release of all those convicted terrorists. IRA must end campaign to block impasse, says Blair See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US peace activist returns to Israel

    This is interesting, from Democracy Now: U.S. Peace Activist Brian Avery Returns to Israel Two Years After Being Shot in the Face

    We go to Israel to speak with U.S. peace activist Brian Avery. In April 2003, he was shot in the face - he says - by Israeli forces. His face was shattered, with his tongue split in two, forcing him to undergo a series of facial reconstruction surgeries. [includes rush transcript]
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Italy probes possible CIA abduction

    From Yahoo: Italy probes possible CIA role in abduction

    An Italian prosecutor investigating the apparent kidnapping of a suspected Islamic militant in the streets of Milan served military authorities this week with a demand for records of flights into and out of a joint U.S.-Italian air base in northern Italy.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US will arm Iraq rebels fighting against elected Shiites

    There's guerilla war, and then, there's guerilla war, but Iraq is a complete disaster, now the US has realised that the side they never thought would win the Iraq elections did win, they've got former Saddam Hussein regime elements (formerly known as "insurgents", "terrorists", or plain old baathists) on their side, and are arming them to battle for power in Iraq. Confused? It seems like it's going to get a lot more confusing. US fights back against 'rule by clerics'

    Of these calls for autonomy or federalism, the most disconcerting for US authorities is the call for religious rule. Already, leading Shi'ite clerics in Iraq are pushing for "Islam to be recognized as the guiding principle of the new constitution". To head off this threat of a Shi'ite clergy-driven religious movement, the US has, according to Asia Times Online investigations, resolved to arm small militias backed by US troops and entrenched in the population to "nip the evil in the bud".
    The Bush regime doctrine appears to be, if you hold a so called "democratic" election, and those who you don't want to win do win, then turn to your former enemies to try and overthrow the people who've been "elected". And we never heard any doubts about the legitimacy of the elections from the US, did we? See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Israel continues to violate Lebanese airspace

    Violating airspace, could by some be described as an act of war: Lebanese army fires on marauding Israeli jets

    The warplanes roared at low altitude over coastal regions around the main southern port cities of Tyre and Sidon and Lebanese army troops opened anti-aircraft fire in their direction, they said.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Why is Europe welcoming the torturer in chief?

    A good question, perhaps one of the countries he has visited should instead be arresting him, and putting him on trial for war crimes. From The Guardian: Why are we welcoming this torturer?

    How can it be that not one mainstream public figure in Europe has denounced these appalling practices and declared that, in view of all we now know of cells, cages, underground bunkers, solitary confinement, sodomy and threatened sodomy, beatings, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, mock executions and kidnapping, President Bush and his officials are not welcome? Perhaps it's not surprising given the British army's own dismal record in southern Iraq. Why has no public figure had the honesty to admit that the democracy and freedom promised for the Middle East are fake and mask US plans to leave Washington dominant in the area? And why does no one say publicly that what is really happening in the "war on terror" is a war on Muslims that is creating a far more dangerous world for all?
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Sri Lanka's ruling government loses majority

    From New Kerala: Kumaratunga's ruling government loses majority

    [World News]: Colombo, Feb.25 : Sri Lanka's ruling coalition government reduced to minority with just 111 seats in the 225 member parliament, 2 short of 113 required for a working majority following the withdrawal of support by its key ally Ceylon Workers Congress.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Canada's PM says US must not intrude in its airspace

    From CBC News: U.S. must not intrude on Canadian airspace: Martin

    Martin also rejected claims by U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci that Canada has given up its sovereignty by saying no to the missile plan. Cellucci had said the U.S. was surprised by Martin's decision, saying "we simply cannot understand why Canada would, in effect, give up its sovereignty, its seat at the table, to decide what to do about missiles that might be headed towards Canada." "We did not give up sovereignty," Martin responded. "We affirmed sovereignty."
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    French finance minister quits

    From Reuters: French minister quits over flat scandal See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Tamil Tigers invitation to Prince Charles

    According to this article, the Tamil Tigers have indicated that they'd welcome Prince Charles when he visits Sri Lanka next week. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    Somalia's president urges warlords to rebuild country

    It seems there is a long road ahead in Somalia: Rebuild Somalia, president urges warlords See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

    US-Russian agreement on missile exports

    According to this article from SanDiego.com, the US and Russia have signed an agreement which calls for information sharing on the exports of shoulder held missiles to third world countries. "Information sharing", yet no ban. How surprising. Wonder how many of those US supplied shoulder fired missiles the Taliban have been using in Afghanistan? (Just in case you didn't know, the CIA supplied Bin Laden and his friends with all sorts of military equipment and know how when they were "freedom fighters" against the Soviets)

    Of note, Boese said, is the absence of a commitment by either Washington or Moscow to halt the exports. The United States began selling its Stinger shoulder-fired missile to foreign countries in 1982. The CIA secretly transferred an estimated 2,000 to Afghanistan mujahedeen rebels in the mid-1980s, and they were used to down hundreds of Soviet helicopters and transport aircraft. When the war against the Soviets ended in 1989, the CIA began offering to buy back the Stingers for as much as $150,000 apiece. In his book "Ghost Wars," author Steve Coll wrote that as recently as 1996 the CIA estimated there were about 600 Stingers still unaccounted for in Afghanistan.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts