"“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, June 24, 2006

DPRK the Drum Beat becomes louder

If Necessary, Strike and Destroy / North Korea Cannot Be Allowed to Test This Missile

By Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry Thursday, June 22, 2006; Washington Post.

" .....Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. But the effect on the Taepodong would be devastating. The multi-story, thin-skinned missile filled with high-energy fuel is itself explosive -- the U.S. airstrike would puncture the missile and probably cause it to explode. The carefully engineered test bed for North Korea's nascent nuclear missile force would be destroyed, and its attempt to retrogress to Cold War threats thwarted. There would be no damage to North Korea outside the immediate vicinity of the missile gantry."

" .... We should not conceal our determination to strike the Taepodong if North Korea refuses to drain the fuel out and take it back to the warehouse"

Ashton B. Carter (Rhodes scholar in theoretical physics) was assistant secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton and William J. Perry was Secretary of Defense. The writers, who conducted the North Korea policy review while in government, are now professors at Harvard and Stanford, respectively. See Carter, Ashton B., and William J. Perry. Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America, Russian Edition. Brookings Institution, 2003.

Preventative Defense Strategy - keep threats from emerging; deter those that actually emerge; and if prevention and deterrence failed, defeat the threat with military force.

Lord Patel has been maintaining an interest in the possibility that Uncle Sam might be up for re-arranging bits of the North Korean countryside, see previous posts here.

Thursday, April 20
North Korea - USAF keeps a watch

Wednesday, May 3
Sayonara Iraq, G'bye Okinawa, .. when do we bomb Pyongyang ?

When guys with these credentials write these sort of things in WAPO you begin to feel that something is happening...softening up the audience before they re-landscape Yongbyong.

Remember Dubya deosn't even have to declare war, because technically it is just a cease fire agreement.- ... and Congress don't have to be consulted having given him wide ranging powers after 9/11 to invade Iraq, intercept telephones en masse and obtain banking details.

What does a President do with these powers ? Anything he damn well wants. Gotta get those poll numbers up somehow.


Transcript of Fox News Special report discussing Cater and Perry's proposals for a pre-emptive strike

: You know, dDmocrats have way of getting extremely hawkish after they have left office. As Mort indicated, these guys we're in office. Now we're in a post 9/11 world with wars going on all over the place with Americans involved with a lot of isolation for the United States. These guys are recommending a strike which undoubtedly will start a war and it would be the wrong war, the wrong place, the wrong time.


MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO : What do you we think should do?

KRAUTHAMMER: Develop our missile defense system.

LIASSON: No, I mean about this?

KRAUTHAMMER: You've got to swallow it. Right now we are not in a position to do anything about it.

Krauthammer is possibly best remembered for his Time article April 9th 1999 about the Clinton Weltanschaung..

" The essence of foreign policy is deciding which son of a bitch to support and which to oppose--in 1941, Hitler or Stalin; in 1972, Brezhnev or Mao; in 1979, Somoza or Ortega. One has to choose. A blanket anti-son of a bitch policy, like a blanket anti-ethnic cleansing policy, is soothing, satisfying and empty. It is not a policy at all but righteous self-delusion."

Ship Ahoy!

A chap called Ian McConnell who lives in New Brighton, has set up a superb website which uses Automatic Identification data (explained here) broadcast from international ships in the whole of the Irish Sea / Liverpool / Bay / Mersey / Manchester Ship Canal.

A fascinating insight into what goes on at sea and out of sight. Evidently a labour of love and done on worn out shoestrings, it demonstrates what powerful use can be made in real time data in the public domain, combining archive pictures, webcams, library ship data, live data and Google earth maps in a really powerful way.

Go here and discover more

Now if this could be done for airports .... Maybe it has, let me know

Where are they now ? Serge Brammertz the Hariri killing investigator

The UN Security Council met on June 14th for it's 5458th Meeting (AM), the meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:42 a.m.

Serge Brammertz, head of the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others gave his 4th report on progress a day before his mandate was due to expire.

The Lebanese Government has requested to the UN Secretary-General for an extension of the Commission’s mandate for a further period of one year, saying that such an extension would provide a sense of continuity and stability, and guarantee steady operations and planning.

That is something that appears to have missed the MSM press / TV who a year ago were screaming for Syrian blood etc., Google News returns virtually zero on the subject.

Now the boring Belgian Brammertz reveals that critical forensic evidence had revealed that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others were killed by a massive, above-ground explosive device placed in a truck and detonated 14 February at precisely 12:55:05 as their convoy passed by. Well, that's a start.

“The crime must be considered a targeted assassination”, he said. You don't say !

“In light of the results, the Commission does not believe the claim of responsibility expressed in the videotape delivered to Reuters and Al Jazeera immediately after the attack establishes the identity of this individual”, he said, adding that, in fact, DNA analysis of human remains recovered from the crime scene suggested there was no evidence that Ahmed Abu Adass, the individual claiming responsibility, had detonated the improvised explosive device.

He said the probe was developing a working hypothesis regarding those who had commissioned the crime, the Commission was investigating a number of different motives, including political motivations, personal vendettas, financial circumstances and extremist ideologies, or any combination of those motivations.

The report acknowledged that Syrian cooperation had been satisfactory and that Syria had, in fact, cooperated with the Commission from the beginning.

The Council heard from Boutros Assaker, Secretary-General in Lebanon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, who said that the former premier’s assassination was an unusual crime that continued to produce a resounding effect in Lebanon blah, blah , blah

Fayssal Mekdad, Syria’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, noted the report’s positive references to Syria’s efforts to cooperate with the Commission blah, blah , blah,

Which is all very curious .. remember last October when the corrupt German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis reported that there was "converging evidence" of Lebanese and Syrian involvement in assassination. Prompting Jack Straw (hoofing it up at the time in Alabama with Cuntileezza Rice) to say ""You simply cannot tolerate a situation where one state decides to deal with problems of another state by assassinating the other state's leaders."

The US State Department also issued a release at the same time stating, "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has described as "deeply troubling" a United Nations investigation that implicates Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and finds the Syrian government to be obstructing the inquiry....

...... Asked what form a prosecution might take, Rice said there have been "numerous meetings and discussions about what kind of mechanism might be used to bring people to justice."

Curious how these urgent matters seem to run silently into the sand.


Lebanese MP Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son was in Paris today 24th June, having an amiable chat with President Chirac (the only foreign leader to attend Hariri's funeral) and said "It will be possible to establish diplomatic ties between Lebanon and Syria."

Concerning internal Lebanese matters, Hariri said that Chirac supported dialogue among leaders as the only way to resolve pending issues.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Thursday that it was too early to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon because of the assertion by members of the Lebanese cabinet that Damascus was behind Rafiq Hariri's assassination.

Ukraine - Russia - RosUkrEnergo on the Brink of a Gas Crisis?

Glamorous, tough Yulia Tymoshenko, the so called Ice Queen of Ukraine's Orange Revolution is, after a lot of horse wrangling once again Ukraine's prime Minister at the head of an "Orange" coalition. There has been 3 months of political paralysis in Kiev (which even kept Dubya from calling last week) that she and President Viktor Yushchenko reached some form of deal. He will present the Tymoshenko nomination to parliament on Monday.

Politics is a rough tough business in this part of the world, Viktor Savkin a Ukraine MP and member of the Tymoshenko bloc, was shot dead in front of his 13-year-old daughter in Yalta last Saturday, on Friday, Grigory Potilchak of Yulia Tymoshenko’s party was shot four times and killed in the street in the Ukrainian town of Nezhin.

Hitting the ground running she has immediately raised the natural gas import deal the Ukraine signed with Russian oil giant Gazprom. On Ukraine TV she announced, "I think all agreements on gas supplies to Ukraine need a further profound revision,"

Simultaneously Turkmenistan has proposed raising the gas price it sells to Gazprom, from $65 per 1,000 cubic meters at present to $100 in the second half of 2006 which holds potentially momentous implications for Ukraine. This could signal the end of the murky RosUkrEnergo gas deal that was made at the expense of Turkmenistan.

This will of course have wide and troubling ramifications outside the Ukraine through which much of Europe's gas supply flows on its way west. Ukraine ended the crisis by agreeing a deal, which almost doubled the price Ukraine paid for gas from $50 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas to $95. Ukrainians were faced with 40% price rises, another of 85% is due with more promised next year. (Spontaneous) Demonstrations are being organised to protest on Tuesday.

Having agreed the deal the Ukraine have been falling behind on payments to Gazprom.

“Yulia Tymoshenko’s statement regarding review of the gas agreement with Russia is yet another warning bell for Europe… Realization of threats that were made in Ukraine today will pave a road to a new gas crisis. We believe that Yulia Tymoshenko’s words once again prove the thesis that Ukraine is unfortunately a weak link in the chain of Russian gas deliveries to Europe,” said Gazprom’s official representative Sergei Kupryanov on State Russian TV.

It promises to be a long cold winter again.... and not only in the Ukraine... it also highlights the problems that the UK faces in relying so heavily on imported gas in the next decades for power generation.

For helpful information about RosUkEnergo (RUE) go here and learn about this mysterious organisation and it's role in supplying gas to the Ukraine.

1899 - the best telephone service in the world

Residents of the UK and Ireland can simply log on at www.1899.com, register, then simply by prefixing calls with "1899" get FREE UK landline calls at all times, forever. (3p flat connection fee)

Payment is by Credit Card, Debit Card or Direct Debit with instant access to your detailed account details -- CallNo / Time / Duration / cost. International calls.e.g US 1p per minute.

Also FreeVoIP, your own personal number and 300 free minutes per week.

Bush can wage war against Iran without a prior vote in Congress

At 7: 35 pm on the night of June 20, 2006 in the House of Representatives,Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY Democrat District -22) introduced an amendment to the 2007 Defense Department Appropriations bill.

The amendment reads: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to initiate military operations against Iran except in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States” (Congressional Record, June 20, 2006, pg. H4300).

The amendment should be superfluous in that it merely re-affirms the existing constitutional division of powers between Congress and the president in time of war.

In commenting on his amendment, Hinchey affirms that its purpose “is to make sure that none of the funding in this defense appropriations bill is used to engage in any military operation against Iran without a full vote of the Congress of the United States in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.”

The amendment was defeated 158-262 ( 215 Republicans and 47 Democrats ) with 12 members (six from each party) not voting.

Read Col. DAN SMITH Iraq: Fool Me Twice Counterpunch for the fascinating tale of Hill politics how this happened and legally freed POTUS from the contrainst of Congress to wage war. (Lord Patel is not a constitutional lawyer but I think this also means he can wage war against anyone he likes, whenever he likes ... so if he wants to level the DPRK rocket site at Yongbyong ?)

You might also read with profit Hinchey's attempt (blocked) for an investigation by the Department of Justice into the NRA warrantless surveillance program.

Pic. Hinchey greets and meets Mrs Heinz Kerry who has more private jets than Hinchey has pairs of shoes.

24th June 1974 - a day that will live in infamy

The Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), was signed by President John F. Kennedy in Moscow on August 5, 1963. The LTBT prohibited testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater and in outer space.So thery went underground in Nevada.

On 3rd July 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) and ABM Treaty Protocols were signed. TTBT limited U.S. and USSR nuclear tests to 150 kilotons. The ABM Treaty Protocol reduces the number of allowable U.S. and Soviet ABM sites from two to one (the U.S. dismantled its single site at Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1976).

Only days earlier on June 24th 1974 (just in time to beat the Treaty, so solemnly signed) Wilson's Labour Government admitted that an underground nuclear test had been undertaken in Nevada in the previous weeks (the actual date is still unknown) . The Minister of Defence, pipe smoking, smug, Barnsley MP Roy Mason explained that the tests had been arranged under a previous Conservative Government.

He said he could understand why people in the Labour Party were opposed to the tests and emphasized there was no party commitment to the abolition of nuclear weapons and said the government had not broken a manifesto pledge or international agreement by exploding the device.

"If we had purposefully taken the decision to abandon the test we would have been prematurely taking the decision to abandon our strategic deterrent - that's not on," he said.

The BBC (God Bless them) still have archive video you can see of Frank Mason and Frank Allaun debate the issue - wonderful vignette performance by Day as the neophyte Paxman.

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Ed Morrow.

I await with interest the sheeple of the Parliamentary Labour Party who will raise their voices against the continuation of the US owned nuclear weapons and their submarine platforms.

Mugabe threatens opposition again ...

Zimbabwe Journalists report ..

PRESIDENT Mugabe (who let us never forget Jack Straw shook hands with at the UN ) used a passout parade for police officers yesterday to once again warn the opposition he will ruthlessly crush any attempts at the so called Ukrainian-style street protests against his continued rule in Zimbabwe.

Speaking a day after 25 armed police officers disrupted proceedings at the funeral of opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) president, Morgan Tsvangirai’s father,(he died on Sunday aged 78) Mugabe said the country’s security forces were ready to deal with anyone bent on “fanning violence to disturb peace in the country”.The state run Herald (which used to be the Salisbury Herald one of the best papers in Africa) quoted the President , "who claim to be champions of democracy while, in fact, they are willing conduits of violence".

Police arrived in trucks claiming it was an illegal political gathering.

Although the gathering was clearly a funeral the police accused the opposition party MDC, of holding a political gathering without police clearance, as required under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Totally ignored they eventually, silently sloped off.

The last time Mugabe threatened the MDC against its intended street protests he was addressing supporters who had gathered at Harare's National Sports Stadium for celebrations to mark the country’s 26th birthday. He warned Tsvangirai he was "playing with fire" by attempting to instigate a Ukrainian-style revolt against his government.

Mugabe intends to attend a national day of prayer on Sunday but has been asked to stay away by The Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube who has threatened a boycott.

"Times" terrist propaganda factory hard at work

Terror leader in our sights before 7/7, say US police

Rupe's rag, the Times continues to peddle the bollocks about Siddique Khan having been involved in the East Coast (Virginia) alleged terrist plot which fingered UK resident who had regularly visited the US.

"Jamal Khan was from a different part of Britain, was born in Pakistan, was married with two children and lived with his elderly parents in Coventry, he was NOT Siddique Khan.

No-one has produced the slightest bit of evidence that Siddique Khan ( apart from hearsay )

1. Had ever been to the US (never mid the 2 times cited by Suskind)
2. Was on a US "no fly" list
3. Was turfed off a NY flight at Heathrow

Suskind said last night: “There is no case of mistaken identity. Everyone involved knows the difference between the two guys. For somebody who is an expert in terrorism to mix these men up is like mixing up Tony Blair and Benny Hill.”

It's not worrying that Blair is mixed up with Benny , but the fact that Rupe's rags continue to peddle this bullshit.

Uncle Sam looks at your bank account - Wow! - Whodda thought it ? - Libya - Algeria

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, SWIFT is the industry-owned co-operative supplying secure, standardised messaging services and interface software to over 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries. The SWIFT community has for over 30 years provided member banks, broker/dealers and investment managers, as well as their market infrastructures in payments, securities, treasury and trade. The system is ultra reliable - with 5x9 reliability — 99.999% of uptime.

SWIFT acts simply as messaging intermediary for transmitting secure and confidential financial messages between member financial institutions. It's database is physically located in Belgium.

SWIFT is not a bank, it does not hold accounts of any customers.

After the September 11th attacks in the USA, SWIFT responded to compulsory subpoenas for limited sets of data from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury. OFAC says on their Website ..."OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction." You can access their SDN List (Specially Designated Nationals list

e.g MEADOWBROOK INVESTMENTS LIMITED, 44 Upper Belgrave Road, Clifton,
Bristol BS8 2XN, United Kingdom; Registered Charity No. 05059698
(United Kingdom) (see below for explanati

SWIFT state that their fundamental principle has been to preserve the confidentiality of our users’ data while complying with the lawful obligations in countries where we operate. Striking that balance has guided SWIFT through this process with the United States Department of the Treasury.

SWIFT negotiated with the U.S. Treasury over the scope and oversight of the subpoenas. As a result SWIFT received significant protections and assurances as to the "purpose, confidentiality, oversight and control" of the limited sets of data produced under the subpoenas. Independent audit controls provide additional assurance that these protections are fully complied with.

SWIFT is overseen by a senior committee drawn from the G-10 central banks and has informed them of this matter - (no date provided).

US Treasury Secretary John Snow has not only defended the secret programme divulged in the New York Times , in which the US has been tracking international money transactions for nearly five years.

"We are disappointed that once again the New York Times has chosen to expose a classified programme that is working to protect Americans," said Treasury spokeswoman Dana Perino. (the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for publishing the Pentagon Papers) Besides earning 28 Pulitzer Prizes under Arthur Sulzberger (91 in total more than any other US newspaper) , in 2005 the Company was ranked No. 1 in the publishing industry in Fortune's list of America's Most Admired Companies, for the fifth consecutive year.

The Sulzberger family have owned the paper for over 50 years and the current Chairman and Publisher (since 1992) is : Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.,(Tufts and Harvard Business School) aged 46, who gets to take home US $960,200.

The company are remarkably (for newspapers) vertically integrated and make their own news print through holdings in Donohue Malbaie Inc. (49%, Canada)Madison Paper Industries (partnership, Maine)

If the news that the US Gubment was trawling through banking records of US citizens, comes as a surprise to anybody - then they must be pretty dumb.That the US Gubment wanted to conceal the fact came as a surpise, they are even dumber.


Go to the US Embassy website London and look for this interesting note ....
08 February 2006
Treasury Designates U.K. Residents with Libyan Terror Ties

"The U.S. Treasury Department February 8 announced a formal "designation" of five individuals and four organizations as financial supporters of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an organization with links to al-Qaida.

The designation identifies five British residents of Libyan origin as having links with LIFG: Abd Al-Rahman Al-Faqih, Ghuma Abd'rabbah, Abdulbaqi Mohammed Khaled, Tahir Nasuf and Mohammed Benhammedi. In addition, it lists three real estate companies operated by Benhammedi – Sara Properties, Meadowbrook Investments and Ozlam Properties – and the Sanabel Relief Agency, a U.K.-registered charity, as instruments used to funnel resources to LIFG.

The LIFG supports terrorist activities in Libya and has attempted to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi."

Lord Patel brought your attention the lifting of the people involved who want to kill Mr Gadaffi (which Ronald \Reagan tried also) by the UK Police ... he cannot bring you any more news because there isn't any.

24th May 2006
Uncle Sam's poodle barks... Plod picks up the wogs nationwide

Police / MI5 raided from 3.00 o clock BST 24rd May the offices and homes of people involved in the Sanabel Relief Agency (website) which is is an Islamic agency established in 1999 in the UK and registered under No:1083469. Its task is claimed to be to aid and relieve Muslims in the destitute parts of the world. Some 500 officers were involved in 18 separate raids in Manchester, the West Midlands, Cleveland, London and Merseyside.Officers in Birmingham removed computer equipment from the HQ of the Sanabel Relief Agency, an Islamic organisation which raises money for Muslims in poor countries..... read on

So the US Gubment subpoena SWIFT to obtain details of UK citizens ... when fingered HMG (Prop T Blair) lifts them and stops them walking about.

Old Arabic saying ..."My Enemy's enemy is my friend"

cf Forthcoming visit of President Boutifleka of Algeria to have cucumber sandwiches with the Queen and obtain the extradition of some pesky people who he assure the FO they will be treated oh so gently.See Lord Patel Monday June 12th 2006

Algeria - UK passes the buck on swindler and terrists

"All round Welsh windbag and rentagob , Kim Howells, FO Minister for dealing with the awkward squad, has been arranging a visit by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to London in the 9th of July....."

President B has visited France for a lengthy hospitalization in December 2005 (and rumour claims more visits since) for a "gastric ulcer haemorragy" but stomach cancer is widely suspected (or at least gossiped about by the Embassy cliques). Watch out for a visit by him to one of the plusher London clinics.

On hand to deal with this man who has seen the removal of many thousands of opponents with Tony's summary justice , will be BP top brass because they are busily ramping up their Algerian activities big style (Now that Pres. B has removed the State SONATRACH Monopoly) - also keep an eye out for the military weapons salesmen - who want to edge out the Russians who are selling armaments to him for fun at present.

Pic. Mr Sulzberger Jnr.

Friday, June 23, 2006

England Victory Vibe

"G-oh-oh-ooal! Come on England! Go 45 minutes each way with this mini orgasm machine and you'll feel like you've won the world cup of sex! If you get sent for an early bath, no problem - the Victory Vibe is totally waterproof! "

This is also your chance to strike back at FIFA and buy a totally unregistered product - what wonderful marketing minds the men in the sex toys industry have.

The Germans have however a Trillerpfeife in Penisform, if the lady wants to call time on the action ... at a modest 3.35 Euros, which might excite the frauleins ...

White tailed sea eagles cannot live with wind farms

The Smøla Wind Farm in Northern Norway, is Europe’s largest land-based wind farm and was built in two phases. Phase 1 opened in September 2002. Phase 2 opened in September 2005. The farm has been developed by the state owned Statkraft Group which is the third largest producer of power in the Nordic region, as well as the second largest producer of power based on renewable energy sources in Europe.

Phase one had 20 x 2 MW turbines and in the second phase, 48 x 2.3 MW turbines each weighing over 260 tonnes. The total rated output is 150 MW.

Because the area held the largest population of the impressive white tailed sea eagle (Europe's largest bird of prey) the developers Statkraft set up the The Sea Eagle Project at the request of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

This combines the efforts of Statkraft, Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian Electricity Industry Association (EBL), the Ministry of the Environment. The Directorate for Nature Management has funded the research for 1 Million NOK this year and will increase this funding next year.

During the first phase there appeared to be no impact by the development on the eagles but with phase two there have been dramatic loss of birds impacting the turbines. Nine dead birds have been found this year, three of the dead eagles were carrying GPS transmitters and were part of the Sea Eagle Project led by Arne Follestad of NINA.

Chick numbers have also declined dramatically since the wind farm was built, with breeding pairs at the site down from 19 to one.

The sea eagle population has risen steadily since 1970, and was estimated at around 1,800 pairs in 2000. This represents around 45 per cent of Europe’s entire sea eagle population.

Evidently these large wind farms are not as environmentally friendly as their supporters assure us they are. The problem is, now we have the farm and the elctricity but not the birds.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Economics 101 - Cut the price / cost - boost sales - increase total revenues

Danes can look forward to inexpensive travel as airline companies such as Swedish Flyme, Irish Ryanair and Hungarian Wizzair are planning to move flight routes from Sweden to Denmark.

The reason ? Air-passenger duty at Copenhagen airport was halved last year and has now been removed. Sweden meanwhile is imposing a new duty.

Flyme, Ryanair and Wizzair are therefore looking to move flights to Copenhagen.

Travellers out of Copenhagen Airport can look forward to cheaper flights, and more low cost package tours.

Corinna Lundbæk Pedersen, departmental manager at Copenhagen airport is quoted in the Copenhagen Post saying ...'Many companies are interested in flying from Copenhagen,' she told financial daily Børsen. 'We've had discussions with companies that previously didn't want to fly from Copenhagen because of the air passenger-duty. Air Berlin has already started flying from Copenhagen and I expect many companies will follow suit.'

In May, Air-Berlin, the third biggest European airline company, started three routes from Copenhagen.

Fritidsresor, a Swedish travel company, has announced that they will be moving their departures to Copenhagen. Other holiday operators are also moving their departures to Copenhagen Airport if the price for a ticket in Sweden increases by DKK 150 (EUR 20).

Low-cost airline companies are the main growth sector in travel - low-cost traffic has increased from 0 to 13 percent over the past five years. According to the first quarter of 2006, low-cost airlines have some 2 billion passengers each year.

Compare and contrast : British Airways last year imposed "fuel surcharges" that equalled their after tax profits.

See BBC story today how BA (with Virgin and AA) face fines up to 10% of turnover and Executive 5 years in the slammer for alleged colluding on fuel surcharges - and also cargo costs are being examined.

BA NO 2 sent home on "gardening leave" ....

Bush in brief Budapest visit. Mission ? Accomplished ?

Bush met Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom, who linked the world's battle against terrorism to the need to be "in line with international law and to honor international human rights" - an allusion to European perceptions that the U.S. anti-terror campaign often transcends legal norms. He also publicly raised the ticklish matter of US visas for new entrants to the EU.

Like Europeans elsewhere, many Hungarians are critical of;

1. America's continuing presence in Iraq
2. The U.S. prison at Guantanamo for terrorist suspects
3. Reports of secret CIA prisons in Europe and rendition flights some of them through Hungary
4. Abu Ghraib torture and deaths
5. Haditha massacre

The Civilians for Peace are arranging to protest, in Pest's Szabadság tér (home to the US Embassy) at 4pm, followed by a concert.

Amnesty International , the Engish speaking Hungarian branch have held demonstrations on Clark Ádám tér, Andrássy út and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca, Oktogon and opposite the New York Palace Hotel, where Bush and his entourage are allegedly booked to stay. Police claim to have mobilised 3,000 and Helicopters drone endlessly over the city.

Before making a speech at the heavily guarded Buda Castle before an invited audience Bush placed wreath at the small black marble Eternal Flame Memorial in honor of those who died in the 1956 revolt. (No more protests like those nasty democratic Austrians in Vienna)

His Father had been here before, the first US President to do so on July 11, 1989, before the fall of the Soviet Empire. Bush praised Hungary's role in NATO, its presence in Afghanistan and earlier role in Iraq but overlooked the fact that Hungary pulled out its 300-strong contingent from Iraq in late 2004.... now being followed by the Japanese and Italians.

Bill Clinton visited Hungary twice - in 1994 for an international summit on human rights and democratic transition in Europe, and two years later to visit U.S. troops due for peacekeeping duty in Bosnia from a military base Taszár Air Base,Southern HUngary, approximately 35 kilometers northwest of the city of Pécs. Hungary, Which is where Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress bodyguards, soldiers were trained and formed his entourage when he finally returned to Baghdad.

Taszar was a Soviet airfield during the Cold War, it became the primary staging post for peacekeeping forces coming and going into the Balkans in December of 1995. It was the closest airfield to the Balkans capable of landing strategic aircraft and was an excellent ground hub as well, with good rail and road links.

The base then evolved into the first site for unmanned Predator aircraft missions, a rest and recreation site for Balkan based soldiers, a training ground for armored units and a home base for aircraft that made reconnaissance and bombing runs to stop ethnic-cleansing in Kosovo.

In more recent times it hosted the largest special operations exercise in Europe and served as the site for training the Free Iraqi Forces.

The base closed 30 June 2004.

Mr Bush and his beautiful and charming wife returned to the US tonight. The POTUS's washroom attendant Condileezza Rice was of the party and smile a great deal even when Gunatanamo Bay was emntioned ... endlessly.

Mr Lauder ; a very lucky man always in the right place at the right time

Estee Lauder planned to move their WTC retail space to 100 Church St., a deal which was (happily) completed prior to the unexpected (?) World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11.(Real Estate Weekly, Oct 31, 2002 )

Jordon Roth, an Associate in Insignia/ESG's Urban Retail Group, negotiated the 2,000-Sq. Ft ten-year deal on behalf of the Estee Lauder Company on the ground floor of the building, which is managed by Zar Realty.

"The fact that the Estee Lauder Company is still committed to lower Manhattan despite the tragedy sends a powerful message that the area is an important market for New York City, one which will quickly rebound and become even stronger," said Roth.

According to Roth, the original plan was for the store to open in mid-November. Due to the tragedy, the opening will be delayed for an undertermined period.

Wasn't Mr Lauder a lucky man to have booked space for his prime Manhattan space before it diappeared.

Mr Lauder was of course on the New York Port Auhtority and was a prime mover in privatising their land assets. Curiously he oversaw the sale of former Stuart Airforce Base (only 60 miles north of the WTC Buildings) which became became a privately run and owned operation in the year 2000. Stuart Airforce Base is now known as known as Stuart International Airport and is currently the only privately owned Airport inside the United States. The current owner is said to be a British company, which has its base in Houston, Texas.

The privatization of the Port Authority of Stuart Airforce Base and the
WTC buildings was overseen and directed by Ronald Lauder.

Louis Eisenberg was in charge of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at that time. He also oversaw the lease negotiations, and managed to have Larry Silverstein get his lease deal on the WTC buildings 1., 2. and 7. on July 26, 2001.

Near Stuart Airbase is Boston Logan Airport which reportedly had a total lack of security during the twin tower attacks.

Mr Lauder surfaced again the in the news this week when he bought the luscious portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a wealthy Jewish Viennese sugar merchant, for a reported US$135 million (£73 million).

Mr Lauder, thrilled with his purchase, told The Daily Telegraph: "It is not a question of money; I don't think of it that way.

"I just think that I am the owner of this fantastic painting by one of the greatest artists of all time.

"I was bowled over when I saw it for the first time in Vienna when I was a teenager in the 1960s.

"I never thought it would ever be available."

An interesting article in the New York Times February 27, 2003 Lauder's Mix of Restitution and Collecting By CELESTINE BOHLEN is worth reading about Mr Lauder's collecting habits.

You can learn more about the Lauder collections and the forthcoming exhibition of the Bloch Bauer portrait at the NY Nuer Gallery (Cnr 86th / 104th Street) here

Art imitates Life. Nike decide a stolen idea is better than an original one.

Poltrooney - the image which has upset the Daily Telegraph readers.

Lord Patel's image used in the May 2005 elections Blackburn so that voters could help identify the Foreign Secretary who was happy to accept the lies about WMD, the torture pf Abu Ghraib and the attentions of the lying Condileezza Rice. Homage to Bacon / Eisenstein etc.,

Posted by Picasa

DPRK - US rattling sabres or preparing for action ?

A North Korean mouthpiece in Japan said on Wednesday the U.S. fabricated stories of an imminent ballistic missile test-launch by Pyongyang but then paradoxically hinted the North may halt the launch all the same. (Pic the Korean peninsula at night - Don Rumsfields favourite snapshot demonstratin gthe total lack of energy resource in the North)

"North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile is a fabrication to mislead the public,” wrote the Chosun Shinbo, published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan or Chongryon.

In an article titled “Controversy over Taepodong missiles is a concoction of the U.S.' own making”, the daily said a multi-stage rocket launched on Aug. 31, 1998 was also not a Taepodong-1 missile but rather “North Korea's very first satellite.” It said North Korea was merely “exercising its sovereign rights by possessing a satellite.”

The newspaper, which is believed to be cleared with Pyongyang, said the imminent launch was that of a Gwangmyeongseong-2 satellite on a Baekdusan-2 rocket and “can take place anytime. It may come “in a month or in a year.” ... More >>>
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Alexander Vershbow,(appointed Oct 2005) said on KBS Radio on Wednesday that the rumored imminent missile test by North Korea would be a huge setback to Washington-Pyongyang relations. The U.S. “never stood by” when a state carried out “provocative actions.” he said.

Meanwhile at sea, the U.S. started the largest military exercise in the region in 10 years. The operation codenamed "Valiant Shield" takes place in waters surrounding Guam, with three aircraft carriers joining drills from Monday until Thursday. A spokesman of the U.S. Forces in the Pacific said the possibility that the missile situation in North Korea could have an effect on the drills cannot be ruled out.

On Sunday, the Japanese mass media said the North Korean authorities called on its citizens to hoist state flags and switch TV sets on at 14:00 local time to listen to an important official statement.

Flags did appear on each building, but no statement followed.

The Japanese mass media by mistake linked the flags and expectations of an important statement with a possible launch of the Taepodong-2 missile.

In reality, the North Koreans raised the state flags to mark the 42nd year of President Kim Jong Il’s career on the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party. Some diplomats see a heightened state of nervousness, and preparations for a defensive status linked to the massive underground network of tunnels / air raid shelters under Pyongyang.

Time will tell ... "Valiant Shields" don't happen overnight.

Richard Clarke pulls rug out from under Suskind - the 1 percent er - his book is one percent truth - the rest is BS

I have now had a chance to look at Suskind's book. The Khan story covers a couple of paragraphs in a 250 page (ill written) book. Of course the hype has been stupendous, but lost in it was a fascinating exchange between former White House chief of counterterrorism Richard Clarke (now ABC "consultant")and Charles Gibson on Good Morning America.Clarke now leads consulting projects for Good Harbor in the areas of security risk management, cyber security, and counter-terrorism.

Clarke has a good track record and he certainly has the experience (adviser to 2 Presidents, worked under 4 ) and a balanced, rational, experienced view of terror threats.The ultimate inside operator,he is the person who knows how to tackle the toughest national security problems and overcome bureaucratic inertia with behind-the-scenes guts, arrogance, smarts and hard work.

Last year Clarke called for bag searches on US subway systems, legally unpopular but probably highyl effective .. but he doubts the specificity of the Khan Sarin gas report,that Suskind fantasises about, as well as the existence of the players who were cited in the threat.

"There's reason to be skeptical," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, who is the former chief of White House counterterrorism. "Just because something is labeled in an intelligence report does not mean every word it is true."

He claimed the information describing the plot would have been just one of the hundreds of threats that would have been collected in 2003. Furthermore, the specificity of the report , time , date , place , method is very suspect. "Whenever you get reports that are this specific, they are usually made up," he said.

Clarke also said Zawihiri and bin Laden at the time would have been too isolated to have had any active part in such a plot. Also real terrorists would have carried out the attack if the plot was as advanced as Suskind reports.

"Frankly if there was a team in the United States that was ready to do this, they would have done it," Clarke said.

Daily Kos says

"Richard Clarke calls BS on Al Qaeda NYC subway cyanide plot"

I repeat this book is a crock of shit.

Required Reading

The Atlantic Monthly | January/February 2005

Ten Years Later Richard A. Clarke

"Then the second wave of al-Qaeda attacks hit America." A leading expert on counterterrorism imagines the future history of the war on terror. An alarming picture of a country still at war in 2011

.....it starts ... "Having ignored al-Qaeda until September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush responded to the attack in three ways.

First, he ordered an end to the terrorist sanctuary in Afghanistan. For five years thereafter a token U.S. military force assisted the Kabul government in its attempts to rule the warlords and suppress the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Second, he moved to strengthen U.S. domestic law enforcement with the first Patriot Act (a law that civil libertarians would find benign from today's perspective) and the Department of Homeland Security, which in those early years of the war on terror was largely ineffectual.

Third, Bush ordered the ill-fated invasion and occupation of Iraq, which effectively turned his administration into an active recruiting office for al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups around the world."

..... you have to admit though, as a Psyops op. it has been wonderful, afew, very few lies the odd half truth and worldwide saturation coverage in the Press / TV / Radio.

Danes discover genetic basis for Asthma

Having been hospitalized twice this year with Asthma attacks I was interested in this development ...a Danish team of scientists from University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital has found the gene responsible for the development of asthma. Their work started in 1996

The long-term expectation is that the find will improve the treatment of asthma patients, as people carrying the gene will be able to receive a more precise diagnosis and enter treatment earlier.

Professor Torben Kruse Professor of gene technology says it is now clear that there is a gene that can trigger the respiratory ailment, there is still a long research road ahead in order to fully understand the disease.

"Asthma is a hereditary disease, but it can also be caused by environmental factors," explained Kruse

According to the WHO, asthma affects as many as 150 million people around the world and the number is rising. The reason for the scientific interest in finding the asthma gene is connected to the huge financial potential involved with developing a new drug to treat asthma sufferers.

Several genes have been connected to asthma, but the gene found by Danish scientists is an individual immunological gene that seems to be directly connected to the risk of developing asthma.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Whilst vilifying Iran we upgrade our Weapons of Mass destruction - which Masses are we intent on destroying ???

Trident: the done deal
Robert Fox in the New Statesman ( Monday 13th June 2005 )was far seeing and far sighted ... and confirmed by the
mad Scotsman from Kirkcaldy at the Mansion House tonight.

Trident: the done deal

" While country, party and Parliament wonder whether Britain needs nukes at all, Blair and Brown have agreed in secret. A new (and more frightening) arsenal is on its way.

The acting continues, but the pretence is over. It is expected that, in the next few months, Tony Blair will announce that the British government will fork out tens of billions of pounds for a new generation of British nuclear weapons to replace the ageing Trident D5 missiles ( each 100-kiloton (kT) warheads – equivalent to 380 Hiroshima bombs) and our four Vanguard Class submarines. The outcry from vocal sections of the public has already been discounted in Whitehall. The deed, I am told, is done. But you will not find any-one prepared to admit it.

So far, the only public pronouncement has been Labour's 2005 election manifesto, which declares delphically: "We are committed to retaining the independent nuclear deterrent and we will continue to work, both bilaterally and through the UN, to urge states not yet party to non-proliferation treaties . . . to join."

This is one of those rare issues where Tony Blair and Gordon Brown see eye to eye.

.... Failure to replace Trident would leave the perfidious French as the only fully functioning nuclear performer in western Europe - the Russians with their rusting arsenal seem to count only as a bargain-basement warehouse for would-be terrorists.

"If Britain stops now, it leaves France as the only serious European nuclear power," says a former defence chief. "In present circumstances, no prime minister would contemplate that."

A done deal ... except of course it is not as the BBC said tonight, and as Tony keeps repeating, an INDEPENDENT system , the bit that explodes horribly killing thousands, ven hundreds of thousands is owned, maintained and onlty operates when the US Administration
says so.

Viz . .... 1998 Strategic Defence Review. Paragraph 60 states: "Progress on arms control is . . . an important objective of foreign and defence policy. Nevertheless, while large nuclear arsenals and risks of proliferation remain, our minimum deterrent remains a necessary element of our security." Paragraph 62 goes on: "With the withdrawal of the last RAF WE177 bombs . . . Trident is our only nuclear weapon. We need to ensure that it can remain an effective deterrent for up to 30 years." ... 2032.

See Lord Patel Feb 16th 2006 Trident/Vanguard ... a nuclear deterrant ?

Also re the imminent nuking of Pyongyang after all the bollocks about DPRK going to launch a "missile"... and the yen falls to lowest ever against the Euro.

North Korea - USAF keeps a watch April 20th 2006
Nuking Iran. The Drumbeat is more insistent April 12th
Sayonara Iraq, G'bye Okinawa, .. when do we bomb Pyongyang ? Wednesday, May 3

EU Putting the boot into Vietnam

Something to ponder when you ponder the purchase of those new US$90 fancy trainers ... or why the COL index stays low.

From 25 April to 11 May, 2006, ActionAid Viet Nam and Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO) visiteds 20 footwear companies in (HCM City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Hai Phong, Ha Noi, Hai Duong and Ha Tay) the north and south of Vietnam to study the consequences for employment if the EC anti-dumping duty on upper leather shoes is raised in September, as proposed.Sales to the EU from Vietnam have declined by 15-60% so far in 2006.Per capita GDP has increased from US$200 in 1990 to US$550 in 2004

The anti-dumping action was initiated in July last year after the EU announced that the volume of leather shoes imported from Viet Nam has increased by over 95 per cent since 2001. The EC said that the increased imports had seen local (EU) footwear production drop 30 per cent and 40,000 European workers lose their jobs. Footwear has been Vietbnam's biggest export to the EU with revenues of 2.1 billion euros in 2005.

EU importers have predictably switched production , not to EU manufacturing but toher 3rd world countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.The findings mirror exactly what has happened to Chinese exports to the EU (and US) after quotas were imposed on some of its clothing exports last year ... the result the industry lobbyists did not want - the law of unintended consequences bits back.

After an investigation last year into seven footwear manufacturers in Viet Nam, the EC decided to impose 4.28 per cent provisional anti-dumping tariffs on upper leather shoes from Viet Nam phased in over five months starting from April and can go up to this can go up to 16.8 per cent in the next six months..

AAV considers this anti-dumping case was an unfair trade practice which would negatively impact the livelihood of many workers in the footwear industry, of which around 85% are female.

"Due to a lack of orders, we now have only 20 working days per month instead of 26 days as normal, which means the income is much lower. With an income of 0.75 to 1 euro per day, we spend 0.25 euros on food, mainly cereals (rice, corn, sweet potato and cassava)," Dang Thi Nhien, representative of employees in Hai Phong Leather and Footwear Company.

"We now get a basic salary of 400,000 VND (20 euros) instead of 800,000-1,000,000 VND (40-50 euros) as normal while living costs are getting higher and higher. I have to pay 300,000VND (15 euros) for accommodation, which means only 100,000VND (5 euros) is left for food for the whole family for a month.

My two children and I are now really living from hand to mouth. I’ve been working for the company for more than ten years, I really don’t know what to do to save our lives if I become unemployed now".

World Cup balls

Dr Ken Bray, who describes himself as a sports scientist, at the University of Bath and author of the new popular science book "How to score – science and the beautiful game", claims the new design for the World Cup football will bamboozle goalkeepers. ( Pic. Mexico soccer team striker Jared Borgetti has plenty of balls - getting attention as well)

The Adidas ‘Teamgeist’ football has only 14 panels - and so fewer seams - making its surface ‘smoother’ than conventional footballs which have a 26 or 32 panel hexagon-based pattern.

This makes it aerodynamically closer to a baseball says Dr Bray, and, when hit with a slow spin, will make the ball less stable, giving it a more unpredictable trajectory in flight.

“With a very low spin rate, which occasionally happens in football, the panel pattern can have a big influence on the trajectory of the ball and make it more unpredictable for a goalkeeper.”

He claims effects smiliar to the baseball will result, pitchers often throw a ’curve ball’ which is similar to a swerving free kick and the rotating seam disrupts the air flow around the ball in much the same way as a football does.The pitcher can also throw a ’knuckleball’ , one without , or very little spin, which bobs about randomly in flight and is very disconcerting for batters.

“But watch the slow motion replays to spot the rare occasions where the ball produces little or no rotation and where goalkeepers will frantically attempt to keep up with the ball’s chaotic flight path.”

England captain David Beckham is hugely impressed with the ball's flight and direction. "With the ball's movement, it doesn't go off everywhere, it goes where you want it to go and that's important. Your passing, controlling and shooting of the ball - it's in one direction and that's what you need." he said at the launch in Leipzig - which given his experience (and modest success) in kicking the things suggests Dr Barry is well... talking ... er... well... balls.

The ball, which has been used by teams competing in the World Cup in practice sessions, has already been criticised by England goalkeeper Paul Robinson and Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann for its light-weight and unpredictable behaviour.

Adidas expects to sell over 10 million FIFA World Cup™ match balls ( @ 40 odd quid a throw in) , they began the production of footballs in 1963 and claim to be the world's leading manufacturer.Adidas has supplied the Match Balls to all major UEFA and FIFA tournaments since 1970 and will also be the Official Partner and Ball Supplier of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

Scientific tests were conducted together with the Sports Technology Research Group of the University of Loughborough, one of the leading institutions of its kind worldwide. These tests confirmed that the adidas is rounder, more precise and consistent than any top competitor match ball.

Specification and FIFA standards of the new ball

Circumference: The FIFA Approved Standard: 68.5 cm – 69.5 cm. The adidas +Teamgeist: 69.0 cm – 69.25 cm

Diameter: FIFA Approved Standard: max. 1.5% difference The adidas +Teamgeist: max. 1.0% difference

Water Absorption: FIFA Approved Standard: no more than 10% weight increase. The adidas +Teamgeist: Water absorption: no more than 0,1 % weight increase

Weight: FIFA Approved Standard: Weight between 420 and 445 grams The adidas +Teamgeist: Weight between 441 and 444 grams

Shape and Size Retention: FIFA Approved Standard: 2,000 cycles at 50 km per hour. The adidas +Teamgeist: 3,500 cycles at 50 km per hour.

Rebound Test
: FIFA Approved Standard: No more than 10 cm. The adidas +Teamgeist: No more than 2 cm.

St. Hans Aften - Denmark alight

The Danes have a very practical attitude to having fun. 6 months almost to the day After Christmas they (and much of Scandinavia) celebrate the Festival of St Hans on 24th June with the Night (St. Hans Aften ) falling on the 23rd. (pic from Flika)

It supposedly represents the birthday of St. Hans, otherwise known as St. Johannes, the Danish name for St. John the Baptist the festival probably pre- dates Christian ritual and commonly is said to represent the Summer Solstice.

As well as Barbecues and other outdoor high jinks (often involving probably the best lager in the world) there is a tradition of visiting a spring in order to drink natural mineral water. In Zealand province they visit the Helene Spring in Tisvilde. King Christian is said toi have visited the spring in 1639 givng it a further dose of Royal Patronage.

There is also a legend that, Helene was a murdered Swedish princess whose body was mystically drawn out of the sea by a huge stone and left on the land near Tisvilde. When her body was being taken to nearby Tibirke Church. A spring magically appeared beneath the feet of the horses pulling the cart holding her body, and they refused to move another inch. When her body was taken off the cart to be carried, it fell into the ground by the spring and sank.

The spring close to Helene's grave became a kind of Lourdes, where desperate mothers hoped to wash away their baby's imperfections and others took a little bag of earth from the ground around the spring home with them.

Springs like Helene Spring were frequented right up until the First World War, when thepractice died out.

Decorating cows

Another tradition which has not survived is that of decorating cows with wreaths made of peonies and beech leaves around their harnesses. In the farming community of Vendsyssel, northern Jutland, St John's Wort - a flowering herb associated with the festival of St. Hans - was also popular for the cows' wreaths.

There would be a competition to see who had the best decorated cows. In some places farming lads would dress up too, and clad in their best white shirts, would race the trussed up cows. The winner would be crowned 'king', or in some villages 'emperor'. Whilst such nonsense has died off in Denmark such fun carries on in Germany, France and Holland.

In Switzerland the cows are decorated in the spring as they head up into the upland valleys - in the Ardennes in Southern France they decorate sheep.

in 1989 the Swiss started the cow Parade which has visited Wisconsinfn and Moscow - to prettify the streets. (see pic of cow sponsored by Newsweek in Moscow)

Wise trees

While farmers decorated cows in northern Jutland, in Lolland and Falster it was the trees that were decorated, just as we decorate our Christmas trees today. The favourite tree to honour at St. Hans was the 'wise tree', which was a tree where two parts of the trunk had grown together to create a hole. A popular tradition was to crawl through the hole in order to rid oneself of flaws or poor judgements. Some people would also leave a piece of clothing hanging on the tree, in the hope that a long-lasting sickness would leave the person and stay with the item of clothing.

In Switzerland the caws are decorate in the spring as they head up into the upland valleys - in the Ardennes in Southern France they decorate sheep.

in 1989 the Swiss started the cow Parade which has visited Wisconsinfn and Moscow - to prettify the streets. (see pic of cow sponsored by Newsweek in Moscow)

Burning the Witch

This year most folk will settle with a large bonfire intended to burn away all the evil spirits believed to be at their most active on Midsummer Night.

Putting a stuffed effigy of a witch on the top of the fire is a relatively new tradition first seen in Denmark around 1890. German immigrants popularised the tradition in the Kalundborg area in the 1920s, but was at first a mainly middle class, scholarly tradition.

No self-respecting St. Hans bonfire would be seen without it today.

Apparently , if a girl on this day picked 7 different kinds of flowers and puts them under her pillow, she would dream about her future husband that night.

Glædelig St. Hans!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Iraq - Japanese & Italians leave, UK takes on more responsibility

250 British troops (plus some Australians) are to quit Muthanna, one of the 4 provinces they "control" and pass responsibility to the Iraqis, it was announced in Baghdad yesterday. It will take a month to handover this desert area of some 1/2 Mn population. There will be no overall reduction in UK troop strength of some 7.200. (Pic Iraqi troops take over)

Des Browne, the gormless and hopelessly out of his depth Defence Secretary, is on a trip to Baghdad, he said this was "a very important first step". "But we have to keep it in perspective," he said. "People ought not to expect an immediate return of our forces home."

Mr Browne talked about Basra and the "long-term aim of handing over responsibility for security to the Iraqi army and police". He failed to explain what precisely "long-term" might mean. He also met the new Interior Minister Jawad Bolani, who has pledged to rid the police forces in Baghdad and elsewhere of religious militia influence ... oh yeah ?

Bolani, who was born in Baghdad, previously worked as an engineer in the Iraqi air force. In 1999, he joined the private sector. After 2003, he entered politics, at the local level in the southern city of Nasiriya and then nationally as an undersecretary for public works. He is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance, the biggest Shiite bloc.

The Interior Ministry needs more "justice and professionalism," Bolani said.

When selected recently, Izzat Shahbandar, an Allawite said he feared that Bolani's allegiance would be to the Shiite parties first, not the country. Presumably the mumbling Scottish incompetent Browne will believe him.

2nd Province for handover more troublesome

The 2nd province to be handed over will be the more volatile Maysan province, where more than a score of British soldiers have been killed.

The 800-strong British battle group based there will not be coming home. Defence planners are considering redeploying it to Nasiriyah, in the province of Dhi Qar, to take the place of more than 1,500 Italians who are returning home . A defence source said. "There is no real enthusiasm for it but if it has to happen then we have to plan for it."

More violence and death was reported ; In Basra, an elderly woman died when a suicide bomber attacked a crowd of disabled people and pensioners queuing for pensions. In Suwayra, 25 miles south of Baghdad, the handcuffed bodies of seven people were pulled from the river Tigris.

All Japanese troops going home

PM Koizumi has announced that Japan will withdraw all its 600 troops from Iraq. "After closely consulting with the United States, the multinational forces, Britain and Australia, I made the decision because I judged that the humanitarian mission has completed a certain achievement in the region," he said.

The troops were given immediate orders to arrange for their withdrawal, a Defence Agency spokesman said. The last troops are expected to return to Japan by late July.

The Japanese troops in Iraq have suffered no casualties and have never even fired their weapons.

Late breaking news about abducted US troops

2 U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on their checkpoint last week have been found dead, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

"The bodies were found last night in the vicinity of Yusufiya. Coalition forces have recovered what we believe are the remains of the soldiers," Major General William Caldwell told a news conference.

Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., disappeared Friday after an attack on a checkpoint they were manning near Yusifiyah, about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad.

A third soldier, Spc. David Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass., died in the attack.

The only US soldier still known to be missing in Iraq is Sgt. Keith Maupin, 20. Maupin, of Batavia, Ohio, disappeared on April 9, 2004 when his convoy was attacked near Baghdad International Airport. The military classified him as "captured" after he appeared on an insurgent video.

On April 9, 2004, PFC Matt Maupin's convoy was attacked west of Baghdad. April 13, 2004, Maupin was listed as missing. A videotape of Maupin surrounded by five hooded men was shown on Al - Jazeera TV, April 16, 2004, confirming that Maupin has indeed been captured. May 1, 2004, the Army promotes Maupin to Specialist. One month later in June of 2004, another videotape surfaced of a man Al - Jazeera claims as Maupin.

The man in the video is shown being shot twice in the head and back. July 1, 2004, Brig. Gen. Michael W. Beasley, states that, " There is no bad information, no negative information with regard to Specialist Maupin that is known now. We are continuing full efforts to locate him and return him to his family."

April 19, 2004 - ARMY Changes Status to CAPTURED

Timothy E. "Tim" Bell, 44, of Mobile, a driver for Texas-based Halliburton Co., remains missing after the convoy attack in which Maupin disappeared.

Bell has an adult son and a young daughter; he was engaged to be married when he went to Iraq to earn extra money to start a business in Mobile.

As of June 2004 , 41 Halliburton workers have been killed in Iraq , many of whom were truck drivers.

Canada's Natural Resources booming

Canada's oil sands are the second largest known hydrocarbon reserve in the world, and are attracting immense investment because of Canada's economic and political stability and technological capability.The Canadian National Energy Board says (in their Base Case scenario) that C$94 billion on equipment and labor in the next decade will be spent in tripling the production of oil sands (currently 1.1 Mn bpd = 175,000 cubic metres) .According to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), remaining established reserves are estimated to be 28 billion cubic metres (174 billion barrels) at year-end 2004.

Yesterday Canadian Natural Resources confirmed a C$264 Mn order for just 23 new trucks from Caterpillar which will be delivered from 2008 onwards.

Canadian Natural's Horizon development 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, where Canadian Natural owns and operates leases covering 115,000 acres through lease arrangements with the Province of Alberta will use strip mining to recover bitumen, which is then refined into crude oil. The company, which has pledged to spend as much as C$6.8 billion by 2008 to develop oil sands, has forecast that production will reach as much as 110,000 barrels of oil a day by then.It is estimated that these reserves become usable at US$30-35 per barrel.

Currently, the major export pipelines from the region are at or near capacity. Market expansion and increased pipeline capacity will have to keep pace with the increasing oil sands output.A new pipeline or a major pipeline expansion to the west coast will be required to deliver crude oil to California and the Far East.

Limited water resources are also a brake on development limited, available supply from the Athabasca River could be a constraint on future expansion plans.River flows are low in the winter and the removal of large volumes of water during these periods is a concern.The water requirement ranges from 2 to 4.5 cubic metres of water to produce one cubic metre of synthetic crude oil in a mining operation. Mining operations use surface water and recycled water.

Natural gas requirements for the oil sands industry are projected to increase substantially from 0.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2005 to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2015. Currently It takes about 34 cubic metres (1 200 cubic feet) of natural gas to produce one barrel of bitumen from in situ projects and about 20 cubic metres (700 cubic feet) for integrated projects.

Currently, the oil sands industry uses about 21 million cubic metres (0.7 billion cubic feet) per day of purchased gas, or about five percent of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin production. By 2015, this increases to about 60 million cubic metres (2.1 billion cubic feet) per day, or nearly 12 percent, assuming gas production remains at 482 million cubic metres (17 billion cubic feet) per day. Posted by Picasa

Canadian Natural Resources Toronto share price over 2 yrs C$ CNQ: TO

Sex test required on Olympic Stadium design ?

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning have an interesting picture of the new Olympic Stadium

" ...The extended “wings” of the roof, as an integral function of the moving roof and a fundamental part of an efficient roof structure, allow for up to 200,000 people to have a direct experience of the Games " it says ... there are some who see a more curious feature of the design .. going so far as to mention the Brazilian waxed bush areas ....

Summer art market madness kicks off - beautiful artworks change hands

Sotheby's Holdings Inc. took in 88.8 million pounds (US $164 million) tonight in their sales of Modern Art and Impressionists with 600 swells attending. Pre - Auction values were 65 million pounds to 90 million pounds.

U.S. collector Marvin Schein's Modigliani, ``Jeanne Hebuterne (au Chapeau),'' an exquisite 1919 portrait of the artist's long-necked mistress in a hat and scooped blouse, sold to a telephone bidder for 16.4 million pounds, including commission. Sotheby's top estimate was 12 million pounds.

Schein a New York's Metropolitan Museum bebefactor paid a hammer price of $8.7 million for the picture at a 1997 Sotheby's sale in New York. You can buy a decent printed reproduction for US$50 and an oil copy for US$2,000.

Christie's will hold their sale of Impressionist and modern works tomorrow, including Egon Schiele's painting of wilted sunflowers, with a top estimate of 6 million pounds.

Owned by Austrian art collector Karl Gruenwald, and friend of Scheile, "Wilted Sunflowers (Autumn Sun II)" was part of a collection of work stored in France that was confiscatedby the Nazis and sold in 1942, four years after the owner Gruenwald, fled to the country during World War II.

When the painting's most recent owner requested a valuation it was identified as the long lost painting.

The owner now wants to remain anonymous and the painting was officially restituted to Gruenwald's family and descendants in February.

Copies are not avialable.

Suskind misled - Khan is not Kahn it is another Khan - Confused - Peter Clarke definitely is

The Guradian suggests today that the Khan ( a not uncommon name in folks from the Asian sub-continent) of Dan Coleman, Suskind's source and the man who led the FBI's investigation into al-Qaida, could have confused Mohammad Sidique Khan with Mohammed Ajmal Khan, jailed in the UK this year for terrorist offences. (pic is Ajmal ... he ceratianly hoesn't look like Siddique)

Mohammed Ajmal Khan, (with alleged co-conspirators Frzana Khan and Palvinder Singh ) from Coventry, was jailed for nine years after admitting directing a terrorist organisation, including providing weapons and funds to the Lashkar-i-Toiba, which is fighting for Muslim control over the disputed Kashmir region on the India-Pakistan border. His contact in the US was Ali Asad Chandia, 29, a teacher at an Islamic school in College Park, Md., was convicted on three of four counts, including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and conspiracy to do the same.

Mr Justice Fulford, at Snaresbrook Crown Court in London, when sentencing Khan called on the Government to urgently consider introducing greater sentencing powers: the maximum sentence for the charge is 14 years imprisonment, which had to be reduced because of Khan's guilty plea.

He said that Khan had not only trained in Pakistan and "travelled widely in furtherance of your terrorist aims", but had available a significant source of funds from an "unidentified but undeniably terrorist-related source." - of course some peop;e might call him a Freedom Fighter.

Ajmal Khan could fit the profile of the man identified in Suskind's book as the London suicide bomber, Siddique Khan:

1. His communications across the Atlantic were intercepted by the US National Security Agency, GCHQ's American equivalent.

2. Ajmal Khan was linked in a US terrorist trial to Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was found guilty of terrorist offences in Virginia last year. In his book, Suskind says the man who contacted Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was Sid(d)ique Khan. (read about him, his rendition from Saudi (where he "confessed" ) to the US, illegal searches of his parent's house etc etc., http://www.counterpunch.org/cassel03082005.html)

3. Ajmal Khan had visited the US and talked about blowing up synagogues.

4. There is no evidence whatever that Sidique Khan flew to the US and that the FBI or the CIA kept tabs on him, as the book claims.

British counter-intelligence officials ( oh yeah those mysterious sources again) believe Suskind was misled and characterised it as a case of mistaken identity.

Mr Suskind said last night he was not a victim of mistaken identity. He said: "There is no doubt from the many sources that I interviewed in the US for my book, there is no doubt this incident involved Mohammad Sid(d)ique Khan"..

Sounds awfully to me that the Suskind book is a crock of shit. Anyway you can now see extracts courtesy of Time magazine here

If you were puzling about the book's title it is explained ... " then Cheney defined it: "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response." Suskind writes, "So, now spoken, it stood: a standard of action that would frame events and responses from the Administration for years to come."

This book reeks , it reads like a cheap novelette with totally unbelievable dialogue that would keep a keen reader of the Nastional Enquirer happy or a Joan Collins fan. The first draft of history ? Forgeddit.

Then they went to see Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Bandar greeted the delegation arriving at his palatial home in northern Virginia, Tenet and his small band of deputies. They hugged. Tenet is a hugger. He and Bandar have passed countless hours together, trust building, a Tenet specialty.

After brief cordialities, Tenet got down to business. He leaned forward. A concerned look crossed his wide mug. "Bad news," Tenet said. "Bin Laden has changed his focus. Now it's you. It's Saudi Arabia."

Bandar was grim. "Scotch?"

He got some. And they drank Johnnie Walker Blue Label as Tenet delivered the bad news. He described the intelligence.

"Can we see the cable?" Bandar asked.

"Can't," Tenet said. "But I'll tell you everything you need to know."

But ultimately ... disappointment in Samarra, Suskind quotes a CIA operative as questioning whether it was an accident that the Saudis had killed the shadowy kingpin Al Ayeri who could expose a cell planning a chemical weapons attack inside the U.S. "The Saudis just shrugged," the source tells Suskind. "They said their people got a little overzealous."

He gets paid to write this crap ?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mohammed Siddique Khan (dcsd) helps to sell Suskind's alarmist book

The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
by Ron Suskind

This is what the publishers, Simon & Schuster say about the book;

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Loyalty takes readers inside the defining conflict of our era: the war between the U.S. and a growing, shadowy army of terrorists, armed with weapons of alarming power.

Relying on unique access to former and current government officials, this book will reveal for the first time how the U.S. Government - from President Bush on down - is frantically improvising to fight a new kind of war. Where is the enemy? What have been the real victories and defeats since September 11th? How are we actually fighting this war and how can it possibly be won?

Little, in fact, has been revealed about the nature of this struggle and the methods being used. This book will change that. (oh yeah ?) Readers will, for the first time, see harrowing close calls in America where thousands of lives have been saved - and learn how terrorists have artfully adapted to America's early success in capturing al Qaeda operatives.

Suskind will show readers what he calls "the invisible battlefield" - a global matrix where U.S. spies race to catch soldiers of jihad before they strike. It is a real life spy thriller with the world's future at stake. (I can't wait)

Suskind's report is filled with astonishing disclosures (unverifiable, hearsay and plain made up no doubt) and will profoundly reframe the debate about a war that, each day, redefines America and its place in the world.

David Rosenthal, publisher of Simon & Schuster, finds "a lot to be critical about, from outside and within the Republican Party. ... People are disappointed, feel lied to and are deeply confused."

On the back of this book, (embargoed until publishing date 20th June) a global bullshit campaign is well underway, with the charge led by Rupe's rags. Stories about Khan being fingered in 2003 by the CIA abound. Time is also publising extracts this forthcoming weekend which are being kept well under wraps.

The book claims (amongst other tings) that : "British intelligence was certainly told about Mohammed Siddique Khan in March and April 2003. It is claimed Khan was put on a no fly list and was turned away from Heathrow Airport when he tried to board a flight to America in 2003 because the CIA believed he was involved in a plot with US counterparts to bomb synagogues on the East coast.

Suskind claims US spies passed on fears about Khan, describing him as a "very dangerous character", to UK spies.

Intelligence sources in the UK have said they were aware of the allegation but that it was "untrue and one of the many myths that have grown up around Khan".

Suskind will participate in a forum on Friday, June 23 @ 11:00 am at the Miller Centre for Public Affairs. http://millercenter.virginia.edu/

Simon & Schuster, are tightly guarding the book's contents because Time bought excerpts that are expected to make news this weekend. It won't even explain the title. ( have just been into Barnes and Noble - book embargoed until tomorrow - no way can even look at it - so how does the press get the juicy bits 729 Google hits on :Suskind" today 3.00pm EDT. The three network morning shows all hyped the book, - it charges that al-Qaeda plotted a New York City subway gas attack for 2003, but pulled back. (Oh yeah ?) (Bug plug time for CBS sister company Simon & Schuster.)- Psyops is at work BIG style)

Other forthcoming books to catch the anti-war wind and anti-Republican voice:

Oath Betrayed (Random House, June 27) by Stephen Miles, a medical professor, who cites "medical complicity" in "the abuse and neglect" of prisoners in U.S. prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The End of Iraq (Simon and Schuster, July 11) by Peter Galbraith, a fellow at the Center for Arms Control, whose subtitle is How American Incompetence Created a War Without End.

What Terrorists Want (Random House, Sept. 5) by Louise Richardson, a Harvard lecturer who argues that Bush's war on terror is doomed because of an ignorance of history.

Is Iraq Another Vietnam? (PublicAffairs, Sept. 5) by Robert Bingham, a Vassar College professor, who contends that American policymakers are misusing the lessons of Vietnam.

Last month, Sentinel, the right wing edge of Penguin "America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror" by historian Larry Schweikart, who writes that the U.S. military has prevailed in situations more dire than Iraq.

EXpect more bullshit throughout the summer silly season - all unverifiable, and all helping to feed the state of terror that the Government in the UK are happy to induce, encourage, inflame and develop. Whilst you sleep the bullshit factory is hard at work.

Peter Clarke is the head of terror at the Met. This is what he said in February to the Royal United Services Institute - read it all - makes fascinating reading.

"As with every other aspect of policing, gaining and maintaining the confidence of the community is critical to the long term success of counter terrorist policing. "

"... we need to raise the level of public debate around this whole subject. There are hugely important and sensitive issues at stake here."

There are those, I am one of them, to say the Police , especially the Met and the Department Clarke is responsible for have completely lost all the confidence the public may have had in them.

UK loses 24-1 at EU summit trying to stop transparency and televised debates.

Brussels. EU Summit Friday.

There was a motion that “all council deliberations on legislative acts” should be open to television.

Now Mr Blair is for openness, transparency, Freedom of Information (Mom and applie pie probably) indeed our own Parliament is televised live...This policy had almost everyone’s support, Europhiles and Eurosceptics, Government and Opposition, all three major parties - the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett were both there.

Sat next to Tony Blair, Mrs Beckett argued against the reform. She was heard in complete silence, the silence of embarrassment. She put the case against openness — the case against settled British policy and practice, the case against liberal democracy, Jeffersonian honesty. She argued ( amidst stunned and silent unbelief) that ministers would negotiate privately on the telephone if their official negotiations were being filmed.

She argued.

The result ? UK lost 24 - 1. the UK Prime Minister and the caravanning Foreign Secretary were committed to the anti-democratic principle of secret European legislation, secretly arrived at.

Of course the UK were humiliatingly forced to back down and the President of the EU Finnish prime minister Mati Vanhanen said the initiative was "great" and that his country was ready to implement it over the next six months.

Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel welcomed the agreement saying it would bring "a breath of fresh air into the European house."

In April last year the rule 116 was adopted for greater transparency as follows...

The European Parliament Written declaration:

The European Parliament / having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas European Union legislators should not meet in secret when debating draft new laws,

B. whereas every EU head of government, in signing the constitutional treaty, indicated support for the principle that the Council of Ministers should deliberate in public when considering draft legislative acts,

C. whereas a change to the Council of Ministers’ rules of procedure, requiring a simple majority of votes in the General Affairs Council, is all that is necessary to introduce this improved practice,

1. Calls on the Council of Ministers to apply the principles of openness and transparency to its legislative work by making the necessary change to its rules of procedure;

2. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Presidency of the Council.

Even the Daily Telegraph was not amused.

It is evident that the principles of Democracy are something that Tony Blair finds hard to swallow.... his poodles in Parliament have not of course raised a whisper. They have got used to him trampling over the ideals of a liberal society.

Lee Iacocca

"I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use.
Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish
and what you're willing to sacrifice to accomplish it "

Seen the new VW Jetta ad ? Want to think about anything but a Government that sucks . Watch it now. Brilliant. It will make you think, which is the last thing the Gubment want you to do.

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