BBC Radio 4 Farming Today this morning reports on sighting of the elusive beavers which have been introduced by "Natural heritage" (?) in their natural native style wet habitats unseen in the UK for millennia.
Naturally the first "wild" beavers first seen were six adults caught in Bavaria who awoke after a lengthy trans - European journey and kept in "carefully controlled" circumstances in Lower Mill Estate near South Cerney, Gloucester in October 2005. Very near the extensive and rolling acres of Prince Charles and, much in the news for beaver sightings - Cirencester Park !
Beavers in Countryside not a new phenomenom
It can now be revealed, earlier attempts were made in Kent (easier channel crossing by tunnelling ?) in 2001. DEFRA have apparently , according to the program started clamping down on this activity - although feral wolves / dogs are said can be found in well monitored but unlicensed "dogging sites" in parts of the UK.
There are also attempts to meet Scottish appetites for access to beavers - more here at Scottish Natural Heritage. (SNH) who also have a range of "Beaver Publications " for a more ...er ... specialised audience.
One news item that escaped our attention over the Christmas break was news of SNH's plans to release "Norwegian" beavers (an albino sub species ?) in the Independent with opposition from an unexpected source.... "Farmers protest at plan to bring beavers back to Britain after 400 years". Alocal landowner whom we will not name is quoted ..."beavers could spread giardiasis, a disease that damages the immune system.." The Indpendent also had a story in July "Viva la beaver: Britain's population is beginning to thrive again" ... more pictures or Google.
So if you are out for a bit of activity in the countryside this weekend, (especially i Royal Gloucestershire) keep your eyes open for some cheeky, slinky, splashing wet beavers.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
BBC Radio 4 Farming Today this morning reports on sighting of the elusive beavers which have been introduced by "Natural heritage" (?) in their natural native style wet habitats unseen in the UK for millennia.
Years of fraudulent Accounts by Barclays, overvaluing assets, over stating profits and jolly fine divvies - shares crash - again.
WSJ reports that Barclays said it didn't know of any reason for the fall in its shares shortly before close of business Friday. Ho.Ho.Ho.
Reasons market denizens give include ;
1. The 3 month Financial Services Authorityban on short-selling financial stocks ended.
2. The UK Government will announce new aid / bailout / throwing away taxpayers money measures next week from which Barclays will not benefit unlikr previous recipients of Gordon's helicopter cash - Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS (now including Lloyds) including "softer" terms on preference shares taken up.
3. If (as is wildly rumoured) the UK Government setup a "bad bank " to buy up bad assets (as the original but discarded after 13 days US TARP
scam ..er...plan... bright idea) Barclays will not be able to particpate.
Readers might not be up to speed on the way Barclays prepare their financial statements - they might usefully look at Page 167 of Barclays Annual report 2007 which details how asset impairment is handled.
8. Impairment of financial assets
The Group assesses at each balance sheet date whether there is objective evidence that loans and receivables or available for sale financial investments are impaired. These are impaired and impairment losses are incurred if, and only if, there is objective evidence of impairment as a result of one or more loss events that occurred after the initial recognition of the asset and prior to the balance sheet date (‘a loss event’) and that loss event or events has had an impact on the estimated future cash flows of the financial asset or the portfolio that can be reliably estimated. The criteria that the Group uses to determine that there is objective evidence of an impairment loss include: (inter alia)
e) the disappearance of an active market for that financial asset because of financial difficulties; or
f) observable data indicating that there is a measurable decrease in the estimated future cash flows from a portfolio of financial assets since the initial recognition of those assets, although the decrease cannot yet be identified with the individual financial assets in the portfolio, including:
The amount of impairment loss is measured as the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows discounted at the asset’s original effective interest rate. The amount of the loss is recognised using an allowance account and recognised in the income statement (ie as a loss) .
So the rub is , that if Barclays have been lying about the value of their very many assets and refused to take impairments so maintaining the fiction (which they have done for years) that they have made profits - they are, by by refusing to "come clean" , put themeselves in the position that they cannot use the taxpayers money to scrub their balance sheets of all the shit they have been hiding and overvaluing.... for years.
So they persist in reporting after close of trading today that "its 2008 profit before tax, (reports due Feb 17th) after reflecting all costs, impairment and market valuations, would be "well ahead of the GBP5.3 billion consensus estimate of sell-side analysts."
CEO of Barclays (£2.8Mn a year) since 2004 is John Silvester Varley (born 1 April 1956), in 1981 he married Carolyn Thorn Pease, daughter of Sir Richard Thorn Pease, and in so doing married into the fascinating Quaker Pease family, whose bank became part of Barclays in 1902.
Curiously ( Catholic, Downside, Oriel College Oxford (History)) by then trained and working as a solicitor (like his father) , joined the Merchant Banking section of Barclays the following year,1982, with it appears no knowledge, history or experience of banking in any form. He is apparently, unlike any other major bankers and excellent table tennis player.
It is of interest to note that Varley's sister in law Nichola Pease is chief executive of JO Hambro Capital Management and was a nonexecutive executive director of what was Northern Rock plc. Her husband is Crispin Odey who founded Odey Asset Management, which made £55 Mn Y/E April 2008 and paid him£23 Mn salary....their especial skills ? Shorting UK bank shares. They were at it again later this year shorting Bradford & Bingley involving the taxpayer in a direct £ 4 Bn write off and the introduction of the FSA ban on shorting financial shares.
What goes around, comes around.
Are Barclays too BIG to fail ?
Expect some remarkable and "unexpected" events as the share shifters get dug in. Again.
Get ready to shortly own a chunk of Barclays along with your other banking assets like RBOS and HBOS.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Recent speeches made by the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and the previous Defence Secretary, and the letter from Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson in The Times on June 30, 2008, have placed the issue of a world free of nuclear weapons firmly on the public agenda. But it is difficult to see how the United Kingdom can exert any leadership and influence on this issue if we insist on a costly successor to Trident that would not only preserve our own nuclear-power status well into the second half of this century but might actively encourage others to believe that nuclear weapons were still, somehow, vital to the secure defence of self-respecting nations.
This is a fallacy which can best be illustrated by analysis of the British so-called independent deterrent. This force cannot be seen as independent of the United States in any meaningful sense. It relies on the United States for the provision and regular servicing of the D5 missiles. While this country has, in theory, freedom of action over giving the order to fire, it is unthinkable that, because of the catastrophic consequences for guilty and innocent alike, these weapons would ever be launched, or seriously threatened, without the backing and support of the United States.
Should this country ever become subject to some sort of nuclear blackmail — from a terrorist group for example — it must be asked in what way, and against whom, our nuclear weapons could be used, or even threatened, to deter or punish. Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently, or are likely to, face — particularly international terrorism; and the more you analyse them the more unusable they appear.
The much cited “seat at the top table” no longer has the resonance it once did. Political clout derives much more from economic strength. Even major-player status in the international military scene is more likely to find expression through effective, strategically mobile conventional forces, capable of taking out pinpoint targets, than through the possession of unusable nuclear weapons. Our independent deterrent has become virtually irrelevant except in the context of domestic politics. Rather than perpetuating Trident, the case is much stronger for funding our Armed Forces with what they need to meet the commitments actually laid upon them. In the present economic climate it may well prove impossible to afford both.
Field Marshal Lord Bramall
General Lord Ramsbotham
General Sir Hugh Beach
House of Lords, London SW1
Now let's get rid of those damn aircraft carriers.
Those rebuttals by White House PR bulshit merchants just really don't seem to ring tru. If not true why not simply deny them and call Olmer ta Liar ? Condi's explanation is even more extreme ..."And I had made very clear that I thought the resolution was premature, and there were also concerns about a resolution that had Israel, a member-state of the United Nations, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, you don't ever want there to be any equating those two." ... if this is such a fundamental problem why were you even talking about the resolution ...seems late in the day to bring that up.
Is the Israeli Government isn't a democratically elected terrorist organisation - of course it is.
More about this egregious use of power and influence over the US President.
Defective judgment Ha’aretz, Israel - 2 hours ago - What is clear is that Olmert phoned US President George W. Bush late Thursday night, and in the end the United States abstained in the vote. …
Rice calls Olmert account “fiction” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NY - 9 hours agoBy Eric Fingerhut · January 14, 2009 WASHINGTON (JTA) — Condoleezza Rice called “fiction” Ehud Olmert’s claim that he persuaded President Bush to abstain …
Olmert stands by his version of Rice flap International Herald Tribune, France - 15 hours ago Olmert claimed earlier this week that he humiliated Rice by persuading US President Bushto instruct her not to vote for it. Rice spokesman Sean McCormack …
Olmert’s ill-advised move Ynetnews, Israel - 10 hours ago I’m certain that spitting into the plate he ate out of is not the kind of farewell present Prime Minister Olmert planned on granting Bush and Rice in return …
Olmert hits back in spat with US over remarks on UN Gaza truce vote Ha’aretz, Israel - 17 hours agoThe US State Department on Tuesday flatly rejected Olmert’s assertion that he had convinced the Bush administration to abstain from last week’s United …
... for all this thanks to Culture of Life news
The BBC World Service (paid for by the Foreign and Commenwealth Office) has invited 5 people to send an Open letter to Barak Obama.
The letter by The Palestinian lawyer and writer, Raja Shahadeen (Shehadah) best known for his books on international law and human rights, is exceedingly good on the lethal ambiguities of the Zioniist warmongers.
We canot embed it, but ask you to read it and pass it on to friends, family, politicians.
The most elequoent expression for the Palestinian cause you will find on the BBC.
Meanwhile Uruknet Sitrep on Gaza
Click on image to enlarge
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Superb British (from ooop North) aircraft design and engineering helped save everybody in Hudson River crash
The US Airways A 320 Airbus Flight 1549 that took off from La Guardia for Charlotte .NC., had a bird strike (Canada geese ?) and was attempting to land back at LG. The pilot and crew did a great job in a forced water landing - the plane did not break up and the passengers could be evacuated from the wings..
The Airbuses are the only passenger planes that can re-land immediately with a full fuel load - other planes need to dump fuel becuase the wing / undercarriage structures are not strong enough for them to land with a ful fuel load.
The Rib that supports the wing in the Airbus' is the longest, strongest and most precisely machined piece of metal in the world.
It was made about 5 miles away in Middleton - but production has recently moved because the Government pulled out of the Airbus consortium.
PS : The composite Boeing 787 Dreamliner has still not flown ... many are beginning to believe it never will.
Ardent Observations led us to Australian poet Mark Jago. Mr Angry - who wants people to ‘Switch off the box”. Some people with an undeveloped brain might find the language offensive. 312 viewers to date.
the Boy David's Damascene revelation on the road to peace making in Gaza - is reality finally breaking through ?
The Boy David who was so vilely abused last week when he fully expected to arrive in London being met by a grateful nation as his carefully crafted and highly burnished UN resolution for peace in Gaza was shot down by Olmert demanding Bush tell Condileezza Rice to abstain.
The Boy David has had a Damascene revelation brought about by his unpleasant and very public bruising in the real politik of ME politics as played by the Washington Hawks and the Zionist war criminals.
Now ( strangely as Lady Dame Jane Baroness Nevill Jones has also become to discover )the infantile concept of a "war on terror" against a man in a cave in Afghanistan is - he puts it mildly, "a mistake" ... and may have caused "more harm than good". ( See Dame NJ May 2008 - "In Britain, Neville-Jones pointed out that policymakers do not talk in the language of the war on terror any longer. However, they do take the view that jihadism, while it is incapable of being defeated, is at very least capable of being disrupted. Terrorism is a tactic and attempts to deal with it can be handled in a way which does not lend support to your ideological opponents. " RUSI conference)
One the eve of his self important visit to Mumbai where he will be as popular as syphilis in a nunnery for his nonsenical mutterings about the responsibility for ther Mumbai killings he writes in today's Guradian.
Miliband says, adding that, in his opinion, the whole strategy has been dangerously counterproductive, helping otherwise disparate groups find common cause against the west.
"The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common," Miliband argues, in a clear reference to the signature rhetoric of the Bush era. "We should expose their claim to a compelling and overarching explanation and narrative as the lie that it is."
Late his conversion to the real world may be, it is nonetheless welcome.
He has discovered some universal truths which people have been crying from the roof tops for years ..."Terrorism is a deadly tactic, not an institution or an ideology." (qv Neville Jones above)
The Guradan asks him if he had not left it late in the Bush era to make his criticism, anonymous "British officials" had stopped thinking in terms of a single war on terror more than two years ago, and had been putting a "more comprehensive approach" into practice.... well some evidence of this change in heart would be welcome.
For example when Gordon went to Washington upon taking up the burdens of office to receive his instructions he said ..."“We must undercut the terrorists’ so-called ’single narrative’ and defeat their ideas. At home and abroad we must back mainstream and moderate voices and reformers, emphasizing the shared values that exist across faiths and communities.” D Telegraph
It was of course at this time that he banned the use of the words "Muslim" and the "war on terror" by Ministers, not because of any change in policy or reality but to improve community relations and avoid offending Muslims, adopting a more “consensual” tone than existed under Tony Blair.
Fpeign Policy has untiln ow not altered one iota , we still suport the crazy war in Afghanistan , we have supported the bombing of Pakistan, our crazed Metropolitan Police, (when not shagging each other and fiddling expenses or running businesses on the side) still have 6 / 11/ 15/ 20 / 30 terror plots and 2,000 extremist (AKA Muslim fundamentalist) crypto terrorists under surveillance.
Let us hope the Boy David - frightened perhaps by the sights of extreme military bloodlust and carnage caused by his fellow Jews in Gaza and the slaughter of families, and reflecting on his own young family, has seen the light.
We might yet see the Boy David on a marchsoon holding hands with Jeremy Corbyn and george Galloway.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
In a state of terminal boredom Lord Patel watched Prime Minister's Question time (PMQ's), for the first time ever today. He perked up when Jeremy Corbyn Labour MP , Islngton North, was called and asked (roughly correct, but look for the text in Hansard in the morning). See below for actual Hansard record.
"There is ample evidence that Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza , will the Government be making a case to bring them before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a stony silence, Gordon saw it as a planted question and explained in his self congratulatiry and grating Lang Toon vowels how he had saved the world by sponsoring, writing, eding, wording, re-wording, burnishing , polishing, the UN resolution on Monday calling for a cease fire - failing to mention that out great ally had not signed up for this polished, tabernacle of plitical language and carefully nuanced UN flummery.
This is how the live report from the BBC ONline PMQ's AS IT HAPPENED - BY JUSTIN PARKINSON reported it .... er they didn't. The Times to their credit have the story .
Story Number two
We reported on the US absention on the UN resolution Gordon's UN Myrmidoms and minions had been burnishing and polishing and the consumption of midnight oil -Friday, January 09, 2009 UN votes for peace (except the US) and AIPAC makes sure the Senate votes for Israel and Zionism - all in one day. and the astonishing volte face by dusky beauty Condileezza Rice.
No explanation has been offered to explain her extraordinary behaviour.
Well there is one.
Priot to the vote corrupt, war criminal Ehud Olmert , PM of Israeli for the moment heard the terms of the resolution of the Security Council.
He exploded and called President Bush.
At this time President of the most powerful nation in the world was adressing an audience on Philadelphia on education policy the speech took 27-minutes and ended at 11:46 a.m..
Bush was interrupted, hauled, off, took the call and either directly or through staff told Condileeza Rice to abstain. Which she did about 10 hours later, shortly before 9:30 p.m.EST
The rest , as they say is history.
More here BUSH STOOPS FOR OLMERT WHO PISSES ON HIM
and here at Anti War Olmert Brags About Embarrassing Rice in UN Gaza Vote
“Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it.” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.”See also Here on Al Jazeera (a service unavailable in US) Olmert call 'behind US abstention' and also Geoffrey Wheatcroft: How Israel gets away with murder Independent
A beaming Olmert then described telling President Bush “the US cannot possibly vote in favor of this resolution,” and spoke with pride of how embarrassed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was at having to abstain from voting for a resolution she helped to organize and gather support for.
So Israel - not a member of the UN Security Council can influence the result of their resolutions. ... and of course carry on bombing the shit out of anybody who gets in their way - using munitions, aircraft , weapons etc., supplied free C/O kind Uncle Sam.
Reuters here have another account in which the White House refute the story.... but unconvincing - Reuters say
Arab ministers said after the U.N. vote Thursday that Rice had promised them the United States would support the resolution, but then made an about-face after talking to Bush.UPDATE from Hansard
A few minutes before the scheduled vote at the United Nations, Rice's staff told reporters she would make a few brief comments beforehand, but then abruptly cancelled her press appearance, saying she would instead speak to Bush by phone.
She then entered the U.N. Security Council chamber, huddled with Arab ministers who shook their heads as she spoke to them. Immediately after the vote, Rice left for Washington without talking to reporters.
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North) (Lab): Will the Prime Minister bear it in mind that, in the past three weeks, the Israeli forces have killed 1,000 people in Gaza, 300 of whom were children, and denied medical aid, food and energy and blockaded the people during the past year? These are war crimes. They have committed acts against the people of Gaza that ought to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Will the Prime Minister join the calls to ensure that that takes place?
The Prime Minister: We took action in drafting the resolution that went through the United Nations last week. Words cannot describe the feeling that families will have as a child dies, or at the level of civilian deaths and casualties and the displacement of 90,000 people in Gaza, but our resolution sought to call for an immediate ceasefire, to recognise the damage that had been done and was being done, and to call for humanitarian action—a call that I repeated when I talked to Prime Minister Olmert last night and asked him to increase the humanitarian action and to take the necessary action to achieve a ceasefire.
The reason why we supported the UN measure was that the Arab countries were also prepared to sign up to two things that are very important to any sustainable ceasefire. The first is an end to arms trafficking and particularly the destruction of the tunnels in Gaza. I talked to President Mubarak yesterday about what we can do and how we can help to achieve that. Secondly, of course— [Interruption.] I think this is important, as we will also need international support to execute the opening of the crossings. It is important that we have the support of the Arab League countries as well as the other countries that signed that motion. In other words, we are doing everything that we can to make possible an immediate ceasefire.
Collete Bowe is chairman of council of Queen Mary College, London University, where she studied for her first degree in French. It was there she met Paul Sullivan the Porn rag billionaire who in those days studied economics, drove round in a pink Cadiallac wore an ankle length Afghan fur coat and pissed off Professor Peston (faher of the ever present BBC commentator of doom)so much that he refused to entertain him receiving First against the wishes of the department.
Allegedly, not only his girl friend but also quite happy in front of the lens , Collete went into the Civil Service, maked as a high flier and ended up as press secretary to the repulsive, sweaty, and ugly Leon Brittan at the DTI - and alongside the youthful, dashing, John Mogg, the now Lord Mogg of Queen's Park and the silent, listless, useless Chairman of OfGEM (who when he was admitted to the House of Lords was done so by Lord Brittan - who lists as having a Parliamentary pass John Anthony Saward (chauffeur).
Fruity old Leon was locked for reasons lost inthe mists of antiquity and the history of opur cruumbling air defences locked in unseemly combat with dashing blond wannabe leader Michael Heseltine over a complicated Westland helicopter contract. At a crucial point Collette leaked to the Press Association a key memo which was highly damaging to Heseltine and helpful to cuddly old Leon.
The crisis rumbled and grew , hinging upon the crucial point as to whether she had an official instruction from Brittan and Thatcher to leak it. They denied it. She said absolutely nothing and has said the same thing ever since.
However leaving the Civil Service some time later she then sped upwards and onwards on an increasingly rewarding career . Without regrets but she did say tearfuly in her lilting Scouse accent over a strong G&T " I wish I had followed my intention to write to David Kelly when the press were after him to offer him my help and advice. Maybe I could have helped him."
Director of Public Affairs at the Independent Broadcasting Authority then on to the forerunner of Gordon's tripartite regulatory power house, the Financial Services Authority, as director of retail regulation.
Chief executive of the Personal Investment Authority - still regulating - and only then did she join the world of money and markets as executive chairman of Save and Prosper Group and a branch of Chase Fleming.
Deputy chair of Thames Water, the board of Yorkshire Building Society, Framlington Group and Morgan Stanley Bank International, chair of the Ofcom Consumer Panel and a member of the Statistics Commission.
Then as a sort of Christmas present on December 18th when nobody was really looking it was announced she would take over the chair at Ofcom from Lord Currie when he goes at Easter.
She was chosen following a recruitment process handled by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Of course.
"I am delighted to announce that Colette Bowe is our choice for chairman of Ofcom," said the youthful culture secretary, Andy Burnham.
The still, pretty sloe eyed, pale skinned, slim, svelte exceedingly well dressed, 61-year old will serve a five-year term with a modest annual salary of £200,000 (more than the PM) for"up to three " really hard days a week whilst maintaining her board positions at Axa Framlington, Morgan Stanley and Electra Private Equity.
How nice it is that those two old friends Collete and John or rather, Lord Mogg (appointed for a second five year term this year as the non-executive Chairman of Ofgem (the energy regulator for Great Britain) both end up past their retirement age in such hugely well paid jobs.
Like two peas in a pod.
And neither of them have ever breathed a word about how that Press Notice became available to the Press Asssociation and whether Mrs Thatcher instructed leon to leak the memo.
We look forward the early accession of Baroness Bowe of the Sealed Lips to join her friends leon and John
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Danger !!! War criminals hard at work - a spectator support for diplomats , Church leaders, politicians ....
Der Spiegel have a gallery of the events in Gaza ...here is one the rest are here
Obama the bomber delivered a speech to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - on August 1st 2007 (full text here but access forbiden) review by Sourcewatch with links here
Back in 2004, while running for the U.S. Senate, he declared that while "launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse."
He added, "There are elements within Pakistan right now - if Musharraf is overthrown and they took over, I think we would have to consider going in and taking those bombs out."
In a sabre rattling speech the Senator warned that he would use American forces to invade U.S. ally Pakistan if its leaders weren't doing enough to catch terrorists on their soil.
"Let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans."
"They are plotting to strike again . . . If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
The New York Post - the read of egg heads and policy wonks in NY and written by Rupert Murdoch serfs reported on his speech ..
Joe Biden, the Delaware senator who heads that committee, mocked Obama as a "Johnny-come-lately" on the idea of shifting the focus to the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
"The way to deal with it is not to announce it, but to do it," Biden said.
"The last thing you want to do is telegraph to the folks in Pakistan that we are about to violate their sovereignty, putting Musharraf in the position that makes it virtually impossible for him to do anything other than what he's done, basically cut a deal with the warlords."
Well of course things have moved on Mushariff has gone, another Bhutto murdered and the biggest criminal in Pakistan is President and sites in Waziristan are being stafed and bombed on a regular basis by US forces. As Joe Biden now his VP said - "Just do it".
As Obama stays silent about his plans for invading Pakistan he also stays silent about the use of phosphorous bombs by his allied murderers and war criminals Olmert, Livni and Barak (Gerald Kaufmann MP's (whom Allah be praised) description of them in the House of Commons last night as the Government and Opposition benches sat in stony silence and carefully examined their footwear) against the penned in, starving, thirsty, prisoners of Gaza.
Well Obama hasn't started yet .... but let's be clear about it.... this is where his foreign policy at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean kicks off. He follows in the proud tradition of President Bush doing deals with the body boiler Karimov of Uzbekistan.
Why did anyone expect any different ?
The cemetery, whose leafy treescapes shielded the sheltered world of "Lucky Jim" Dixon was of course Welford Road Cemetery - initially . About 50 years ago Leicester University (12th out of 100 British universities)purchased it to expand , but could not build on it for 100 years.
According to the Burial Laws Amendment Act 1880 a person who knows the circumstances of the death and has a lawful certificate of the cause of death must first register a death with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
You can be buried in your garden. Contrary to popular belief you do not need planning permission . A body comes within the definition of "clinical waste" and as such cannot be disposed of except under the provisions of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and the Environment Protection Act 1990. A licensed operator is usually needed but a local authority may waive the requirement in special circumstances.
See "Green Burial" by JB Bradfield and published by the Natural Death Centre. Chapter 4
Apparently the Home Office would require certificate of Exhumation to remove the body - which living relatives would need to agree to.
As the objectors to Runway 3 are buying up small plots of land to halt the progress of Heathrow Runway 3 ( an objective which will most likely be disallowed under recent planning law changes about "vexatious litigation" etc.,) - perhaps people with terminal illnesses could buy up lots with the stated intention of such a burial.
Dennis Ross co-founder of AIPAC appointed as Obama's special envoy to Iran and overall Middle East “czar.”
President Elect Barack Obama has appointed Dennis Ross as his special envoy to Iran and overall Middle East “czar.” It is impossible to imagine anyone who would be less of an honest broker in the Middle East.
Dennis Ross was Bill Clinton's Middle East envoy where he was somewhat pro-Israel and he seems to have become more of an neocon-oriented Israel Firster since then. His post-Clinton record includes supporting the pro-Iraq War campaigns of the neocon Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and serving as a senior fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a significant pro-Israel think tank in Washington
Mearsheimer and Walt describe WINEP as ‘part of the core’ of the Israel lobby. In “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” they write:
"Recognizing the need for a prominent but seemingly ‘objective’ voice in the policy area surrounding Israel, former AIPAC president Larry Weinberg; his wife, Barbi Weinberg; AIPAC’s vice president; and AIPAC deputy director of research Martin Indyk founded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 1985. Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda. Its board of advisors includes prominent pro-Israel figures such as Edward Luttwak, Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey and Mortimer Zuckerman, but includes no one who might be thought of as favoring the perspective of any other country or group in the ‘Near East.’ Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks.” (pp. 175-176)
In recent years, Ross also has served on the board of the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a think tank that promotes “the thriving of the Jewish people via professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world Jewry.”
Ross has taken a very hostile position toward Iran . He produce the 2008 Bi Partisan Policy centre report “Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development,” ( 117 p pdf) The report argues that despite Iran’s assurances to the contrary, its nuclear program aims to develop nuclear weapons and is thus a threat to the U.S. This conclusion is contrary to the CIA’s November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran had put its efforts to develop nuclear warheads on hold. Moreover, the report contends that if Iran had nuclear weapons it could not be deterred, like all other countries that have had nuclear weapons, because of its “extremist ideology.”
" ... the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a new institution in Washington devoted to crafting prudent policy solutions to complex problems and, then, working to implement them. In the years we have spent in government, we learned that matters of such grave national importance must be met with thorough analysis, sober deliberation, and bipartisan cooperation." ...er. in the introduction says .." Michael Rubin (of the of the American Enterprise Institute ) who was the primary drafter of the report. The AEI website today carries a message from Michael .."the road to peace does not lie in a cease fire. As Michael Rubin writes, it lies in a "recognition of Israel's right to exist and to live without the relentless Hamas assaults."
In his biography the AEI are happy to explain that Michael .."In addition to his work at AEI, several times each month, Rubin travels to military bases across the United States and Europe to instruct senior U.S. Army and Marine officers deploying to Iraq and Kuwait on issues relating to regional state history and politics, Shiism, the theological basis of extremism, and strategy. "
The report actually calls for the new US president to expand American military forces in the Middle East! This would entail “pre-positioning additional U.S. and allied forces, deploying additional aircraft carrier battle groups and minesweepers, emplacing other war material in the region, including additional missile defense batteries, upgrading both regional facilities and allied militaries, and expanding strategic partnerships with countries such as Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to maintain operational pressure from all directions.” The neo-cons wildest dream the US fighting wars for the Jews.
The report goes on to state that if the new administration would hold talks with Iran it should set compliance deadlines which if not met would lead to an American attack on Iran. The military strikes would “have to target not only Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but also its conventional military infrastructure in order to suppress an Iranian response.”
Washington Commentator Jim Lobe accurately refers to this document as a “roadmap to war,” pointing out that “if Tehran is not eventually prepared to permanently abandon its enrichment of uranium on its own soil—a position that is certain to be rejected by Iran ab initio—war becomes inevitable, and all intermediate steps, even including direct talks if the new president chooses to pursue them, will amount to going through the motions (presumably to gather international support for when push comes to shove.)”
In appointing people like Ross to key roles, is Obama, the presumed proponent of peace, actually preparing for a policy of war in the Middle East?
As Raimondo writes: “With Hillary and Ross at the helm of State, expect prolonged negotiations in the form of a series of ultimatums directed at Tehran, punctuated, perhaps, by a series of incidents, close calls that don't quite spark a war but keep the embers burning. All this drama leading inexorably to a preordained denouement – the third gulf war.”
Obama’s image as a proponent of peace makes it easier for him to launch war. His move to war could much more easily be perceived by the public as the only option remaining, in contrast to skepticism that Bush/Cheney would face as known warmongers. Many more liberals and Democrats would support a war launched by Obama than a war launched by a Republican. And conservatives and Republicans would tend to give Obama about as much support for war as they would give to Bush/Cheney or McCain; in fact, many probably would criticize him as moving too slowly toward war.
Some of the more naive Obama peace supporters maintain that Obama’s appointment of Middle East hawks represents a cunning plan to achieve peace. Raimondo addresses this argument: “We keep hearing Obama is making all these business-as-usual appointments in order to disarm his critics in advance when he starts taking those really bold initiatives, but doesn't there come a point when that somewhat dubious strategy becomes suspiciously repetitive? Is he really appointing Dennis Ross just so he can usher in a new era of equal justice and sustained peace in the region? Come off it, you Obama-ites – there won't be any change in our foreign policy, except for the worse.”
Anti-war commentator Glenn Greenwald, writes “Some argue that Obama has filled key positions with politicians who have a history of virtually absolute support for Israeli actions . . . because Obama intends to continue, more or less, the Bush policy of blind support for Israel. Others argue the opposite: that those appointments are necessary to vest the Obama administration with the credibility to take a more active role in pushing the Israelis to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” Ho.Ho.Ho.
Greenwald doesn’t seem to see the need to provide much evidence here. Obviously, no one can definitely “know” what will happen in the future. However, by looking at past events one gets a better understanding of what will probably happen in the future—probability not certainty. This is simply how people plan for the future.
Obama can only be judged on his rather poor track record. From past experience it would seem that an administration’s policy is largely shaped by high-placed policy advisors . By selecting pro-Israeli hawks such as Ross, Obama has guaranteed that the Iranians will be suspicious.
The US has been anything but an honest broker in the Middle East, and calming Iranian and Palestinian suspicions (an impossible task) is an important step and a higher priority than simply going along with the Israeli War criminal.
Giving Ross the top role will confirm Iranian suspicions that the US have no intention to deal with them fairly, thus precluding the chance for diplomatic agreement, and precipitating more forceful action, even war, against Iran because of its failure to co-operate, as Dennis Ross’ recent study advocates.
THis may not be Obam's intention he may feel he has to thank the Israeli Lobby for making his Presidency possible. He may be so stupid he thinks he can dismiss, sidetrack, out - manourvre the ranks of neo-con hawks that will litter his offices from day One.
Maybe he sees himself as a genius who can devote himself to multiple serious issues—especially the economy—and still outfox representatives of the Israel Lobby on Middle East policy (who are experts on the subject, with multiple significant ties to Israel, and are devoting all their time to the issue) and establish a policy contrary to theirs and force them to carry it out properly.
It is hard to think of an American leader who did something comparable this or how it could be done. Most American presidents are highly influenced by their advisors—Washington/Hamilton, Wilson/Lansing and House, Nixon and Ford/Kissinger, Elder Bush/Baker, Younger Bush/Cheney and the neocons.
When American presidents don’t adhere to the views of a particular advisor/advisors and it is because they have significant advisors with contrary views. These counterweights in Middle East policy have yet to been seen in Obama’s emerging administration. .not forgetting the sl;avish support of israeli policy also provided by the Quartet Envoy our wonderful Tony Blair.
A partial exception was Bill Clinton, who in his second term surrounded himself with some pro-Israel hawks - Madeleine Albright. Albright and other hawks, plus the hawkish media, did get Clinton involved in the war on Serbia over Kosovo, but Clinton would only go part way ( bombing civilians from 20,000 feet was OK ) and did not commit ground troops. His mentor was fellow Arkansan Sen. J. William Fulbright*** who had strong views on the Israeli lobby.
He only agreed to fire some missiles at Saddam, though maintaining the blockade and the no-fly zones. So in a way, Bill Clinton, the consummate conman, was able to avoid the war policies of some of his leading advisors. It must be remebered however when it was decided to loose Tomahawks on Sudan and Afghanistan this wasan exceptional foil to the rank disclosure of his shenanigans with Miss Lewinskey.
Moreover, Clinton did not have to confront the serious government decisions facing Obama, who must deal with the economic meltdown, which could make or break his administration. So even to achieve results of the Clintonian level, Obama would have to be a far more able manipulator of people than Bill Clinton.
*J. William Fulbright who helped found the UN was a major opponent of the US war policy in Southeast Asia and overall American military intervention, he was also a string critic of the Israel Lobby, saying "Israel controls the United States Senate. Around 80 percent are completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants it gets. Jewish influence in the House of Representatives is even greater.” in CBS Face the Nation on April 15, 1973. In 1974 Fulbright suffered defeat in the Democratic primary election, due in large part to the Israel Lobby. Fulbright had been head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1959 and was the longest serving.
On October 21, 2002, in a speech at the dedication of the Fulbright Sculpture at the University of Arkansas, Bill Clinton who he described as "Employer, mentor, eventually supporter and friend ",said, "I admired him. I liked him. On the occasions when we disagreed, I loved arguing with him. I never loved getting in an argument with anybody as much in my entire life as I loved fighting with Bill Fulbright".
Billy Boy also said at that ceremoney - and many may ponder the answer ..
"The United States stands at a unique moment in human history.
There have only been rare periods when you could say of all the peoples of the world, one nation is truly dominant, politically, economically and militarily. That is clearly true of the United States at this moment.
It is also clearly a fleeting moment.
Within thirty years the Chinese economy should be as big or bigger than ours.
The Indian economy could be as well if they will stop fighting with Pakistan and wasting money on armaments.
Within thirty years, if the European Union continues to unite and become more a union, politically and economically, it may well be more influential politically as well as economically.
And the United States will be judged based on how we used this “magic moment.” Did we try to drive the world into the 21st century? Did we make up our mind to resolutely exterminate every threat we saw and force people to live by our vision?
Or, did we instead try to build the world where, when we’re no longer, as we say down here, the “biggest dog on the block,” people will still treat us the way we like to be treated because of the way we treated them, at our moment of ascendancy.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
A curious anouncement was made on at the end of BBC North West News tonight at 6.30pm.
On Monday morning there will be some programming in relation to Cabinet Office briefing room A - the COBRA committee and planning for emergencies.
Whilst heavy rain is expected the only major disruption we can reasonable expect is gas shortages. see post on Thursday, January 01, 2009 Are UK natural gas supplies secure this winter ? The margin of security gets smaller and smaller - and gas more expensive
The Government are way ahead - domestic gas rationing in UK, this would be done by rolling 3 hour electricity blackouts - as most central heating systems rely on a continuous electricity supply.
The government has had it planned for years - see http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file35360.pdf ! Maybe a gas fire with a piezo spark starter would work and gas rings / ovens could be used - but not as heaters as they are not flued and Carbon monoxide could build up.
So lay in the candles, a camping stove - primus , propane gas, easily heated / cooked food , plan for vulnerable people , children , the elderly and get out the board games if the TV doesn't work. In the long term install a wood stove.
Your local council should have prepared an Emergency plan see Rochdale MBC's plan here (dated incidentally Jan 2009)
Click on the image to enlarge - this is one of 13 increasingly severe 3 hour rolling electricity blackouts.
UPDATE 2100: GMT News Item : Deutches Welle within last hour
Russia Gas Deal in Doubt as Medvedev Talks of 'Mockery' Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:
Looks like the gas meters could be staying at zero for a while longer
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday, Jan 11., said an EU-brokered deal aimed at restoring the supply of Russian gas to Europe via Ukrainian pipelines was off. He said Russia objected to additions made by Ukraine.
Medvedev made the remarks in a discussion with Moscow's foreign minister shown on television. He said Russia objected to a handwritten addition made to the formal agreement by the Ukrainian side, calling it a "mockery of common sense."
"I think that those who have signed this document with reservations well understand the legal consequences of their actions," he told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Dmitry Medvedev, left, meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday, Jan. 11"As a result, we are obliged to consider the document signed as null and void for us. We will not apply it as long as this reserve is not overturned," he added.
The declaration, which was seen by Reuters, said that Ukraine had not siphoned off transit gas and that it has no outstanding debts to Gazprom. That is the issue that stands at the center of the dispute.
Russia won't restart supplies
Moscow has insisted it will not restart gas supplies to Europe until it has a valid deal. Supplies have been halted since Wednesday. He urged EU officials to demand Ukraine withdraw its so-called declaration that it issued to accompany the agreement.
The European Commission says the declaration can't change the deal, but Lavrov told Medvedev that the copy of the deal Russia has received contains Ukraine's stipulation that it only is valid along with the declaration.
UPDATE : Monday 1000 GMT
From The Sunday Times January 11, 2009
Britain close to low gas alert Reserves have fallen to less than a week’s supply of UK needs http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article5489455.ece
Peter Parsons, gas supply manager at Britain’s National Grid said: “We’re close to the point where we’ll have to take emergency-type measures.”
The Gaza Strip Conflict Resolution by BooMan Fri Jan 9th, 2009
On the scale of offensive one-sidedness in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the ironically named Gaza Strip Conflict Resolution is probably about a 'five'. The actual text of the resolution has a couple of disputable facts, but its real fault lies in its arbitrary selection of facts. Yet, critiquing the factual basis for the resolution is outside the scope of this essay. It was carefully crafted to assure maximum support. It just received maximum support in the House, where it passed by a vote of 390-5 with 22 Democrats voting 'present' and 16 representatives not voting.
The five representatives that voted against the resolution are Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ron Paul (R-TX), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Maxine Waters (D-CA). I believe 21 of the 22 Democratic members that voted 'present' are members of the Democratic Progressive Caucus. Co Chair - Dennis Kucinich
The important thing is that 390 members of the House voted for a resolution that states (in part):
(5) calls on all nations--
(A) to condemn Hamas for deliberately embedding its fighters, leaders, and weapons in private homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, and otherwise using Palestinian civilians as human shields, while simultaneously targeting Israeli civilians; and
(B) to lay blame both for the breaking of the `calm' and for subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza precisely where blame belongs, that is, on Hamas;
That view of this conflict is a decidedly minority view in the world at-large. There is little global love for the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, and most people condemn the use of rocket attacks on indisputably sovereign Israeli territory. But the idea that the blame for over 700 civilian casualties in Gaza since Christmas lies squarely on Hamas' shoulders is not popular (to be charitable). Leaving the impression that all the civilian casualties are the result of Hamas hiding in mosques, schools, private homes, and hospitals is an egregious and offensive distortion of the facts. It's true that Hamas leaders have not lined up in open fields and offered themselves up for slaughter. It's also true that Israel has bombed a UN school and shelter and leveled multi-story apartment buildings. The responsibility for that lies squarely with the Israelis. No one forced them to kill civilians indiscriminately.
The problem with the Gaza Strip Conflict Resolution is that it is a non-binding resolution that has no force of law and serves no other purpose than to demonstrate overwhelming American support for Israel's actions in Gaza, which have resulted in the deaths of over 700 innocent civilians. Yet, Americans do not support this senseless slaughter in anything near overwhelming numbers.
Americans, while far more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians, are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip. Forty-four percent (44%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, but 41% say it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems there...
[Source: Rasmussen Reports, Dec. 31, 2008]
If 41% of Americans didn't support the onset of military action, surely fewer than that support the disproportionate murder of over 700 people. Yet, 89.6% of our representatives just voted to express our government's support for this crime. Less than one percent of the House voted 'no'.
How did we get to this point where there is such a massive distortion and disconnect between what the public thinks and how their representatives vote? That's a matter for speculation. What's more important and should be less controversial, is what it looks like to the outside world. While the UN Security Council calls for a cease-fire (with America abstaining) and the Red Cross criticizes Israel for inhumanity, the House of Representatives votes 90%-1% in favor of what Israel is doing.
How could such a spectacle possibly fail to outrage the world and motivate people to want to do us harm?
Here is the really critical point. What did Israel get out of this resolution? That's an honest question. Did they get anything really valuable? And what did America get out of it besides an increased risk of retaliation and more strain on our relations with our Arab allies in the region?
Tell me the answer. Because I think the Israeli Lobby just bullied Congress into trading fealty to Tel Aviv at the expense of the security of all American citizens at home and abroad. That's a hell of a shitty trade-off. But at least Israel now knows who their 'enemies' are.
---- NAYS 5 ---
Kucinich, Moore (WI), Paul, Rahall, Waters
---- ANSWERED “PRESENT” 22 ---
Abercrombie, Blumenauer, DeFazio, Dingell, Edwards (MD), Ellison, Farr, Grijalva, Hinchey, Johnson (GA), Kilpatrick (MI), Lee (CA), McCollum, McDermott, Miller (George), Moran (VA), Olver, Payne, Sanchez (Loretta), Stark, Watson, Woolsey (italics known members of DPC)
I think these 'enemies' are really Israel's best friends.
From Stephen Sniegorski;
According to the critics, John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, in their “The Israel Lobby,” much exaggerated the power of the lobby. The critics claimed that congressional support for Israel simply reflected the views of the American people. Congress’ recent resolution on Gaza, however, would seem to belie this criticism and underscore the immense power of the Israel Lobby.
Congress almost unanimously endorsed the Israeli mass killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, which, of course, involves the use of American weapons. By voice vote, the Senate gave unanimous support for the resolution.
The House of Representatives voted 390 for the resolution with only 5 against [Kucinich, Moore (WI), Paul, Rahall, Waters]
The view of the American public, however, was significantly different. As the following article points out, the American people “do not support this senseless slaughter in anything near overwhelming numbers.” [Quoting from a Rasmussen Poll]
“Americans, while far more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians, are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip. Forty-four percent (44%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, but 41% say it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems there...” [Source: Rasmussen Reports, Dec. 31, 2008]
The author continues: “If 41% of Americans didn't support the onset of military action, surely fewer than that support the disproportionate murder of over 700 people. Yet, 89.6% of our representatives just voted to express our government's support for this crime. Less than one percent of the House voted 'no'.”
The author wonders, rather pretends to wonder, “How did we get to this point where there is such a massive distortion and disconnect between what the public thinks and how their representatives vote? That's a matter for speculation.”
Let’s engage in a little “speculation.” Despite a media which has slanted coverage of Gaza about as much as possible in favor of Israel (totally different from what the rest of the world is getting), the American public is roughly divided on the issue of the correctness of the Israeli attack. That Congress provides almost unanimous support for Israel (even when such support is contrary of American national interest since it increases world hatred of the US) would seem to indicate the power of the Israel Lobby.
Very few of those Americans who oppose the Israeli attack on Gaza base their political support and voting on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and even those few who do lack the wherewithal to make much of a political impact. In contrast, the Israel Lobby can exert considerable power (money, media) against those members of Congress who oppose it. Since members of Congress, in the main, tend to be lacking in sincere conviction and political courage, they are not willing to take the chance of opposing the Israel Lobby. Of course, the same is true in the media—bucking the lobby is simply not career enhancing. The vast majority of people simply prefer career success in the media or politics as opposed to becoming a martyr—especially a martyr who might be smeared as a devil by the pro-Israel saturated media.
Average Americans don’t sacrifice much by taking a position opposed to Israel—certainly, in most cases, their jobs do not depend on their views of Israeli policy.
There are reports that a member of the Royal family, who likes army uniforms - Nazi - Guards, whatever, has used the term "Paki" Friend. Shock Horror and he has ..er.. apologised.
The use of the term "raghead" in the same fillum is glossed over.
It might be pointed out to him by his globe trotting golfing uncle, that it is the ragheads in Qatar on whom we will increasingly rely in the UK for our gas supplies.