Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Official - Hasselbaink will sign for Celtic

I know for a fact that Hasselbaink will sign for us. I don't like it. It's maybe racist, but I wouldn't ever sign a Dutch player. I certainly wouldn't sign JFH.

Condoleezza Rice's reply to President Bush

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Monday, 28 June 2004

The media and democracy

The Today programme on Radio 4 discussed the EU's proposed constitution last week. What was interesting was who discussed it. Not two politicians or even two members of the public - but two newspaper journalists. When Michael Howard became leader of the Conservatives, the first thing he did was go to Mexico to plead with Murdoch. Blair routinely briefs the media before Parliament. When I was in Spain recently I watched a lot of CNN which must be Spanish for American Military Broadcasting. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was followed by "Operation Handover" which was part of "Iraqi Democracy". Politicians are terrified of the media and anyone who dares to speak-up about it is accused of trying to silence the "free press".

But we have to do something. No country can claim to be free and democratic if the media is in the hands of private individuals who have complete freedom to peddle their own political views. So how about this?

1. Restrict newspapers to reporting factual news except in designated sections.

2. Create special sections where personal comments are permitted (with appropriate warnings that these are personal comments - some background on the contributor would be a good idea).

3. If the proprieter insists on peddling his views, limit it to the Editorial section.

4. Corrections and retractions should be given the same prominence (and position) as the original (incorrect) story.

5. Newspaper owners should be personally liable for financial damages brought by anyone who successfully sues the paper (a similar law applies to Trade Union leaders).

6. Strengthened privacy laws for individuals.

7. Prohibit all political comments four weeks prior to an election.

8. Right to reply for everyone who features in a news story (except convicted criminals).

Saturday, 26 June 2004

Blogging against Fascism

We got home from Spain on Thursday evening and were meant to be going out tonight (to a 25th anniversary) but we didn't go because we're tired and I'm off to Newcastle tomorrow. Nerja was great. You can see some pictures here. How come you haven't went back Denis?

Unite Against Fascism

So I'm browsing instead. I came across Blogging Against Fascism. I'm listening to some music from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which Margaret and I saw at the movies a few weeks ago. It's a great film which I enjoyed very much.

Fahrenheit 9/11

I see that Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in the UK on 9 July. I was interested in the surprisingly low vote for this award winning movie on the Internet Movie Database - until I saw the demographics. Almost 30% of the voters gave it a "1" - the lowest possible vote. Presuming that these people haven't actually seen the film, it looks like a bunch of Republicans have been block voting. How ironic is that? It sort of proves Moore's point about modern America.

Thursday, 24 June 2004

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

The Scottish Executive have published a new website which is quite interesting.

Interesting, that is, if like me you need to get a life!

Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Heading the new ball in Euro 2004

Why do so many of the players in Euro 2004 keep hitting easy headers over the bar? Ronaldo (Portugal), Vieri(Italy), Schneider(Germany) have all been guilty. I think it is something about the ball they are using. Or else they should take lessons from Larsson (Sweden).

Germany or The Netherlands?

I'm watching the Germany v Czech Republic match and for the first time in my life I want Germany to go through to 1/4 finals rather than The Netherlands. It's amazing how Dick (Voetbal coach) gets to you.

The Nation of Aztlan Website has disappeared

Am I becoming paranoid? When I attempt to access the website which had suggested the Nick Berg decapitation had taken place inside Abu Ghraib I get a nice 404 error.

Who is it that decides which websites are allowed and which should be closed down? I have no doubt that The Nation of Aztlan is anti-semitic but I still want to know who pulls the plug.

Tuesday, 22 June 2004

Martin O'Neill

Denis says "Hear Martin has not been to Parkhead since the Final"

Is this tied in with his wife being unwell? Or his need for a break? Year out? The BBC didn't know if he would be appearing as a pundit at Euro 2004, though he was invited.

Sunday, 20 June 2004

Euro 2004

I put 10 pounds on Spain to win Euro 2004 with Paddypower - who were knocked out tonight. They blew it against Greece. So now all I have left to care about is beating England. Having seen all the teams, I reckon that either Italy or France will win it but the way the games have gone I guess any team could -- even England.

Saturday, 19 June 2004

Larsson's voice

Has anyone else noticed that Henrik Larsson's voice has changed since he left Celtic. Previously there was croak where every word was a prisoner, and he gave the impression he needed a skip full of Strepsils. Now he speaks with the voice of an opera singer.

I think he has been kidding us on for 7 years.

Wednesday, 16 June 2004

Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison

There is quite a debate on the web just now that the video of the beheading of American Nick Berg in Iraq was not all it seemed.

I'm not taking any sides here but this website claims to have analysed the video, together with the soundtrack and concluded that it happened in Abu Ghraib. Whilst this comes from a real anti-semitic site, their analysis of the video and soundtrack is interesting.

What does intrigue me is that I cannot ever find the "Militant Islamic Website" where these videos are posted. Why does the BBC site never give the URL of where the evidence comes from? We are big boys. We can judge for ourselves.

The real problem in posting this is that I'll probably get a visit from MI5.

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Hello from Nerja

I´m posting this from Nerja. Me, Margaret and Maria arrived last Thursday. We love the place. Great weather, nice beaches, good cafes. The weather today is not so good - warm but a bit cloudy. But we´re all tanning nicely. As usual, I´m being bothered by beautiful women who ask me questions like: Is America like Germany of the 1930´s?

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Robbie Earnshaw

A guy I know knows a guy who knows Tosh McKinlay who knows Robbie Earnshaw's agent who says the Earnshaw deal is just about done.

It must be true....

Monday, 7 June 2004

They work for you

An interesting website is available which provides information on your local MP. TheyWorkForYou provides all sorts of information on your MP - including their voting history. My MP (Jim Sheridan) hardly ever rebels - and has an identical voting record to Tony Blair.

Saturday, 5 June 2004

Thursday, 3 June 2004

Euro Elections

Am I the only person who doesn't know what the process for the Euro election is? Do I vote for an individual or a party?

I haven't yet seen any literature stating who is standing in my constituency, only parties.

Is it going to be a party list system?

It seems pretty strange that this election is so low key. What is going on?

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Dull blog

I thought this blog was dull until I saw this.

Tuesday, 1 June 2004


The original vision for the World Wide Web was a place where people could easily edit web pages -- all web pages - not just a few. Instead, it's become a one-way publishing medium. But some online resources have kept with the vision. Wikipedia is one of them. It's an "open content" encyclopedia - which means that anyone can create new definitions or change existing ones. The results can be seen at the Wikipedia web site. There are some wonderful entries. I've contributed a couple of articles on assessment and e-assessment (sad but true). There are comprehensive articles on Celtic and some famous ex-players. The Henrik Larsson entry could do with more details.