"“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

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

JTA keeps us in touch


Dear Lord Patel:

JTA's reporting staff is on the ground in Washington for the pro-Israel lobby's biggest event of the year, the AIPAC policy conference.

* Watch the video report on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech via satellite Monday night to thousands of delegates and nearly half the members of Congress.
* U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak later Tuesday morning just before the delegates head to Capitol Hill to lobby for tougher sanctions against Iran.
* Given Biden's penchant for verbal gaffes, we offered the vice president a little advice on what not to say.

To find out about Biden's speech and to keep on top of the news from the rest of the conference, visit JTA's politics blog. We will also be featuring extensive coverage in our free e-mailed Daily Briefing, which you can sign up for here.


Ami Eden
Editor-in-chief, JTA

The curious case of Swat

Voice of America today

Pakistan: Up to 500,000 May Flee Taliban-Held Swat

Residents flee Taliban-held Mingora in anticipation of government assault on final militant stronghold in Swat Vally

From everything May 2005 ..

Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
The Akond of Swat?
A delightful nonsense poem by Edward Lear, sounding particularly like Dr Seuss in this example. Scroll down for the full text. Make sure you read it out loud. Lear appended a note to the rhyme: "For the existence of this potentate see Indian newspapers, passim. The proper way to read the verses is to make an immense emphasis on the monosyllabic rhymes, which indeed ought to be shouted out by a chorus."

Having no nineteenth-century Indian newspapers to hand, we have to find something on the Web about the Akond of Swat, but which isn't the Lear. He was a real person, the ruler of a native state in what is now the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The Akhond, Akond, or Akund "was a Sufi ascetic with a highly charismatic and warlike personality who united the Swatis and made his capital at Saidu Sharif."(1)

Swat is a beautiful valley in what was once the partly Hellenised kingdom of Gandhara. "Here, the snow peaks of the Karakorums widen and thaw into a landslide of cultivation terraces. Below, the Swat River -- in autumn the colour of lapis-lazuli -- meanders lazily around a green plain of orchards and wheat fields."(2)

The state was ruled sporadically by Muslim religious leaders with the title of akhond; secular rulers between 1849 and 1863, and again 1914 to 1918, were known as amir-e shariyat, changed to badshah until 1926, then wali.(3) The last Wali of Swat was removed by the Pakistani government in 1969 and the tribal state was abolished.

His legacy today is probably this very curious one: the American baseball player Babe Ruth was nicknamed the Sultan of Swat, and that monicker was familiar enough that the group Dire Straits played on it again to give Sultans of Swing.

Who, or why, or which, or what, Is the Akond of SWAT?

Is he tall or short, or dark or fair?
Does he sit on a stool or a sofa or a chair,
The Akond of Swat?

Is he wise or foolish, young or old?
Does he drink his soup and his coffee cold,
or HOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk,
And when riding abroad does he gallop or walk
or TROT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a turban, a fez, or a hat?
Does he sleep on a mattress, a bed, or a mat,
or COT,
The Akond of Swat?

When he writes a copy in round-hand size,
Does he cross his T's and finish his I's
with a DOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Can he write a letter concisely clear
Without a speck or a smudge or smear
or BLOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Do his people like him extremely well?
Or do they, whenever they can, rebel,
or PLOT,
At the Akond of Swat?

If he catches them then, either old or young,
Does he have them chopped in pieces or hung,
or SHOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Do his people prig in the lanes or park?
Or even at times, when days are dark,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he study the wants of his own dominion?
Or doesn't he care for public opinion
a JOT,
The Akond of Swat?

To amuse his mind do his people show him
Pictures, or any one's last new poem,
or WHAT,
For the Akond of Swat?

At night if he suddenly screams and wakes,
Do they bring him only a few small cakes,
or a LOT,
For the Akond of Swat?

Does he live on turnips, tea, or tripe?
Does he like his shawl to be marked with a stripe,
or a DOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he like to lie on his back in a boat
Like the lady who lived in that isle remote,
The Akond of Swat?

Is he quiet, or always making a fuss?
Is his steward a Swiss or a Swede or Russ,
or a SCOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does like to sit by the calm blue wave?
Or to sleep and snore in a dark green cave,
or a GROTT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
or a POT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe,
When she let the gooseberries grow too ripe,
or ROT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he wear a white tie when he dines with friends,
And tie it neat in a bow with ends,
or a KNOT.
The Akond of Swat?

Does he like new cream, and hate mince-pies?
When he looks at the sun does he wink his eyes,
or NOT,
The Akond of Swat?

Does he teach his subjects to roast and bake?
Does he sail about on an inland lake
in a YACHT,
The Akond of Swat?

Some one, or nobody, knows I wot
Who or which or why or what
Is the Akond of Swat?

Rice - explaining torture to 11 year olds ....

Ex - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Jewish elementary school students (she spoke at the school on Sunday before giving a lecture at the ashigton Sixth & I Historic Synagogue) that the Bush administration did not use illegal interrogation tactics. 11 year Misha Lerner, a fourth-grader at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital,asked Rice what she thought about the Obama administration's remarks on interrogation methods authorized by its predecessors.

A flustered Rice said she didn't want to criticize President Barack Obama. She added that the President assured his administration that "we would do nothing, nothing, that was against the law or against our obligations internationally."

"I hope you understand that it was a very difficult time. We were all so terrified of another attack on the country," she said. "Even under those most difficult circumstances, the president was not prepared to do something illegal, and I hope people understand that we were trying to protect the country."

Last week the Ex Secretary of State told Stanford University students that "we did not torture anyone."

So that's alright then.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Murky waters - Killer Kennedy and Bo

Ted Kennedy, the raddld and diseased donor of the very photogenic Portuguese water dog (Bo - as in Bo Diddly which O'Bomber's dad was pleased to call himself) to the O'Bombers seems highly appropriate.

These curiously web footed animals aided fisherman by driving fish into nets and are supposedly also the St . Bernard of the sea, aiding rescuers, saving lives etc. Apparently their hypo-allerginicity is a fiction.

It is a great pity that Senator Edward Kennedy had not equipped himself with one when , drunk, he drove his pregnant girlfriend, pretty 28 year old Mary Joe Kopechne, off the bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in his 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 on the night of July 18, 1969.

Anyway he wasn't DUI, the inqust was held in secret, the Kopechne family paid off and he got two months suspended for dangerous driving.

As they say, more people died in Ted's Olds than in Abu Ghraib.

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