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As Sure as Guns are Iron

This is Gabrielle Giffords, Demcratic senator for Arizona, being sworn in recently.

Yesterday Ms Giffords was shot through the head as a lone gunman fired into a crowd she was addressing outside a supermarket in Tuscon Arizona. Six other people, including a nine-year-old girl, a federal judge and a member of Giffords’s staff, were killed when the gunman opened fire. Ms Giffords herself is clinging on to life although her condition is ‘critical’.

Police are apparently looking for a second person in connection with the shooting.

This is what her opponent in last June’s elections, Jesse Kelly, a prominent Republican and Tea Party member, published as a campaign message:

Kelly is a supporter of Sarah Palin who has this image, of rifle sights singling out Democratic health care supporters on her website:

This all apparently stems from the Democrats’ health care reforms which the GOP have promised to reform now they have a majority.

A good friend of mine in the USA sent me this link which perhaps articulates decent Americans’ views on the issue better than I could do here.

I have noticed that Jesse Kelly is an amalgum of Jesse James and Ned Kelly.

I have also noticed that Sarah Palin is a folk hero amongst the born again community in the USA.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that she will be the next President.

Gawd help the USA.

Gawd help all of us!


O wad some Power the gift tae gie us!

This is an NBC news report from 1974

And this is a BBC news report from Friday.

This is a further quote from Strathclyde Fire Chief Brian Sweeney:

Sweeney said: “It has been a tragic New Year in Scotland and particularly in Strathclyde.

“The situation has been unprecedented.

“Let me put it this way – if there had been, for example, an industrial incident which resulted in 250 houses damaged, 70 people injured and five killed, the reaction would have been huge.

“Yet this is what has, in fact, happened with house fires over the past few days.

“In four of the five fatal cases, the incidents were in urban areas, with firefighters in attendance within five-and-a-half minutes.

“Yet nothing could be done to save those who died.

“There are three main causes for the fires as a whole – smoking, cooking and heating.

“Yet the three main reasons they are happening are alcohol, alcohol and alcohol.”

Sweeney said the past 10 days had seen 68 people injured, 250 homes destroyed and the worst level of deaths in 10 years.

Alcohol was by far the biggest cause across the incidents as a whole, the fire chief added.

The moral of the story is I suppose that if you get pissed, phone out for a deep fried Mars bar.

Don’t try to make one yourself.

And this week’s most quoted urban myth was….

Of course the one about Bob Holness being the guy who played the sax solo in the intro for Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street.

But the myth itself has now taken a new twist in that three separate sources are claiming credit for it.

Music writer Stuart Maconie, who was once NME’s assistant editor, has claimed responsibility.

“My personal and silly part in a sad story is that as an NME writer I invented the urban myth claiming that Bob played the sax solo on Gerry’s 1978 hit Baker Street,” he said, writing this week. It is thought the myth first appeared as a blatant spoof in the Believe It Or Not column in NME’s Thrills page, in 1990

Broadcaster Tommy Boyd has also said he was the first to make the connection, years before Maconie, while a DJ on London’s LBC, looking for false stories for a quiz.

“The idea of someone as neat and tidy as Bob being able to swing out a raunchy sax came easily, and I ran ‘True or false: Bob Holness played sax on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street?’ for one night.”

And Raphael Ravenscroft (The guy who actually did play the sax intro) also says he came up with the idea. He told the Magazine: “I made that up because I used to be asked 20 or 30 times if I was the person who did it, so to a foreign journalist I said it was Bob Holness, because I had been working with him on a Robinson’s advert. It was just a bit of fun.”

So, you pays your money and takes your chance. Presumably these stories are all checkable in one way or another.

I have heard Tommy Boyd on Talk Sport but only for long enough to get to the off button. These albeit brief encounters have made me wonder about his verisimilitude.

Last time we heard from Mr Ravenscroft he was complaining he hadn’t been paid by Rafferty for the sax work on City to City, yet he also appeared on the singer’s follow up Night Owl album. Hmmmm

I think I’ll go with the Maconie claim of being the originator.

On other pages:

Walt Disney cryogenically frozen

Donald Trump pays off good Samaritan’s mortgage

Simon Cowell sang backing vocals on Killing in the Name

Nick Clegg opposes rise in tuition fees

Just Managing

Many years ago Andy Cameron used to tell a joke about then Rangers manager John Grieg. The story went that Cameron had invited Grieg to his birthday party but the latter had phoned to say he ‘couldn’t manage’. ‘Are you still going to make it to the party though John?’ came the rejoinder.

Six months ago Roy Hodgson was invited to a party because he could manage. He had led Fulham to a respectable position in the Premiership and took them to the Europa league final. Lets just think about that, he took Fulham to a European final.

Now, six months down the line the owners of Liverpool have decided that Roy, former international manager of Finland and Switzerland and twice manager of Inter Milan, can’t manage and off he goes into the sunset with his experience, knowledge and the consolation of a huge pay off.

So who have Liverpool turned to in their hour of need? Obviously the pressures of managing such a high profile club would require a top notch manager at the top of his game with experience of the current demands of the game.

Instead though they have gone for a man whose last job in football was a disastrous spell first as director of football and then as caretaker manager at Celtic. This had been preceded by a rather lacklustre spell as manager of Newcastle United.

Kenny Dalglish was a fantastic footballer and a boyhood hero of mine through his heroic displays for Scotland. He holds the record for number of appearances and goals in the dark blue. He played for only two clubs, Celtic and Liverpool. It is difficult to conceive how his career at these two clubs could have been bettered.

He won nine trophies in six years at Celtic. At Liverpool he won seven league titles, three European Cups and five domestic cups. As player manager and then manager of the Anfield club, during a six-year tenure, Liverpool always finished either first or second in the league. He guided them to three league wins and two FA Cups from 1985–1991.


It seems to me that by the time he and John Barnes pitched up at Celtic in the late 90’s Kenny had lost his appetite, his hunger for the game. He had I thought lost his mojo.

On Barnes’s waygoing (he had been Dalglish’s appointment for the job) Dalglish stated the ‘John Barnes will turn out to be a top coach somewhere’. Since then he (Barnes) has had a short spell in charge of the Jamaican national side and a disastrous 14 game spell in charge of Tranmere Rovers.

The last success Dalglish had as a manager was in 1995 when he took Blackburn to the Premiership title.

I’ve just read on a fan site that the Liverpool fans would follow ‘King Kenny’ to the championship rather than settle for mid table mediocrity with Roy Hodgson.


The football management game of musical chairs is really a strange and curious process. Recent weeks have seen the demise of Chris Hughton at Newcastle, George Burley at Southampton, Roy Keane at Ipswich and now Hodgson at Liverpool. If they want another job in football they’ll all get one.

Seven out of twelve SPL sides have different managers than they had two years ago and you can bet that when the next vacancy arrives Jimmy Calderwood and John Hughes will be quoted despite Aberdeen and Hibs respectively having decided that they ‘couldn’t manage’.

Getting back to Liverpool then, for old times sake I’d like to see things work out for King Kenny. The club has perhaps shown at least some wisdom though in making the appointment only until the end of the season.

Liverpool play Manchester United in the FA Cup today.