"“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, November 04, 2006

Fiji - talk of a Military coup premature ... so far.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published advice against all but essential travel to Suva. They report tensions in the relationship between the Government of Fiji and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. The Fiji Military Commander Cmdr Bainimarama (see pic) has issued an ultimatum demanding that the Government resign during November. On 1 November, the Prime Minister made it clear he would not resign. The Fiji Military Commander has been out of the country (reveiwing peace keeping troops in Egypt) and arrived back earlier today . Military vehicles carrying at least 20 soldiers collected the commander off his flight from Los Angeles at Nadi's international airport and escorted him back to Suva. The FCO say the security situation in Suva could therefore deteriorate at short notice.

1. Visitors should also exercise caution if travelling to the rest of Fiji, particularly in urban areas avoiding all military or political rallies and large gatherings of people.

2. There are reports that the Fiji Military Commander has issued an ultimatum demanding that the Government resigns during November. On 31 October, the Government of Fiji failed to remove the Fiji Military Commander from his post and all military personnel have been called up to report to bases. On 1 November, the Prime Minister made it clear he would not resign.

3, Although the security situation in Fiji is currently calm, it could deteriorate with little notice.

Further on the Foreign Office website (http://www.fco.gov.uk) or Tel : 0845 850 2829. BBC Online report

Australia has two warships bound for waters near Fiji in case Australian citizens need to be evacuated.

Where ignorance is Bliss.....

On the 13th of March 2002 Dr Jenny Tonge (now ennobled) asked our Dear Leader ..in the House of Commons (Hansard Q5. [40149] Col 887) " Is the Prime Minister happy to allow the teaching of creationism alongside Darwin's theory of evolution in state schools?"

Our Dear Leader responded with charm, skill and has learnt with regret as his reply is continually thwon in his face ..."

First, I am very happy. Secondly, I know that the hon. Lady is referring to a school in the north-east, and I think that certain reports about what it has been teaching are somewhat exaggerated. It would be very unfortunate if concerns about that issue were seen to remove the very strong incentive to ensure that we get as diverse a school system as we properly can. In the end, amore diverse school system will deliver better results for our children. If she looks at the school's results, I think she will find that they are very good."

She was of course referring to The Emmanual College in Gateshead funded to a small extent by a wealthy second hand car salesman, Sir Reg Vardy, who believes in the book of Revelations and employs as Head of Science , Stephen Layfield, whose unorthodox views were expressed by him ...

"As we stated at the beginning, Christians, with very good reason, reckon the Scriptures of the Old & New Testaments a reliable guide concerning just what we are to believe. They are not merely religious documents. They provide us with the true account of earth history which we ignore at our peril."

Well the Dear Leader was in Oxford addressing the Royal Society yesterday giving an address with the uplifting title .."Britain's path to the future - lit by the brilliant light of science" ...making one wonder what illumines it's path to the past.

He started with a boast..

"We have come a long way in the past 10 years - science is in many ways the secret success story of the Government. But we need to do much more."

leading one to believe that the Gubment success is so secret that only he is aware of it, as the best of our young scientists head for the door adn the brighter pqastures of the US and Asia.

He followed with cliche ridden pap that one might expect a media studies student to steal for an GCSE essay ..

"The science of climate change is the moon landing of our day. This is idealism in a technical language. The scientists and the idealists will, once again, be the same people. The discoveries in the laboratory will be matters of life and death. Nothing could be more vital, nothing could be more exciting."

Exposing an ignorance that is frightening..

"Imagine if the MRI scanner had been known by the name that is often used by researchers, the NMR imaging device: the nuclear magnetic resonance machine. It might well have been a different sort of debate altogether."

But highlights an inherent , and profound weakness ...

"The recruitment of teachers has been an undoubted problem. There is a shortage of maths and science teachers qualified in the specialism they teach. 26% of maintained 11-16 schools have no physics specialist and 12% no chemistry specialist. Nearly a quarter of those teaching maths were non-specialists. Only 19% of science teachers specialize in physics and they tend, as a rule, to have lower degree qualifications."

Which when you discover that a recent recruit (Nigel McQuoid) to the ranks of those teaching science at the Emmanuel Academy said this in an essay (Christian Institute) Built From the Roof Down

"For a highly successful inner-city Comprehensive school to attribute its success to its allegiance to the Absolute Truths of Biblical Christianity will therefore come as no shock to the nation, even though less than 5% of our students attend Church regularly. To teach children that they are developed mutations who evolved from something akin to a monkey as a result of a cataclysmic chemical accident and that death is the end of everything is hardly going to engender within them a sense of purpose, self-worth and respect. To present, however, the Truth that they were made by a loving and just God who sees every one of them as being of equal and real value and capable of achieving their best, and to speak of the life beyond death, creates an altogether more positive sense of responsibility, accountability and direction. Surely this is no surprise to anyone?"

Makes one wonder exactly what our Dear leader meant when he said to Lady Tonge 4 years ago ..

" I think that certain reports about what it has been teaching are somewhat exaggerated. It would be very unfortunate if concerns about that issue were seen to remove the very strong incentive to ensure that we get as diverse a school system as we properly can. "

Diverse it may be, but whether it is producing the next generation of scientists to combat the floods of Indian, Russian and Chinese engineers flooding the developed world is extremely unlikely. Each University science department closed a milestone on the way.

Finally read what our Dear Leader said to the Royal Society .. it should be required reading for every scientist at work today as it exposes the Prime Minister for the academic simpleton he is.


Curiously Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times has an article today bringing his readers attention to our Dear Leaders's speech to the Royal Society and the Emmanuel College and its curious lineage and teaching style, which has certain fleeting similarities to the above ... what a happy coincidence that Fleet Street's finest make the same - although not of course unique comparison.

Militiary coup rumoured in Iraq

" .....well-informed Iraqi politicians told Al-Ahram Weekly that discussions of a coup have been underway for some time between American and Iraqi officers. One politician stated that several Iraqi leaders, who have been working closely with the Americans even before the 2003 war that toppled Saddam Hussein, are also involved in the discussions.

Another politician said Iraqi army officers are planning to stage a military coup with US help to oust Al-Maliki's government once he exhausts efforts to end violence. Politicians visiting Cairo last week said that several top army officers have visited Washington recently for talks with US officials on plans for replacing A-Maliki's government by a "national salvation" government with the mission to re- establish security and stability in Iraq."

56 bodies between Thursday and Friday mornings all dressed in civilian clothing and found with their hands and feet bound,...83 bodies, some showing signs of torture, in various locations around the city in the past 36 hours and Ex Ambassador Negroponte makes surpise visit on Maliki. as October US military deaths in October hot record 100 deaths.

Iraqi High Tribunal, which has been trying Saddam for crimes against humanity, is expected to deliver its verdict on Sunday.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Colombia is making real progress and what they are doing is having an effect."

Sir Keith Morris, Britain's ambassador to Colombia from 1990 to 1994,was asked his opinion of the campaign of "shared responsibility" launched by Colombia whose local manifestation is 5 Colombian women , survivors of kidnapping, bombs and landmines appearing in London to tell British cocaine users that they are helping to fuel violence and death in Colombia.

The ageing but hard headed ex Ambassador said the campaign would have little effect. He said it failed to address the main cause of the violence: the prohibition of drugs. "This is a sensible initiative, but the real issue is not being addressed," he said.

Elsewhere the ubiquitous, peripatetic, and pathetic Rentagob "Johnny Head in the Air" Howells is, like a manservant in a Goldini stage farce, sent mouthing nonsense on behalf of his modern Foreign Office masters ... "Colombia is making real progress and what they are doing is having an effect."

The utter vacuity of this man and his mouthings beggars belief, lurching round the globe at vast public expense, he seeks one day to get the rioting Bengalis in line, the next he is telling us what a world Statesman Presidente Mushariff is, in settling with the Taliban in Waziristan .. days ahead of the USA predator missile killing 50 kids in a Pakistinian madrassa...last week this figure of fun snuck into the House to upstage his mistress off on a caravan trek to tell the Europeans to get their Constitution together.

Now it is the Colombians turn to benefit from his wit and wisdom.

They might more usefully listen to Danny Kushlick of drugs reform group Transform who said: "The global prohibition of cocaine has effectively gifted one of the largest commodity trades on earth to organised criminal cartels and economically destabilised Colombia and other parts of Latin

Maybe all this constant air travel has disoriented the Welshman , his head is either in the air, stuck in the earth or up his arse.

Who... who will rid us of this meddlesome priest ? .. or at least provide him with a cap and bells, and inflated pigs bladder on a stick.

Perhaps he is not so stupid, when you look at his travels (and travails) - imagine the Air Miles he is clocking up.

Methamphetamine improves gay sex - apparently

Rev. Ted Haggard, Leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals resigned on Thursday . He also stepped down from the 14,000-member New Life Church, based in Colorado Springs which he founded in 1985, seven years after graduating from the massive Christian Oral Roberts University in Tulsa OK. founded eponymously by the TV evangelist Oral Roberts in 1963.

A highly vocal opponent of gay marriage, married with five children, he resigned after being accused by Mike Jones of Denver on KHOW-AM radio, who claimed that Haggard paid him for sex about once a month for three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters - to heighten his experience.

Jane Little of the BBC in the US says Haggard - also known as Pastor Ted - is one of America's most influential and politically well-connected religious leaders, with strong White House links.


Ned Flanders the irritating Christian in the Simpsons also went to Oral Roberts U. Said to be named after Northeast Flanders St. in Portland, Oregon, the hometown of Simpsons creator Matt Groening. The street sign, NE Flanders St., is often defaced to read NED Flanders St. Apparently.

Ned owns the Leftorium a shop stocking items solely for left handed people. A sincere BIble believing Christian , jogger who wears flip flops but won't run in them ... there is no evidence that he snorts anything prior to any form of sexual congress - if homosexual he has, so far, (like Pastor Ted) managed to conceal it.... although looking at this pic .......

UPDATE Midnight UK.

This story is hitting the headlines on every BBC Radio news headlines.

Washington Post reports ..."Rev. Ted Haggard, said today he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a self-described male escort. But Haggard denied allegations by the man that he ever used the drug or had sex with him." Yeah whatever.

Local Radio in Florida is said to be reporting Charlie Crist, flag wrapped, anti gay marriage Christian Floridan Re Pub up for re-election is getting out of the closet. Bruce Carlton Jordan tells Dee Dee Hall (Broward - Palm Beach New Times) in video testimony about his alleged sexual relationship with Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.See also Proud of who we are and letter to Crist from founder of Florida chapter de Vries

Oregon Homeless given lethal bomb ingredients

Ever wonder what happens to your toothpaste, shampoo, lipstick, water, you leave at the airport because they may be...no no...make that, probably are , dangerous noxious pre-cursors that can be mixed into a lethal cocktail of death and destruction ?

Well, savvy, penny saving Charley Harvey, director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Oregon has been picking through the discarded potential liquid explosives at Eugene Airport since last week for distribution to the homeless at their First Place Family Center in Eugene.

City officials, who own the airport trash bins (and their contents), allowed Harvey to collect whatever he could find useful, so that the city wouldn’t have to throw it out... apparently he passsed up on the lavender body butter. Eugene officials were immediately open to the idea, said Brad Black, the airport's facilities and development manager.

But that’s just the city airport trash bins. Anything seized at a federal security checkpoint goes through a different procedure: First, the TSA screener pours the seized liquid into a single large bin, mixing it with all the other liquids seized at the checkpoint that day. Then the mixed liquids and their containers are hauled away and disposed of by a contractor......

Only in America

Another Republican sex scandal to unseat Pennsylvania Barbie Doll admirer - Sherwood heads for the Forest.

65 year old father of three daughters, Jesse, Dana and Maria., Pennsylvanian second hand car dealer and 4 term Congressman for the Pennsylvania 10th District , Rep. Don Sherwood , is locked in a nail biting re-election race. He is also a serial and serious liar, social scumbag and adulterer. Naval reserve Officer with 5 children, Democratic nominee Chris Carney 's hard hitting TV ads accuse him of hypocrisy and bringing "Washington values" to this paradisical rural northeastern Pennsylvania district in the Central Susquehanna Valley region.See Campaign Video

Firm jawed , "family values man", Don Sherwood is a leading member of the Christian Right, and is supported by Christian Coalition, the American Conservative Union, and the American Family Association.

In November 2005 Sherwood reached a settlement with his ex mistress of 5 years, glamorous, svelte, petite, home loving 30 year old Cynthia Ore (see pic) and settled her US$5.5Mn lawsuit (lawsuit pdf) claiming he abused her on confidential terms. (Pic location unknown but presumably the lady has just jumped out of a celebration cake at a male only dinner. Ready to handed round with the brandy.)

Apparently payment of the settlement are to be made serially and she is gagged from public comment until after the elections, on penalty of returning the money - but details of her claims have leaked out and are the talk of barbershops, bar rooms and churches.

His legal team asked the judge to prohibit disclosure of materials from the case when it was settled, warning that Sherwood's opponents might try to use the information to harm him politically. However a police report leaked by Veronica Hannevig , says that Ore called 911 on her cell phone from the bathroom of Sherwood's Capitol Hill apartment on September 15th 2004 reporting that Sherwood had choked her. When the police arrived there was a slightly different tale, and Ore reportedly said that nothing had "happened." Sherwood said that he had been giving his 29-year-old fiend a "back rub."

The incident report prepared by the police stated,

"Both parties have left out significant information or are not willing to discuss in detail what actually happened." Sherwood admitted the affair with the woman, but vehemently denied ever hurting her. Criminal charges were never filed.

Many press stories at the time are no longer available but the Times Tribune covered the incidents in detail. They reported him "punching her in the face and body - once as she was trying to fall asleep in the bed in his apartment - choking or trying to strangle her and "violently yanking" her hair."

Regan , Ore's lawyer claimed his client and Mr. Sherwood met at a Young Republicans event in 1999 in Washington and began an affair. He said the congressman now incorrectly refers to Ms. Ore as "a casual acquaintance.". It appears however that she and Mr. Sherwood lived together for most of the five years from meeting till their final parting,in Apartment 215 at 110 D St., S.E., Washingotn when he was in town. An arrangement she described as a "close romantic and intimate personal relationship."

In her complaint....
Ms. Ore said that after each alleged beating, Mr. Sherwood would promise never to beat her again, then plead with her not to leave him.

Her lawyer also said that she received unspecified medical treatment after this event but Mr. Regan said their only meeting since Sept. 15 was at one of President Bush's inaugural balls where Mr. Sherwood sought out Ms. Ore.... which makes on ask which lucky chap took her there.

Ore, roughly the same age as Sherwood's daughters was brought up in Peru, did not speak English until she arrived in the US as a teenager, having spoken only French - even now she has some difficulty with spoken English,it is said. Ore says her wealthy family owns Spanish supermarkets and restaurants. She now lives in a huge luxury apartment complex in Rockville that has underground parking for residents and fireside lounges on the first floor. She owns a Porsche and evidently dresses in the classic Barbie label.

She is taking business classes at Johns Hopkins University which judging by the picture is what she is cut out for. She says she wants to open a restaurant.

Apparently Sherwood had managed in the early years if their relationship to obtain an internship for her with his close neighbour Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, whose congressional office is on the same floor as Sherwood’s in the Longworth Building in Washington.

Anyway last week family values man, Sherwood hit back and responded to Carneys's jibes with his own TV ad. Looking directly at the camera he apologized for his conduct. Last month, his wife mailed a letter to voters that accused Carney of "needlessly cruel" campaign tactics.

This week, desperation has set in and Sherwood accuses Carney of lies - see the video that Carney calls fraudulent here.

Things are getting down and dirty as these two Times Leader stories demonstrate.Fri Oct 27th, Sat Oct 28th

Chris Carney (see pic) is ahead 9 points over Don Sherwood in the race according to an independent poll by Lycoming College released on Saturday. In the poll, Carney leads Sherwood 47%-38% among likely voters and received 61% of Independents’ and 20% of Republicans’ support.

The latest "News" item on Sherwood's website is - March 10, 2006, "Sherwood invites community organizations to apply for forestry grants" - it will be his last message to his electors. Let's hope he doesn't start giving Mrs Sherwood a vigorous "back rub".

IDF to hit Hezbollah / Hamas soon - or very soon - even

John Keegan writes an exceedingly interesting article in the Daily Torygraph today ...

He concludes .....

What is certain is that – probably before the year is out – Israel will have struck at Hizbollah in south Lebanon. And the strike will come even sooner if Hizbollah reopens its missile bombardment of northern Israel from its underground systems.

He explains the role of tunnels / bunkers in warfare - especially in Vietnam and how they played a major role in the Hezbollah resistance.... and also their role as a supply route in Gaza.

Tunnel systems have played a crucial part in many modern campaigns, without attracting much attention. That is a serious oversight. The success of the Viet Cong in sustaining its war effort in Vietnam in 1968-72 depended heavily on its use of the so-called War Zone B, a complex of deep tunnels and underground bases north of Saigon, which had been begun during the war against the French in 1946-55.

He goes on to explain to explain the absolutely fundamental function of the IDF ...

Since Israel's reason for existence is to provide a secure base for the Jewish people, and that of the IDF is to act as their shield and safeguard – functions that have been carried out with high success since 1948 – it is obvious that neither can tolerate a zone of invulnerability occupied by a sworn enemy located directly on Israel's northern border.

He also identifies the well known, directed and ruthless policy of the Israel Gubment - (not in any way reduced after the introduction of Mr Leiberman trailing clouds of Netanyahu and Sharon. ED.)

Destroying the underground military facilities may be straightforward, but it is likely to create diplomatic complexities, particularly with the UN. Entering south Lebanon risks provoking a clash with Unifil, the major part of whose strength is provided by France. It is unlikely that such a risk will deter Israel. When national survival is at risk, Israel behaves with extreme ruthlessness. It attacked an American communications ship during the Six-Day War because it objected to America listening in to its most secret signals.

He doesn't mention of course that the Liberty sailors who survived are sworn to absolute secrecy under threats so dire that nobody has yet really told the full story. If anything shows the power of the Zionist Lobby in America it is the Liberty incident.... and that was in 1967 ... things have only got worse since.

He also adds concerns about Syria which might explain the recent diplomatic efforts which have been publicised this week ..

The big question hanging over an Israeli return to south Lebanon is whether that would provoke a war with Syria, Lebanon's Arab protector. The answer is quite possibly yes, but that such an extension of hostilities might prove welcome both to Israel and to the US.

Keegan is a well informed commentator and his stark conclusion provides a sobering view of the near term prospects inn the ME. It reflects the recent massive reprisal in Gaza after a recent rocket attack.

In recent days, senior Israeli military officers have argued for a broader assault on the strip, since the rocket attacks, while declining in intensity, have continued. Israel's security cabinet rejected the military's request Wednesday but voted to continue what Israeli officials describe as ``pinpoint'' operations.

Perhaps it is worth remembering that Suez was launched just before the US presidential election ... does the distraction afforded by next's week voting in the US offer an opportunity ?

See article y Avni at Anti War

China's CUAV unveiled @ Zuhai

China Aviation Industry Corporation (CAIC1) has recently unveiled a conceptual model of a pilotless combat aircraft (CUAV) during the 6th International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition held in South China’s Zhuhai.
The aircraft “An Jian” or "Invisible Sword" is being designed by CAIC1's Shenyang Aeroplane Design Institution for future aerial combat, according to an introduction by CAIC1. Remeber John Travolta and his black plane in Broken Arrow ?
You can get an update on the EU nEURone CUAV at a previous Lord Patel post here The UK has no part in the project which is led by the French (Dassault) and the Swedes (Saab).

There is no news of a US CUAV...unless you know better.

Stern mocked - temperature of scientific debate rises

Anyone with a sincere interest in studying the arguments over "climate change" could usefully examine the responses to Sir N Stern's remarkably heavy document at the entertaining , extraordinarily well informed, lucid and independent Climate Audit website.

The following comments seemed apposite and useful to the more sceptical and rational amongst us ;

The accuracy of climate predictions is limited by computing power. This, for example, restricts the scale of detail of models, meaning that small-scale processes must be included through highly simplified calculations. It is important to continue the active research and development of more powerful climate models to reduce the remaining uncertainties in climate projections.” [page 8, HS stuff on page 6]

This sounds like a reasonable explanation for why there should be more funding for modellers (Assumes, of course, that physics are modelled correctly..), but I get the sense that the author believes it would be possible to predict what the Queen will have for lunch on her birthday - if only we had a big enough computer to do the calculation.

Comment by Jim Edwards
From Stern: a tiny footnote on clouds (See Lord Patel's previous remarks on Stern) on the bottom of p. 9:

An increase in low clouds would have a negative feedback effect, as they have little effect on infrared radiation but block sunlight, causing a local cooling.

Planet Earth might have powerful mechanisms, such as nonlinear negative feedback from clouds, to keep a lid on warming. There is alot of talk about runaway postive feedback. Not much talk about negative feedback.

Comment by bender —
Here’s another “O RLY” comment from the Stern Report (page 23, Chapter 4):

Gender equality

Gender inequalities will likely worsen with climate change. Workloads and responsibilities such as collecting water, fuel and food will grow and become more time consuming in light of greater resource scarcity. This will allow less time for education or participation in marketbased work. A particular burden will be imposed on those households that are short of labour, further exacerbated if the men migrate in times of extreme stress leaving women vulnerable to impoverishment, forced marriage, labour exploitation and trafficking.112 Women are ‘overrepresented’ in agriculture and the informal economy, sectors that will be hardest hit by climate change. This exposure is coupled with a low capacity to adapt given their unequal access to resources such as credit and transport. Women are also particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters with women and children accounting for more than 75% of displaced persons following natural disasters

So let me understand: climate change (the Orwellian contraction of “human-caused climate change”) will cause:

- more gender inequality
- men being forced to work abroad
- female impoverishment
- forced marriage
- labour exploitation
- ‘trafficking’ (is this a synonym for slavery?)
- fewer credit cards and loans
- less transportation (overcrowding on buses, or will they be forced to car-pool?)

There’s no end to the horrors caused by climate change!

Of course, the real reason behind all of these things is poverty, which the carbon trading system will do nothing to solve, and probably exacerbate by reducing the amount of money available for investment and trade with developing countries.

Comment by John A

...and lots more including the letter from Professor Paul Reiter, of the Institut Pasteur in Paris in the Daily Torygraph on Tuesday.

"I am reminded of Trophim Lysenko, who used pseudoscience and myth-making to establish ‘scientific proof’ of Marxist genetics. Lysenko dominated Soviet science for more than two decades by propaganda and ruthless liquidation of his opponents. When he was finally discredited, the Soviet Nobel Laureate Nicolai Semyonov wrote: ‘There is nothing more dangerous than blind passion in science. Given support from someone in power, it can lead to suppression of true science, and… to inflicting great injury on the country’.

Popular knowledge of scientific issues is again awash with misinformation. Alarmists use the language of science to manipulate public perceptions by judgmental warnings. Scientists who challenge them are branded as a tiny minority of ‘sceptics’. One of the few geneticists who survived the Stalin era wrote: ‘Lysenko showed how a forcibly instilled illusion, repeated over and over at meetings and in the media, takes on an existence of its own in people’s minds, despite all realities.’ To me, we have fallen into this trap. A genuine concern for mankind demands the inquiry, accuracy and scepticism that are intrinsic to science. A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.

Or as Lancelot Hogben that maverick mathematician and great scientific educator said in his essay "Science and Authority" in 1957 ...."No society is safe in the hands of so few clever people".

To return to the Climate Audit comments ...

At the launch of the Stern report Tony Blair said ....

"It is not in doubt that if the science is right, the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous. And this disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future, many years ahead, but in our lifetime.”

Brilliantly subtle caveat or just mangled logic?

Hint: He studied law at Oxford

Comment by Proxy

Go to Climate Audit, you will learn more about the debate there than by reading Stern.

Pic is of an angel, St James's Roman Catholic Church, Rochdale today

Thursday, November 02, 2006

School Bus driver gives President finger - is fired

The Houston Chronicle has a sorry AP story today.

An unamed 43 year old lady school bus driver with a load of kids fresh from a zoo trip were passed by a Presidential motorcade on June 16 th when the president and Republican Rep. Dave Reichert drove slowly by in a motorcade.

The kids waved and the Commander in Chief and Republican Rep waved back - the driver gave them the finger

The driver was fired

The driver has filed for wrongful termination grievance through the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski Niegowski said the firing was not politically motivated.

"The bus driver was not terminated for making an obscene gesture at the president. The bus driver was terminated for making an obscene gesture in view of the students," Niegowski said. "That's not the role modelling we need for our students."

Library of the Commander in Chief flippin' the finger here. You Tube video here. Never did see him as a role model fer kids.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Today is National Stress Awareness Day

The 2nd November,has been declared by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and International Stress Management Association UK to be National Stress Awareness Day

* About half a million people feel that stress is making them ill;
* Up to 5 million people in the UK feel over stressed by their work;
* 12.8 million working days were lost last year
* The financial costs to society are estimated at £3.8 billion a year.

NSAD is an annual event organised by the International Stress Management Association UK (ISMA UK). The purpose of NSAD is to raise awareness of stress and ways to tackle it.

* To introduce the HSE Management Standards and explore how they can be best introduced in your organisation
* To learn about the long term business benefits of effectively managing work-related stress
* To share good practice and lessons learnt with others
* To explain the HSE Stress Programme’s plan of work and how you can get involved

HSE Information available here

Udo Ulfkotte ? Tales of Terrorists

Der Krieg im Dunkeln (War in the Dark) is a book recently published by Udo Ulfkotte,(see pic). Previously a correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he now teaches security management and defense against terror at a north German university.

Wayne Madsen picked up on his book and the details he provides of the operations of two Israeli intelligence units in France ;

Metsada - specialising in sabotage, including "false flag" terrorist attacks and assassinations
LAP (Lohamah Psichlogit) - which engages in psychological warfare

Ulfkotte claims that British and German intelligence agents encountered Metsada and LAP agents in France stirring up violence during the November 2005 riots, blamed on Islamic extremists. WMR also reported that Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy ( A Roman Catholic with a Jewish mother - Andrée Mallah) , who is supported by pro-right wing Israeli (Likud/Netanyahu/Olmert) factions in France .

Sarkozy he says coordinated and continues to coordinate the paying of agents provocateurs to engage in violence in the predominantly Muslim Banlieus of Paris and other cities. The November 2005 riots spread from Paris to Rouen, Lille, Nice, Dijon, Strasbourg, Marseilles (where Mossad's Branch C, also responsible for Paris and London, maintains a large station), Bordeaux, Rennes, Pau, Orleans, Toulouse, Lyon, Roubaix, Avignon, Saint-Dizier, Drancy, Evreux, Nantes, Dunkirk, Montpellier, Valenciennes, Cannes, and Tourcoing.

Ulfkotte also quotes a British MI-6 source who reported that Israel's goal is to portray Muslims as "unpredictable threats who cannot be integrated into Western society."

Clear enough ?

Well David Sketchley has a confusing tale to tell at Daily Sketch

Having read the Wayne Madsen report he e-mailed Udo Ulfkotte who denied saying anything like that....

funny what people report who have not read the book. Its quite right that I have written a book on espionage. But I never have written any sentence like this: quote from Wayne Madsen:

He sent this reply from Herr Ulfkotte to Wayne Madsen who provided a detailed translation of the book provided by his technical translator which confirmed everything WMR reported.

He e-mailed Udo Ulfkotte again with this news from Wayne Madsen and got this brief but revealing reply ;

From: Dr. Udo Ulfkotte
Sent: martes, 31 de octubre de 2006 19:10
To: David Sketchley
Subject: Re: Der Krieg im Dunkeln

Dear David

thanks for your mail. As I wrote with my last mail I have written what I heared from my intelligence sources. And I personally don`t think that the Mossad was/is behind that

Best regards from Udo

Wayne Madsen
has subsequently provided a scan today of the appropriate pages (56/57) in the book in which it is clear what Ulkotte wrote.

A visit to his website and a read of his essay "The world turned upside down" provides a greater insight into Herr Ulfkotte. Evidently he has a wide experience, excellent contacts within the German Government and their Security Services. He also has another website "World Turned upside Down"

Quite where the Truth lies with Herr Ulfkotte it is difficult to discern.

Xymphora also had an interesting post and a lengthy debate amongst readers.

Chlamydia - UK National screening for the young

The National Chlamydia Screening Programme, started 3 years ago in April 2003. In total 180,000 young people have been screened outside genito-urinary clinics, 18,000 in the first year, 68,000 in the second year and 100,000 this year. (Annual report 2004/5) To some extent it was kick started by a House of Commons debate 8/5/2002. Footnote (1)

Another 60 areas will commence screening this year in a 2 year £80 Mn Programme which will operate nationwide. Screening is offered in a broad range of health and non health settings such as prisons, military bases and colleges. Six million young people under 25 will have access to chlamydia screening during 2007. The Department of Health is also piloting a two year NHS chlamydia testing scheme in Boots pharmacies aimed at 16 - 24 year olds across London - making it easier for young people to access chlamydia testing on the high street. Nearly 28,000 kits have been issued to date.

Ten percent of young men and women screened testing positive for the disease. During 2007 screening is set to become a routine part of health care for young people throughout the UK.

A new sexual health campaign will be launched later this year which will target young adults, raising awareness of the benefits of using condoms and the risks of unprotected sex. Chlamydia can be contracted by vaginal, anal, or oral sex and also from mother to child at birth in vaginal deliveries.

Chlamydia is one of the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), affecting as many as 10% of sexually active young men and women and is easily and inexpensively treated with antibiotics. It is caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, if untreated in women it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

The 3rd Annual Conference is being held today of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme 2005 / 06 with an address by Professor Julius Schachter who is is a Professor of Laboratory Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. He is the Editor of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. His address is entitled "Screening for genital chlamydial infection: The Good, the Bad and the Unbelievable."

In the afternoon Lesley Smith, Curator of Tutbury Castle, will talk , somewhat mysteriously about, " Sex across the centuries - Sex in the 17th century - 'The French pox and mercury' . A talk that apparently provides a focus on syphilis across society in the 17th century and some of the desperate attempts made to avoid contracting and passing sexually transmitted diseases. She will probably get round to explaining how syphilis is increasing in the UK (Footnote 2)within the unprecedented birth of children with syphilis becoming increasingly common (327 cases in 2000 to 716 in 2001 Source BBC Radio 1) even though it is simply and easily treated with penicillin.

Dr Mary Macintosh - Director - National Chlamydia Screening Programme will present the current progress of the program and lead a debate on the subject "All NCSP chlamydia positives should have a full sexually Transitted infections STI screening" .. they might usefully discuss whether the same should be discussed for women whose cervical smears present evidence of STI's but currently are ignored.

PreventX provides an online home testing kit that gives results in 10 minutes. They also have an excellent page of advice for the sexually active young - which any parent should read...and perhaps pass on.

The Centre for Disease Control have a useful page also
- Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD - note the UK use the term STI) in the United States. In 2004, 929,462 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC throughout the US.

Footnote (1)

Jane Griffiths (Reading, East): I am pleased to have secured this debate on such an important subject ....the number of new episodes of acute STIs diagnosed in genito-urinary medicine [GUM] clinics in England, Wales and Northern Ireland rose from 887,760 in 1995 to 1,185,285 in 2000.

This debate was notable in that Lembit Opek was able to tell the world that he had encouraged Durex to declare the previous week National Condom Week. (May 8th - 13th in the UK - Feb. 14th - 21st in the US)

Footnote( 2 )
Indexed in MedLine as: Euro Surveill 2004;9(12):21-5

There have been substantial increases in diagnoses of infectious syphilis between 1998 and 2003, with a 25-fold increase seen in men who have sex with men (MSM) (from 43 to 1028 diagnoses); 6-fold (138 to 860) in heterosexual men and 3-fold (112 to 338) in women.

IPOD 5 years old today

Nick Robinson identifies interesting ME move by the Dear Leader

Nick Robinson has on his blog
an interesting well informed view about the story in today's FT Blair in secret overture to Damascus By Roula Khalaf and James Blitz

Tony Blair, Britain’s prime minister, has launched a secret diplomatic move to prise Syria away from its support for radical Middle East groups and policies.

In an initiative that departs from the US policy of isolating Syria, Mr Blair this week sent Sir Nigel Sheinwald, his most senior foreign policy adviser, to Damascus where he met Bashar al-Assad, the president, and other senior figures in the regime.

Mr B defying the US line ? What is going on ? Lord Levy not involved ? What is Nick really saying about TB's forthcoming "retirement" ?

Read for yourself. Nice one Nick.

World wheat shortages loom - prices soar

Australia forecast the smallest wheat crop in 12 years last week as exceptionally dry, warm weather, especially during the critical month of September, shriveled wheat in most growing regions of Australia and the price jumped to US$5.085 a bushel on the Chicago Board.

Droughts in the Ukraine and mid west U.S. have sent the world's most planted cereal crop price soar by 50 % this year. U.S. production dropped by 14 % because of the drought in the Midwest this year.In Texas, wheat production is the lowest since 1971, while acres harvested for grain are the lowest since 1925. Oklahoma's production is the lowest since 1971, and acres harvested for grain are the lowest since 1955.

Market watchers
forecast US$7.50 a bushel as World inventories had fallen 43 % by June to 119.3 million tons, the lowest since 1982, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Oct. 16th.

Wheat prices are being driven by prospects for a 2006-07 world wheat crop that is 5.4 percent smaller than last year’s crop and 4.8 percent less than projected consumption. United States wheat ending stocks are projected to be the tightest since 1996 and world ending stocks are projected to be the tightest since 1988.

Put in starker terms that means that there is enough in the cupboard to keep people alive on basic grains worldwide for 57 days... 50% of the level 10 years ago.

Monthly USDA World Wheat Outlook available as Excel spreadsheets here

Australia, the third-biggest exporter, will see its wheat crop decline 61 % to 9.5 million tons. Ukraine, the sixth-largest exporter, expects its harvest will drop 10 %. Grain importing nations like Egypt and India are fighting to obtain supplies and paying up to 300% more than last year. India will mport 6 million tons this year, compared with 300,000 tons last year, making it a net importer for the first time since 2000, the USDA said.

Michigan based Kellogg are already hurting and expects higher costs for wheat, sugar and fuel will cut profit by as much as 30 cents a share this year, equal to 11 percent of last year's total. They have recently cut 220 jobs at their Old Trafford Corn Flakes plant in Manchester in a major cost cutting exercise... the last NW business to use the 250 yr old Bridgewater canal .... for carrying grain. (Q3 /06 Net sales rose 8% and diluted EPS rose 6% to 70 cents a share)

Shares in Missouri based Panera Bread Co with1,000 bakeries and trendy eateries , on Oct. 25 dropped 6.2 % after the company reported Q3 profits missed some analysts' estimates and that costs may rise next year, including expenses for wheat and flour.

In 1973 along with the oil shock , the world price for wheat went up six-fold. Wheat prices ricochet through the food supply chain -

1. Higher prices for cereal and breads eaten directly by humans
2. Higher prices for milk and meat produced from livestock fed a grain-based diet
3. Changes to the economics of using grain as feedstock to ethanol
4. Labour shortages in agriculture will affect costs as farm workers who tended livestock in barns reduced need as cows came to the grain and didn't graze on pasture grasses.

For the future expect to pay more for your bread .. RHM the major milling / baking group in the UK in a statement yesterday said ....

The lag in recovery of higher wheat costs is estimated to have had a £2m impact in the first half of the year. The full year impact will depend upon further movements in the wheat price and the timing of bread price increases.
Get out the dough bowl and buy some yeast.

BBW European Wind Farms run out of puff - CEO moves on

Whilst there is a great deal of interest in using "free" wind energy to generate electricity, there is much optimistic noise made so investment in the sector looks increasingly attractive because of ..

1. The increasing cost competitiveness of wind energy
2. Need for increased security of energy supply, particularly by those countries with
limited fossil fuel reserves
3. Concerns about rising CO2 emissions and global warming
4. Increased global demand and for electricity - expected to double between 2002 and 2030,

Despite all this it is still difficult to identify the costs / benefits. Therefore it is interesting to consider the performance of Sydnay based Babcock & Brown Wind Partners.

A global investment company spun off investment company Babcock and Brown and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 28 October 2005 @ an application price of Aus$1.40 they now after a lengthy decine over 12 months from a high of over Aus$2 have hit Aus$1.43. They have a market value of approximately Aus$850Mn.

The company owns or has interests in a globally diverse wind energy portfolio with a total gross installed capacity of 671.6 MW , Europe (26%), North America (49%) and Australia (25%). They currently operate 2 wind farms in Australia (100%), 5 in the US (40% min), 2 in Germany (99%) and 6 in Spain (100%).

The business model appears relatively fool proof . Costs are fixed for operation and maintenance and sizeable proportion of electricity produced is sold under offtake contracts with large established utilities. These include - Australia AGL; Country Energy; Alinta . US TXU; Pacific Corp
· Germany RWE Rhein Ruhr · Spain Endesa . Most sites are partly owned and financed with local currency limited debt financing with hedged interest rates (except in the US) so providing a high theoretical stable cashflow.

There are different regulatory regimes which affect tax treatments ... all focused on promoting growth in renewable energy generation and use.

Direct Tariffs

Germany - Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) 2004
Spain - Electricity Act 1997 & Associated Royal Decrees
France - Electricity Law 2000 & subsequent Decrees

Quota Systems

Australia - Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and Mandatory Renewable Energy Target

Tax Credits

US - Energy Policy Act of 2005, Production Tax Credit Incentives

Strong government support, especially in Europe, has helped the growth of wind energy and there is now said to be nearly US$20 billion invested annually – which has helped to contribute to a
reduction in cost of energy to about 4-7 US cents/ kWh depending on the specifi c wind resource. Wind energy capacity additions accounted for about 10% of total new electricity generation added
globally in 2006.

This strong growth in wind energy is forecast to continue at 20% a year according to Emerging Energy Research. Wind energy is expected to account for approximately 3% of global electricity generation by 2015. Offshore wind energy development is not expected to make any significant effect until after 2015.

However the results discussed at yesterday's AGM are disappointing, with Revenues of Aus$73 Mn they could distribute 10.2 cents a share.They booked a net loss of $16.24 million for 2005/06

Problems arose locally due to "non recurring items"

1. Delays in the acquisition of the Olivo wind farms in Spain
2. Delay in the construction of the Niederrhein wind farms in Germany.
3. Low wind conditions in May and June 2006 across the European portfolio (!)
3. Low wind conditions at the Lake Bonney 1 (Aus) site. (!) (the whole of their output is on a a single long term offtake contract with a term of 10 years with Country Energy)

How they can claim low wind conditions are "non - recurring" is a little difficult to unravel. ...but any sailor will tell you the wind is fickle and unreliable.

CEO Peter O'Connell stepped down to take up a role elswehere in Babcock & Brown and a search for a new chief executive is underway.

Making money out of wind energy is evidently not all plain sailing. Watch this space.

Google 2nd Generation Wiki on the way - Jotspot gobbled up

Based in Palo Alto CA, JotSpot, is a private company started in 2004 by Excite.com co-founders Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, the company had launched the first of 2G wiki applications allowing anyone to create, publish, and share collaborative and personalized wiki applications. Google Inc. bought them today for an undisclosed sum.

JotSpot's wiki allows you to create rich web-based spreadsheets, calendars, documents and photo galleries. Easy as a word processor — no need to know HTML / XML . JotSpot has 30,000 paid users and some 2,000 businesses are using JotSpot to manage projects, build an intranet, share files and stay in sync with colleagues and customers inluding Oxford University Press and E-Bay.

The 27 employees will move 6 miles down the road to Google's Mountain View headquarters.

Shares of Google rose $1.96 to $478.53 on NASDAQ

Founder Joe Kraus Upon graduated from Stanford University in 1993, he joined with five engineering friends to found the highly successful Internet company, Excite, Inc. After leaving Excite@Home in 2000, Joe was a co-founder of Digitalconsumer.org, a non-profit grassroots consumer organization with more than 50,000 members dedicated to protecting consumers fair-use rights to digital media. Joe, along with other JotSpot cofounder GrahamSpencer, continues to work on these important issues. In addition to his non-profit focus, he has also spent many years as an angel investor, working with numerous early-stage technology companies. Here is a downloadable 32 minute Podtech interview with Joe Kraus by Robert Scoble.

Read Joe's thoughts on start ups in June this year - Joe is a smart guy - read it carefully

Briefly ..

Excite.com took $3,000,000 to get from idea to launch. JotSpot took $100,000.

Why on earth is there a 30X difference? There’s probably a lot of reasons, but here are my top four. I’m interested in hearing about what other people think are factors as well.

Hardware is 100X cheaper

Infrastructure software is free

Access to Global Labor Markets

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) changes everything

He also writes ... "
We spent a crap-load of money. There’s an old adage in television advertising (actually apocryphal remark of Lord Leverhulme about selling Sunlight Soap about 1900) “I know half my money is wasted. Trouble is, I don’t know what half”. That was us.

They could have spent a few shillings on some decent typography when they designed the logo.

If you want the smutty, dirty lowdown on how online porn funds Wikipedia read Lord Patel here "100 things you didn't know about Wikipedia".

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

French show the Flag in Lebanon

French Soldiers carefully protecting the Hezbollah flag in Beirut.

Irish Drugs Wars roll on relentlessly

Two young men jumped off a balcony in the plush gated Ard na Cluaine complex at Yellow Meadows, off the Nangor Road in Clondalkin, West Dublin, last week when Gardai came calling, tipped off about a stash of heroin. The gang leader whose 54 kilos of heroin had been fingered, will have lost €11 million. He is based in the Kilmainham area of the south west inner city, whose gang turf is the south inner city and in Crumlin and Drimnagh.

The 54 Kilos of heroin , the biggest ever in Eire, is said to have cost €2.5 Mn for the drug and another €1.5 Mn for couriers, would gross the gang €6 Mn (ish). More than 40kg of heroin - with a street value in excess of €8m has been seized in Eire this year - compared with just 15kg seized in 2005.

The word on the street is that another gangster from Drimnagh whose turf covers Drimnagh and Crumlin had tipped off the Gardai as part of a continuing drugs war, which has resulted in eight (known) deaths so far. It started when 20-year-old Declan Gavin was stabbed to death in a Crumlin chip shop in 2001 - he had been identified as a Gardai source after the seizure of a €1.5m shipment of drugs in a hotel bedroom in March 2000.

In July 2002, gang leader John Rattigan was shot dead through the forehead with a handgun at close range after an attempt the previous March . After a lull ,in January 2004, Paul Warren was gunned down in a Dublin pub. In March last year , John Roche was killed in Kilmainham which was shortly followed by Darren Geoghegan (26) and Gavin Byrne (30) and 2 nights later Noel Roche (brother of John Roche) were shot dead in their cars.

Wayne Zambra (22) became the eighth victim when, at about 1am on a Sunday morning in August , he was gunned down on Cameron Street, just off Cork Street.

As well as these deaths there are others which may be involved - Niall Hanlon whose body was found buried in February 2005 after his disappearance the previous September.David McCreevy was silenced on his doorstep in Tallaght at the samwe time when out on bail (!) awaiting trial on charges related to the seizure of heroin and cannabis in Dublin and Kildare late last year.

Seamus "Shavo" Hogan died in a hail of bullets when he and his wife went for a night out at the Transport Club, off Clogher Road but as a known associate of Martin "The General" Cahill he might have been a hit of some paramilitaries.

Elswhere Barry Monaghan, (aged 26), of Clonliffe Road, Ballybough was handed 120 hours community service after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a container full of on March 31, 2004 at Togher Business Park, Naas, Co Kildare, knowing them to have been stolen and to using a vehicle without the consent of the owner.

Detective Sergeant Mark Kavanagh told the court that the Garda was targeting a city centre group based nearby who were involved in stealing containers from the Dublin Docks, armed robbery and other serious crimes.

The court was told that the pre-excise value of the cigarettes was €53,514.94 and had a retail value of €2.5 Mn.

Lord Patel reported here the largest drugs haul in the North on October 10th of 4 tonnes of cannabis resin with a street value of €10 Mn. - £14.5 Mn. at Newtownards, Co Durham.

A 25-year-old was arrested in a house in Cork, along with 7 Kgs of cocaine worth €2.5 Mn, 12 kilos of a special mixing agent for the preparation of cocaine for street sale and a "substantial amount of cash in small used bills".

The picture is of Veronica Guerin the Dublin journalist who was killed in June 1996 for exposing the Drugs empires in Dublin. Brian Meehan, a Dublin hoodlum got life for murdering her.

Lord Bach - " a conspiracy of optimism"

Lord Whitty, not a man given to self doubt, Farming Minister until May 2005, insists the February 2004 policy decision to use complex area calculations (1) for allocating single payment farm subsidies "absolutely right" ( it replaced replaced 11 previous subsidies ) The Single Payment Scheme is worth £1,515 million to 116,000 farmers in England - it replaced replaced 11 previous subsidies. Payments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were handled by the devolved administrations with few problems.

His successor Lord Bach, booted out in May as a result of the payments scheme's collapse, accused former officials in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Rural Payment Agency (RPA) of "misleading" them over the true extent of staff and financial problems.

He said:

"I don't think they were deliberately trying to mislead but I think there was a conspiracy of optimism."

The National Audit Office found

1. Budgeted costs of £76 million had reached £122 million ( with more expected) by March 2006.

2.Defra budgeted staff reductions of 1,800 and efficiency savings of £164 million by 2008-09, there is no prospect of this happening and additional agency staff have been recruited.

3.The NAO examined 363 payments and identified 34 overpayments and 79 underpayments.

4. EU penalties as a result of these difficulties means that DEFRA have had to allow for contingent liabilities totalling some £131 million.

5. The NAO estimates costs of £18 million and £22.5 million (Total £40.4 Mn) in additional interest and arrangement fees on loans to farmers due to delays.

6. The Payments Agency will not remedy matters before payments start for 2006 due to start in December 2006.

... and FINALLY ..... The CEO of the RPA has left and received £71,000 of his £141,000 salary, a bonus of £24,000 for reaching his "targets" and negotiations continue for his pension which will exceed £12,000 annually. He did not appear before the Parliamentary Committee examing the matter yesterday because he was suffering from "stress".

Note (1) England and Germany opted for the “dynamic hybrid” model, where payments are partly based on previous entitlement and partly on a flat rate per hectare, with the weighting transferring to the flat rate by ten per cent a year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Star Wars - Lord Patel afforded a preview of national Light Sabre

Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems told me about the rollout of the modified Boeing 747-400F Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft at Wichata. Kan today.

ABL, will provide a speed-of-light capability to destroy all classes of ballistic missiles in their boost phase of flight (raining nuclear waste on the host country.Ho.Ho.) . Boeing provides the modified aircraft , the battle management system and acts as overall systems integrator Pat tells me. ABL partners are Northrop Grumman, which supplies the high-energy laser and the beacon illuminator laser, and Lockheed Martin, which provides the nose-mounted turret in addition to the beam control/fire control system.

Pat introduces me to the bulky General Henry "Trey" Obering III, Director of the Missile Defense Agency,who in a bizarre off the record remark evoked the Jedi Knights vs Evil Empire saga. "I believe", he said, his eyes glistening, his lips salivating in a pitch reminiscent of Dr Strangelove, " ... we are building the forces of good to beat the forces of evil ... We are giving the American people their first light sabre."

"This is not the prettiest aircraft I have seen. It is not supposed to be pretty. It is supposed to be mean."
.... he said and wrenched my camera from me. Trey (who hails from Alabama and smiles a lot) tells me he was in charge of a US $28 billion budget as Mission Area Director for Information Dominance on the Air Staff.

I was able to snitch this pic that someone left behind on the colour photocopier... I think there are 4 engines on the 747. I think Trey drawed it a few years ago.

Sir Nicholas Stern talks out of his arse

I don't take much notice of the weather reports on TV , not only are they inaccurate for the next 24 hours, after 7 days they are worthless. So when a former World Bank chief economist tells me what the weather is going to be like in 100 years ( a rise in the average temperature of 2 -5 degrees Celsius) I don't take much notice.

I heard him spouting his dangerous nonsense on the BBC 4 Today programme this morning ahead of launching his 700 pages of hot air and windbaggery on a frightened nation ...apparently if we continue with the current trends ..... global warming will bring many more storms like Katrina.

I sat up. Lord Patel not only forecast the consequences of the Iraq invasion

Bush's gang of mad beekeepers March 19, 2003

I've taken Baghdad what do I do now?

What is uncertain is the aftermath. This is the variable never publicly factored into the thinking(?) of the Tony Sopranos of Dubya's gang; their deeds plant the seeds of future, furious, frightening resistance. As many as half a million Iraqi soldiers may be intentionally killed and perhaps 100,000 civilians written off to collateral damage. Think of the grief of millions after this slaughter, the conversion of that grief into rage, combine that with the internecine struggles based on historical ethnic fault lines (that the Ba'ath Party has repressed), and we begin to appreciate the explosive complexity of post-invasion Iraq.

This invasion will also ignite the well financed fires of Arab and Muslim (of all shades, hues and fealties) humiliation and anger. Either in the sands of the desert or on city streets, far from this war, the body bags will build up.

Counting the cost... eventually

The course is charted, arrogant use of the military is all the US ruling class has to maintain its dominance. After Iraq, asymmetric warfare, "terrorism," will be directed at Americans, American institutions, American targets, and American allies. When the rest of the world recognizes how thinly spread the US military is, thinly spread physically, and economically, because it is not a sustainable institution in its current incarnation, rebellions will occur. Indeed they have already started.......

Military might is a sign of strength, but the US military is not invincible worldwide. America's use of force as both first and last resort is a sign of profound systemic weakness.

but also the likelihood of a Force 5 Hurricane hitting the Southern US.

The National Weather Service in the US expects a major Hurricane every 70-80 years. One is overdue. If a Force 4 or 5 step Saffir Simpson hurricane force scale hits the Gulf of Mexico this year, the impact on gas and gasoline supplies in the US will make 9/11 look like a tea party in terms of economic cost to the US economy.

The Economic Consequences of the War on Terror / Investigating New Imperialism

Not on nodding terms , but familiar with the work of Max Mayfield for 34 years the Director of the National Hurricane Center, William Gray, expert forecaster from the Colorado State University . I knew both of these world leading experts and hurricane forecasters castigated anyone who made a connection between global warming and Katrina and the post 1995 increase in Gulf Hurricanes (anyone in the Press notice what a quiet season we have had this year ?). Max Mayfield testified to Congress to that effect.

So whatever Lord Hi Pooh Bah Stern has been paid the money has been wasted. Not only has he not understood the evidence, he now wants to provide us with an array of faulty evidence.

The UK produces at best 2% of the world's CO2, if we produced no more from midnight it wouldn't make a bit of difference to the climate .. but it would certainly fuck up the economy.

Climatology shares with economics the dubious description of being the most inexact science .. so perhaps the choice of an economist did make sense. The variables are not fully known, ranging from Solar radiation to farting cows.

The tropospheric and atmospheric coccoon that surrounds the Earth reflects and returns heat due to many factors, the principal one is layers of water vapour - what we scientists call clouds. The understanding of their origin, structure, destruction and effect on climate is simply not even near to being understood. Which is why their effect is left out of all climatalogical models used to promote global warming / climate change.

Carbon Dioxide is measured in parts per million.. like homoeopathic remedies. If you imagine a scale 1 million millimetres long i.e 1 Kilometres, the levels of CO2 as measured at a few discreet spots on the Earth's surface at specific heights over a lengthy period show a change from at best 340 mm to 380 mm on that scale.... ( and the corrollary is something has been replaced by that amount).

For a period in my postgraduate studies I looked at the palynology of the English Lake District, the trapped pollen grains from the ground cover plants which followed the retreating Glaciers and colonised the land revealed were the earliest studies detailing a previous period of localised global warming.... a period blissfully unaware of Central heating and gas guzzlers.

The climate is changing - wow ! get used to it Sir Nicholas. The level of carbon dioxide as measured in a very specific and limited way has changed ... and so have many, many more variables affecting the climate.

The connection between burning fossil fuels, carbon Dioxide levels changing and global catastrophe are juvenile, simplistic and the tools of politicians fuelling the fear factory. Emissions trading - a financiers scam for trading pieces of paper and screwing the public.

Now if he could tell me what the future holds for the 3.00 at Haydock next Wednesday or the chances that BAE are going to be taken over by Boeing.... or what the Dow will be next week, month , year ...now that would be useful.

CO - the silent, odourless,tasteless killer

The deaths of 2 children in Corfu and the onset of winter when the heating gets turned up, has prompted the Health and Safety Executive to remind home owners and landlords about the proper care and maintenanceof gas heating appliances all year round.

CO poisoning is an invisible odourless, tasteless killer that can and does kill in minutes. CO kills 20-30 people accidentally in the UK every year and it is claimed also affects up to 10,000 people, many of whom require hospital treatment. (DEFRA for more information about how CO damages or even kills) (NHS Direct)

Mike Harrison, HSE Principal Inspector responsible for gas safety in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has taken the opportunity today to remind the public that .. "In properties where there are gas appliances installed that are the responsibility of the landlord, tenants must see a copy of a Landlords Gas Safety Record, which details the outcome of the annual safety check."

This timely reminder as winter drawers on, after Paul Clark, a landlord from Southsea, Portsmouth at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 5 May 2006 was fined £42,000 (plus prosecution costs of £18,000) for breaches of gas safety legislation which led to the fatal CO poisoning of 11-year-old Katie Overton died on the night of 29 March 2003 in rented premises in Oxford Road, Southsea. The CO fumes came from a gas boiler which was found to be in a poor condition and had not been serviced since 1996.

Clark had pleaded guilty on 11 April 2006 at Andover Magistrates' Court under Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. (3 years after the child's death).

Gas safety watchdog Corgi claimed recently that up to 1 in 5 gas fitters were "cowboys". It said that as many as 25,000 "incompetent and illegal" gas workers could be operating in the UK.

Corgi chief executive Mike Thompson said: ''By using illegal workers, people are putting their lives and the lives of their family in danger because they cannot be sure that they have the qualifications and experience they need to fit gas appliances safely."

The HSE have an excellent website about the problem with information and links.

CO-Gas safety is a charity that educates about the problem and they have a powerful on-line video they have made to re-inforce the problem especially relating to young children who are far more vulnerable than adults.

It won't happen to you ? - 28th June 2006 The Times

French-born Mr Nicholas Giauque, is an extremely wealthy director of the London hedge fund firm Noonday Capital, he was 86th place in the Sunday Times rich list.

He and his wife Nathalie and three small children moved into a rented mansion in 2003 in Wimbledon, south London, while waiting for work to complete at their new £3 million home nearby.

The Giauques were shown a valid gas certificate issued within the previous 12 months and were satisfied every care had been taken with the deluxe property, which was rented privately.

But an inquestat Westminster Coroner's Court heard the boiler was not checked for 2 years and CO fumes made their way through the cavity walls and floorboards above the boiler room into daughter Elisabeth's bedroom .
Staff at St George's Hospital in Tooting, south London, did not spot the astonishingly high levels of CO in the blood ( normally 0.-0.8 mg it was 21.5mg), at least 20 times what they should have been and diagnosed her with meningitis. Dr Michael Perkins, a specialist registrar in paediatrics, diagnosed her with meningitis and started a course of antibiotics. She died.

It was only when Elisabeth's aunt and uncle, stayed over in her bedroom two days later and began vomiting that doctors detected carbon monoxide poisoning and made the connection with Elisabeth's death.

The inquest was told by Michelle de Court, of the Health and Safety Executive, that they could prosecute the landlord of the rented house, Hussein Jajbhay, as he had failed to get a Corgi-registered engineer to carry out a gas safety report for the boiler for the past two years.

The inquest was also told by Corgi-registered gas engineer Adam Kaczmarczyk that he had warned Mr Jajbhay in 2000 the boiler could kill someone if the conditions were not right. At the time, however, he said the boiler, which was in the utility room directly below Elisabeth's bedroom, complied with Corgi regulations.

Nicolas and Nathalie, 34, who have two boys aged four and two, have since established the Elisabeth Giauque Trust to raise awareness of the deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Carbon Monoxide Alarms , are available widely ...but take care ...the old British standard BS 7860 was replaced in April this year (2006) by a European Standard € EN50291. No alarms tested and certified to BS7860 can be manufactured any longer. All products must also be CE marked, this is mandatory for any CO alarm.They should incorporate an 85 decibel alarm sound to provide audio warning of danger.

These are on-line sources of alarms - no warranties expressed or implied. Contact your local HSE office online, or HSE Infoline - 0845 345 0055 for further help.... Woolworths ... React Fast .... COdetection.com

AMD /ATI Hook up will make Intel and your PC run even faster.

Dell, Inc. (NYSE:DELL) are having a hard time with shares at many years lows. Relentlessly squeezed by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo and a market hungry for low cost bargains, there may be some good news ...

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) is finalising purchase of graphics chip company ATI Technologies. The No. 2 x86 company , just behind Intel, has plans by 2009, for chips that combine AMD processing power with ATI graphics features ready for Microsoft's new Vista OS.

AMD have announced a line of latest Vista-ready ATI Radeon graphic processors.(See website for more)

The new line of processors aimed at "harnessing the richness of Windows Vista ", includes ATI Radeon X1950 XTX, X1950 PRO, and X1650 XT. According to the company, these processors will deliver the best performance, and the most stable Vista experience.

Here is a key to why AMD had the hots for ATI .... Chris Jones, corporate vice president - Windows Core OS Division, Microsoft, said at an electronics event last week in Mumbai (Bombay) "Microsoft will deliver a series of graphics innovations with Windows Vista that provide a customer experience that is second to none. We could not have achieved this without our partnership with ATI. From day one, ATI has played a key role in helping us design and validate the new driver model at the heart of Windows Vista, and ATI has since developed robust and performant drivers that highlight the capabilities of our new operating system."

This is what AMD/ATI has to say about the technical benefits of the new ATI / Radeon chips...

The ATI Radeon X1950 XTX supports up to 512 MB GDDR 4 memory that resulting in ultra fast frame buffering. The architecture employs Shader Model 3.0 enabling simultaneous high dynamic range lighting effects and full screen anti-aliasing. The company recommends X1950 XTX card for Vista, as it provides full support for Vista's image-sensitive features, as also enhances gaming, digital photo, and multimedia applications.

The mid-range ATI Radeon X1950 Pro is the first graphic card to make use of new native CrossFire technology, simplifying the multi-GPU experience, eliminating the need for a branded CrossFire Edition card.... reducing costs.

The Radeon X1950 Pro is also ATI's first 80nm graphics core, and features 36 pixel shaders, eight vertex shaders, and 12 texture processing units.

T he X1650 XT delivers 3D graphics, excellent performance, and other extensive features of a high end-graphic processor enabling the system to handle the latest games with HDDV (High Defination Digtal Video). The chip is expected to be available in November 2006 at a price of $99 ish.

Meanwhile, ATI will continue to make chipsets for Intel, with motherboard chipsets and desktop graphics remaining available under the ATI brand, and mobility products like Mobility Radeon and Imageon sporting the AMD tag.

In addition, ATI will be working in tandem with several leading companies and academic institutions towards developing a new technology called "Stream Computing" (See Enquirer 6/10/06) (The Tech report same date) that the company says possesses the potential to impact each and every sector of the market. If everything they say about this is true we will have the generational leap in speed of processing that maths co-processors hit us with in the early 80's and IBM's AT.

Intel are working on a remarkable way of getting chips to talk to each other with lasers.

AMD's seems to have made a smart move, will we now see Intel moving in on smaller chip firms like Nvidia (NVDA) (whose share price has doubled to US$32 since June! ) in the way big Pharma have given up on research and just buys in winners.... or losers.

PS ... 10.30 EST
In June / July the Nvidia share price hovered between US18 / US$20. On June 15th 2006 analysts at UBS upgraded Nvidia to "buy," and set a target price of US$30.

On June 21st 2006 June 21 analysts at Deutsche Bank maintained their "sell" rating on Nvidia and reduced their target price from US$20 to US$18.5.
34.87 $ Up 2.10 (6.41%)
Nvidia @ 12.00 EST Wednesday is $34.87 +2.10 (6.41) (up nearly 10% since Monday 9.30 am ET.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Commander in Chief gets ready for Martial Law

When Kellog Brown Root, (KBR), the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co. (HAL : NYSE) announced the award of a 5 year $385 million contract (an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) ) from the US Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the "event of an emergency" a lot of heads got scratched.

This unique and novel contract placed on 24th January 2006 with immediate effect , is to provide temporary detention and processing capabilities in the event of an "emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S"... or as KBR mysteriously said .." to support the rapid development of new programs" (?).

Now Signs of the Times has a facsinating piece "Bush Moves Toward Martial Law" by
Frank Morales which may have identified another piece in crazy jigsaw of Dubya's assualt on the Constitution.

According to to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the President has signed off legislation which will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law .

Historically The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), has placed strict prohibitions on federal military involvement in domestic law enforcement.

Now in a private signing ceremony in the Oval Office on October 17th, 2006 the President wiped his ass on the Constitution one more time and stuck his John Hancock on Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

On the same day ,but more publicly he signed off the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which allows , amongst many other crimes, the ability of the US to hold people anywhere in the world, and torture them.

Senator Leahy first struck out on September 19th, about this Constitution wrecking and bricklaying the wall around the supporters of freedom and democracy, noting that 2007's Defense Authorization Act contained a "widely opposed provision to allow the President more control over the National Guard [adopting] changes to the Insurrection Act, which will make it easier for this or any future President to use the military to restore domestic order WITHOUT the consent of the nation's governors."

Ten days later , Senator Leahy entered into the Congressional Record that he had "grave reservations about certain provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report," the language of which, he said, "subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military's involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law." This had been "slipped in," Leahy said, "as a rider with little study," while "other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on, these proposals."

In a telling bit of understatement, the Senator from Vermont noted that "the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous". "There is good reason," he said, "for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy. We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty."

..But it's been done. The elected Guardians of democracy have been sleepwalkin'.

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