Barry George is held in custody awaiting a second trial for the murder of Jill Dando after his successful appeal in November 2007 . Jill was killed on 26th April 1999. It was almost a year later on April 11th April 2000 that Detective Constable John Gallagher interviewed him. Over one month later on 25 May 2000, George was arrested on suspicion of murdering the presenter. He has been in prison ever since for a crime he did not commit.
There is an Official campaign Website for Barry which provides helpful information and useful links. This includes the Finding of LORD JUSTICE LEVESON and THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE SIMON on 15th November 2007 - which concluded
54. It is impossible to know what weight, if any, the jury attached to the FDR (Firearm Deposit Residue) evidence. It is equally impossible to know what verdict they would have reached had they been told as we were told, by the witnesses who gave evidence before us, that it was just as likely that the single particle of FDR came from some extraneous source as it was that it came from a gun fired by the appellant. The verdict is unsafe. The conviction will be quashed.
There is also a guest book you can sign in support of Barry George who it appears will not appear in court until June. This contains some fascinating comments ..including this . The Name and e-mail is available on the site but has been contracted here.
Name: S W
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments: Just before this incident I was for a year and a half Barry's postman and spoke to him more often than most people, I got to know him quite well. I regard myself as a good judge of character and although Barry wasn't the brightest of people I vow to this day He is no murderer. The day He was arrested I phoned the Hammersmith Police station and told them in no uncertain terms my feelings on this, I gave my name and address. I also phoned the solicitors (Keene and Co) and put my name forward as a character witness. To this day I have never heard back.
Monday, March 3rd 2008 - 01:34:35 AM
There is also a part of the inoccent website devoted to the case for Barry George
See also Thursday, June 21, 2007 Where were you when Jill Dando died ?
You can also listen to Barry's sister Michelle Diskin, talking to Jenni Murray on Women's Hour Tuesday 27 August 2002 ,talk about about her fight to clear her brother's name here .
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Barry George is held in custody awaiting a second trial for the murder of Jill Dando after his successful appeal in November 2007 . Jill was killed on 26th April 1999. It was almost a year later on April 11th April 2000 that Detective Constable John Gallagher interviewed him. Over one month later on 25 May 2000, George was arrested on suspicion of murdering the presenter. He has been in prison ever since for a crime he did not commit.
Philip Zimbardo conducted the famous experiments with Stanford University students in 1971 where normal college students were randomly assigned to play the role of guard or inmate for two weeks in a simulated prison. The guards quickly became so brutal that the experiment had to be shut down after only six days. You can learn more about the deatils of the study in a slide show and commentary by Zimbardo at this "Stanford Prison Experiment" site.
He has now labelled this transformation which leads good people to engage in eveil actions the "Lucifer Effect." Not only the name of a literary magazine which Lord Patel was involved with in the early '60's at Leicester University, but also God's favourite angel who fell from grace and became Satan. Zimbardo has another website devoted to this idea.
Giving the enemy an identity
Zimbardo raises the question - What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even to kill them?
It requires a ‘hostile imagination,’ a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear.
..and provides a list of ways with examples of how this is done.
The Enemy as Enemy of God
The Enemy as Barbarian
The Greedy Enemy
The Enemy as Criminal, Committer of Atrocities, Torturer
The Enemy as Rapist, Desecrator of Women and Children
Sex and War
The Enemy as Death
The Enemy as Beast, Reptile, Insect
The Enemy as Abstraction
Heroic Warfare: The Enemy as Worthy Opponent
He shows how this was used by Julius Streicher, the editor of a weekly newspaper, Das Sturmer, “The Storm Troope,” that spread anti-Semitic propaganda to the general public in Germany, which re-inforced .This was paralleled by texts shaping the beliefs of school children in which Jews are portrayed in a series of increasingly negative scenarios.
The use of stereotyped conceptions of Jews as lecherous old men seducing young Aryan women, of dirty Jewish butchers, unscrupulous Jewish lawyers, hard-hearted Jewish landlords, rich Jewish business men and their wives ignoring the poverty around them, all combined to create a hate-filled image of Jews.
Words and images. A continuing process that starts with stereotyped conceptions of the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful, the other as demonic, the other as an abstract monster, the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs.
Public fear is notched up and with an enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally.
People, proud of their "independence" act in mindless conformity.
Peaceful people act as foot soldiers - which ceaseless litigation provides them with the tools to make others conform.
Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint the readers and viewers , with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.
BBC video here - Strategic Director for Children's Services, Borough of Poole, the grey haired, grey suited, man in a grey background defends the use of RIPA powers - deeply unsettling. Full Council statement here "...an officer trained in RIPA procedures will attempt to establish if the family leave their stated address in the morning and return to it in the evening. " that wouldn't be training by Common Purpose would it ?
Those interested might like to consult the "Poole Partnership Terms of Reference" *** in which one of the things that must be done is to " Build common purpose and shared commitment." and "Poole Partnership will implement and monitor by:
1. Acting within the spirit and letter of the law."
*** or not if you have a low boredom threshold and can read these endless pages of worthy pap.
UPDATE "A view from Middle England" has interesting views on Mr Nash.
The Burning Taper Sunday March 9th. " Another 'isolated incident'? Retired judge, fellow Jesters under investigation for hiring prostitutes in New York "..has more information including the full text of :
HON. THOMAS M. REYNOLDS OF NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, December 8, 2005 - TRIBUTE TO JUDGE RONALD H. TILLS
" ....One of his great loves is the largest and oldest fraternal organization in the world. As a Mason, Ron Tills has held numerous responsibilities within the Masons and the organizations within it, including Proctor of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, Potentate of the Ismalia Shrine Temple, Director and President of the Shrine Oasis and Director of the Buffalo Court 22 of Jesters."
Congressman Tom Reynolds is a member of Springville Lodge in New York and Ismailia Temple (of Buffalo, NY) of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the Shriners), according to Congressional SourceWatch
Ahabs other leg also has an intiguing post at Rigorous Intuition Friday April 11th 2008
In which he makes the connection between "Son of Sam" , David Berkowitz , his letters to Jimmy Breslin , (He used a 44 Charter Bulldog) of the 22 Disciples of Hell and John "Wheaties" Rapist and Suffocator of Young girls who was in fact John Carr who possibly blew his brains out at Minot Air Force base, North Dakota in 1978 - the base where they "lost" 6 nukes recently.
The book he points out, by Maury Terry "The Ultimate Evil " about the Son of Sam slayings has .." multiple mentions throughout the book of a group called the 22 as well, carrying out ritualistic crimes ...."
Terry's book pointed to the Process Church -originally developed as a splinter client cult group from Scientology, so that they were declared "suppressive persons" by L. Ron Hubbard in December 1965
The Burning Taper also has a piece on an ROJ e-mail circular "Mirth Missives" (see also Frost here) which apparently circulates amongst this august body.
This appears to be some sort of spatchcock e-zine circulating frat house jokes, whilst it wouldn't disturb any adult it seems a curious item for well meaning masons and shriners to get involved in.
But then as ahe points out, Spitzers successor is a man called David Paterson , a mason (member of Boyer Lodge #1, of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York. ), whom both he and his wife 'fess up jointly to sexual infidelity and the use of cocaine and marijuana.
Bro Hoddup tells us that Boyer Lodge No. 1 was established in 1812 and is the oldest continuously operating Prince Hall lodge in the world.
Located in Harlem, the lodge is named in honor of Haitian soldier-statesman Jean Pierre Boyer, who later became the first president of Haiti after their war of liberation from France. In the 1820s, Boyer Lodge and two others for free blacks in New York that had been chartered by Prince Hall's African Lodge in Massachusetts, formed what was then called the "Boyer Grand Lodge," for the state of New York.
After the schism over the National Compact in the 1840s, the lodges descended from, or aligned with, Boyer Lodge eventually came together to form what is today the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York.
Worshipful brother Walter S. Cook III, Past Master of Apollo-King Solomon's Lodge No. 13 of the Grand Lodge of New York has reported that Brother Paterson has requested the use of St. John's Lodge No. 1's famous "Washington Bible" for his swearing in ceremony, and that the request was granted.
"This national treasure (Washington was sworn in using it) was nearly destroyed on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Towers in New York were attacked by terrorists. The Bible had been on loan from St. John's Lodge #1 for an exhibit in the Faunces Tavern Museum, just a few blocks from the horrific event. Two days later, Brother Tom Savini, Director of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library and Museum was taken under special escort to Faunces Tavern Museum where he was able to recover the Washington Bible.
Another interesting site is a U. S. Government page which has compiled the passages to which Bibles were open when Presidents took their oath of office. You can find it here.
Some other interesting facts: candidates at St. John's Lodge take their obligation on this Bible which is also used to obligate the Grand Master of New York. Three other presidents have used it for their inauguration and it was to be used at a fourth in 2001, that of George Walker Bush, following in the footsteps of his father, President George Herbert Walker Bush. However, inclement weather caused a last minute cancellation in order not to expose this irreplaceable treasure to the elements. The Bible does not travel by air; only by land so as to minimize the potential for damage. It only travels in the presence of three carefully selected members of St. John's Lodge"
I tell you, you couldn't make this fucking stuff up..... and it's tax exempt.
Tim Martin, head of legal and democratic services at Poole Borough Council, said: "The council is committed to investigating the small minority of people who attempt to break the law and affect the quality of life for the majority of law-abiding residents in Poole. "On a small number of occasions, RIPA procedures have been used to investigate potentially fraudulent applications for school places.
3 points to make
1. The fears expressed about the misuse of these secretive powers by over 600 public bodies have proved to be true.
2. Maybe a co-incidence, but isn't this the area, Sandbanks, where policeman Neil Munroe was found dead after supposedlyfalling / jumping / being pushed off a cross channel ferry?
3. Isn't this the Borough where many dark claims have been made about the influence of Masons in civic affairs ? The impacability and lack of concern of the civil servant interviewed on TV gav e the lie to Mr Shakespeare's warning ...
" Man , proud man,dress'd in a little brief authority"
which continues with unerring precision to describe the self important fnctionary and apologist for the council's covert intrusiveness..
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd—
His glassy essence—like an angry ape
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
Measure For Measure Act 2, scene 2, 114–123
Finally before imploding, Lord Patel attended a meeting of the local metropolitan Borough Council who were explaining there novel system for private rented housing of "Accredited" Landlords, Letting Agents and Tenants.
This is a self designed scheme , unique to the Borough developed under what they see as their mandated job under the Housing Act 2004 to monitor Housing.
Taking up the issue with a charming, sensible lady in sensible flat heeled brogues, with a sensible handbag, Lord Patel suggested that they were becoming ..er.."soft cops" by introducing norms and standards that were not a legislative requirement.
This was a concept with which it was evident she had to struggle. A term like "soft cop" not coming easily to this matronly lady. There was a flash of realisation ... "Yes... Yes .. I suppose we are ". A sly grin formed, which broadened.. "Well someone has to."
God only knows
God makes his plan
The information's unavailable
To the mortal man
We're working our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway
When in fact we're slip slidin' away
PS : "This was a complicated case" he said about the school for which a 3 year old was destined whose sibling already attended...they had 2 houses. Yes, really fucking complicated.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Don't worry about faulty equipment, shortages, make do and mend ... shore up the breach with our English dead
It was not an accident that Lord Patel posted Reid sends ill equipped troops to certain deaths in S Afghanistan on Friday, January 27, 2006.
Ever since then , lamentable equipment shortages, the poor quality ammunition, dire food supplies , and the revelation of breathtaking shortsightedness over decades of procurement have become evident and have been relentlessly chronicled as the MOD in a hopeless game of catch up and have simply reacted to each glaring weaknes .. only to shore up the breach with the English dead.
For example ..at random
BBC Thursday, 23 November 2006, 11:34 GMT UK troops had faulty ammunition
The problem was highlighted after members of 3 Para posted a video on the YouTube sharing site.
According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, the soldiers refused to go on patrols until the ammunition was replaced. BBC again ...On Thursday, it emerged that troops in Afghanistan had faulty ammunition for a month and had to borrow from other Nato forces.....the MoD accepts there were problems with the .50 calibre rounds used in the Browning machine gun, a spokesman said there was "no problem" in borrowing supplies from allied units.
As senior officers have squandered money on palatial homes, young men with young families have been shuttlig around leaking, dirty, antique barracks. As generals preen themselves on TV we despatch an increasingly part time amy in 42 year old Tristars and VC-10's to expose themselves in open top geriatric Land Rovers. Overhead overworked tankers struggle to stay airworthy and their siccessors move fuerther and further away ..Wednesday, January 30, 2008 AirTankers - MOD PFI financing suffers from Ambac credit rating downgrade - will / can the banks agree a financing deal ?
So inadequate is the new Bowman comms, so heavy that the man packs are heavier than the kit they replace , so heavy are the base stations cannot be carried on even the most beefed up Land Rover that troops have reverted to using cellphones. Tuesday, September 12, 2006 BOWMAN/CIP MOD speak for "Crock of Shit"
"new £2Mn. Bowman radio system (BMN) suffers from exploding lithium batteries when water / rain seeps into the handset (.... as it does).Apart from a refit of 12,000 batteries the Mirror quotes an MoD spokeswoman who said: "A full investigation is being carried out. All Bowmans destined for Iraq or Afghanistan are getting a new battery cover to ensure no water can get to the battery. (Rumour in Kandahar is that means they will come in a polythene bag)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007- Nick Harvey MP asks about WMIK . Ill equipped UK forces in Afghanistan Part 17....BBC correspondent Alastair Leithead spent a period as an "embedded" journo in Afghanistan and as a result filed a BBC Online report.... This was headlined 'Lack of vehicles' in Afghanistan.
Lack of heavily armed Land Rovers was a particular problem explained Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Mayo, spokesman in Helmand province, told Alastair that of 170 WMIK's needed only 126 were in working order.
Friday, September 15, 2006 Too Lite ... Too Late chronicle the extraordinary purchase of the air cooled (yes in Aghanistan) lightweight Pinzgaurs, whose driver sits over the front axle - which tends to be where the IED's make their mark ... familiarly known as ...
Each failure has been excused, apologised for, each death caused by faulty or non existent equipment is explained away... Saturday, September 02, 2006 Air crashes in Afghanistan - Maintenance worries . Who now remembers that the the Nimrod that flashed over when being re-fuelled had 38 year old rubber seals in the fuel lines which had't been replaced ? "The seals were under "corrective maintenance"; this means that they were replaced if they blew. The manufacturers originally suggested they would last indefinitely but must be checked every 5 years; this has never actually been done. "
"Service training courses were perceived by a number of witnesses no longer to impart the skill of hand or depth of knowledge necessary to maintain an aircraft built around a design philosophy now some 40 years old."
"Some Nimrod aircraft at both DOB [CENSORED] and Kinloss had elements of the acoustics mission equipment removed and the resultant voids had been masked with cardboard, held in place with tape.."
The official report on the dead aircrew had a final kicker especially to comfort the relatives ...""The body bags, which had been provided by the US mortuary at Kandahar and manufactured in the USA (NATO Stock No 9930-01-3316244) were not provided with impermeable membranes."
Today Mr Justice Collins said sending soldiers into action without proper kit could breach human rights.
Defence Secretary Des Browne who has had his attempt to ban coroners from using critical phrases such as "serious failure" rejected was just on BBC World news saying everything was now wonderful, the garden was rosy and UK trooops ahd the "best equipment in the world".
In June 2007 The Daily Telegraph after spending 3 weeks embedded with UK troops in Helmand province in Afghanistan yet again reports today of continuing major equipment problems ;
# Only 50% of the 8 Apache helicopters are working - heat and fine dust are wearing the kit out
# Only 70% of the 12 Chinooks are available meaning no air assualts have been undertaken
# Shortage of helicopter drivers means operations are limited by monthkly schedules being exhausted prematurely
# A beleaguered garrison recently had only 200 mortar rounds because of failure of helicopter supply
# Only 16 of 96 new armoured vehicles have been delivered
# High Explosives carried buy engineers in soft skinned trucks because of inadequate transport
# Soldiers have bought their own binoculars to replace inadequate Army sights.
Finally there is wonderful and eye watering fuck up over the Chinooks ...
For those who savour these private moments in those hidden away committees the following exchange is worthy of mention … Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence 25 OCTOBER 2004 - i.e 4 years ago....
Q133 Chairman: Thank you very much. But the fact remains, Air Vice Marshal, that for safety reasons you cannot fly this helicopter when it is cloudy; is that correct?
Air Vice Marshal Luker: That is also correct.
The bottom line is, 8 Chinook 3’s were ordered from Boeing in 1995. They were tailored to the needs of the SAS and Special Boat Service, with satellite communications technology, extra fuel tanks and in-flight refuelling probes for long flights. (Hence the need for the derring do of the SAS "brave" lads hanging on like aerial circus performers to Apache's to lift a wounded colleague (pic) (Guradian) - portrayed as a Boys Own Paper tale of heroism but actually forced by the dire shortage of equipment that these Chinooks will eventually relieve in .... 2-3 years time) - their colleague died."
8 brand new Chinook HC3s costing £260 million were delivered in 2001 but will be sitting on the ground until 2007,'' said Edward Leigh Chairman of the Public Accouts Committee. "Because of a massively botched job, they cannot be flown when there is a cloud in the sky. The MoD might as well have bought eight turkeys.''
At an extra cost of some £69 Mn these may be available next year.
UPDATE - Saturday 8.20 BSTDes Browne the whingeing part time Scottish Defence Secretary in discussion with the whingeing Welshman John Humphreys on BBC "Today" program displayed a complete incapacity to answer a single question about supply problems, stuttering like a badly maintained machine gun..
The banalities and pious platitudes were endless. Evidently the great and the good ... Sir Ian Blair grinning, Sir John Stevens smiling, Jacqui Smith shimmering, Gerald Kaufmann in a splendid flat cap,and David Davies roaring with laughter, but the memorialists were notable more by absence than their presence. Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Andy Burnham looked sombre . but that was probably the make - up.
What we like to call oop here in't North .."community leaders" ... people with brown faces and beards had one representative. - he was silent.(UPDATE) The emergency services did not seem to be represented but we did have sight of Sir Hugh Orde in his Green uniform who seemed very uneasy and alone.
Perhaps the most welcome sight was Peter Clarke whose role in state terrorism is still unclear but he managed to snaffle his lunch pail in under his raincoat.
Naturally, being Manchester, it rained and a small audience watching the outside relay on a monster screen to hear Michael Todd's widow,quiet and dignified, Carolyn, speak ..to tell us of receiving email written on the Sunday evening before he died."I know I love you sounds hollow, but I do, and I am sorry."
This was followed by his elegant and self possessed daughter 16 year old Catherine, who sang Stephen Sondheim's schmaltzy "Somewhere" from West Side Story - for which she received a well organised spontaneous standing ovation. First heard in Europe when it made it's transatlantic hop 50 years ago , just down the road at the Opera House in 1958.
The Bishop of Manchester in a strictly Christian ceremony, blathered on sanctimoniously - no multi- culturalism here pal... all the standard numbers "The Lord is my Shepherd" etc.,
There was no sign of the Mountain Rescue Team who had been sent off initially on a wild goose chase tofind the missing Chief Constable, nor of the young couple who are said to have found his rucksack complete with champagne bottle in a howling gale - which brought out a helicopter immediately to whisk them off the mountain.
There were however some entertainments to be had - the very shy man talking in a corner into his overcoat with a remarkable apparatus of wires hidden therein . The obligatory coloured face, curiously accoutred with white gloves (in case someone shook his hand ?) like someone from the Black and White Minstrel show. ..well we'd had West Side Story.
The most abiding impression was the sea of hard faced men, smartly uniformed men with a uniform mind, wearing more silver braid and shining gewgaws and medals with the same pride they no doubt fasten up their pinnies . They filed out in a chummy way giving the entirely misleading impression that their idea of a "copper's copper" was a rum bugger, a card in the canteen who could get shit faced with the lads, watching consfiscated porn films and never missed a chance to keep his bed warm and other men's husband's in the dark.
Michael Todd was an accomplished seducer, for many years and with many ladies, both whilst he was at the Met and in the GMP. This weakness was widely known, but successfully hidden from the public. It was a vulnerability which could be, and was exploited by others.
He was given the job of quietly shuffling off the disqiet about CIA rendition flights. He did as he was told ... nothing. When it was forcefuly pointed out that his activities with junior staff , "prejudicial to good order and discipline" would deny him the role as successor to Sir Ian Blair, that things started to fall apart.
The "official" story is he comitted suicide.
It is entirely plausible that he became a loose canon and somebody wanted him silenced. He was.
The forthcoming inquest should make it clear. It won't.
UPDATE Saturday Daily Mail reports .."Representatives from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths lit candles at the end of the service, as the police band played the hymn Bread of Heaven." The final verse of which reads (in English) ;
When I tread the verge of Jordan
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Must have gone down a treat with the Zionists present.
Anyway , looking at the sea of silver braid, the cocksure stride, the puffed up chests and red faces, one was left happily with the belief that there weren't many beats left untrodden this morning whilst they all said what a great guy he was. What is mysterious is why his wife and kids joined in with them.
Petraeus "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" according to retired CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon - Basra fucked up - Official
Nur al Cubicle presents a translation from Le Monde by Patrice Claude
Iran and Moqtada al-Sadr strengthened after the Iraqi' government's failed military offensive - LE MONDE 2 April 2008 13:44
"... it appears that the Americans, who do not have a permanent military presence in Basra, took Mr. Maliki at his word that his offensive would be a stroll in the park. As several Iraqi generals have said themselves, there was "surprise" at the combativeness of the Mahdi Army, the Sadrist militia, and its capacity to mobilize partisans in every big city of the Shi'ite south, including Baghdad.
Mr. Maliki did not achieve the aims that he had set out to accomplish. The "18 militias" counted by the French-Iraqi researcher Hosham Dawood are still running their lucrative smuggling operations in Basra."
"No quarter of Basra under the domination of the Mahdi Army was wrested from their control. Hundreds of police and soldiers throughout the country refused to open fire on the militias and some joined them." More >>>
All of which is a great surprise - perhaps most of all to cocksure General Petraeus, who in his presentation to Congress had so many medal ribbons on his jacket there was, keen eyed staff of Lord Patel noted, a sign at the bottom that said "Continues on other side".
Way, way below the fold
ABC did not report the news, of Crocker and Petraeus's appearance , and NBC and CBS dedicated a combined total of 3 minutes of airtime to the hearings. Print media continue to devote considerable attention to the hearings, but the nation's largest circulation newspapers don't run their reports on their front pages. Thursday's Wall Street Journal ran its main Petraeus story on page A4; the New York Times ran a major analysis of the testimony on page A10; and USA Today ran a brief AP report on page 4A.
Notably Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday and backtracked from last year's upbeat testimony about increasing drawdowns continueing throughout the year, which would have left about 10 brigades -- or roughly 100,000 troops -- in Iraq at year's end. When the committee's Democratic chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, asked Gates whether he still thought that was possible, Gates said: "No, sir."
Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), described Petraeus as a sycophant when they first met Baghdad in March 2006.
Fallon apparently told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that" .. remarks that followed Petraues trying to ingratiate himself with a superior. See Thursday, September 13, 2007 - Iraq - Bush advised to try coitus interruptus - retired soldiers demand "withdrawal"
Find out more about Admiral Fallon - Tuesday, March 11, 2008 US CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon hands in his lunch pail - EX - UK 2 IC in Iraq Gen. Lamb "winning Iraqi & Afghan "Hearts and Minds" is ridiculous - when he announced he was stepping down effective March 31, because of well known differences on policy with the Bush administration.
Fallon assumed the post a year ago as the commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East, with responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is said to have informed Gates of his decision today (march 10th) .
``Admiral Fallon reached this difficult decision entirely on his own,'' Gates told a news conference at the Pentagon. Gates said it was a ``misperception'' that Fallon differed from the administration. Absolute bollocks.
"misperception'' comes from the same school as "mis-spoke"...er.. presumably. "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" ... well ..er.. possibly a misperception ?
Nur gave this link which wouldn't work but it does now The War Nerd April 2, 2008
Who Won Iraq's "Decisive" Battle? By Gary Brecher ..
Toni Fabuloso has just woken up and asks if you would get an EXTREME ironing award for even attempting to iron his jacket. She reckons he must work out at the gym just to be able to wear the damn thing.
American air travel has been plunged into a state of chaos over the course of the past two weeks, Southwest, Delta Air Lines, United, as well as American Airlines. Passengers, have seen masses of cancellations due to a safety alert on Boeing MD -80 planes.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that mass cancellations will continue for the next eight weeks, as it intends to keep checking up on aircraft safety inspections and enforcing mandatory checks where these have not occurred.
All this relates to a clampdown on an 18 month old advisory on undercarriage housing wiring on Boeing MD -80 and the exact spacing of wire bundles.
As a result , American Airlines cancelled another 900 flights Thursday following two straight days which saw the largest carrier in the United States announce well over
2,400 3,000 cancellations.
According to a BBC estimate, more than 100,000 passengers have been inconvenienced by the cancellations, which occurred after American Airlines decided to pull almost all 300 of its workhorse MD-80 aircraft, in order to perform urgent safety checks.The company reports all its MD-80s would be back in service by Saturday night.
CEO Gerard Arpey (in post since May 2004 and with airline since 1992, cash compensation 2006 = US$10Mn) said he took full responsibility for the airline's failure to comply with a federal safety rule designed to prevent electrical fires in the planes.
The airline cancelled more than 400 flights for the same reason two weeks ago. But the repairs done then didn't meet FAA standards, resulting in this week's debacle.
Dallas Airport has virtually shut as a result - as a result some of Lord Patel's staff returning from a fact finding visit to Hawaii have , after 36 hours of non-communication from harassed but nonetheless rude and unhelpful AA staff - then hire a car and drive 900 miles to return to our North America HQ.
There are many, many, people out there who won't be flying AA again.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
More aerial bombing , more civilians dead, more blighted lives, enraged victims, implacable hatred - and terror
Regular readers will know of persistent posting about the intensity and increased tempo of the bombing of civilians from the air in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here is another report
9 Propositions on the U.S. Air War for Terror
By Tom Engelhardt
The monotonous regularity of the bland unconcerned reports .."five civilians, including a judge, Munaf Mehdi, were reportedly killed and ten wounded from strikes by "fixed-wing aircraft" in a "battle with suspected al-Qaeda Sunni Arab militants" ....."A U.S. F/A-18 carried out a "precision strike" against a house in Basra, reportedly killing at least three civilians, two men and an elderly woman, while burying a father, mother, and young boy in the rubble on April 3rd.
In a sense we should be eternally grateful to the scion of the Royal family, who equipped with a wide grin and casual headgear pronouncing he does "bad things to bad people" was happy to participate in a PR bullshit scenario in which he called up bombers to unload their massive and lethal ordnance to be caught in grainy detail as a military "snuff" movie to entertain the TV news viewers worldwide.
Rosalind Franklin died 50 years ago , aged 37, on April 16th 1958, of ovarian cancer and related conditions, which had become first apparent in the summer of 1956.
Working with Maurice Wilkins at Kings College London , through very skilled experimental work, in altering humidity, she identified two types of DNA, A and B which were mixed up Wilkin's crystallographic prints. Having made this distinction she worked on the B type molecule and her graduate student Raymond Gosling worked on the crystalline A type.
As a consequence she was one of a group of scientists whose work finally elucidated the physical structure of DNA. Her contribution , essentially revolves around the exact way James Watson obtained site of an X ray photograph produced by Rosalind Franklin of the B or wet type of DNA molecules called photo 51 - which has been claimed to surreptitious and without her consent or knowledge. see The Double Helix by James Watson
"The instant I saw the picture, my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race.
The pattern was unbelievably simpler than those obtained previously ("A" form).
Moreover the black cross of reflections which dominated the picture could arise
only from a helical structure. With the A form, the argument for a helixwas
never straightforward.... With the B form, however, mere inspection of its X-ray
picture gave several of the vital helical parameters"
J D Bernal was later to describe these x ray diffraction photographs as, "amongst the most beautiful x-ray photographs of any substance ever taken".
Crick who had worked on the structure of Haemoglobin realised from Franklin's photographs that they predicated base pairs, along with Erwin Chargaff's essential discovery on the equivalence of the AC / GT pairs, and the double helix structure was rapidly unravelled - and with it the elegant solution to understanding replication of the DNA molecule at mitosis.
Whatever the truth, of it's genesis , in an unorthodox fashion Watson and Crick realised this photo re-inforced their stunning and original insight that DNA was a double helix (and also their desire to beat Linus Pauling who had previously suggested a tricyclic helix)which they published as a letter in Nature in 1953 - "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" by J D Watson and F H C Crick. Nature 1953, 171:737-738 .. and the rest as they say is history.
A more detailed history can be found here Friday, July 20, 2007 Watson + Crick DNA / LSD / X rays and Serendipity in Science because it appears that not only Wilkins photgraphs helped them but also the novel uses of the recently discovered hallucinogen LSD, which Crick was in later life claim that it fuelled their scientific insight ... and not a few parties at which the louche ladies man would ingest.
Anyway in 1961 3 years later Watson, Crick and Wilkins received the Nobel prize for Physiology and Medecine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material"
As Nobel Prizes are never awarded to more than a group of 3 people or posthumously Wilkins was denied a prize that many felt she was due. Including Aaron Klug ( who received the OM in 1995 and "for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes" the Nobel price for Chemistry in 1982) who felt that the Nobel committee shoudl have given Watson and Crick the Physiology and Medicine Prize and Wilkins and Franklin the Chemistry prize.
Rosalind Franklin was a single minded, determined woman, she suffered in a predominantly male collegiate atmosphere and she did not suffer fools gladly. An Ashkenazi Jew born in 1920, the second of 5 children and first daughter to Ellis and Muriel Franklin who lived the comfortable London suburban life of prosperous merchant bankers and with powerful and influential relatives such as her great uncle , Herbert Samuel and her mother's cousin the Chinese scholar Arthur Waley. They believed girls were educated to get married and do charitable social work in adult life, Roslind was not prepared to go along with this - which didn't please her dad.
It seems remarkable today that when she received her degree at Cambridge in 1941 it was "titular" degree as degrees were not then awarded to women.
Brenda Maddox wrote a biography Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (Amazon) in which she argues that sexism, egotism and anti-Semitism conspired to marginalize a brilliant and uncompromising young scientist. The book is also a dreadful feminist tract which fails to understand the way that in scientific research there is an interplay between (invariably) strong minded, very clever people in whom a streak of ruthless endeavour is a necessary and vital part of the mix. (You don't sharpen an axe without causing a few sparks)
The Colombia Free Trade Bill - Shrillary on the Horns of an Obama crafted dilemma etc., Part : 2 Penn - Now you see me , now you don't
The Colombia Free Trade Bill - Shrillary on the Horns of an Obama crafted dilemma and how buying a Coke can help asassinate a Union leader in Bogota ...
According to Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic, Penn remains a a key member of the campaign's senior staff and took part on the campaign's morning message call on April 7th , as usual
It is not clear precisely what Mr. Penn's title-change entails, other than a public rebuke, although the official said that "there is a difference between being in charge and being one of many voices."
A further explanation is that Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign and this will be undertaken by ...er.. Mr Penn.
Perhaps he knows where the bodies (literally ) are buried.
Shrillary the liar
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the House Judiciary Committee, on the Watergate investigation,committee.
Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.” More about her role in the Watergate affair and it's aftermath.
See also at Amazon by Jerry Zeifman "Hillary's Pursuit of Power "
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
On Wednesday March 19th Birmingham City FC was raided by officers from the City of London Police. This was said to involve the £300,000 transfer of Aliou Cisse to Portsmouth in 2004. A statement published on the Midlands side's website at the time : "The club is cooperating fully with the police in their inquiries which relate to an unconnected third party or third parties.
"For the avoidance of doubt no one connected with the club has been questioned or arrested.
"No further comment will be made by the club."
Today Birmingham City's co-owner, pornographer David Sullivan and managing director Karren Brady have been arrested in connection to an on-going investigation into football corruption which is believed to be related to the transfer of Senegalese footballer, 31 year old Amdy Moustapha Faye, currently at Charlton Athletic FC but on loan to Rangers FC..
Faye was arrested by City of London Police on November 28, 2007 along with Harry Redknapp, Milan Mandaric, Peter Storrie and Willie McKay (who has acted as an agent for Faye when he moved from Portsmouth to Newcastle for £2m) over allegations of corruption.
The Sunday Times Rich List has the loathsome Sullivan, 55, at 68th position due to his owning Britain's biggest licensed sex shop group, the 90-strong Private Shops, his share with the Gold family ornographers in Sunday Sport ("The world's most outrageous paper")and a booming property empire. His tacky and vulgar mansion features as the Chairman's house in the chairman's house in the TV series Footballers' Wives.
He plucked 23 year old Brady from Saatchi and Saatchi where she had built up a healthy account with this soft porn empire to buy the bankrupt Birmingham City which she was to run - very successfully.
Sullivan studied economics at Queen Mary College at London University and would have been awarded a First but for BBC Economics guru Peston's father, the Professor at the time who hated the fur skin wearing, pink cadillac driving, rude but brilliant student.
His girl friend at the time, was a student of Frenchand ecnomics , Colette Bowe who (despite her Catholic upbringing) did some nude modelling gained notoriety / fame for taking the rap in the Westland affair when as Chief Information Officer of the DTI she leaked a crucial letter from the Solicitor General Patrick Mayhew to Michael Heseltine although she has never admitted it.
Colette kept her mouth zipped and went on to higher things , including chairmanship of the council of Queen Mary College, London University.
... and deputy chair of Thames Water, on the boards of Yorkshire Building Society, board member of Axa Framlington, Morgan Stanley Bank International, Goldfish Bank and Electra Private Equity plc. She is also a board member of the National Institute for Economic and Social research; a board member of Camden Peoples' Theatre and a trustee of the Wincott Foundation. Morgan Stanley Bank International, chair of the Ofcom Consumer Panel and as a member of the Statistics Commission .
Yet another example how quickly CCTV images can be put in the public domain - but coming up to 3 years after 7/7 bombings and 8,000 items of fillum being examined we still have no clear images / moving images / undeniable location / time / of any of the 7/7 bombers and anyone else who may be associated with them.
Because there is a massive official cover up of what actually happened on 7/7 2005.
UPDATE : Sunday 13th April 2008 The Daily Telegraph et al report his body was found hanging at Paddington station at 10.0 am . he was dead. CCTV from the station has been pulled for examination - evidently monitors were unable to see/track him.
At the risk of appearing obsessive about the secrets of Freemasonry and the sexual proclivities of public servants, the research team have discovered a curious little known pastime of an exotic branch of American masonry.
Members of the law and law enforcement figured in December in a curious sting in Buffalo, New York.
It appears 4 massage parlors in Niagara Falls, Wheatfield, Lockport and the Town of Tonawanda were raided on Dec. 10, after a 15-month investigation into prostitution allegations. One of the "working girls" who was arrested ,who, no doubt in an attempt to cut some slack told of a road trip across State Lines she took with some regular customers, a retired Lockport Police Capt. John Trowbridge and retired Judge Ronald H. Tills amongst others. Under the Federal Mann Act it is illegal to transport a woman over state lines for the purposes of prostitution.
This, a form of sex tourism, is of course a putative charge against Mr Spitzer.
The purpose of the trip, taken in a motor home, was a meeting (location / date time as yet unknown) of the Royal Order of Jesters whose motto is "Mirth is king", where it is alleged the woman was paid to perform sexual favours.
The little known (and even less understood) Royal Order of Jesters is a nationwide not for profit organisation with 191 chapters associated with the Masons with some 23,500 members who must each be a member of the Shrine of North America and the Masons.
As a result agents from the FBI and U.S. Border Patrol have been investigating the local Jesters chapter, which is known as the Jesters Buffalo Court No. 22. They soon discovered that the owner of the motor home was Michael Stebick, a part-time law clerk in the state courts in Buffalo who has previously been Judge Till's law clerk.
The Judge had been doing some work as a US$300 a day judicial hearing officer and Stebick was a criminal prosecutor with the Erie County district attorney's office. In recent years, he had worked for the state courts part time, evaluating pistol permit applications.
Both men resigned in March when press reports appeared in Buffalo newspapers.
An intriguing connection is that Congressman Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, worked, when a student for Tills whom he praised as a "Valuable mentor" during a session of Congress on Dcember 5th 2005 and spoke of his community work and as a Director of "Buffalo Court 22 of Jesters."
On 20th March 2008 Buffalo News reported that retired Lockport Police Capt.John Trowbridge, 60, pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the federal law that prohibits transporting a woman over state lines for prostitution.
Trowbridge admitted to District Judge William M. Skretny that he participated in two separate road trips when women were transported out of state for prostitution purposes. One trip was to Kentucky in 2005 and the second was to Pennsylvania in 2006. He also agreed that ..." It was customary for these men and others, who are also members of a men's organization (The Royal Order of Jesters), to bring women to some of their meetings, intending for the women to engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual activity with the organization's members in exchange for money."
According to his plea agreement, Twobridge waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a 1 count felony, for which the maximum possible sentence is imprisonment for up to 10 years, a $250,000 fine, a mandatory $100 special assessment and three years probation. Read the plea agreement here. This involves a "Waiver of Indictment" read it here.TV reports say he will get 1 1/2 years and a US$30,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny accepted Trowbridge’s guilty plea and scheduled sentencing at 9 am on July 31.
This is not the first such event that hit the courts , during a federal court case in Milwaukee, Wis., in February 1990, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a woman admitted to a federal judge that she ran an interstate prostitution business and was hired to provide prostitutes for Jesters conventions in New Orleans, Houston, Chicago and other locations, including some in other countries.
The newspaper reported that the woman, speaking at her sentencing, told the judge that "well-to-do businessmen, mayors and aldermen" were among the Jesters' members, and that uniformed police officers sometimes provided security at the events.
There was also a remarkable news story from Winnipeg in 2001 about a raunchy Shriners fest involving lap dancers and odd activities with beer bottles and oral sex.
2 days after Trowbridge fessed up OP-ed news reported a curious legal case in the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. Case number 07-21228, list 19 witnesses who are believed to be members of the Royal Order of Jesters (ROJ) AKA Shriners AKA Masons, who are expected to testify about fishing trips to Brazil. This an article "Masonic Jesters to Testify about Illegal Drugs, Child Prostitution?" (members) by Sandy Frost - From http://sandyfrost.newsvine.com Copyright © 2008 by Sandy Frost. Used by permission.
The case involves a libel/slander complaint which was filed on May 11, 2007 by Richard W. Schair and Wet-A-Line Tours, L.L.C., plaintiffs, who allege that they were libelled and slandered by Amazon Tours, Inc., defendant, owned by Philip Marstellar, President and Schair is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000. (original complaint here)
Their company website says Richard Schair, founder of Wet-A-Line Tours, LLC, is an experienced professional tournament fisherman and ex-BASS Pro. He started fishing as a child and has continued throughout his entire life. His career includes not only tournament victories in fresh water but in salt water as well.
Approximately 8 years ago, the company switched it’s primary focus to the Amazon River Basin and the incredible Peacock Bass. At present, Wet-A-Line Tours is the exclusive representative for the Santana Yacht Line and under Mr. Schair’s direction has developed the “Gold Standard” for fishing in the Amazon region
The complaint alleges that Amazon Tours, Inc. told a group at the Miami International Airport that Schair was smuggling drugs and was using the yachts that the clients stay onboard in Brazil to move illegal drugs and that they should avoid booking any tours with the Wet-A-Line Tours, L.L.C. because of Schair's "drug connections."
Amazon answered that Schair is not entitled to any relief due to the "doctrine of unclean hands," and demanded a jury trial and submitted a Defendants' Pretrial Witness List on December 20, 2007 that lists the name, address and phone number of those so called and the subject of expected testimony. Of the 57 witnesses named, 19, or one third of them, are believed to be members of the Royal Order of Jesters. The witness list is here and contains no doubt for US citizens some fascinating names one of them is given as Don Anderson, Albuquerque, NM.
The witness list states that 19 of the witnesses were on a fishing trip to Brazil in August / SEptember 2007. 2 boats were supplied one for the Jesters and one for 20 or so girls.
Also named on the witness list are five Jane Does, 1 - 5, who each "has personal knowledge of prostitution, minor prostitution, use of illegal drugs, and/or entry into Indian reservations by Schair and/or his customers."
Five girls gave statements to Brazil federal police officers last year who are investigating "minor Indian and other girls living near the rivers in the region of the Municipality of Autazes/AM who became victims of sexual exploitation by North-American foreign tourists."
These girls told the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, Federal Police Department that they were, at the time of the alleged minor prostitution, aged 13, 14, 16. One of the 16 year olds stated that her 14 year old sister was also recruited. All the girls state they were lured onto the fishing boat by someone named "Richard."
The 13 year old reported that she was a victim of sexual abuse perpetuated by a group of foreigners, North Americans, who asked for her services aboard their fishing vessel, the Amazon Santana. The statements (oringinally in Portguese and translated) provide a sickening and through tale of the activities of Mr Scheir, his company and the autumnal trips of bass fishermen and their treatment of indigenous children. Not for the squeamish.
The statements of the girls can be read here
Another witness is Cindi Truhn of Georgia who is a former employee of Wet Line and was involved in booking trips including the one by the Royal Order of Jesters. Photographs from a ROJ tour are available here.
Sandy Frost also has a very long and detailed examination Jesters Exposed at News Vine Friday February 15th 2008. She examines the tax records in details of the ROJ which includes exemption from US$12,000 property taxes on their Indianapolis HQ - which is used a a business office by Jesters executive director Alex Rogers, who is also an attorney and past potentate and Texas attorney Ron Pruitt have listed their business addresses and phone numbers with the Indiana Supreme Court Roll of Attorneys and the Texas Bar Association as Jesters’ headquarters in Indiana and Texas.
She points out that getting laid, drunk and competing in oral sex competitions may not be illegal but tax exemption status doesn't stretch that far.
" Cassandra Sandy" is a Navy vet and says here role models are Woodward and Bernstein and Hunter S. Thompson. Read more about this indefatigable lady who has been chasing the Shriners for a long time.
Meanwhile here is a fascinating case from New York State .... October 23rd 2003 from the office of Mr Cuomo..
"Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Monroe County couple were arrested and arraigned on a previously sealed indictment filed by an Erie County Special Grand Jury, charging them both with running a prostitution business in Erie, Monroe and Niagara counties.
The defendants, Andrew Tubiolo, 33, and his wife Jennifer, 30, are each charged with two counts of Promoting Prostitution in the Third Degree, both are class "D" felonies. They were arraigned on October 22, before Supreme Court Justice Ronald Tills in Erie County Court, who set bail for Mr. Tubiolo at $10,000; Ms. Tubiolo's bail was set at $5,000."
Two fucking hypocrites in one brief statement.
The US State Department have a site on Child Sex tourism The Facts About Child Sex Tourism ... "Tourists engaging in CST often travel to developing countries looking for anonymity and the availability of children in prostitution. The crime is typically fueled byweak law enforcement, corruption, the Internet, ease of travel, and poverty. These sexual offenders come from all socio-economic backgrounds and may hold positions of trust."
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
This is the share price of EOG Resources, today the shares rose US$2.85 to US$129.03 which ives them a market capitalisation of US$ 31 Bn.
All the excitment is due to the Bakken formation. A large blanket of dolomitic rock whch shields a massive underground oil resevoir which has been known about since the early 1950's.
An oil field was developed, which is now called the Elm Coulee Oil Field, in Richland County, Montana, where production began in 2000 and is expected to ultimately total 270 million barrels (43 million m³). In 2007, production from Elm Coulee averaged 53,000 barrels per day (8,426 m³/d) — more than the entire state of Montana a few years ago.
However EOG Resources, a Houston company (in 1999 they split from Enron and were formerly Enron Oil & Gas Company) with worldwide interests, who are skilled in horizontal drilling - they don't drill vertically but along the rock layers as the name implies, started work last year in layer of shale below Parshall, North Dakota. The costs of extraction are in the range of US$20 plus but with oil at US$100 the basin becomes economic.
On March 20th they made a presentation to a Bear Stearns oil conference and tey reported that this work has shown they are currently producing 7,500 Bopd, Net and that the reserves are 9MM Barrels of Oil in Place Per Section – Recovery Factor 10% - 350 to 700 Mboe, Net Reserves/Well and that the total is 80 MMboe Estimated Net Reserves* for the whole Parshall Field and that they have booked as nett assets - 21 MMboe Net Reserves as at December 31, 2007.
Cause enough for excitment.
However the US Geological Service , who conducted a survey 20 years ago have been undertaking preliminary suveys and are expected to report their finding soon.
Hopes / Expectations are high and there is talk of 20 Billion barrels of recoverable oil in Dakota and Montana.
The Colombia Free Trade Bill - Shrillary on the Horns of an Obama crafted dilemma and how buying a Coke can help asassinate a Union leader in Bogota
President Aribe of Colombia was quoted in the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on 2nd of April ''Deploro que el senador Obama, aspirando a ser presidente de E. U., ignore los esfuerzos de Colombia", - ' ' I deplore that Senator Obama , who wants to be President of the The United States , ignores the efforts of Colombia. "
In an interview with CongressDaily, Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade Christopher Padilla reinforced recent comments by Trade Representative Schwab that President Bush is preparing to send the Colombia Free Trade Aagreement implementing legislation "immediately or very shortly" after lawmakers return from the spring recess. Schwab is currently with a party of Congressmen in Colombia since April 4th. This treaty has all sorts of ramifications, for example Pharmaceutical companies will get exclusive patent rights, getting 20-year monopoly rights to market drugs in Colombia—the sort of of provisions that have driven up drug prices in the U.S. Generic drugs will effectively be banned for ten years
Aribe's remarks were a public response to Obama's remarks in Philadelphia that he would not support a Free Trade Treaty that President Bush was anxious for Comgress to approve.Obama added that " the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements"
Then he widened his appeal ..."So you can trust me when I say that whatever trade deals we negotiate when I’m president will be good for American workers, and that they’ll have strong labor and environmental protections that we’ll enforce."
Shrillary of course also opposes the agreement and therefore it was curious that Aribe had singled out the Illinois Senator for criticism.
On the 4th of April the Wall Street Journal pointed out that Mark Penn, a senior adviser to Shrillary had on Monday March 30th met the Colombian Ambassador to the US.
Now Mr Penn is not only Shrillary's adviser (which his firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, has already billed her campaign with more than US$10 Mn) he is also CEO of chief executive of Burson-Marsteller Worldwide, a massive (and secretive) lobbying / PR outfit who include companies like Blackwater and Microsoft in their extensive portfolio. They also have a US$300,000 a year retainer with Aribe's narco state to help seal the Free Trade deal.
So on Sunday Shrillary's office had to announce that Mark Penn "had asked to give up his role".
Then on Sunday we got..."The Colombian Government announces its decision to terminate the contract with Burson-Marsteller. This firm conducts public relations and communications consulting services on behalf of Colombia in the United States for the approval of the Free Trade Agreement and the continuation of Plan Colombia."
To lose one client is bad, but to lose 2 in a weekend looks like carelessness.
But Aribe has other workers in this murky pool of influence peddling ...Glover Park Group, a fast-growing firm of which the founding brains were former Clinton White House aides including Joe Lockhart, who was chief spokesman for the president. (Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign communications director, was a partner at the firm but has taken a leave of absence.)
Bill Danvers another Clintonian aide of Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart is also on the take as is Andrew Samet, a deputy secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, has been hired under yet another lobbying contract.
Now why was Obama so concerned about the union workers in Colombia? Well being a union organiser in Colombia where official unemployment is 20% is a very hazardous occupation, over 600 have been kiled since 2002 - journalists are regularly assassinated as well.
For example on March 22, 2008, Adolfo Gonzalez Montes, a Colombian coal miner and leader of the union SINTRACARBON, was assassinated in his home, leaving behind his wife and children. Adolfo Gonzalez Montes is reported to be the 13th unionist murdered in Colombia this year, so the mounting toll may mean they kill more workers representatives than the 40 they killed last year. See "Extrajudicial slayings on rise in Colombia" Los Angeles Times March 21st 2008
A major abuser of workers, their rights and alleged user of paramilitary muscle to "organise" their workers in bottling plants is Olympics co-sponsor Coca Cola.
In July 2001 the United Steelworkers of America and the International Labor Rights Fund (www.laborrights.org) filed a lawsuit on behalf of SINALTRAINAL(National Union of Food Industry Workers), several of its members and the estate of Isidro Gil, one of its murdered officers. The lawsuit and campaign aim to force Coca-Cola to prevent further bloodshed and to provide safe working conditions.
Nothing has resulted but a slow and insidious student led campaign has resulted in many Universities shedding contacts with Coca Cola for everything from sports facilities to coke machines on campus.
In April 2006 The University of Michigan, New York University and several other institutions in the U.S., Canada and Europe severed relationships with The Coca-Cola Company because Coca-Cola would not agree to an independent third party investigation of allegations of human rights, labor and environmental abuses by its bottlers in Colombia and India.
Yesterday the University of North Carolina student newspaper "the Daily Tar heel" ran an article about the the University's Department of Athletics funding from Coca-Cola and want to follow New York University and all three Rutgers University campuses, who have banned Coke vending machines or cancelled exclusive contracts with Coca-Cola.
A 46 page campaign document is available detailing the campaign against Coke which has been prepared by United Students Against Sweatshops
From destroying water systems in Kerala India - resulting in the closure of their Plachimada Plant since March 2004 to the mass sacking in May 2005 at the Yenibosa plant of Anadolu Endüstri Holding A.Ş , Coca-Cola’s Turkish partner .
Or take Sudan .... U.S. firms have been barred from doing business in Sudan since 1997.The United States has listed Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993.... yet Jeffrey Gettleman reported in The New York Times (10/24/06) "In 2002, Sudanese investors opened a new Coca-Cola factory, with Coke syrup legally exported to Sudan under an exemption for food and medicine. The $140-million plant churns out 100,000 bottles of Coke, Sprite and Fanta per hour..."
Yet gum arabic is also exempted from such regulations, and it is the number one export of Sudan... and an essential component of Coke.
There is another connection too, the biggest shareholder in Coke is the Sage of Omahah, Warren Buffet (8.3% worth approx US$10Bn) he was also at one time a major investor in PetroChina Oil Company... described as the world's biggest company when it debuted on the stock exchange in November 2007 and tripled in value to over US£1 Trillion. By market capitalization, it is now worth more than the two previous global corporate front-runners, ExxonMobil and General Electric, combined .. it is also the major oil business in Sudan.
By the time of the IPO Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had bailed out ,having seen an initial US$488Mn plump up nicely to US$3.3 Bn. Fidelity Investments also sold 90 % of their 4.5 million PetroChina shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
But both Buffett and Fidelity said their decisions were based purely on financial considerations and had nothing to do with activists. Oh No.
The current brou ha ha about the Chinese Olympics makes one wonder why Andrew Jennings' books are not more widely read and quoted. When Lord Patel wore out typewriters alongside him on the New Manchester Review in the 70's we didn't anticipate his success in inserting his foot and microphone in the door of the many, many crooks who run world sport. More
1992: The Lords of the Rings was a smash hit translated into 13 languages. The Lords and its disclosures of Olympic corruption and the fascist background of the IOC president changed world perceptions of the organization forever. Published in USA as Dishonoured Games. (Amazon)
Sports Illustrated lists it as one of the Top One Hundred Sports Books of all Time.
1996: The New Lords of the Rings: Olympic Corruption & How to Buy Gold Medals. Top of the UK best-selling sports books list for five weeks and in top ten of all sports books published that year. Translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese and Spanish. Pirated in Chinese - twice, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and in Korean.
To appreciate this book read the on line review by Joe Clark -The New Lords of the Rings: Olympic Corruption and How to Buy Gold Medals - Pocket Books, 360 pages, $8.99 paper, ISBN 0-671-85571-9
2000: The Great Olympic Swindle. The explosive story of organised crime and the Olympics, how the IOC fooled the world into thinking it reformed itself after the cash-and-sex-for-votes scandals - and the secret documents revealing how the IOC spent US$2 million on American spin-doctors to mislead a pliant media.
2006: Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-rigging and Ticket Scandals. Harper Collins (in English – lots of translations) (Amazon)
'MacDonald's has supported the Olympic Movement for more than 30 years and we share many of the same ideals.'
IOC President Jacque Rogge
Turin, February 7, 2006
Blairs bribing of IOC voting members
So who is surprised the Olympics fester with scandal ? The London bid - a monster deal fudged through in a Singapore hotel room by Gold Medal liar Tony Blair who was handing out "favours", political payoffs in one on one meetings with IOC members and mutual backscratching to get the result he wanted.
London beat Paris by 4 votes and the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë, was quick to accuse his opponents of bending the rules by continue to lobby IOC members until only hours before the decisive session began. Deeper, darker, dirtier deeds are the subject that swell around what Tony Blair got up to sequestered in his Raffles City convention complex in Singapore as the IOC members (64 of the 100 IOC members met and jollied with Tony and Cherie in those 48 hours) relentlessly filed in and wreathed in smiles and bonhomie, filed out.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Another banking chief has fallen on their sword - this time Ingrid Matthäus-Maier 63, chief executive of Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the state-owned German development bank, has resigned - it is said for health reasons.
KfW owns 45.5 percent of the corporate lender IKB which had to be bailed out with a rescue package of more than €8 billion ($12.6 billion) after making heavy write-downs on its security investments. KfW covered around €6 billion of the bailout volume.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück said today , after a meeting of the KfW board, that KfW would have to make a further write-down of around €1.8 billion as a result of its stake in IKB. The 2007 full year operating result turned to a loss of €6.2 billion from a profit of €1.6 billion principally because of charges of €7.2 billion for the rescue of troubled IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG. (see results here in English)
Matthäus-Maier had been financial policy spokeswoman for the center-left Social Democrat Party . She had been on the management board since 1999 and only became CEO in October 2006 taking over from Hans Reich.
Current board member Wolfgang Kroh is to take over her responsibilities as chairman of the board temporarily.
At IKB Four management board members, including Chief Executive Officer Stefan Ortseifen, were dismissed last year after an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers found the crisis was a result of ``flawed'' risk management.
IKB has lost about three-quarters of its market value since July 30, when it cut its full-year forecast and received emergency funding less than two weeks after saying the subprime crisis wouldn't affect it.
IKB held their annual general meeting in Dusseldorf today - Ulrich Hartmann, head of IKB's supervisory board, told a very disgruntled shareholders that the bank's management board failed to inform the supervisory board about risks and previous inquiries from Germany's BaFin financial regulator and KPMG LLP failed to show potential losses. Not us Guv ... we ..er.. just ..er supervise.
Hans-Richard Schmitz of the DSW shareholders ssociation said.."Apparently, there wasn't a soul in the entire bank who had a grasp of risk management, Shareholders have been left with a shattered bank and no one wants to take responsibility.''