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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why I Love The British 

Sunday will mark the final round of the 134th Open Golf Tournament at the Old Course of Saint Andrews. The Open dates back to 1860 (play was suspended for the world wars) on a course that is centuries old.

I love The Open. Here’s why:

The Royal & Ancient course was landscaped by the earth.

A trap is a trap – a hazard that punishes a wayward shot, not a safe haven from which to par or birdie. Traps at the Old Course sport names like the grave, cat’s trap, the coffins, Nick’s bunker, the Hell bunker and the Beardies.

Greens are greens, not pool tables on a putt-putt layout.

The elements are in play: the wind and the rain, the weather and terrain.

The Royal & Ancient refuses to pretend that a championship course is anything but par 72. The combined greens at Saint Andrews add up to 18, keeping faith with the mystical bond of golf to the number nine.

At its best, an Open course requires an array of shots not required of an American style course. With few exceptions, you cannot win an Open without mastery of the knockdown, the bump-and-run, the stinger, the low runner, the bank shot, the draw and the fade.

Despite American dominance in recent years (8 of 10 champions), the Open is the truly international major. While Americans may be infatuated with the Masters and the US Open, the rest of the world recognizes the Claret Jug as the most prized treasure in golf.

The islanders love their champions and know the game, from the least recognized golfing masters (Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris) to the contemporary greats. All who would rise to the status of immortals (Hogan, Jones, Nicklaus, Woods) must pass the test of the Open.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. A ball lost in the gorse, out-of-bounds at the Road Hole, or five shots out of a pot bunker is always possible. According to script, the leaders come back to the field as the afternoon winds kick up and the sun bakes the already hard ground.

As they say, play on and may the best golfer win.

Postscript: All hail the Tiger! Long may he reign!

[Tiger Woods Major championships: 2 Opens, 4 Masters, 2 US, 2 PGA + 3 US Amateurs. If the Amateur is included, Tiger now ranks second, tied with Bobby Jones, seven behind Jack Nicklaus, two ahead of Walter Hagen, and four clear of Gary Player and the immortal Ben Hogan.]

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Response from The UK 

[Note: This was a response to "London & Madrid: Days of Sorrow & Refection" as published on Buzzle.com.]

Thank you

I was born and raised in London; all of my family still live there, and I just a few miles away. Of course it is difficult not to get caught up in the outrage, the sorrow, and the accompanying rhetoric and tub-thumping. Of course we must not bow to terrorism, and of course we never will.

But we must not forget that these events are the fruit of a poisoned tree which we have allowed to be planted.

Sadly we in the UK, as in the US, have elected a leader for whom the concept of Crusade is as fresh and as meaningful as that of Jihad is for those who have perpetrated these acts.

It is a mentality which is self perpetuating; it justifies any act, any intervention, any interference we may wish to perpetrate in the name of righteousness and in pursuit of our own interests. It denies utterly our long history of colonial abuse, political betrayal and bloody-minded double -dealing. It then demonizes those on whom we inflict our will, and denies any justice there might be in their viewpoint or their actions or re-actions.

My viewpoint is not one of Marxist self-abuse, it is simply that I lack the nationalist penchant for ignoring any truth [that] does not sit well with our benevolent self-image.

You have spoken a truth which is unfashionable, even unpalatable, but which must find a way through the propaganda if we are ever to bring these horrors to an end for all concerned.

This was the first of your articles I have read, but I will be seeking out others, and sending this one to my friends, whether they want it or not.

best regards

Neal Dowsett

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

FDR THEY AIN'T 

Excerpt from "George & Tony Get Their Al Qaeda Fix" by Greg Palast.

The cruel, evil jerks who blew up the London subway last week, despite appropriating al-Qaeda's name for their website and T-shirts, have about as much to do with al-Qaeda as a Beatles tribute band has to do with the Fab Four.

I'm not belittling the heartbreaking hideousness of this crime, but let's get the facts straight. If al-Qaeda is the Panzer Division of terrorism, these London bombers were terrorism's Cub Scouts. We're talking a few pounds of nitro wired to a clock -- a design badly copied off the Internet.

Al-Qaeda this ain't.

Blair knows it. And Bush knows it... because Blair and Bush are al-Qaeda junkies. They've sold us on everything from fingerprinting five-year olds to invading Baghdad to tolerating plummeting paychecks all on the slick line that we are under attack by a well-trained, well-armed, well-funded hidden army called al-Qaeda.

For Bush and Blair, organized terror's diminishing powers was a political problem -- until last week, when the al-Queda addicts of the White House and Downing Street got a new terror fix. Even if it wasn't the real al-Qaeda, it was enough for them to mainline into the body politic a big, fat dose of fear.

FDR calmed a nation when he said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." But the Bush and Blair slogan is, "We have nothing to sell but fear itself."

[Note: Greg Palast is the reporter who blew the lid off the Great Disenfranchisement Florida 2000. SEE: www.GregPalast.com.]

Monday, July 11, 2005

Even The Dead Stand On End At The End Of The Day 

Lock and load fellow citizens and let him have it with paint guns filled with the same hate he has spewed at so many others.
- Chris Mansel

Karl Rove sits in front of several television sets taking notes on the coverage of the attack on Fallujah. He counts how many times each network mentions the number of dead, the number wounded. Like a ghastly documentarian he organizes the numbers and leaks stories to the press in ways that will change the story of Iraq so subtlety that it would take constant attention to each newscast to tell the difference. Staffers come and go and bring fresh wine coolers for Rove to swill down and laugh a menacing uncontrollable laughter.

Karl Rove (on the phone): Yea, the latest report is that the citizens of Iraq are offering meals to the soldiers as they enter their homes. Many of the wounded Iraqi soldiers are asking about the prize on Saddam?s head.

A Reporter from the Fox Network: Ok, we?ll get it on the air. Any news on any changes in the cabinet yet?

Karl Rove: I should know something in about two weeks tops.

A Reporter from the Fox Network: Is there any word on the massacres in the Sudan?

With that comment the line goes dead.

- Chris Mansel

[See the Mansel Report: www.chrismansel.blogspot.com]

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

From the Mind of Chris Mansel 

Air Force One (The Sadistic Wagon With A Squeaky Wheel) [Random Note: Shades of Gonzo.]
(for Jack Random)

Air Force One left London and as soon as it was in the air the flight crew disrobed and the alcohol started to run in-between the aisles. President Bush went into his secret office near the fuselage and put in a DVD that contains a montage of Condi Rice strolling in front of the camera. The creases in her pants suit moving in slow motion. The President thrusts his groin into the television screen, aides gather together intelligence on the bombings and begin to make secure phone calls to Saudi Arabia to schedule another. When the President gets all worked up to the point of climax he opens a door located inside his closet to enter a small pool of oil so he can commit coitus with himself. President Clinton kept vagina cigars in this secret room and former President Reagan kept stag films of Hedy Lamar and Clara Bow. Jelly Beans tied on gold string reeking of excrement.

In the President’s office Karl Rove and Karen Hughes watch footage of the attacks in London and sculpt data for Scott McClellan and the White House press core, for speeches in the upcoming elections and to use in the files that Rove keeps in his secured bunker of misinformation. Rove laughs greedily and spits in his hand and grabs Karen Hughes by the neck and bends her toward him. Karen Hughes performs a sadomasochistic act on Rove’s person. The President walks in and opens a beer.

President Bush: Now Karl, when I go sign this book at the embassy what do I write…a message of some sorts or what? Sorry you didn’t die Tony, something like that?

Karl Rove relieves himself into a bucket on the floor and Karen Hughes hits a button and a Secret Service agent arrives instantly to dispose of the waste. Karen Hughes arranges herself and the talk continues.

Karl Rove: You just sign your name and express your sympathies.

President Bush looks at Karen Hughes and at Karl Rove with a confused expression.

Karl Rove: Sympathies, how sorry you are…(laughs) ok just write whatever you want to.

Karen Hughes: Mr. President can we please turn off this tape of Condi?

The President looks across the room at Condi and then returns his gaze to the television screen.

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Predictions: The Bush/Clinton Alliance

I have seen the line in the darkness and it is hellish. I have a prediction and it is so goddamn twisted it just might come true. Okay, former President Clinton was appointed by current President George W. Bush to serve with his father former President Bush to aid in raising money for victims of the Tsunami. They have gotten to be friends despite their “differences” and Barbara Bush has even referred to former President Bill Clinton as her son. The Bush family is friendly with the Clinton family and Senator Hillary Clinton will most certainly run for President. This is where it gets weird.

Senator Hillary Clinton will run on the friendship of the Bush family, the photo-ops, etc., and will garner the attention of Bush Republicans. She will win the presidency with his “further than center” views but now the kicker, a preemptive strike. I can’t believe I am saying this; Hillary will get her second term by pardoning either Karl Rove or current President George W. Bush for his role in using 9/11 for a reason to invade Iraq illegally and the approval of torture beyond the restrictions of the Geneva Convention. When does torture get to beat something even the Republican Party will not allow? When it interferes with the votes being tallied in the home districts of the candidates in the house and the senate.

This is so twisted like I said that it just could come true. Slicker than Willie, darker than Nixon, and crueler than Idi Amin the Bush/Clinton alliance could dispel any and all rumors that true evil rests only in the hearts of men.

- Chris Mansel

See The Mansel Report: www.chrismansel.blogspot.com.

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Random Note: Say a prayer for Jimmy wZ, hunkered down in the path of Hurricane Dennis. Somewhere on the Florida panhandle, the celestial sounds of a silver flute are praying for us all. Be well, wZ man. Mitakuye Oyasin. Let it be so.

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