"“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, July 12, 2008

Market turmoil - NYSE to be shut Monday. NSPD/51 gets dusted off

Since posting about Lehman brothers troubles - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Lehman Brothers investments exposed as losses pile up..Alpha female CFO Ms Erin Callan NYPD cop's daughter's is on the case things have got worse.No.No. Things were bad, just how bad we now realise.

On Friday Lehman Bros. shares US$22 when the above was written, closed on Friday 16.5% down on the day at US$16.56 and had been as low as US$14.

Credit Default swaps are a fancy financiers name for a bet on the chances of Lehman's bonds being paid. Lehman's credit default swap spreads widened 35 basis points to 320 basis points on Friday. That means folks were happy to pay US$320,000 per year for five years to insure $10 million in debt.

The Market capitalisation is about twice what the balance sheet shows as nett assets - assuming the figures can be believed.

With the problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bernanke and Paulson are loking for a solution. This means they need to line up lawyers, financiers, legislators and shareholders. The authorities cannot allow these 3 major institutions to simply declare bankruptcy.

Expect the New York Stock Exchange to close Monday whilst they try to sort this out.Maybe even longer. Maybe other markets will follow.

The cost will be US$trillions to the tax payer, the mortgage holders, and equity markets and the US$ will plumb new depths against the Euro and oil will probably hit US$170.

Time to dust off Presidential Decision Directive 67 (PDD 67), issued 21 October 1998, which relates to enduring constitutional government, continuity of operations (COOP) planning, and continuity of government (COG) operations... plus National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive / NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51/HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20 which President Bush issued on May 7th 2007. which includes function (g) Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems; ???? .....more
Sunday, May 20, 2007 NSPD/51- Prudent Planning for "Catastrophic Emergencies" ?

Or go to one of our favourites Signs of the Economic Apocalypse

Making matters worse: The gaping U.S. current-account deficit -- the amount by which the value of goods, services and investments bought in the U.S. from overseas exceeds the amount the U.S. sells abroad -- and the low levels of domestic savings means that foreigners must purchase more than $3 billion every business day to fund the imbalance.

Since roughly half of the nation's nearly $10 trillion national debt is held by foreigners, mostly in Treasury bills and bonds, such a withdrawal could have enormous consequences.

Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton and her aide de camp Huma Abedin : Amazing pictures !!

A fascinating collection from Daylife of pictures on the campaign trail of Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton and aide Huma Abedin.

EU Citizens Data Rights to be signed away in secret

If you bump into David Davis MP you might ask him about the Framework Decision of the EU on transfer of Personal Data which Statewatch have helpfully posted

This covers the transfer of personal data and information/intelligence between EU member states. The Council has simply ignored all the criticisms of the measure from the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Article 29 Working Party on data protection and civil society.

They are of course obsessed by the decisions made during the last EU-US summit under the Slovene EU presidency (9-10 June), when the US and EU agreed that "the fight against transnational crime and terrorism requires the ability to share personal data for law enforcement." see post Saturday, June 28, 2008 Signing away the data privacy of 400 Million European citizens - Bush has a timetable and his pen ready to sign up

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor (who has done more to protect your rights than DD ever has) , remarks that the "binding international agreement" between the EU /US about to be agreed will " In fact ... cover any criminal offence" however minor. There is no guarantee EU citizens will be informed that data and information on them has been transferred to the USA or to which agencies it has been passed or give them the right to correct it. Moreover, the agreement would apply to individual requests and automated mass transfers and allow the USA to give the data to any third state "if permitted under its domestic law".

It would be good to say that the USA must guarantee the same rights to people when personal information is transferred between EU states but this would be meaningless as the Council is about to adopt a Framework Decision which gives individuals few if any protections against misuse and abuse."

The whole history of how data rights of all EU citizens have been negiotiated in private can be read in detail at Statewatch's Observatory on data protection in the EU

This quotes the entertaining Paul Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US DHS (pic) who said, in November 2007, on the EU requirement that data can only be passed to third states whose laws passed the "adequacy" test guaranteeing equivalent rights:

"The EU should reconsider its decision to apply notions of adequacy to the critical area of law enforcement and public safety. Otherwise the EU runs the very real risk of turning itself into a self-imposed island, isolated from the very allies it needs" (Privacy and Security Law)

He is also opposed to the EU's draft Framework Decision on data protection in police and criminal matters (covering the exchange of personal data within the EU), on this:

"The draft seeks to apply the same tired, failed standards of adequacy that it has applied in its commercial laws." [EC Directive 95/46/EC)

The 1974 US Privacy Law gives no protection to non-US citizens, from the EU or elsewhere.

Rosenweig is well known as a prominent champion of government data-mining and was heavily involved in the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness project - now finally dumped even after they re-named it Terrorist Information Awareness. Lee Tien, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco said of him, " He tends to view privacy as something to be circumvented." (Pic here of Rosenweig in a famous Washington brothel)

Read the Statewatch Observatory , the detailed obituary on your personal data rights .. there is nothing you can do , your data rights have been pissed away whilst David Davis was posing around Howden. You can receive an e-mail news alert to Statewatch here or even send a few bob.

Air Wars hots up as Emirates launches Airbus 380 NY / JFK - Dubai route

Emirates start their Dubai - New York JFK round trip 3 times weekly flights in 2 weeks, of their spanking brand new Airbus 380's and join Singapore Airlines, now perating twice daily London/Singapore in operating these massive air cruisers. (Singapore are offering flights from Singapore to the Olympics from 2-8th August)

In a media blitz they will be operating a series of 2 hour round trip “familiarisation” flights out of San Francisco and Los Angeles for invited guests - the hot ticket in town - Lord Patel has had to demur as he will be busy watching TV that day.

The San Francisco familiarisation flight is scheduled for August 4, with the Los Angeles event set for the following day. The guests will be encouraged to tour the aircraft and take a close look at its three-class configuration - 14 first-class suites, 76 business seats and 399 economy – and a likely array of amenities that has the industry on tenterhooks.

Details released so far include showers in first-class and an all-premium upper deck but the the wraps are firmly on the aircraft being prepared in Hamburg.

Emirates will receive a total of five A380s in its current financial year, all in three-class, 489-seat ultra-long-haul configuration. After New York, these aircraft will operate on Emirates’ routes from Dubai to London Heathrow and Sydney-Auckland. The airline also plans to take delivery of numbers of A380s with three-class/517-seat and two-class/604-seat layouts.

Meanwhile gossip continues that George Bush (President United States) will bow out having ordered at least one Airbus 380 for Air Force One to repace the ageing White House 747 fleet.

Boeings Dreamliner is going to be very much on the back foot as the space and extra facilities cannot be offered - and the fuel cost savings have no or litle impact on ticket prices - especially to a market led by people who don't even look at the ticket price.

OAP Lady Dame Jane Baroness Pauline Neville Jones gets another outing

The BBC have arranged another outing for OAP Lady Dame Jane Baroness Pauline Neville Jones - following Newsnight last week . Expect to hear the batty old bitch on BBC4 "Any Questions" on Friday night 18th July. Elegant, well educated and well bred young men from the FIO , RUSI and Hakluyt will already be putting the final polish on a question to be planted for her to grandstand on bombing Iran and spreading further fear ....

Keep posted for this bell weather of Middle East Military action to pop up elsewhere as the drumbeat to war ratchets up - August is a popular month for war in the FO. HM Illustrious and a fleet of missile stuffed submarines are paddling about in the Indian Ocean....

HCR 362 - international effort to impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains,entering or departing Iran

Last Saturday Saturday, July 05, 2008 Saturday, July 05, 2008AIPAC want the US to bomb Iran .... call your Congressman, 220 signed up already about the the House Continuing Resolution 362. introduced by Rep. Gary Ackerman [D-NY] and Mike Pence (R-IN) on May 22nd (also see Sen. Res. 580 Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and John Thune (R-SD)) . This is AIPAC sponsored legislation to sideline any UN resolution and ...

..."(4) urges the President to lead a sustained, serious, and forceful effort at regional diplomacy to support the legitimate governments in the region against Iranian efforts to destabilize them, to reassure our friends and allies that the United States supports them in their resistance to Iranian efforts at hegemony, and to make clear to the Government of Iran that the United States will protect America's vital national security interests in the Middle East. (i.e bomb the shit out of them)"

There were then 220 co-signees and now there are (238) 237 - more details @ Stop Aipac but U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, who originally supported the resolution, now says "I'm all for stricter sanctions against Iran, but the blockade part goes too far," and is going to tell the sponsors he has withdrawn his support.

Rep. Robert Wexler has written in Huffington Post that he wants to present an amendment to prevent the language on Resolved Clause 3 ...that an "international effort to impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran." could be misread misused to , in his words "be interpreted by President Bush as "a green light" to use force against Iran."

Rep Dennis J. Kucinich from Ohio who usually has two opinions on anything has circulated a letter expressing his opposition to the Bill and especially the clause about a blockade. In memorable terms he says that ..."The Bill leaves the door open for war but is silent on ways to avoid it. Dennis also voted against the The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, another AIPAC sponsored measure that carried 404-6.

Stop Aipac points out that AIPAC supporters fear that conviction of spies and AIPAC employees Keith Weissman and Steve Rosen (trial delayed yet again) would result in AIPAC requiring to register as agents of a foreign power. AIPAC closely coordinates policy with the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC and the Israeli government, making it an agent of a foreign government. AIPAC should therefore not be allowed to keep its 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable status. This might cripple its role in US politics - it might also increase their afforts.

Factoid. Rep Steny Hoyer , 69 (D-MD -the highest-ranking Member of Congress from Maryland in history) is the Democrat Whip (voted House Majority Leader by a stonking 149-86) - his sister is Bernice Manocherian - she was chairman of AIPAC in 2005 when both Nancy Pelosi and Condileeza Rice addressed the Annual AIPAC Policy Conference on May 24th 2005. This is what Nancy said on that happy occasion ..

"The people of Israel long for peace and are willing to make the sacrifices to achieve it. We hope that peace and security come soon - and that this moment of opportunity is not lost. As Israel continues to take risks for peace, she will have no friend more steadfast that the United States.

"In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'

"The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever."

You can read Steny Hoyer's biog on his Congress website in both English and Spanish ... nowhere does it mention Israel. You might also want to read how he wriggled to let through an amnesty for telcos on warrentless wiretapping - two faced , double dealing shit..

Friday, July 11, 2008

Airline tickets prices to be cut dramatically as result of new Boeing Nextgen Tailored Arrivals : due to fuel saving efficiencies

Boeing does more than make aeroplanes. A major and little appreciated part of their enterprise involves making flying passengers and freight at lower cost. As the oil price soars, this brings greater rewards to their partners.

Boeing have just released details of their novel Air Traffic Management (ATM) concept called Tailored Arrivals at San Franscisoc Airport (The FAA call this Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) . From Dec. 4, 2007 to March 23, 2008, United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Japan Airlines completed 57 flights into SF International Airport that utilized a continuous descent rather than a series of level segments as now required. The Tailored Arrivals approach reduced fuel consumption during descents by up to 39 %, depending on airplane type, and total carbon emissions by more than 500,000 pounds.

Aircraft landings typicall take a stepped approach. A pilot reduces thrust and the plane starts to descend, then the pilot increases thrust to level off, repeating the cycle until the plane is on the ground. Constant acceleration and deceleration of the engines not only burns too much fuel, it creates a lot of noise, and increases emissions of gases like nitrous oxides, which is unpleasant for residents near airports.

With a continuous decent approach, a pilot lines up with the runway much earlier -- sometimes up to 40 miles away -- cuts the thrust once and descends at a consistent rate. If the stepped landing is a flight of stairs, then the continuous descent approach is a wheelchair ramp.

Whilst this is only a step on the way to what is grandiosely called the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by the FAA, it shows the benefits of fully utilizing air-to-ground data link technology to descend into an airport with minimal direct air traffic control (ATC) intervention. Key technologies have been supplied by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and by NASA. The FAA's Ocean 21 system delivers data to and streamlines communications between flight crews and air traffic controllers. NASA's En-route Descent Adviser (EDA) computes fuel-efficient descent solutions.

The FAA is completely transforming air traffic control from a ground-based system of radars to a satellite-based system through the Next Generation (NextGen) Air Transportation System Integrated National Plan. NextGen is US$4 Bn. plan critically important because the current system will not be able to handle traffic that is expected to increase to one billion passengers by 2015 and double current levels by 2025.

Boeing 777-200ER and 747-400 airplanes were used and the full Tailored Arrival approaches reduced average fuel consumption of the 777s by 1,303 pounds per flight, or about 34 %. For the 747s, the savings was 2,291 pounds, or about 39 %.

On 119 additional flights, a partial use of the system showed fuel savings of 379 pounds per flight for the 777s and 1,100 pounds per flight for the 747s.

More trials will be undertaken later this year at Miami International Airport as part of a joint FAA -European Commission initiative to accelerate the practical implementation of transatlantic air traffic management improvements that can reduce both emissions and noise.

The prinipal feature and backbone of the FAA Nextgen approach is the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADSB). ADS-B.

This is a satellite-based technology that broadcasts aircraft identification, position and speed with once-per-second updates. A national ADS-B program office has already been been established.

The Capstone program in Alaska, which uses ADS-B in a non-radar environment, has resulted in a 40% drop in general aviation accidents.

A partnership with the helicopter industry will bring ADS-B to the Gulf of Mexico in December 2009.

United Parcel Service has outfitted a fleet of 300 Boeing 757s and 767s with ADS-B for use at its Louisville hub, with similar services planned for Philadelphia. The airline is seeing a 30% reduction in noise and a 34% decline in emissions for ADS-B-equipped aircraft. The contract to deploy the ADS-B system was awarded to ITT on August 30.

There are multiple benefits to UPS, they can co-ordinate arrivals precisely and take advantage of continuous descent (in which they were pioneers in developing - reducing noise , nitrogen oxide emissions and saving fuel) , even without visual contact which can eliminate low level vectoring as traffic controllers juggle with multiple East and West coast flights. Bob Hilb, UPS's advanced flight systems manager says that if just 10% of the low-altitude maneuvers that are now occurring in the U.S. were eliminated, most airlines would be making a profit.

Bob also says "Consistency builds capacity" .. which applies to passengers or freight.

PS : The headline is a lie.

Winning Hearts & Minds in Afghanistan

The July 6 airpower summary at Air Force Link said " Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations July 6, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials".

In total, they reported 50 close-air-support missions were flown as part of the ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols, there was no mention of bombing in Nangarhar.

Nangarhar province in E Afghanistan has always been known for its agriculture. With its moderate climate, proximity to major rivers and elaborate irrigation system it prospered. The Soviet invasion of late 1979 and the ensuing civil war drove many villagers into neighbouring Pakistan, leaving their land untended. The canals that fed the crops clogged up with mud, grass and wild trees. Water seeped into the farmlands and turned them into marshes.

Nangahar Province has also been a major poppy growing area in Afghanistan, with an estimated 28,000 hectares planted to poppies in 2004. It also sits on a major smuggling route between the Afghan capital Kabul and Peshawar, Pakistan.

Mohammed Nadir Farhad in Kabul writes how Ambarkhana village in Nangarhar's Batikot district, 50 kilometres from the border with Pakistan, was a classic example of such neglect. A UNHCR project has resulted in canals being cleaned, irrigation systems at work and the mountainous land flourishing again.

"Drought/water shortages, blocked canals meant we were not able to get even one season of harvest from the land," recalled Haji Samiul Haq, the head of the local shura (council) who approached UNHCR to start the project. "But after the excavation of the spring and cleaning of the canal last year, the project enabled us to get two seasons' harvest."

Villager Gul Ahmad, who was working on his farm, added, "Given the current food crisis, hundreds of people would have abandoned their homes by now either for bigger cities within Afghanistan or for neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan, if we had had no access to water."

Zafar, a 55-year-old who returned last year from Katcha Gari camp in north-western Pakistan, agreed: "Improving the irrigation system helped us to enhance our income. Thanks to UNHCR for improving our water resources and enabling us to live in our homeland."

At least 60,000 returnees living in 26 sub-villages in Ambarkhana have benefited from the US$75,000 (The cost of 3 GBU 38 1,000 HE laser guided bombs) project. The World Food Programme supported it by providing food and cash in exchange for work by the villagers, many of them returnees.

"Small-scale, but essential, projects cleaning water canals and improving the irrigation system have a great impact on the life of people who are particularly dependent on agricultural products," said Haji Samiul Haq.

Nonetheless, many basic needs go unmet, and access to water remains highly difficult. The villagers in this remote area traditionally relied on the karez system, an underground water network that was damaged by the protracted conflict. Most of the families now get their water from tankers.

The situation has been exacerbated by the recent return of more than 10,000 people to the village after Katcha Gari and Jalozai camps were closed in Pakistan in March. UNHCR helped repatriate 63,000 of the 175,00 in those camps which were part of the 2 million refugees from Soviet controlled Afghanistan which were supported in Pakistan.

Elsewhere in eastern Afghanistan, some 5,000 families who recently returned from Jalozai camp are living in poor conditions in a number of makeshift settlements. They cite tribal conflicts, insecurity, landlessness and unemployment as the main obstacles to their return to their places of origin.

The eastern region, particularly Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces, have received more than 60 percent of all returneess so far this year.

Mohammad Nabi is one of the new squatters in lower Sheikh Mesri, a recently-opened spontaneous settlement in Nangarhar. "I did not find the relocation option in Pakistan attractive," he said, referring to the alternative to repatriation when Jalozai camp was closed in May this year. "Yet I cannot go back to my home village of Torghar in Khogyani district due to severe living conditions including the lack of access to road and water."

Drought and the lack of food security are also affecting millions of vulnerable Afghans in far-flung areas of the country's north and west. Some people have had to leave their homes because of these problems, including an estimated 1,800 families in Balkh province.

Sustainable return remains a long-term challenge that UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations are able to address only initially. The answer to socio-economic problems for all Afghans lies in the success of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy endorsed in Paris last month.

A subsequent conference hosted by the government of Afghanistan and UNHCR is scheduled this November in Kabul to focus on return and reintegration challenges.

A Voice of America report on May 27th 2008 reported the other side of the story that Nangahar villagers have returned to growing opium poppies, they need less water than wheta, provide more income and promises of help have been derisory.

"Farmers have gone back to growing poppy here because they're poor and desperate," says one farmer, Malik Chakan. "They were expecting help from the government that hasn't arrived. We don't have a health clinic, we don't have schools or electricity."

Eradicating poppy is a pillar of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, says, Ambassador Thomas Schweich Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

These villagers don't even have potable water. They have to go to another village and carry it back.

Arghandi Gul, Village Elder explains, "Last year they told us they would provide an alternative livelihood if we agreed to eradicating the poppy. So people happily agreed. In return for this, we got 400 bags of fertilizer for 4,000 homes. This year, we got sixty 20kg bags of flour for our village. That was their 'alternative livelihood'!"

No crop pays like poppy. There is a need however to balance this report with one from the Economist June 19th 2008 that Gul Agha Sherzai governor of Jalalabad - a bear of a man known as “the Bulldozer”, has contrived to make Nangarhar officially “poppy-free” this year.

David Mansfield, a researcher for the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, a think-tank ***, (he is author of WATER MANAGEMENT, LIVESTOCK AND THE OPIUM ECONOMY Resurgence and Reductions: Explanations for Changing Levels of Opium Poppy Cultivation in Nangarhar and Ghor in 2006-07 ) is quoted in the above EConomist report , which that ,at the apex of the opium business are around 15 kingpins. Few have direct links to the business of smuggling but use political influence to ease the movement of drugs and protect figures lower down the chain. All are known to Western intelligence officials, but currently enjoy immunity. One senior Western diplomat says that if the West is to gain credibility it must get President Hamid Karzai to take action against 15 senior officials (at least one of his brothers being one of them) . “There should be a night of the long knives.”

Bombers kill 47 in wedding Party Sunday 6th July 2008 Nangahar

Of course what the July 6th Air Force Link report that opened this post failed to mention is that at least one of those 50 aerial sorties that day, resulted in the death of at least 47 civilians, mostly women and children. This is not the first time the US military have killed civilians in the area.

A U.S. Marine unit broke international humanitarian law by using excessive force during a shooting spree last month that left 12 people dead, an Afghan human rights group said in a report Saturday March 4th 2007. The troops fired indiscriminately at pedestrians, people in cars, public buses and taxis in six different locations along a 10-mile stretch of road in Nangahar province after an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into their convoy on March 4, […] Six people were killed near the blast site, while the another 13 died ( 37 injured) on the road as the troops sped away, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, the group's spokesman. The dead included a 1-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and three women, the report said. Thirty-five people were wounded in the shootings. […]”

This resulted in a public apology and "solatia" (blood money) payment to the deceased family members.

Army Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Votel, Combined Joint Task Force-82 deputy commanding general said at a ceremony when the payments were made, “We are deeply saddened and angry over this incident,” Votel said. “On behalf of my country and our Soldiers, we humbly ask for your forgiveness and continued cooperation. As you know we are conducting an investigation. We ask for your continued cooperation during this investigation.”

Reuters are now reporting that A U.S. coalition force air strike on Sunday near Deh Bala killed 47 civilians, including 39 women and children. Initially it was reported that 23 were killed as aircraft bombed a convoy bringing a bride to her new husband's village in Nangarhar.

The U.S. military released a statement after the incident saying there were no civilians in the area and that they had been targeting a large group of militants.

"I reject the coalition statement saying that all those killed were militants," Burhanullah Shinwari, deputy speaker of the upper house, who is heading an investigation into Sunday's incident told Reuters on Friday. "There aren't any Taliban or Al Qaeda even several kilometres near to where the air strike took place. Fourty-seven people were killed; 39 of them were women and children," he said shortly after attending prayer ceremonies for the victims in the provincial capital Jalalabad.

An investigation has also been launched into another U.S. air strike carried out two days before Sunday's incident in which local officials say 15 civilians were killed. Another report said that on July 4, U.S. helicopters killed 22 civilians during a raid in Nuristan Province.The U.S. military is conducting its own investigation into Sunday's incident.

*** AREU funding is provided by the European Commission (EC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the World Bank, and the governments of Denmark, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency Sir Roger Wheeler involved with Colonel Saunders in Aegis with sex maniac Fatty Soames

Craig Murray has the lawyers after him again. Schillings want to collect their rotten schillings, this time on behalf of "Colonel" Tim Spicer and his bunch of trigger happy bandits at Aegis. See Craigs blog for more.

You wil find plenty more about this crew of parastatal thugs here, not forgetting of course ex soldier non executive Director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency Sir Roger Wheeler who is a Director of Aegis. Set a thief .....Pic Spicer goes undercover in clever SAS disguise...he is the one with the hat.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 AEGIS "shoot 'em up gang" wins biggest DOD contract in Iraq
Sunday, June 03, 2007 1893 Anti Pinkerton Act floors Spicer , and the hired thugs of Aegis
Sunday, April 08, 2007 Lady Dame Pauline Neville Jones Fan Club at work : Pt 251 - more on murder of Peter McBride
Thursday, March 15, 2007 Tim Spicer, Aegis and the rest of the Lady Dame Pauline Neville Jones Fan Club in the Green Zone with the greenbacks
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 Dame Pauline Neville - Jones Fan Club Issue 2 including details of In 2005, the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction investigated the Aegis contract and found a number of shortcomings. They found that Aegis did not vet all of its Iraqi employees for security, as required by the contract etc......
Sunday, June 18, 2006 Pentagon "investigation" into Aegis "trophy video" was cursory, flawed and refused vital evidence.
Friday, June 16, 2006 BBC apologists for Aegis / Spicer shoot 'em up thugs
Monday, May 29, 2006 How the Guradian expose the truth about Tim Spicer - Government controlled terrorist
Sunday, February 12, 2006 Security Contractors to US State Department kill 2 Kurds in taxi shoot up in Kirkuk

We haven't even started on the activities of HAKLUYT & COMPANY LIMITED 34 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QS with it's crew of ex spooks, generals and armchair generalists

Hamm Bros. Jumping through the Olympic rings

The Olympics are only weeks away and the scandals have already started.

The Hamm twins Paul and Morgan (b.24.9.82) are both back in the US Olympic Gymnastics team again.

At Athens 4 years ago Paul won Gold in the individual all-around competition , the only American man in Olympic history to win the gold medal in that event.

Thereby hangs a tale.

After 3 rounds Hamm held a good position but had a disastrous falll on the vault, nearly landing on the judges and he dropped to 12th position. However, numerous faults by the other gymnasts, combined with Hamm's performance on the parallel bars, returned him to fourth place after the fifth rotation. His high bar routine gained him a score of 9.837, winning him the gold medal by a margin of .012, the closest in Olympic Gymnastics history.

After the games The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) ruled that South Korean bronze medalist Yang Tae Young was incorrectly given a start value of 9.9 instead of 10.0 in the parallel bars event during the all-around final. Changing scores after the fact was a violation of the rules of the competition (under which gymnastic scores must be disputed immediately -- before the gymnasts move to the next piece of equipment, but certainly before the medals are awarded). So Hamm kept the Gold medal.

The whole matter became a great cause celebre and resulted eventually in Bruno Grandi, President of the FIG, stated that the FIG would not change the results of the all-around. However, the FIG sent a letter to Hamm in care of the United States Olympic Committee, stating:

If, (according to you [sic] declarations to the press), you would return yourmedal to the Korean if the FIG requested it, then such an action would be recognised as the ultimate demonstration of Fair-play by the whole world. The FIG and the IOC would highly appreciate the magnitude of this gesture.

In the letter, Grandi stated that Yang Tae Young was the "true winner" of the competition.

Yang filed an official appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), wanting his score changed and the gold medal. On September 27, 2004, Hamm and the USOC appeared before the court in Lausanne, Switzerland during a hearing that lasted eleven and one-half hours. Nearly one month later, on October 21, 2004, a three-judge CAS panel announced that the results from the Olympics would remain and that Paul Hamm would get to keep the gold medal. The verdict was final and could not be appealed.

All this of course left a nasty stink and General Mills announced which U.S. Olympians would appear on individual boxes of Wheaties "The Breakfast of Champions" cereal: swimmer Michael Phelps,16 year old gymnast Carly Patterson, and sprinter Justin Gatlin ("The World's Fastest Man" currently serving a four year ban from track and field for testing positive for a banned substance) . Hamm , who was in talks to appear on a box, was not chosen.

His brother Morgan helped the US team win a silver medal and also silver at the 2003 World Championships - when only 17 he had competed in Sydney in 2000.

The brothers dropped out of gymnastics but both decided to return in February 2007.

USA Gymnastics chose its teams for the Summer Games and amongst them is Morgan Hamm.Now we know that at the national championships Hamm tested positive for a banned substance. Actually, Hamm had doctor's approval to take an injection of an anti-inflammatory drug (Triamcinolone acetonide which is a prohibited glucocorticosteroid ), and by filling out a waiver form with the doctor's clearance, he would've been fine. Inexplicably, Hamm never filled out the form.

Now athletes are not dumb. The coaches, family, trainers, kids next door are not dumb. Even USOC members are not dumb. Everyone knows the rules, standards and protocols they must follow.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has given Hamm a slap on the wrist public warning. The national championships counted towards selection so interpreting the rules strictly Morgan Hamm shouldn't be packing his bag for Peking.

Paul intended to compete at the 2008 U.S. Championships, but was forced to withdraw after injuring his hand. After sitting out the Olympic Trials, he was named to the 2008 Olympic Team on a provisional status depending how his hand healed.

Morgan Hamm deserves a break is the scuttlebutt. Doesn't anyone else ? Pauls performance might suffer if Morgan isn't there.....

Tough brotherly love, but it also sends the wrong message not to draw a hard line here.

If Morgan is allowed to go - the effects will follow the US team all the way to China.

PS : Austrian tennis player Stefan Koubek lost ATP points and 35,000 Euros prize money from the French Open in 2004 for testing positive for Triamcinolone acetonide which had been injected. Remarkably it is used to mask hormones in US beef which is forbodden in Europe.

There seems no clear evidence but it appears to have been used as a doping mask.

Long Hot summer nights

The UK is worried by street crime.... Indianapolis is a State capital of a prosperous mid-western state with a population of approximately 800,000, of which 75% are white, 25% Black / African American 1% Asian and the remainder Hispanic.

Today the Indianapolis Star reported this shooting / murder.

35-year-old LaTonya Jones was shot dead in her Eastside home at 9.00 am on Wednesday morning with her 4-year-old son and two nieces and a nephew nearby.

LaTonya Jones' death was the city's 11th homicide in 10 days.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police blame an argument over a man for the shooting and arrested Sherri Ferrell, 45, hours after the incident. She was charged with murder and was held at the Arrestee Processing Center without bond. Indianapolis metropolitan police blame an argument over a man for the shooting. Witnesses told police they saw Ferrell casually walk away. Wish TV

It's 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 77% Relative Humidity

This was the the city's 11th homicide in 10 days, average age of victim 36

July 9
» LaTonya Jones, 35, 3300 block of North Sherman Drive.

July 8
» Crystal Jenkins, 28, 200 block of Hendricks Place.
» Demetruis Allen, 22, 200 block of Hendricks Place.

July 7
» Steven McElwain, 22, 900 block of Udell Street.

July 7
» Melissa Parksey, 40, 3100 block of Auburn Road.

July 6
» Clifford Haddix, 69, 3000 block of Newton Avenue.

July 5
» James Trotter, 24, 2400 block of East 40th Street.

July 3
» Kenson Joseph, 25, 200 block of North Randolph Street.

July 1
» Tiffany Tewell, 25, 1700 block of Laurel Street.

July 1
» Edward W. Hill, 39, 3400 block of Caroline Avenue.

June 30
» Mario Gonzalez-Tello, 72, 5300 block of West 38th Street.

Indianapolis, has a murder rate of 17.5 per 100,000 (US National Average = 7 UK latest 2.03) just over the border 100 miles away in Cincinnati ,Ohio (Pop 320,000) the HQ of Proctor & Gamble the murder rate is 28.87 per 100,000. Forcible rape figures (per 100,000) Indianapolis 68.54, Cincinnati 94.14 against a US national average of 32.2.

Barratt Developments has confirmed that 1,200 jobs "will go "

Presumably if you can afford the mortage you can't possible afford a car.... or maybe they are just sacking the guys who lay the driveways.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Just so that you know how those monster BBC bonuses are justified

This from Cryptome :

If you worked in a BBC Newsroom you would have received this ;

To: Newsg UK All; Newsroom-All; News Programmes - all
Cc: Jenny Baxter
Subject: RIPA - important guidance

Newsgathering advice re Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

The ECU is upholding a complaint against BBC News for describing the above Act as a piece of "anti-terrorism legislation" which was passed "in 2000 as the threat of global terrorism was on the rise". Please refrain from using these phrases in future coverage of the Act as the first is wrong, the second is misleading.

The purpose of the act was to give legal structure to surveillance following the introduction of the Human Rights Act. The surveillance was aimed at serious criminals and, though terrorists would fall into the category, it is wrong to describe this as anti-terror legislation.

Equally RIPA was passed at a time when British law enforcement agencies were more concerned with potential threats from dissident IRA followers than a more global threat so it is misleading to imply that global terror was a significant factor in prompting the legislation.

Should you need to describe the purpose of the Act in brief terms it would be better to say it "covers all sorts of serious crime".

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

UPDATE Thursday 3.00 pm BST : Readers are advised to look at Head of Legal and attached letter from kebab addict Jacqui Smith to Trevor Phillips.

Lord Patel falls out of bed with Gemma Garrett - never work with children Royalty and animals

After 3 weeks of intensive handling, coaching and speechwriting, Gemma appeared with Michael Crick on BBC2 Newsnight supporting 42 days detention without charge.

Afghanistan - Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drops bomb on enemy - State of Hearts and Minds on Ground unknown

Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations July 8. In total, 74 close-air-support missions were flown as part of the ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols. according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In the vicinity of Molla Ashraf, an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper dropped a guided bomb unit-12 onto enemy combatants. A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-38s onto enemy combatants and an enemy compound near Bagram. A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

In the vicinity of Now Zad, a Navy F/A18E Super Hornet and F/A18C Hornets dropped GBU-38s onto enemy combatants and an enemy compound.A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

F/A-18Es conducted shows of force to deter enemy activities near Gardez.. A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

A-10s performed shows of force to deter anti-Afghan activities near Gardez. A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conducted shows of force to deter enemy activities in the vicinity of Tarin Kowt and near Gardez. A JTAC controller declared that Hearts and Minds were won.

Near Gardez, French 2000 Mirages performed shows of force to deter anti-Afghan activities. No JTAC to report state of Hearts and Minds

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 27 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities..... and ...er won Hearts and Minds.

Heparin -another chapter in the tale APP taken over by Fresenius - Patrick Soon Shong trousers US$3 Billion

German medical group Fresenius (FREG_p.DE: Quote) the biggest worldwide provider of dialysis services have bid a remarkable US$3.7 Bn. for APP Pharmaceuticals (APPX.O: Quote, ) who have, since problems with Chinese supplies of heparin pre cursor, become the dominant US supplier of heparin for dialysis , which hit competitor Baxter International Inc (BAX.N: Quote)

The high price saw Fresenius stock declining as they intend to finance part part of the deal through a capital increase. The deal will not only help Fresenius control costs (heparin from APPX has more than doubled in price) but provide an edge on competitor , dialysis services group DaVita Inc. (DVA.N: Quote, )

Fresenius will pay a 29% premium to the market price on Monday of US$23 per share and a possible US $6 a share in the second quarter of 2011 if APP beats a core profit target. Fresenius will also take on APP's net debt of about $940 million. It expects to close the deal at the end of 2008 or start of 2009 after regulatory approval when AP will become part of the Fresenius ' Kabi unit, its infusion drug therapy and nutrition division.

"With the APP platform, Fresenius Kabi will be able to market its product range in the U.S. Fresenius Kabi's international marketing and sales network will allow us to sell APP's products globally," Fresenius Chief Executive Ulf Schneider said.

Fresenius plans to finance the purchase with a mix of debt and equity aimed at minimizing the impact on Fresenius SE's credit ratings, with the largest portion through debt.

Colourful and controversial Patrick Soon-Shiong, APP founder and holder of over 80% of the APP outstanding stock, had given his written consent and a voting agreement and will pick up US$3 Bn. see Saturday, May 17, 2008 see Heparin - APP doubles prices, triples production - the fascinating life of Dr Soon-Shiong and cures for cancer and diabetes

We said at the time "Keep an eye open for more interesting information about this very interesting man and his very interesting career." .. which probably explains why a lot of interest has been shown in the last 2 days in the above post by folks at JP Morgan and Lehman Bros.... amomgst others.

Well maybe Baxter International just got unlucky with their suppliers of heparin from China enabling APP to snuck in, take over the dialysis market, double prices ... Patrick must have had good contacts in China to ensure supplies were not contaminated.

UPDATE WED 4.45 BST Here is soemthing very interesting about this very intersting company run by the very intersting Dr Patrick Soon Shiong. Footnoted.org notes an 8K SEC filing at around 2-30 on July 2nd ...there was Footnoted noted ..."sudden uptick in the company’s stock on Wednesday afternoon, someone seems to have picked up on the filing, or at least used it as a convenient excuse to buy."

"But it’s not just the stock that bounced. A short time ago, I spoke with Ryan Dietrick, a senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Research who said the options activity late last week looked unusual, given that normal open interest for APPX options had been “very light”. But on Thursday, someone made a pretty bold bet and bought 540 August call options @ 17.50 a share, which Dietrick says likely went for $1.30 to $1.40. Right now, those options are going for $6.30 a share, which makes whomever bought those options on Thursday either very smart or unusually lucky."

A Commentator posts ...."Hmmm, looks suspicious. I wonder if someone got the call first…"

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tracking Bertha

Full NOOA graphics here

Gardasil® gets 7,802 adverse reports to CDC by VAERS system

On June 8, 2006, the FDA licensed Gardasil®, the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer caused by certain kinds of human papillomavirus (HPV) and was licensed for use in the United States by the FDA on June 8, 2006

More than 12 million doses of the 3 stage vaccine have been distributed, 2,151,000 in 2006 and a further 1,317,902 by the end of 2007. AS there is no national registry the number of people vaccinated is unknown.

Initial tests, only performed on females were undertaken on 11,00 people between 9 and 26 worldwide and found the most common side effect was injection site pain. While Gardasil was being tested in the U.S. before it was licensed, 10 people in the group that received the HPV vaccine and 7 people in the placebo group died during the trials. None of the deaths was considered vaccine-related.

The US national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (VAERS) system has received 7,802 reports after Gardasil vaccination in the U.S. (June 8, 2006 through April 30, 2008) Less than 7% reported serious side effects, about half of the average for vaccines overall.

An adverse event by the Code of Federal Regulations as adverse events involving hospitalization, death, permanent disability, and life-threatening illness.

VAERS received 15 reports of death following Gardasil vaccination in the U.S and only 10 reports contained the level of information adequate for further analysis none could establish the causal relationship between vaccination and death. The details of the other 5 reports of death were insufficient to make any judgement.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

Note: GBS cases take longer to verify because each case must be confirmed manually by CISA staff after reviewing the patient's medical record.

VAERS received 31 reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) after Gardasil vaccination in the U.S. Ten have been confirmed. Of the 10 confirmed GBS cases, 5 reported vaccination with Menactra ( A meningococcal vaccine) and Gardasil at the same time. Of the remaining 21 reports, 7 did not meet the case definition for GBS (when evaluated by the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) group), 1 had symptoms of GBS prior to vaccination, 4 are unconfirmed reports, and 9 are pending additional follow-up.

Because GBS occurs at a rate of 1 to 2 per 100,000 person-years during the second decade of life, it is likely that some cases occur after vaccination by chance alone and are not caused by vaccination. Among 9 to 26 year-olds, the number of reports of GBS received by VAERS are within the range that could be expected to occur by chance alone after a vaccination. Studies are underway to evaluate the risk of GBS that may be associated with receipt of Menactra vaccine.

Merck shares (MRK:NYSE) dropped nearly US$2 (5%) but recovered slightly today to close at US$36.60 as analysyst and TV companies digested the news. FOX CBS WKBW CBC


Health Canada approved Gardasil® on July 18, 2006. Since then, all 10 provinces have started or said they would be starting vaccination programs. Nova Scotia were the first province offering vaccinations to girls in Grade 7 from JUne 2007.

As of Jan. 8, 2008, the Public Health Agency of Canada had received a total of 145 reports of adverse events following vaccination with Gardasil®, none of which were of death or Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to the agency.

Crash & Burn - was Bradford & Bingley

B & B share price at 9.00 has fallen a further 20% and is now 34.00 p down 8p on opening...

There has probably never been a worse timed campaign .....

UPDATE : News reaches oop North that a white knight on a charger is being sought but those that have taken a look at the Aire Valley master trust have discovered better ways of handling their shrivelling treasury funds.

Also with Gordon in the land of the Rising Chrysanthemum nobody is around who will actually make any decisions. The last thing Magical Mervyn wants is another ex Bulding Society in the sick bay .. and with A & L in a holding pattern ....

UPDATE 11.30 Tuesday Skipton Building Society yesterday confirmed that its chief executive John Goodfellow had considered buying the bank, but quickly walked away.

The Daily Mail say HBOS, Abbey, Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, have agreed to be sub underwriters to UBS and Citigroup but we will believe that when we see it.

If this is the BOE new Stability Pact at work , it doesn't work very well.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Urban Myth ...fear stalks the Nation..

According to Mark Urban on Newsnight ;

The murder of Alexander Litvinenko was carried out by Vladimir "the Strangler" Putin with his bare hands.

The near murder of Boris Berezovsky, was carried out by Vladimir "the Strangler" Putin with his bare hands.

In recent months the Director General of the Security Service, Jonathan Evans, has expressed concern about the high level of espionage operations by Russian spies under diplomatic cover.

Miss Sharabang the American tennis player was drugged by Vladimir "the Strangler" Putin with his bare hands so that she would lose.

Lady Dame Jane Pauline the Baroness Pauline Neville Jones has lost her pyjamas and appears on Newsnight (Prop RUSI - ans) with a lab technicians white coat.

Please don't worry, Old Age Pensioner Lady Dame Jane Pauline the Baroness Pauline Neville Jones will only appear once a week on Newsnight, the in house magazine of the Fear and Commonwealth Office.

Sleep soundly, Jonathan Evans only recruits and supplies arms to IRA or UDP gunmen.

Gordon's Bulimic Vision in Japan - Throwing it all up and away.

No 10 Downing Street has a Strategy Unit. In September 2007, the Prime Minister commissioned them to undertake a major project on food and food policy.

This was :
1 To to review the main trends in food production and consumption in the UK.
2 To analyse the implications of those trends for the economy, society and the environment
3 To assess the robustness of the current policy framework for food
4 To determine what the objectives of future food strategy should be and the measures needed to achieve them.

They produced an Analytical report in January this year which is not available at the web page alocated ..." This report is being updated and should be available shortly. "

Food Matters - Towards a strategy for the 21st Century is a 145 page report published today by the Strategy Unit ... and must not be confused with the Gallagher report also issued today by the Ministry of Transport ... easily done if you read the Press. It is this report which contains the information

"UK consumers spend an average of £420 per household each year on food that they
then throw away."
It was of course fed to pigs ever since the war, and until the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001 (in which 7 million sheep and cattle were killed at a cost of £8Bn.) that this used to be collected and fed to pigs. There were said to be 2 origins of this outbreak, illegally imported food and the failure to sterilize pig feed by boiling. This was never proven.

This figure (according to a footnote) of £420 per household comes from Waste and Resources Action Programme WRAP (2008) The Food We Waste "consumers throw away 4.1 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten – worth an average of £420 per household – every year" Except that the BBC report on 8th May 2008 of the study, "the first of its kind in the world (?)" as " consumers throw away 4.1 million tonnes of food " based on a survey of 2,138 households (out of 23 Million) and gave 2 figures for total cost of £9Bn and £10.2Bn which suggest there might be some lurking inaccuracies in the figures. (See update No 10 Press release)

The end result of this 10 month study is (unsurprisingly):

The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to establish and support a Food Strategy Task Force to monitor ongoing developments in the food system and food markets, to drive forward implementation of all the measures in this report and to publish regular updates on progress.
Overall there appear to be 4 strands or conclusions ...

1. Long term decline in food prices is over (Perhaps)
2. 70,000 premature deaths due to diets failing to matched nutritional guidelines (perhaps - more late night TV ads to the slothful) (Estimate in In quality-adjusted life years, Department of Health Page 29 no further source is provided)
3. Food is safer than ever to eat in the UK (Good)
4. The food chain has huge environmental impacts (around 18% of UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are related to food production and consumption).Page 9 "On-farm GHG emissions are set to be the focus of increasing attention in the years ahead"

This last is a curious conclusion and resort to ES.17 (Page 12 de-mystifies (slightly))
Around 18% of UK GHG emissions are related to food production and consumption.
Nearly half of these emissions come from farms, mostly in the form of methane
and nitrous oxide that fall outside current UK domestic targets for carbon
dioxide (CO2),and are beyond the scope of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and
other carbon pricing mechanisms.

The source for this highly suspect statement is Office of National Statistics (2007) Environmental Accounts, Spring 2007. See chart 2.2 for 2004 at top of post . GHG emissions 52/731,000=7.1% Acid rain = 500 / 3308 15.1% - % 'ages as total of UK. So where the 18% figure comes from is a mystery, unless in some curious mathematical way they are combined. basically it is totally meaningless, nor is any attempt made to justify it, except by an obscure out of date footnote.

More recent figures are available a were published as the Office of National Statistics (2007) Environmental Accounts, Spring 2008. published on the 3rd of June 2008
GHG = 6.9% Acid Rain = 19.1 %
So (if the figures are to be believed) Agriculture is producing less GHG - cows farting less ?

Something to brag about surely ?

ES.51 Finally, a Joint Research Strategy for Food will be prepared to ensure better coordination of departments’ food-related research spending. The strategy will identify priorities for research, and undertake monitoring and dissemination arrangements. The strategy will define a ‘virtual’ research programme that cuts across the work of those departments, and will link to Research Councils and other funders.

The report goes on an on in this vein, bold aspirations, and negligible content. Acres of committee meetings, cross departmental seminars beckon, .....international conferences....oh and (p 123) thanks are due to ... Deloitte & Touche LLP you bet.

Delivering the Government's Vision .....

here is the Kicker ....7.3 Resource implications There are no additional public expenditure implications of this report within the current Spending Review period (2008–11).

Which is probably why of only two figures used, which have been checked they appear to be inaccurate. Anyway the report is interesting as it has Gordon's signature - graphologists could work on that for a long time.... has he got any other crayons inhis box ?

PS : NO 10 have issued a Press release in which they say ,

"The food chain creates 18% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Farming and fishing contribute around half of this total." This is NOT what the report says , it does not even mention fishing and there is no explanation how the 18% figures is arrived at. Isn't Gordon supposed to be ace at arithmetic?

"A third of the food bought for home consumption is wasted – 6.7 million tonnes." We have shown above that the figure of 4.1 Mn tonnes was used in the WRAP report - an error of 60%.

"If UK diets met nutritional guidelines, 70,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year. " No source is provided for this calculation or how it is arrived at other than to say it is a "Department of health Estimate".

These are not just picky points. If basic facts and figures , much publicised, are used in quotes for the PM in a No 10 Downing Street Press release cannot be relied upon for accuracy, it is difficult to see on what basis any judgements can be made.

UPDATE Tuesday a BST On reflection the whole report is bollocks- Still puzzling over this bit ..."The strategy will define a ‘virtual’ research programme "

Sam's nicely into profit .... time to get your dosh out

"Professor" Branestawm and the Renewable Ideas Obligation

"Professor" Ed Gallagher, was formerly the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency (and previously Chief Executive of the National Rivers Authority from 1992 until 1995) since February he has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Renewable Fuels Agency, which is is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which has been established to administer the Government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and to report to Ministers and to Parliament on its impacts.

The RTFO, which came into effect on 15 April 2008, requires suppliers of fossil fuels to ensure that a specified percentage of the road fuels they supply in the UK is made up of renewable fuels. The target for the first year of the obligation, 2008-9, is 2.5% by volume. It came into effect on 15 April 2008.

As well as obliging fuel suppliers to meet targets for the volumes of biofuels supplied, the RTFO requires companies to submit reports on the carbon emission savings and sustainability of the biofuels.

The RFA aims to make the registration and reporting process as clear and easy as possible for all suppliers.... making one wonder exactly how Slab Murphy and his IRA cronies in Northern Ireland handle all the necessary paperwork.

On February 24th , slim, lissome, Ruth Kelly Minister for Transport and Opus Pocus asked "Professor" Ed Gallagher him to lead a study of the wider economic and environmental impacts - particularly the indirect impacts - of different forms of biofuel production. - RFA Review of the Indirect Effects of Biofuels. (Presumably in the UK)

In establishing this study, in advance of introducing the RTFO in April it was intended to use the data gathered by handling this assistance to the Renewable Fuels industry to study the environmental effects of biofuel production. Especially in the light of continuing debate worldwide about the rapid expansion of biofuel production, and evidence of the indirect, or "displacement" impacts, of growing demand for agricultural production around the world.

A Press release from 9th January said that the study would examine how the market for biofuels is contributing to tropical deforestation and other land-use changes. In addition it will examine to what extent the growth in biofuels is contributing to increasing food prices.

Remarkably (!) this report is "leaky", as is a World Bank report on much the same subject.. when it is published , readers will be first to know what "Professor" Branestawm has to say after studying this complex subject, with its global effects, agricultural, financial and social, plus its ramifications and impact on UK Road Transport, for 3 whole months.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Atlantic Hurricane season under way

The Gulf Hurricane season is due to begin.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued a report on May 22, 2008 with their seasonal outlook . They expect considerable hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, with a “90 % chance of an above-normal season in the Atlantic Basin this year - and a 25% chance of a normal season.”

There is, NOOA says (remembering that this does not mean "landfalls")
a potential of 60-70 % chance of

12-16 named storms,
6-9 Hurricanes,
2-5 Major Hurricanes,
An Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range 100%-210% of the median

This is based on 2 principal factors

1. Historical evidence that includes above-normal sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. (Cape Verde Islands etc.,)

2) Possible lingering effects from La Niña or ENSO-neutral conditions.

They point out that whilst , La Niña seems to be waning, its atmospheric impacts can persist even when Pacific Ocean temperatures have returned to normal.

The current active hurricane era began in 1995 says NOAA . Hurricane seasons during 1995-2007 have averaged 14.5 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an average ACE index of 167% of the median.

Hurricane Katrina, was a Category 5 storm, achieved 175 mph winds before it dropped to Category 3 and struck Louisiana on August 29, 2005, making it the most destructive storm to ever strike the U.S. in terms of economic impact. Hurricane Rita struck the Texas coast on September 24, 2005 as a Category 3 storm having achieved sustained winds of 180 mph.

Coincident with the start of the season Englewood, Colo.-based provider of information services IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) have reported on their studies of the impact of hurricane damge and cost over a 45 year period oil and gas production from hurricanes over a 45-year period on Gulf of Mexico production their conclusion , despite Katrina and Rita is that the overall impact is relatively modest typically short-lived.

Typically hurricanes disrupt less than 1.5% of both oil and gas production. Careful planning and a
focus on the safety of skilled personnel play a major role. Operators decide to pull crews off rigs well before storms enter the Gulf. Consequntly most costs are simply due to suspension of operations as a safety precaution if a hurricane does threaten offshore production. Consequently on average hurricane disruptions are short-lived with full production re-established within a month.”

The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) reported that 3,050 or 75 % platforms, 22,000 miles or 67% of the pipelines, and about two-thirds of the region’s refineries were in the path of Katrina and Rita.

By mid-December the cumulative shut-in oil was 101.7 million barrels, 18.5 % annual Gulf oil production, and shut-in natural gas production was 526.2 billion cubic feet, 14.4 % of natural gas

In the last decade, after hurricanes Opal (1995), Georges (1998) and Lili (2002), production was up and running within a month. Hurricane Ivan (2004), took out 471 million barrels of oil production and 140 billion cubic feet of gas production.

These major weather events have led to the industry improving evacuation plans to improce employee safety , and shut-in and restart procedures to ensure safety and to mitigate leaks and production losses.

The MMS has mandated new design specifications for offshore facilities and has issued a series of Notices to Lessees and Operators, called NTLs, for rig fitness requirements, platform tie-downs and ocean current monitoring, which are all tied to hurricane season. Within financial limits rigs are now engineered to withstand Category 5 hurricanes.

However extraction spreads ever wider (and deeper) increasing the area of risk to production and infrastructure in the GOM area cutting critical exploration and production activities.

In 2007 the US GOM (Not Mexico) produced 476 MBO some 25% of the U.S. total, and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of gas which is about 12% of curent US consumption.Currently, there are 3,639 producing oil wells in the U.S. GOM and 3,788 gas wells.

The deeper waters continue to provide world-class oil and gas discoveries. New discoveries from 2000- 2007 have yielded to date 8.5 Bn. BOE equivalent - the 7th largest source of new global discoveries during this period. Currently, there are 3,639 producing oil wells in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and 3,788 gas wells.

Footnote Gerry Bell , Meteorologist at the NOOA Climate Prediction Centre is famous for having spoken at a Press conference at the end of the very eventful 2005 hurricane season . New Republic magazine asked about recent reports that “global warming may have been responsible for the intensity of the storms,”

Bell stated categorically “we see absolutely no indication whatsoever that greenhouse warming is causing any of it.” Instead the storms’ intensity was “part of the multi-decadal signal that we see. It’s not related to greenhouse warming.” See New Republic John Judis, “The Government’s Junk Science,” The New Republic (November 2, 2006). It was of course the "multi - decadal signal that forecast a 70-80 year event - which was remarked on in a post 8th April 04 THE BIG BANG THEORY – The Bigger the Bang, the Louder the Silence

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

Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City noted that the highest global annual average surface temperature in more than a century was recorded in their analysis for the 2005 calendar year. This temperature anomaly chart for the year is worth examining.

Note that the Arctic has warmed significantly. These temperatures are from Dec. 2004 through Nov. 2005. Click image to enlarge Credit: NASA

This link will take you to an animation by decade of the increase in annual mean temperature in ten year increments from 1891 through 1996. It is evident that the trends observed for a warmer climate are seen at high latitudes,not near the equator, the birthplace of the Atlantic Hurricanes that end up in the GOM / Texas/ Lousiana etc.

Why are temperatures rising in comparatively higher in high latitudes than near the equator? An uncomfortable truth that the current explanation of anthropogenic sorces of forcing "greenhouse gases" has difficulty explaining.

SNP wins Glasgow East, beaten to 3rd place by Gemma Garrett

Should you be reading this whilst waiting for a 46 or a 39 bus on Cathcart Street and a man dressed like an undertaker (He is in a sense an undertaker) offers you a chance to stand as Labour MP for Glasgow East .... think very, very carefully before you answer.

Did you ,when flat sharing, steal someone's yoghurt from the fridge ? Perhaps by an oversight (easily done - and checked in this world of official databases) forgot to buy a TV licence, failed to pay a parking ticket ? Missed scooping the poop after your pooch ?

If so, you are advised to tell the itinerant Mr Brown - for it is he - that the lure of fat salaries, , fatter pensions and kitchens furnished by John Lewis, freebies to Malta and Mali is insufficient.

Gently explain that your current position as Waste Technician on the Swedish Mega-Pakka Re-Cycling Mobile Giganto Dumpster is fine.,, and offers greater long term prospects than a rejected thrid place Labour Party candidate.

As he gently shuffles off , gnawing a nail, ignored, reviled , rejected, evidently dejected, feel some pity for him. The truth is Haltemprice and Howden was let slip because no-one would stand. .. now this.

Now, Councillor Ryan , nicely lined up for Glasgow East after David Marshall had a heart / stress / wallet problem when certain events in his past became known, seems to have suffered the same fate ... a stray library book, something to do with rents not paid, a small matter...maybe a small case of attention for the "The Code of Conduct for Councillors forms part of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 as they take a look at the scandalum magnatum over Paddy's Market land deals in which 10 Labour Councilors have been named.... whissht nothing unusual there in Glasgae politics. Jimmy.

The star fucker Purcell, leader of the Glasgow Council fresh from Glasgow's successful bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and trailing clouds of glory, wouldn't even answer the phone.

Better still, skip the bus ride.. go home and stay in until they eventually find someone, anyone.

Up to press the poisoned chalice is in the hands of Margaret Curran MSP for Glasgow Baillieston who faces boundary changes ... but don't hold your breath.

Gay Sex splits Bishops. Amazing pictures !!!

Over 750 Bishops led by Australian Gay sex advocate Archbishop Peter Jensen from Sydney, started off the famous summer season of Bishops splitting over Gay Sex. Kicking off at the 750 strong "love fest" at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem, the ""real" action moves to the so called "Lambeth" Conference held in Canterbury later this month.

"Lambeth Gang"

Violent scenes are expected as lumps of Leviticus, and even Deuteronomy will be hurled about as the infamous "Lambeth" gang led by "Doc Martins" Williams , will be expected to be "digging their heels" in.

Lambeth Walk

Said to be a result of Bishops engaged in traditional struggles over gay sex. A Doctor writes, that this is not a medical condition. The patient should just try to try more comfortable shoes, wear boxer shorts and it should wear off by lunchtime.

Crucifying Queers

Apparently this is a practice of Our Souls, Langham Place, London and some very active and enthusiastic screaming lay gay sex groupies were "knocked to the ground", a few were "punched" and "fists flew" this week led by Peter Tatchell, ( usually to be found in face Book under "Outrage") who has evidently given up on converting President Mugabe to Gay Sex.

Women Bishops

More bad language as the annual epic "4 dayer" winds down ...... "The General Synod of the Church of England is also in danger of being split this weekend " (Independent) 1,400 letter writers could defect in a mass , public "schism" this weeked at York.

Who wants frock wearing women in Church... when men can carry it off so well.

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