Friday, January 26, 2007

A Hundred Years

I'm just shocked, shocked, I tell you!

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[Photo courtesy of Trevor].

She bloggeth

Brooklyn Hilary has a blog; bookmark it, babes!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rocky's rises from the grave

Just occasionally it's a really great bar.

Street kids raid poverty summit

BBC — Dozens of street children have invaded a five-star hotel food tent and feasted on meals meant for sale at the World Social Forum in Kenya's capital.

The hungry urchins were joined by other participants who complained that the food was too expensive at the annual anti-capitalist get together.

The police, caught unawares, were unable to stop the free-for-all that saw the food containers swept clean.

The gathering in Nairobi is discussing social problems, including poverty.

A plate of food at the tent being operated by the prestigious Windsor Hotel was selling for $7 in a country where many live on less than $2 a day.

The children, who had been begging for food, launched the raid after being told they would have to pay for the food.

No troops for you, bad boy!

BBC — A US Senate committee has rejected President Bush's plan to send extra troops to Iraq, passing the measure to a full Senate vote likely next week.

The Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissed Mr Bush's policy as "not in the national interest" in a 12-9 vote.

It comes a day after the president gave his State of the Union address asking Congress to give it "a chance to work".

Both votes are non-binding but may put pressure on Mr Bush to reconsider.

The resolution opposes Mr Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, the majority of them to violence-hit Baghdad in an effort to improve security and end sectarian clashes.

[Cartoon from the unsurpassable Steve Bell].

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


This would be Belfast, envisioned with a planned 300-foot tower a few years from now. Let's compare and contrast with an after-a-car bomb shot from 1970:

My parents remember — with all the imperfections of nostalgia — courting each other in the late 1950s and walking around towns in Northern Ireland enjoying the many gaudy little window displays that so quickly after 1969 turned into ugly steel-shuttered shop fronts that opened late and shut early, and offered store owners and shoppers alike little beyond a grim subsistence.

In the eight or so years I have lived in New York I am stricken when I see some elegant, elderly hardware store disappear to be replaced by a vast glass and steel highrise, often in what seems like a matter of weeks. But when I see the gale-force changes rage across Northern Ireland these days, I can only say, bring it on, the more the better, for that poor wee place.

[Bomb photo by Normko].

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Bishop of Southwark

I missed this delightful story from the Guardian in December; it made me laugh not least because of the fact that the Bishop had earlier left a reception at the Irish Embassy in London, bringing to mind my own many disgraceful exits from the Irish consulate here in New York (the consular staff have the advantage that they can stagger out after everyone else). Enjoy...

Follow that bishop!

The Bishop of Southwark today said he was having tests for amnesia following his infamous evening out at a Christmas drinks reception two weeks ago.

The Right Rev Tom Butler, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops, said it would have been "entirely out of character" if he had been drunk after attending a party at the Irish embassy in London.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme prior to delivering his regular Thought for the Day, he described a witness account of him throwing toys around the back of a stranger's parked and unlocked Mercedes as "very strange".

The bishop, who suffered a black eye during the evening and lost some of his belongings, told his congregation on the following morning that he had been mugged - a claim police are no longer investigating.

Today, he said he could remember nothing of the journey home after leaving the party, where he drank Portuguese wine. He said his Oyster travelcard records showed he used public transport from central London to his home in Streatham.

"I've had extensive medical tests, and they are going on. I remember nothing from the early time of the party until I got home ... it's very worrying, I still have amnesia," he said.

Asked about how much he had to drink, he told the programme: "It would be entirely out of character if I was drunk ... I really do defy anyone who's had too much to drink to make that journey."