"“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, March 29, 2008

UK oil - the slippery slope

The Oil Drum Europe is the best source of information on the global / European energy market available - the articles are exceedingly well informed, clearly and concisely written and have good graphics.... and it's free. The comments are equal in quality and wide ranging. A must read. This months Oilwatch (Oilwatch Monthly - March 2008) makes, as ever, fascinating reading.

This graph should give Mr Brown and Mr Darling , sweaty palms as the costs of oil mports rise and the N.Sea tax take declines.

Soft porn of the terror of aerial bombing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan

Air Force Link today Female U-2 pilots say gender isn't a factor - In its 50 years of flight, only six women pilots have been at the controls of the U-2 Dragon Lady ......

For the real hard core stuff go here

Shiites hit the fan in Basra - USAF and RAF start bombing / strafing civilians - the air war helter skelters out of control

Iraq´s average crude oil production for February was 2.4 million barrels per day. Exports averaged 1.93 million barrels per day in the month - although any oil producion/refining/export figures must be viewed with a great deal of caution. "Overall progress has been very slow and there is still no comprehensive metering at oil fields, storage facilities or refineries," U.N. controller Warren Sach told the Security Council December 19th 2007 (Reuters)

Basra Rumaila South and North oil fields produce around 1.3 million barrels per day. The city also is home to one of Iraq´s three largest oil refineries, the Shuaiba refinery which has a capacity of 160,000 barrels a day but has been functioning below capacity at about 100,000 barrels per day.

Control over the southern oil fields and resources is what is really at the heart of the Battle of Basra...

US warplanes bombed Shia militiamen in Basra last night and helicopter gunships fired rockets in militia-controlled areas of Baghdad, as Iraqi government forces proved incapable of dislodging die-hard rebels on their own. The U.S. warplanes killed three militia fighters, the British military reported. The targets were a militia mortar team and a militia stronghold, said Maj. Tom Holloway, a British military spokesman.

Basra’s government hospitals received more than 60 people killed and 300 others wounded in the clashes that erupted since the midnight of Monday until Thursday evening,” the medical source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

Updated at 9:20 p.m. EDT, Mar. 28, 2008
At least 163 Iraqis were killed and 214 were wounded in the latest reports of violence. These figures included updated numbers from the Mahdi Army battles taking place since Tuesday.

Iraq’s prime minister has set a deadline for Shia militants in Basra to hand over their weapons, “All those who have heavy and intermediate weapons are to deliver them to security sites and they will be rewarded financially. This will start from March 28 to April 8,” the prime minister said.

Authorities imposed a three-day curfew in Baghdad to contain the violence, since the government launched the offensive on Tuesday. The U.S. military reported killing 78 "bad guys" in Baghdad in the past three days; American forces backed by combat helicopters continued Friday to battle members of the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, in Baghdad.

Mortar shells hit the offices of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, (a Sunni ,Iraqi Islamic Party and No 3 in the political line of precedence - 2 of his brothers and a sister were killed by Shiite death squads in 2006.) killing two guards and wounding 4 others.

Green Zone attacks this week have killed two Americans; embassy personnel are sleeping in the thick-walled former palace of Saddam Hussein for protection. U.S. government employees are going outside only on urgent business and wearing protective gear.

In an e-mail Friday night, Philip T Reeker, US Embassy spokesman said sleeping in the embassy was clearly a temporary precaution but "highly recommended given the harassing fire we've received in the past week. I, for one, have pulled out a cot in my office."

At 4 a.m. in Sadr City, a helicopter killed four fighters who were engaging U.S. forces with small-arms fire, officials said. At 7 a.m., a U.S. helicopter's Hellfire missile targeted a vehicle armed with rocket-propelled grenades, killing two fighters in the Adhamiyah district of northern Baghdad.

Later in the morning, soldiers fired on militants setting up improvised explosive devices and returning fire from and killing fighters who had rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

"In the last 48 hours, we have seen more extremists," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a military spokesman in Baghdad. He said the military had killed 78 "bad guys" in the past three days. "They are violating the rule of law. They are firing rockets indiscriminately. They are criminals and terrorists, and they deserve to die."

Lebanon - UN's 10th useless fucking report on Israeli murder of Hariri and the NATO/US base at Qlieat is coming along just fine.

Canadian and French speaking Quebecois prosecutor Daniel.A. Bellemare took office on January 1, 2008 as Commissioner of the International Independent Investigation Commission and has just produced the 10th, 4 monthly report on what is comically called "progress" on the death of Rafiq Hariri and 22 others on February 14th 2005.

Few will be moved or even iterested in the conclusion that "Commission can confirm, on the basis of available evidence, that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and that this criminal network or parts thereof are linked to some of the other cases within the Commission's mandate. "

You don't say ?

The "other cases" one assumes refer to attacks targeting members of Lebanon's security forces, On December 12th , 2007, the Head of Operations of the Lebanese Armed Forces, a Christian Maronite , Brigadier General Francois Al-Hajj ( posthumously promoted to Major General)- and his driver were killed by a bomb which injured 9 others at Baabda/Yarze which is the HQ of the Lebanese army and presidential palace. On January 25th , 2008, the Head of the technical section of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces, Captain Wissam Eid ( posthumously promoted to Major)- was bombed with 5 others leaving 42 injured.

The Commission is providing technical assistance to the Lebanese authorities in their investigations of these bombings.

This report is worthless and pointless.

"Investigations of this complexity cannot be rushed"

" Given the need to preserve confidentiality in its investigations, the Commission will not be disclosing any names."

"It (The Commission) has drawn up a revised schedule of priority interviews and re-interviews and implemented new procedures to streamline the process. "

"While the Commission is independent, it cannot operate in a vacuum"

"Confidentiality is key to any investigation"

Here is the critical part ..

Paras 25 and 26

25. The Commission can now confirm, on the basis of available evidence, that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and that this criminal network the "Hariri Network" - or parts thereof are linked to some of the other cases within the Commission's mandate.

26. The Commission has also gathered evidence establishing that

(i) the Hariri Network existed before the Hariri assassination;
(ii) it conducted surveillance of Rafiq Hariri before the assassination;
(iii) it was operative on the day of his assassination; and
(iv) at least part of the Hariri Network continued to exist and operate after the assassination.

Three years well spent then.

PS : Daniel .A. Bellemare is an avid collector who is forever looking for antique furniture (he also enjoys refinishing antique furniture himself), fountain pens, cuff links and police forage caps. His police hat collection is one of the most extensive anywhere and contains dozens of samples from every continent...

.... of more interest is his "tirelessly promot(ing) active cooperation between Canadian and American prosecutors, especially along the Canada-U.S. border ... "His efforts culminated in the joint National District Attorneys Assocciation Summer Conference "United States and Canada: Partners in Crime-Fighting" held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 2004." ... Good contacts in US then.

PPS : It is essential to understand that the bombings of have absolutely nothing to do with Jeffrey Feltman, the US ambassador in Lebanon, who has just moved on to Turkey. Feltman was an acolyte of British born Jew, Martin Indyk when he was US Ambassador to Israel for the 2nd time from January 2000 to July 2001 (the 1st and only non US born US Ambassador ever) . Indyk started out as a research director at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and is now a Senior Fellow and Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in the Foreign Policy Studies program at The Brookings Institution.(Who paid for Shrillary's lesbian palalong Huma Abidan's trips to Israel)

Feltman, through Indyk is said to have been closely linked to Ariel Sharon. he is also said to be associated with Karl Rove, is an associate of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans that created the false evidence and "mushroom cloud" intelligence used to justify attacks on Iraq.

All this of course has nothing to do with the "US-Lebanese Center for Rehabilitation of the Army " (AKA NATO "The Lebanese Army and Security training centre") scheduled to be located at Kleiaat (Qleiat),Bibnin Akkar airport which Hariri was so opposed to (he wanted to develop a freeport) . Which is also remarkably close to nearby Syrian Port at Lathikiya which the Russians are developing as a naval centre.... but ideal fora NATO/US base on the lines of the Qatari monster El-Udeid base, for covert operations against the Syrian regime and to safeguard the oil pipelines of Baku-Tiflis-Ceyhan and Mosul-Kirkuk-Ceyhan... and oddly the brain child of Ariel Sharon. (Whose amputated legs are being preserved to be buried with him) . UPDATE 1/4/08 - Naturally it will also usefully provide cover for the Iran / Turkish drugs routes.

This non-existent and entirely illusory base for "training for the Lebanese army and security forces fighting Salafi, Islamist fundamentalists and other needs" has been recently visited by Eric Edelman, the US Undersecretary of Defense for policy ( who followed the wonderful Douglas Feith ( “Dumbest Fucking Guy on the Planet.” ) , with a hefty parcel of Pentagon planners (Edelman was a recess appointment as his selection was stalled in the senate) . Edelmans large party also met Fouad Saniora, Defense Minister Elias el-Murr and the US 's favourite Army General Michel Suleiman who could be said to have benefited by the untimely demise of Major general (posthumous) Francois Al-Hajj in December.

Interestingly VP Cheney's acolyte Edelman was Ambassador to Turkey 03-05 where Feltman is headed and was described as ""Edelman act(ed) more like a colonial governor than an ambassador... (He) is probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history, and his reputation is not likely to recuperate."

Nor has this anything to do with Elliot Abrams and others such as AIPAC staffer Rachael Cohen who said , "“We need to get this base built as quickly as possible as a forward thrust point against Al Qaeda and other (Hezbollah / Hamas) terrorists"

Nor has this anything to do with a recent visitor to Qleiat by fluent Arabic speaker David Welch , US Ambassador to Egypt 2001-5 and now US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He made a surprise visit to Lebanon on 14th December last year - almost simultaneously with the untimely demise of Major general (posthumous) Francois Al-Hajj .

Nor has this anything to do with the Lebanon's two main political factions having agreed to nominate Army Commander General Michel Sulieman as the country's next president who so benfited from the untimely demise of Major general (posthumous) Francois Al-Hajj , and whom the US appear to admire so much.

PPS : None of this is to suggest that the US Embassy in Beirut/ US State Department / had foreknowledge of the untimely demise of Major general (posthumous) Francois Al-Hajj

"عوكر تحكم لبنان بالسياسة والامن. ومن لم يصدق هذه الحقيقة، كان عليه ان يتابع الاتصالات التي كان يجريها السفير الاميركي في بيروت جيفري فيلتمان وفريقه، امس، مع قوى الاكثرية، حول ادق تفاصيل الاجراءات الامنية في بيروت." : PPPS

Mengistu - the sinister power behind Mugabe's throne

Take a ruthless Dictator who was responsible for 500,000 (Amnesty International) deaths during a reign of “Red Terror.”

Take a Dictator whose regime was involved in unspeakable crimes and atrocities, and many of whose members now languish in jail. A regime whose soldiers would not release a victim's body for burial until the victim's family had paid back the cost of the bullet used in the killing.

Take a Dictator whose security forces systematically tortured political prisoners, dipping bodies in hot oil, raping and inserting bottles and heated metals in bodies of female prisoners,

Take this dictator and install him in a luxurious estate in Zimbabwe, let him have medical treatment in South Africa.

Who? Mengistu Haile Mariam 17 years the bloodthirsty quasi Marxist tyrannical ruler of Ethiopia whose fall followed Russian withdrawal of support.

Who organised his departure from Ethiopia ?

The United States embassy in Zimbabwe confirmed in 1999 the US was involved in obtaining a safe haven for the former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

The embassy said in a statement that then Assistant Secretary of State Hank Cohen had been involved in negotiations which resulted in Mengistu arriving in Harare in 1991. … where he still is.

At the time President Mugabe proudly boasted,"Both the Americans and Canadians even offered to assist financially if we could not meet the expenses of looking after Mengistu," he said. "We have not received a cent because we have not requested their assistance. He (Mengistu) helped a lot of the continent's liberation movements."

In March 2001 Mengistu and seven male relatives, all of whom fled Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, when the regime was overthrown by pro-democracy forces in 1991, had become permanent residents on the orders of John Nkomo, the home affairs minister.

Gunhill luxury

In Harare, Ex President of Ethiopia Mengistu lives in the lap of luxury in the Gunhill suburbs, with 24-hour security from the police VIP protection unit and the CIO at the Zimbabwean taxpayers' expense.

The Mugabe government has allocated Mengistu two large farms, one in Mazowe and another in Norton. Mengistu owns a separate home in Bluffhill and more likely owns more.

He drives at least six luxury cars, including a Mercedes Benz, a Toyota Prado, a Toyota Avensis, a BMW and a twin-cab truck. Mengistu enjoys a special fuel scheme from the state's National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for personal use and for his farms, and his vehicles are serviced free of charge at the central mechanical equipment department.

In 1995, Mengistu survived an attempt on his life when an Eritrean, Solomon Ghebre Haile Michael, and Abraham Goletom Joseph tried to assassinate him at his Gunhill residence. The two were arrested and subsequently sentenced to 10 and five years' imprisonment respectively.

Mengistu was said to be concerned when the MDC nearly won the 2000 parliamentary elections and the 2002 presidential elections. Mengistu is said to have then made plans to relocate to either China or North Korea, but he knew very well that he would not get the same comforts as he did in Harare.

It is therefore in his interest that Zanu-PF and ideally, Mugabe rules forever. Mengistu is said to have been born in 1937, but like his parentage this is not certain.

Mengistu guilty of genocide.

An Ethiopian court on Tuesday December 12th 2006 found Mengistu guilty in his absence of genocide )plus for atrocities committed under his Marxist regime, after a 12-year trial.

At the time William Nhara, a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, said."As a comrade of our struggle, Comrade Mengistu and his government played a key and commendable role during our struggle for independence and no one can dispute that," William Nhara, a spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's government, said.

"The judgment is an Ethiopian judgment and will not affect his status in Zimbabwe. As far as we know there is no extradiction treaty between Harare and Addis Ababa."

Nhara said Mengistu helped train Zimbabwean guerillas in Ethiopia and provided arms during the war against British colonial rule which culminated in the country's independence in 1980.

"After independence Comrade Mengistu's government provided training for our air force pilots and not many countries have shown such commitment to us."

Paul Mangwana, the government's acting information and publicity minister, told Reuters at the time "Mengistu applied for asylum and we granted him (it) ... the position remains the same."

Mangwana assumed the preposterously named office of Minister of Indigenisation and Empowerment in February 2007 and the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill, which provides for Zimbabweans to hold a majority share in all businesses, was passed in March 2008 and approved by President Mugabe on March 8th.

Mangwana said that the law did not mean expropriation would take place and that there was "no reason to panic". He noted that existing businesses would "need time to adjust" and said that "engagement and consultation" would take place within a timeframe of perhaps five or ten years. Defending the law, he said that "the revolution is not complete until indigenous Zimbabweans own the means of production".A phrase that betrays the hand of Mengistu and his Marxist Leninist oratory - who is said to be the architect of this expropriation by the state of private businesses.

Mangwana has been nominated by ZANU-PF as its candidate for the House of Assembly seat from Chivi Central constituency, in Masvingo Province, in the tpdays parliamentary elections.

Mengistu and Operation Murambatsvina

Sources claimed to be within Zimbabwe's feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) say that Mengistu, now acts as President Robert Mugabe's security adviser, warned the Zimbabwean leader that the swelling slum and backyard population in Zimbabwe was creating a fertile ground for a mass uprising.

Called very extravagantly Operation Murambatsvina, the controversial home-demolition exercise left at least 700 000 people homeless and affected another 2,4-million people, according to a report by United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka.

first suggested the slum clearance idea to Mugabe in February, at one of the regular meetings he holds with the president and other senior security chiefs from the army, the CIO and the police.

After Mugabe accepted the idea, it was followed by several weeks of meticulous planning. Operation Murambatsvina began in May, a few weeks after the ruling Zanu-PF party trounced the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a controversial parliamentary election.

Planning Operation Murambatsvina

The first meeting to plan the logistics of the operation was chaired by Mengistu himself at CIO headquarters in Harare, and was attended by defence forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perence Shiri, CIO director general Happyton Bonyongwe, his deputy, Menard Muzariri, and director of prisons Brigadier Zimondi. The police were represented by Deputy Commissioner Godwin Matanga.

Mengistu chaired other meetings , during which video clippings of Zimbabwe's 1998 food riots, with footage of mass uprisings in the Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Ethiopia, were shown to the group, which called itself Operation Murambatsvina's "high command".

After a series of meetings of the "high command", the group later met government ministers, mayors and administrators sympathetic to the government, such as Harare Commission chairperson Sekesai Makwavarara and Bindura mayor Martin Dinha, who endorsed the operation.

Mengistu then prepared a final document on the operation, which he submitted to Mugabe. The president endorsed it. Operation Murambatsvina, according to the plan, was to be implemented in phases, starting with flea markets suspected of fuelling economic crimes, mainly illegal foreign-currency trade

Operation Garikai / Hlalani Kuhle

A project to rebuild homes after Operation Murambatsvina was envisaged in Mengistu's plan, though the main objective would be to window-dress the main purpose of the slum-clearance exercise.

This project, later dubbed "Operation Garikai / Hlalani Kuhle ", would naturally not accommodate all the displaced people and would mainly benefit Zanu-PF supporters caught up in the destruction process.

Reducing the Zimbabwean population

These Mengistu planned operations were initially planned it appears to simply reduce the population of Zimbabwe. Continuing repression and economic implosion has resulted in an exodus of 25% of the population to Zambia, South Africa and beyond.

Meanwhile the Mengistu inspired and recently passed Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill is sold as giving black Zimbabweans the power to share in the wealth of their country.

Mr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told the BBC. "It is an historic economic empowerment bill that has been signed,"

It is of course merely another step in the rape of a beautiful country calculated to discourage inward investment.

Unable to feed the people

Didymus Mutasa the Minister of State for National Security, Land, Land Reform and Resettlement is reported portentously saying that while the country continues to import maize from Zambia, South Africa and Malawi, the Zim Government is considering alternative sources. As if.

Meanwhile in his increasingly crazy rallies across the country, President Mugabe tells supporters that no one will starve, as Government will import enough maize. He said 500 000 tonnes of maize had been paid for and Government was awaiting to take delivery of the grain.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Banker's Money Pit swallows helicopter funds at an increasing and alarming rate. When do the Fed and the BOE run out of paper and printing ink ?

The quantity of money that the US Federal Reserve is prepared to throw out of the helicopters is truly staggering. Just to keep you up to speed , Banks and securities firms have posted losses exceeding $188 billion since the start of last year as the impact of surging defaults on subprime mortgages has roared through world financial markets like a tsunami on a Thai holiday beach.

That really is one helluva hole to fill.

That of course is merely the write offs they have made, what else is hiddden on their rotten fraudulent balance sheets ? What unrecoverable loans are there out there ? For example Barclays (on Dec 20th) are sueing (some fucking hope) Bear Stearns for US$400 Mn over 2 collapsed (and likely fraudulently run) Cayman Islands based Hedge funds.

Fed Chairman Bernanke started to fill up the bottomless money pit a day later on 21st December offering a measly Christmas present of US $20 billion, (Technically, the Fed auctioned off US$20 billion in loans - just to confuse they call it - Term Auction Facility TFA) which 93 banks bid for US$61 BN at a rate of 4.65% - which was a 10 basis points below the Fed's discount window at the time of 4.75%.

Then well after the Christmas turkey had been gobbled, he held some slightly more generous US$30Bn auctions , quickly followed by the promise of of 2 planned auctions on March 10 and March 24 of US$50 Bn. dollars - now he has anniounced the same unpleasant medicine for the moral hazardless bankers of a further US$100 BN in April - and the rumour is this will carry on at this rate until September. Or even at a higher level.."The Federal Reserve, shortly before the report was released, underscored its concern for the economy by saying it will pump more cash into financial markets to try to ease credit."

In an unorthodox move the Fed is llowing investment banks to borrow from it directly - a facility previously only the privilege of commercial banks. Presumably the loan of US$29 Bn. to J P Morgan for Bear Stearns made the process a mockery ... which is what it was.

The Fed's chairman, Ben Bernanke, will be quizzed about the auctions, by Congress next week, but they haven't got any bright ideas about what to do either . Does it have anything to do with the slide against the Euro? The yawning trade deficit ? The yawning budget deficit ?.. well never mind the suckers who voted will get their tax backs soon and everything , everything I tell ya will be fine.

Please don't anyone ask what happens when the Fed run out of pritning ink and paper.

Spring Break is just around the corner !!!!

This week there were concerted moves by central banks to bring down the Libor - the rate at which banks lend to one another - which stays stubbornly at levels that prevailed at the beginning of the credit crunch. As the banks are all liars and crooks, they won't lend to each other as they know all the other bankers are liars and crooks and they can't sucker the public much longer and stuff their fictuive balance sheets with illusory assets.

Its's no better in London

Bank of England governor Mervyn King met the Commons Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday, after the Bank put an extra £5bn into the market last week.

..." The Bank of England would continue to offer extra money in the markets as a short-term way of boosting confidence in the system," and added , confirming that they haven't a fucking clue what to do ..."The Bank of England would continue to offer extra money in the markets as a short-term way of boosting confidence in the system"

" longer-term solutions would be discussed with UK banks" .. i.e we will see if they have got any better ideas what to do.

..today the £ closed against the € down 0.092 or 0.75% @ € 1.26215 lowest ever.

The UK housing market has healthy demand boosted by insane planning laws, pent up demand from a ruising population, and fragmenting families - the market is sound although prices will rise more slowly (apparently only 1% nationally last year) and mortages will be more expensive. The insane HIP's , stamp duty, and other costs will help depress upward mobility and therfore market movement.

Wages will be held down, as inflation, led by energy and food costs will roar away pushed by global markets and forces.

Sterling will decline, against the Euro and end up at something like parity by Christmas. The decline against the dollar will be slower and shallower probably hitting US$1.80 at the same time.

Unemployment is such a fudged figure it is impossible to evaluate how it will be affected.

Constrained by the flow of funds Goverment spending will be hit, aircraft carriers, Nimrod, and asome submarines will go. The NHS will feel the pinch, transport subsidies will be cut ....

And Benranke and King the helicopter pilots will take a well cushioned early retirement.

Boeing forced to buy 787 assembler Global Aeronautica stake where construction problems are focussed, from Vought Industries

The Boeing Company have announced today that they will acquire the 50% interest in Global Aeronautica (GA) previously held by Vought Aircraft Industries. There was no explanation provided nor did they disclose terms of the transaction.

GA is also 50% owned by Alenia North America and operates a fuselage subassembly plant for the 787 near Charleston, S.C.

Alenia North America, is part of the giant Italian engineering conglomerate Finmecanicasa. Alenia builds the center fuselage sections 44 and 46 in its facilities and delivers these to the Global Aeronautica integration facility. Alenia also manufactures the horizontal stabilizer of the 787 in its Foggia facility.

Vought will continue to produce the 787 aft fuselage sections 47 and 48 in a new 342,000-square foot building and employs about 300 workers at its South Carolina plant adjacent to Global Aeronautica. (Rumour has it that this has been the source of some major problems)

Elmer Doty, president and chief executive officer, Vought Aircraft Industries, said, “This seamless transition of joint venture ownership will build upon the strong foundation already established within Global Aeronautica. Selling our interest has no impact on our adjacent facility, where the Vought 787 team remains focused on manufacturing composite fuselage sections for this incredible airplane.

Boeing’s 787 program vice president, Pat Shanahan, says cautiously that the move is intended to help “overcome supply-chain challenges.” Other sources say that Boeing will work with Alenia "to apply proven lean manufacturing expertise to continue improving the efficiency and productivity of Global Aeronautica's operations," while Vought, the partner which has been bought out, "will focus on its primary business of delivering quality aft fuselage structures for the 787."

Let's hope that it works.

Seattle's Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001 has taken the opportunity to ram home their concerns about global outsourcing..."We are hopeful this is an indication that the company realizes that not just anyone can engineer, design and build these very complex aerospace products,” said Ray Goforth, executive director of the union representing engineers and technical workers at Boeing. “Our members have been saying for some time that this global network is not working.”

Employees working on the 787 program have voiced concerns about unnecessary rework required on parts coming in from outside Boeing. In some areas, employees are working 20 to 40 percent overtime and traveling frequently to help suppliers. SPEEA members at the former Boeing plant in Wichita, now operated by Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., have expressed the same concerns.

Boeing have problems with parts, construction re-designs, claims, the last thing they ned for the health of their US operations is Union problems and difficulties with the upcoming wage negotiations....

In October, SPEEA begins main table negotiations with Boeing for 21,000 employees in Washington, Kansas, Oregon, Utah and California. Negotiations begin in May for 3,000 represented employees at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. in Wichita, Kansas.

Boeing closed down 75 cents = 1.0% at US$73.47

CIA sponsored, funded and organised Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 on April 6th cannot be stopped by Prime Minister - OFFICIAL

Readers will be aware we sought to set up a No 10 Downing Street petition yesterday ... Olympic Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 - join in the fun organised by your local branch of the CIA

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: 'Take the necessary steps to prevent the Central Intelligence Agency to organise a Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 on 6th April, when the official Olympic Torch will proceed through London.'

Well the e-petition team have replied (very prompt service) ...


I'm sorry to inform you that your petition has been rejected.....

Your petition was classed as being in the following categories:

* Outside the remit or powers of the Prime Minister and Government

So there you have it, the Prime Minister and Government haven't the power to stop the CIA organising the Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 on 6th April.

Nice to get that officially.

Now who fancies a,

" Muslim, brown men with beards and brown women in jibjabs against Chinese Hui Muslim's having the shit kicked out of them by CIA inspired and funded Tibetan mobs and the burning down the Lhasa mosque - Freedom Torch Relay 2008 to Grosvenor Square" ? ***

**** Police closed off Lhasa's Muslim quarter today (Guradian)

I bet that's well within his fucking remit and power to stop.

Incidentally, anyone notice that Presidential wannabe McCain who says he wants to wage a vigorous war against Islamic radicals worldwide, sent his wife Cindy to Pristina to meet gangsta, Muslim mass murderer, Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci yesterday? All part of the CIA campaign to encourage precedent for Tibet and Taiwan separation and independence from China.

Cyprus - inaction, a building boom, lack of investment ... droughts, lead to predictable water shortages / rationing

It was evident in November 2007 that water shortages loomed in Cyprus.Vlassis Partassides, head of water management at Cyprus’s Water Development Department, looking at resevoirs 10% full said in a Reuters inetrview “If the drought continues for a fourth year, the consequences will be very severe.”

As of today the 17 resevoir systems with a capacity of 273,636 million cubic metres (MCM) have current stocks of 27,972 MCM or just 10.2% of their capacity and the maximum they have held throughout all of 2007 was 72,20 MCM.The country has , with desalination and increasingly drying and salinated boreholes approximately 50 MCM to last until the end of the year; realistically, it needs at least 66.7 million cubic meters.

Since 1972, rainfall has decreased 20% and runoff into reservoirs has decreased by 40%. Briefly That is Cyprus has now roughly 40% less water than had been assumed based on pre-1970 rainfall records.

Costas Papastavros, head of the Cypriot national climate change unit said desertification is also becoming a serious problem. "It is not just that we do not have water in dams for irrigation, but we are looking at a decline in the productivity of soil, and we have a tremendous problem.”

The demand for water in Cyprus, for now, outstrips supply. Experts estimate the island will need almost 180 million cubic feet of water until the new year. Kouris, one of the island’s largest and most important dams, was in November 2.5% full, with 3.23 million tons of water. It is the principal supply for Nicosia and the heavily populated (and tourist areas) southern districts of Limassol and Larnaca.

Indeed the development of water supplies has been a triumph historically - ""No drop of water to the sea". From surface reservoirs from 6 6 MCM in 1960, total capacity has reached 307,5 6 MCM today. Only when it rains.

The desalinization plants , the first which opened on 1 April 1997 at Dhekelia, (40,000 C) and the plant at Larnaca Airport ( 50,000 m3/day ) opened 4 years later , can , on continuous operation only supply 45% of demand, and fuel oil input costs have rocketed.

No water ? Panic! Panic! Panic! ration / fine / threaten

So water rationing has been introduced again from this Wednesday March 26th , water 3 days a week for 12 hours per day. Sufficient to fill a 1 ton rooftop tank but hopeless for a family of say 5. Of course some people have installed extra tanks over the years and this results in constant low water pressure when water is available. Hosepipe usage is banned with a fine of C£50.

Pipelines will be constructed to the resevoirs to take 8 MCM of water shipped from Greece , but this will not arrive for 5 months.For the water to be transported, a 400 meter pipe plus a four kilometer conveyor needs to be built. It will take at least five months for this supporting infrastructure to be built. (Costs ? No-one is saying, or who will be paying - sidelong glance to Brussels ?)

A new desalination plant being built at Episkopi will be uprated to double the daily output from a 40,000 m3/day to 80,000 m3/day which may be operating by October when all the tourists have gone home.

Oh! There's a masterstroke in the plan. An awareness campaign - TV ads.More TV ads, maybe some on the endless pop Radio programs.

Agriculture hit hard

The water scarcity has been disastrous for the country's agriculture, as desalinized fresh water is too expensive to use for irrigation.

To make problems worse, the liberalization of the Cypriot import regime under EU membership has allowed foreign competition in the domestic fruit and vegetable market. TYHis has also been swollen by lower cost non European exporters such as Syria, Egypt and Israel . Potato farmers, whose concentration in the "Kokkinokhoria" (red soil villages) also leads to manipulation of subsidies and they have become adroit at obtaining State subsidies.

Now however , less potatoes are bought by increasingly fastidious housewives with clods of earth on them , and supermarkets want smaller potatoes for ease of packaging in 2 - 2.5 KG quantities.
A study by Protonique SA in 1998 a qualitative appreciation of the supply of potable and non-potable water in Cyprus updated by EnviroTech Limited, Larnaka, Cyprus is available here. It hs been lying around Government offices for a long time. Ignored.

The smart money will be importing bottled water. In quantity. Probbly with funny Russian labels.

Georgia's IDS Borjomi Group have just bought bought Georgian sourced Edelweiss bottled water off Gazprom for an estimated $25-30 million. It is banned in Russia.

Vagit Alekperov's LUKoil owns the oil industry in CYprus ... must give him a call to see what he intends to do about selling water. probbly catch him in the Turkish casinos celebrating his stunning deal in Iraq which the Western Press are studiously ignoring. Thursday, March 27, 2008 - LUKoil revive and seal a deal with Maliki and Talibani for Western Qurna-2 field - Russia writes off US$12 Bn debt to Saddam

The Commander in Chief celebrates the aerial bombing of Iraq at "Wright-Patt"

Baghdad Thursday, June 08, 2006 - Loud applause broke out at a press conference in Baghdad as Prime Minister Nuri -Al-Maliki, flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, announced that "Zarqawi was terminated." (Fox)

"At a press conference in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell showed a photograph of Zarqawi's body and video of U.S. F-16's dropping two 500-pound bombs on the house near Baqouba.

Gen. Caldwell said there was "100 percent confirmation" that Zarqawi was in the house prior to the attack. He added that six other people were killed in the attack, including one woman and one child."

In a chilling postscript to this story which Chicken Yoghurt draws to out attention, the Commander on Chief was speaking yesterday at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Dayton, Ohio.

"I do want to thank General Bruce Carlson, Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command; Colonel Colleen Ryan; and all those wear the uniform. I'm proud to be with you, and I'm proud to be your Commander-in-Chief." (Applause.)

"On a fateful day in this war, airmen delivered justice to the al Qaeda terrorist Zarqawi, in the form of two precision-guided, 500-pound bombs." (Applause.)

Bandit36 who produced and uploaded the above You Tube video is a 26 year old who says he is deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and is stationed in the International Zone (aka the Green Zone) in Baghdad. My wife and newborn son are waiting for me back in Germany.

This is a picture of him and his family from his blog . after leaving Iraq when he says ..."I've turned over my key, my cell phone, my desk, my computer, my responsibilities."

To which somebody thoughtfully added this comment.......

Your latest US Air Force news ... March 23 airpower summary: F-16s keep vigilant ..."In total, 40 close-air-support missions were flown as part of the ISAF and Afghan security forces" ..."In total, coalition aircraft flew 59 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom."

US House sales increase 3%, prices 8-11% down in last 12 months - Vegas / Miami in meltdown

The Standard & Poors Home Price Index for the US in January is now published and shows an 11.4% drop in January from a year earlier, the largest annual drop since the index was started in 1987.

S&P ' s comments highlight ;

•All 20 cities are down month to month for the last five months
•Only one –Charlotte, NC –is up over the last 12 months
•10 of 20 are down by double digits in the last 12 months
•Ten City Composite down 13.4% from the peak, 20 City composite down 12.5% from the peak
•Miami, FL and Las Vegas, NV show largest declines in last 12 months, 19.3% each
•Miami, FL home prices are 125% greater than in 2000, In Los Angeles, CA prices are 124% above 2000
•In Detroit, MI home prices are virtually the same as in 2000
•In Cleveland, OH, home prices are only 8.5% above 2000
(The index does NOT include new houses and excludes foreclosures)

The National Association of Realtors report for February also published this week showed median home prices declined from US$213,500 February 2007 to US$195,900 - a drop of 8.2% but prices have been trading in a narrow range since September.

Realtors took comfort ( and they need it) from existing-home sales ( transactions closed) – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 2.9 % to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million units in February up from 4.89 million in January, but way, way down on the ( 23.8%) the 6.60 million-unit level in February 2007.

Total housing inventory fell 3.0% at the end of February to 4.03 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 10.2-month supply in January.

This is a neat chart from S&P's webcast presentation that puts the current house price levels in historical context .....Click to enlarge

Fancy that swish, cheap condo in Vegas ? More details here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mortgage market in the UK remains sound

The Major British Banking Groups (MBBG) account for some two-thirds of all mortgage lending outstanding and around 70% of gross lending. Additionally, they provide over half of all consumer credit outstanding and, within that, some 70% of all card credit. They include twelve of the fifteen largest mortgage lenders in the UK: Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays and Woolwich, Bradford & Bingley, HBOS (through Halifax and Bank of Scotland), HSBC Bank, LloydsTSB (through Cheltenham & Gloucester), Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland and National Westminster.

1. Today they announced that January's gross mortgage lending was £16.6 Bn. and dropped 9% to £14.9 Bn in February 2008 (Feb 2007 = £ 14.0 Bn.)

2. 167,000 mortgages were approved (for all purposes) in February with an average loan approved for house purchase of £150,400, some 14% higher than a year earlier. It took 9 years for mortages to double from £50K to £100K and 4 years to rise to £150K. The total figure included new loans of 47,365 a 35% fall from the 72,339 home loans February 2007. When the crooks at Northern Wreck were lending to anyone who walked through the door and took 20% of the UK market)

3. Nett mortgage lending (gross lending minus repayments and redemptions) rose by £5.2bn, (Januarys increased by £5.4bn). The annual growth in net mortgage lending continued at around 14%.

4. Credit card borrowing was unchanged (Actually declined by £4 Mn.) in the month, while other loans and overdrafts fell by £0.2bn. New borrowing on credit cards totalled £6,224mn in February; 7% lower than February 2006. (This compard with increase in mortgage lending shows how borrowers prioritise their credit needs - housing is No 1 - belt tightening not wage increases driving growth)

5. Compared to February 2006, House purchase approvals declined by 5% in number and 8% in value in February year on year.Remortgaging approvals were up 6% by number and up 22% by value. Approvals for equity withdrawal ( A species of theft from the elderly - the first tranche of mortgages sold off by Northern Wreck to Sacks of Gold) were unchanged by number but 10% higher by value.

Which suggests that the housing market is firm and that some degree of rigour has been attached to loan approvals, which was long overdue. There appears little evidence of any decline in prices or willingness to adopt loans for £150,000. (Average household income (NIS) is approx £27,000) , this average value has increased in 12 months by 14% - well in excess of any rise in national incomes.

Joke of the Week

``I would be surprised if, in a few years time, house prices are markedly above where they are now,'' Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on March 26 to Commons Treasury Select Committee with members of the Monetary Policy Committee in tow - including the hapless and hopeless Sir John Gieve.

We are stuck with this incompetent twat for 5 more years - even former MPC member DeAnne Julius said the BOE isn't cutting interest rates fast enough said Mervyn King was "behind the curve".

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was £4.1 billion in January. The deficit on trade in goods was £7.5 billion, and the surplus on trade in services was £3.4 billion.

As indigenous energy sources, oil/gas/coal decline, and imports rise this gap will inexorably rise.

King's response is to throw money out of the helicopters at the banks, the pound declines (from 1.36Euros to 1.26 in the last 3 months)from 1.47 Euros to 1.26 in 12 months.

And inflation roars away ... Lordy Lord "Don I gotta Winner" King of the Bank said at the Mansion House 16th June 2007...

"Our central view remains that inflation will fall back this year as the rises in domestic gas and electricity prices last year drop out of the annual comparison, and the recent cuts in prices feed through to household bills."

What a twat.

In a trading statement this morning Northern Foods PLC hid away a little nugget ..."Average prices were 7.5% higher as Northern Foods recovered the hike in raw materials costs from its customers."

Friday 8.30 pm GMT ... £ closed against the € down 0.092 or 0.75% @ € 1.26215 lowest ever.

Iceland - funds freezing up.

It was 3 years ago when we first posted about Iceland's extravagant economy Wednesday, April 05, 2006 Arctic warms ? Iceland market cools down ?It was the year during which Miss Iceland , Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir reigned as Miss World.

What are the effects .... ?

Iceland, has a freely floating currency, and like the UK and US it's 300,000 folks have borrowed heavily to buy houses. Inward investment has been high as has outward investment (Baugur etc.,) The Icelandic economy expanded a hefty 8% in 2004 and 5.5% in 2005, inflation doubled to 4.5% (ish ... they fiddle their Retail Price Index as much as the US Fed and the UK Treasury does) double their "target" of 2.5%.

Result ? The central bank slams on the brakes, interest rates now a heart stopping 11.5%...other rises rumoured.

Result ? The Icelandic krona has declined 10% ( and falling) and import prices are rising.

Now the Daily Telegraph tells us ...

"As Iceland goes, so go the Baltics, the Balkans, Hungary, Turkey, and perhaps South Africa. All are living far beyond their means, plugging the gaping holes in their accounts with fickle flows of foreign finance. All have let credit grow far above the safe "speed limit", some exceeding 50pc a year."

Iceland's risky high-wire act of the last 5 years has run our of road. Interest rates went up to 15% this week and the krona, has fallen 18pc since mid-March.

The country's all-conquering banks - led by Kaupthing, Glitnir, and Landsbanki - have pushed the asset base of the Icelandic banking system to a world record 8 times GDP, tapping the global capital markets to launch "Viking raids" across Britain, Scandinavia and beyond.

This spigot of easy credit has now been turned off.

The Telegraph lists these Icelandic holdings in the UK...

Icelandic stakes in UK Plc
Baugur (investment company)
Mosaic Fashions, Coast, Karen Millen, Oasis, Odille, Principles, Shoe Studio Group, Warehouse, Whistles, Jane Norman, MK One, All Saints, House of Fraser, Booker, Iceland, Woodward Foodservice, Julian Graves and Whittard of Chelsea, Hamleys, Aurum, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Wyevale Garden Centres, Watches of Switzerland, Debenhams, Woolworths, French Connection, Moss Bros

Arev (investment company)
Aspinal of London, Blooming Marvellous, Cruise, Duchamp, Hardy Amies, GHOST, Jones Bootmaker, Limeys, Linens 'n Things, Mountain Warehouse, Unisport

Kaupthing (investment bank)
Singer & Friedlander, Somerfield

FL Group (investment company)
Inspired Gaming Group, House of Fraser (they once owned 30% of Easyjet)

Landsbanki (investment bank)
On February 28th Moody's Investors Service downgraded the long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings of Landsbanki Islands hf ("Landsbanki") to A2 from Aa3 and its bank financial strength rating ("BFSR") to C- from C.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson (Icelandic billionaire)
West Ham Football Club Box Label DT

LUKoil revive and seal a deal with Maliki and Talibani for Western Qurna-2 field - Russia writes off US$12 Bn debt to Saddam

We have many times referred to the contacts and connections between our old friend Vagit Alekperov and the Iraqi oil industry. Well just as the major US oilcos are signing "technical" agreements, Vagit calls to tell us he is in Baghdad cutting a deal for reviving the LUKoil's contract for Iraq's Western Qurna-2 field. West Qurna-2 field is one of the biggest in the world with the proven reserves of above 800 million tons of oil (6 billion barrels), according to LUKOIL.

Current estimates he tells us, involve a US $4 billion project with annual earnings from oil production at $21 billion. The Western Qurna-2 field should have been developed under a production sharing contract (PSC), an agreement on which was signed with beastly old Saddam in 1997 but was frozen in 2002.

Vagit tells us he was accompanied by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov and got to see Maliki and Jalal Talibani - which must have pissed off a few folks in the green Zone.

The presence of Saltanov ( a champion chess player) was a help to get a US$12 Bn Iraqi debt written off - which means nothing because they were never, ever going to collect. Clinching the deal was an agrement to make future investments of US$4 Bn. in the Iraqi oil and gas sector.... some of which no doubt "evaporated".

Of course 19% shareholders in LUKoil ConocoPhillips (with Mr Richard Armitage **** the signer of the PNAC and the man who told Mushariff that the US would bomb Pakistan into the stone age unless he behaved, as a Director) should / will receive a 17.5% stake in the Iraqi contract under their strategic partnership agreement with LUKoil.(The contract for production and development of the second stage of West Qurna-2 project was inked March 21, 1997 with LUKOIL having 68 percent in it. Once LUKOIL and ConocoPhillips became the strategic partners in 2004, LUKOIL undertook to transfer 17.5 percent to the U.S. company. )

Russia’s Zarubezhneft and Mashinoimport hold another 3.25 % in the project.

Western Qurna-2 field is unique. Oil lies near the surface , easy and low cost to extract - estimates are of the order of 30 million metric tons of high quality oil.(1 metric ton of crude oil = appr. 7.3 barrels of crude oil ...)

With oil price at US$730 per ton, ( approx US$100 pb) annual earnings from oil sales could easily gross US $21 billion.

Last year, LUKoil produced 96 million metric tons of oil.

**** Richard Armitage is also a director of ManTech International Corp. is an information technology company that does most of its work for the military, intelligence and homeland security agencies about whom Kate has such warm feelings. 95 % of their income comes from contracts with the Defense and Homeland Security departments and U.S. intelligence agencies.

Mantech still show Eugene C. Renzi as Senior EVP (died of cancer February 9, 2008 ) who is the daddy of Arizona Representative Ricky Renzi. newly indicted on, 35 counts of extortion,conspiracy, money laundering and related charges. He was on the House Intelligence Committee until FBI agents descended on his family business.,

Richard Armitage was one of the main architects behind US covert support to the Mujahedin and the "militant Islamic base," both during the Afghan-Soviet war as well as in its aftermath.

PS: Friday - Hit me between the eyes, Doh! For writing off a notional US$12 Bn. the Russians get the best , known, shallowest big oil field left to exploit - the US oilcos (whose tax payers have squandered 100's of US$ Bns) get 2 years "technical" studies. Now that is what in St. Petersburg they call a bargain.

Do a Google News search on Western Qurna-2 field a single hit on a Russian news agency. This afternoon Reuters reported "Iraq field could be worth $7bln to LUKOIL-JPMorgan" but provides no details and simply reports J P Morgan's research note.

This is massive news in the context of the post war development of Iraq - probably the most significant since the illegal invasion. See "22/03/04 Oil is not well in Iraq "I'n'I... "Last week, 15/3/04 - LUKOIL's chief executive Vagit Alekperov met Iraq's Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum who has said that oil companies of different countries should do business in Iraq. According to him, talks with LUKoil were held in December 2003. During their March 11th meeting in Baghdad, they signed a deal to train Iraqi oil industry employees and students. 40 Iraqi students will study in Russia's I.M. Gubkin Oil and Gas University. Their numbers will increase to 100 students in 2005."

New US$150,000 a pop Excalibur artillery shell will stop us being sorry killing Afghan women & children by ...er.. accident / mistake / carelessness

Excalibur XM982 shell ,is "smart "155mm ammunition, developed by Raytheon , BAE Systems and Bofors Defense which they describe as the "next generation" of artillery munitions.

The Excalibur uses inertial and satellite based GPS guidance ( for a 40 Kilometre flight) to execute course corrections through the flight, to achieve pinpoint targeting with an accuracy of 20m’ CEP. Excalibur is considered to be part of the Non-Line-Of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) system.

Raytheon Company a $42.7Mn production contract in June 2007 after it had demonstrated lethality against (presumably ocupied) wheeled and tracked lightly armored military systems, simulated personnel targets and a steel reinforced concrete structure.

Canada's battle group in Kandahar test fired the shell in the desert as did a US Army unit in E Afghanistan. At US$150,000 a pop they didn't say how many had been fired."It lands exactly where you want it to land," said Lt.-Col. Jim Willis, a senior officer in charge of acquiring the munitions for ther Canadian forces. (Standard HE rounds . US$2,000 a pop accuracy +/- 50 metres).

The Canadian Army have just announced that Canadian army gunners in Afghanistan are now cleared to fire GPS-guided artillery shells at Taliban militants - who are not known to travel around in APC's, tanks, armoured vehicles or have concrete and steel defense structures.

It is claimed that it will stop or at best reduce the mounting civilian death toll from air strikes in a war-torn region, where insurgents often hide among the population. A curious argument ...surely the chances of hitting the oddd passing postman on his bike is th same whether you drop precision laser guided or JDAM's or send a sooper dooper US$150,000 shell from 40 Klicks ?

It was 18 months ago, the army announced its intention to buy a handful of the experimental shells to go along with its brand new 155-millimetre M-777 howitzers.

Introducing the weapon to the army's arsenal has been slower than expected because of concerns related to the shell's performance in cold weather and precautions to make sure the GPS signals can't be jammed or scrambled by insurgents.

The system "has counter-measures built in, but obviously I can't get into the details here," said Lt.-Col. Jim Willis, "Aside from the counter-measures, it flies so quickly to a target that the chance of it being jammed is remote."

So firing Ferraris at the lightly armed, highly mobile Taliban is OK then.

See PIcatinny Arsenal report on the Excalibur round here.

Afghan Police Toys'R'Us

Here is a nice news item today from the Combine Joint Task Force in Afghanistan ...

Afghan National Police Officers from Kohe Safi District, Parwan Province visited the village of Jurahati earlier in March and handed out stuffed animals to the children as a goodwill gesture. They also provided prayer rugs to the adults. The toys were donated by Girl Scouts in Maryland and Kiwanis Club Members in New York.

Vumber offers disposable untraceable proxy phone numbers in the US

Here's a nifty idea to prevent phone spammers and provide privacy - only available it appears (so far) in the US.


Vumber has recently introduced a virtual phone number service, providing what they call “secure, disposable two-way” telephone communications.

Simply sign up and choose a Vumber with any area code ( select the area code you want. Project yourself anywhere you want to be, not necessarily where you are) you want. Use the simple and instant online tools to connect it with your home, cell, work or any other phone. (Click to enlarge)

When someone calls: You can a) answer; b) send them to Vumber Mail; c) give them a busy signal; d) tell them the number is out of service; or e) play a custom message you create with the voice mail box included.

You can call from your Vumber, too. Just dial your Vumber, then dial the number yuo want. It’s that easy. Now the control of your identity is in your hands.

Also you can simply, and easily change your Vumber number whenever you want, as many times as you want… and you’re back on track. Bam. 3 minutes and you’re done.

US$4.99 per month (regular US$9.99 but BUY NOW AND GET 30 DAYS FREE AND special US$4.99 per month , negotiated especially for Lord Patel readers) for first Vumber and US$1.99 for each extra Vumber

No word yet on whether it will fool the National Security Agency etc., and 24/7 surveillance c/o your friendly telco. It's unlikely.

Founder Jodd Readick says "We filed a complex technology patent which covers the basis of the Vumber operation. We’ve been told after a significant amount of work that this is may be a landmark patent in the telephony arena and we feel quite comfortable that other people, while they may have various pieces of what we’re doing, won’t be able to offer a total solution for inbound and outbound calling and telephone number management."

Jangl offer a similiar FREE anonymised service for social network freaks users ,some simply text based - Facebook, bebo, match.com, fubar etc., with myspace coming soon. Plentyoffish provides calling facilities.... but BEWARE ..."Jangl Media offers brand managers and advertisers mobile advertising across the most popular social networks and communities. Through mobile advertising, Jangl Media is able to target and reach social web consumers even when they've stepped away from their computer."

Olympic Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 - join in the fun organised by your local branch of the CIA

The CIA organised and sponsored riots in Lhasa and elsewhere will be erupting in the heart of London as a jolly Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 on 6th April, when the "Official" torch takes it's 31 mile route through London

Come along for the lighting the Tibetan Freedom Torch, traditional and modern Tibetan music by Phuntsog from JJ Exiled Brothers and Chino, with support of one man band wonder Joe Driscoll.

Argyle Square, London, from 2.30pm (map here)

This is a great opportunity to highlight the CIA / Tibetan cause as the eyes of the world turn to Beijing, and the plight of the ethnic Tibetans who so like to punch the lights out of the occupying Han Chinese (funded by Langley via Free Tibet Movement, Radio Free Asia and National Clandestine Service - formerly the Directorate of Operations) and any passing Muslim.

Join the rally and bring your friends: this is the event at which to demonstrate your support for the much maligned ,misunderstooded and misumderestimated CIA / Tibet and get the world's media to put more pressure on the CIA / China to stick to the Olympic ideals ... and sow the seeds of dissent to get the whole bogus charabang of modern athletics and sport removed from London in 2012. Support the Dalai Lama and his friends in Langley and the training camps forhis zealous followers at Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado, in the US.

A cultural event will take place in London on the day including speakers such as the Drapchi nuns, Lhadon Tethong and Team Tibet, MP Norman Baker, and the Tibetan Community Dance Group.

Also, please gather along the official Olympic Committee torch relay route at Richmond Terrace, Whitehall at 1pm.

Bring flags and banners, guns, grenades, RPG's, bazookas, suicide bombers, ricin flour bombs, inflammatory literature! Spot the CIA organisers - crew cuts, shades and curly whirly bits of wire in their ears.

This is a public service announcement on behalf of the Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville-Jones Fan Club and the RUSI Irregulars.

Extra Attraction !! George Galloway will NOT be there.

Read a review of "The CIA's Secret War in Tibet" , Kenneth Conboy and James MorrisonApril 2002 - 320 pages, 24 photographs, 9 maps, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 - Modern War StudiesCloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1159-1, $34.95 (Amazon) from blurb,"how America's Central Intelligence Agency encouraged Tibet's revolt against China - and eventually came to control its fledgling resistance movement"

"A masterful account of how the CIA sought to play the 'new great game' on the roof of the world."--David F. Rudgers, author of Creating the Secret State: Origins of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1943–1947 (Amazon)

PS : If you don't think the CIA should organise street marches / protests in London please write to your MP.

A petition "CIA-Tibet" ..."We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Take the necessary steps to prevent the Central Intelligence Agency to organise a Tibetan Freedom Torch Relay 2008 on 6th April, when the official Olympic Torch will proceed through London." has been submitted to the No 10 petition site when up and running ,a link will be provided ... until then you will need to do a site search "CIA-Tibet".

They do say .."Delays to individual petitions may occur where there are possible legal issues or questions over the impact of the petition in relation to the Civil Service Code. In a few cases, we have had to seek propriety, ethics and legal advice from appropriate specialists within the Civil Service."

Don't hold yer breath.

Sarko and La Reine .. that secret conversation that the microphone picked up

Phil the Greek, not very sotto voce can be indistinctly heard ... " a carrier or two like the de Gaulle wouldn't go amiss if the Brest shipyard's not that busy...tell him"

Apologist for Metropolitan Police re-appointed for 5 years

The Home Secretary has today announced that Her Majesty(Nick Hardwick was re-appointed by HM The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. His appointment runs until 31 January 2013.) has approved the reappointment of Nicholas Hardwick as Chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission for a further period of 5 years.

A B&Q van was seen arriving at the IPCC HQ at 90 High Holborn, unloading large quantities of whitewash and removing empty containers marked "de menezes murder enquiry"

The IPCC has also published the results of its latest public confidence survey. 4,000 people were surveyed by BMRB Limited (part of WPP group) and the results compared with the IPCC's last survey in 2004.

64% (62% in 2004) of people had heard of the IPCC
88% (86% in 2004) of those who had heard of the IPCC thought they would be treated fairly if they made a complaint about a police officer to the IPCC
69% (64% in 2004) thought the IPCC was independent of the police
67% (65% in 2004) were very or fairly confident that the IPCC deals with complaints in an impartial way.

Nick was of course the guy who happily sat and twiddled his thumbs whilst Sir Ian Blair ( the lying fucker wot runs the Yard) quite illegally refused to allow the IPCC access to the murder site, evidence, reports, officers involved in the public murder of Mr de Menezes for 6 days whilst CCTV fillums disappeared, event logs were altered / lost, radio communications recordings lost/deleted and eye witnesses "mislaid", and during which time, crucial evidence was altered, probably destroyed and officers "conferred" in writing up their notes.

BAA lawyers have done a remarkable job on Terminal 5 procedures ... BBC report " Utter Chaos" ..."misery building up" ... "big shambles"

34 Cancelled British Airways flights / baggage fuck ups / temporary check in suspension at Heathrow's new £4.3bn shedTerminal 5.

20 years planning the fucking place ... now we want to build at least 6 nuclear power stations.

The Strip starts a rust belt - Las Vegas dreams foreclosed

3700 Associates, LLC , are the developers of the Cosmopolitan Resort Casino, a $3.9 billion condo-hotel complex on the Las Vegas Strip, the largest private development in the United States. It was to be 8 acres of shops, casinos, hotels, condos, and theaters. It could now be a crumbling and rusting testament to the property credit binge, as they have been notified by their primary lender that it is to begin foreclosure proceedings. ("Foreclosure on Las Vegas Casino to Begin" WSJ)

The move by Deutsche Bank AG, the lender on a US$760 million senior loan, comes after the developer, Ian Bruce Eichner, wasn't able to finalize a deal for new financing. Mr. Eichner in late February cut a tentative deal with two of his other lenders, Global Hyatt Corp. and New York hedge fund Marathon Asset Management, for a possible rescue of the grotesque twin-tower project. But Mr Eichner is no stranger to real estate fuck ups and massive losses going back to 1994. which should make fascinating reading for DB executives anxious to see their loan repaid.

A fast paced, non stop deal maker this is how Eichner sold his idea in 2004 - "This will be the very first opportunity for a buyer to own property right on the Strip. They will be able to take an elevator from their condo-hotel unit directly to the casino floor. There's no other development on the Strip that provides condo unit owners that type of 'one-button' accessibility to the casino," said Eichner. Wow.

Mr. Eichner has blamed the project's problems on the credit-market meltdown and a jump in construction costs since building began in 2005. He said buyer interest in the hotel-condo rooms has been strong. He declined to comment on proposals to take over the project.

Related, led by real-estate tycoon Stephen Ross, has teamed with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s W Hotel group and an unidentified casino operator to try to take over the $3.9 billion hotel-condominium and casino project.

In December, Related raised $1.4 billion in debt and equity from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the investment arm of Abu Dhabi and MSD, the investment firm of computer mogul Michael Dell. At the time, Related President Jeff Blau said the company would use the money to snap up distressed projects.

Sounds like a gamble.

Shrillary Rodham , her lesbian palalong Huma Abedin and the Tata connection ..Ford giveaway Jaguar and Range Rover

The lesbian duo Shrillary and Huma Abedin goes back a long way and examination of the Senator's expenses providesa rich hunting ground ... Click to enlarge ... Israel naturally figures highly but the connection with Tata (who have just been given Jaguar / Range Rover by cash strapped Ford on a plate ) goes back a long way ...Ford will pay about $600 million at deal closing to the Jaguar Land Rover pension funds.

The "A" flag on the Google Trends graph was coincident with this Sunday Times smearing operation by the Rupert Murdoch Pooping on Shrillary department 24/11/07.

D1 bio fuels in serious trouble.

There was much excitement, flag waving and children were given a day off school in Liverpool on October 16th last year when glamorous Angela Eagle, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury ( and significantly MP for Wallasey) , opened the D1 £7m bio-diesel refinery , built on the Lubrizol site, at Bromborough which had created 40 jobs.

Designed to produces oils from inedible raw material Jatropha curcas, a crop which D1 are growing in tropical zones , immediately faced compeitition from the tax boondoggling US "dash'n'splash " trade ,giving producers of the so called B 99 biodiesel fuel a US$1 a gallon subsidy. 80% of of US produced biodiesel reaches Europe.

D1 managers took the chance to tackle Angela Eagle about this "double dip" subsidy regime for US producers and the EU subsidy at the pump. She was reported to say at the time (Liverpool Post) “We are currently taking the necessary steps for the issue to be taken up by the European Trade Commissioner under the World Trade Organisation procedures. This is an important new industry and we need to ensure there is free trade and fair competition.”

Now 6 months later CEO Elliott Mannis has announced that the company has started a "consultation" process with it's employees at both its Middlesbrough and Bromborough sites prio to reducing the workforce.

At the same time founder and first Chairman, Karl Watkin, has resigned as a Non-Executive Director of the Company - he owns some 5% of the shares. On March 20th Watkin said he was ``evaluating all options'' including ``an increase or decrease in his interest, and whether or not to make an offer for the company,'' he said in a statement distributed by the Regulatory News Service today. The Times today note that UBS, the company's biggest shareholder, sold some of its stake.

At the time of his departure Watkin (whose Just2Clicks dot com failed) was highly critical of the City. He said that he had become “increasingly frustrated” over the past year by “the inability of the investment community, governments and NGOs to differentiate D1's strategy from that of the suppliers of palm, soya and rapeseed whose biodiesel products have been well documented as being environmentally unsustainable”. (What also differentiated the company was the ability to hoover up large sums of money and produce zero profits.)

He also complained about the shorting of the stocks which was a feature of illiquid AIM stocks ..."“The majority of companies on AIM have had the stuffing kicked out of them,” he said. “People have been kicking the shit out of the stock.”

See : Tuesday, October 02, 2007 Boondoggling biodiesel - How Uncle Sam subsidises the EU motorist
Wednesday, December 05, 2007 Peter Mandelson makes some slippery remarks about US biofuel boondoggle - fist fight in sight ?

The D1 share price tells the tale.... Down 2.4 p yesterday = 5.4% to 43.5 p

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