The shoe-wielding Iraqi television reporter, one Muntadar al-Zeidi, managed to sum up, in a single gesture, how much of the world feels about the 43rd president of the United States – including Americans.Reacting to suggestions that al-Zeidi will face court he says "the very idea that Iraq is a place where the rule of law exists is nothing but a very bad joke."
The UK Independent says the explosion of viral video about the incident confirms that Bush's presidency is ending in humiliation:
So Muntazer al-Zaidi has been arrested, and could face several years in jail, despite the fact that he's supported by vast numbers of demonstrating Sunnis and Shias, in a country that has been "given back to the Iraqis". The man should be hailed Man of the Year. And if politicians really want to reconnect politics with the people, his example should be copied."The people"? Who are these people you speak of???
Today I got an email from a lady named Ann Paterson who did a university thesis on "Public Relations and the new agenda-setters -developing relationships with bloggers". The main aim of her thesis seems to be working out a way for the PR industry to take advantage of bloggers' growing credibility. After responding to her initial enquiry about why I blog, I am quoted in the report saying that:
"political blogs are important today because the media is failing to do its job properly. This [is] partly because they are unable (for legal reasons) to say the things that bloggers can say (particularly those of us who write under a pseudonym). But it is also because the media today is tightly controlled by the corporate elite, who also bankroll all the major Western political parties."So will Ms Paterson's friends in the PR industry be approaching me with lucrative financial offers?
Hey, Bukko! You should try Sorbent Toilet Tissue! It's really soft on your fat arse!
Oi! WP! You oughta get yourself down to Cancun for a holiday! I can give you the address of a little estancia where they really know how to treat angry, alienated, bloggers with TLC!
Ha ha ha! Sorry, Ms Paterson, but that's the entire extent of my much-vaunted powers these days. I'm not even sure that WP is reading any more. Why would he, when I've already quit the blogging business a dozen times and barely been able to string together a coherent thought for six months.
Now let's go take a look at the shooting of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, a Liverpool boy who was gunned down on his way home from football practice:
Like the killing of the toddler, James Bulger, in the same part of the country in 1993, the death provoked national shock, as Rhys was named the youngest victim of gang violence in Britain. But the truth was that, unlike the Bulger killing, such a tragedy was long on the cards.Is anyone else seeing the parallels to George W. Bush's criminal administration?
Violence on the sprawling housing estates of Croxteth and Norris Green had been growing for years before Rhys got caught in the cross-fire. Police had recorded 80 incidents of vandalism and violence linked to two rival gangs in the area. There had even been two killings, in 2004 and 2006. These shootings made little impact on the national consciousness because the victims were gang members and older.
Sean Mercer, who was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment for Rhys's killing, was well known to the police too. He had been stopped on scores of occasions by the authorities and given an anti-social behaviour order for harassing staff at Croxteth Sports Centre. Mercer was also only 16 years old when he set out from his home with a gun to kill a rival.
Yet Mercer was no exception in his youth. Several of his fellow gang members, found guilty this week of helping him to evade arrest, were all teenagers. So we have here a picture of rampant criminality in which the gang members are young enough to be in school, and yet have easy access to firearms. This was the lethal milieu from which this murderer sprang.
But there are deeper social problems here too. It is true that many local Croxteth residents rushed to pass on Mercer's name to the police when Rhys' death hit the headlines. But the manner in which the immediate estate on which Mercer lived closed ranks to help him evade justice, despite the horrendous crime that had been committed, was disturbing. Friends of Mercer helped him destroy physical evidence linking him to the killing. He was given an alibi. It took eight months of police surveillance and the testimony of a disaffected gang member to build the case necessary to put Mercer on trial.
For several residents of this estate, defending one of their own was apparently regarded as more important than bringing the killer of an 11-year-old boy to justice. Why? One of the police officers who worked on the case has noted that "many gang members are the third generation of families who have never worked. Crime is all they know and so have no normality to be rehabilitated into."
Or is it just me, as usual.