"“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, December 20, 2008

Stop the War / NUJ protest at BBC Manchester

As usual it was drizzly rain but that didn't keep away a noisy, exuberant and happy crowd shouting support, waving a range of exotic footwear and placards in support of Muntazar al-Zaidi.

An NUJ organiser from inside the BBC was present and spoke but news organisations were simply not interested , except a paper from Egypt and we had live interviews on air with al- Zaidi's employer Al-Baghdadi plus they got blasts of Arabic chanting.

Naturally Plod turned up and a smiling and experienced Mark explained what was happening and Plod duly took notes and feeling exposed, small in number and unwelcome shot off with a wheel trim missing.

Besides a few pale faces pressed to windows the BBC ignored the chanting masses. Their state of the art electronic news gathering teams remained firmly indoors.

There was a friendly , jovial family atmosphere and all ages joined in the fun and frolics....

Umm Saad , his sister protested in Baghdad outside the Green Zone with thousands "nothing is known about... his condition, but he did nothing wrong. On the contrary, he pleased everyone. Bush is an occupier and he is the source of all the orphans and all the widows in Iraq.

"Everybody would have done what Muntazer did. We gave him the last kiss of democracy," she said of her brother shouting at Bush: "It is the farewell kiss, you dog."

A refrain taken up endlessly by the jolly crowd.

Now having done their best to destroy the cradle of civilisation another 20,000 US troops (and no doubt as many NATO) are on their way to Afghanistan.

Lots more and better pics at Greater Manchester Stop the War by Penny Krantz

The Ultimate Jewish Joke - Die Endlösung

"Uncle Sam is the biggest Ponzi operator of all, with the added magical power denied Madoff (unless forgery was among his talents) of being able to print money at will. CounterPunch tip of the week. Wheelbarrow stocks. Buy ‘em while the price is right. Soon Americans will be needing wheelbarrows to put the money in to go shopping. A vast new wheelbarrow industry could be part of Obama’s recovery plan. Collapsible wheelbarrows for the soccer moms to get in the back of the Volvo. Electric-powered wheelbarrows. Hybrid wheelbarrows from GM. Gold-plated wheelbarrows from the Defense sector."

"It's Kristallnacht Two!" An Ethnic Cleansing in America
By Alexander Cockburn - Counterpunch Weekend Edition December 19 - 21, 2008

Read it and weep ....

Frank J. Avellino - Bernie Madoff's partner in crime

There is a fascinating and MUST READ about Bernie Madoff and his family's inclination to steal money at Culture of Life News which should make your hair stand on end.

It has also produced a comment from Anon. which is worth copying here in its entirety ...

I need to remain anonymous for now, so I will trust you. The mastermind behind Bernard Madoff and his associate for more than 16 years has, until now, escaped scrutiny from the media and from law enforcement.

His name is Frank J. Avellino.

Avellino has been swindling people with Madoff for years. In 1992, the SEC investigated Avellino in an illegal $440 million securities case, but let him go. (Lord P. Not true see above) (Interestingly, the pair's attorney in the SEC case was Ira Sorkin. Madoff's current attorney: Ira Sorkin. )

See Wall Street Journal article - Dec 16, 1992:

Avellino has been scamming people with phony investment schemes, but not limited to the rich and famous.

He preys on innocent people with only $10,000 - $100,000 that he tells has access to the top people and proven profits on Wall Street and because their investment amounts are too small, he will bundle them with his funds which endears them to him and makes them feel safe and secure.
Many small investors have lost their life savings.

Avellino won’t even face his victims. He had his wife call them last week and inform them that their money was lost because it was invested with Bernard Madoff.

None of them had ever heard of Bernard Madoff, as their investments checks were written to Frank J. Avellino personally. He deposited them in one of his accounts at Citibank.

Annually he would send each investor a statement from Kenn Jordan Associates, an alias.

Avellino is hiding out in his New York apartment.

Frank Ave llino (212) 396-0404 655 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065

He also has a $4.5 million house at 223 Coral Lane in Palm Beach, And a $10 million house on Nantucket Island.

Law enforcement should force him to sell his properties and pay back all of the investors.

Frank J. Avellino is a crook and needs to go to jail with Bernard Madoff.

Please expose Frank J. Avellino as the fraud he is and I hope the authorities get him this time.

Thank You.

Avellino and Madoff have been working together, in tandem, operating the same Ponzi schemes. Some believe Avellino introduced the Ponzi scheme concept to Madoff and taught Madoff how it would work. These two have been working together for more than 16 years.

I know people, including my brother on Nantucket Island that have lost all of their money investing with Avellino, their losses are in the $ millions.

Avellino claimed he lost their money with Madoff, but there is no paper trail that he ever sent their money to Madoff. Avellino used a company named Kenn Jordan Associates to send annual statements to his victims. They have consulted with attorneys, so the Avellino/Madoff connection will become public soon.

Read page 3 of the SEC report (see above) on Avellino and Michael S. Bienes, another Madoff associate.

Avellino and Michael S. Bienes were partners, operating the same Ponzi scam, Avellino, Bienes and Madoff are all linked together in the same fraud.

I will keep you in the right direction, but I need to remain anonymous for now.


Frank Avellino lives in 223 CORAL LANE Palm Beach 33480 and his Campaign Contributions can be seen here for Guiliani, Dole and Mc Cain. Mrs & Mrs A bought the property 223 Coral Lane for US$4,500,000 in May 2004 from Steven J Multin (Individually and as Trustee), Steven J Multin (Revocable Trust), and Tina Multin. It is also the address of the AVELLINO FAMILY FOUNDATION INC Pres. Frankie Boy. Tax exempt data here.

Mr & Mrs Avellino are gracious Patrons of the Metropolitan Museum. Mrs A also bought a cobblestone for the 911 memorial fund that's > US$9,999

According to Huffington Post $3,679,491 was given by people who identified their zip as "33480". $2,085,047 from 683 people to Republicans $1,594,444 from 534 people to Democrats

See also this fascinating piece in Naked Shorts
Madoff tops charts;skeptics ask how
By Michael Ocrant
Mention Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities to anyone working on Wall Street at any time over the last 40 years and you’re likely to get a look of immediate recognition.

The final sentence ... "
Madoff, who believes that he deserves “some credibility as a trader for 40 years,” says: “The strategy is the strategy and the returns are the returns.” He suggests that those who believe there is something more to it and are seeking an answer beyond that are wasting their time.

So ? - well the date of the piece is MAR/Hedge (RIP) Page 1 No. 89 May 2001

Now some more information on Mr Bienes New Times Broward Palm beach Bob Norman's Blog 17th Dec 2008

Bienes, an accountant who lives in a house assessed at about $7 million on swank Bay Colony Drive in Fort Lauderdale, (where Mayfair bookeeping services hang their shingle - see below) once had deep ties to Madoff.

He (he's about 70 now) and his wife have been generous benefactors - His donations in Florida have tallied $30 million, according to a 2005 article in an English publication run by the Genesis Foundation. Since then he and his wife have given at least another $4 million to Holy Cross and most recently he's been pouring money into St. Thomas Aquinas. And that's just Florida.

They like London and have a flat behind the Ritz Hotel) so they shifted a large part of their giving to Britain. The Royal Opera and the Donmar Warehouse now get their money.

The Bieneses love Glyndebourne, which they support heavily - as well as the English Chamber Orchestra Both Mike and Diana are on the Board and in September they are organising an ECO fundraising dinner at Windsor Castle with the Prince of Wales. Tables are £10,000 a piece.

Currently, Bienes and Avellino run a company called Mayfair Bookkeeping Services - 4750 NE 23rd Ave Fort Lauderdale , FL 333087767141. Perhaps coincidentally, Madoff has a financial base in Mayfair, England, where the Evening Standard reported that he kept his "dynastic piggy bank."


Selva Ozelli CPA has written about US tax implications of risk management transactions of hedge fund managers. This may apply to Madoff and his foreign investors as well.

He has interesting things to say about the swift collapse of the Carlyle Capital Corporation (CCC) listed on the Amsterdam exchange which we posted about Thursday, March 13, 2008 Carlyle Capital Corporation go bust - US$16.6 BN ++++ down the tubes...more to follow and also Friday, March 07, 2008 Carlyle leads the way with Triple A mortage Fire Sales as margin calls cannot be met plus the woes of Bear Stearns which we have covered over the last two years ....see all these posts .

Mr Ozelli is very technical and understanding his arguments require knowledge of tax laws etc., beyond even our vast and experienced legal counsel. The bottom line seems to be that if you were unwise enough to invest in an offshore hedge fund that goes tits up yuo may need to pay taxes even thou you have lost all your money.

The truth about Bloody Sunday still concealed

The Government announced on December 18th 1974 that they will pay £42,000 compensation to relatives of those killed in the Bloody Sunday riots in Northern Ireland nearly three years ago.
An inquiry by Lord Widgery in 1972 had completely exonerated the army.

Thirteen men were killed when British troops opened fire on a group of civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside district of Londonderry on 30 January 1972.

The payments, which range from £250 to more than £16,500, were being made "in a spirit of goodwill and conciliation", the Ministry of Defence said.

The widow of one of the victims and mother of eight children, Mrs Ita McKinney, is to receive more than £13,000 from the government.

She said: "I will accept the money on behalf of my children. It will not make any difference to my life. I have lost my husband, things will still be the same."

The Rt Hon Lord Saville of Newdigate is the chaiman of a Tribunal of Enquiry established in 1998 by Tony Blair into the events on Sunday 30 January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day.

The last of the 900 witnesses to the Tribunal was heard in January 2005.

On the 12 August 2005 a Press release was issued - Final Report - The report is currently in preparation.

"Tessa Jowell, let slip on BBC TV's Sunday AM programme that "the latest estimate )of costs of the Savile enquiry) . . . is about £400 million"

Downing Street and ministers joined together in claiming that the "awful" cost of the Bloody Sunday inquiry as a reason for rejecting growing demands from the relatives of victims and Muslim leaders for an official enquiry into the 7/7 bombings.

On Wednesday, 19 November 2008 the Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said that the Saville enquiry will not publish its findings for at least another year.

Whoremonger Harlan Ullman brings more Shock 'n' Awe to Islamabad with Hilary Sinnott.

Well, well, well, our mole in Islamabad tells us of some surprising visitors to President Asif Ali Zardari . Harlan K Ullman, the great military strategist and designer of ‘Shock and Awe’ strategy for the US military, (Which his ex- colleague Secretary Richard Armitage described to former President Mushariff as "Do as we say or we bomb you back into the Stone Age") turned up recently and has enjoying a stay at the Residency along with military analyst Shuja Nawaz and has been ladling out advice ....

Ullman was allegedly friendly with the beautiful and tragic Benazir Bhutto in her luxurious Dubai exile - but perhaps not on the level he was with the whores provided by Madame Palfrey from her Washington on line bordello.

This coincided with the arrival in tandem (pic of him in Basra) of Sir Hilary Synnott KCMG, electrical engineer, former submariner and also former UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, and now Senior Consulting Fellow at The International Institute for Strategic Studies who met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the 15th of December to discuss security and defence issues.

National Security Advisor , Pashtun Mahmud Ali Durrani and Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani , now the Pakistan Ambassador to US, friend and confidant of Benazir Bhutto and also Co-Chair of the Hudson Institute's Project on the Future of the Muslim World , are said to be facilitating and promoting Dr Ullman’s advisory role on behalf of the ‘Atlantic Council’, a Washington-based think tank have also been kicking about offering the odd bon mot.

Durrani was the man who encouraged then Army chief and president General Muhammed Zia al Haq to witness the tank exercise in Bahawalpur on 17 August, 1988. the C-130 returning the party to Islamabad, crashed killing all on board.

Curiously , Durrani was also an advisor in the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, 2001 to 2004

Apparently this exotic caravanserai is preparing some sort of national security assessment on Pakistan for President-elect Obama.

Conversation overheard so far suggest that a primary objective would be for the President to set up and preside over a national advisory council... at the same time repealing President Pervez Musharraf’s infamous 17th Amendment to the Constitution which gave him god like powers and protection from any form of prosecution.

This would certainly help relations with opposition leader and twice ex Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (cricketer, the richest man in Pakistan and the man who ordered the Pak nuclear tests) of the Pakistan Muslim League who has ,in a fiery Press conference demanded it be removed , as per the Charter of Democracy that the Pakistan People’s Party was the other signatory of. Sharif's The Ittefaq Group saw a startling rise during the time of Gen. Zia al Haq who promoted Nawaz Sharif to enter politics and be his right hand man in the Punjab.

This National Security Council would act as a sort of liason between the President and the PM, or at least between the President and the rest of the hands-on executive.

Other listeners in the arras say the famed neo-con has advised the President to sack his pointman in Punjab for creating unnecessary friction between the PPP and the PML-N.

Some unconfirmed reports suggest that Dr Ullman stayed at the Presidency during his recent visit to Islamabad. He was a confidant of the horribly assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and now said (if only by him and his office) to an informal advisor to the Pakistani President.

Nobody seems to know quite who is footing the bill for the services of this group of willing advisors.

Harlan Ullman co authored with US Senator John McCain, of Unfinished Business: Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Beyond - Defusing the Dangers That Threaten America’s Security.

Seems a curious bag of neo-cons to be helping the "progressive" President - Elect O'Bomber to develop his liberal policies.

Governor Blagojevich presents his CV for a nice new well paid job for him, his wife or both of them

"I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong," "I'm not going to quit a job the people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," Governor Blagojevich said in a 3 minute claim for his innocence.

Faced with a faltering 21-member, bipartisan Illinois House panel to consider his impeachment...

Blago has a redoubtable weapon, which many, many folks don't want dragged through the courts.

He knows where the bodies are buried.

John "Bomber" Hutton reflects on the need for tourists in Iraq

“I think Iraq is in a fundamentally better place,It is no longer a threat to its people or its neighbours,” that's John Hutton quoted in the Times today.

The US Air Force Link of December 18th tells us ..."In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom." .. the same number as the previous day but one more than on the 16th.

"But it’s not perfect, it won’t be for some time. It will be a while before there are tourists." adds Magdelen College scholar, John Hutton.

The Times quotes Kim "Rentagob" Howells, who was until recently the Foreign Office Minister responsible for Afghanistan, said that the country was “corrupt from top to bottom”. Mr Hutton concedes: “There is a lot of corruption in Afghanistan and it’s got to be tackled . . . "

The Air Force Link says a total of 56 close-air- support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols - it was 61 the day before and 67 on the 16th.

The Times says our new ( since Oct. 3rd) Defence Secretary thinks that he has the perfect job. He cannot stop talking about “our boys”, making it clear that they are heroes. He has donned the body armour in Afghanistan to see how heavy it is and he loves the ceremony as much as the boys’ toys.

"The public should prepare for a long haul." says Hutton.

..and the civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan get ready for a lot more sudden, searing, blinding, strafing, and bombing .... sudden death sent from the skies.

However his constituents in Barrow in Furness can rest assured in their jobs, as their MP has repeatedly argued not just for Trident not to be scrapped, but for more nuclear submarines to be built.

Ex flatmate of Alan "Basher" Milburn seems to have found his ideal role.

Friday, December 19, 2008

WWHD ? What would Hitler do + advice from Rowan Atkinson to Gordon .."Government's plans to boost spending - addict returning to the drug"

David Gordon at the Mises Institute has an excellent esssay "Nazi Economics"

"What, then, would be Hitler’s economic policy?" he asks at one point .... or in a more contemporary fashion WWHD ?

He shows that pre-war Nazi economy couldn't be described as capitalist as all forms of private ownership (depending if you were Jewish , homosexual etc.,) were preserved. The government did not nationalize the means of production, as in Soviet Russia. Prices could not be set by the individual or the business , - appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates was retained but wholly state controlled. Both internally and externally.

Businesses in all their activities were bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by the government’s supreme office of production management. This office (the Reichswirtschaftsministerium in Nazi Germany) tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. It assigns every worker to his job and fixes his wages - (what banks should lend, what for and to whom ?). It decreed to whom and on what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds. (what banks should lend, what for and to whom ?)

Externally the Nazis engaged in bilateral trades which were engineered by Schacht (his full name was remarkably Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht) , especially with South east European countries. Such agreements would involve particular commodities, with the rate of exchange between the German and foreign currencies "fixed at a level different from the actual rate of exchange... the barter agreements gave Germany a kind of monopoly of the trade with the countries of southeastern Europe which could not fail to link these countries politically with the Reich."

He points to the calls for extreme measures for extreme circumstances and exemplifies it by the increasingly lunatic Paul Krugman, e.g., in The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 [Norton, 2008] who said "there will have to be an assertion of more government control – in effect, it will come closer to a full temporary nationalization of a significant part of the financial system."

David Gordon adds finally that the rapid transition to state socialism under Germany during the 1930s illustrates the dangers of such a course.

He quotes Mises (Human Action, Mises Institute, 1998, p. 854.)

If one wants to correct their manifest unsuitableness and preposterousness by supplementing the first acts of intervention with more and more of such acts, one must go farther and farther until the market economy has been entirely destroyed and socialism has been substituted for it.
If you want to try to trace a perspective and put some sort of order for your own sake on the increasingly bizarre decisions of our masters, political, economic and even religious, now that the Archbishop of Canterbury has seen fit to chime in... read this.

Madoff swindle - evidently a family business

Investigators from the SEC rushing (?) to uncover / conceal Bernard Madoff's alleged frauds last week , found records from what appear to be thousands of clients but ran into trouble with a key Madoff lieutenant who was evasive...

The SEC and other investigators are also examining the activities of Mr. Madoff's wife, Ruth, once worked at her husband's firm ... and what role she may have played in the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

ABC News reports that a high-level SEC compliance official who worked for the agency when it found no problems at the firm in 2005, later married Madoff's neice Shana Madoff (Balenciaga label whore) , Bernard Madoff Investment Securities' compliance counsel.

Eric Swanson, the SEC compliance official, was involved in compliance exams at the broker dealer in 1999 and 2004, not in the 2005 audit, and he left the SEC on 2006.

Swanson began seeing Shana Madoff in spring 2006 and left the SEC in August that year. Swanson and Madoff married in 2007... Swanson, is now general counsel at BATS Exchange

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Kicked off the Bill Bernbach Memorial Dinner Hosted by Clarissa and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Violaine and John Bernbach, Marion and Peter Madoff and Shana Madoff At Asprey.

Alex helped with the Birnbaum Travel Guides, the guidebook series founded by her late husband, Stephen Birnbaum. Alex is the consulting editor of Birnbaum's Disney Guides, the official guides to the Disney theme parks.

Colts through to playoffs - it's Superbowl time again

The Colts clinched a playoff place with their 8th straight win at a balmy andwarm Jacksonville Municipal Stadium last night. It wasn't a pretty game but Peyton Manning passed for 364 yards (hitting his first 17 passes for 219 yards) and three touchdowns and Keiwan Ratliff returned an interception 35 yards for the touchdown that beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-24.

The Colts are the first team in NFL history to win 11 or more games in six consecutive seasons and make Tony Dungy the first coach since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to take 10 successive teams to the playoffs.

Eight weeks ago, the Colts were 3-4 and tickets were available for their new stadium. Now they are 11-4, winners of eight straight, their tickets are the hottest and they are the wild card no one wants to face.

The Colts are in the playoffs for a league-best ninth time in 10 years. Dungy's 10-year run includes 1999-2001 with Tampa Bay and all seven of his seasons with the Colts, 2002-08.

Superbowl 43 - Tampa Bay - the countdown has begun .....

RAF terrorist Christian Klar released - only one Baader Meinhof gang member still in jail

A very fit and healthy looking former Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist 56 year old Christian Klar has been released after 26 years in prison - his granting of parole was announced on November 24th. . He left the Bruchsal prison last Friday says his lawyer and this was confirmed yesterday by The Ministry of Justice in Baden-Wuerttemberg .

Klar was a key accomplice of Brigitte Mohnhaupt, who was released in March 2007 after serving 24 years in jail for murdering prominent establishment figures, including those of West German chief federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback, Dresdner Bank head Juergen Ponto and Hanns-Martin Schleyer, the head of the country's industry federation. He was convicted in 1985 of nine murders and 11 counts of attempted murder - he had been in prison since 1982.

At the time Klar had appealed for clemency to the German President Horst Köhler. However he also sent a message to the Rosa Luxemburg Conference of left-wing groups in January, declaring that the time had come to "complete the defeat of the plans of capitalism and to open the door to another future." Monday, May 07, 2007 Clemency for RAF terrorists refused by German President

At the time Günther Beckstein, the conservative interior minister of Bavaria, warned Köhler not to grant clemency. A noted Protstant he told the mass-circulation newspaper Bild: "The aggressive tone and the ideological stubbornness show that this is an incorrigible terrorist criminal." Beckstein went on to become President of Bavaria but in the September elections the CSU had a massive setback after 4 decades in power and he lost his position - to be followed by Horst Seehofer.

The leader of the liberal Free Democrats party, Guido Westerwelle, took a similar line. "Klar is no reformed criminal," he said. "He remains a convicted serial killer and I strictly oppose granting him clemency."

Now only one former member of the RAF, Birgit Hogefeld, 52, remains in prison. She was arrested in 1993 and in November 1996 she was given three life sentences and is currently in a Frankfurt detention centre.

In 2008 Federal president Köhler denied her clemency request - she must serve at least another three years before she might be considered eligible for parole because of the "severity of the crimes."

See Monday, October 01, 2007 Stadtguerilla - Red Army Faction - Stasi - Stockwell ?

There is an intersting on-line archive of RAF documents, statements etc here this includes items from the Struggle Against World Imperialism Organization, a Palestinian group which hijacked a Lufthansa airliner in 1977 in support of the RAF, at the time of the Schleyer kidnapping.

Worth reading is "The Urban Guerrilla Is History..." The Final Communiqué From The Red Army Faction (RAF)

Curiously Jack Prescott, now 64 – a founder member of the Angry Brigade, Britain’s only home-grown urban terrorist group (not counting Gordon's 75% home brew extreme neo-Fascist fundamentalist Muslim terrists) , which carried out 25 attacks on Government buildings (they bombed of the Dept. of Employment and Productivity on the day of a large demonstration against the Industrial Relations Bill) , embassies and corporations cropped up in the UK news as the husband of Lisa Christensen, director of children’s services in Norfolk.

Global warming ! Dontcha just hate it !!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UNICEF Photo of the Year awarded to 21 year old Belgian freelance , Alice Smeets

Better quality at her website also gallery "Growing up in Hiati" all (c) A Smeets
e-mail: alice.smeets(at)googlemail.com

ASML major supplier to global semiconductor industry cuts 1,000 jobs

ASML, the world's leading provider of extreme precision lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, based in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, has announced today they are cutting 1,000 jobs – more than 10 % of their global work force due to a severe drop in demand. ASML has seen profit fall 56 % and sales down from 530 Mn Euros projected in October by 20-30%. They are suppliers to many of the major global semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel.

"Never before have we witnessed such a sharp and sudden falloff in lithography system demand," said CEO Eric Meurice.

Most of the job cuts will be among staff on temporary contracts at ASML's headquarters in the central Dutch city of Veldhoven and at a manufacturing plant in Wilton, Connecticut. A training site in Tempe, Arizona, will be closed.

In the Netherlands, ASML will participate in a Labor Time Reduction Program, a temporary measure made possible by the Dutch government to help companies reduce working hours for employees without impacting their salaries. Employees receive part of their wages from the national unemployment fund, on condition they spend non-working hours on training and schooling.

In addition ASML plans to shut down production facilities for a total of 4 weeks, spread over Q1 and Q2 of 2009 and also take write downs on certain inventories and assets due to the the introduction of new, more cost-competitive, scanner models (incorporating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) systems which improve on current 193 nm tchnology) .

Atoms for Peace - the world's first commercial use of nuclear powered electricity - Shippingport Atomic Power Station 17-12-57

On October 17th 1956 at 12.16 GMT the Queen pushed a lever, a clock ticked round and Calder Hall - in what the Lord Privy Seal, Rab Butler described as an "epoch making" event, sent the first commercial nuclear powered electricity to the National Grid. It was of course a mere dribble of power that left the plant , most was consumed on site in the rest of the nuclear bomb factory.

All this was of course a giant hoax, a publicity stunt - although the Engineer in recording the event did say ..." The reactor is designed for the production of plutonium as well as the generation of electricity".

It was also a vainglorious attempt to forge ahead of US know how and show that the UK was alone in taming this awesome technology , turning swords into ploughshares and nuclear plants producing the familiar bounties of electricity. The fact that it was a nuclear bomb factory was very carefully concealed from the public.

Windscale , of which Calder Hall was part , was in fact a massive nuclear weapons factory which had been funded secretly after the end of the war as a result of a decision in January 1947 by the Labour Government to to produce materials for nuclear weapons, principally plutonium.

A decision forced on them by the United States ban on the release of atomic technology to other powers as a direct result of the passage by the United States of the Atomic Energy Act 1946 or the McMahon Act (Senator Brien McMahon, Dem. Con. the chair of the United States Senate Special Committee on Atomic Energy - he also established what was to become the Peace Corps) - it was passed 265-79 signed by President Harry Truman on August 1, 1946 and it went into effect on January 1, 1947.

In 1946 work began at the former Royal Ordnance factory at Sellafield to build two reactors, on a site renamed as Windscale, to produce plutonium for the UK weapons program. Pile No. 1 began operating in October 1950, Pile No. 2 started up 8 months later and plutonium for the first British bomb was available in March 1952.

In 1953 the first plans were made for Calder Hall at Risley for a plant with 4 Magnox air cooled reactors )Magnox = Magnesium Alloy used for the finned fuel canisters) and 3 1/2 years later the Queen performed the opening magic - another one opened later at Chapelcross.

Almost exactly a year later Windscale Pile No. 1 caught fire on Thursday 10 October 1957 - many of Lord Patel's generation this led to the disposal down the drains of CUmberland milk - which of course served to spread the nucleotide over an even wider area - even if it did stop children drinking it.

In 1953, US President Eisenhower made alandmark speech about Atoms for Peace speech to the United Nations. Duquesne Light Company near Pittsburgh suggested building a nuclear power plant and these were adiopted by Admiral Rickover - weeks later plans for the Shippingport Atomic Power Station were put into action.

On Labor Day, 1954 President Eisenhower remotely initiated the first scoop of dirt at the ceremony. After 32 months and the cost of US$72.5 Mn. the reactor went critical at 4:30 am and on the 2nd December 1957 and 15 days later on the 17th the first power was generated - by modern standards it was small and generated just 60 MWe.

President Eisenhower opened the Shippingport Atomic Power Station on in May the following year and made a radio address .

Perhaps to aggravate his allies in London he carefully described the plant as :

... the first of the world's large-scale nuclear power stations exclusively devoted to peaceful purposes.
It represents the hope of our people that the power of the atom will be able to open up a vast new world of peaceful development--that atomic power will ease mankind's burdens and provide additional comforts for human living.

The plant was shut down on October 1st 1982 and at a cost of nearly US£100 Mn was dismantled (the 956-ton reactor pressure vessel/neutron shield tank assembly was lifted out of the containment building in one piece) and buried in Washington State.

See Monday, November 05, 2007 How the US came to make and love the Bomb

Leonard "Music to slit your wrists to" Cohen's Christmas Hit - "I'm your man"

Newsnight - How they undertake in depth investigations into the number of "major terror plots" that the Prime MInister talks about

Newsnight have an e-mail address to which the public are invited to suggest subjects for investigation. (Meirion Jones is a Newsnight producer and (for example) produced Greg Palast's fundNewsnight report on vulture s he also produced Michael Crick's report for Newsnight (BBC2) on the Israeli nuclear sales in the 50's and 60's *** , which was broadcast on 9 March 2006 and wrote an article on it in the New Statesman in 2006 )

We sent an e-mail to Meirion Jones - NewsnightInvestigations@bbc.co.uk

Quite a simple investigation really - here are the basics - just how many "major" terror plots are there ? If in May it was 6 and now it is 30 then it has increased 500% which is remarkable. Of course if the figure of 30 - much quoted elsewhere, is a lie, then that is of interest.

Let us know how you get on.


Someone calling himself Meirion rung back a short while ago. He explained that there were 2,000 people under active investigation and this is what the pM was referring to.

Explained it was good of him to translate for the PM and Government but that wasn't what PM said - he talked of major terrorist plots. That was what Blair & Quick said to MP's , that was what "advisers" with PM talked about.

Evidently not interested in pursueing how many amjor . minor plots there were / are and sawe tis just as semantic onfusion. He remains convinced 2,000 folks un UK were being actively investigated - which is not difficult to believe - the Plods in the Terrorist section must fill in their time doing something - we have over 350 in Greater Manchester alone.

Derided any idea that MI5/6/7/8/9 had infiltrated the plotters of anything - although secret services get up to all sorts.

Poo poohed the Patel plot that the 7/7 bombers were unware of the contents of their bags - they have lots of information they cannot reveal - they know what the 7/7 bombs were made of .....

Totally closed mind to anything but the official party line that the UK is simply crawling with crazed fundamentalist Muslims busy mixing Brylcreem, pepper and Lucozade in bed sits - although somehow connected with a mulit million pound funded hghly successful guerilla force in Afghanistan / Pakistan with access to military explosive etc.,

*** We were selling bits and pieces to the Israeli's for their nuclear programme at the time after 1964 when Harold Wilson installed Anthony Wedgewood Benn (as he then styled himself) as Minister of Technology.

"I'm not only surprised," he says, "I'm shocked." Neither he nor his predecessor Frank Cousins agreed to the sales, he insists, and though he always suspected civil servants of doing deals behind his back, "it never occurred to me they would authorise something so totally against the policy of the government".

Not me guv, I 'no nuffink abaht it .

Thin Film Photovoltaics set for massive production growth

Applied Materials, (NASDAQ - AMAT) have been supplying silicon chip production fab devices since 1967 and have developed their Applied SunFab Solar Module Production Line for manufacturing, 5.7m2 ( 2.2 m x 2.6m 8.3 mm thick and weigh 108 Kg) thin film silicon photovoltaic modules. AMAT plans on selling $1.7 billion in thin-film equipment by 2009, they also claim that they will get the current manufacturing costs of the panels down from US$3 /watt to US$1/watt by 2010.

Thin film technologies offer benefits in manufacturing, cost, performance and uses over conventional crystalline Silicon panels.

1. Lower production costs of materials - 1/500 th the amount of silicon used in standard silicon cells - 40% of the cost in manufacturing conventional solar panels comes from the silicon.
2. Lower capital costs for production facilities in cost per watt
3. Produces more useable power per rated watt
4. Superior performance in hot and overcast climates - thin films can make electricity in diffuse light, while regular silicon-based panels need more direct light, so can produce more electricity throughout the hours of daylight.
5 . Can easily be integrated into buildings as part of structures – Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)

One of the first installations was with Signet Solar, Inc.founded in 2006 , a Menlo Park CA , company with global ambitions at their Mochau plant in Saxony, Germany.

From an initial 2,000 solar PV modules pilot run ( with 6.25% sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency - but see here) in October this year they intend to ramp production to 20 MW per year and by end 2008 of 130 MW

First deliveries were made end November after receiving Final Acceptance Test (FAT) certification from SGS Germany GmbH to Hannover-based alfsolar Vertriebsgesellschaft GmbH. Other Signet customers include Phoenix Solar AG, Soleg GmbH, Goldbeck Solar GmbH and SolarMarkt AG.

Signet Solar has committed to building its second large substrate thin film photovoltaic plant in the Sriperembudur Special Economic Zone near Chennai, India. Construction has started on a 300MW facility at an initial estimated cost of US$500 million. Shipments from the first plant in India are expected in 2010. Signet Solar plans to build three plants (1GW) in India over the next ten years.

Governor Bill Richardson was excited yesterday when he announced that Signet Solar will start building a plant in Belen ,NM, 30 minutes south of Albuquerque which will create 600 well paid jobs (Ranging from US$39,000 for production-line workers to $100,000 for managers)to commence production in 2010.

The first phase of the plant will have an annual production capacity of 65MW — enough to power approximately 20,000 homes. Long-term plans call to increase production capacity to 300MW per year with a 600,000 square foot production facility.

Rajeeva Lahri, Signet Solar’s Co- Founder and CEO. “Under Governor Richardson’s leadership, New Mexico has demonstrated commitment to renewable energy through public-private partnerships, leveraging its skilled workforce and world class research institutions.”

What he forgot to mention was, as Toni Balzano, public information officer for the Economic Development Department let slip was that here are a total of about US$185 million worth of tax incentives for which the company would qualify. That includes a manufacturing tax credit, a high-wage jobs tax credit, the Job Training Incentive Program, a rural jobs tax credit and a renewable energy jobs tax credit.

Also the The 75-acre facility where the plant will be located , 6,000-acre Rancho Cielo master-planned industrial and residential community is owned by Coast Range Investments where Signet will be the first company to set up manufacturing. Rancho Cielo plans to use Signet panels on a 700-acre solar farm designed to meet the majority of the power requirements in development
See First Alpha article April 2008 on Thin Film PV here see also Solar Fraud Could Eliminate Spanish Market Dec 16, 2008

Put the Boot in on Bush - Saturday - BBC Manchester

Greater Manchester Stop the War Coalition
Solidarity protest with shoe throwing journalist Muntadar Al-Zaidi

1pm Saturday 20th December outside the BBC, Oxford Rd, Manchester.

A letter of support to the journalists union to
demonstrate our support of journalists and their unions.

Visit our website for updates
www.manchesterstopwar.org or call Mark 07765 122 829

Shoe thrower beaten in custody No one insults Torturers-R-Us Bush without suffering for it
Iraq to "probe" custody abuse of shoe thrower Meantime The Lebanese television channel NTV, offered shoe thrower Mutander al-Zaidi a job saying "he will be paid from the moment the first shoe was thrown".
In Egypt a government-owned newspaper, praised Zaidi's actions saying that "Pelting the American president with shoes was the best way for expressing what Iraqis and Arabs feel toward Bush."
Iraqis rally in support of shoe throwerMutander al-Zaidi is now a hero to the entire Arab world, but Bush still fails to ask for his release from custody, confirming what everyone knows that Bush is a tiny-minded, mean-spirited dizzard
Iraqis show support for shoe thrower by hurling shoes at passing American vehicles "The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East," said Asad Abu Khalil, a popular Lebanese-American blogger and professor at Stanislaus University in California.
Libya honors shoe thrower
Baghdad TV reporter throws shoes at Bush, calls Bush a dog The shoes were well thrown, which for once, allows us to say something good about Bush: the dog ducked well
Bush had the wit to suggest that the shoes were size 10. But lacked the humanity to ask for the release of his assailant.
Arab world hails shoe attack on Bush So much for deference to the "World's sole superpower"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hashim Djojohadikusumo some stolen statues - the Minto Stone and an aristocratic family feud

The fabulously wealthy Indonesian business man Hashim Djojohadikusumo collects historical Asian artifacts. Therefore when Hugo Kreijger, a former curator of Christie's auction house in Amsterdam arrived at his London mansion with some items he could obtain for him, his ears pricked up. Hugo said a representative from the Surakarta Kraton ( the palace of susuhunana of Surakarta in central Java) was offering six pieces from the Sultan's personal collection, complete with certificates from the ruler and from the government of Indonesia.

He claims Hugo told him the 6 pieces were not classified as objects of cultural heritage.

Lengthy negotiations took place from November 2006 to January 2007. Finally Hashim paid US$206,000 to Hugo: $100,000 for the purchase of the statues from the time of the country's Hindu-Buddha era, ( the statue of Ciwa, eight armed Mahisaasuramardini Durga, Durga Mahisaasuramardini two armed, Agastya, Mahakala, and Nandisa Wahanamurti) and the rest for some other items that have not been identified.

All this came out in proceedings against Hashim at Surakarta District Court in November for theft and falsifying the statues' provenance

Hashim says now that Hugo had told him he had been cheated by Heru Suryanto, who reportedly falsified the ownership certificates. Heru, was known to and had previously had dealings with Hugo - Heru is a distant relative of the Surakarta Kraton court, and is known as a dealer / handler of antiques.

"The moment I knew they were stolen, I called Hugo up and scolded him. He also admitted he had been conned," said Hashim in court.

Heru was sentenced to 18 months in prison on June 30. KRT Darmo Dipuro, also known as Mbah Hadi, the Radya Museum Library curator, from where the statues had been taken, also received a similar sentence.

Hashim was scheduled to stand trial on Dec. 7. Public prosecutor Tatang Agus has charged Hashim of violating law 5/1992 on cultural heritage. If found guilty, Hashim could face a maximum sentence of 12 months, or a maximum fine of Rp 10 million.

Hashim is accused of violating the law because he failed to register his ownership of the artifacts and his immediate handing over of the statues to the government showed criminal intent.

The Minto Stone and Hashim Djojohadikusumo and his Indonesian cultural and archaeological heritage organisation (YKHD)

The Minto Stone is a 3.8 tonne carved stone, which holds significant symbolic meaning for Indonesians,(they call it the Sanggurah Stone) is some two metres tall and bears an ancient inscription of Javanese king Sri Maharaja Rakai Pangkaja Dyah Wawa Sri Wijayalokanamottungga.

It currently rests as a large and splendid piece of imperial plunder in the grounds of the Minto Estates in Roxburghshire, SCotland.

Also known as the Sanggurah Stone, the 3.8 tonne icon was originally taken by the 19th century British colonial explorer Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles stole this in 1812 when he had captured Java from the Dutch and was appointed Lieutenant Governor in 1811 by Lord Minto, Governor of India. Some eight years later, Raffles founded the British colony of Singapore. He was knighted in London in 1817 for his scholarly and comprehensive book History of Java.

As a token of appreciation, Sir Stamford Raffles gave it to the first Earl of Minto and he then took it home and there to sit in a leafy glade.

Coincident with the embarassing episode of the stolen statuary Hashim Djojohadikusumo has been acting on behalf of the Indonesian Government to get it back.

Hari Untoro Drajat, director general of history and archaeology at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said: "The Minto Stone is an important historical artefact and a crucial source of information.

"It contains the history of the Mataram kingdom in Central Java and its eventual shift of power to East Java and was carved in AD982..( Saka 876) it is in the Kava language and has two Sanskrit stanzas at the beginning.

Inter government negotiation since 2004 had been stalled because the relic is currently in the custodianship of Minto trustees. So Hashim and (Yayasan Keluarga Hashim Djojohadikusumo) YKHD were asked to intercede.... Hashim has met Timothy Melgund (Gilbert Timothy George Lariston Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound)– the current and 7th Earl of Minto and sums not unadjacent to £3 Mn. have been mentioned.

M'Lord Minto, current guardian of the imperial loot and who who heads the fancy stationery firm Paperchase, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Borders bookshop group, admits to talks , but claims the stone had been on the estate for nearly 200 years and was as important to the family now as it was when it first arrived. He may not be keen to receive publicly such a lump of dosh because there is a bitter family feud over the non-payment of a six-figure legacy to the Dowager Countess and former wife of the late 6th Earl of Minto (and former nurse and model Caroline Larlham. The couple were married in 1991 when the Old Etonian Earl was 63 and Caroline was 39.

The row threatens to explode as the Dowager Countess, Lady Caroline Minto, is now resident in Italy currently writing "tell-all" memoirs in a bid to raise cash to fund a court case against the late earl's executors . Timothy has accused his stepmother of deserting his father when he became ill some years before his death in September, 2005, an accusation she denies.

The Government in Holyrood said that it was a private matter and will not interfere - although they are active in attempting to get the Lewis Chessmen returned from the British Museum in London.

However after private discussions (and no mention of money) the stone was returned in February 2008 and has been placed in the National Museum in Jakarta. (Psst don't tell the Dowager Countess)

To the credit of the Scots the National Museum of Scotland announced earlier this year it would return an aboriginal skull to Tasmania and, in 2007, nine Maori heads were returned to New Zealand by the Marischal Museum at the University of Aberdeen.

105 years of powered flight celebrated today

105 years ago on Dec. 17, 1903, Hoosiers , Orville and Wilbur Wright, after three years experimentation , made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, (pop 2991) and called Chickahauk by native Indians - translation means "goose hunting grounds". The flight actually took place 4 miles out of town at what is now known as Kill Devil Hills ) on the Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Warren Buffett once said any right-minded capitalist who had seen the Wrights' contraption take to the skies in Kitty Hawk might have shot it down and saved investors 100 years of agony.

Quite simply, says the "Sage of Omaha" , airlines as a whole haven't netted a dime since 1903.

PS : This is what the tourist site Coastal Explorer.com says about Kill Devils Hill today ;

"Kill Devil Hills is the commercial hub of the Outer Banks where you will find the largest strip of fast food chains, called French Fry Alley by the locals. There are also many locally owned restaurants, strip shopping centers, department stores, surf shops, mini golf courses, chain hotels and small motels, a pier and souvenir stores galore."

The native American Indians don't get a look in.

Claimed assassination attempt on Mugabe's cousin, Air Marshal Perence Shiri

Air Marshal Perence Shiri , 53, who is styled as Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe , is a cousin of President Mugabe. He was reported shot in the Harare Government newspaper The Herald on Saturday.

The BBC report he was ambushed on Saturday evening while driving to his farm, state media said. Police said he was accosted by unknown people who shot at his car.

Shiri has played a pivotal and central role in Zim from the days when he led and organised the notorious North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade n their murderous campaign of terror and murder in Matabeleland, to erase rural support for Joshua Nkomo, a nationalist leader . Reports of deaths vary from 10,000 to 25,000.

Operation Murambatsvina

War criminal Mengistu who found a refuge in Zim with US help warned Mugabe that the swelling slum and backyard population in Zimbabwe was creating a fertile ground for a mass uprising. It needed stopping.

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

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

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

The New York Times today claims that "officials" close to Mr. Mugabe said in interviews in October that Air Marshal Shiri was among the military commanders (of whom those listed above would form the core) who feared that the power-sharing deal with the opposition failed to protect them from prosecution for their roles in the country’s political violence.

Home Minister Kembo Mohadi was quoted in The Herald yesterday saying that the shooting was part of “a buildup of terror attacks targeting high-profile persons, government officials, government establishments and public transportation systems.”

His statement (which may or may not be accurate or anywhere near the truth) cited bombings in August of the Harare Central Police Station, a road and railroad bridges, as well as November bombings of the criminal investigation department’s headquarters in Harare and, again, the police station. It alleged that after investigations of the attacks, plastic explosives were recovered from a senior opposition official.

It would be premature to think that this "assassination" attempt represents a cracking of the ZANU leadership. Certainly squabbling over the dwindlings spoils and the restrictions on flight (Shri is banned from EU and US since 202/3) will lead to in fighting.

The cholera epidemic concerns no-one - Didymus Mutasa, the brutal, uneducated Security Minister is reported saying in 2002, that "we would be better off with only 6million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people".

So far that's going to plan.

Meanwhile the AFRICOM forces in Mali are undertaking training and exercises.
"The tyranny of distance in the African continent is amazing," said Lt. Col. Eric Hill, the 8th SOS squadron commander. "We were able to go over 500 nautical miles, infiltrate a small team for them to run their exercise, and bring them back all the way to home base without doing an air refueling stop. And we were able to do that in the span of about four hours."

"It would take the MH-53 (Pave Low) twice, sometimes three times as long (to do these missions)," Captain Woodlief an SOS Osprey pilot said. "And we did it with just one aircraft."

Members of the 1st Special Operations Helicopter Maintenance Squadron deployed to Bamako in support of the 8th SOS.

"We had zero maintenance cancels, zero delays, and we executed 100 percent every time," Captain Woodlief said. "I think we went above and beyond everyone's expectations."

More pictures Air Force Link

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paulsen is truly shocked, shocked - Evan Bayh wants a posse to hang the bad guys like Madoff from the lamp post.

Wall Street Journal report today ..."Investigators are finding "falsified records" at the investment advisory arm of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, said Stephen Harbeck, chief executive of nonprofit group Securities Investor Protection Corp., which is helping oversee the liquidation Madoff, in an interview."

Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind) advised Paulson that he needed to be less worried about what the committee thought and more concerned about the reactions of ordinary Americans. “There’s a lot of anger out there. Most people want to hang these wheeler dealers from the nearest lamp post.”

“I couldn’t agree with them more, Senator,” replied Paulson. “I feel the pain of the American people on this one. I can tell you that I was truly shocked, shocked! to discover that there was gambling taking place in the backrooms of Wall Street.”

Oh shit ! that was in September

.... as Stef suggests

Dutch upgrade Troop carrying capacity - lessons for the MOD

The Dutch Armed forces have just introduced new tracked heavily protected and armed toop carrying capacity - the CV90

This is a frame from video released today of the brand-new Dutch CV90 troop carrier during the test ride on the Bernhardkazerne in Amersfoort. This Dutch infantry tracked fighting vehicle will take over from the Boxer . It has a top speed of 70 kmh, a radius of action of 600 kilometres and offers a great deal of protection to passengers 3 crew and 7 fully equipped infantry.

It is equipped with the Bushmaster III 35 mm Cannon with a 2 Km. range , a 7.62 mm a machine-gun and 10 catapults for smoke and shard grenades all with internal remote controls . It also has laser locking detection equipment to warn the crew of aerial attack.

Earlier versions of CV90 are already in use with the armed forces of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Switzerland.

Mobile handset market under pressure - jobs go, factories close, and great offers on Nokia 1650

British electronics group Laird plc, a component supplier for Nokia and others, today announced the loss of 4,500 jobs, or nearly half its staff, they are also closing plants with a further 500 job cuts (they have none in the UK). Laird is shutting its factory in Hungary, and three of its manufacturing facilities in the US will be closed or downsized significantly, with production from these sites transferred to Mexico and China.

Laird say they see global handset volumes declining 10 % next year. They have seen a dramatic fall in revenues in Q4 2008 of around 25% to 30% compared with Q4 2007. They expect no market recovery during 2009.

On 4th December Nokia, the world's top mobile phone maker, said its best guess was for sales to fall 5% or more next year.

Reflecting the tightness of the market Carphone Warehouse made an aggressive move in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) mobile phone market today.

They are offering offering the Nokia 1650 Blue handset on the Orange network free of charge with pre-payment of £30 of calls. Or £9.73 plus £10 airtime pre paid on Orange or O2 and £19.52 plus £10 prepaid airtime with Virgin.

US war on Pakistan - Rocket attacks surge. Paris - Expect the Unexpected

On Monday 16th December 2008 CBS report 2 missiles struck the village of Tabi Tolkhel (Tapi Tool ? )in the North Waziristan tribal region near Miramshah- said to be one of a surge of the CIA run U.S. missile attacks on militant targets in Pakistan's northwest border region.

Ajab Khan, a village resident saw the aftermath of the missile strike and saw two bodies brought out, and that three wounded people were taken away in a vehicle. Suspected Taliban militants surrounded the house afterward, Khan said - a common occurrence after such strikes. Three local intelligence officials confirmed the account, citing informants.

The BBC report the strike and say reassuringly "Drone attacks are believed to have been largely on-target, hitting Taleban and al-Qaeda hideouts in the north-western Waziristan tribal region. "

The al Qaeda-linked Haqqani family and Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadar operate in North Waziristan where 60% of the CIA UAV airstrikes have hit . The Haqqani Network is said to have a strong presence in Miramshah region of North Waziristan controling large parts of the tribal area and run a parallel administration with courts, recruiting centers, tax offices, and security forces.

The CIA website The Long War report that they have established multiple training camps ( al Qaeda operates 157 known training camps, ) and safe houses used by al Qaeda leaders and operatives, as well as by Taliban foot soldiers preparing to fight in Afghanistan.

This airstrike coincided with the visit of ex Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the next Foreign Relations Committee chairman, who was in Pakistan on Tuesday, the latest in a string of U.S. officials to visit India and Pakistan since the attacks in India's commercial capital last month.

Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond ,69, Republican from Missouri (at 33 years of age, he was the youngest governor in the history of Missouri) also arrived in Islamabad on Monday for meetings with Pakistani officials. Bond is one of only a few federal elected officials with a child serving in uniform - his son Sam has served in the Marines in Iraq.

Brown blames Lashkar-e-Taiba for Mumbai attacks

India has blamed a Pakistan-based militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba for last month's attacks in Mumbai. The U.S. has said Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has long been active in the Pakistani-Indian dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, has forged links with al Qaeda.

Prime Minister Superman Gordon Brown was in New Delhi having a friendly chinwag with PM Manmohan Singh, and made clear to the prest that he had made it clear to Mr Singh he had no doubt the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the co-ordinated attacks in Mumbai.

He said it was "time for action not words" from the Pakistani authorities in rooting out the threat of terror, which was spreading from there and neighbouring Afghanistan around the globe.

He also said 3/4 of UK terror attacks planned by MI5 have connections with Pakistan - the number of such plots ranges from 6 through, 12 - 15 -20 to 30 and have / have not increased 5 fold since April.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baron Ashcroft and a scam in Belize which is nothing to do with him or his Bank or any of his businesses

The tax haven of Belize in Central America was the brain child of (the now Baron Ashcroft of Belize) Mr Ashcroft had arrived in the small former British colony (Pop. 280,00) at the beginning of the 1990s.

He moved many of his business interests there and bought control of the largest local bank, the Belize Bank, and encouraged local politicians to pass laws between 1990 and 1992 which set up flags of convenience, and secretive offshore "international business companies" and trusts, in return for paying annual registration fees to the government.

Lord Ashcroft the Treasurer of the Conservative Party , has, as a side-effect, encouraged fraud, money laundering, drugs and bribery in a small, poverty-stricken jungle state with corruptible (and corrupted) officials.

The noble Baron's donations to the Conservatives are running at hundreds of thousands of pounds a year - the records of the Electoral Commission show that during the 12 months to last June, the peer donated £209,136 through one of the companies which he controls, Bearwood Corporate Services. He has also made loans to the party of up to £3.6m and provides free flights for the party leader, David Cameron, and other senior Tories via his company Flying Lion worth £19,819.

The noble Baron also bankrolls many local marginal seats and also the political rag edited by Ian Dale (and boosted by the lothasome Andrew McKinley MP who helped expose Dr David Kelly before he was murdered) called "Total Politics"(AKA "Total Bollocks") to the tune of £500,000 this year alone.

This of course is nothing (at all) to do with a dreadful scam being operated from Belize.

Householders are receiving a card bearing the legend "Parcel Delivery Services" claiming a parcel could nto be delivered and if you ring this number they will arrange to deliver it at a sutiabledate and time.

The call is to Belize and connection costs and the recorded message keeps you hanging on at a further £1.50 a minute up to £6.00 .....

A scam that is cleverly designed to work at a time when the world and his wife are delighted to receive unsolicited parcels... this first appeared in 2005 operated by Studio Telecom (based in Belize), and has been resurrected according to Phone PayPlus and they have received complaints from SE London.

This disreputable scam has absolutely nothing to do with Baron Ashcroft. Nothing at all.

Tesco and the Madoff Ponzi US$50 Billion scandal

Just to put the Madoff Ponzi scheme US$50 Bn (£33 Bn) losses into perspective - Tesco owns 1,779 stores in the UK, and employs over 270,000 staff worldwide. Overseas stores account for 20% of group profits and their Market Capitalization today is £25,794m - leaving you with enough over to buy Sainsbury's - £5,307m or Wm. Morrison's - £7,074.

Blagojevich / Obama / Emanuel and the murky world of Chicago mob politics

On Tuesday 9th December President Elect Obama denied that he, or any of his staff, had conversations with Governor Blagojevich (or Blago's staff) over his successor for his Senate seat - which is (was) in the gift of the Governor .

Thursday Dec 12th President Elect Obama said he had never spoken to Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy and was "confident that no representatives" of his had engaged in any dealmaking over the seat with the governor or his team. He also pledged Thursday that in the "next few days" he would explain what contacts his staff may have had with the governor's office about the Senate vacancy.

On Friday Dec 13th Rahm Emanuel wasn't present at President Elect Obama's press conference and when seen later in the day refused to answer questions about any contacts he had with Balgojevich.

Today's (Monday 15th December) Chicago Herald Tribune reports from unnamed and unidentified sources ;

1. Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama's pick to be White House chief of staff, had conversations with Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration about who would replace Obama in the U.S. Senate.

2. They claim that communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wiretaps.

Also that contact between the Obama camp and the governor's administration regarding the Senate seat began the Saturday before the Nov. 4 election, when Emanuel made a call to the cell phone of Harris (who resigned Friday). The conversation took place around the same time press reports surfaced about Emanuel being approached about taking the high-level White House post should Obama win.

5. Emanuel delivered a list of Democratic candidates who would be "acceptable" to Obama- the list included Obama adviser and very close friend Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky of Chicago.The JTA 9/12/08 (the trusted global source of news, opinion and features for the Jewish people) points out that Schakowsky, is the only Jewish contender to replace Obama.

6. Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list.

7. Janice Schakowsky (co-founder of the House Out of Iraq Caucus) said she spoke to Emanuel on Thursday 11th December and he seemed unfazed by the controversy.

Schakowsky also spoke of a conversation she had with Emanuel shortly after he was named chief of staff. She said she called Emanuel "to get some intelligence" on whether Obama might approve of her selection as senator.

On Tuesday 9th December Schakowsky called for Blagojevich to resign from office immediately, failing that the state legislature should begin impeachment proceedings.

It is worth recalling that Janice's husband Robert Creamer, in 2005 got 5 months and was placed on house arrest for 11 months after he finishes his prison term for check kiting and money laundering and was accused of swindling nine financial institutions of at least US$2.3 million while he ran a public interest group in the 1990s. .

On his release he became the highly paid political consultant for Democrats such as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Congressman Lane Evans, and Chicago Alderman Joe Moore

Arianna Huffington calls his recent book, Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, (Amazon) a master’s class in electoral politics and he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post .... To Vilify Obama for his Ability to Inspire is to Ignore the Principal Lesson of the Last Three Decades of American Politics osted February 19, 2008

He is also a consultant on political campaigns through his company Strategic Consulting Group. .... "Whether it's fighting to end the War in Iraq, stopping the privatization of Social Security, passing universal health care, or electing a Democratic Congress, SCG has worked at the center of America's most important political struggles." Listed clients include ; ACORN ,
Americans Against Escalation in Iraq , Blagojevich for Governor (D-IL) , Jan Schakowsky for Congress (D-IL) etc., etc.,

Meanwhile Governor Blagojvich has called in the services of a top defence attorney ... see pic

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shoes hurled at President Bush as he departs Iraq - President Nouri Kamel al-Maliki unmoved

At a press conference marking the end of President Bush's visit to Iraq , a clearly enraged Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Iraqi-owned Al-Baghdadiya television based in Egypt, shouted "this is the end" and forcefully threw both his shoes at President Bush as he effctively ducked and they flew past him. The impassive President Maliki looked calmly on as his guest was insulted and offended as deeply and with as much humiliation is possible, without stabbing the bastard there and then. Great fun.
Entertaining video clips are available on the BBC News site.

When the statue of saddam Hussein was knocked down in Firdos Square the crowd beat it with their shoes. This is an Arab . Sufi / Muslim custom of "cleansing" and is a gesture of utter contempt and disrespect. - the beaten thing is below the lowest part of the body - the foot and therefore an extreme insult.... don't expect Dubya to understand that ... and don't expect anyone to tell him either.
At the 902nd Plenary Meeting of the UN General Asssembly on 12th October 1960 the furious premier of all the Russias Nikita Kruschev banged his shoe on the desk. His daughter later explained that because he had new shoes which piched he had removed them and when baging his desk his glasses fell off and in retreiving them he picked up one of his shoes.
The rest is ..er .. well.. history.

Among the most famous Lashkar-e-Taiba alumni is the remarkable "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who was supposed to be trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in late 2001, who was also said to be connected to Sheikh Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani a spiritual leader of an obscure Muslim militant group named Jamaat ul-Fuqra .

Reid (AKA Tariq Rajah , Abdel Rahim)apparently went to the British Embassy in Brussels, falsely claiming to have lost his passport - which he has used when passing through Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Pakistan, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and possibly Afghanistan . He applied for and received a spanking brand new British passport which was issued on 7 December 2001 which he used to board Flight 63.

Attempted murder of German Police Chief on his doorstep by neo-Nazi thug with knife signals a new stage in the rise of the Right

The cemetery of the church of St. Corona soem 5 Km from Passau hit the headlines un July when the leaders of the german Nazi gangs assmebled for the funeral of the last federal chairman of the banned Freedom German Workers Party (FAP), Friedhelm Busse.

Christian Worch and Thomas Wolff came from Northern germany , Norman Bordin from Bavaria and Rene Taufen from the Rhineland. From a younger generation there were were Viking Youth activist Edda Scmidt and from Dortmund "SS-Siggi" Siegfried Borchard.

Representingt he NPD were Bavarian chairman Matthias Fischer,and his sidekicks Sascha Rossmuller and Uwe Meens.

As a grisly finale to the graveside service Thomas Wulff, adorned the coffin with a banned imperial flag bearing a swastika as the assembled crew sung the soldiers song "Ich hatt einen Kameraden" and the song of the SS "Wenn alle untreu werden" - "If all are unfaithful" .

After this a fracas ensued and the thugs started to beat up a journalist from Network against the Nazis and a small battle ensued with the Police using peper sprays. They then caused problems in Passau centre shouting Nazi slogans such as "Germany wake!" and "Deutsche macht euch frei, von der Juden-Tyrannei!" - "German makes you free from tyranny of the Jews!".

The Police finally arrested 11 eleven neo-Nazis for various offences - robbery, assault and breach of the peace. Four had been arrested before the funeral for being equipped baseball bats and Pick handles.

Doorstep attack on Passau Police Chief

Alois Mannichl, 52, who has been leading a fight against the neo-Nazis in Passau where he is the Police chief. Authorities claim 83 crimes in Passau have been attributed to far-right extremists this year, there were 40 in 2007. Led by Mannichl the Passau police have increased their monitoring of right-wing rallies which as at the funeral of Busse often broken down into violence between neo-Nazi demonstrators and police.

There were a total of 17,176 neo-Nazi crimes reported in Germany in 2007, down from 17,597 in 2006, according to a report by the country’s domestic security agency.

Mannichl lives in a village some 15 Km from Passau and answered a knock at his front door on Saturday.

He described the caller as heavy, strong, about 1.9 m high with a rasberry mark or tattoo on his shaven head. He shouted in thick Bavarian accent - possibly with a hint of Austrian dialect " You left wing Bull Pig (Bullenschwein?) Don't trample any longer on the graves of our comrades ! " - and used as his calling card , the Neo Nazi slogan " Many greetings from the national Widerstand" .

This was a direct reference to Mannichl having the grave opened after the funeral, so the forbidden flag could be removed from the coffin, it was explained that this wasn't stopped during the service out of consideration to the mourners, friends and family.

He then stabbed him once in the stomach and ran off throwing the knife into the garden. A car was waiting nearby which he jumped in and the car sped off.

Such an attack is unheard of said Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann of the daylight assassination attempt on Mannichl, descrining it an escalation and " a completely new Dimension" in the fight against neo-Nazis.

Mannichl, successfully underwent surgery to repair the stab wound, which was said to be less than an inch from his heart and is recovering at a hospital.

The leading senior public prosecutor Helmut Walch classified the attack as attempted murder, a 20-man special commission took over the investigations.

Claudia Roth head of the Green Party in the Augsburger Allgemeinen , demanded political action as a result of the attack . " This insidious and brutal assassination attempt from the neo-Nazi scene is obviously an alarming indication of how dangerous the right-wing extremists are . She caused a stir last year for saying that the Bishop of Augsburg , Walter Mixa ideas on childcare and re-education camps ( Umerziehungslager) reminded her of the Cambodian mass murderer and dictator , Pol Pot,

Passau has strong local neo - Nazi roots

In the centre of Passau is " Traudl' s Café Stübchen" , or more comonly " Café Traudl". This was / is a favourite watering hole the Passau NPD members who would appear with known Austrian right-wing extremists and would be reserved for their meetings and discussion groups. It was shut down and became a private club

A local small circulation political sheet " Passauer new Presse" belongs it to an NPD officer Martin Gabling who is styled as the District Chairman of Passau. This has a curious political stance in that they wish to "Reichsdeutschen mit entsp" Unlock the German Reich, and claim that the Wiemar republic Constitution is, as an elected body the true constitution of Germany.

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