"“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, February 03, 2007

Habeus Corpus - what you never had we cannot take away - Gonzalez

Ali al-Marri, is a citizen of Qatar who studying in the US on a student visa - he graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and returned with his family on September 20th 2001 to graduate. He was arrested in Peoria, Illinois, in 2001 and indicted on credit card fraud and lying to the FBI. President Bush on June 23, 2003 declared he was an “enemy combatant” and the administration have him locked him up at a Navy brig (jail) in South Carolina and claim he is an al-Qaeda “sleeper cell” agent.

He was originally kept in solitary and incommunicado for 17 months even the International Red Cross couldn't see him. Phone calls aren't allowed. No visits. He can send his familly letters. Theybare censored and can take 10 months to arrive and they’re sometimes very redacted. They will black out, three-quarters of a letter from a seven-year-old child.

His legal trials and tribulations started in he petitioned for a writ of Habeas Corpus in July 2003 - (pdf alert)

Upon the Order of the President of the United States Petitioner Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is being held in custody of the Secretary of Defense, without charge and without recourse, in violation of his rights under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the UNited States. Accordingly this Court should issue a writ of Habeus Corpus.

Dismissal of the Petition was requested by the Administration on July 16th, the principal cause being the petitioner had not signed it. As part of his conditions of detention forbid him access to the lawyers who had drawn it up - this may seem Kafkaesque or even a Catch 22 too far.

Three and half years later the Administration are now claiming retrospective powers to deny consideration or hearing of his petition under S.3930 Military Commissions Act of 2006 - CONSTRUCTION OF PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH MILITARY COMMISSIONS which was passed in the dying days of the Republican Congress.

This states in it's definitions ;

(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- (A) The term `unlawful enemy combatant' means--

`(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or

`(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

Which means that the President can deny access to anyone to the US Civil Courts and they will be dealt with under these Military Commissions as detailed in the legislation - it is now apparent after the last court consideration of al-Marri's case can (according to Alberto Gonzalez) that the term "unlawful enemy combatant" includes citizens of the United States.

To re-inforce the fact that ANYONE is covered this section of definitions includes ;

(3) ALIEN- The term `alien' means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

That means that anyone, even a US citizen can be an unlawful enemy combatant.

At the current Appeals case being heard in the Richmond Appeals Court by three judges, – Diana Gribbon Motz and Roger Gregory both appointed by President Bill Clinton. Henry Hudson (60) the third judge, was elected by Dubya in January 2002 and confirmed in August that year.

The Administration's legal mouthpieces have been busy telling these judges that what they say without any hint of sarcasm the Commander on Chief, George Bush can during the “war on terror,” he can exercise his “plenary” – or unlimited – powers. This war is indefinite and worldwide. QED The President’ has the right to do whatever he wants to whomever he wants wherever the person might be, virtually forever.

To re-inforce this Administration lawyer, David B. Salmons told the judges on February 1st the civil courts cannot interfere with the President’s wartime judgments.

"Of course" the Executive Branch will use care in deciding who is designated an “enemy combatant.” said Salmons, when Judge Diane Motz enquired about the official view if the President applied this legal definition to someone from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA

Laughing ,he thought it was funny to add as legal adjoinder for the merriment no doubt of al Marri denied his legal and human rights, “the representatives of PETA can sleep well at night.”

It doesn't end there.

As a kicker under the Sinister and ultimately sick heading of Section 7 HABEAS CORPUS MATTERS. , then details that habeas corpus definitely does NOT matter. US courts are stripped of the ability to "hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus" - but this section is restricted to ALIENS. So tough luck al - Marri, a law enacted 3 years after you were locked up without charge, lawyers etc., wil keep you there until one man, the President of the United States says otherwise.

(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

`(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801 note), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of confinement of an alien who is or was detained by the United States and has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.'.

(b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to all cases, without exception, pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act which relate to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of detention of an alien detained by the United States since September 11, 2001.(ie retrospective)
Note here that these paragraphs relate to Aliens - defined as noted earlier;

(3) ALIEN- The term `alien' means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.
This case is evidence (as if it was needed) that the Bush administration’s and it's clever arse lawyers show complete disdain for the concept of “unalienable rights” as enunciated by the Founders in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Lord Patel pointed out how Alberto Gonzalez was contemptuous of the House over warrantless surveillance - (Alberto Gonzalez' balls in a Vice Jan 19th 2007) he was at it again in a spat with Arlen "Single Bullet" Spector during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 18 which the NYT captured ..

“There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there’s a prohibition against taking it away,” Gonzales is reported saying.

Specter is the ranking Repug on the Judiciary Committee and full of self importance as any lawyer can be......“Wait a minute,” Specter shouted at him. “The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you you have the right of habeas corpus unless there’s a rebellion or invasion?”

Gonzalez said, in a remark which will be taught for many years in many law schools no doubt, and upsets the view the words written and endorsed by the Founding|Fathers meant ...

, “
The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended

That's it folks, the long established, universally recognised principle of English law of habeas corpus, enshrined in the Magna Carta guaranteeing due process, production of accusers, evidence, and witnesses, formal charges and a fair and public trial.... you never had it.

According to that famous Washington double Act , George and Alberto - what you never had cannot be taken away.

Throw those text books away.

Long Live King George the Fourth ? Fifth ?

See also elsewhere;

Friday, February 2nd, 2007
The Case of Ali al-Marri: Can the Bush Administration Indefinitely Detain Legal Residents Without Charge? Jonathan Hafetz. (An attorney to al-Marri) Associate Counsel of the Liberty & National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law with Amy Goodman Democracy Now transcript.

Mangos - say goodbye to destoning misery

Lord Patel discovered at an early age the priapic inducing qualities of freshly sliced mango, and the seductive sensuality of a shared slice. Hence he mastered at an early age, the rare and difficult manual dexterity required for rapidly de-stoning and preparing sumptuous and mouth watering slices.

Perhaps it is advancing age or the requirement (even for 1st Class VIP Passengers ) to surrender our handy, razor sharp clasp knives when flying, that he has become a trifle rusty in this department.

Help is at hand. A young and beautiful lady (perhaps a little disappointed in my last performance) has sent me a handy, 2 handed, Cumfi grip (for the arthritic !) device - the illustrations should be self explanatory.

Recommended 5 ***** - what you do with the resulting juicy, soft and luscious mouthwatering slices is up to you.

NB - For the cautious and safety conscious - it's dishwasher proof!

"Cully" Stimson not only a cunt - now he's quit.

US Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Charles ''Cully'' Stimson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for detainee affairs at Guantanamo Bay , told him on Friday that he had made his own decision to resign.

Whitman said that he was leaving because of the controversy which resulted from his remarks on a radio show about the motives of pro bono lawyers from many of the nation's top law firms representing detainees held at the U.S. military prison in Cuba.

''He believed it hampered his ability to be effective in this position,'' said Whitman to the New York Times ( Wapo Report)

From smug bastard to sore loser in 2 weeks - and it was ..."his own decision to resign and he was not asked to leave by Defense Secretary Robert Gates." Ho.Ho.Ho.

21/7 - Bombers gave no thought to HSE guidelines ! Amazing pictures - The Kitchen from HELL!!

This is the sickening image of a dirty stove at 58 Curtis House, ninth floor of a run down tower block in New Southgate, N London. presented in evidence against the 21/7 bombers ... coverage of which seems to have slipped off the tabloid's pages.

"Bang to rights Sarge." ..."What chance they did a Risk Analysis to meet HSE requirements ?"

Bloody Terrists. Lock 'em up and throw away the key. Haven't they heard of Mr Muscle ? Gets rid of the toughest stains .... but don't forget to wear your Marigolds.

Liars in the House of Commons - Guantanamo Bay sanctified by MP's

The Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs is Mike Gapes, the Labour MP for Ilford South.

The Committee published their report on a visit to Guantánamo by a group of 7 Members in September 2006 yesterday. It does not deal with the detention or interrogation of terrorist suspects in the field, or by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); nor does it consider the practice of extraordinary rendition.

At Section 2 2 Summary of the visit Paragraph 13 they report;

13. Apart from US Joint Task Force personnel, the only people who are permitted to meet detainees are their lawyers and the Red Cross. Having consulted the International Committee of the Red Cross before the visit, we accepted their advice that it would be contrary to the provisions of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions for us to meet detainees.
This is a flat lie. A blatant untruth. It is a fabricated and dishonest statement Whilst they did indeed meet the ICRC, this was after their visit and the condition that they could not meet the detainees was laid down by the US Authorities prior to their visit. It is for this reason that the UN have still failed to visit Guantánamo. It did not deter our 7 intrepid Parliamentary truthseekers(!).

They do however say in their Conclusions and Recommendations that

5. We conclude that, in choosing unilaterally to interpret terms and provisions of the Geneva Conventions, the United States risks undermining this important body of international law. (Paragraph 83)
They do not explain that the curious and unique interpretation of Geneva Conventions by the US Attorney General denied the prisoners their Human Rights, - which they were content to accept without demur - they also make very comforting noises which will delight the US Authorities....

2. We conclude that, having visited both Guantánamo and Belmarsh, the facilities at Guantánamo are broadly comparable with those at the United Kingdom's only maximum security detention facility, but the conditions are not. Guantánamo scores highly on diet and on health provision; but it fails to achieve minimum United Kingdom standards on access to exercise and recreation, to lawyers, and to the outside world through educational facilities and the media. (Paragraph 46)
...inter alia " on access ...to lawyers"

This is Jesuiticial in the extreme. Equation is made in a curious way that exhibits legalistic and compartmentalised thinking without the benefit of any moral construct. No chance for an Open University degree course is equated with denial of Human rights, habeas corpus, right of legal representation , access to family, no due legal process, no charges, no access to evidence or the identity of their accusers and witnesses.

For example the US Constitution plainly says - in Article I, sec. 9 - that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court's opinion, written by Justice O'Connor, stated - citing the Constitution itself - that "[a]ll agree that absent suspension, the writ of habeas corpus remains available to every individual detained within the United States,'' and that all agreed habeas corpus had not, in fact, been suspended. Hamdi was detained in the U.S. - specifically, in a naval brig (quaint word for prison) in South Carolina.

If you wish to learn more about Guantánamo, it's prisoners, and their rights, go to the excellent cagedprisoners if, unlike the members of the House of Commons who, " were accompanied on the flight from Andrews Air Force base by Rear Admiral Harry B Harris Jr, Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantánamo and were able to ....lunch with JTF personnel; view display of detainee rations..." you could also send them a few quid.

Otherwise read the full report as linked from Hansard and see how casually your elected representatives accept the further and insidious erosion of Human Rights ...in the name of the "War on Terror" ... which the Director of Public Prosecutions told us last week does not exist.

You could also print this off and send it with a letter to your MP and ask for their views - especially if you live in Ilford.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Steal £161,000 tax get 4 months inside

Michael Carter who gave his address as The Butchers Arms, Sowerby Bridge was arrested by Customs Officers in December 2004. Bradford Crown Court today heard that Customs officers at Felixstowe docks examined a container in December 2004 transporting cartons of plastic flowers , 999,400 cigarettes and 108kg of hand rolling tobacco were discovered. Carter was traced from the delivery address in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

After arrest and interview Carter claimed the artificial flowers came from a man in Dubai and that he was planning to sell the flowers at local markets. He denied all knowledge of the tobacco goods.

Released on bail he fled to Thailand, where he stayed until April 2006 and was arrested by Huddersfield Police . He was later charged with the fraudulent evasion of duty (est. £161,000) and pleaded guilty at Huddersfield Magistrates Court on the 9th January 2007.

The HMCR have a small selection of photographs available of this seizure, and copies are available from Michelle Potts on 0191 225 3903.

He got 8 months in prison... and will be out in 4.

Chicken - natural goodness

New EU hygiene regulations now require all food businesses to implement a documented safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control systems that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing. It is an internationally accepted systematic method of identifying specific hazards in plants and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food.

Baader-Johnson, with corporate offices and a manufacturing facility in Kansas City, is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of Baader-Johnson poultry processing equipment worldwide. They are a subsidiary of Lubeck, based Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud.Baader GmbH & Co. KG .

For example the BA655 Front Half Poultry Filleting MachineThe BA655 is a fully automatic breast filleting machine that produces ....

• High yield single or whole fillets
• Reduced labor compared to traditional methods
• Computer controlled deboning allows for maximum performance on an increased
size range
• Yield is maximized through computer controlled cutting of each front half
• Quick conversion from single fillets to butterly breast
• Increased throughput at 41 front halves per minute

At the International Poultry Expo in Atlanta last month Baader-Johnson introduced the BAADER 886 InspeXtor , which is an inline hybrid x-ray and colour vision system that gives processors a second pair of eyes allowing early defect detection.

Maintaining processing speed while ensuring all bones and defects are removed prior to upstream processing is a problem due to variations of meat thickness in chickens.

The new system, detects bones missed during the deboning process and other defects in carcasses before they progress to the next stage of the operation and Production data can be viewed real-time on either the machine LCD screen or remotely via our Management Information System.

Learn more about the BAADER 940 Compact Cut-Up System, "The Path to Evisceration Excellence! " ... BAADER 620 Skinning Machine, the Baadering 600 series Desinewing - Deboning - Rest Meat Recovery... er ...er

A flexible squeezing belt transports the product to a perforated drum and gently squeezes the softer particles like meat and fat through the perforation. The harder particles such as sinews, cartilage and bones remain outside of the drum. The raw product and the hole diameter of the drum determine the texture of the final product.
Sun Valley Foods, part of the massive International Cargill group and host of "Great British Chicken" website ....

Chicken is the nation's favourite meat - three-quarters of us eat it at least once a fortnight, and it's even more popular with families, with a third eating chicken several times a week.

And no wonder, when it's so tasty, versatile and easy to prepare. Chicken is also higher in protein and lower in fat than red meat, making it a nutritious, healthy choice for the whole family.

Our NEW man in Kabul - and extra troops as well

A chauffeur told me last week that Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG, LVO (52) will take up his appointment as Her Majesty's Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in May in succession to Mr Stephen Evans CMG, OBE who will moving to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Sherard is currently Ambasador in Riyadh and before then in Tel Aviv and before that PPS to the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook .

A colourful charcater whocreated a stir in Tel Aviv by becoming one of a tiny number of diplomats posted to the city to learn Hebrew. Typically he would arrive for interviews on Israeli television talk shows driving himself in a London black cab and sporting a bowler hat and furled umbrella. He went on to Riyadh in 2003 and would normally expect to remain there for 2 more years... there are stories that when the Dear Leader visited Kabul inNovember he expressed strong dissatisfaction with the diplomatic effort.

He was educated at Tonbridge and then read Classics at Hertford College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1977. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2002.

The immensely lively and fun-loving Lady Bridget Cowper-Coles read Arabic at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and has worked in Sana’a and Cairo. They met and married in London in 1982 and she enkoys nothing more than feeding her falcons on live quail every day.

Mr Slinn headed the British diplomatic mission in Pristina in the two years after the Nato invasion of Kosovo. He will take over leadership of the British mission in Helmand from Nick Kay, who finishes his tour of duty on Feb 1.

The US Embasy faces a shake up also, Ronald Neumann, who has headed the US embassy since July 2005, is also to be unexpectedly replaced by the the current US ambassador to Colombia, William Wood.

In December Sherard announced UK visas would be issued on the day of issue - there are 13,000 SA students in the UK and 40,000 visitors arrive each year.

Sir Sherard received some unwelcome publicity when he was in Saudi and addressing a reception for the Queen's birthday (April 2005 - QBP in FO speak) in the remote eastern Saudi city of al-Khobar, when his remarks were reported in the UK and enraged the stout yeoman of Nottinghamshire.

Describing a UK expatriates view of Saudi safety he remarked "He was saying he felt completely ridiculous having to give British businessmen from Nottingham assurances about the security here when Nottingham is the murder capital of the UK at the moment.

"It is far more dangerous, statistically, to be in Nottingham, than to be in al-Khobar, Dammam or Riyadh."

Jon Collins, the leader of Nottingham City Council, where Nottinghamshire Constabulary Chief Constable Steve Green had just suggested the force may have to "farm out" murder cases to other forces, said the city had been unfairly stereotyped . Prince Turki al-Faisal, the (then) Saudi Ambassador to London, seemed convinced by the notion put forward by Sir Sherard.

This Prince of Arabee remarked to the BBC that, "for London alone the figures for one year far exceed the number of people killed in Saudi Arabia over the past two years".

Sounds just the sort of chap to ask President Kharzai about his drug dealing brother, and colleague Ministers like Mr Dostum and the container loads of acetic anhydride for heroin production that floods the country from over the Uzbek border over the Friendship Bridge at Termez.

"At Termez , where the Friendship Bridge crosses into Afghanistan , they (UN) have provided Uzbek customs with very modern facility from sniffer dogs to giant X -rays to X-ray and entire container.

....if you stand around there for a little while , you will start to notice convoys of Mercedes with black windows and of six ton military trucks which are waved onto a track around the customs facilities and never stopped."

Murder in Samarkand Page 249

Which was of course written by Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles' ex colleague at the Foreign and Commonwealth office Craig Murray ... perhaps Craig could give him a few helpful pointers about the Afghan / Uzbek drug trade before he sets off ?

Pic is snap Lord P took at this year's QBP (Queen's 80th!) at the Ambassador's Residence in Riyadh. Sherard and Bridget with US Ambassador James C. Oberwetter and his glamorous wife Anita (an anaesthatist). It was just after this when the excellent Ed Stourton of the BBC interviewed Sherard for the BBC 4 programme Struggle for Saudi Arabia's Soul which went out Tuesday 23 January 2007 20:00-20:40 (Radio 4 FM)and again last Sunday - which means you can't acth it now.

Ambassador Oberwetter was an exciting choice because prior to appointment he had never been to Saudi although he was a VP of Texan oilco Hunt Consolidated Inc., which donated $250,000 to the President’s second inaugural committee. He had worked as the press secretaryin the 1970's for George H.W. Bush , then a Texan Congressman. In 2000 Oberwetter served on President Bush’s "transition" team.

Previous US Ambassador in Riyadh was attorney Robert W. Jordan, a founding partner in the Houston-based law firm Baker & Botts, (In the the launch of Energy Law360 last week, the publication's editors conducted a survey that determined "Baker Botts is the most sought after firm for major energy litigation." ) - who represented Bush during an exciting and interesting 1990 Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into possible (Enron style) insider trading at Bush’s now-defunct oil company, Harkin Energy Corp(Wapo Oct 11th 2002) which Harvard ended up owning 33% at one time.

Baker & Botts are an interesting company for Sherard to keep in touch with if only because they were one of the top ten contributors to the last Bush campaign. They also act for Halliburton and Abdul Aziz the Saudi Defense Minister (and close friend of the delightful Mr Adnan Kashoggi) who was so anxious that the BAe investigation was stopped in its tracks when Swiss Bank Accounts started to be revealed. His son Prince Bandar bin Abdul Aziz is of course Saudi Ambassador to the US and VERY friendly with Dubya. (Payments to Swiss Banks in the name of anonymous Panama entities in the BAe bribery case were believed to be linked to two prominent middlemen - a Lebanese politician, Mohammed Safadi, and Wafic Said, a business manager for Prince Bandar.

Baker & Botts were of course up to their neck in negotiations ( along with Henry Kissinger beautiful piano playing Condileezza Rice and PNAC members Mr Zalmay Khalilzad, Mr Richard Armitage, and now US Ambassador in Baghdead Mr Zalmay Khalilzad,) when Unocal were negotiating (ie offering them lots of money) with the Taliban in trying to push a 875-mile pipeline across Aghanistan which was rudely (and abruptly) interrupted by President Clinton loosing off 75 Tomahawk missiles at a "training camp" at Khost, Afghanistan 90 odd Kms from Kabul on August 20th 1998.

Those with a long memory will recall that On Aug. 19th, 1998: Word that Prosecutor Starr had requested and received a sample of Clinton's DNA became public.

There are stories circulating in the Officers Mess that 30 odd more "Diplomatic Staff" are being sent along with Sherard and his wife's falcons. With the boost to troops being got ready for the slaughter in Helmand it looks like the Empire is getting ready for the long haul. Des Browne described as the Minister Of Defence made a written Parliamentary Statement yesterday

..."These (troop movements) build on the progress we have made in Helmand in the six months since 10 July 2006 " Ho.Ho.Ho.

"As with previous deployments to Afghanistan, there will be a requirement to deploy reservists to serve in theatre. Current plans indicate that around 600 Call Out Notices are to be served on individual reservists in order to fill approximately 420 posts (including nine Sponsored Reserve)."
Sounds pretty serious ...

In the South, 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, will complete their tour in April 2007. They will be replaced by units drawn principally from 12 Mechanised Brigade. We have also decided to maintain until April 2009 some capabilities already deployed, including the Harrier GR7/GR9s, the Apache Attack Helicopters, Viking all-terrain vehicles, and Royal Engineers to support reconstruction activities. By the late summer, personnel numbers in Southern Afghanistan should settle at around 5,800.

The principal units to deploy are: the Brigade Headquarters and its Signal Squadron, the Light Dragoons, the 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, The 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, 26 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers, 19 Regiment Royal Artillery, 2 Signal Regiment Royal Signals, 4 Logistic Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, and 4 General Support Medical Regiment Royal Army Medical Corps.

Elements of other units are also deploying to provide niche capabilities. These include: the Armoured Support Group of the Royal Marines, the Light Dragoons, the Second Royal Tank Regiment; 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps; 9 Regiment, Army Air Corps; 1 (Fighter), IV (Army Co-Operation), 18, 24, 27, 30, 47 and 70 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force, 3, 5 and 7 Force Protection Wing Headquarters, Royal Air Force, and 2, 51 and 15 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force Regiment.

Watch out for a lot more blood spilt in the sand for dubious, unclearly stated, ephemeral, fast moving, but nonetheless aggressively pursued objectives - Tanks are going in this time .... to help the Afghans win the Hearts and Minds of the poppy growers no doubt.

Through Mud, and Blood to the Poppy Fields beyond.

BBC State Radio Services - all the news that's almost fit to hear

John Humph the welsh wizard, elderly semen injector, ace reporter, ( tough and tenacious interviewer) on the BBC4 Today programme (the greatest radio journalist in the uk) was heard interviewing the Dear Leader today at 08:10 am GMT.

Regrettably the actual (edited) interview was undertaken 42 hours previously.

"2 days is a long time in politics"
Harold Wislon
Devaluation November 1967

Kyoto - Money changers driven from their temples - nearly

On the day that the IPCC crypto scientists and ersatz pols announce that the levels of the ocean will only rise 600 cms in 100 years ( and not 10 metres) the carbon market in the ETS aproaches terminal collapse. EUA DEC 2007 contract closed at €2.28 - Ah! those far off, dim remembered days of 9 months ago, heady days when contracts were changing hands amongst the money jugglers at Euros 32 a ton !

Mongrelisation of Europe continues - Kosovo plans revealed today by Ahtisaari

Washington Post today Editorial " Solution for Kosovo"

All along it's been obvious what the permanent solution must be: the recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation, with protections for its Serb minority. The question has been whether that outcome can be arranged without a diplomatic or even military blowup -- between Kosovo and a Serbia still infected by belligerent nationalism, or between the West and an increasingly troublesome Russia.

The Bush administration is cautiously optimistic that the transition can be pulled off in the next several months. But it will take some deft Western diplomacy and, in the end, probably some American toughness.

When the great democracies in the shape of NATO stopped bombing Kosovo in 1999 to discourage Serb ambitions - it still left Kosovo technically a province of Serbia - Metohija [the full Serbian name of the province]

The indigenous Albanians wanted independence, the reduced (14% down to 4/5%) and cowed Serbian minority didn't.

NATO - effectively the United States, postponed any decision regarding Kosovo's status a decision with which their European allies passively agreed. A principal concern was that recognition of Kosovo’s independence would stir up Serb nationalism. As the Wapo editorial exhibits, Uncle Sam is getting impatient.

Amidst a general sort of international acceptance that Kosovo should receive some sort of recognition of independence along the lines of UN Security Council’s Resolution 1244, Martti Ahtisaari, U.N. envoy and former President of Finland, has been visiting the Balkans to try to barter a diplomatic procedure for talks between the Albanians and Belgrade on resolving Kosovo’s status. Meanwhile 220,000 refugees stay in greater Serbia although some 16,000 are said to have returned according to UNHCR.(Kosovo pop. approx 2 MN.)

The Serbs want acceptance of ;
1 Debt write off
2 Entry /membership of NATO’s Partnership for Peace
3 Entry to the European Union.
4 Statutory acceptance of minority Serbs in any form of future Government.

Effectively something on the lines of Bosnia , allegedly independent (but of course whose whole existence is as a satrap state of the US) a sovereign country for a decade, but one that still has an international administrator and considerable limitations on its freedom of action.

There are two clearly defined ethnic-based entities in Bosnia , a Muslim-Croat federation and a Bosnian Serb republic. Holding the ring is a token and powerless weak central government in which 3 representative Presidents provide some leadership and three presidents. The 3 Muslim, Croat and Serbian leaders have publicly agreed to eliminate the system of three presidents to provide a stronger central authority but the European Union forces which replaced the NATO forces still - with the European Union's High Representative provides the principal control over the elected Government.(Not forgetting U.S. ambassador Donald Hays)

After a decade this ad hoc International administration ( and war weariness) has helped Bosnia gradually strengthen the role of the central government and promote faster integration.Last year there was a significant and major breakthrough when there was agreement to create a unified multi-ethnic national police force. Shades of Ulster.

Probably the biggest reward / carrot was the decision by EU foreign ministers late last year to agree on talks for a Stabilization and Association Agreement, the start of Bosnia’s path toward possible E.U. membership - at least a decade away.

Ahtisaari on behalf of UNOSEK unveils the result of his labours today when he meets Serbian President Boris Tadić in Belgrade - although Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica has had a fit of the sulks and announced that he will not receive Ahtisaari and Vuk Drašković, the third co-chairman of the Belgrade negotiating team on Kosovo hasn't up to press made up his mind. It is ulikely that givewn the political vacuum that exists after the January elections that any form responses will be made by anyone - expect the Albanians in Pristina will be disappointed.

Slobodan Samardzic, a Serbian negotiator, and aide to President Tadic has appeared on Serbian TV from Belgrade rejecting Mr Ahtisaari's expected conclusions in advance but explaining that the Belgrade negotiating team cannot undertake any of its basic activities until parliament and the government have been properly constituted.

Copies of his report (which is described by the Swedes as an interim / draft report) have been given to the UN Secretary General and the Contact Group members but Reuters have claimed to have a copy which is said to include;

1. An outline of how the ethnic Albanian majority (90%) in Kosovo could proclaim independence and could allow for the individual recognition of its secession by certain states. Kosovo would have some trappings of the state, including state symbols, a flag and an anthem, all reflecting its multiethnic character. Kosovo would also be granted control over its borders.

2. Formation of a professional, multiethnic security service equipped with light weaponry and controlled by a civic body (politicians).

3. Appointment of an "international community representative" , with powers to intervene if Kosovo tries to go further than the plan allows, while Nato and EU forces (which now include Germans) would remain in military and policing roles.

4. Kosovo's Serbs, especially the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the Serbian language, would be explicitly protected. Representation would be guranteed for Serbs in Parliament, the Police / Border Police and civil service.

Essentially, more for the talking shops, which is preferable to the previous solution of bombing from 22,000 feet with HE 500 lb bombs. There are two unfactored variables ;

1. Putin / Russia is opposed to UN resolution 1244 and Kosovan independence under Albanian control - their response is still unclear.

2. The biggest changes since then took place on January 1st when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. The Balkan states are now an intrusive enclave in Europe.

An enclave in which some very shady men who did very well out of the war, smugglers, mafiosi, Russian minor (but powerful and rich - many in a happily protected London base) oligarchs, outwitting an international bureaucracy they are happy to see remain in place.

The residents of this fractured enclave (see map) - well expect a lot of them to fetch up in Europe - real soon now with those handy Romanian and Bulgarian passports.

...and the Yanquis ? The Wapo is their mouthpiece ...read it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tony in Telford

Recall the ZZ Topp number "You got me under pressure"? Well Kelly Holmes and kids of Telford took the pressure off the Dear Leader who always appears with compliant kids and political ingenues when the heat is on.

Here he is (in the left hand position) in the constituency of his greaseball ,bag carrier for many years, PPS Bruce (call me Brucie) Grocott, party apparatchik and now Leader of the House of Lords as Lord Grocott.

Tony slipping out of the office for a bit of private advice and TLC away from Westminster the PMOS, and colleagues who would like to insert a sharp knife between his 7/8th rib - on the left hand side natch!

Telford & Wrekin Council offers a tremendous variety of things to do in your leisure time, whether it be visiting one of the areas many museums, such as the world famous Ironbridge Gorge Museum; participating in leisure activities, whether at the prestigious Horsehay Village Golf Centre, one of the borough's leisure centres, sports centres, or Telford Ice Rink; or exploring the rich and varied history of the district.

Within the borough there is a network of libraries; the renowned Oakengates Theatre at The Place with its varied programme of music, comedy, drama shows and pantomime as well as many parks and open spaces, such as the 180-hectare Telford Town Park with its leisure and fun facilities.

No matter what you want to do with your leisure time, Telford & Wrekin Council offers something for all.

Maybe he was loking for somewhere to retire to.

Lord Patel reveals Tony cops a plea and no-one takes any notice

Fleet Street etc., is getting it's underwear in the mangle because the Dear Leader had a heart to heart with Plod on Friday.

Yet Lord Patel revealed this on Monday and no-one took any notice.

Clue is in the main gauche

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Truth now in Paperback - Jack Straw really is an arsehole

Murder In Samarkand now available in paperback from Amazon here. Hurry Hurry whilst Craig stays out of Prison.

Page 33 et seq

'I had then to call on Jack Straw. I was ushered through to the Secretary of State's great room and sat in an ornate chair opposite him as he lounged on a vermilion ormulu sofa... The interview lasted under ten minutes. As I was walking out, he called after me, ' Oh and, Craig whenever you get to ....wherever it is you're going .... tell them I'm thinking about them'

Page 119

' ...the only other expatriates who frequented the bar centred on a humorous man called Bob. A 50 yr old American , short , balding with a pot belly. He worked for a company called Premier Executive.'... ' I was surpised to learn that they sometimes flew Uzbek prisoners back to Tashkent from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan'

Meanwhile BBC Online and De Spiegel report " Germany issues CIA arrest orders". Munich-based Bavarian senior state public prosecutor Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld confirmed that the warrants for 13 suspected CIA operatives (no names disclosed) were linked to the case of Khaled al-Masri, a German national of Lebanese descent. Mr Masri says he was seized in Macedonia, flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan and mistreated there.

He says he was released in Albania five months later when the Americans realised they had the wrong guy.

Al-Masri's lawyer Manfred Gnjidic told der Spiegel that the warrants show that al-Masri has "the full support of the German justice system, because he told the truth." The arrest warrants are also a symbol that "the CIA in no way operate in a lawless space and that Germany will not tolerate the measures of the agents and their bosses."

The Los Angeles Times reported today ( Wednesday) that the arrest warrants are for 13 US intelligence operatives, including four pilots, a medic and members of an operations unit.

Extraordinary Rendition 14th July 2006 Hansard

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of reports that Prestwick, Shannon and Bangor airports were used for the refuelling of flights involved in either the inbound or outbound stages of extraordinary rendition operations. [80349]

Margaret Beckett: Bangor and Shannon airports, which are mentioned in the report into the extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects published on 7 June by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, are of course in the United States and the Republic of Ireland respectively. The Government are not therefore in a position to assess those claims. In so far as the claims about Prestwick airport are concerned, there is no evidence that any of the flights identified in the data supplied by Eurocontrol to the Council of Europe’s inquiry were involved in rendition through the UK. I refer the right hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary’s (Mr. Jack Straw) written ministerial statement of 20 January 2006, Official Report, columns 37-38WS *which summarises the position in respect of renditions through UK territory or airspace since May 1997.

* To summarise the position: - We have found no evidence of detainees being rendered through the UK or Overseas Territories since 11 September 2001.

' Oh and, Craig whenever you get to ........ wherever it is you're going .... tell them I'm thinking about them'

Fly to the US and pass their Terrism Test courtesy HMQ

BBC Online report that MEPs want to know whether that passenger data surrendered to the US authorities is fed into the US Automated Targeting System (ATS), which profiles possible terrism suspects.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released information about the targeting system in December, explaining that it was intended to detect high-risk individuals not previously known to the law-enforcement community.

The BBC say that the EC has already written to the US government to ask whether the ATS profiling system is using air passenger records in ways that fall outside the current EU-US agreement ... which for the UK is pointless because ......

Here is relevant part of the Order which inserts a new article 141A into the Air Navigation Order 2005.... which The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 19th day of July 2005 with the advice of Her Privy Council had ordered.
2006 No. 2316 / CIVIL AVIATION
The Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2006 Made - - - - 5th September 2006 /Laid before Parliament 7th September 2006 / Coming into force - - 30th September 2006
At the Court at Balmoral, the 5th day of September 2006
Present, The Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty in Council
Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers conferred upon Her by sections 60(1), (2)(b), (3)(h) and (4), 61(1)(a) and 102(2)(b) of, and paragraph 2 of Part 3 of Schedule 13 to, the Civil Aviation Act 1982(a), is pleased, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, to order as follows:

Citation and commencement
1. This Order may be cited as the Air Navigation (Amendment) Order 2006 and shall come into force on 30th September 2006.

141A.—(1) The Secretary of State may give a direction to any person who is an operator of an aircraft referred to in paragraph (2) requiring him to take the action referred to in
paragraph (3)......

(3) The action referred to in paragraph (1) is the making available electronically of data in
respect of all passengers and crew on the aircraft or expected to be on the aircraft.


An Order-in-Council is effectively a species of statutory instrument (which are regulated by the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 in the UK), albeit subject to more formalities than a simple statutory instrument. They are simply law making by decree. Like all statutory instruments, they may either be annulled in pursuance of a resolution of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords ('negative resolution procedure') or require to be approved by a resolution of either House, or, exceptionally, both ('affirmative resolution procedure').

With devolution these powers have been preserved , the Scotland Act 1998 provides that draft Orders-in-Council may be laid before the Scottish Parliament in certain circumstances in the same way as they would have been laid before the Westminster Parliament . In Wales from 2007 legislation put before the Welsh Assembly will be enacted through Orders-in-Council after following the affirmative resolution procedure. In this case the obligation to provide the data is outside any arrangements the EC may have or will make. There is no time limit on this Order - which of course "in theory could be raised in the Houses of Parliament".

That's how your democratic freedoms are protected. God Bless you Your Majesty !

Scotland - the Empire slips away

Only a few days after Rabbie Burns Night, the latest Scotsman/ICM poll shows the number of seats held as a result of an election TODAY

SNP 44
Labour 41
Lib Dems 23
and the ...er .... Tories trailing with 17.

...and Lord Patel forecasts that the boys in blue jerseys will swarm the Sassenachs on Saturday.

Tangled webs

Alexsandr Mashkevic is a Kazakh billionaire (with Israeli citizenship) who deals with Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal's Dr. Johannes Sittard now runs Alferon Management) and is President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congressand. Famously, he met Lord Levy when he went in October 2003 to carry a letter from Mr Tony Blair (Prime Minister) to Nursultan Nazarbaev, the Kazakh president. (Where's a decent courier service when you need one ?) . Mr Blair subsequently gave Mr Nazarbayev an honorary knighthood. (Well technically it was the Queen wot did it)

It later became public knowledge that Mr Mittal had in 2001 given £125,000 to the New Labour / New Britain Party.

Alex has operated with Patokh Chodiev (an Uzbek) and Alijan Ibragimov (the tabloids in Russia and elsewhere call them the Troika or Trio) in developing the natural assets in Kazakhistan which have unfortunately come under the scrutiny of various legal authorities, not least the US where EX Exxon Mobil Executive Jimmy Giffen awaits trial on US States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Passed in 1997, the F.C.P.A. cites it is unlawful for any American to bribe foreign officials, either directly or through an agent, "for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business".

Alex and the trio operate Alferon Management , Second Floor, 16 St James Street, London W1 (which also operates as International Mineral Resources) and has extensive mining interests in such far off, foreign places of which we know so little such as Zambia (They own through Swiss based J &W Investments the privatised assets of the State owned RAMCZ purchased 2005) , Congo, Indonesia, Kosovo, (Ferronickeli Complex, LLC, a nickel plant purchased in a privatisation sale May 31st 2006) and Russia.

Luanshya Mine which is part of the IMR / J & W holdings in Zambia, is the birthplace of Former Miss Zambia UK, Emma Chishimba, who took the Miss Commonwealth Africa crown at the Miss Commonwealth Triple Crown Beauty Pageant held at the Hammersmith Palais in London on Sunday 16 July 2006.

Emma recently graduated with an MSc. in Multi Agent Intelligence Systems (Robotic & Artificial Intelligence).

Pic of Emma with the first Republican President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda.

Readers of the City Press may be aware that Corus (including what was British Steel) has just been taken over by the Indian conglomerate Tata, who may divest certain UK assets - e.g Rotherham Special Steels.

This is an interesting list of people with interesting interests.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 30th - Hitler the new democratically elected leader takes office

Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of a coalition Gubment on January 30th 1933 - there will be many who will tonight sing the song which became a national anthem.

Horst Wessel Lied

Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen
S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt
Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen
Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit

Die Strasse frei den braunen Batallionen
Die Strasse frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann
Es schau'n auf's Hackenkreuz voll Hoffung schon Millionen
Der Tag fur Freiheit und fur Brot bricht an

Zum letzen Mal wird nun Appell geblasen
Zum Kampfe steh'n wir alle schon bereit
Bald flattern Hitler-fahnen Uber allen Strassen
Die Knechtschaft dauert nur mehr kurze Zeit

Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen
S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt
Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen
Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit


Flag high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks.

The street free for the brown battalions,
The street free for the Storm Troopers.
Millions, full of hope, look up at the swastika;
The day breaks for freedom and for bread.

For the last time the call will now be blown;
For the struggle now we all stand ready.
Soon will fly Hitler-flags over every street;
Slavery will last only a short time longer.

Flag high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks.

Wessel became a posthumous hero after his death - he wrote this song in early 1929 as a new Nazi "fighting song" (Kampflied). It was first published in Goebbels's newspaper Der Angriff in September 1929, under the title "Der Unbekannte SA-Mann" (the Unknown SA-Man). This was the song later known as "Die Fahne hoch" from its opening line, or as the "Horst Wessel Song." The music often accredited to Wessel is an old WW1 Navy song.

30,000 followed his funeral cortege and the funeral was attended by Goebbels, who delivered the eulogy in the presence of Hermann Göring and Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, son of former emperor Wilhelm II, who had joined the SA.

Wessel lived before his death in the Berlin District of Friedrichshain, which was re-named Horst Wessel, and a square and U- bahn station in the MItte district, Bülowplatz, was renamed Horst-Wessel-Platz. After the war Friedrichshain was restored, the square became Liebknechtplatz (dear farm worker) . It was renamed Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz after the socialist heroine Rosa Luxemburg, in 1969. The name by which it is still known.

21/7 - out of their heads ?

It is too soon to draw conclusions. People who set out with bombs to blow people up on empty tubes trains,and buses must have a peculiar mind set. An examination of comments provided to the jury suggests that thse guys were high - qat ?

Who knows yet - but there was something very odd going down that day, and it is difficult to believe these guys were terrists.

Hussein Osman

“He was lying on the floor with his arms outstretched. He was just dazed, like he couldn't believe he was there, lying on his back.

“My original thought was he might have been dazed, he was clearly shocked, in a state of confusion. He was somebody who wasn’t fully in control of what had just happened.”

I was just a few feet from him but he was completely expressionless. He made no eye contact

When Osman stepped off the bus, he was nearly run over thrice by driver Anne Moore, the court heard.

"He didn't seem to be aware of what he was doing, he seemed out of it," she said. I braked heavily to avoid hitting him."

"He was in a position like Jesus when nailed to the cross, with his arms out to the sides."

Ramzi Mohammed

Mohammed muttered "This is wrong, this is wrong" and said innocently replied "this is bread".

Ramzi dropped the rucksack to the ground and pointed at it repeatedly, pretending he had no idea what was happening.

Mohammed said: ‘What’s the matter? It was wasn’t me, it was that,’ pointing to the rucksack. He placed the rucksack on the floor of the carriage.

Muktar Ibrahim

"The way this particular man boarded the bus made him stand out. Most passengers who have a pass don't make eye contact but this man in question was waving his bus pass in a peculiar manner and he made staring eye contact with me."

That uniquitous and well informed commentator Anon. adds 9.00 am today

Another oddity. Remember that picture on the news, the one that looked like a pile of yellow vomit? The one that had the nails in it? Yes? Well, did you notice that the nails were in plastic bags? Ever wondered why? Well, if you use hydrogen peroxide on a chemical plant, part of your hazard and operability study tells you that you have to keep the hydrogen peroxide away from non-passivated iron. The iron causes a catalytic decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide. Now, I know that 'cos I'm a PhD chemist who has made products on chemical plants using hydrogen peroxide. So, how did they know that?

Indeed. Excellent pictures from SKY here on video select FULL SCREEN for best views

Interestingly ..."The jury was told that for safety reasons most of the materials recovered from the alleged attack were destroyed."

Lord Levy kidnapped again

Trim slim, bouffant haired, stack heeled, Lord Levy the Karaoke King of Totteridge happily trolled along to Plod's offices today answering bail on charges relating to antique laws (Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 and Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000)about taking cash for coronets.

Imagine his surprise therefore when Plod asked him to step this way and arrested him for "perverting the course of Justice" and then showed him into a room where a small collection of caged canaries were happily singing away.

Lord Patel is pleased to say that his fellow Lordship, after a brief discussion and a curious handshake between his solicitor and PC Plod, it was decided that charges would not be raised and that after relieving him of further samples of his hair, bootlaces, nail clippings, passport, and his copy of the Daily Telegraph he was allowed to go.

Lord Levy, who enjoys trips to the Middle East meeting important people to talk to, joins previous arrestees petite canary flavoured Ruth Turner, big mouthed Sir Christopher Evans and boastful, stupid head teacher Des Smith.

There will be no free oxygen or free drinks in the new super casinos says the Minister Mrs Mills, exposing the "tricks" of those wily "Las Vegas" hoodlums today. ( .. and probably not where Lord Levy is heading - although there can be very entertaining soapy high jinks in the showers - soap on a dope ?).

What an exciting day.

UK Nuclear Power rollout gains speed (Thank God!)

It is 2 years to the day since Tony Blair first talked about nuclear power generation in the UK in public.

The juggernaut of decision making was set in motion on that day - one major step was made public today.

The good news (and far more important for the whole country) is that British Energy's Web site said at about 8 a.m. London time today. "British Energy invites proposals for new nuclear generation''

Bloomberg reports that in an e-mailed statement BE says, ``All of our existing sites are strong contenders for new nuclear build,''

British Energy's existing nuclear sites benefit from (Shares 12 p off = 2.3% on the day)

1. Local comunities have positive views on nuclear power
2. Many Planning issues have been settled previously, which should cut the planning / development process
3. Existing links with the electricity grid
4. Increasing awareness of the limited timetable for replacing ageing ( and increasingly crack prone ) plant and consequenty need for rapid decision making

In January 2006 the DTI asked the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contribute an expert report on health and safety issues and the potential role of pre-licensing assessments of nuclear reactor designs should the Government decide to progress new nuclear electricity generation.

They reported in July 2006 and concluded (unsurprisingly) that Britain’s existing health and safety system is flexible enough to deal with any hazards and risks from energy developments, and to achieve sensible risk management.

To prepare the ground a joint regulators workshop took place at HSE’s offices in Bootle on 17 October 2006, to discuss issues relating to the design assessment and licensing phases for new nuclear power stations, and to seek views on the guidance being developed by the regulators.

On January 11th 2007 the HSE quietly announced the proposed generic design assessment process "should the UK embark on a programme to build new nucear power stations ."

This was all part of the results of the Gubment in the 2006 Energy Review asking the HSE to work with the other nuclear regulators (including the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and the Office for Civil Nuclear Security) to introduce a pre-authorisation system for reactor designs, which it was intended would be in place by January 2007.

"HSE and the other principal regulators will continue their discussions with designers and potential operators of nuclear power atations over the next few months. However, formal assessment of generic designs will not commence until the Government's policy on nuclear power is clarified when the Energy White Paper is published later this year."

Meanwhile vendors - all of them based overseas - are engaged in preliminary discussions, Areva are in pole position with GE who have a major program of building looming in the US pitching in.

It is increasingly evident that a lot of people, in lots of organisations, European, national, Government , commercial have been working very hard to ensure that when the final proposals / locations are made public that work can commence immediately after the necessary (but futile) debate.

Let us hope that the Civil Service do not fuck up the process by their previous insane NIH fixation - which seems unlikely this time round, as there is no commercial organisation left in the UK who could plan, design and build a nuclear plant.

Making noise in a noisy environment

A friend sends news of the dilemma that the USAF F 22's flying over Baghdad have their electronic sensors swamped by the electronic smog generated by the city (1.29.07 Aviation Week & Space Technology) - which reminds me of a clever group of frogs faced with a similiar problem. Here is the worrying bit - they are Chinese frogs.

Torrent frogs have adapted to living in the sound rich environment of waterfalls and splashing water. They have no apparent eardrums, - the reason is that (Nature March 16th 2006 (subscription - BBC ) they have very thin, delicate eardrums and connecting bones deep in their skull to detect ultrasound. Recessed ears shorten the path between eardrums and the ear, enabling the transmission of ultrasound to the ears.

Kraig Adler, a bilogist from Cornell University was surveying Chinese amphibians and told Albert S. Feng, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of these strange singing frogs.

Feng and colleagues have now conducted field studies of male Amolops tormotus that inhabits Huangshan Hot Springs, Anhui Province a popular scenic mountainous area, full of noisy waterfalls and wildlife west of Shanghai.

The human ear can experience sound up to 20 kilohertz and the frogs could generate sound up to 28 kilohertz. Under observation and prompted by generated ultrasonic burts it was evident that the frogs were responding and communicating. Analysis of 12 hours of tapes of audible calls from 21 males found no two calls to be identical either between animals or within an individual's repertoire. Also, the recordings chronicle the first known ultrasonic noises from frogs.

“Nature has a way of evolving mechanisms to facilitate communication in very adverse situations,” Feng said. “One of the ways is to shift the frequencies beyond the spectrum of the background noise. Mammals such as bats, whales and dolphins do this, and use ultrasound for their sonar system and communication. Frogs were never taken into consideration for being able to do this.” ... simply no-one had ever bothered to look before.

Apparently, according to Professor Tim Halliday of the Department of Biological Sciences at The Open University, UK, some frogs in similiar noisy sites have solved communication another way

"At least two other frog species, one from Borneo, the other from South America, rather than calling to attract females and deter rival males, they use visual displays, waving their brightly coloured feet." Borneo tree hole frogs - less than 1 inch long (Nat Geog.) like Metaphrynella sundana tune their calls to be amplified by the megaphone like hollows they live in to carry further and louder. Male frogs increased the volume of mating calls by 10 to 15 decibels by leveraging the resonant frequency of their hole.

Bloody men - always trying to attract attention.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Copping a plea - conspiracies fall apart both sides of the Atlantic

President Bush's White House Press moist lipped mouthpiece Ari Fleischer logged on to the Washington Post's website late on September 27th 2003 and was alarmed to read.....

"Bush Administration Is Focus of Leak Inquiry" ran the screaming headline - which would appear the followng morning on Washington DC's breakfast tables, well above the fold.

"CIA Agent's Identity Was Leaked to Media." ran the sub head of Mike Allen and Dana Priest's well sourced and detailed Plamegate story ..... the sweat stood out on Ari's receding forehead ...

He headed for the toilet and then for his lawyer.

Ari had disclosed Plame's identity and CIA status to more than one journalist. He had told NBC News reporter David Gregory, and other unnamed reporters, that Plame was married to Wilson. As the case for perjury and obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby unfolds it seems half the White House were talking to most of the White House journos about nothing else at the time ..on the "QT" .. "strictly off the record, old boy" or whatver damn Yankees say in such circumstances.

According to feisty Peter Zeidenberg, an assistant US attorney working with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald , Fleischer (presumably on the advice of his lawyer) asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and would answer questions before a grand jury only if Fitzgerald promised he would not prosecute him. In February 2004 he got his court-ordered immunity.

Fleischer, who had quietly resigned his White House position in July 2003, would sing like a canary for the Grand Jury if he was guaranteed immunity... and he did... his book Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House published in March 2005 - Searching the index shows no mention of Plame, Wilson or the Niger uranium - his immunity deal silenced him from discussing the issue.

Fleischer in testimony in court today 29th January said that the conversation happened on Monday, July 7, 2003, the day after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's op-ed article appeared in the New York Times, and he was a guest on "Meet the Press," accusing the administration of "twisting" intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs. Libby - according to prosecutors - told Fleischer at lunch at the White House that the information that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA was "hush-hush."

Its always enjoyable and entertaining, even instructive when political conspiracists fall out and rush to the exit hoping to save at least their skins even if their reputation lis shredded in the process.

Back in Blighty, it is evident that PC Plod has been carefully identifying those who conspired to secretly finance New Labour for the last election ( and collect their coronet on the way past GO ) and finally like Ari, one has decide to do a deal - which of course po-faced lawyers maintain you cannot do under English law (Ho.Ho.).

So when a jaunty, very well suited, bouffant haired left handed, bon vivant and master of an elegantly turned phrase had a quiet tete a tete over the Earl Grey last week with Commander Yates's men, it is understood that it was held in the offices of one of the finer legal brains in W1.

Not too far from where Kevin Gately 21, year old maths student at Warwick University a member of the International Marxist Group, was killed, on June 15th 1974, it is alleged, by a mounted policeman’s truncheon - the first demonstrator to be killed in Britain for 55 years. (pic memorial painting in Warwick University Students Union)

It remains to be seen if a deal can be stitched up - charges for stealing paper clips and incorrect use of an umbrella stand can be brought to bear for help in explaining the way the systems of noble preferment, not to mention inter office communications in New Labour worked in the recent past.

Mr McTernan is in Edinburgh busily organising the complete and utter fucking disaster that awaits New Labour in the forthcoming Scottish elections.

Biomass : Energy independence

Selim Zilkha is a US based expatriate Iraqi Jewish banker who founded and sold Mothercare PLC, a pioneering childrenswear company in the UK in 1960's. With his son Michael Zilkha (who used to manage the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) they pioneered new and emerging technologies in the oil industry, earning them a reputation as “technology wildcatters.” Zilkha Energy Company bought old data from wells thought pumped dry and using computer modeling to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Locating useable reserves with pinpoint accuracy, the Zilkhas successfully reopened U.S. oil fields thought too prohibitive to drill economically. At one time they had over one and a half million acres under lease, and an enormous seismic database.

They made a fortune.

They sold Zilkha Energy to Sonat for a billion dollars in 1998 - yes that's US$1,000,000,000.

They turned their energy and interests in energy to turning a small wind energy company into one of the most respected in the wind industry by building elegant and community-integrated wind farms throughout the country. with 250,000 acres under lease throughout the US. The subsequent sale of Zilkha Renewable Energy to Goldman Sachs (Now called Horizon Energy) - netting at least US$600,000,000 - a turning point for the wind industry—signalling an important move away from petroleum-based energy to renewables. (Their Brimbo Sands wind farm in the Mersey, UK obtained a £10 MN grant from the National Lottery)

The next step for the Zilkhas energy business is : biomass.

The Power Generating Inc. system—now the patented Zilkha Biomass Unit is unlike conventional biomass units, fuel is consumed in our high-pressure combustion chamber. The proprietary direct-fired biomass-fueled pressurized cogeneration unit can be installed to produce economical energy on-site, anywhere it’s needed - and Zilkha absorb 100% of the capital cost - with all their wealth that's a handy way to invest your cash.

The company have initially focussed on wood processing and products industry: sawmills, plywood mills, oriented strand board plants and other types of board plants, and furniture manufacturers and cabinet makers typically generating 3 dry tons per hour of available wood byproduct (chips, sawdust, shavings, etc.) Zilkha claim they are competitive.

The units are said not to require water for standard operation,- which eliminates the need for a steam boiler, steam turbine, or gasification equipment, have a net CO2 emission loop of zero or less (?) and also consume volatile (VOC) emissions.

The electricity transmission crisis in California in 2001 and the 2003 black-out in the Northeast concentrated minds on the problems of large transmission grids. Coal, hydro, and wind energy are all dependent on transmission availability. This new business removes the problem - generation is done , "inside the fence"

By shifting electricity generation close to the consumer, the grid is more stable and by reducing the dependence of some medium-sized customers on the grid, everybody gains. ...er .... except the big utility companies.

There is a pressing need for alternative energy sources if we are to avoid an ecological disaster says Michale Zilkha. "The electricity we provide is green, renewable, and cost competitive. With Zilkha Biomass Energy we can help address environmental concerns."

The first installation was announced last May at New England Wood Pellet, LLC (NEWP) the largest manufacturer of wood pellet fuel in the northeastern U.S - it is a 1.5 MW unit to provide all of NEWP electric power needs and a substantial percentage of the heat it uses. Result - reduced reliance on the grid and non-renewable fossil fuels - although building work has started and completion date is unavailable - Jeff McMahon at Zilkha declined to talk about the project.

New England Wood Pellet is on track to be the largest manufacturer and distributor of wood pellet fuel in the U.S. Operation shave begun at its Palmer MA packaging and reload center, where over 80,000 tons per year of wood pellets are being imported from British Columbia, Canada, bagged and distributed throughout the northeast.

The company have also announced in October the plans to build a new 12 million plant on Route 5 just east of Utica, in the Mohawk Valley to produce 100.000 tons of pellets a year. Wood pellets provide low levels of particles (pm 2.5m) for a clean burn - see EPA site figures and 98.5% burn for low ash residues. Interestingly for a company involved in renewable energy they sell their chips in heavy duty polyethylene (oil based chemicals) sacks - and haven't considered using paper sacks - probably because of storage problems.

Reality check - if every home in the US used wood pellet stoves it would cut CO2 emissions by 8%. A 1,200 sq foot home in NY State might expect to use 3 tonnes of chips a year, at approx US$5 per 40 lb sack (approx US$250/300 per tonne Dld, dependng on Quantity/ Location.

We had a visit from Houston tonight to read this and spent a loooong time reading it.30/1/07

EU - a view from America

At the excellent Oil Drum , some comments by ThatsItImout from the US today, regarding the problems that Europe faces in energy security ..... as discussed by ex USAmbassador to Lithuania Keith Smith, in a commentary on EU proposals for energy security after the Putin/ Belarus/ EU blackmail , published Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

"The EU has no REAL POWER to enforce anything. Going back to the birth of the Euro currency, anyone who asked how this organization would be able to enforce policy was called "out of touch" with the new modern idea of the Uber Europe, which of course could enforce it's will by simply proclaiming, and did not need real enforcement. Beside, Europe had the Charters (voted down by a fair number of Euro states), it's constitution (never accepted by a fair number of Euro states, it's "economic understandings" (ignored by most). Europe has no real military power, no home base of resources, a slow to non moving economy, rapidly approaching social welfare obligations it cannot possibly meet, and an aging demographic that makes our social security issues look like a cake walk. ....

The EU has about the clout of the old Trilateral Commision, and now fears the world will begin to see the truth of it's situation. Then what? Easy answer, money begins to leave a currency that has never been anything more than a glorified travelers check. Only the Americans are still completely bought into the cult of European superiority. Compounded by America's own almost blinding self hatred, and the utter disgust and disdain we hold for our Administration, we have been easy suckers for the Uber Euro scam, and many Americans who invested in Europe simply to spite our own nation stand to be wiped out when the reality of the world situation hits."


Trouble coming - way South of the Border

"Sinn Fein is an Irish Republican Party. Our resolve is to end British rule on this island; to end partition; and to bring about a 32 county democratic socialist republic." G Adams Sinn Fein ardfheis , Dublin 28/1/07

Whilst the party voted to take it's place on Policing bodies in the North in the event of power-sharing returning - the Gardai are not without problems.

44 yr old Gardai Dennis Grehan, Church Park Lawn, Harold's Cross Road in Dublin was charged with stealing over 15,000 Superkings (currently the smuggled cigarette of choice throught these islands), evidencheld in custody for a forthcoming trial, from Dublin Castle, where he was based, 4 years ago, in May 2003.

The Director of Public Prosecutions on Friday 26th January 2007 entered a Nolle Prosequi (decision not to prosecute) in the case against Garda Dennis Grehan.

Such problems are of little importance to Mr Ahern, the 3,000 strong Sinn Fein conference in the middle of Dublin , marks a major resurgence in the credibility and level of public support for Mr Adams and his fellow Ex (?) Terrorists and gangsters, both sides of the border.

They promise to be the cause of many further sleepless nights.

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