Salon have more from Abu Ghraib here. Not a single MP / Minister / Religious leader in the UK has condemned or commented on these images.
As far as can be ascertained no US media have published or made the images accessible, nor have any public figures commented.
......unless you know different ?
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Salon have more from Abu Ghraib here. Not a single MP / Minister / Religious leader in the UK has condemned or commented on these images.
*INTERNET EXCLUSIVE*: UK police arrest stars of award-winning film "The Road to Guantanamo" under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
Citing the "Prevention of Terrorism" act, British Police have arrested and interrogated three of the stars of the award-winning film "The Road to Guantanamo", together with the three ex-Guantanomo detainees on whose story the film is based.
Read the complete story which has not appeared or been discussed in mainstream media at Craig Murray's blog
"We have not seen Ron Paul's like in Washington since the days of the Founding Fathers. He is the 20th Century's Thomas Jefferson." -- Lew Rockwell, Founder and President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS
Speaking Before the U.S. House of Representatives / Feb 15th 2006
As a gynaecologist he has delivered over 4,000 babies, he delivered this astonishing speech this week.
The End of Dollar Hegemony
Excerpts from the speech. For the full text go here
The artificial demand for our dollar, along with our military might, places us in the unique position to “rule” the world without productive work or savings, and without limits on consumer spending or deficits. The problem is, it can’t last.
Price inflation is raising its ugly head, and the NASDAQ bubble-- generated by easy money-- has burst. The housing bubble likewise created is deflating. Gold prices have doubled, and federal spending is out of sight with zero political will to rein it in. The trade deficit last year was over $728 billion. A $2 trillion war is raging, and plans are being laid to expand the war into Iran and possibly Syria. The only restraining force will be the world’s rejection of the dollar. It’s bound to come and create conditions worse than 1979-1980, which required 21% interest rates to correct. But everything possible will be done to protect the dollar in the meantime. We have a shared interest with those who hold our dollars to keep the whole charade going.
Most importantly, the dollar/oil relationship has to be maintained to keep the dollar as a pre- eminent currency. Any attack on this relationship will be forcefully challenged—as it already has been.
In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. His arrogance was a threat to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein-- though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein surprised and shocked O’Neill. SEE FOOTNOTE
But real threats come from our political adversaries who are incapable of confronting us militarily, yet are not bashful about confronting us economically. That’s why we see the new challenge from Iran being taken so seriously. The urgent arguments about Iran posing a military threat to the security of the United States are no more plausible than the false charges levied against Iraq. Yet there is no effort to resist this march to confrontation by those who grandstand for political reasons against the Iraq war.
It seems that the people and Congress are easily persuaded by the jingoism of the preemptive war promoters. It’s only after the cost in human life and dollars are tallied up that the people object to unwise militarism.
FOOTNOTE : Outraged Moderate obtained under the Freedom of Information of the Act Department of Defense seeking DoD staffer Steven Cambone's notes from meetings with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the afternoon of September 11, 2001 and only published today .... see for yourself the notes Donald Rumsfeld's 2:40 PM instructions to General Myers to find the "[b]est info fast . . . judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time - not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]" (as discussed on p. 334-335 of The 9/11 Commission Report and in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack).
... 11 pages as PDF and also available on Flikr. Brilliant work.
Recent blogs on same topic here
There have been many stories in the Press / TV this week regarding the trials being undertaken of the "Mosquito" Sonic Teenage Deterrant, which is a device that generates an irritating signal at a perceived 80Db at approx 19MHz.
The claimed effect is to move on teenagers / children when they congregate in public places. They represent the latest move in the adults War against Children. When you ask the Question "OK so the device scares the kids and they go away, what do you mean by away ?" ... such devices simply metastasise the problems if unrult youth by dispersing them over wider and less public and unobservable areas.
They represent the last move of the morally bankrupt Local Authorities who starve the area of youthful enetertainment and leisure and then repress them with legal threats of ASBO's, Dispersal Orders,Parental Control orders, Truancy Fines by an army of officials of State control ranging from Youth Offending Teams to quasi Police, resplendant in fluorescent jackets and a smug bearing.... " Man proud man, dress'd in a little brief authority."
These units aimed at youth work because with age, humans experience diminished sensitivity to high frequency sounds. Youthful hearing extends as high as 20,000 Hz (Hz = cycles/second). However, the average person (especially among men) over fifty years of age has completely lost the very highest frequencies and often suffers moderate hearing loss in the range from 4,000 to 10,000 Hz. Moderate to severe hearing loss above 4,000-5,000 Hz becomes the norm for many individuals living sixty and beyond.
Loss of hearing with age, technically referred to as "presbycusis," is a widespread phenomenon that seemingly cannot be avoided. To make matter worse, prolonged exposure to loud music and other loud background sounds also results in reduced sensitivity in the high range.
For very helpful information about the workings of the human ear go to "How stuff Works" here
Professor Roberts at Bristol University has been investigating the auditory systems of insects at the nanoscale level. His colleague DR Windmill ..."The moth’s ears typically have only two mechanoreceptor cells, making them some of the simplest ears known to exist. However, many moths can hear large frequency ranges, from 20 kHz to over 80 kHz, in order to listen out for the echolocation calls of their predator, the bat."
Apparently these simple ears operate with incredible precision ..."Dr Windmill’s investigations have shown that the faintest sounds that moths can hear cause motions of the tympanal membrane of about 50 picometres (one picometre is a thousandth of a nanometre, which is a billionth of a metre). This extreme sensitivity is the equivalent of the Clifton Suspension Bridge moving up and down a fraction of a millimetre."
In work at Cornell University ..."Ormia flies, can detect changes in sound-source position as small as 2 degrees. Even humans trying to detect who is speaking in a crowded room can't do better than that.
The need for such precise location is due to the need for the female Ormia fly to detect and locate singing male crickets -- where they climb aboard and deposit tiny larvae that develop into larger maggots which feast on the crickets, from the inside out.(Ugh!)
Crickets have been observed in the field and can hear bat echo location signals and move faster than the response time for the bat to locate them.
Microbats, which exist in the UK use echo-location to locate their prey - mainly insects. (Pic Brown Long Eared Bat) Megabats like the Flying Foxes of the Tropics and Australia do not use echo location. The UK pipistrelle bat uses a range of 54-90 KHz for echo location of prey but the toal range varies from 9KhZ to 1ooKHz. In the UK bats are a protected species and it is against the law to disturb them.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) protects bats and their roosts in England, Scotland and Wales. Some parts have been amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW) which applies only in England and Wales, and by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 which applies in Scotland.
The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (better known as the Habitats Regulations) implements the Council Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora - better known as the Habitats Directive. All bats are listed as 'European protected species of animals'.
It is an offence for any person to:
Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat while it is occupying a structure or place that it uses for shelter or protection.The average frequency of the songs of songbirds is about 4,000 Hz, approximately the same pitch as the highest note of a piano. Many warblers, sparrows, waxwings, kinglets, and a number of other birds produce sounds that reach 8,000 Hz and beyond.
The potential fine for each offence is £5,000. If more than one bat is involved, the fine is £5,000 per bat. An offender can also be imprisoned for six months. On conviction the forfeiture of any bat or other thing by the court is mandatory, and items used to commit the offence (for example vehicles) may be forfeited.
Ultrasonic "silent" bird scarers are available which generate sounds in the range 15 KhZ - 30 KHz for protecting crops, preventing bird strikes at airports or flocks of pigeons , starlings in towns. details of commercial units are here, here and here.
Ultrasonic generators are available to act as mosquito repellants and underground (at 300KHz) for moles and rodents. There is no scientific evidence these have any effect whatever - except the profits generated by the manufacturers.
Portable units are very widely available also available for dog trainers / deterrant / alarms for joggers , postmen that operate at 20KHz - 45 KHz range. At high decibel levels (in excess of 85Db) this is painful to dogs and is used to deter attacking dogs and also to provide an invisible perimeter to limit dog movement.
Interestingly in the UK there are laws in place over causing a nuisance by noise ..
Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c. 43)
79.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (6) below, the following matters constitute "statutory nuisances" for the purposes of this Part, that is to say—
premises ....kept in such a place or manner as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance; ...
(g) noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance;
...and it shall be the duty of every local authority to cause its area to be inspected from time to time to detect any statutory nuisances which ought to be dealt with under section 80 below and, where a complaint of a statutory nuisance is made to it by a person living within its area, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate the complaint.
80.—(1) Where a local authority is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or recur, in the area of the authority, the local authority shall serve a notice ("an abatement notice") imposing all or any of the following requirements—
(a) requiring the abatement of the nuisance or prohibiting or restricting its occurrence or recurrence;
(b) requiring the execution of such works, and the taking of such other steps, as may be necessary for any of those purposes,
and the notice shall specify the time or times within which the requirements of the notice are to be complied with.
Presumably this was brought to the attention of the Councillors when this was introduced to prior to installation of this device and when a full risk asessment was undertaken by Council / POlice officers.... but I wouldn't bet on it.
The US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, visited Camp Lemonier the ex French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti in December 2002 where at least 1,000 US troops are based. He made it clear that their arrival was not temporary: "These are serious problems. I suspect that if you look in one, two, three or four years, this facility will be here."
A missile from a Predator UAV drone, which was controlled by the CIA, eliminated six presumed members of al-Qaida, including one of its leaders, in the province of Marib, in Yemen, across the strait. The drone took off from Djibouti but was controlled from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
The Voice of America has been approved to broadcast from Djibouti, targeting Yemen and Somalia.
In 2002 (Los Angeles Times, 23 December) Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Djibouti’s minister of international cooperation, said: "We readily enrolled in this global war on terror after 11 September, and we’ve given the Americans everything they have wanted. But for now, we haven’t seen anything from the US in return". He took it as an insult when a visiting US delegation offered $4m in aid, three-quarters of which had to be spent on improving security at the airport.
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) began moving all headquarters personnel and equipment from its flagship, USS Mount Whitney, in the Gulf of Aden, into facilities at Camp Le Monier on May 6, 2003.The Kellogg, Brown & Root Company (Halliburton subsidiary) administers the contract for facilities and support operations at the camp.
A notice in Camp Lemonier announces: Toilets for Djiboutians only."It is for reasons of hygiene," said the camp's spokesman.
However the US presence in this part of Africa has been very low key and the news today that 2 American military CH53 "Super Stallion" marine transport helicopters (see pic) carrying a total of 12 people have crashed off the coast of Djibouti in East Africa will remind many of their growing military presence and influence in the region .
The BBC reports the rescue of 2 crew members but the remaining 10 are still missing.
The helicopters were on a nighttime training mission at the time of the crash, whose cause had not been determined Friday night. At the Pentagon, a spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, said there was no indication of hostile fire.
Members of the Djiboutian military notified U.S. officials at about 5:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EST) that the helicopters had crashed in the Gulf of Aden not far from the Djiboutian coastal town of Ras Siyyan. a US defence spokesman said. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Excerpts from White House spokemans McClellan's Press Conference ....
The initial report that we received was that there had been a hunting accident. We didn't know who all was involved, but a member of his party was involved in that hunting accident. And then additional details continued to come in overnight.
Saturday night I find out that there was a hunting accident -- it was late Saturday night -- of a member in his party. But I did not know who was involved in that hunting accident. It wasn't until very early Sunday morning that I found out that the Vice President was involved in this accident.
Q So as of Saturday night, you didn't know, the White House did not know that Vice President Cheney was involved?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, there were details coming in throughout that night and into the morning. There was additional information coming in.
Q But, again, Saturday night, you did not know the Vice President was involved, you just thought someone from his hunting party was --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I, personally, was informed by the Situation Room that there had been a hunting accident, and that is was a member of the Vice President's hunting party.
Now go here for a VERY interesting (and plausible) theory.
Professor Roy Meadows has been re-instated see BBC report here
The British system of Justice is adversarial, it is the job of the defence to challenge the evidence of the prosecution and to call witnesses to challenge any such evidence.
They failed to do this at the trial of Sally Clark - significantly the Jury did challenge with a written question to the Judge the pathologists post mortem evidence.
Discarding the original QC at the Appeal, Sally Clark was acquitted and released from prison.
The following Book Review provides a more detailed review of the points raised by today's judgement.
Of course the deal stitched up by the Judge and the respective legal teams to suppress evidence and to prevent the introduction of character witnesses ensured that the Jury were denied all the evidence required to make a fully informed decision.
John Batt , a family friend and solicitor for the Clarks (and author with Sally Clark of the book reviewed) said: "The family has been consistent right the way through - all they have wanted is that those who were responsible for this miscarriage of justice be called to account for what they did."
"The fundamental point that the Clark family made is they wanted the people who put her in jail wrongly, for two heinous crimes that never happened, be called publicly to account for what they did and that has happened." the BBC item reports.
Perhaps they might now start pursuing their lawyers with the relish, and determination that they and others have pursued Professor Meadows.
21/07/04 Stolen Innocence: The Story of Sally Clark Reviewed by Edward Teague
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE
“What is Truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”
Francis Bacon. Essay on Truth
Sally Clark, smart and attractive daughter of a Chief Constable, a high powered and highly paid solicitor, resident of Wilmslow, the stockbroker rich and soft underbelly of Metropolitan Manchester, was found guilty at Chester Crown Court in November 1999 of the murder of her two baby sons.
The press went crazy. The Sunday Mirror: “Fall from grace for the woman with everything;” the Daily Mail, “Driven by drink and despair, the solicitor who killed her babies;” Manchester Evening News: “Pregnant days after murdering baby son.” ,”Baby killer was 'lonely drunk” headlined the Daily Telegraph.
Det. Insp. John Gardner, who led the investigation, said he was pleased with the verdicts and hoped that Clark could finally come to accept responsibility for what she had done. It had been the most difficult of tasks, he said, to confront a parent and accuse her of killing her own children. “Most people believe it is an unbelievable act. It is harder to accept when you have a woman who has advantages in life.”
Mr Gardner said of Clark's husband: “I don't know how much he knows, how much he suspects, or whether he has almost turned a blind eye to what has gone on.”
Professor Meadows, a renowned expert medical witness in the field of paediatric pathology, had declared that the possibility of 2 cot deaths occurring in the same family at the committal hearings was 1: 1 million, at the trial he said it was 1: 73 million.
On being recalled to give evidence during the trial Dr Williams, a Home Office consultant forensic pathologist was asked to answer questions about blood samples taken from the body of Harry (the second child to die) in a written question submitted by the jury he said “…the chemistry of blood is so unreliable after death as to be of no diagnostic value…”. Of the post mortem blood sample “…it was submitted for toxicological examination and would have been sent for viral studies”.
Cross examined by the defence, Williams claims that the appropriate microbiology reports had been provided to the prosecution (and therefore available under disclosure to the defence). This was untrue.
The significance of this question and the answer slid past the Rolls Royce mind of Julian Bevan QC renowned as a prosecutor, and his Junior John Kelsey Fry, the medical witnesses and the press as does the need to question Prof. Meadows remarkable statistics, subsequently described by the Royal Statistical Society as “statistically invalid”.
The significance of the question, the actual reports and its findings eventually yielded to years of terrier like digging and pestering of statisticians, pathologists and paediatricians by her devoted and unswervingly faithful husband Steve Clark and legal defence team. On Monday 11th February 2002 the post mortem microbiology report on Harry eventually surfaces from Macclesfield Hospital. It is reviewed by leading pathologists who say that the evidence of 8 sites of Staphylococcus aureus infection in Harry's corpse and the presence of polymorphs within the cerebrospinal fluid show that Harry's death was caused by overwhelming staphylococcal infection and that no other cause of death can be sustained. It later emerges that these samples had been sent at the time to the national reference laboratory at Colindale for further testing. The significance of Dr Williams remarks in answer to the jury's apparently innocent question at the trial about post mortem blood results become crystal clear.
Nonetheless it is twelve months later at the Royal Courts of Justice on January 28th 2003, that the Court of Appeal meets a second time to consider Sally Clark's case. Clare Montgomery QC (who has replaced Julian Bevan QC, that ornament of the Bar), explains that there is a clear case of non-disclosure of the microbiology report, that Harry died of natural causes due to Staphylococcal infection. Invited by the court to explain, Dr Williams refuses or at least fails to appear, this is announced by Robin Spencer QC for the Prosecution.
“My Lords, Dr Williams has decided not to appear as a witness…and the prosecution no longer seeks to uphold these convictions… The Crown does not seek a retrial”
Lord Justice Kay (who died recently and was preparing to preside over the appeal of Sion Jenkins who now faces a re-trial) delivers a short verbal judgement, later expanded in written form “…The statistic 1: 73 million is clearly inadmissible in law, could not have failed to mislead the jury, and should have never been allowed in evidence… Sufficient in itself to make these convictions unsafe. Dr Williams is responsible for failing to disclose a material document, which must have affected the outcome of the trial and is a serious matter. The appeal is allowed with costs. There will be no retrial.”
Dr Williams silence at the Court of Appeal was the “Open Sesame” that released Sally Clark from the grip of Group 4. A fax arrived at the Courts of Justice authorising her release from Bullwood Hall Prison in Essex, Sally's home for three long, dark years of Kafkaesque nightmare. The Governor has added a personal hand written message to the fax, “We all knew you would do it, Sal”
The media go crazy. Worldwide. Lawyer cleared of murder of 2 sons.
In addressing the British Academy of Forensic Sciences February 18th 2004, Clare Montgomery QC said, “Sally Clark had not killed her sons, they were not murdered. This grotesque miscarriage of justice was the result of flawed evidence given by forensic scientists”.
The murders were imaginary, apparently the faulty construct of blinkered and obtuse and elderly experts, their apparent causes illusory, the consequences unimaginable to any parent. The capacity the of medical forensic profession for increasing the population of imaginary murders was not however stilled. Earlier, Professor David Southall had seen a Channel 4 programme concerning the Clark case, a colleague of Professor Meadow. He complained to the Police on the basis of seeing the programme, that Steven Clark, the father, has been involved in the death of his 2 children. This bizarre allegation was judged on June 5th 2004 by the General Medical Council who ruled that Prof Southall acted in a manner that was “inappropriate”, “irresponsible” and “misleading” in compiling a report outlining his accusations and concerns. They will re-convene on August 5th for further consideration. Meanwhile Dr Southall resolutely refuses to withdraw his accusation. Steve Clark and the author describe these claims as a “sick joke”.
John Batt held a watching brief for Sally Clark's father, he is an experienced solicitor and TV writer on legal issues. Necessarily his book is partial, but close access to the family (he knew Sally Clark as a child), the defence case and the very public campaign orchestrated by PR professional Sue Stapely, the book provides a unique and essentially coherent insight into the case. It takes a serial diary type format, in places it is confused and jumbled, the absence of an index makes cross-referencing difficult, but the tale almost cinematic in its dramas and dénouements, even given its leaden prose, is worth the effort.
Child killers are few, mothers who murder even fewer. Stereotypically they are harassed vulnerable, inadequate, uneducated waifs, abused by drunken or drugged boyfriends living in squalor in rented accommodation, strung out and barely supported by overworked, understaffed social services and exiguous medical support.
When a well-educated solicitor is charged with murdering her 2 children in her bedroom, the world watches with the eager fascination that Orwell identified. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge allows Robin Spencer QC to announce that Sally Clark has had treatment at the Priory Hospital for alcohol problems. This had been revealed when Police found receipts for payment for the treatment when searching their house, long before charges had been laid.
In a curious agreement approved by the judge, the jury were denied hearing anything about Sally Clark's alcoholism, binge drinking or evidence concerning her character. Julian Bevan QC, who never met Sally Clark, traded with Robin Spencer QC for the defence in pre-trial hearings, silence on the alcohol problems Sally had suffered, which it was agreed have no direct bearing on the case, with an agreement not to introduce character witnesses for Sally. The world of high pay, high pressure solicitors who charge hundreds of pounds per day for their time, expertise and legal and technical skills, where taking half bottles of vodka to work and slipping out to Marks & Spencer for gin and tonic mixer drinks is outside most newspaper reader's experience.
Despite the advice of her Rumpolish, criminal court savvy solicitor Mike Mackay, to appear “mumsy”, she appeared in smart, tailored, dark legal business suits. This does nothing to soften the image presented by the prosecution of an ambitious highly paid and glamorous lawyer, living in the wealthy purlieus of Manchester, trapped by unwelcome parenthood, smothering or in some other way killed her children in her own bedroom.
This is an unusual case; the jury first have to be convinced two murders took place, and then consider if Sally Clark was responsible. They approach the case with the correct and simplistic view that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, finally 2 of the jury cannot accept she is guilty and a majority verdict is given.
Despite this, the dishonesty of the Crown Prosecuting Counsel's forensic scientists finished her off. The jury, unnamed, unknown, were truly the heroes of the case, described by the author as “…most in their teens, or early twenties, one man perhaps one woman is over 40. 3 have difficulty reading the oath. They look as if they have been beamed up to an alien planet by Scotty in Star Trek”.
It was these (to Mr John Batt) apparent simpletons, who penetrated the obfuscating fog of legal terms, medical terminology, and pedantic process. It was these 12 peers, good and true, who identified the simple clear need to answer a simple clear question. A question they framed in writing and presented to the judge. Harry died, blood samples were taken, what did they show?
Faced with this clear simple question, Dr Williams, the Home Office consultant forensic pathologist produced a simple response. He lied. Remarkably the Appeal Court judges said they discounted the possibility that Dr Williams deliberately concealed the information. Three years after Sally Clark had entered prison and her family's unbelievable anguish, enormous legal costs, and the press world wide had published photographs of Hope Cottage, their family home entitled “The Death House”, Dr Williams precipitated her release by refusing to explain himself.
Mr John Batt says in a word of advice “…if anybody is arrested for anything – but particularly if it is for murdering a baby – they should refuse to answer the questions without a criminal lawyer's advice”.
As anyone familiar with the world of criminal prosecution knows, the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Press, don't want the Truth.
They want a result.
In a not dissimilar case at Winchester, Angela Cunnings, by an extraordinary coincidence, like Sally from Salisbury, who had been convicted for the murder of two of her three children who died, was released. Margaret Hodge, Blairite Minister for Children, announced the review of 5,000 possible injustices in the Family Court. The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, was no doubt still otherwise busy determining the legality of invading Iraq and thereby killing hundreds of Iraqi children with high explosive bombs, napalm, mines, missiles, cluster bombs, and the other violent consequences of all out modern warfare on densely populated cities. He stated that 258 convictions for murder, manslaughter and infanticide of babies would be “urgently” reviewed and 57 people in prison, would be examined and if necessary fast-tracked to the Court of Appeal. (The concept of m'learned members of the legal profession fast tracking has an especial appeal – perhaps fast-track has some relationship with a fast buck?)
Not to be outdone in this tsunami of legal (and no doubt highly remunerative) re-cycling and navel gazing, Harriet Harman, the Solicitor General announced the following day, that the Director of Public Prosecutions would personally review 15 cases awaiting trial.
It is not known (and it's unlikely) that any members of the jury who framed the written question that opened this medico-legal scandal are being canvassed for their forensic skills and clear simple, straight thinking. Perhaps Scotty has beamed them back home.
Stolen Innocence: The Story of Sally Clark byJohn Batt, Ebury Press 2004 ISBN 0091900700 336 pps. Amazon Books
40 year old, Danish actor and heart throb, Mads Mikklesen is to be evil villian Le Chiffre in the latest (21st) James Bond fillum .. "Casino Royale" ... thus confirming all the doubts of the Muslim world about the evil, nature of the Danes.
...he is the one without the blonde hair.
4 USAF F-15E Strike Eagles, bombed a known terrorist facility at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15 in southern Baghdad says a military Press release.
Terrorists were using a former Iraqi regime munitions storage bunker, located in a large, uninhabited weapons-storage complex in the Babil province, to acquire and transport bomb-making munitions to be used in attacks against the Iraqi people and Coalition Forces.
The sorties made multiple passes to ensure the complete and methodical destruction of the bunker.
This says a resident was probably al-Saha, on the other side of the neighborhood of Dora, where a major refinery is located and remarks, " the Iraqis are taking the fight to the terrorists, blah blah, why are the Americans resorting to air strikes here?"
So, 3 years after the illegal and crushing invasion there are (near Baghdad) still “former Iraqi regime” munitions lying around in unguarded “former Iraqi regime” depots where insurgents can “acquire” them to make IED's.
Incidentally the FY '07 USAF budget proposal includes $752 million to buy six (yes 6 that;s over USD 100 Mn each !!!) Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles and three ground stations in FY07. The budget would also buy 24 MQ-1 Predators and two test models of the MQ-9 Predator B for a total of $349 million.
A website has been started calling for support for Danish Goods (in 24 languages) which has been set up by a Danish engineering student in Belgium . Arla foods (Lurpak Butter etc.,) are said to be losing USD 1.5 MN sales a day in the Middle East. The Danske Bank say that it could cost the nation USD 1 Bn in the next year in lost sales.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Yesterday the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs replaced three members lost from the Board, former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Chairman of Supervisory Board at Industrial and Construction Bank Vladimir Kogan and Vice President of the Union Viktor Dombrovsky.
They were replaced by LUKoil President Vagit Alekperov, Metalloinvest and Gazmetall co-owner Alisher Usmanov and Kuzbassrazrezugol CEO Andrey Bokarev.
President Putin, spent more than 15 years as a Federal Security Service (FSB) agent, he then returned to study at the St. Petersburg Mining Institute. One of the most prestigious academic institutions in Russia, which traces its history to 1773. Since 1994 its rector has been Vladimir Litvinenko, who also serves as a member of the government's newly created Energy Commission.
Litvinenko was rector when Putin (then 44) in 1997 presented his doctoral dissertation examining how natural resources can contribute to regional economies and strategic planning in Russia.
Two years later, Putin -- then the director of the FSB -- wrote an article for the mining institute's journal "Mineral Natural Resources In The Development Strategy For The Russian Economy."
In it, Putin argued that hydrocarbons were key to Russia's development and the restoration of its former power. He argued that the most effective way to exploit this resource was through state regulation of the fuel sector, and by creating large and vertically integrated companies that would work in partnership with the state.
Putin worked in the St. Petersburg mayor's office, where he headed the Foreign Economic Relations Department and he developed his views on ebergy as a strategic tool.
In that office Putin worked with:
Aleksei Miller, now CEO of the state-controlled Gazprom monopoly
Dmitry Medvedev, a lawyer, the head of the presidential administration, First deputy prime minister (appointed November 2005), and chairmen of the board of directors at Gazprom is seen by some as Putin's successor.
Igor Sechin, ex KGB, who is currently the deputy head of Putin's administration as well as the chairman of the board of directors at the state-owned oil company Rosneft.
Classmates / mayoral and former agents of the KGB, the predecessor to Putin's FSB, also enjoy crucial influence in the Kremlin, and are known as the "siloviki," or "power men, (sometimes the Sechin/Ivanov men).
They have a major impact both government energy policy and the way in which it is implemented.
Aleksandr Ryazanov, the deputy chairman of Gazprom, and reportedly the head of the "siloviki" faction within the gas giant. Ryazanov became chief executive of the Sibneft oil company after it was purchased by
Gazprom in 2005. He has also been appointed head of UkrGazEnergo, the newly created
Ukrainian-Russian joint venture to act as an intermediary between Ukraine's state-run
Naftohaz Ukrayiny and the mysterious Swiss / Austrian-based RosUkrEnergo.
Viktor Ivanov, another deputy head of the presidential administration who has a colorful history. A graduate of the Leningrad Bonch-Bruyevich Electrical Technical University. Before joining the KGB in1977 after working as an engineer NPO Vektorhe fought with Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Upon his return, he rose to the head of the anticontraband department of the Leningrad Oblast KGB. He retired from service in 1994 with the rank of colonel and Putin made him head of Administration of St. Petersburg city hall.1996-1998 was head of Russian-American joint venture ZAO Teleplus, a satellite TV company broadcasting 30 channels, including CNN and Euronews.In 2002 he was elected chairman of the board of directors at PVO Concern Almaz-Antei, which produces the S-300 surface-to-air missile system (the supersonic / stealth missiles). The company was set up by presidential decree and formed from 46 state enterprises and companies.
In February 2003, Yuri Svirin resigned due to "ill health" from Almaz-Antei and Igor Klimov was appointed acting general directorin May 2003, Igor Klimov was killed in Moscow by persons unknown.
Deputy Federal Security Service (FSB) director for economic security Yuri Zaostrovtsev is seen as the link between the FSB and the "siloviki".
Putin is forming a Board of Directors composed of friends and work colleagues, who set the agenda for Russian energy policy and in fact control the country's vast energy resources.
The change of governance of the Russian state which has accompanied Putin's rise to power. where he runs a parallel political system which exists behind the facade of an elected President and Duma; the coterie of the "siloviki"; the men from the KGB, the GRU, the MVD, the FSB and the other "control organs" have slipped back into power under the cloak of Putinism.
There is no mystery about their growth and strength. A "college" of former Chekists who moved in with Putin from St. Petersburg and who first replaced the Yeltsin "Family" and then the Chekists associated with Yeltsin; thereafter they moved to take on the oligarchs.
What Putin is establishing is a system of power where the nation's key economic assets are run on behalf of the state by a group of close associates. Those assets are a guarantee that those people retain political power. The creation of the super corporation Gazpromneft is another brick in the construction of Putin's Russia; another step towards the implementation of the project launched by the Chekists to transform Russia into an authoritarian capitalist regime.
Marx's pamphlet the "Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" demonstrates how the class struggle in France forced Napoleon to create himself as head of a state run by the security organs and the bureaucracy. "Bonapartism" has been used to describe a government that forms when a military, police, and state bureaucracy intervenes to establish order.
Putin is forming a Board of Directors composed of friends and work colleagues, who set the agenda for Russian energy policy and in fact control the country's vast energy resources.
Their influence should not be underestimated.Their activities should be carefully observed in the West. The recent spat over Ukraine gas supplies emphasises that these guys play hardball.
On January 15th 2006 the Government quietly published
UK'S STRATEGIC NUCLEAR DETERRENT - Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Defence
There are three very interesting Appendices from which some snippets deserve a wider audience ...
The Government is yet to take a decision on whether or not to replace Trident.
Since the end of the Cold War we have reduced the total explosive power of our nuclear forces by over 70%. We have also reduced the readiness of our nuclear forces: only a single Trident (of four constructed) submarine is now on deterrent patrol, carrying 48 warheads which are de-targetted and are at several days "notice to fire".The Trident D5 missile came into service with the Royal Navy in 1994, with a planned life of some 25 years. The US Navy has recently announced plans for a life extension programme for the D5 missile, which will ensure it can remain in-service with the US Navy into the 2040s. The UK Government has yet to decide whether or not to participate in this programme.
In 1993, Atomic Weapons Establishment AWE, (formerly Atomic Weapons Research Establishment) moved from its position as a Government establishment to one which was still Government-owned but operated by a private contractor. Nuclear licensing was introduced in 1997: site licenses and discharge authorities for Aldermaston and Burghfield were granted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the Environment Agency. This brought the AWE sites under the same regulatory controls as the civil nuclear industry. On 1 April 2000 - co-incidentally, fifty years to the day after its foundation - and following a competition, the Ministry of Defence placed a contract with a new company, AWE Management Limited (a consortium comprising Lockheed Martin, Serco and BNFL) to manage and operate the two sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield. The contract was initially awarded for an initial period of 10 years with an option to extend to 25 years with access to private finance. This option was taken up in 2003.
The average age of the workforce at AWE has been increasing, as the generation recruited to meet the initial requirements of the Chevaline and Trident programmes near the end of their careers. There is therefore a requirement to recruit new members of staff to ensure that the core skills within AWE are sustained.(vide Nuclear Power industry recruitment problems)
Much of the basic infrastructure at AWE (such as the heating and electrical systems and a considerable percentage of the office accommodation) dates back to the 1950s and is increasingly expensive and inefficient to operate. A great deal of the additional investment will therefore focus on refurbishment work in this area.
This additional investment at AWE is required to sustain the existing warhead stockpile in-service irrespective of decisions on any successor warhead. The investment will sustain core skills and facilities that could also be used in future to develop a successor but no decisions have yet been made either in principle or practice on this issue.
This document although published in January is dated November 2005.
Cheney breathless, tells a hushed and waiting nation that after felling his shooting pal he "ran over" to help him ..... that suggests a distance between them that the evidence belies ... and this guy ran ? He may run the country but he couldn't run 5 yards.
The only place this guy would run is away.
Pic. Limp Dick and Turkey Walk Rumsfeld at the WH
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Dr. John Mecikalski, assistant professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin and NASA's Langley Research Centre. Dr Mecikalski, has developed a system that is about 65 percent accurate in giving a one-hour warning before heavy rain starts to fall within a thunderstorm. The results of their recent work were published in the January edition of "Monthly Weather Review" and will be presented at the annual winter meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta.
"Our goal is to take existing, real-time satellite instruments and predict aviation hazards due to thunderstorms and severe weather," says Dr Mecikalski. "the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is evaluating our tool, the FAA is testing it and the Huntsville National Weather Service office used it this summer."
Using both both visible and infrared images taken by NOAA's Geostationary Satellites (GOES) (see images here in real time http://www.goes.noaa.gov/) and NASA's Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellites the system merges the visible and infrared data, and the forecast model gets new cloud top temperature readings every 15 minutes. Cumulus clouds that get colder from one reading to the next are building; cloud tops that get significantly colder are building rapidly.
"Not only can you tell if a cloud is getting deeper, you can also tell if the top has turned from water droplets to ice, which is related to lightning formation," Mecikalski said.
As the system can give warnings an hour in advance it can help airline and private pilots take evasive action before a thunderstorm becomes violent improving safety and comfort, it also improves efficiency and so cut costs.
In addition helping avoid storms it can also help warn of possible turbulence above storms and downwind from mountain ranges. Wind blowing over the tops of either mountains or billowing cloud tops can create a "wave" or rotor effect. Air being forced upward as it blows over mountains or storms creates low pressure on the back side of the obstacle, which pulls the air into sometimes powerful downdrafts. This vertical airflow can create a turbulent wave pattern that will continue downwind. In clear air, it is invisible to the human eye and can't be detected by Doppler radar.
These waves, however, can be seen by the satellite sensors, says Mecikalski. "When one of these waves breaks like it does on a beach, that's when you can have a problem for aviation. It acts like a wave on a beach, but it's invisible. The satellites let you see these phenomenon."
The satellite infrared sensors "see" these waves because rising air cools while sinking air warms, creating alternating bands of warmer and colder infrared radiation.
One advantage of using satellite information is that it is available over most of the globe, so it might be used to provide hazard warnings over areas not covered by Doppler or aviation radar systems.
In addition to studying turbulence and convective storms, Mecikalski and his colleagues are also developing techniques for using satellite data to detect and warn of volcanic ash in the atmosphere, and of possible icing conditions.
Pic is a colour enhanced Water Vapour plot of West Coast USA from NOAA GOES feed.
The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a website about the drawing / cartoons depicting the Prophet and provides news . official views etc., in English / Danish / Arabic
There is a Statement from the Danish Prime Minister
It is accompanied by the sound of stable doors being firmly bolted.
The pictures shown on SBS Dateline in Australia can be seen here at Daily Kos there are also some more at the SBS website gallery and URUKNET
and also at Raw Story
WARNING : Extraordinarily unpleasant.
This is what the Senate and Congress members were reported saying by the Wapo after viewing the pictures and videos in May since then of course the pictures / videos have been successfully kept from the world.
"What we saw is appalling," said Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the Senate majority leader, after the Defense Department brought a computer disc containing the digital photos and video clips to Capitol Hill and displayed them on a computer in a closed-door meeting.
Keeping the pictures under wraps "protects the integrity of the legal process" and avoids "inspiring the enemy" to harm members of the U.S.-led coalition or civilians in Iraq, Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Warner said.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, "What I have seen is disgusting and it is disappointing." He said there were "obvious examples in videos of inhumane treatment" and that, in one photo, he counted seven or eight troops in a hallway in which several Iraqi prisoners were tied together naked on the floor.
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said what most shocked her was a video clip of a handcuffed prisoner beating his head against a wall. She said another video showed a group of men masturbating.
On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”
US Statute § 2340A. Torture
Release date: 2004-08-06
(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.
Article 35 (c) of the new Iraqi Constitution BBC translation
(c) All forms of torture, mental or physical, and inhuman treatment are forbidden. There is no recognition of any confession extracted by force or threats or torture, and the injured party may seek compensation for any physical or mental injury that is inflicted.
Comments were made here in December "Fucking Lying bitch"
“The US does not condone torture,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters gathered in the Berlin Chancellery. “We do, however, have an obligation to defend our people and to use every lawful means to combat terrorism.”
Michael Scheuer was the senior CIA analyst responsible for tracking Osama bin Laden from 1996, he writes
“bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world.” Osama’s concern “is out to drastically alter U.S. and Western policies toward the Islamic world,” Scheuer writes: “He is a practical warrior, not an apocalyptic terrorist in search of Armageddon.”
Recent blogs on same topic here
Selim Zilkha the son of the fabled Banker of Baghdad set up the Mothercare retail chain of children’s clothing and baby goods stores in the UK, and sold out in the 70’s and moved to the USA. In the mid-1980s, while oil was cheap and most drillers were pulling out of the Gulf of Mexico, Selim Zilkha started stocking up on Gulf leases. Using sophisticated computer analysis he was able to identify those areas where there was still oil to drill for using new deep water techniques. In 2001, when oil prices were starting to rise, Zilkha sold out, trading his Zilkha Energy Co. for a $660 million stake in El Paso Corp.
His next play was to put a $110 million bet on a notorious money pit: wind farms.
With his son Michael (record producer and manager of the red Hot Chilli Peppers) , Zilkha bought a Houston-based wind energy company, now called Zilkha Renewable Energy, for $6 million with plans for further investment.
But generating electricity alone won't make money. The business plan was to sell the turbines to a bigger player, who will want the windmills not for their power capacity, but for the tax credits they generate - 1.9 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Late in 2005 Zilkha Renewable Energy with an energy portfolio of nearly 4,000 MW in various stages of development in a dozen states finished negotiating with the Goldman Sachs Group of New York on an acquisition agreement. Goldman Sachs purchased a controlling interest in Zilkha which said to involve sums not unadjacent to $400Mn.
At the time Goldman Sachs said that,
“less than 1% of US power-generating capacity currently comes from wind. Goldman Sachs sees considerable room for growth in wind energy. This is the fastest growing segment of the energy market.”
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) which was scheduled to end December 2005 was extended in July by Congress By simply changing the PTC expiration date to December 31, 2007, the extension left in place the PTC’s current 1.9 cent per kilowatt-hour value, the annual inflation adjustment provision, and the 10-year term to generate credits following the installation of a wind turbine.
The company was renamed Horizon Wind Energy in August 2005. More here. The Zilkhas are no longer involved.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street's most profitable firm, paid employees an average $521,000 last year, the No. 2 U.S. securities firm by market value, paid $11.7 billion in compensation to 22,425 employees for the fiscal year that ended in November.
Goldman's profit rose 24 % in fiscal 2005 to an all-time high of $5.6 billion. It paid out 47.2 % of revenue in compensation, up from 46.7 % in 2004.
U.S. Has Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies says the NYT today (subscription)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — The Federal government is about to make the biggest giveaway of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.
New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.
Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the l royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period.
Administration officials say that the benefits are dictated by The original law, known as the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act, which had had bipartisan support and was intended to promote exploration and production in deep waters of the outer continental shelf because of the high costs and high risks of drilling in water thousands of feet deep.
The law authorized the Interior Department, which leases out tens of millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico, to forgo its normal 12 percent royalty for much of the oil and gas produced in very deep waters.laws and regulations that date back to 1996, when energy prices were relatively low and Congress wanted to encourage more exploration and drilling in the high-cost, high-risk deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
"We need to remember the primary reason that incentives are given," said Johnnie M. Burton, director of the federal Minerals Management Service. "It's not to make more money, necessarily. It's to make more oil, more gas, because production of fuel for our nation is essential to our economy and essential to our people." So why is the amount of royalty-free gas and oil expected to double over the next five years?
The biggest reason is that the Clinton administration, apparently worried about the continued lack of interest in new drilling, waived the price triggers for all leases awarded in 1998 and 1999.
Meanwhile Bush and House Republicans are trying to kill a one-year, $5 billion windfall profits tax for oil companies that the Senate passed last fall.
Moreover, the projected largess could be just the start. Last week, Kerr-McGee Exploration and Development, a major industry player, began a brash but utterly serious court challenge that could, if it succeeds, cost the government another $28 billion in royalties over the next five years.
If Kerr-McGee is successful, administration projections indicate that about 80 percent of all oil and gas from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico would be royalty-free.
"It's one of the greatest train robberies in the history of the world," said Representative George Miller, a California Democrat who has fought royalty concessions on oil and gas for more than a decade. "It's the gift that keeps on giving."
Tina Kreisher, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, said Monday that the giveaways might turn out to be less than the basic forecasts indicate because of "certain variables."
The government does not disclose the benefit to individual companies from the incentives, and most companies refuse to disclose either how much they pay in royalties or how much they are allowed to avoid.
But the benefits are almost entirely for gas and oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico.
The biggest producers include Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon Mobil as well as smaller independent companies like Anadarko and Devon Energy.
Executives at some companies, including Exxon Mobil, said they had already stopped claiming royalty relief because they knew market prices had exceeded the government's price triggers.
About one-quarter of all oil and gas produced in the United States comes from Federal lands and Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile look forward to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and child support enforcement programs over the same period.
Fuck it the deficits are going to grow so why bother ...? Let's go shoot some quail, go fishing , play golf, ... shit the defence budget is nearly double what it was under Clinton ... we are fighting for America and anybody who says we aren't is .....
Now here's a puzzle. The Prime Minister is delayed in leaving South Africa, his plane on take off apparently suffered engine failure... The Guradian briefly outlines what happened ...
The pilot saw sparks flying from one of its three engines and then heard a bang as he was accelerating halfway down the runway. "If it had happened 20 or 30 seconds later things might have been different" said one of those on board.
PM in lucky escape ? ... what airport ? What plane? Who chartered from? Time of incident ... no press taking still pics, no press taking video shots ? No interviews with observers, crew....
The PM is delayed it appears about 24 hours ...the timing is very vague ... are there no more planes ...scheduled flights ..after all he flies on scheduled flights to Egypt for holidays with the family?
What was he doing in South Africa, when did he leave UK, who did he meet, who was on the plane with him ?
It doesn't seem to interest the Press ...... that's another puzzle.
60 previously unpublished photographs released under a claim by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) under the Freedom of Information Act will be broadcast on the SBS Dateline program. Dateline, which began in 1984, is Australia's longest-running international current affairs program.
ACLU were granted access to the photographs last year but the US Administration has appealed against the decision on the grounds their release would fuel anti-American sentiment.
You can access the photographs 1 of the photographs released so far and published by the Sysdney Morning Herald online here
The decision to view is yours, only dog lovers those with a strong stomach should look. No doubt more will be available PDQ and circulated worldwide to inflame the fires of Muslim sentiment.
Recent blogs on same topic here
In September 2005 I pointed out here that "Dangerous Beauty" on the new Rolling Stones CD "A Bigger Bang" was about the Abu Ghraib activities and the related pics.
Pre – launch publicity for the CD of the Rolling Stones Tour – “a bigger bang” centred on Sweet Neo Con :
You call yourself a Christian
I think that you're a hypocrite
You say you are a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit
But one thing that is certain
Life is good at Haliburton
If you're really so astute
You should invest at Brown & Root.... Yeah
Yeah Mick – cutting edge. Ron Wood who lives in America was said to be kacking his pants that the Feds would pull him…
I bought the CD today and played it…. They don’t let us down .. but then you get to this…
dangerous beauty Track 11
In your high school photo
You look so young and naïve
Now I heard you got a nickname
The lady with the leash
Was it funny on your midnight shift
I bet you had your fair share of stiffs
Hey were onerous orders
I gotta admit
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
Disdainfully painfully beating up booty
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
‘Cos You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
It’s so painfully plain to us
You were doing your duty
Who you got there in that hood
You look so fancy in those photographs
With your rubber gloves on
But you’re a favourite one
With the Chiefs of Staff
You’re doing such a wonderful job
You’re a natural at working with dogs
Keeping everyone awake at night
With a touch of the prods
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
If I was your Captain would you salute ,me
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
Are you one bad apple in a box
Dealing out electric shocks
I saw the gloves coming off
If looks could be killing
I bet you would shoot me
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
Pianfuly shamefully doing your duty
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
The “Lady with the Leash” ?… Lynndie England
The Dangerous Beauty ? …. Sabrina Harman
Recent blogs on same topic here
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The VeriChip™ passive RFID device is the core VeriChip applications. About the size of a grain of rice, each VeriChip™ contains a unique verification number, which can be used to access a Subscriber-supplied database providing specific information. The chip itself contains no other data than this unique electronic numeric ID. Unlike conventional forms of identification, VeriChip™ cannot be lost, stolen, misplaced, or counterfeited.
Once inserted just under the skin, via a quick, painless (?) outpatient procedure (much like getting a shot see pic from NYT), the VeriChip™ can be scanned when necessary with a proprietary VeriChip reader. A small amount of radio frequency energy passes from the reader energizing the dormant VeriChip™, which then emits a radio frequency signal transmitting the individuals unique verification (VeriChipID) number. The VeriChip Subscriber Number then provides instant access to the Global VeriChip Subscriber (GVS) Registry - through secure, password protected Web access to subscriber-supplied information.
Far fetched ? Well An Ohio based compamy CityWatcher.com, a private video surveillance company, is testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police.
Sean Darks, CEO of CityWatcher, said the glass-encased chips were like identity cards. They are planted in the upper right arm of the recipient, and “read” by a device similar to a cardreader.
“There’s nothing pulsing or sending out a signal,” Mr Darks told the FT. He told them he had a chip in his own arm. “It’s not a GPS chip. My wife can’t tell where I am.”
So far VeriChip claims that around 70 people in the US have had the veriChip implants implants.
RFID implant technology isn't new. The Mexican government has already been using the technology for some employees in the Ministry of Justice so they can pass through security. The Baja Beach night club in Barcelona offers the chip to its VIP's which was reported the BBC last year.
This site (Night Also Cometh) has a lot (some of it implausible) information about claimed sinister usage of such technology - it's worth a look even if only to see that it is claimed the Gloria Steinem and Ms magazine acted for and was funded by the CIA.
Why bother with an ID card ? ... and you could tracked by a satellite ...easy peasy.
Postscript : The Vancouver Sun Jan 7th has a story about Amal Graafstra and his girlfriend Jennifer Tomblin who have implanted RFID tags in their hands and using a reader made by a University of Calgary spin-off, Phidgets Inc., (which sells the reader for $65 Cdn.)was able to set up the opening of house locks and log onto his PC
Even more bizarre is an online group, the "Tagged" RFID group
where members share their implant stories and photos and vigorously debate the merits and risks of putting computer chips under their skin.
Thameswey Energy Limited (Woking Council - see note ) have had a long standing relationship with Danish energy company Xergi Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Xergi A/S, Denmark) and are about to extend the existing co-generation plant in the town centre of Woking, Nr London. This will consist of an additional gas engine, absorption cooling plant, boiler as well as an expansion of the existing heat rejection facilities for the existing absorption cooling plant.
Further, the existing networks are to be extended to a new county council building and gallery as well as to the nearby cinema/theatre building and the YMCA.
The co-generation system in Woking is a tri-generation system (the first in England), which supplies heat, cold water and electricity in private supply lines to the customers.
Xergi GmbH (a wholly owned subsidiary of Xergi A/S, Denmark) is to deliver a turnkey biogas plant to Gut Quarnbek, Kiel, Germany.
The plant is a 500 kWe plant which is to treat 10-12,000 tons of biomass per year. 85% of the gas production will come from energy crops. The remaining gas production will come from cattle and chicken manure.
The price for the electricity produced on the plant will attract an additional 20 EUR/ MWh electricity in the form of a "new technology bonus" as the plant has been extended by an Organic Rankine Cycle plant. The ORC plant utilizes the flue gas of the gas engine for further electricity production.
The construction works are expected to start immediately after receipt of the building permit, approx. 1 May, and the biogas plant is expected to produce electricity by the end of 2006.
In 2004, Demmark's energy-related industries exported DKK 32b (EUR 4.3b) worth of products, according to the Danish Energy Authority.
Much of that growth is thanks to an increase in the export of wind turbines. In 2004, wind technology exports made up 70 percent of energy technology exports, especially to the USA.
This thriving export industry is based on a busy domestic industry ,,, As of 1 January 2005, Denmark had a wind capacity of 3118 MW, 424 MW at offshore wind-turbines.
In 2004, wind-power production accounted for 18.5% of Danish domestic electricity supply against 15.8% the previous year; wind turbines produced 23.7 PJ of electricity, which amounts to 2.9% of corrected gross energy-consumption. 2004 was close to being a normal wind year.
Thameswey Energy Ltd., (more here..PDF alert) is a public/private joint venture Energy Services Company or ESCO between Thameswey Ltd., and ESCO International A/S owned by Miljo-Sam Holding APS. Miljo-Sam Holding APS is owned by Pen-Sam (a Danish pension fund) and Hedeselskab who also own Hedeselskabet Miljo og Energi A/S, a Danish green energy company. Projects are financed with shareholding capital and private finance with project development carried out jointly between the Council and Hedeselskabet Miljo og Energi A/S who also own HME Contractors A/S who act as the turnkey contractor on large scale district energy schemes. Hedeselskab is a foundation committed to environmental projects whose patron is Her Majesty Queen Margarethe II of Denmark.
Left Click on image to enlarge.
Recent blogs on same topic here
Alliant technical systems is a $3.1 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 15,000 people in 23 states. In a series of flight tests conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds, (Their Press statement says) they have successfully demonstrated the ballistic characteristics of the most advanced mortar round ever developed for the U.S. Army – ATK’s precision guided mortar munition (PGMM - see pic ) which uses GPS positioning. A total of 49 rounds were shot over three days from a 120mm mortar, achieving all test objectives.
The tests included establishing the appropriate charge weight to ensure proper muzzle velocity when the round exits the mortar tube; evaluating range performance, obtaining aeroballistics data and verifying structural integrity at hot, cold and ambient temperatures. Secondary objectives included feedback from mortar operators on the handling of the new PGMM round and collection of mortar interior environment data.
ATK and the U.S. Army have established an extensive test regimen to ensure that the first PGMM production rounds will be ready for delivery no later than 2010.
PGMM is an advanced weapon system that a precise, multi-purpose indirect fire capability that can fly in excess of seven kilometers and impact within one meter of the target.(!) It will be able to defeat protected enemy with low collateral damage in 2 rounds or less.
Splits: 11-Jun-02 [3:2], 10-Sep-01 [3:2]
Recent blogs on same topic here
Randy Brown, Global Hawk Systems Group director with the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio tells me the airworthiness certification process for the new Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk has begun and is expected to be completed by late 2007. The larger RQ-4B Global Hawk will carry fifty percent more payload than the current RQ-4A Global Hawk. First flight for the RQ-4B is planned later this year.
Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk reconnaissance system is the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to achieve (Jan 25th 2006) a military airworthiness certification. This certification, along with the Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizes Global Hawk's ability to routinely fly within national airspace. More here
This airworthiness certification covers all five production RQ-4A Global Hawk vehicles delivered to the Air Force thus far and outweighs civilian experimental airworthiness certifications that have been granted to other UAVs. The military airworthiness certification process is very rigorous and has taken 3 years and 77,000 man-hours to achieve. This is a continuous process that will be maintained through the life of the aircraft, similar to that for all manned aircraft.
During three deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the war on terrorism, more than 250 missions and 5,000 combat flight hours have been logged by Global Hawk aircraft.
Global Hawk flies autonomously at an altitude of more than 60,000 feet, above inclement weather and prevailing winds, for more than 35 hours at a time. During a single mission, it can provide detailed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information in near-real time over 40,000 square miles - approximately the size of Indiana.(Speeders watch out, Big Bro. IS watching)
The cost ? ...... Global Hawk is the most expensive UAV currently available. As of mid-2002 the estimated unit costs had tripled over the original estimate of $15 million apiece. The aircraft costs about $48 million with a full sensor suite, or about $70 million each if development costs are included.
Recent blogs on same topic here
Air Force Link 14th Feb 2006 has an article, "Prototype Global Hawk flies home after 4,000 combat hours" by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Leonhard, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
A high-flying prototype “Airman” is heading home after being deployed more than four years and flying 4,245 hours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Combined Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Global Hawk Air Vehicle No. 3 began its journey back home at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 10, and is expected to land there Feb. 16.
The Financial Times reports today that the EU is threatening to reimpose trade sanctions on the US unless Congress eliminates the vestiges of a tax break for US exporters that was ruled illegal on Monday by the World Trade Organisation. The 8 year trade saga relates to the US / EU dispute over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing, the aircraft manufacturers, rather than planning a full-scale transatlantic trade war.
Meanwhile Alan Mullaly Boeing CEO excitedly tells me ( I haven't seen him since the Dubai show) they have just rolled out the 5,000th 737 for the largest 737 operator SouthWest Airlines.(see pic)
The 5,000th 737, a 737-700 painted in Southwest Airlines colors, is the 447th 737 to join the carrier's fleet. Southwest has helped launch three Boeing 737 models -- the 737-300, -500 and the -700.
Alan says with more than 4,100 airplanes in service, the 737 represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of large commercial jets flying today. More than 541 operators fly 737s into more than 1,200 cities in 190 countries. It is estimated that approximately 1,250 737s are in the air at any given moment, that says Alan means one is taking off or landing every 4.6 seconds.
The Boeing 737 is the best-selling commercial jetliner of all time, with total orders now exceeding 6,000 airplanes. The 737 family -100 and -200 models, entered service in 1968; the Classic -300, -400 and -500 models, entered service in 1984; and the newest members -- the Next-Generation 737-600, -700, -800 and -900ER models, which entered service in 1998.
...this leaves the industry wondering what follows ... the 737 and the Airbus 320 are hard acts to follow.
Randy Baseler VP for marketing recently told me "It is a very high hurdle," ridiculing the notion a 737 replacement program could begin soon after the wide-body 787 enters service in 2008.
The decision is eagerly awaited and will have enormous ramifications in Seattle region. Will it be assembled in Seattle? If so, in Renton or in Everett? (Unclear.)
Initial studies of the issue have produced disappointing results. At an industry conference in January in Dublin, Ireland, Randy showed a slide listing the hurdles that have to be cleared and concluded: "Someday the 737 and [rival Airbus] A320s will be replaced, but so far we have not found a compelling replacement."
Baseler said the speculation about an early launch is fueled by the sales success of the 787 and the expectation that Boeing could simply transfer that jet's technology breakthroughs — its light composite airframe and fuel-efficient engines — to a smaller jet.
Not so fast, said Baseler. He said the main advantage of the lighter 787 airframe is an extra 2,000-mile range, a huge advantage for an intercontinental jet. But 737s are used for shorter routes and simply don't need more range than they have now.
That leaves fuel consumption, operating cost, production cost — and therefore price — as the key areas for gains.
Flight International, citing information from suppliers, said both Airbus and Boeing have found that applying the new technology improvements in the small-jet category would reduce fuel consumption around 4 percent and operating costs 3 percent.... not a good reason to invest possibly $5 billion.
The hurdle is higher because the 737, as well as the A320, are such efficient airplanes. For an airline like Southwest to switch from 737s would require a big infrastructure and training investment. There has to be compelling economic gain.
The 777 succeeded because of the big efficiency advance in moving from four engines to two on a large airplane. The 787 ignited market interest with a promise of 20 percent fuel savings and that extra 2,000-mile range.
What innovation might deliver a similar kick-start for a 737 replacement? Boeing is still looking.
Randy told me that Mulally's recent off-the-cuff remarks about a 737 replacement in Paris last June. He floated idea that because of a shift to production of very large composite fuselage sections, Boeing might offer more than one fuselage size when it next launches a jet.
"We could do three different fuselages. Five abreast; six abreast; we could even do a twin-aisle,"
Flight International calls this the "smoke and mirrors" that both Boeing and Airbus use to obscure their future intentions. Each company discourages speculation that its cash-cow single-aisle medium highly economic jet might soon be terminated.
Recent blogs on same topic here
Duraid Durgham, head of state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria said on Monday 13th Feb 2006 that Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars amid a political confrontation with the United States.... Uncle Sam gets his beard tweaked again..
"This is a precaution. We are talking about billions of dollars. Switching to the euro will help us avoid settlement problems in the United Sates.The move is also needed to avoid complications with our correspondent banks, which have expressed a preference to deal in the Euro under these circumstances," he said.
The switch will involve Euro pricing for crude oil sales, the major foreign currency earner for Syria.
The latest official figures show Syria imported $6.7 billion goods in 2004 and exported $5.4 billion. Oil output is around 400,000 barrels per day. Oil has of course nearly tripled in value since 2004.
Washington imposed sanctions in 2004 that prohibited some U.S. exports to Syria, and severed financial ties with the Commercial Bank of Syria, and also froze the assets of Syrians believed linked to terrorism.
It was of course the decision of Saddam (with the approval of the UN under the Food for Oil Program) to sell oil in euros and bank the proceeds in Paris at Paribas bank that precipitated the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
That reversal of that decision and the banking of the proceeds in New York was one of the first decisions of the Coalition to be taken.
Now all eyes will be on Iran and the much heralded and discussed opening of their Euro denominated oil bourse on March 10th 2006.
Recent blogs on same topic here
Hidden away (page 131)of the Administrations' Budget proposals for FY'07 is OMB's projection that Federal debt will soar from $7.9 trillion at the end of FY'05 to $8.6 trillion by end FY'06.
US Current Accounts deficits now soar by over -$2.1 billion per day -- -$1.5 million each MINUTE.
US Household debt has now spiked to 123.6% of annual disposable income.
US Domestic savings rates became negative in June, fell to -1.1% dissaving in July and to -1.8% in August -- even with the sharp fall-off in sales -- and remained -0.4% in Sept.
US Federal government spending grew 7.5% in 2002 and 6.6% in 2003, it slowed to 4.7% in 2004 and soared again by 7.7% in '05-Q3 on the back of a further 10% surge in Defense spending.
US Consumer Price Index (CPI): Energy prices fell -2.2% in Dec. driving down overall consumer prices -0.1%. Still, consumer prices rose 3.4% in 2005 led by a 17.1% rise for Energy, 4.8% for Transportation, 4.3% for Health care and 4.0% for Housing. Apparel prices fell -1.1%, the 8th yearly drop in a row bringing relative Apparel prices down - 61% since 1989.
If you want to see how what's happened to jobs read Paul Craig Roberts at Dare
" ...over the last 5 years the US economy experienced a net job loss in goods producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing activities—primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government.
US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job. "
Hands up those who want to bomb the shit out of Iran , Syria .....
Monday, February 13, 2006
Head of the LUKoil company Vagit Alekperov met President Putin today. He had two pieces of good news for him :
1. Alekperov expressed satisfaction that Gazprom has been selling gas produced by the LUKoil Company at a fair price. "Last year, we commissioned a new gas deposit, and our agreement with Gasport has worked," Alekperov said at a meeting with the Russian president on Monday.
Investing into the gas sector gives us confidence that we shall get a profit, and that the business has good prospects, Alekperov said.
2. "We believe we are ready to buy heavily on the European and US markets, and we have been considering a number of large facilities that we are planning to buy," Alekperov told the president.
The LUKoil Company has launched active work, investing into Eastern Europe, mostly into oil processing plants so as to do retail business, rather than sell crude, and reach the end customer, he said.
LUKoil have 2,000 fuelling stations in the United States and 600 in Europe, which are "good assets that fetch good profits", Alekperov said.
Pic is camera shy Vagit signing a contract with Saudi Arabian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Ali I. Al-Naimi
The Senlis Council, is an international drug policy think tank,who have made the radical proposal to call for an immediate halt to all forced crop eradication activities in Afghanistan, warning of irreparable damage to reconstruction and development efforts if these destructive strategies are pursued.
“Eradication is a dangerous and ineffective policy and it attacks those who are profiting least in the opium trade - the farmers,” said Emmanuel Reinert, Executive Director of The Senlis Council. “Farmers are the most vulnerable part of the opium production chain; they are the first casualties of this ineffective tool used to attempt to curb production of opium for heroin.”
The Council also launched a Farmers’ Defence Fund, which has been established to provide assistance to farmers who are victims of forced eradication. It will offer legal assistance to farmers in the event of an arrest; offer financial support to the families of imprisoned farmers; help farmers to take legal action against those who are responsible for the eradication of their crops and assist farmers in obtaining support for the development of alternative livelihoods.
“At the moment nobody is protecting the most vulnerable members of Afghan communities, and those who profit the least from the opium trade – the farmers,” said Reinert. “It is our responsibility to help them, not to take away their livelihoods in a violent manner. To protect farmers against violation of their property rights, we will finance a test case to ascertain the legitimacy of current forced eradication measures,” added Reinert.
As part of the second Phase of research of its Feasibility Study on opium-licensing in Afghanistan, The Senlis Council will invite each province in Afghanistan to send a farmer representative to attend a Farmer’s Jirga which will be organised in April 2006 in Kabul.
“The Jirga will provide farmers – the real stakeholders in Afghanistan’s opium crisis – with the opportunity to become part of the debate and discussion concerning drug policy in Afghanistan,” said Gulalai Momand. “They will be able to share their views on opium licensing, eradication and alternative livelihood programmes.”
The Council said that the results of the Farmers’ Jirga will be shared with the Afghan Government and the international community to provide them with more information on the farmers’ situation and viewpoint.
Yet the conferences by the Prohibitionist roll on ... at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in November –International cooperation in the long-term fight against drug trafficking dominated the inaugural meeting of the Central and South Asia Counter-Narcotics Security Working Group here this week.
Listen to them ..
“We are taking our first step on what I believe will be a very long road. I talk to people ( involved in counter-narcotics ) and they tell me counter-narcotics is a 50-year solution,” said Air Vice Marshall Michael Heath, Royal Air Force, Senior British Military Advisor to U.S. Central Command and Special Advisor to Commander on Counter-Narcotics. “But it’s nonetheless something we need to undertake and to move on.
“There are undoubtedly long-standing barriers to our cooperation to achieve this. Forums like this will help us eradicate some of those barriers and get us talking together by asking us to seek common solutions.”
“The enemy we’re fighting is adaptable, cunning and obviously driven by enormous greed. He knows no national boundaries, indeed, he operates freely across all of your boundaries. This problem is, therefore…very much a regional issue." Cunning johnnies you know these Afghan drug type says the Air Marshall ... looking forward to a drug free Afghanistan (not to mention Camden and Lozells Road in 2056)
Keynote speaker Ambassador Nancy Powell, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, expanded on Heath’s theme to link narcotics trafficking with terrorism. Both, she said, flourish where government authority is weak.
“Corruption, which is an indispensable tool of criminals, undermines confidence in government, limits economic and democratic development, and weakens the capacity to contend with the terrorist threat. And, of course, criminal networks which traffic in narcotics may traffic in arms and weapons of mass destruction and move innocent women and children, or even terrorists.”
As we send yet more troops (the first Commandos landed today) maybe we should just step back and consider this very radical proposal.... after all the evidence that eradication doesn't work in Colombia stares us in the face.... and only 5 major dru companies buy (quite legally) morphine and codeine ... so it shouldn't be difficult to get them on board.
Copenhagen Football club FCK leads Denmark's top division in both the winning tables and profit earnings. CEO Flemming Østergaard of the pubclicly quoted club says 'Our stock value has just passed DKK 2b (EUR 266m). That's something the other clubs notice.' The club has also announced record profits up 239%.
Football club FCK might be invited by Real Madrid, Manchester United, and other top European clubs into their Brussels based powerful lobby organisation, G-14.
In September 2000, fourteen founder clubs created the "G-14 European Football Clubs Grouping", an European Economic Interest Group (EEIG) registered in Brussels, making G-14 the first international club organisation in world football. Manchester United and Liverpool are the 2 founding UK clubs.
Th 14 original founders were joined in 2002 by four new members: Arsenal FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Olympique Lyonnais and Valencia CF.
'I see it as a natural consequence that we are now three times as big as AC Milan.
Our finances are the best of any publicly traded European club,' said Østergaard. 'Our stock value has just passed DKK 2b (EUR 266m). That's something the other clubs notice.'
FCK would provide G-14 with a foothold in the lucrative Scandinavian football market, said G-14 group spokesman Thomas Kurth.