"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Southern discomfort

John Reid, doing cold turkey for cigarettes, is a worried man, he is, not for the first time, out of his depth.The snap - crackle -pop delivery has gone, a milder, curt delivery conceals someone who is running low on gas and low on ideas.

He has 9,000 troops in Southern Iraq and the natives are cutting up rough. Basra has been dominated for over 2 years by 2 major Shia groups, the Mahdi Army and the Badr forces of Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim who are associated with Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq's [SCIRI] ,who have influential members on the Council of Ministers.

The hard , unpalatable truth is now fully evident, the British lost control of Basra a long time ago. Everything, administration, development, is dominated by the militias.

The Basra police force which the British have been lamely attempting to educate to what they see as Western standards is widely infiltrated by members of both militias. Also many top civil authorities in Basra are reportedly people allied to the militias or their affiliated political parties and have been elected by loyalists who have been mobilized to vote.

Tit-for-tat assassinations and drive-by shootings are a regular item in Basra street life as the militias vie for ultimate power. Secular and liberal opponents are frequent targets as the militias impose their version of Islamic rule, including banning alcohol sales and enforcing dress codes for women.

There are three street wars under way in Basra and surrounding areas ;
1. Shia militias Badr v Mahdi
2. Shia operating a policy of ethnic cleansing against Arab Sunnis and Christians
3. Mahdi against the British

Just as John Reid and strategic mastermind Tony Blair struggle to decide on the correct diplomacy, the militias are poised to take full control of Basra. The lifting of the two men after arrest by the Police , the assault on the jail and now the haughty dismissal of an arrest warrant for the men exemplifies the headless chicken school of dealing with a liberated nation. It plays well with the Press back home – the derring do good deeds of our brave lads – they think.

In reality, where petrol prices rise, Gordon cuts his numbers, new , bigger tax bills loom and as winter draws on with energy prices soaring the calls for withdrawal are rising.

Iran , with strong ties to SCIRI and Badr complicates matters as Iran's Revolutionary Guards equipped the Badr Brigades as a guerrilla force fighting against Saddam Hussein from bases in Iran until the US toppled the Iraqi leader in 2003 and are doing so again. They must see the time as opportune to solidify the Shia forces, lest the Kurds seize even more control oin the North, which the US forces cannot resist.

Iran's celebrated Holy Defence Week the annual commemoration of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, began on September 22. The tough stance they take , which is popular on the street, connects Iran's purported actions against the British in Basra with London's toughening stance on the Iranian nuclear program acting as Bush’s satrap at UN.

Donald Rumsfeld said on September 20 on Voice of America (the voice of reason in the world) : "Iran has been busy in southern Iraq for years and years and years. They've sent pilgrims back and forth across that border into those Shi'ite holy sites on a regular basis. The borders are porous. They're interested, they're involved and they're active." Rumsfeld continued, "And it's not helpful. You know, you can overplay your hand."

Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Larijani told a Tehran press conference on September 19th, that Iran had brought stability to Iraq and pinned the blame on the US.

1 in a 100 Londoners 15-44 yrs uses crack

Researchers from Imperial College and Bristol University in a study just published and funded by the Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate, (RDS) took data from drug rehabilitation centres, hospitals and police arrests and were able to identify 4,117 crack users in London. By applying standard statistical techniques to this data (ie like the ones used to study civilian deaths in Iraq) the estimated number of abusers aged 15-44 year olds for the London boroughs studied totalled 16,855. Applied across all 12 boroughs in London, they estimated there are NOW almost 46,000 active crack users in London. (Crack rock Avg price =£10 a rock)

Dr Matthew Hickman from Imperial College London says that almost 60 percent cocaine users were also abusing opiates , mainly heroin, which has implications on the treatment methods employed in this group.

This represent 1.3% of the population. The study also suggested that crack cocaine use was more than three times higher in men, at 2.4 percent, compared with 0.7 percent in women. The levels of criminality associated with drugs can best be highlighted by ….

RDS commissioned a survey of those arrested in 5 areas (Bennett, 1998). Key results are that 61% had taken at least one illegal drug: 46% were tested positive for cannabis: 18% for opiates/heroin and 10% for cocaine/crack. Nearly half the arrestees across all five areas said their drug use was connected with their offending.

…and nothing has changed …

A Prisons Inspectorate survey (Jan 2005) found two thirds of the female inmates used drugs, 25% reported multiple drug misuse and 40% reported heavy use or addiction. Of this group, over half used heroin with one in five admitting to intravenous drug use. More than a quarter had used cocaine and / or crack. Nearly 20% used amphetamines with one in ten of these women reporting she had injected.. One in four of the women with drug dependency admitted that they were still taking drugs in prison and would continue to do so when released.
..... as a result of these experiences and the spate of suicides in Styal Prison…

“On arrival in custody, approximately 60-70% of all women require clinical detoxification. Women can be using up to nine different types of substances simultaneously and frequently require concurrent detoxification for opiates, alcohol and benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs).” Women’s Team’s 2004-5 business plan,

…a policy of initial de-toxification is being rolled out in women’s prisons.

Speaking to the Prison Reform Trust last week the Home Secretary said 17% of the 77,000 prisoners in the England and Wales (not Scotland and NI and at 145 per 100K population the highest in Europe) are in for drug related offences … you have to be optimistic to think the situation will improve.

Basra Judge suspects "British soldiers" not British

Judge Raghib al-Mudhafar, chief of the Basra Anti-Terrorism Court, said he reissued homicide arrest warrants for the two soldiers Thursday after an Iraqi civilian was reportedly killed and a police officer injured.

The BBC reports online today ....

A UK forces spokesman said the warrant had no legal basis but that they would co-operate with the Iraqi inquiry. The MoD (in London ?) said it was aware of reports about the arrest warrant for the soldiers but that British authorities had not received any such warrant.

British forces spokesman Major Steve Melbourne said the two men had immunity from prosecution under an arrangement between the Iraqi government and coalition forces.

However, the judge told the BBC he was not convinced the two men were British and therefore would not be immune from arrest and possible prosecution in Iraq.

The UK forces claim lack of legal authority because the conquering heroes issued a diktat in early May 2003 that they could only pursue military crimes before that date..... they don't want to appear in front of the ICC in Hague you see. If good men act like bad men , how are we going to tell the difference ?

But what on earth was the judge wittering on about ? Not British ? We'll be told soon that the Stockwell killers weren't policemen and the IPCC can't deal with them.

Curioser and Curioser, said Alice.

US$1.4 Billion disappears in Iraq in 6 months

Read the whole amazing story here in Counterpunch.... it will probably the last you hear about it.

Christmas Toys for the boys

STOP PRESS more pictures of released model !!! (Sunday nt) The major mobile US phone show, CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment 2005 show, opens in San Franscisco on Tuesday.

On Monday Palm, Microsoft and Verizon have announced a press conference in San Francisco, to (it is rumoured)introduce a Windows-based Treo smart CDMA mobile phone with QWERTY keyboard. Palm President and CEO Ed Colligan will be joined by Bill Gates and Denny Strigl, Verizon's president, to announce the new “must have” Christmas Executive toy. This will go head to head in the market with Research In Motion Ltd's popular Blackberry devices.

Palm, which virtually invented the handheld computing market, split and the original PalmSource was bought in June by Access Co. Ltd., a Japanese mobile Web browser company who claim to be treading a Linux route.

Microsoft can link Windows Mobile to its enterprise software, such as Exchange, and so it is ideal for Palm, which has been trying to break into the corporate market.

The Treo 700 will access Verizon's cellular network which allows access, using updated technology, to send data over wireless links at broadband speeds. It will compete with the Blackberry device available from Verizon rival T-Mobile USA Inc, (part of Deutsche Telekom). Motorola will launch Q, a CDMA Treo-like device that will run Windows Mobile 5.0 and is due for “release early next year”. (Which looks a far better / lighter product)

Endgadget has a picture, they claim, of the new Treo 700w device, which really piss off those who have just invested in the Treo 650 mobile – note the landscape screen at right angles to keyboard !

Symbian (partly owned by Nokia) is the major European operating system choice on mobile smart phones. World leader (at the moment) the Symbian OS is very popular in Europe and Japan, where mobile phone data networks are much more advanced than in the U.S.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Armed Police don’t kill airport terror suspect

There was a full scale Terror alert at Manchester Airport at 8.30 am today. A smartly-dressed, dark-haired man managed to breach the security barrier to get on to the apron near Stand 26 of terminal 2, where incoming flights from the US arrive. Airport sources said suspicions were aroused at 8.30am when an unknown vehicle parked outside the security fence.

Security officials attempted to apprehend the driver, but he slipped through the fence and ran towards the airport chased by the police and security staff and was caught 200m inside the fence 60 metres from the nearest aircraft.

There was a brief struggle, and the Taser gun was used when the man resisted arrest and he was arrested and bundled into the back of a van.

An amateur photographer and plane spotter, 61 year old Ken Friar, 61 said

"I saw a man in a suit carrying a case and walking on the apron between terminal one and terminal two. Suddenly two police vehicles drove up and the man tried to dart between them”.

"There was a bit of a scuffle. One of the policeman held him down and another either kicked or threw the suitcase away.

"More police arrived and there was another tussle."
A police spokeswoman confirmed the suspect had been arrested under the Terrorism Act and was being questioned. Subsequently he has been held under the Mental Health Act, a controlled explosion by a hastily summoned bomb squad revealed the man’s clothing and his passport, but no bomb or weapons.

All flights from Terminals One and Two were cancelled while bomb disposal experts assessed the situation. An airport spokeswoman said at 11.15am that flights were once again taking off and advised people to turn up as normal.

Manchester Airport has a unique structure and is wholly publicly owned by the ten Metropolitan Boroughs of Greater Manchester. The city owns 55% and the remaining 9 Boroughs 5% each, they also own Bournemouth, Nottingham East Midlands, and Humberside airports. They are the second biggest airport operator after BAA in the UK. They are the most rapacious money grubbing management who practise the worst forms of bonus ridden fat cat management riding, poorly resourced and poorly paid staff. (Security Audit post advertised starting at £13K)

In February 2002 the Manchester Evening News M.E.N. reported how guns and fake explosives passed unchecked through X-ray monitors and ended up in the hold of a plane in an authorised test. As a result Transport and General Workers' union chief Bill Morris wrote to Transport Minister Stephen Byers.

His letter coincided with threats of industrial action by security staff over cutbacks. A dispute which was based upon plans to cut 150 jobs and slash 40 per cent from wages in security. A strike was held for several hours (see pics)

''Security at the airport is a shambles,'' said Mr Morris. ''As a result of the airport board's approach it is clear cut-price security results in cut-price safety.

At the time Airport spokeswoman Ms. Sally Sykes described as ''completely disingenuous'' union claims that the most recent security breach was the result of cost-cutting and blamed “ a breakdown in procedure.”… whatever that means. (Our Sally has just finished 12 minths as NW chairman of the Institute of Public Relations she spent 6 years at Manchester Airport and can now be found hustling the truth for Astra Zeneca)

In September 2004 the BBC’s Whistleblower series, journalist Michelle spent ten weeks undercover at the airport and claimed that working as aviation security officer, Department for Transport rules on bag searches were flouted. Planes left open and unattended overnight and that staff knowingly used faulty metal detectors. The film showed a metal detector failing to sound when a knife and gun were passed through it as part of a test. A 2nd detector in the area was tested with a large pair of scissors and also failed to go off on a number of occasions.

"This one was not shut down and staff continued to allow approaching passengers through security using the unreliable machine."

It was alleged that Security team leaders tipped off colleagues by phone about covert Department of Trade inspectors, with details of their physical descriptions.

An airport spokesman said: "We take any allegations of shortcomings extremely seriously and any breaches in procedure are rectified immediately."

Today, a smug, beaming Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas of GMP told the Press “ a determined intruder can easily scale the perimeter fence”….

Paradoxically security procedures recently cost the airport over breaches of the Data Protection Act.

A man who had a picture taken of him at Manchester Airport without his consent has agreed an out of court settlement of £4,000 with the airport. Tim Hedgley had his photograph while passing through airport security when travelling on a domestic flight. His picture was used to ensure he did not buy duty-free goods and to check his identity at the gate.

The photograph was taken without his permission and was therefore a breach of the Data Protection Act. He agreed to receive agreed an out of court settlement of £4,000 with the airport.

The Data Protection Act imposes strict obligations on holders of personal data.

No personal data is available on the arrested man.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bills to pay ... Usually you dig holes and get the gold OUT.

Faced with the costs and consequences on US federal Government spending of Katrina (US$250Bn ?) , and now Rita (?) , it is worth remembering how the US was going to pay for the illegal invasion of Iraq …..

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz:

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

[Source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03]

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

“I don't believe that the United States has the responsibility for reconstruction, in a sense…[Reconstruction] funds can come from those various sources I mentioned: frozen assets, oil revenues and a variety of other things, including the Oil for Food, which has a very substantial number of billions of dollars in it.

[Source: Senate Appropriations Hearing, 3/27/03]

The Oil For Food funds, lodged with the Paribas Bank in Paris (France) were of course not dollars, but those beastly bi-metallic Euros, for which Saddam had been charging for his oil (with UN approval) since Dubya entered the White House … and was a major (but unstated) factor in the decision to illegally invade Iraq.

The US Department of Energy latest report on Iraq shows ;

Historically, Iraqi production peaked in December 1979 at 3.7 million bbl/d, and then in July 1990, just prior to its invasion of Kuwait, at 3.5 million bbl/d. From 1991, when production crashed due to war, Iraqi oil output increased slowly, to 600,000 bbl/d in 1996. With Iraq's acceptance in late 1996 of U.N. Resolution 986, which allowed limited Iraqi oil exports in exchange for food and other supplies ("oil-for-food"), the country's oil output began increasing more rapidly, to 1.2 million bbl/d in 1997, 2.2 million bbl/d in 1998, and around 2.5 million bbl/d during 1999-2001. Iraqi monthly oil output increased in the last few months of 2002 and into early 2003, peaking at around 2.58 million bbl/d in January 2003, just before the war.

As of May 2005, Iraqi production (net of reinjection) had reached perhaps 1.9 million bbl/d, with "gross" production (including reinjection, water cut, and "unaccounted for" oil due in part to problems with metering) of around 2.1 million bbl/d. Most analysts believe that there will be no major additions to Iraqi production capacity for 2-3 years, but that 4.0 million bbl/d is possible by the end of the decade.

The US electors in the forthcoming mid-term elections may be faced with the choice of spending Federal funds on the reconstruction of the US South, or the reconstruction of Iraq.... now the difficult part is working out which they will choose.

The National Enquirer (remember they got the first of the Anthrax attacks ?) report today that Dubya is back hitting the old electric soup ....can't be true... can it ?

"Congress is not an ATM," said Senator Byrd West Virginia, top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee said. "We have to be able to explain this new enormous bill to the American people." When considering Dubyas request (Sept 2003) for $87 Bn (having previously passed $79Bn) for post war reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan said " Mr. Wolfowitz, you told Congress in March that 'We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.' Talk about rosy scenarios" .

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota ( Now EX Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota ) said at a news conference that Mr. Bush's plan must recognize "that there is urgency with regard to meeting the needs in Iraq, but there is an urgency to meet the needs in this country," such as education, health care and homeland security.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that well known forecaster, wise and responsible leader, associated with prudence, patience and great foresight (who also spent the morning of September 11th 2001 shooting the breeze with Senator McClellan in his office away from phones, radios, TV’s, staff indeed any contact with the outside world whilst Manhattan fell apart – but Hey everyone gets 20/20 hindsight Buddy) said Iraqis were rapidly assuming security responsibilities (see pic for results).

He said 55,000 are now fighting alongside Americans and 184,000 are expected by the summer of 2005. Remember this was September 2003 – 2 years ago. Ask yourself, would you put this guy in charge of training your military ?

Swap shrimps for Falcons ?

More negotiations are scheduled next week in Hawaii for a Thai / US Free Trade Area. President Bush and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra agreed on Monday to make "vigorous efforts" to reach an FTA, POTUS said both sides wanted a deal "as soon as possible."

Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Suphamongkon on Tuesday, said Thailand wanted to ensure its companies had fair access to U.S. markets and that prices for pharma products, wouldn't rise in Thailand as a result of an unfair free trade agreement.

Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was only agreed after bruising talks , any agreement with Thailiand will require approval by Congress.

Rob Portman, the U.S. trade representative, on Wednesday said that protection of U.S. intellectual property rights and the environment are , "critical to ensuring strong support in Congress."

Kantathi said the US should also consider removing protective trade barriers against Thailand for American shrimpers complaining of dumped shrimp - Thai shrimpers had their boats and shrimp farms destroyed or damaged in the December tsunami and the Gulf fishers have lost their boats, shrimps and livelihoods - but shrimp cocktails are still necessary essential on the Beltway cocktail circuit .

Kantathi also spoke about Myanmar, defending Thailand's decision to serve as a "door to the world" for the isolated country. He said engagement with Thailand's reclusive neighbor was hastening democracy in the military-run country.

Elswwhere, more quietly, Donald Rumsfeld was talking about supplying 16 of the latest F-16 jet fighters ( to replace 30 year old F- 6 A/B jets) which the US has been using in Afghanistan, under a barter trade agreement, said incoming air force chief ACM Chalit Pukpasook. ( So Northrop Gumman can make another 16 for inventory? They have made 2,230 so far) Remember Pakistan were offered a couple 2, weeks ago after the US passed over decades long objections to India's civil nuclear programs) He said the sale of the F-16 C/Ds would be at a friendly price of 20 billion baht. Thailand would offer premium agricultural produce in return. ''The planes have not been used much and still have many flying hours left,'' he said. (pic a "used" F16 in Afghanistan)

No doubt such a sale will involve a high level of “training “ by USAF personnel etc., etc.,

Katrina ... Rita ... The Empire never sleeps.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Foulke Fucks the workers - quite legally of course.

On Friday September 17th I posted the news of a Bush appointment whilst discussing his fireside chat in front of the son et lumiere Jackson Square and cammo nets…

President Bush today, in a little noticed appointment, nominated Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. to be an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health . Foulke's position as Chairman of the Greenville Country, South Carolina Republican Party was not mentioned in the President's press release, nor was the fact that Foulke was a Bush Pioneer which means that he pledged to gather $100,000 for the 2004 Bush campaign.) he believes in, “ limited government, lower taxes, a strong national defense and personal responsibility.”

You can find more about this anti union turd at an excellent website here

Confined Space
News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics

OSHA Nominee Ed Foulke: A Gift to Workers From A Union Busting Law Firm
So it turns out that the nomination of Edwin Foulke as Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA last week is looking more and more like a typical Bush administration move: Appoint a Republican political operative to head an agency that he's spent most of his career working to undermine. Except in this case, there's an extra twist. Foulke is not just a Republican mover and shaker in South Carolina, he's also a partner at Jackson-Lewis, one of the most notorious union-busting lawfirms in the country. How appropriate for a Bush Administration Assistant Secretary of Labor.

You can sign up on the site for a regular e-mail update …highly recommended

Time goes backwards for the Metropolitan Police OFFICIAL

I posted last night details of the extraordinary statement on Channel 4 news that the 7/7 bombers assembled @ 6.51 am and then caught the Thameslink train. Of course the Times of July 13th had provided from the Police the time of the train they caught…

Initially the timeline provided by the Police for the “bombers” was issued on June 12th, here is a typical news story from the Times Online the following day. (see Forum8 details of actual train / times here)

TIMES Armed police raided six addresses in West Yorkshire yesterday, including the homes of three of the men, who they now know travelled to Luton in a hired car last Wednesday to join the fourth man. They boarded the 7.40 Thameslink train to King’s Cross the next day, each armed with a 10lb rucksack bomb.

The major problem is of course that the 7.40 was cancelled that morning. So how do the Police deal with the highly detailed and totally convincing sleuthing of the blogosphere – well nothing like a good fudge … ably assisted by an incurious press, who it appears will print any shit they are told to.

Therefore it was interesting to record the following reports in the UK and World Press today , whose source must have been the Press Conference led by PC Clarke, The Hammer of Islamofascist fundamentalist Jihadists. Note the identical lead in pars on some reports….... where did 6.51 am come from .... well it has to be PC Plod.

TIMES 21/9 They arrived at Luton railway station at 6.51am and met Lindsay, who had been waiting for them in his car since shortly after 5am. The men packed the devices into rucksacks and caught the train …….

D TELEGRAPH 21/9 They arrived at Luton station at 6.51am, where they met Lindsay, 19, who had been waiting since 5am after travelling in another car. The four then travelled to King's Cross.

INDEPENDENT 21 /9 They arrived at Luton station at 6.51am, where they were met by Lindsay, who had been waiting for them since 5am. The four then went into London on a Thameslink train.,

INT. HERALD TRIBUNE 21/9 The police have also revealed further details about what the bombers - the three who made the earlier trip to London, as well as a fourth man, Hasib Hussain - did on July 7 itself. Lindsay arrived at Luton station at 5 a.m.; the other three travelled from Leeds in a silver Nissan Micra, leaving the city at 4 a.m. and arriving at Luton at 6:51 a.m. The four then travelled via Thameslink to King's Cross station

4 a.m. - Three bombers Khan, Tanweer and Hasib Hussain leave northern England by car.
5 a.m. - Germaine Lindsay arrives at Luton station by car.
6.51 a.m. - Lindsay is joined by the other three at Luton train station where they board a commuter train to the capital.
8.30 a.m. - The men arrive at London's King's Cross and split up.

(No other UK newspapers or media sites appear to provide the new details of the 7/7 “bombers” itinerary.)

So please PC Plod explain which train they caught from Luton to be seen (apparently strolling through) Kings Cross at 8.20 ? There are many, many people who would be delighted to know - after all the CCTV on Luton station doesn't lie ...does it ?

If you want to know the time...ask a Policeman.

Another news item that caught my eye were details of the stupid Ali Nadir, in the Mirror.

NASIR Ali, 18, who panicked passengers at Mile End Tube with shouts of "bomb, bomb" and "run for your lives" the day after the attacks, was jailed for eight months at Southwark Crown Court.

Apparently shouting “Fire” in a cinema gets you 8 months in chokey, but tell outright lies about the enquiries into the London bombings and the Press repeat it unquestioningly and ad nauseam.

Always remember of course, that since Oct. 2004, VERINT, an Israeli Security Company, has been "protecting" London's Underground on a 30 year contract. Staffed with "former" Mossad/ Shin Bet "experts" in handling Terror and Bombs, Verint's networked video system personnel have been patrolling the London Underground - and monitoring the thousands of CCTV cameras. – without so far producing a single CCTV frame of the 7/7 “bombers” on the Underground.

Civilisation safe for another few weeks. The Grand Illusion lives on.

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 3-3/4 percent.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Alan Greenspan, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Susan S. Bies; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.; Richard W. Fisher; Donald L. Kohn; Michael H. Moskow; Anthony M. Santomero; and Gary H. Stern. Voting against was Mark W. Olson, who preferred no change in the federal funds rate target at this meeting.

In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 25-basis-point increase in the discount rate to 4-3/4 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Channel 4 re-time the 7/7 bombers departure from Luton

19th July Fred Burton for Stratfor

This leaves us with two possibilities:
Either al Qaeda is not as slick and as smart as the world -- and particularly the intelligence agencies that have failed to prevent its strikes -- would like to believe, or the 7/7 operatives were unwitting bombers who might have been duped into carrying out a suicide mission.

Meanwhile you can find how the actual trains ran on that fateful day against the timetable. Financial Outrage have done an absolutely brilliant job , find it here.

The 7.40 train which the “bombers” caught (as PC Plod stated) after being filmed at 7.21.54 was cancelled, so the only train that would deliver them to Kings X to be seen at 8.26 (as claimed by PC Plod) was the 7.25 – which was on time and physically impossible for them to buy tickets and board in the time available.

Therefore on Channel 4 news tonight (you can play this report direct from their website) they report the “dry run” which gave them 3 hours in London on 28th June for 3 of the “bombers”.

They also report that on 7/7 one of the bombers was at Luton Station at 6.0 am (name , location, source of info not stated) ,at 6.51 am (!)
“The journey from Aylesbury to Luton takes nearly an hour. They arrived at Luton station at about 7am, and parked in the car park. Lindsay bought a pay and display ticket, and dutifully stuck it on the windshield. The DNA he left on that scrap of paper would later be used to identify what remained of his body.” timesonline

the 4 bombers were at the station to ”board the train to London” … yet the CCTV frame previously shown was clearly timed at 7.21.54. Time travel meets Thameslink trains

Why did Channel 4 use the time of 6.51 ? – it must have come from somewhere. PC Plod ?

We had PC Clarke the scourge of the Terrorists, who is apparently known at "The Yard" as “The Sphinx” for his oracular but infrequent remarks – he is actually dumb as an ox – (he also appeared probably because PC Blair is probably scared shitless and won’t show his face in public now) telling us how unwise it is and unprofitable to speculate. It certainly is, on the totally incorrect and fraudulent information, lies and half truth peddled by the Police.

I remain unmoved that the 4 “bombers” were duped drug mules. Who the masterminds were, funders, bomb providers, we still must, in the oracular terms of Clarke the Hound of the Terrorists, speculate ...... CIA / Mossad / MI5 / MI6 / Boy Scouts / Kate Moss / Hi Five / deep Six / Seven – Eleven / Delta Handa Poka

One thing is certain ... the "official" version is a crock of shit.

Entergy considers bankruptcy of Louisiana companies...

Entergy, (ENT NYSE)is the second-largest generator of nuclear power in the U.S. it delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Very comprehensive Storm Centre reports here.

They claim the costs of repairs in Louisiana could be be between 0.75 to 1.1 US£Bn. Of which $325 million to $475 million will be costs for for Entergy New Orleans Inc. alone.

Entergy Louisiana Inc., another subsidiary, faces similar expenses for hurricane damage and restoration work, with estimates pegged at $275 million to $400 million. Entergy Gulf States Inc. and Entergy Mississippi Inc. subsidiaries carried lower costs but will still add to total costs of Katrine to the parent company.

By Monday night 19th September , Entergy have done a heroic job in restoring service to roughly 874,000 of the 1.1 million customers who lost power at the peak of the storm but approximately 160,000 homes and businesses were unable to accept new supplies resulting in lost customers and revenue. They anticpate that all possible customers requiring supplies will be up and running in 2 weeks.

Losses in these regions will be offset by increased sales growth arising from
evacuated residents and businesses being relocated to other parts of Entergy's service territory as well as from an influx of restoration and government crews.
Entergy expects to restore power to all homes and businesses in the non-flooded areas of New Orleans and surrounding parishes that are able to receive service within the next two weeks.

As a result of these costs and reduced liquidity Entergy are considering filing for bankruptcy of their subsidiaries in the area, and shifting some of the subsidiary's purchased power contracts to other Entergy subsidiaries to reduce cash requirements, issuing debt, increasing its short-term borrowing, and infusing equity into the New Orleans unit.

Entergy is naturally looking to the Federal government to propose legislation to help hurricane-hit utilities recoup some of their costs. This could involve amendments to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, enacted by Congress following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to provide block grants.

Entergy, if Congress introduced such changes, could then ask Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and states Government to obtain and funnel Federal aid to them (and no doubt other privately owned utilities) in the devastated areas.

That bloody silly conspiracy theory raises it's ugly head again.

Another bloody silly conspiracy theory July 12th (go back to the archives)

I suggested that the 7/7 bombers were mules for drugs and had been duped -

Then eventually we have a big deal, hire the cars, drive here, meet the man, take the train , take the four underground trains, the man will meet you, back on the train, back in the car, back here - £XXXX cash – luvvly jubbly.

Another big deal


Then the BIG deal.

They’ve done this before. The bags, don’t look, don’t ask. 2 grand a piece and there’s going to be another run next week. Meet back as usual in the Starbucks near the British Library. 2 o-clock … and don’t switch your bloody phone on or use it.

Now the State Broadcasting Service AKA BBC reports breathlessly that Newly released CCTV footage shows the 7 July London bombers staged a practice run nine days before the attack. Well, Whaddya know?.

Detectives reconstructed the bombers' movements after studying thousands of hours of film (you bet they did all that luvvly overtime Sarge), as part of the probe into the blasts which killed 52 people. We even have apic from the CCTV. Well, whaddya know ?

If I'm not mistaken that's a Fitness First rucksack, the gym I train at and the same as the sack on the 21/7 bus. Well, Whaddya know.?

...and I suggested they were connected with a gym - and we didn't know then that these guys were hanging out with Khan at a gym. Well, Whaddya know.

I must be Gypsy Fucking Petulengro.

Interesting activities of these 2 guys unfolding in Basra (Iraq) we now know that the UK Gubment get up to some pretty murky business. It is after all, not every day that the Army smash into jails, but then, live men can tell tales. The State Broadcasting Service (pm BBC Radio 4 ) 5.15pm are saying they were actually held at the home of a Sadr militia member.

The 7/7 bombers are dead and dead men tell no tales. Perhaps this time someone might sit up and take notice

Another pic available - of course being armed and not in a combatants uniform, these guys would not come under the Geneva Convention and could be shunted off to Guantanamo Bay - No wonder the Army stormed the jail.... sorry "daring rescue".

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mission accomplished says Zarkawi

Juan Cole’s correspondent writes and is published 12.30 BST 19/9/05

"The situation has deteriorated in Baghdad dramatically today. Five neighborhoods (hay) in Baghdad are controlled by insurgents, and they are Amiraya, Ghazilya, Shurta, Yarmouk and Doura. It is very bad. My guys there report that cars have come into these neighborhoods and blocked off the streets. Masked gunmen with AKs and other weapons are roaming these areas, announcing that people should stay home. One of my drivers in Amiraya reports that his neighborhood is shut down totally, and even those who need food or provisions are warned not to go out.

The government will respond feebly. It will go into a contested neighborhood, and then just like Fallujah, Ramadi, Tel Afar, the insurgents will flee to take over another area on another day. Bit by bit they are taking over the main parts of Baghdad. The only place we are sure they cannot control is Sadr City, unless of course they want to take on Jaish Mahdy [Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army], and that would be bloody.”

President Jaafari (fresh back from Washington whilst chaos calls) has been on TV to tell everyone in Baghdad to stay at home. “The current sectarian and ethnic killings in Iraq are actually the beginning of a civil war,” said Georges Sada, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and the executive secretary of the Iraq Institute for Peace. “Sectarian divisions in Iraq have started back in the ’90s, which prepared the ground for the civil war spreading today.”

There are flyers in public areas of Baghdad warning people not to gather in large numbers because they will thereby become targets.

Zarqawi (whomseoever he may be) and the Sunni resistance are working together100%

More and more of even the most patriotic intelligentsia are departing. The situation is dire, and those with escape valves are using them. [Some organizations are]sending more of [their] staff to Arbil and Sulamaniyah and out of Baghdad. Until about March this year, [some] thought that there was a chance of returning to Baghdad. It is remarkable how incapable this government is. Its only success is that it exists at all.

Meanwhile embassy people act as if nothing in Baghdad is wrong (but wear body armour in the Green Zone and worry endlessly about kidnapping).

Washington Post “Insurgents for three days running last week managed to lob mortar rounds into the Green Zone, the heart of the U.S. and Iraqi administration.”

The Independent reports US£1 Bn (that’s one thousand x 1million dollars) was removed from Iraq during the inter regnum of Saddam Hussein’s ex enforcer, that nice Mr Allawi, the brain surgeon – so called because his preference for sorting the awkward squad was the use of an axe applied forcefully to the skull.

It appears some of it went to Poland and some to Pakistan – probably another US$600 left the oil and electricity ministries at the same time.

More shocking news from Gulf Coast

After having examined the details of the $62 Bn funding to be followed by up to $200 Bn more,the Rangers and other Bush cronies and campaign contributors have decided to rename the Gulf Coast.

From today, it will be called the Gold Coast.

No worries !

House Majority Leader , Texan crook , liar and thief, Bush crony, Tom DeLay said last week that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget. Still on target for a $331 BN deficit to which they can now add £62.3Bn and total Gubment expenditure of $2.473 Trillion ($2,473,000,000,000 ) When Slick Willy left office in 2001 federal spending was $1,863 Trillion so in 4 years there has been a 33% increase in Government spending.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good."

Just imagine what it would have been if they hadn’t been so successful in keeping Government spending under control.

PS Annual non military and non-homeland security spending between Fiscal 01 and 05 increased $303 billion; Federal debt increased more than $2 trillion since fiscal year 2000 and is nearly $8 trillion and limits will need another vote in Congress within the next ¾ months; the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill will increase the government's unfunded obligations by $16 trillion.....

Please miss, I need to go to the bathroom.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

IMF meltdown scenario

In its September 2005 World Economic Outlook the International Monetary Fund (prop. P. Wolfowitz) says that trade imbalances between the US and the rest of the world are "clearly unsustainable" and the "issue is not whether but how they adjust", It expects the US current account deficit to remain stuck at an unprecedented 6 per cent of GDP, matched by large surpluses in Japan, emerging-Asian and oil-exporting countries.

Global imbalances have been widening in the past few years. Since 1996, the U.S. current account balance has deteriorated substantially, mirrored by improvements in the current account balance of emerging Asia, oil-producing developing countries (especially in recent years), and, to a lesser extent, small industrial countries such as Switzerland, Norway, and Sweden . The euro area’s current account has remained close to balance, with divergent developments between surplus countries (Germany, the Benelux countries, and Finland) and deficit countries (such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain) (frightening graph to see 1.25).

That's the facts....now the forward looking projection as they say in the markets - or "the view from 30,000 feet not the trenches" as the elite economists like to politely say with a wry academic smile,

Current World Economic Outlook projections, based on the assumption of constant real exchange rates, suggest little improvement in global imbalances. The U.S. current account deficit is projected to remain at about 6 percent of GDP into the medium term, with some improvement in the U.S. fiscal position offset by
low private savings and rising interest payments, matched by continued large surpluses in Japan, emerging Asia, and oil-exporting countries. Hence the United States’ net external position would continue to deteriorate, reaching a record
50 percent of GDP by 2010, matched by rising net creditor positions in the rest of the world.

The IMF report canvasses a scenario where investors lose confidence as a result of these imbalances and dump US assets, causing a rapid fall in the value of the US dollar and a surge in protectionist economic policies across the world.

Combinations of protectionist pressures and falling demand for US assets could trigger volatile exchange rate adjustments and heighten the risk of a global economic slump.

Of course those assumptions about constant real exchange rates, are the kicker and this report was prepared before it got windy and wet in NOLA and surrounding areas of the deep South. Depending upon what the Fed do next week there will be a reaction on the dollar ;

Rates - up, nervous smiles all round and we are safe for a bit longer
Rates unchanged - very nervous smiles and dollar assets start to drift away a bit more
Rates down - off the cliff

The view from the trenches ? Check the gold price and stock up.

Breaking News

The Commerce Department repors the deficit in the U.S. current account totaled $195.7 billion in the 2nd Qtr. That was down 1.5 percent from the deficit in the first three months of this year -- $198.7 billion -- which was the all-time high.

Even with the slight improvement, America is on track to surpass last year's record current account deficit of $668.1 billion. While the United States so far has not had any trouble attracting the foreign money needed to finance this deficit, economists worry that at some point foreign investors will no longer want to hold such sizable sums of dollar-denominated assets.

The slight improvement meant that the second quarter deficit represented 6.3 percent of the country's total economy, down from the record level of 6.5 percent in the first quarter.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish