A curious and deliberate controversy is being seeded by the folks behind a life size clay maquette of a dead Prince Harry sporting a very evident jumbo stiffy, produced with some skill and care by someone called Daniel Edwards which is due to be "unveiled" at the Trafalgar Hotel , Trafalgar Square , London , on October 11th, the current locale of the Bridge Art Fair
Bridge Art Fair is a shifting circus of wannabe necrophiliacs due in Miami in December and New York in March to sell what they describe as "emerging and new contemporary work in all media "- painting, prints, photography, sculpture, installation, drawing, film, video, new media and conceptual art.
The BAF will (they claim) take over the entire 120-room hotel, with an estimated 70-90 international exhibitors transforming the Trafalgar into a contemporary art center. - " Come share a cocktail with us in the Trafalgar's two-story Rockwell bar and restaurant as we toast Bridge's first exciting year in the UK."
Capla Kesting Fine art seem to be involved in some way in this gross circus.
Paris Hilton Autopsy May 12 - 30 - Paris Hilton Autopsy' Educates New York City Teens - Interactive Drunk Driving PSA Promotes Safe Prom
.... is a previous production they have hustled - Students are encouraged to take the virtual field trip at http://www.parishiltonautopsy.com/ to view the making of the "Paris Hilton Autopsy" and compete for prizes by writing Paris Hilton's obituary.
More is available @ http://princeharrymemorial.com/
A suitable spot for a wealthy Oligarch with an interest in Art ? Nah ! there isn't enough clay to produce a life size sculpture.
The BBC reports that Clarence House stays schtumm on the subject - which is very odd because not a single newspaper / TV station / Radio news item has covered this story which has been available since yesterday - with pictures etc.,
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Nobody can be unaware of those apparently ubiquitous creepy TV ads where an adult , father / grandad offers a smiling, happy, healthy child (usually male) a Werthers original toffee.
Father Klaus died last April making Axel the sole owner of candy company Storck GmbH, which makes Werther's Original, Merci, Riesen, Toffifee and nimm2. He is the fourth generation of Oberwellands to run the now estimated $1.5 billion (sales) group. The company established the Stork Foundation in 1992 to preserve the endangered stork population in Germany.
August Storck KG is a privately owned company and the second largest confectionary manufacturer in Germany. Founded by Great Grandfather August Storck Oberwelland in 1903 and passed on through Hugo and handed onto Klaus, the company was inherited by 40 year old Axel 2 years ago. Based in Berlin Germany the company operates globally with 4,500 employees operating from 5 plants - Berlin, Halle/Westphalia and Ohrdruf/Thuringia, Germany; Winchester, UK; Skanderborg, Denmark.
With worldwide sales of US$ 1.5 Bn they have a solid home base with a 30% share in sugar confectionery volume and a 25% sugar confectionery share in sales there, coupled with a 15% share in chocolate specialty sales the company is famous for it's Werther's Original toffees, Merci,Riesen,Toffifee and nimm2 brands.
August Storck-Oberwelland openned his small candy workshop in the town of Werther, Westfalia, Germany, called Werther's Sugar Confectionery Factory but it was 6 years later that he began producing Werther's caramel cream candy, Later re-branded in 1998 as Wethers Echte (genuine) but now known worldwide as Werthers Original - now also sugar free !
It was 25 years later that Storck 1 Pfennig reisen hit the market - the first one to be sold individually wrapped. Later re-branded in 1998 as Wethers Echte (genuine) but as Werthers Original
In 1981 they took over the German Dickmann company and its brands and 7 years later , bendick's of Mayfair and their Winchester factory.
nimm2 - literally "take two" Storck’s nimm2 soft, a vitamin-filled fruit chewy. In today’s “health and wellness” era, when companies large and small are looking to address consumer nutritional needs, Storck had long ago (1962) developed a healthier children’s candy called nimm2.
The name, which translated from German literally means ‘take 2,” is a recently developed brand which is promoted to provide children with 2 sweets that provide a daily dose of essential vitamins.
This is a development from a chewing gum launched in , a vitamin-filled fruit gum.
Their latest brand is however a luxury chocolate, Pavot (poppy) launched to mark their centenary and now well up in the premium league in a land of chocolate lovers.
Axel hovers around 350th in Forbes Billionaires list from satisfying the craving for toffee.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Joseph Schmitz, is a lawyer, he was Inspector General or chief internal watchdog at the Pentagon since March 2002. He is also a member of Opus Dei and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. (see more)He is also Jeb Bush's brother in law. In a letter dated June 15th 2005 posted on the Inspector General's website September 20th he excused (recused) himself from examinig Blackwater because he may seek employment with them.
He headed investigations of a wide range of scandals, famously the sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs.
"Nearly 12 percent of the women who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy this year were the victims of rape or attempted rape in their four years at the academy in Colorado Springs, with the vast majority never reporting the incidents to the authorities, according to a survey by the inspector general of the Defense Department"
Rate of Rape at Academy Is Put at 12% in Survey By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO NYT August 29, 2003
Three years of investigations , reports , Senators jumping up and down resulted in one prosecution ....
Civilian prosecutors said Wednesday they will not file charges against an officer accused of sexually assaulting a female cadet while both attended the Air Force Academy, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutors said they weighed Colorado laws with the investigative reports on Capt. Joseph Harding, whose alleged assault on a fellow cadet in 2000 sparked a scandal at the academy.
Chief prosecutor Diana May said authorities concluded they could not meet the required burden of proof.
This was after , a military judge in September 2006 dismissed a rape charge against Harding because the accuser’s therapist refused to release her medical records on grounds that they were confidential.
Academy sex assault case won’t go to civilian court Air Force News Friday Jan 12, 2007
More of the history of the scandal that simply melted away here
Well Schmitz got himself a new job - as become chief operating officer and general counsel of McLean, Virginia-based Prince Group, AKA Blackwater USA, where he is working alongside Cofer Black, a former State Department and CIA counterterrorism coordinator, who joined earlier this year as vice chairman.(pic from Blackwater site)
Sounds ideally placed to handle any problems about Blackwater thugs shootin' up Iraqi families, bystanders etc.,
Blackwater are also now in the manufacturing bizniz - subscribe to the Blackwater Tactical Weekly here to discover what they are doing to ..." (be) committed to supporting national and international security policies that protect those who are defenseless and provide a free voice for all. We dedicate ourselves to providing ethical, efficient, and effective turnkey solutions that positively impact the lives of those still caught in desperate times.".... and shoot up any sand niggahs that get in the way.
The Bank of England's (BoE) weekly accounts - the Bank Return, showed £2.9Bn, "other assets" which the chicken entrail readers and soothsayers of Bishopsgate claim represents further emergency / panic borrowings by Northern Rock (NR).
Now, 3 weeks after NR went to the BoE for support, it owes nearly £11 Bn. - equivalent to 45% of its deposit base at the end-June ( and probably more as the private / domestic lenders draw down their deposits and move them elsewhere). The Financial Times (FT) calculates that NR has £ 14 Bn. of short-term and medium-term notes that require refinancing in the second half of their financial year year.
Apparently however the company is considered solvent. The crooks are still at the helm.
Those who still follow these matters will be interested in a thoughtful article last week in the FT which carefully explained the "Granite" securitisation system.
NR's main (not the only one) securitisation vehicle is called Granite Master Issuer. (Granite - Rock solid - Geddit ?)
This trust is a "revolving facility" - new mortgages written by Northern Rock are constantly being pumped into Granite, which is required to maintain a certain level of mortgage assets - as some mortgages mature.
The trust has 3 beneficiaries:
1 . The vehicle called Funding One
2. The vehicle called Funding Two
3. Northern Rock itself.
If certain "triggers" are breached ,the trust will be wound down and go into early amortisation.
Many of the triggers are related to the credit quality of the mortgage book – if mortgage arrears were to increase dramatically, for example, this would trigger a wind down.
However, the trust would also be wound down if it breaches non-asset related triggers – such as Northern Rock becoming insolvent.
The government has insisted that Northern Rock is solvent. (As do the dishonest Directors)
However, some investors in Northern Rock are concerned that the value of the bank is now dropping sharply.
Some of the senior note holders in NR bonds have formally appointed London lawyers to represent their interests in the event that the bank turns out to be insolvent, or is sold to outside parties at a loss.
If the trust is wound down, bondholders with notes issued from the Funding One and Funding Two vehicles get paid in full before anyone else. See Prospectus Page 6 -" Principal of the offered notes may be repaid earlier than expected if a trigger event or an event of default occurs in respect of these notes." and see Page 57 about redemption of notes ..."For more information on the redemption of the notes, including a description of asset trigger events and non-asset trigger events, see ‘‘The mortgages trust – Cash management of trust property – principal receipts’’ and ‘‘Cashflows’’. See also ‘‘– Payment priority and ranking of the notes’’.
So far, rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's have said that no triggers have been breached by Granite.... this filing made on 20th September (but presented on 14th) to the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York is therefeore more than a curiosity....
"On September 14, 2007, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ("Standard & Poor's") and Fitch Ratings Limited "Fitch") each downgraded Northern Rock's long-term credit ratings from "A+" to "A". On September 17, 2007 and September 19, 2007, respectively, Fitch and Standard & Poor's further downgraded Northern Rock's long-term credit rating from "A" to "A-". The downgrade to "A-" by Fitch constitutes a trigger event under the Funding 2 basis rate swaps entered into in connection with the Granite program, under which Northern Rock acts as Funding 2 basis rate swap provider. For a description of the potential consequences of this trigger event, please see the section entitled "The swap agreements - The Funding 2 basis rate swaps" in the prospectus of Granite Master Issuer plc (the "Company") dated May 17, 2007 and the Funding 2 Basis Rate Swap, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Exhibit 10.1 to the Company's Form 8-K dated May 23, 2007. Northern Rock (i.e the Directors Ed.) has indicated that it does not currently propose to take any further action following the trigger event, due to the liquidity provided by the standby liquidity arrangements it has recently agreed with the Bank of England, as described in the preceding paragraph. Fitch has stated that it considers these standby liquidity arrangements of sufficient strength and form as to satisfy the substance of their criteria and does not currently propose to take any negative rating action with respect to any notes issued by Granite Master Issuer plc (the "Company"). Additionally, Moody's Investors Services Limited ("Moody's") has placed its "Aa3" long-term rating of Northern Rock on review "direction uncertain." The short-term credit ratings of Northern Rock remain at A-1 by Standard & Poor's, F1 by Fitch and P-1 by Moody's. "
The original can be consulted at the SEC records here
The "trigger" event has happened but well we'll drag our brogues on that one shall we boys, as long as old Uncle Mervyn and Cousin Alastair and Grandad Gordy keep popping cash into the till... and anyway it's all Fitch's and Moody's fault .....
To repeat what the FT said ..."Some of the senior note holders in NR bonds have formally appointed London lawyers "..... hardly surprising.
Late Breaking News
The Treasury have announced .."The Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will present the Pre-Budget Report and the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review to the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th October at 3:45pm." Sky also report ..."The Chancellor is promising to learn lessons from the recent Northern Rock crisis." Ho.Ho.Ho.
"Northern Rock's asset quality remains good - Fitch " Forbes 12.26 BST
Crab claw cropping.... Sustainable or barbaric ? brought attention to the policy of de-clawing both claws from the edible crab, (Cancer pagurus) by fishermen in UK waters. Bob Elwood Professor of Animal Behaviour at Queen's University Belfast ( Marine Biology DOI:10.1007/s00227-007-0681-5) reported on the lack of sustainability and the welfare problems this raised and that to believe that i double de-clawed crabs the re-grew was "pie in the sky" as they could not forage or eat.
BBC4 "Today" programme this morning gave him the opportunity to express his views - in which it was revealed that traditionally only one claw was removed but the procedure for removing two claws was introduced without any evidence or debate.
The Reporter was Kevin Connelly.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Leonardo da Vinci painted several versions of The Madonna of the Yarnwinder - the original painted in 1501 seems to have been mislaid.
Several later versions exist of which one was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle the home of the recently deceased Earl of Buccleuch - Walter Francis John Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch, 11th Duke of Queensberry (b. 1923) Eton and Christ Church,Oxford.He owned five major landed Estates, his estimated personal fortune of £55m was supplemented by a further c.£400m held by the Buccleuch Group, his holding company.
On 27th August 2003 two bogus tourists visiting Drumlanrig Castle overpowered the guide, Alison Renwick, a student on a summer job, with a knife, in the oak panelled room where the painting was displayed and pulled the painting from the wall.With the alarms ringing the thieves scarpered trhough a window - evading CCTV cameras and shinned down an outside wall watched by 2 NZ tourists -
"Don't worry love, we're the police. This is just practice," one of the two martly dressed rogues said, as the two sauntered across the lawn towards their White Volkswagen Golf car and drove off - it was later found abandoned nearby. The FBI listed it as one of the top ten stolen artworks with a value of £30 Mn pounds.
Today Det Ch. Insp Mickey Dalgleish spearheaded a sting when 4 men were arrested in a meeting of 5 people in Glasgow to interrupt a sale of the antique 3 were from Lancashire and one from Glasgow.
The belted Earl's heirs and successors will no doubt be relieved .. also relieved that the theft of Lottery money by the Duke went unnoticed and unpunished.
Buccleuch BioEnergy Ltd., is part of the Buccleuch Group and on January 3rd 2005, Buccleuch BioEnergy was awarded a tax free grant to develop the business of £571,933 from the Big Lottery renewable Energy Fund to "to develop the business ."
Quite why the business enterprises of fabulously rich businesmen receive public money is beyond many people. See post here Droit de seigneur Tuesday, October 25, 2005 for more information.
Perhaps now the Duke's heirs have his picture back , can we have our money back ?
Major Hla Win, 42, chief of military intelligence with the Burmese army in Rangoon's northern region, with his 17 year old son fled to Thailand after refusing orders to attack Buddhist monks in recent anti-junta protests. He was probably helped by Human Rights Watch who released a statement in Hong Kong .."They [the demonstrators] were very peaceful. Later when I heard they were shot and killed and the armed forces used tear gas, I was really upset and I thought the army should stand for their own people."
He now intends to apply for political asylum in Norway, where many Burmese opposition supporters live in exile. "I am a Buddhist," he told the Norwegian broadcaster TV2 Norway after his escape. "I don't want to kill monks."
The European Union is tightening sanctions imposed in 1996 on Burma and have agreed a broader visa ban for members of the military junta, a wider ban on investment, and an expanded ban on imports of metals, timber and gemstones. There will be a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on october 16th.
These changes don't affect European oil and gas companies operating there, the biggest of which is France's Total SA - arguing Jesuitically that their withdrawal will let in the Chinese.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, is reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday that Total SA would not be spared in the most recent proposals for EU sanctions against the military regime. "If there are sanctions," he said, "Total will not be exonerated -- it's not possible."
There is a statement on the Total Website by Jean-François Lassalle,
Vice-President Public Affairs,Total Exploration & Production, about their presence in Myanmar / Burma
"To those who ask us to leave the country, we reply that far from solving Myanmar's problems, a forced withdrawal would only lead to our replacement by other operators probably less committed to the ethical principles guiding all our initiatives. "
James and Stephen Eaves in an article in Wapo today
point out the inherent folly in the politician's belief that ethanol as a "renewable fuel" could secure the United States' "energy security." It is simply not sufficient to produce legislation such as "The Renewable Fuels Act" or "The BioFuels Security Act" simply to spray more taxpayers dollars on the farming / ethanol / fuel blenders.
They argue that the technologies and energy markets are incredibly complex, we shouldn't have great confidence that politicians, using billions of dollars in subsidies, will pick the best one.
Even now the ethanol glut is kicking in, Indiana Republican Governer Mitch Daniels declared the small town od reynolds (pop 500) on Sept. 13, 2005, as Biotown USA as Vera Sun was planning to build a 110Mn. gallon a year refinery , Mitch told us at Senator Lugars Summit on Energy Security last fall this would re-energize the town. Vera Sun have just announced it will suspend construction of the refinery due to current market conditions. (Company Press release Oct 1st)
When Verasun IPO'd Lord Patel posted Dot Corn Boom : Vera Sun IPO soars which soared to US$39 from a very full issue price of US$23 , in which he pointed out that ..
"This puts a value on the company of 200 times its annualized earnings from the March quarter 2006. Compare that with (say) 50 for Google."
The share price above tells the story. Look at Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) as well , in which Bill Gates stuck some of his hard earned.
At best , US produced ethanol could only supply 14% of US gasoline consumption - The National Resource Development Council takes a more practical policy by reducing consumption and therefore demand on oil. What they offer requires little legislation but a great deal of public education. The policy outlined below was published in 2001 when gas was less
Long-term Solutions for U.S. Energy Security
Raise fuel economy standards to 40 mpg by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020. Decades of federal inaction on fuel economy standards and a surge in sales of SUVs and minivans have dropped the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks combined to its lowest point in nearly 20 years
Require fuel-efficient replacement tires by 2002. Most replacement tires now on the market create more friction as they roll than do original equipment tires. Replacement tires have a 20 % higher "rolling resistance," making average replacement tires about 4 % less "fuel efficient" than original tires on a new vehicle. Requiring better replacement tires would cut the gasoline consumption of all U.S. vehicles by about 3 % when fully phased in.
Enact tax incentives for hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles.
Reinvest in public transit and inter-city railroads.
Promote "smart growth."
Make fuel from farm wastes.
Launch an "Apollo Project" for fuel cells and hydrogen fuel.
Short-term Solutions for U.S. Energy Security
Check your tire pressure.If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, NRDC estimates the nation would cut its gasoline use by 2 %
Obey the speed limit.
Turn off the car engine while waiting in line.
Use car pools and public transit, and telecommute
Keep cars tuned and use fuel-efficient engine oil.
Buy the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs.
We pass it on to a thirsty and fuel hungry world.
Lord Patel played a remarkable bt very small part in the launch of the Sputnik 50 years ago. A cloak of silence however conceals the identity of the slim, agile schoolboy who was inserted through the window of the staff room of Altrincham Grammar School Master's Staff Room to extract the school's Grundig TK 5 (TK 24 ?) portable 5 1/2" reel to reel tape recorder (valve driven and weighed about 30 lbs). (one for sale on e-Bay)
It was with this machine that Reg Lascelles , ex President of Manchester University Student's Union , execrable teacher of French, enthusiastic ham radio operator , and all round good egg - who became shortly after, the Press Relations Officer at Bernard (later Sir) Lovell's shiny new Jodrell Bank Radio telescope, recorded the Sputnik signal.
In Reg's back bedroom the faltering signal which kept disappearing as the satellite revolved round the earth was recorded - the Russians has sensibly chosen a common frequency (20 and 40 MHz if memory serves) to ensure the signal could be found but it was difficult to pick up because it was a crowded band.
Once recorded , excited recordist and Reg set off for the BBC in Piccadilly Gardens Manchester, in his battered black Morris 10 and it was this signal that the BBC used to broadc ast to the UK and which much of the world first heard. Presumably the military didn't know what to do and wouldn't release information or recordings.
It was remarkable how soon jokes circulated .. " Did you hear that when the sputnik passes over a virgin it beeps .. have you heard it ?"
Which years later it became apparent, was merely a variant on the ... , Q. "Why don't the Liver Birds flap their wings"... A. "They do, but only when a virgin passes underneath"
Exciting times - the first satellite the yanquis launched (third time lucky on the launch) discovered the Van Allen radiation belts, still probably the most important discovery in space made by satellites. Van Allen was responsible for the lift packages and the German V2 rocket scientist Werner von Braun (and SS officer)expropriated by the US under "Operation Paperclip" at the end of the war saw to the building of the rockets. Ernst Steinhoff was another of that group and his brother later developed the first submarine fired missiles.More here
Reg went on to identify the signals from Luna 9 the soviet moon package as being that of the standard for facsimile transmission used by newspapers and because of this Jodrell Bank scooped the world with the first photographs (pic) ever published of the moon surface. The pictures from Luna 9 were received on 4 February 1966 at 1530-1655 UT and Reg had borrowed a facsimile receiver from the Daily Express in Manchester - due to misunderstanding of some sort the apect ratio was 2.5 not 2.0 and the Russian Academy of Sciences got the huff because the pictures used were wrongly dimensioned - in reality they had been upstaged and didn't like it.
Anyway nobody had ever seen the moon's surface before so no-one was to know.
Here is a strong signal (.WAV) from Sputnik 1 recorded in the US by Radio Ham Roy Welch of Dallas, here is another less distinct which sounds a bit more authentic.
Intersting Video here of the impact of the Sputnik in Australia with unique news fillum.
There were 81 ethanol plants in the US in January 2005 , there are now 129 and more are being constructed although some plants are being delayed or cancelled.
Ethanol is corrosive and volatile and it also absorbs water and impurities, it can't be pumped through pipelines and must be caried by road or rail in specially designed tanks. It also needs special handling equipment at loading / unloading terminals so Gasoline wholesale and marketers have been slow to gear up ethanol blending terminals. They have also been required to invest simultaneously in equipment to manage low sulfur diesel and tougher product specifications.
Ethanol prices in the US vary by location the average rack, or wholesale, price reported by the DTN Ethanol Center last Tuesday was $2.42 a gallon in New York and $1.77 in Iowa. Generally, prices are highest in states farthest away from the Midwest farm belt and in ones that have federal or state clean-air requirements that encourage the use of ethanol.
On top of this there is a massive and growing backlog in rail tank car orders that grew to 36,166 rail cars by the end of the first quarter in 2007 from about 10,000 in the third quarter of 2005.
Imports of ethanol up 44% in US in July
The US imported 1.526 million bbl of ethanol in July, up a sharp 674,000 bbl or 44.2 percent from the previous month,(source Energy Information Administration).
The EIA shows 1.227 million bbl of ethanol was received by ports along the East Coast in July, up 470,000 bbl from June. Ports on the West Coast received 220,000 bbl of ethanol, up 126,000 bbl from month prior. July ethanol imports to the Midwest rose 1,000 bbl to 2,000 bbl.
The Cougar Mine Resistant Armoured Protection vehicle (MRAP) vehicle is the US$600,000 a pop answer to IED's. This is what happened to one in Iraq . The crew escaped with only minor injuries and no one was killed, and no-one was caught.These pics are NOT courtesy the DOD or the MOD.
This is where the engine should be
...and this is where it ended up.
Previous posts on MRAP here
It may be of interest that the office of the Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate ,Washington has had a look at the above . A post currently held by Terrance W. Gainer since January 4, 2007.
Worth noting that in a long and very distinguished Police / military career, in October 2006, Mr. Gainer was named Vice President and Program Manager, Law Enforcement Programs, International Group for MPRI an L-3 communications company. In that capacity, Mr. Gainer was responsible for a multi-million dollar innovative law enforcement program supporting Army and Marine operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That's the outfit that helped General Gotovina, (captured 7th Dec.2005 in Canary islands)now cooling his heels in the Hague slammer commit genocide against the Serbs at Banje Luka and roundabout and up and down in "Operation Storm" and whose staff could give such interesting testimony should he ever see the inside of a court. His trial was due to start in May 2007 but seems to hvebeen postponed "indefinitely" - sine die
Interesting pro-Gotovina site here
Saigon Daily report (all press is state controlled) that investment in Hanoi in the first nine months of this year grew 17.3% year-on-year to VND29.38 trillion (US$1.8 billion), with domestic investment accounting for VND4.9 trillion. The capital city attracted 236 new foreign-invested projects with combined capital of VND1.1 trillion in the period.
State-owned Vietnam Airlines has split orders for new planes between Airbus and Boeing. They have placed orders for 12 Boeing Dreamliners, worth US$1.9bn based on catalogue prices, with deliveries set to start in 2015.
It has also signed up for 10 Airbus A350-900XWB passenger jets, which is yet to be designed.
Meanwhile hatches are battened down as 400,000 flee asTyphoon Lekima hits Central Vietnam today.
The Daily Telegraph today says Vietnam, China, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran slipping ties with US$ as state treasuries unload US Treasury bonds, require payment in Euros.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Craig Murray's website archive can be reached at http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/
testing is underway and the gems of wisdom will
Alisher Usmanov usher forth as soon as ....
Chris Floyd and Rich Kastelein, of Empire Burlesque are hosting but have been subect to a hack attack (Some pictures are still missing, but they are working on that.)
Full story here
Christ was resurrected after a few days ... which rather knocks the theories about Craig's divine origins and status.
"Mohammed Cursing the Vines," German woodcut print, c. 1481
See also CopyDude
A major route for domestic energy / electricity reduction is to lower the temperature at which wshing machines operate. The major Danish energy group DONG ( a recent name change from Københavns Energi ) claim consumption can be cut by 60% or approximately 10p per wash (DKK 1 EUR 0.13 cents or USD 0.20 cents) and they are active in promoting Care Koldtvandsvask .
Typically wash temperatures used in Europe are 60°C (140°F) with some machines offering a "low temperature" wash at 40°C (104°F).
Danlind is a Danish detergent producer based in Holstebro, where its main products are private-label detergents for laundry and dishwashing.
Danlind produces about 30,000 tons of detergent a year, mainly for export. This makes it a small player in the European detergent market. Over the last two years they have developed a new product which they say will make a major difference to the market and the way we all do our washing... and cut fuel bills.
Development started in when R&D / Lab Chief Henrik Jørgensen went to a 2002 conference on detergents. A representative from the swish chemical company Ciba gave atalk about one of its mild bleach catalysts suitable for low temperatures. By 2005 he was testing using Ciba’s ActinOx,® which he was testing with Danish enzyme manufacturer, Novozyme's Stainzyme,® a new detergent amylase for low temperatures. That year Novozymes also launched a low-temperature protease called Polarzyme.®
A low temperature detergent needs 4 components to work, bleach, enzymes and surfactants - as well as a builder - they had to find one that worked at suitable temperatures and this was supplied by German company Bayer, so Lind had a unique system. There was a bonus, too, because this system was less aggressive than normal builders and the enzymatic performance improved.
Lind's final product which they call Care Coldwash contains four different enzymes from Novozymes: Stainzyme 12 T, Polarzyme 12 T, Lipex® 100 T, and Celluzyme® 0.7 T. They represent 3% by weight, twice that of typical care detergents.
Finally Lind looked for a surfactant at the Japanese who tyraditionally use cold washes - finally they chose a unique and confidential blend of three surfactants , both anionic and non-ionic.
The US domestic mite Dermatophagoides farinae (in Europe D. pteronyssinus) which lives on human skin flakes is remarkably resistant to washing and 40 and 60% of the mites can resist washing, rinsing, spinning and drying. Control by low temperature washing is possible with a mite control additive provided that a concentration of benzyl benzoate ( a commonly used ectoparasiticide) of about 0.03% is achieved in the washing suds. It is assumed this is also a component and it must be identified under EU detergent regulations that cam into effect on October 8th 2005 see guide (pdf alert) from the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products.
Note if you look at your detergent ingredients benzyl benzoate is usually disguised as benzoic acid benzyl ester, benzoic acid phenylmethyl ester or in Persil non-bio as benzisothiazolinone.
Research by Lind was funded both by Dong but also the Danish Technical Institute which incorporated the National Consumer Agency's test laboratory.
To calculate the benefits they discovered the average Danish family generated 600Kg of textiles for washing done in 270 wash loads 5 per week.
Changing 60°C (140°F) and 40°C (104°F) washes to 30°C (86°F) and 20°C (68°F) washes respectively gives an annual electricity consumption of 130 kWh with a saving of 95 kWh.
In Denmark, a 900 g pack of Care Coldwash retails at around DKK 28 (about EUR 3.76 or USD 5.05 £2.50 ) and is enough for 12 washes. If a consumer can save around DKK 1 per wash in electricity, the savings amount to DKK 12 (about EUR 1.61 or USD 2.16 £1.10 ) per pack. ( and it saves på 120 kg. CO2 pr år if you believe all that bollocks)
Dansk Supermarked A/S sell it under their own label and they own the discount superstore Netto with the irritating TV advertising who have 106 stores in the UK .
Herman Salling is the CEO of Dansk Supermarked founded in 1902 by his dad Fernand - this is what he says about action in busines -
"... life has taught me always to set deadlines for decisions.
Otherwise the discussions can go on for years. They lead nowhere.
But if a deadline is set, something will happen"
Herman Salling he also said about decisions:
"Once a decision has been made, it must be implemented quickly"
This is a poster you can find, with many others @ "Posters of Cuba- the Crimson Dawn Island"
Foreign Debt /IMF (International Monetary Fund) 1983 OSPAAAL
"From now on, depressions will be scientifically created. "
Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. , 1913
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that oversees the global financial system by observing exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering financial and technical assistance. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., USA”. This is an unsophisticated quote from Wikipedia, which certainly does not describe why Jesus is crucified on the USD sign with the IMF abbreviation on the poster above...."
This is one of two sites run by Alexander Zhakarov (?) - the other is A Soviet Poster A Day .
Each contain superb examples of the the art of political / propaganda posters, crisp graphics, combined with stylish typography to convey a single simple, strong political thought / message with great clarity.
Each poster is presented with a brief history of the artist (if known) it's message and historical context. Visit.
Lessons not lost of course on our own politicians ...
Although many will remember the huge success (measured by column inches of comment in the Jewish Chronicle) Labour had in pre - election January 2005 with this wonderful creation ...
We never did get to find out whether it was Trevor Beattie at the TBWA agency of foul mouthed or ranting Alastair Campbell who was the design genius behind this one. (Resulting in AC calling Jeremy Paxman a "twat" (whatever that is) .. or more precisely he punched into his Blackberry ..."Posters done by tbwa according to polotical [sic] brief. Now fuck off and cover something important you twats."
Mr Tony Blair (who was at the time both prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party) reminded everyone that the Holocaust did not begin with the gas chambers but "with a brick through the window of a Jewish business, desecration of a synagogue, the shout of racist abuse in the street".
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Russia has tested a new powerful weapon - a larger schematic from Kommersant is now available (click to enlarge)
The bomb, which has no official designation is air launched and guided by satellite positioning and it is described as the most powerful non - nuclear weapon ever - exceeding famous 21,000lb MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast/Mother Of All Bombs
This is a 2 stage 7 ton thermobaric weapon that creates a massive shockwave which is claimed to be equivalent to 40 tons of TNT. A first charge disperses the high energy ethylene oxide fuel and a second charge then explodes the gas cloud in a blast area of 300metres. Comparisons with nuclear bombs is pointless as it has less than 5% of the smallest kiloton-sized tactical weapon - the mushroom cloud could however have massive psyops oportunities.
Just as the USAF used the BLU-82 "Daisycutter" bombs for this in the 1991 Gulf war.
It is claimed that the intense energy owes some of its effect to nanotechnology - but few details are available. It was tested on the 11th of September (which may or may not be significant) can create overpressures equal to an atomic bomb, Alexander Rukshin,(pic) deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces claimed on Russia's state ORT First Channel television. The same report was later shown on the state-sponsored Vesti channel."You will now see it in action, the bomb which has no match in the world is being tested at a military site." This showed a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber dropping the bomb over a testing ground. A large explosion followed..
"It is environmentally friendly, compared to a nuclear bomb, and it will enable us to ensure national security and at the same time stand up to international terrorism in any part of the globe and in any situation."
Lt. General McInerney, chairman of the Iran Policy Committee, and former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force after news of the test said that the US could field a 14 ton penetrating bomb and graphically described it as ..."a new massive ordnance penetrator that's 30,000 pounds, that really penetrates ... Ahmadinejad has nothing in Iran that we can't penetrate."
A shipload of biodiesel derived 100% from palm oil arrives at a Texan or Georgia port, Houston or Savannah - it holds say 9 million gallons , add , say 9,000 gallons (0.1% of the total) of traditional diesel (1 US gallon =3.8litres) what they call in this grubby trade "splash and dash" and it is transformed into B99 biofuel blend. Hey presto! The entire load is eligible for the Federal US blenders tax credit.
The US importer of the load applies to the Internal Revenue Service for the credit – a dollar for each of the 9 million biodiesel gallons (approx Euros 20 cents per litre) and then the ship hightails it for Rotterdam. (Guess it gets well mixed at sea)
European biodiesel manufacturers complained in March about these heavily subsidized imports and the US biodiesel industry complained a month later and the House Ways and Means Committee, is ...er ... looking into it.
The origins of this crazy anomaly result from the US JOBS Creation Act which President Bush signed into law in October 2004 - which inlcuded a biofueld tax incentive - due for expiry on 31st December 2006 - however as part of the Energy Bill of August 2005 the federal excise tax credit was extended until 2008.
Raffaello Garofalo, Secretary General of the European Biodiesel Board, wrote a letter on March 19th to the European Trade Commissioner a man wholly unacquainted with graft, the twice sacked and disgraced Mr Peter Mandelson.
"In Jan 2007 the amount of B99 biodiesel imported into the EU has risen to approx 30,000 tonnes per month. In most cases B99 blends are then sold in the market as "pure biodiesel". If B99 import acceleration coninues throughout the year it may lead to over half a m illion tonnes of B99 imports by end 2007"..."This competition is price setting and is preogressively disrupting the margins of EU biodiesel producers, putting out of business manu EU biodiesel prodcuers..."
This absurd subsidy has ballooned so much that that Europe is now awash in US biodiesel. Now a third form of imported biodiesel is reportedly hitting European shores – at US taxpayer expense. European biodiesel producers themselves are shipping fuel to US ports to get the US blenders credit and then bringing it back to Europe for sale.
But US biodiesel manufacturers and Congress may not be in a hurry to close the loophole, some insiders say. That's because the blenders credit not only benefits splash-and-dash traders, it also gives US producers of soybean-based biodiesel a distinct export advantage, industry insiders say.
Also there is a stand off between those who want to close a tax credit loophole and those responsible for trade issues.
Currently everything is being debated under the Energy Bill and the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2007, commonly called the Farm Bill which will make many changes to the way federal taxes are pumped into the US biofuels industry - at present nothig is resolved and it is even uncertain that President Bush will veto the Bill.
How much is this boondoggling worth ?
Keeping track of the tax dollars involved is not easy the US Department of Agriculture does track exports of US vegetable and animal oils, a category that is mostly biodiesel, experts say. In 2005 9 Mn gallons were exported, 2006 it had jumped 4 fold to 36 Mn gallons - if biodiesel is 80% of that then the uS taxpayer has subsidised the EU motorist by US$30Mn. in 2006 alone.
The European Biodiesel Board, has tracked 50-plus shipments from the US to Europe totaling about 60 million gallons in the first four months of 2007. Most of those shipments originated in Houston; Savannah, Ga.; or New Orleans and arrived in the ports of Rotterdam, Netherlands; Bilbao, Spain; or Hamburg, Germany.
What is good news for motorists is bad news for the new and growing European biodiesel producers - subsidized fuel is flooding their markets, cutting into their domestic biodiesel business and lowering prices. See post on Biopetrol last week and the sad tale of Hull based Biofuels plc. - all that is green is not golden.
Argentine - not just good at Rugby
If this wasn't bad enough the Argentinians also distort the market as they impose import taxes of 25% or more on soya beans and meal, but not on biofuel derived from soya, a sort of B99 blend that creates effectively an export subsidy, contrary to WTO rules agreed at Hong Kong. The impact on the EU market is small currently but helps in keeping biofuel prices down for EU producers.
It does however have an impact on the US bio-diesel in dustry -the 19 percent Differential Export Tax (DET) provides an incentive worth 43 cents per gallon for Argentina’s soybean processors to convert soybean oil into biodiesel prior to export. “The whole bean is taxed more than double what biodiesel is in Argentina,” says Rick Ostlie, a Northwood, N.D., farmer and member of the American Soybean Association (ASA). “They're building plants all over the place, really trying to grow their industry.”
Shortly after 09:00 hrs on 5th July 2007 a westbound Central Line train in the tunnel between Mile End and Bethnal Green hit a tarpaulin on the line. Five axles of the train derailed.
Over eight hundred passengers were evacuated from the train in the accident and the one following, (in temperatures up to 100 F). A small number of minor injuries and one more serious injuries resulted not from the accident but during the evacuation of the passengers along the tunnel - which took over two hours. Eleven peope attended hospital. The train, track and signalling equipment all suffered damage.
On Wednesday, September 05, 2007 Lord Patel pointed out that the report into the events that day were still awaited. Metronet - CMT - Tube safety, PPP disaster and emergency services .. questions after Mile End still to be answered
A litle bird inside Rail Accident Investigation Branch , Geoff Thorne who is the Lead Inspector - Mile End Derailment tells me that ..
The investigation into this incident is now complete except for one test on the leading car of a Central Line Train. This is being planned for the near future. This test will confirm that the derailment mechanism is correctly understood.
The report is currently undergoing final drafting after which it will be subject to a number of internal checks. The draft report will then be sent out for the mandatory consultation with the industry parties concened. This is likely to take three weeks. Provided that no issues arise that require some further investigation or a further review of the evidence, then a publication date of mid November appears likely.
Meanwhile the funding / take over / nationalisation of Metronet becomes no clearer - Dan Milmo writing recently in the Guradian about administrator Alan Bloom's attempt to drum up some private bidders has been scuppered by disagreements about indebtedness between Transport for London (TfL) and Metronet prior to administration.
TfL has provided emergency funding of up to £900m to allow Metronet to carry out its tasks while in administration. TfL has admitted that it does not have £900m "lying around in Tim O'Toole's sock drawer" and will (surprise, surprise ) need the government to plug the funding gap.
No doubt any decision taking will be left until the election is over...because if Mr Cameron and his Oxford drinking chum Boris have no idea what to do about this fucking PPP scandal, neither have the Scottish Tweedledum and Tweedledee at Nos 10 & 11.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Paul Gapper works as a Detective Inspector within the Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
In 2004 Paul obtained a BSc (Hons) in Policing and Police Studies with Portsmouth University. Elements of the degree included psychology, sociology and political science. He is currently studying for an MSc at Roehampton University in the Management of Diversity and Equality, which will provide invaluable additional tools that can be used in his current position.
Paul is a member of the Investors in Diversity National Quality Board - that's part of National Centre for Diversity - which is an independent organisation, which has a wide range of support from high calibre individuals from all sectors right across Britain. They have established excellent links and or strategic alliances with a number of world class Businesses, Agencies, Umbrella Associations and Organisations. Paul also works as an independent training consultant.
This has a fascinating National Advisory Board a member of which is multi lingual Julia Middleton, Chief Executive of Common Purpose - you can watch her talking here about leadership and her book "Beyond Authority" published in March 2007 - a mixture of Norman Vincent Peale and Ron Hubbard.
In the autumn of 1988, Julia formed Common Purpose which now operates in every area of the UK. The organisation aims to improve the way society works by increasing the number of informed individuals who are actively involved in shaping the future of the area in which they live and work. By bringing leaders from diverse backgrounds together, Common Purpose creates new networks for current and future senior decision-makers.
Common Purpose is developed world-wide through Common Purpose International and currently runs programmes in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, South Africa and Hungary and is currently developing programmes in India.
An enthusiastic supporter of Common purpose is Cressida Dick, colleague of Paul Gapper at the Met and very much in the news for having organised the murder of Jean Paul de Menezes (and endangering the public ... apparently).
Great people for Advisory Boards these common purpose folks - indeed Cressida Jack addressed the 4th meeting of the Leicester Police Independent Advisory Board at 246 people from 100 agencies crammed the Hanover Hotel, in Hinckley, Leicestershire, on May 24/5th 2004.
Lord Patel reported her remarks which were available on the Web at this url http://www.leics.police.uk/library/IAG04_summary.pdf - but they have disappeared (even from the wayback machine) apart that is from those copied by Lord Patel although an evaluaition report is still available - www.leics.police.uk/files/library/documents/IAG04_evaluation.pdf - which tells us that
the conference was funded by the Government Office for the East Midlands (then part of John Prescott's domain - and Julia Middleton is Head of Personnel selection in that office. Crime Concern undertook the evaluation, who are a charity funded by the Home Office. Chairman of Crime Concern is Michael - and from July 2005 - Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE - Michael Hastings who is the BBC’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and also a recent communications and strategy adviser to Lord John Stevens QPM, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner
Now Cressida and her pals are jointly in the dock at the Old Bailey and lissome, pert, intelligent, charming, well paid Clare Montgomery ( who defended Pinochet, Silvio Berlusconi and made sure Boris Berezovsky became a UK citizen) is leading the prosecution - she's not bringing the actual murderer into the dock (might upset them maybe, and who benefits from hearing from the guys who actually pulled the trigger , what was it 6/7/8/9//10/11/12/13/ times as he was held down ?)
Whilst well represented within the Police it is noticeable that members of the legal profession are well reprsented - Janet Paraskeva, the Law Society's Chief Executive Officer, also a publicly self declared lesbian and is also a Common Purpose graduate and there are many and increasing numbers in the law and enforcement professions. She is a non executive Director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency along with Sir Roger Wheeler - Director of the mercenary quasi MOD outfit Aegis who are well set up to provide the couple of battalionas that OAP Lady Jane Dame Pauline Neville Jones thinks should be on hand to quell public disorder.
Daily Mail 26th July 2007
Meanwhile, the Conservatives today published their plans for a homeland security force made up of two battalions and headed by a permanent leader. Former intelligence chief Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, who led a national and international policy group for the Conservatives, said: "We feel there needs to be a small force which is readily available, properly trained and has a command centre dedicated to looking after our territory at home."
Traudl Herrhausen, is the widow of Alfred Herrhausen. He was was the chairman of the Deutsche Bank , West Germany's largest, and a major member of the German business elite who had driven Germany's post war economic success - whilst East Germany declined.
She has maintained a public silence about his violent assassination on November 30th 1989.
His death was the result of plot executed with flawlessl military precision. A sack of armour piercing explosive on a parked bicycle was triggered remotely by an infra red beam as the first of the 3 car convoy passed. An observer then activated the device.
Construction workers had previously carefully laid the wire connecting the bomb and it's trigger under the pavement in the days preceding this extraordinarily well planned event - on a route he rarely used.
His death (it was said) represented a remarkable 3rd generation of the Red Army Faction utilising new techniques and technology.
With the wall down, known Red Army cadres who had been previously been granted political asylum in East Germany were rounded up. Beginning in about 1980, the Stasi granted refuge to 10 members of the Red Army Faction in East Germany and gave them assumed identities.
They all had solid alibis.
Sixteen months after Mr. Herrhausen's murder, the Red Army Faction claimed its last victim, killing Detlev Karsten Rohwedder, the head of the Treuhandanstalt, the powerful trust that controlled most state-owned assets in the former East Germany and was overseeing their privatization. Mr. Rohwedder was killed n 1st April 1990 by a remarkably skilled sniper while he was standing by the window of his house in Düsseldorf. A hitherto unknown modus operandi of the RAF who had neither the skill, experience or the required equipment (see pic of 3 shots determined the following night by using lasers to be 63 metres away - "Ein mörderisches Meisterstück" said a Bundeskriminalamt officer) . Der RAF ist es wieder einmal gelungen, eine Lücke im Sicherheitssystem zu entdecken - und sie auszunutzen. (cross ref IRA ownership of Barratt Sniper rifles usually handed out only by CIA)
In July 1991, German prosecutors claimed a possible breakthrough when an informant claimed he had allowed two members of the Red Army Faction to stay at his home near the Herrhausen residence. Prosecutors followed that trail 13 years before dropping charges in 2004.
In November 1989, as East Germany disintegrated, groups of citizens forced their way into Stasi installations, seizing control. In Wartin, a small village near the Polish Border a local church minister led a group of demonstrators to the main entrance of the Stasi base. The base closed.
This base was, we now the home to was home to the Stasi's AGM/S -- "Minister Working Group/Special Operations." It got its name because it reported to Mr. Erich Mielke, the minister who headed the Stasi for almost all of East Germany's 40-year history.
As Stasi records (the ones that have survived wholesale incineration)become publicly available it is becoming apparent that there were connections between the RAF and Stasi.
A year after the Red Army Faction's first generation collapsed in 1972, an internal Wartin report said cooperation with terrorists is possible if the individuals could be trusted to maintain secrecy and obey orders. Initial contacts, however, may not have taken place until later in the decade. Disillusionment gripped many of the terrorists living on the lam, according to court records citing witness statements by accused terrorists.
On 15th September 1981, Red Army Faction terrorists had attempted to kill U.S. Gen. Frederick James Kroesen in Heidelberg. They shot a bazooka at his car. About the same time, members of the same Red Army Faction team visited East Germany, where they were asked by the Stasi to shoot a bazooka at a car containing a dog. The dog died, according to court records.
Brigid Mohnhaupt took part in the assassination attempt on US General Frederick James Kroesen using an RPG-7 anti-tank rocket. Kroesen survived but was badly injured.
On 11 November 1982 she was arrested along with Adelheid Schulz, attempting to enter an RAF arms cache in woods near Frankfurt which had been staked out by GSG9 operatives who had infiltrated their cell. She was subsequently charged with involvement in the murder on 30 July 1977 of banker Jürgen Ponto, chairman of the Dresdner Bank board of directors in Oberursel, Taunus ,and also involvement in the kidnappijng and subsequent murder of ex Nazi and German employers representative Hanns Martin Schleyer.
(Off the A57 at Kaast near Cologne there are two new streets named Detlev-Karsten-Rohwedder-Str. and Hans Martin Schleyer Strasse)
She was found guilty and sentenced to 5 life sentences and has since spent most of her time in Aichach prison in Bavaria.
She was released on February 12th 2007
In Wartin, officials wrote up a detailed description of the Red Army Faction members' re-enactment of the Kroesen attack. "It is important to collect all accessible information about the terrorist scene in imperialist countries, to study and analyze their equipment, methods and tactics, so we can do it ourselves," a senior Wartin official wrote in February 1982, according to the report.
West German police discovered two buried caches of Red Army Faction weapons in 1982 and documents buried in German forests. Three terrorists, including Red Army Faction leader Christian Klar, were arrested when they approached the sites. The arms dumps were buried in locations easy to find at night, a tactic used by Wartin's own agents to store operational equipment in West Germany, according to an investigator who viewed the troves and Stasi records. (In May this year Germany's President Horst Köhler unexpectedly announced that he has refused clemency to the convicted RAF terrorists Christian Klar and Birgit Hogefeld.)
That same year, a Wartin official described the staged bombing of a moving vehicle. According to the report, several Stasi officers shed "tears of joy" when electronic sensors detected the approaching car and ignited the detonator.
Werner Grossmann, a former three-star Stasi General, former head of foreign intelligence operations, (and still alive) says the AGM/S was responsible for planning attacks in West Germany, but was dissolved "because it didn't produce results." Mr. Grossmann assumed control of part of the AGM/S after most of the unit was dissolved.
The Red Army Faction today is increasingly viewed by the German public as part of the social upheaval that plagued West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. More than a quarter of Germans consider former Red Army Faction members to have been misguided idealists. Many think that investigations should be closed for good in the coming decade when the current group of Red Army Faction prisoners finish serving their prison sentences.
You might like also to consider the case of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) , and the the kidnapping on November 25th 2005 the Bavarian archaeologist Susanne Osthoff (45) in Iraq and the surprising release of the Bavarian bonedigger after 3 weeks on December 18th 2005.
Pic Erich Mielke, Erich Honecker, Walter Ulbricht in 1970 - in the apparent harmony these guys who lived in the Wandlitz, the Berlin suburb with its grand 23 single family houses where the Politburo lived - Mileke had his spies even there, gardeners, cooks - like J Edgar Hoover he trusted no-one and had files on all.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Wine, Worship and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani
December 1, 2007–February 24, 2008 - Arthur M. Sackler Gallery - Smithsonian Institute New York
According to the Greek mythology, Colchis (Georgian: Kolkheti; Greek: Kolxis, kolґkIs) was a fabulously wealthy land situated on the mysterious periphery of the heroic world. Here in the sacred grove of the war god Ares, King Aeetes hung the Golden Fleece until it was seized by Jason and the Argonauts. Colchis was also the land where the mythological Prometheus was punished by being chained to a mountain while an eagle ate at his liver for revealing to humanity the secret of fire.
Less well known, however, is the archaeology of Colchis, with its intermingling of Greek, Persian, and local styles and traditions.
This unprecdented exhibition presents spectacular gold, silver, and ceramic vessels, jewelry, Greek bronze sculpture, Greek and Colchian coins, and Greek glassware. Together these artifacts form a rich and informative archaeological view of the ancient Asian country south of the Caucasus and its administrative center, in Western Georgia, Vani.
The exhibition features the contents of a grave found in Vani in 2004 containing elaborate Colchian gold hair-ornaments and appliqués for clothing; a Persian silver bucket, ladle, and libation bowls; Greek wine amphoras and red-figure pottery; and a Greek bronze torso. Additional highlights include Greek silver drinking cups of a kind that do did not survive in Greece itself (although they are well documented in the ancient sources); a magnificent Colchian gold necklace with thirty-one pendant tortoises, each decorated with tiny granulation; and a gold pectoral inlaid with carnelian and turquoise figures influenced by Egyptian, Greek, and Achaemenid jewellery.
In August 2007, the Georgian National Museum’s Otar Lordkipanidze Archeological Research Center discovered an exceptional treasure-trove of sacramental bronze objects, oil lamps, and statues dating from the Hellenistic period (2nd – 1st cc BC) at the archeological site of the ancient town of Vani. The objects are of exceptionally high artistic quality and are patterned with beautifully rendered mythological characters and animals. Experts believe this cache presents concrete evidence corroborating Vani’s existence as a templar city at the highest level of Colchian civilization and also prroves the Kingdom of Colchis’s strong ties with the rest of the world.
On September 1, 2007, US Ambassador to Georgia John F.Tefft, Mariella Tefft and PAO Cynthia Whittlesey were lucky enough to visit the Vani archeological site to see a recently unearthed sanctuary containing a number of unique sacramental objects. see pics.
According to Russia's Foreign Ministry, on September 20th a Georgian special forces unit crossed the border into Abkhazia and attacked servicemen at a military base belonging to the anti-terrorist center of the Abkhazian Interior Ministry
Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambasador to the UN , speaking at the UN in New York said it was an "unprovoked" attack on an "antiterrorist training" exercise. The incident took place in the Kodori Gorge, which straddles Georgian-controlled region which the Georgians have learnt to call call Upper Abkhazia and the pro-Russian breakaway region of Abkhazia which is controlled by the Sukhimi (principal port and airport on the Black Sea) based ethnic Abkhazi separatist government under President Bagapsh.
Churkin said the men were "instructors" and were killed with knives and gunshots to the head. Georgia, he said, has done everything to "aggravate tensions."
American educated and sometime lawyer with Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP in Washington (the new US Attoney general's firm) Georgian President Mikheil "Misha" Saakashvili, also in New York ,spoke at the UN on September 26, claiming that this was a "law-enforcement operation" aimed against illegitimate intruders.
"One has to wonder, what was a lieutenant-colonel of the Russian Army doing in the Georgian forest organizing and leading a group of armed insurgents in a
mission of subversion and violence. I want to ask our Russian friends: Is there not enough territory in Russia? Are there not enough forests in Russia for Russian officers not to die in Georgian territory, in Georgian forests? Whatever the explanation is, we regret the loss of life."
Last year, Russia cut transport and trade ties with Georgia, after Tbilisi arrested four Russian military officers it accused of spying.
In August this year, Georgia said a military jet illegally entered its airspace from Russia and dropped a missile before flying back to Russia. The missile landed in a field near Georgia's border with its breakaway region of South Ossetia, but did not explode. Russia denies the incident happened.
On August 29, Georgia detained three peacekeepers from the joint forces' North Ossetian battalion. Although one of them was released, two were sentenced later to two months imprisonment. Moscow has since constantly called on Tbilisi to release them.
Russia has been issuing passports to Abkhazians, the sunny coast is a popular tourist destination for Muscovites and they are developing extractive industry and tourism with Russian money.
One year ago on Septmber 27th 2006, President Saakashvilli visited the Kodori valley along with the Catholic Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia III with the parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze with members of the central government to officially change the name and designated the area as "Upper Abkhazia".
President Saakashvili addressed the nation during the opening of de jure Government headquarters in Chkhalta, Upper Abkhazia.
"We are here – Upper Abkhazia, very close to Sokhumi - and we are not going to leave this place. We will return to Abkhazia very soon, but only through peaceful means...We have told every foreign ambassador in Georgia that Abkhazia and Tbilisi are not separate entities...From now on the protocol of each foreign diplomat [visiting Abkhazia], apart from trips to Sokhumi, will also include the route to Abkhazia’s administrative center in the village of Chkhalta where the chairman of the Abkhaz government is Malkhaz Akishbaia."
President Saakashvilli (pic with his friend Dubya @ WH June 19th 2006 ***)has opened a new mountain road from Georgia to the Kodori valley yesterday and also confirmed he will seek re-election next year when his Saakashvili’s first term in office will expire.
On the domestic front President Saakashvilli faces froblems with the arrest of Irakli Okruashvili Once a close comrade , who was arrested on September 27, and is (ostensibly) charged with large-scale bribery through extortion, money laundering, misuse of power and negligence while serving as the Defense Minister.
There are however as Tina Khidasheli of the opposition Republican Party is reported saying ..... “The questions are simple: in Georgia nobody believes in official version of PM Zurab Zhvania’s death (said to be gas poisoning.. Ho.Ho.Ho); nobody believes in the official version of Sandro Girgvliani’s death.”
For more information Feb '05 "Caspian on the Cusp? Puzzling reports of death of Georgia PM " and also Nov '03 "Georgia, Velvet Underground in Overdrive " and the problems that caused Richard Miles the US Ambassador’s to express "concern" that Gazprom’s plans for piping gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to Erzurum, at the Georgian-Turkish border. would hamper the development of the Shah Deniz BP/Statoil pipeline.
For those who like this sort of thing there is a website dedicated to Sandro Girgvliani which starts ..."On 28 January 2006, Sandro Girgvliani was tortured and subsequently murdered in the woods near Tbilisi. The murder was ordered and executed by high-ranking officers of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs including Data Akhalaia, Vasil Sanodze, Oleg Melnikov, Guram Donadze and Tako Salakaia, wife of the Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili." read on.
*** Dubya and Misha were due to chat that day according to the WH .."The President and President Saakashvili will discuss developments in consolidating Georgia’s democratic transition since the President’s May 9-10, 2005 visit to Georgia, efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the separatist conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia within a unified Georgia, cooperation in Energy Security and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and our common commitment to working together to advance freedom and security around the world."
This amusing and entertaining piece is taken without permission (no contact e-mail is available) from a well written , amusing and often entertaining blog
Monday, July 02, 2007 - From Cicero's Songs
Pauline Neville Jones - An Apology
During one of the darkest episodes in British History in the early 1990s the then British Government sat on its hands while tens of thousands of civilians were slaughtered by Serbian death squads in Bosnia. Douglas Hurd, advised by his then Security Chief, Pauline Neville Jones, (pic. recent picture of OAP Pauline) campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the legal government of Bosnia Herzegovina could not defend itself against Serbian murderers.
He called this disgraceful policy "ensuring a level playing field".Tens of thousands of women were raped, tens of thousands were killed, and the population of such cities as Sarajevo and Dubrovnik were besieged by the Serbs in a medieval display of barbarity. 90% of the casualties were on one side- an interesting version of a level playing fieldVery shortly after they left office, "Dame Pauline" and "Lord Hurd" as they became, joined Nat West Markets as senior advisers and directors.
Three months after that Nat West Markets gained privatisation mandates from the Milosovic government in Belgrade to sell Telecom Srbije. ** The mandates in addition to making Nat West, Lord Hurd and Dame Pauline millions of Pounds also allowed Milosovic to raise tens of millions and continue the policy of violence and oppression that ultimately led to British Forces going into action to defend the civilian population of Kosova against renewed Serbian atrocities.
Some would consider therefore that Dame Pauline has a rather questionable reputation.
The Conservatives are more forgiving- they just made her a peer of the realm in the latest reshuffle.
Silly me- I thought that integrity and honesty were values that had universal respect. In fact dishonesty, greed and double dealing seem more highly prized by Mr. Cameron's "Cavaliers".
I am sure that the war victims of Bosnia and Croatia will welcome this appointment with great delight.
PS. Cicero does not appear to be an admirer of Bonker's Boris either - his crooked friend and ex-jailbird, fraudster, wannabe jewel thief , and gold smuggler Darius Guppy (Earl Spencer's one time sparring partner) or it appears Jeffrey Archer.
Since 2003, Telekom Srbija a.d. has been owned by two shareholders: PE PTT Traffic „Srbija“ and OTE Greece. PE PTT Traffic „Srbija“, i.e. the Republic of Serbia as the founder, has retained the “Golden Share” on the basis of which it has the right to veto on all strategic decisions of the Managing Board.