Syria and Diplomacy

by craig on January 21, 2014 11:49 am in Uncategorized

The problem with the Geneva Communique from the first Geneva round on Syria is that the government of Syria never subscribed to it.  It was jointly chaired by the League of Arab States for Syria, whatever that may mean.  Another problem is that it is, as so many diplomatic documents are, highly ambiguous.  It plainly advocates a power sharing executive formed by some of the current government plus the opposition to oversee a transition to democracy.  But it does not state which elements of the current government, and it does not mention which elements of the opposition, nor does it make plain if President Assad himself is eligible to be part of, or to head, the power-sharing executive, and whether he is eligible to be a candidate in future democratic elections.

Doubtless the British, for example, would argue that the term transition implies that he will go.  The Russians will argue there is no such implication and the text does not exclude anybody from the process.  Doubtless also diplomats on all sides were fully aware of these differing interpretations and the ambiguity is quite deliberate to enable an agreed text. I would say that the text tends much more to the “western” side, and that this reflects the apparently weak military position of the Assad regime at that time and the then extant threat of western military intervention.  There has been a radical shift in those factors against the western side in the interim. Expect Russian interpretations now to get more hardline.

Given the extreme ambiguity of the text, Iran has, as it frequently does, shot itself in the foot diplomatically by refusing to accept the communique as the basis of talks and thus getting excluded from Geneva.  Iran should have accepted the communique, and then at Geneva issued its own interpretation of it.

But that is a minor point.  The farcical thing about the Geneva conference is that it is attempting to promote into power-sharing in Syria “opposition” members who have no democratic credentials and represent a scarcely significant portion of those actually fighting the Assad regime in Syria.  What the West are trying to achieve is what the CIA and Mossad have now achieved in Egypt; replacing the head of the Mubarak regime while keeping all its power structures in place. The West don’t really want democracy in Syria, they just want a less pro-Russian leader of the power structures.

The inability of the British left to understand the Middle East is pathetic.  I recall arguing with commenters on this blog who supported the overthrow of the elected President of Egypt Morsi on the grounds that his overthrow was supporting secularism, judicial independence (missing the entirely obvious fact the Egyptian judiciary are almost all puppets of the military) and would lead to a left wing revolutionary outcome.  Similarly the demonstrations against Erdogan in Istanbul, orchestrated by very similar pro-military forces to those now in charge in Egypt, were also hailed by commenters here.  The word “secularist” seems to obviate all sins when it comes to the Middle East.

Qatar will be present at Geneva, and Qatar has just launched a pre-emptive media offensive by launching a dossier on torture and murder of detainees by the Assad regime, which is being given first headline treatment by the BBC all morning

There would be a good dossier to be issued on torture in detention in Qatar, and the lives of slave workers there, but that is another question.

I do not doubt at all that atrocities have been committed and are being committed by the Assad regime.  It is a very unpleasant regime indeed.  The fact that atrocities are also being committed by various rebel groups does not make Syrian government atrocities any better.

But whether 11,000 people really were murdered in a single detainee camp I am unsure.  What I do know is that the BBC presentation of today’s report has been a disgrace.  The report was commissioned by the government of Qatar who commissioned Carter Ruck to do it.  Both those organisations are infamous suppressors of free speech.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC are presenting the report as though it were produced by neutral experts, whereas the opposite is the case.  It is produced not by anti torture campaigners or by human rights activists, but by lawyers who are doing it purely and simply because they are being paid to do it.

The BBC are showing enormous deference to Sir Desmond De Silva, who is introduced as a former UN war crimes prosecutor.  He is indeed that, but it is not the capacity in which he is now acting.  He is acting as a barrister in private practice.  Before he was a UN prosecutor, he was for decades a criminal defence lawyer and has defended many murderers.  He has since acted to suppress the truth being published about many celebrities, including John Terry.

If the Assad regime and not the government of Qatar had instructed him and paid him, he would now be on our screens arguing the opposite case to that he is putting.  That is his job.  He probably regards that as not reprehensible.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC do not make it plain, but introduce him as a UN war crimes prosecutor as though he were acting in that capacity or out of concern for human rights.  I can find no evidence of his having an especial love for human rights in the abstract, when he is not being paid for it.  He produced an official UK government report into the murder of Pat Finucane, a murder organised by British authorities, which Pat Finucane’s widow described as a “sham”.  He was also put in charge of quietly sweeping the Israeli murders on the Gaza flotilla under the carpet at the UN.

The question any decent journalist should be asking him is “Sir Desmond De Silva, how much did the government of Qatar pay you for your part in preparing this report?  How much did it pay the other experts?  Does your fee from the Government of Qatar include this TV interview, or are you charging separately for your time in giving this interview?  In short how much are you being paid to say this?”

That is what any decent journalist would ask.  Which is why you will never hear those questions on the BBC.

 

 

 

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2,917 Comments

  1. Further to my previous link China is also suffering cashflow problems.

    http://iacknowledge.net/breaking-hsbc-bank-and-china-out-of-cash-china-halts-bank-cash-transfers/

  2. Some jeering at Edward Snowden on Radio 4 Today earlier between the presenter Justin Webb and the BBC German reporter, Steve Evans.

    They were amused at his ‘paranoia’ about having a bullet being put into his head or being poisoned. He is justified in having such fears I should say.

    They also speculated on his future plans once his Russian visa expires this Summer and whether or not he would choose to go to Germany where he is ‘extremely popular’. As if he would go there with extradition to the US a certainty.

    The BBC bastards were having another one of their cosy chats which is a disguise for their propaganda.

    0639
    US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has alleged the National Security Agency engaged in industrial espionage. The BBC’s Steve Evans discovers more.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03s6mdp/live

    PS The espionage referred to is by the NSA on Siemens.

  3. Alki Ada has penetrated the borders of the borderless ‘state’ of Israel.

    Israel arrests three-man ‘al-Qaeda cell’ in East Jerusalem
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25852704

    Origins in Gaza and within Hamas!!!

    Must try harder to get it right Mr Regev.

  4. What really goes on. It’s rather long but full of detail.

    NSA, Israel, GVEs, Hasbara, and Gun Massacres in the USA and Beyond
    by Michael Gillespie / January 25th, 2014

    Why would US leaders, lawmakers, intelligence and law enforcement agency administrators allow foreign intelligence and espionage agencies and their front companies unfettered, unexamined, long-term access to vast audiences of American children and young adults? And does not that question represent legitimate and vital concerns regarding privacy, public health, public safety, and national security?

    It is a matter of public record that, through its intelligence agencies and their spin-offs and many front companies, Israel is actively and deeply involved with the NSA in collecting and organizing data on Americans. The information thus collected by the NSA is shared with Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand as well as Israel, but Israel is the major threat to legitimate US interests. Israel’s equivalent of the NSA, Unit 8200, or Israel SIGINT National Unit (ISNU), is notorious for its spin-off companies that become private intelligence gathering and espionage operations under Israeli control, in much the same way that Mossad has long been known to use front companies for its operations. In 2010, the investigation of a Mossad assassination team that used fraudulently obtained and falsified European and Australian passports and funding provided via US-issued bank cards revealed that the corporation that arranged the funding of the kidon team, Payoneer, was itself funded by venture capital firms linked to Israeli intelligence organizations.

    One of the firms, Greylock Partners, founded in 1965, “operates in a number of global centers of innovation, including Boston, China (Beijing), India (Bangalore), Israel (Herzliya) and Silicon Valley. … Current Greylock portfolio companies include Data Robotics, Digg, Facebook, Imperva, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, Pandora, Picarro, Redfin, Workday and ZipCar,” according to the firm’s website. Greylock’s investment activities in Israel were launched in 2002 by partner Moshe Mor, who “served six years in the Israeli Army as a Captain in the Military Intelligence branch.” Unlike the CIA, which has an unfortunate history of ineffective and failed business operation covers, Mossad- and Unit 8200-controlled business operations are known for lucrative success.
    [..]
    The single greatest danger in restricting the ability of the National Security Administration (NSA) to collect information broadly is that no foreign intelligence agency will necessarily be similarly impacted by such restrictions. Foreign intelligence agencies, especially Israeli intelligence and espionage agencies and their front companies, may well find their ability to act against the USA and its interests, and to act with impunity, substantially enhanced by restrictions placed on US intelligence agencies.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/nsa-israel-gves-hasbara-and-gun-massacres-in-the-usa-and-beyond/

  5. BrianFujisan

    Nature is made by God. I don’t know much about your area of Fogistan. Only joking.

  6. Mary

    Too much muck. Slow down. I used to read my children the story about Nogbad’s marrow – which was a green and yellow painted balloon. As is,I suspect, David Cameron’s.
    Vomit, I had to switch the radio off this morning.

  7. “It cost friends of government just £8.3 billion to get £53 billion in PFI returns”

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2014/01/it-cost-friends-of-government-just-8-5-billion-to-get-53-billion-in-pfi-returns/

  8. “A sad day has arrived. There are now 1,000+ Food Banks open in Tory UK. Full list here:”

    http://www.greenbenchesuk.com/2014/01/a-sad-day-has-arrived-there-are-now.html

    Soon to be 2,000 methinks!.

  9. Mary, 8:49 am:

    “The espionage referred to is by the NSA on Siemens”

    Does anyone have dates for this? It could be how details of the Siemens industrial controller software were obtained, for the Stuxnet malware attack against the Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges.

  10. A Node
    27 Jan, 2014 – 12:08 am

    “We will stand with the people of Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry…”

    “Sound familiar?”

    Yes…another regime change but not a Muslim country this time

  11. Clark dates not given
    NSA ‘engaged in industrial espionage’ – Snowden
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25907502

    NSA is after industrial spying – Snowden to German TV
    http://rt.com/news/snowden-nsa-industrial-interview-208/

  12. John Hilley, a Scot whom I much admire, gets it spot on.

    Monday, 27 January 2014
    False foundation of Blair’s ‘religious’ convictions http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/false-foundation-of-blairs-religious.html

    John is a peace activist, is often at Faslane, and is found weekly at the GPHRC stall in Glasgow. http://gphrc.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/stall.jpg

  13. Dunno if this has been posted yet, but it provides a detailed backgrounder and who’s who on the various alliances squaring up in the ME.

    You won’t see the BBC explaining this background to the slaughter in Syria:

    “Syrian Foreign Minister: “The West Publicly Claims to Be Fighting Terrorism, Whilst It Is Covertly Nourishing It.””

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/geneva-ii-syrian-foreign-minister-the-west-publicly-claims-to-be-fighting-terrorism-whilst-it-is-covertly-nourishing-it/5365833

  14. Good essay here by the co-editor of Medialens, David Cromwell.

    Propaganda: ‘The Dominant Grand Narrative Of Our Time’ http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/753-propaganda-the-dominant-grand-narrative-of-our-time.html

  15. The Syrian foreign minister above points out that Erdogan’s support for Western terrorism against Syria has backfired on him, and here whistleblower Sibel Edmonds explains how Erdogan went from goodie to baddie in western eyes:

    http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-809-sibel-edmonds-explains-erdogans-fall-from-grace/

    Remember too that Assad himself went from goodie to baddie when he didn’t do what the West wanted and of course Saddam before him. Gadaffi went from goodie to baddie then from baddie to goodie and then goodie to baddie again.

    Mostly the West wants these leaders to impoverish their countries, allowing Western corporations to steal resources cheaply, so if the West considers a leader a baddie then he’s more likely a goodie for his people, or at least for his country’s national interest.

    It’s always worth catching up with Sibel’s coverage. She knows the region intimately and is very knowledgable on the various actors, alliances and shifts etc and of course she’s been an insider herself.

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/

  16. Stuxnet – good thinkin Clark – meanwhile…

    ‘Russia committed to destroying al-Qaeda and terrorism’

    ‘The West is concerned that a democratic government in Saudi Arabia could serve the Saudis, rather than its interests. This is while Russia, China and many other countries believe that the continued presence of the Al Saud dynasty in Saudi Arabia means the continuation of al-Qaeda and their terror operations and to target the core of this crisis, the Al Saud dynasty should be overthrown.’

    I myself believe Prince Bandar was instrumental in the logistics of supplying the terrorist facet in America in 2001.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/01/13/345443/russia-committed-to-destroying-alqaeda/

  17. Uneasy and troublous times John. Reminiscent of pre WW11 days especially with the current rise of fascism.

  18. True Mary. Who knows what the madmen in control are going to dream up next? I cannot see economies of the world surviving in their current state. When the demise comes the working-class, if that term still exists, must ensure that those in control now are not left in control in the future. It will be a unique opportunity. At my age it does not matter too much but I would like to see a more equitable world before I pop my clogs.

  19. I find this interesting Clark:

    In 2004 the BBC Governors approved a deal to outsource the BBC’s IT, telephony and broadcast technology (which had previously been run by the corporation’s internal BBC Technology division) to the German engineering and electronics company Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS). It was claimed that the sale of BBC Technology would deliver over £30 million of savings to the BBC.[26] In June 2007 a report published by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee was critical of the deal, claiming that BBC management had omitted £60 million’ worth of hidden costs in its application to the Board of Governors and that the profits to Siemens had not been taken into account. Recorded savings to the BBC had amounted to £22m, 38% lower than the BBC’s original forecast.[27][28]

    The BBC’s partnership with Siemens underwent some high-profile difficulties, including issues with the corporation-wide switchover to a IP telephony system in 2009;[29] a major outage of the BBC website in 2011;[30] and Siemens was the original technology partner in the Digital Media Initiative until its contract was terminated in 2009 (see below).[31] In December 2010, SIS was acquired from Siemens by the French company Atos and BBC IT, broadcast and website systems are now managed by Atos.[32][33]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_controversies

  20. One rule for one, another for the rest. I have friends who had no electricity for over a week, one of whom looks after her elderly father who lives with her and her family.

    Engineers diverted to David Cameron’s house to fix his TV while flood victims were without power

    Electrical engineers were ‘diverted’ from helping flood victims to fix a small problem at David Cameron’s house after the prime minister’s TV cut out while he was watching the Sound of Music.

    Residents left without heating and lighting had to wait to get their power back after workmen were redirected to Mr Cameron’s £2million family home, it has emerged.

    Engineers say they were sent on a 17-mile diversion to Chipping Norton after the prime minister lost power towards the end of the film on New Year’s Day.

    However, the outage was later found to be a minor problem – and power was restored by flicking the fuse box trip switch.

    George Faulkner and Alan Paton were part of an emergency repair team trying to restore power to 11,000 houses in Oxfordshire when they were suddenly diverted, they told BBC Radio 4.

    Mr Paton said: ‘We could have been employed on better things but we got called out to a ­property where the trip had gone that they obviously hadn’t checked properly.’

    Mr Faulkner added: ‘It didn’t need much sorting out. If he had got his minders to check the trip switch it would have saved us the journey. There was nothing wrong with their mains.’

    A Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution spokesman said: ‘The prime minister did not receive preferential treatment when we attended his property and this visit was not to the detriment of other customers who may have been without power.’

    A No.10 spokesman told the Sunday Mirror: ’The power went down because there was a leaky roof. There was water around the fuse box. The engineers came to fix it, which they did.’

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/26/engineers-diverted-to-david-camerons-house-to-fix-his-tv-while-flood-victims-were-without-power-4277588/

  21. I, for one, do not think that anything Chilcot says or does not say, will bring BLiar to justice. The whole thing is a theatrical.

    How Chilcot Could ‘Slap The Cuffs’ On Tony Blair
    Evidence from mandarins suggests that Tony Blair’s entourage deceived the Cabinet on Iraq
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37485.htm

  22. Two realities.

    The ordinary bloke on the ground who does all the work:

    “Mr Paton said: ‘We could have been employed on better things but we got called out to a ­property where the trip had gone that they obviously hadn’t checked properly.’ ”

    and the bloke in charge at No 10, telling everyone else what to do, who can’t do basic home maintenance:

    “A No.10 spokesman told the Sunday Mirror: ’The power went down because there was a leaky roof. There was water around the fuse box. The engineers came to fix it, which they did.’ ”

    That’s Labour’s whole ad campaign right there, but…

  23. “A No.10 spokesman told the Sunday Mirror: ’The power went down because there was a leaky roof. There was water around the fuse box. The engineers came to fix it, which they did.’ ”

    I’m wandering what power company engineers were doing working on someone’s fuse box. Their responsibilities end at the meter.

  24. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    @Doug Scorgie

    “Sound familiar?”

    Yes…another regime change but not a Muslim country this time

    Yep sounds all too familiar – another case where the people of a country express their disapproval of yet another Putin backed regime – but rather than supporting the freedom of said people to express their views and understanding what they are complaining about, the political position of many here is defined as the antithesis of the US position. First the views of the people are ignored, then the US position is found out, then the protestors are called US dupes, then they are all accused of terrorism – and anyone who opposes such a thought process is clearly one of the “usual suspects” (yes that is the description employed – who says that some here learned nothing from McCarthyism). It becomes somewhat difficult to engage and debate with such overpowering logic – and quite frankly I have my doubts as to whether it is worth the effort.

  25. BrianFujisan

    27 Jan, 2014 - 8:56 pm

    Mary
    Re the Scarlett Johansson thingy…Looks like another fine mess – for Oxfam

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/signs-disarray-oxfam-over-ambassador-oppression-scarlett-johansson

  26. A few passionate protesters make not the majority of opinion.
    Although the Doctrine of the West again assumes this to be.

    Democracy and majority rule is desirable but difficult to obtain when the nature of the systems are completely narrow minded.

    All consuming greed. No expense spared!

    How are those rain Forrest’s coming on. Back of a truck probably…

  27. “I, for one, do not think that anything Chilcot says or does not say, will bring BLiar to justice. The whole thing is a theatrical.”

    Me neither, unless of course someone decides that he’d be a useful scapegoat. Bush and Co have faded into the background. Blair is inyerface all the time. Like, annoyingly so. And he really does seem to be disliked across the political spectrum. He’s the poster boy for the unlawful destruction of Iraq and the loss of untold lives and habitat, and I’m still weirded out by that clip from the early 1980s where Michael Foot, then leader of the Labour party, points him up as someone with an especially bright future. Blair was a media darling during those long years of Opposition. “Tough on Crime. Tough on the causes of crime.” He was Bambi up until 9/11, and then during a holiday in the US he morphed from crap casual mum’s knitwear woozie hippie to sharp Italian suited warmonger and destroyer of worlds.

    Let’s just say. It ain’t what you’d expect when plotting the graph; unless you watched his dismantling of the core principles of The Labour Party, and that curious incident when as Opposition leader he himself took over the argument in the House when Jack Straw was losing badly.

    This is an excellent, very well-researched and footnoted book on the making of modern US presidents. Obama’s history is way weirder than you think:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Presidential-Puppetry-Obama-Romney-Masters/dp/0988672812

    The author, Andrew Kreig, talks about his work here:

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/10/bfp-exclusive-interview-with-andrew-kreig-the-cia-global-empire-the-u-s-presidency/

  28. “…then they are all accused of terrorism…”

    Only the ones that cut people’s hearts out and eat them.

  29. BrianFujisan

    27 Jan, 2014 - 9:34 pm

    Herbie

    “Blair was a media darling during those long years of Opposition. “Tough on Crime. Tough on the causes of crime.” He was Bambi up until 9/11, and then during a holiday in the US he morphed from crap casual mum’s knitwear woozie hippie to sharp Italian suited warmonger and destroyer of worlds.”

    Well said

    Here’s a Section from a good take on Blair’s attempt at saving his putrid soul…by trying to blame religious ideology @

    The idea that the solution to the problems of the Middle East and beyond is a campaign of education about tolerance and moderation from the likes of Tony Blair is beyond satire. The implication is that the problem of these regions lies with the people themselves — in other words, blame the victims of the ‘war on terror’ for their own suffering.

    Tony Blair has clearly decided that attack is the best means of defence. This latest intervention is no doubt partly motivated by concern at what the much awaited Chilcot inquiry on the Iraq war may reveal. Blair’s office is briefing that the report will confirm he did give assurances to George W Bush in April 2002 that Britain would support the US in the illegal pursuit of regime change in Iraq. This may be part of a pre-emptive campaign to predict worse criticisms of Blair than will actually be in Chilcot’s report — a classic spin technique.

    Whatever Chilcot’s conclusions, the facts remain: Tony Blair made promises to Bush to take Britain into a war on Iraq behind the back of his own cabinet, parliament and the British people, to all of whom he then lied systematically over the following months in the lead up to the launch of the US-UK invasion in March 2003.

    As he parades his ‘concern’ for the Middle East and Central Asia, and attempts to make religious ideology the culprit for the ‘war on terror’, Blair aims to write out of history the horrific consequences of his actions which brought so much death, destruction and instability to the region.

    Source: Stop the War Coalition

    http://stopwar.org.uk/news/hiding-war-crimes-behind-religion-how-tony-blair-absolves-himself-of-guilt#.UubKa9LFK6b

  30. Thanks Brian.

    The pressure on Oxfam is building.

    Scarlett Johansson is “ambassador for oppression,” says Oxfam founder’s grandson
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/scarlett-johansson-ambassador-oppression-says-oxfam-founders-grandson

    One of UNICEF’s previous ‘ambassadors’ was Susan Sarandon. I remember her attending the opening of a new store for a blood diamond dealer who supports Zionist Israel, Lev Leviev.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2007/12/27/what-do-susan-sarandon-and-alan-dershowitz-have-in-common/

    Susan Sarandon’s Double Standards
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omid-memarian/susan-sarandons-double-st_b_113823.html

    What’s up with these actresses?

  31. Why has it taken four years for the ConDems to establish that the Royal Bank of Scotland (80% taxpayer owned) has made a loss of £8billion for 2013 and incurred total losses of £45billion since the 2008 ‘crash’? St Vince of Cable is sounding surprised at the news, and is outraged!

    RBS faces £8bn in full year losses
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25918998

    I wonder if anyone actually knows the real figures.

  32. RBS. Why does the taxpayer own this? I’ve seen what governments do when they nationalise a business that is in debt. I go back to the RB 211. All the banks are in debt. All the banks are paying bonuses. Bonuses for failure! Because otherwise they would lose these highly-skilled personnel abroad. What a crock of shit! There’s nowhere for these thieves to go. The whole world is in debt. The bankers have caused it. We should really be fighting for taxpayers’ money not being wasted on these criminals. When the crunch comes remember who caused it. Get them to roll up their sleeves and do a proper day’s work. And let the taxpayers run the replacement banking system. But never forget who caused it!

  33. John; If a reset is on-deck, currency re-evaluation necessitates freezing assets and they usually do this over a week-end under the cover of ‘maintenance’.

    Zero-hedge has been on this. Of course anyone who cites these rumblings as portentious is known as a gold-bug. I guess that’s better than being a dung-beetle.

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:24 pm

    Excellent post at 20h49, Resident Dissident! I suppose we can look forward to a groundswell of support building up on this blog for Ukraine’s lovely President as the days go by….

  35. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:29 pm

    Announcing the establishment of “HOW” (Habbabkuk’s Obsession Watch).

    Mary is currently homing in on actresses.

    Tip to Mary : some actresses are…..Jewish!!

  36. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:31 pm

    @ John Goss:

    why won’t you tell us why you took the trouble to learn such good Russian?

  37. Ben, as well as commandeering the banks it is most important that a new society takes control of the media and ensures that there are no monetary pressure groups buying news space for their inane, mundane and insane news stories.

  38. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    @ John Goss:

    PS – did you ever visit the USSR?

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    “as well as commandeering the banks it is most important that a new society takes control of the media”

    ____________________

    Note the expression “takes control”.

  40. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:39 pm

    12 posts today from the Resident Denigrator (so far…) – that’s about one an hour.

    Please think of generations yet unborn – too much hot hair causes global warming.

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:41 pm

    ““…then they are all accused of terrorism…”

    Only the ones that cut people’s hearts out and eat them.”
    ____________________

    No, just the ones who won’t let UN humanitarion relief into Homs.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    @ John Goss

    Do you regret the demise of the Soviet Union?

  43. I regret the demise of the UK.

  44. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    John

    Could you pleaae explain how an increase in the Dow Jones Index from 13200 to 16400 in recent times is in any way comparable to the increase in the index from 200 to 350 which occurred in a similar period in the run up to the 1929 Crash and can be seen as the basis for forecasting an imminent crash as you did in an earlier post which you linked to here.

    https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/stunnning-chart-todays-stock-market-is-eerily-reminiscent-of-1929_12042013

    Until you do might I suggest that you stay away from the subject of statistics and economic forecasting. I am happy to predict on your behalf that if you keep predicting that there will one day be an economic crash that one day you will be right.

    I do remember looking at a post in which you proved to your own satisfaction that it was “statistically” several times more dangerous to travel with “famous” people which was afraid based on a pretty obvious statistical fallacy. I restrained myself from pointing out the error of your ways, perhaps wary of the vigour to which you attach yourself to other fallacies based on flimsy evidence – I am not sure that I should be so kind in future.

    Before you ask I have an degree in economics of which about a third was made up of papers in Maths and Statistics – so while I can except that there are many different and valid economic viewpoints from my own, I am pretty sure that nearly all of those would see the writings on which you base your faith as being cod economics and statistics rather than the real thing.

  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    Herbie

    “Remember too that Assad himself went from goodie to baddie when he didn’t do what the West wanted and of course Saddam before him.”
    ___________________

    Is your problem that the West considered Assad and Saddam Hussein as goodies, or is it that the West considered them as baddies?

    Presumably, if you think that the West was mistaken to consider them to be goodies, then you should welcome the fact that the West changed its mind and subsequently thought of them as baddies.

    Conversely, if you dislike the fact that the West came to consider them as baddies, then this implies that you think the West was correct in once thinking them to be goodies.

  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    “@ John Goss

    Do you regret the demise of the Soviet Union?”
    _______________________

    John, you treat us to your views on many things. So why do you decliunbe to answer this question?

  47. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:06 pm

    Habba

    I found the reference to a “new society” even more worrying – what do they wish to do with the old one? I am presuming that they do not prescribe to the line about there being no such thing as society.

    John Goss

    Did you cry with George Galloway on the break up of the Soviet Union? What are your feelings about its break up?

  48. Clark

    i’ve been looking into that Stuxnet Malware story…i find it all very interesting…and Dangerous….some stuff on it for ya…including a few dates.

    Many suspected either the U.S. or Israel, or some collaboration of the two was behind the attack, but nothing other than rumor could support the theories. In June 2012, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, published an article which described a number of significant revelations regarding America’s role in using cyber warfare against Iran. In particular, Sanger writes that Stuxnet was part of a joint program of Israel and the United States, coded name Olympic Games, which aimed to prevent—or at least delay—Iran from developing the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade.

    According to Sanger, the cyberwar program began under President Bush in 2006 when, after negotiations between Iranian and American officials flailed, Iran restarted its uranium enrichment plants. The program was a joint effort of the National Security Agency and Israel’s top secret Unit 8200. By 2008, an early version of the bug was already attacking the Natanz facility. Under President Obama, the bug made even more complex and sophisticated, giving it the ability to disrupt a critical array of nearly a thousand centrifuges yet remain completely undetected.

    Olympic Games experienced a significant setback when, in the summer 2010, it was discovered that the worm had spread beyond Natanz and could be found all over the internet. In a matter of weeks, the mainstream media was alive with discussion of the dangerous and enigmatic virus, deemed Stuxnet, lurking in computers around the world. Despite the breach, Obama order the program to go forward—soon succeeding in destroying around a fifth of Iran’s centrifuges.

    http://k1project.org/stuxnet/

    from another site….

    In May 2012, Kaspersky Lab received a request from the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency that manages information and communication technologies, to study a piece of malware that had supposedly destroyed files from oil-company computers in Iran. By now, Schouwenberg and his peers were already on the lookout for variants of the Stuxnet virus. They knew that in September 2011, Hungarian researchers had uncovered Duqu, which had been designed to steal information about industrial control systems.

    While pursuing the U.N.’s request, Kaspersky’s automated system identified another Stuxnet variant. At first, Schouwenberg and his team concluded that the system had made a mistake, because the newly discovered malware showed no obvious similarities to Stuxnet. But after diving into the code more deeply, they found traces of another file, called Flame, that were evident in the early iterations of Stuxnet. At first, Flame and Stuxnet had been considered totally independent, but now the researchers realized that Flame was actually a precursor to Stuxnet that had somehow gone undetected.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-real-story-of-stuxnet

  49. John Goss
    Rain mainly in the plain? What about How now Brown cow?
    He acted dumb in 2008 pretending not to have foreseen the banking crisis. They don’t teach you nothing at Bilderberg. If anybody asks you anything about it just act as if you were very, very stupid.

  50. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:11 pm

    “The whole world is in debt.”

    Of course this is absolutely true – for all savings there has to be a debt somewhere. If you want anything other than the most primitive economy then you have to have debts and savings. Just imagine a world with no investment and no pensions for starters.

  51. Res Dis, with a degree in economics of which about a third was made up of papers in Maths and Statistics, and Habbabkuk, I did not rejoice when the new Russian multi-millionaires came over here and bought up some of the best English football teams with oil money. There is a saying in Russia that some fish can swim in filthy water.

    I’ve already answered all your questions about being a Commie. Check back.

  52. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:16 pm

    Guano

    The economists I admire like Stiglitz and Krugman did see the 2007-8 financial crisis as did Gillian Tett in her columns on the debt markets in the FT.

  53. Resident Dissident

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    John Goss

    And how do you believe said Russian millionaires made their money in Russia and became Governors in certain remote Russian provinces many miles away from their football clubs.

  54. As to your “Could you please explain how an increase in the Dow Jones Index from 13200 to 16400 in recent times is in any way comparable to the increase in the index from 200 to 350 which occurred in a similar period in the run up to the 1929 Crash and can be seen as the basis for forecasting an imminent crash as you did in an earlier post which you linked to here.” I should have thought as an economist and statistician you could do that yourself. I did not create the graph. However money is not worth as much today as it was then because they keep printing more of it. Every time they print more it is worth even less. That is why when the next crash comes it will be more devastating than in 1929. However I would like to hear your views on why we are not heading for a deep depression and why the two graphs are incompatible.

  55. Resident Dissident, 27 Jan, 2014 – 11:21 pm

    I know because I read up on these things. Suggest you do too.

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    27 Jan, 2014 - 11:34 pm

    @ John Goss

    “I’ve already answered all your questions about being a Commie. Check back.”
    ________________________

    Yes, I know.

    But I wasn’t asking you whether you were or are a Communist, was I. I firstly asked why you had taken the trouble to learn such good Russian, and, secondly, whether you regretted the demise of the Soviet Union. Why don’t you want to answer those very civil comments and why do you equate them with asking you whether you are a Communist?

  57. Hi habby

    My point was that the West prefers corrupt dictators abroad, who do its bidding, than anything that is beneficial to the inhabitants of the country concerned.

    What are you contesting?

  58. Habby, your questions might be civil, but I find them a bit ingratiating. My Russian is not that good. You need to live in a country to be fluent. I can get by but it is not as good as you seem to think. I hope this is a satisfactory answer. Are you trying to build up a dossier on me? The KGB probably already have one and NSA certainly have one. You could ask them if you want to further your knowledge.

  59. @ Resident Dissident 27 Jan, 2014 – 8:49 pm
    You said to Doug Scorgie ….

    ” ……. Yep sounds all too familiar – another case where the people of a country express their disapproval of yet another Putin backed regime – but rather than supporting the freedom of said people to express their views and understanding what they are complaining about, the political position of many here is defined as the antithesis of the US position. First the views of the people are ignored, then the US position is found out, then the protestors are called US dupes, then they are all accused of terrorism – and anyone who opposes such a thought process is clearly one of the “usual suspects” (yes that is the description employed – who says that some here learned nothing from McCarthyism). It becomes somewhat difficult to engage and debate with such overpowering logic – and quite frankly I have my doubts as to whether it is worth the effort.”

    Since Doug Scorgie was replying to me at the time, I feel justified in sticking my oar in. I’ve analysed your formula ….

    Locate a comment which sympathises with the victims of Western aggression.
    Identify the writer as typical of the posters on this blog.
    Describe what you think a typical poster on this blog ought to say.
    Pour sarcasm on what the typical poster ought to have said.
    Pout “I don’t know why I bother, I really don’t” and flounce off.

  60. “Locate a comment which sympathises with the victims of Western aggression.
    Identify the writer as typical of the posters on this blog.
    Describe what you think a typical poster on this blog ought to say.
    Pour sarcasm on what the typical poster ought to have said.
    Pout “I don’t know why I bother, I really don’t” and flounce off.”

    Sadly, that is the essence of his dissidence. It’s like distilled Hab. It leeches any beneficial minerals, and consigns any matter to nutritional death throes.

  61. @ Clark,

    Look into how the stuxnet exactly worked and you’ll find a path to its makers.

    *******

    If anyone would run his household the way governments run the economical environment, there would be nothing but bankrupt families.

    Oh, wait, there are quite a few already.

    Keep up the good work and spread prosperity even thinner over the crumbs the other 99% are allowed access to.

    According to the tealeaves at the bottom of my cup I’m about to fart…

    Shit.

    Diarrhea.

  62. Thanks for the research Brian.

    The decision by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reject an invitation from Putin to attend the Sochi opening ceremonies is noteworthy. Putin and Netanyahu are on better speaking terms with one another than is the case with Putin and Obama. Although Putin and Netanyahu are worlds apart on issues like Syria and Iran, they mutually recognize the importance of business ties between Russian Jews living in Israel and their compatriots in Russia. Netanyahu’s rejection of Putin’s invitation may have arisen from advance knowledge of Saudi plans for an attack on the Winter Games. Israel and Saudi Arabia have forged close intelligence and military links owing to their common cause against Iran and Assad’s government in Syria.

    The potential for a chemical weapons terror attack in Sochi has been known by worldwide intelligence agencies for quite some time. However, rather than warn of this threat, a number of world leaders cynically used their opposition to Russia’s policy on homosexual advocacy to decide to boycott the opening ceremonies. Among those leaders who hid behind the lavender curtain rather than reveal the actual reason for their absence — the threat posed by the Saudis to the Sochi games — are U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, and European Justice and Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander, Norwegian King Harald and Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev are scheduled attend the ceremonies.

    Some leaders are only planning on attending the closing ceremonies only. These include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bulgarian PresidentRossen Plevneliev. Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski will attend the opening ceremonies.

    http://milfuegos.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=6

  63. @ A Node & Ben,

    Where most share what they see as their take on ‘right, truth and justice,’ some others contribute nothing but vitriol and virtual, corrosive acid in an attempt to blister the bejesus off of fellow forum members’ names and bolster their own ballooning horse manure. This misplaced ‘god-syndrome’ begs for ‘ignore buttons’ to be added to the pages, so their contributions collapse when activated, allowing me to use my middle finger for the other, more appropriate gestures.

  64. BrianFujisan

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:36 am

    Mark
    Cheers…and great post there, Re Sochi Games….i sometimes wonder if there is a deliberate Building up and fear mongering of an imminent event, only for it to pass without incident… in which case, rather than the Opening ceremony, it would be the Closing ceremony to fear … or an even later event.

    More nato Terrorism being Spoken up RE Libya, from asshole Edouard Guillard –

    Fighting has flared up again in southern and western Libya as clashes between pro-Gaddafi forces and rebel militias have resulted in the seizure of several towns and an airbase by the loyalists. These developments prompted French Admiral Edouard Guillard TO APPEAL FOR A RENEWED IMPERIALST INTERVENTION IN LIBYA… claiming that developments on the southern border could lead to a “terrorist threat.” (Washington Post, January 27)

    Dissatisfaction is growing among the Libyan population with the current situation. Once the most prosperous nation in Africa, with a standard of living that exceeded several states in Europe, the conditions inside the country have drastically deteriorated since the 2011 counter-revolution.

    This decline in living standards, the failure of the regime to reign in the militias which terrorize the population, the collapse of the oil industry and widespread corruption has drawn broad criticism even among the favored elites. Another decree was issued in January which prohibits scholarship students and public employees from speaking out in opposition to the conditions prevailing in Libya.

    In the same article published by AllAfrica.com, it points out that “Libya’s government passed Resolution 13/2014 on January 24, discontinuing scholarships to students studying abroad and salaries and bonuses to Libyan employees, for ‘taking part in activities inimical to the February 17 revolution,’ which is widely understood to encompass statements and protests against the current government. It calls on Libyan embassies abroad and others to draw up lists of names and refer them to the Prosecutor General for prosecution.”

    Imperialism in Crisis

    These events in Libya demonstrate that there is no benefit for the masses in oppressed nations where U.S. and other imperialist states have overthrown governments and installed puppet regimes. The situation in Libya is also mirrored in Iraq where people are dying every day from internecine conflict and the overall horrendous conditions prevailing among the majority of the population.

    In Syria, over 100,000 people have died over the last three years since the U.S. has supported a counter-revolutionary assault on the population. The current Geneva II talks in Switzerland are ostensibly designed to reach a political solution although the U.S. and its allies are continuing to finance and coordinate those seeking the overthrow of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    http://libya360.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/renewed-intervention-threatened-after-pro-gaddafi-forces-seize-areas-in-southern-libya/

    Bit of cross checking but same story @

    http://www.modernghana.com/news/518488/1/renewed-intervention-threatened-after-pro-gaddafi-.html

  65. Money use exploits and transposes evil. It’s use other than a form of currency is unnatural and as a form of currency it’s true value is relinquished.

    Society could function so much differently if not for the pursuit of gain through the possession of money.

    Work and helping each other. A system of reliance!

    Debts and saving! It’s humans your dealing with.

  66. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:13 am

    Herbie

    “My point was that the West prefers corrupt dictators abroad, who do its bidding, than anything that is beneficial to the inhabitants of the country concerned.

    What are you contesting?”
    ____________________

    I’m contesting your point as quoted above.

    But you haven’t really responded to the question(s) implicit in my post of 23h00 yesterday, which was also a question of logic if you will. Would you care to do so?

  67. Don’t feed the trolls. They only come back for more like Oliver Twist.

  68. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:18 am

    John Goss

    “I hope this is a satisfactory answer.”
    __________________

    Well, that would have been a satisfactory answer had the question been “how good is your Russian”. But it wasn’t.

    The questions, as now revised in the light of your non-answer, are 1/. why did you learn Russian, and 2/. do you regret the demise of the Soviet Union?

    Of course I’m not trying to build up a dossier on you; I just think the answers to those questions would help me (and perhaps other, casual readers) see where you’re coming from in respect of your posts on a number of themes.

  69. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:22 am

    Jay

    You are so right. As the Good Book says, the love of money is the root of all evil. Are you a practising Christian?

  70. Perhaps they could apply some of their brain power to the problem of the deteriorating state of the royal residences.

    Queen down to her last million due to courtiers’ overspending, report finds
    Report by the Commons public accounts committee finds the Queen’s advisers are failing to control her finances while the royal palaces are “crumbling”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/10600671/Queen-down-to-her-last-million-due-to-courtiers-overspending-report-finds.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_royal_residences

    PS Suggestions for the collective nouns for royal residences?

    Sky News have just had a Con Friend of Israel MP on to discuss the problem. Of course Israel is expert on home demolition. Perhaps that expertise will come in useful to reduce the nation’s liabilities for maintenance!

  71. In Occupied Palestine

    Sunday, 26 January 2014

    Israeli Army opens fire on farmers and shepherds in Northern Gaza

    Israeli Navy opens fire on Palestinian fishing boats

    Israeli Army prevents villagers from farming their land in 3 West Bank areas

    Zionist arsonists set fire to crops on Palestinian farmland

    Israeli troops terrorise 6 youngsters aged from 12 to 17

    Man hospitalised after Israeli Army checkpoint dog attack

    Occupation settler vandalism – Israeli Army complicity

    Israeli Army destroys 3 Palestinian homes

    Israeli soldiers abduct two 17-year-old youths

    Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in refugee camp and 9 towns and villages

    2 attacks – 27 raids including home invasions – 2 injured

    6 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage

    25 taken prisoner – 16 detained – 113 restrictions of movement

    Read newsletter

    http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1834&Itemid=43

  72. “Of course this is absolutely true – for all savings there has to be a debt somewhere. If you want anything other than the most primitive economy then you have to have debts and savings. Just imagine a world with no investment and no pensions for starters.”

    So if I put a few quid a week away to save up for something I want I’m in debt am I?

  73. Pete Seeger rest in peace. Where have all the flower-people gone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXqTf8DU6a0

  74. Habby, my comments tell you where I am coming from, you don’t need to know more. If you want to know about people you should start sharing some of your own personal details.

  75. Fred, spot on. The great evil of banking is liquidity ratio. Banks lend out more than what they have. It is the fallacy. Much better if bankers were paid a modest salary and a modest charge was made on transactions. Simply put, you have a cake divided into eight equal slices. Eight people can have a slice. Then the cake’s gone. The banks behave as though there are eight cakes, or these days eighty cakes. Quite obviously it spells disaster as soon as society loses confidence.

  76. Mary. 28 Jan, 2014 – 8:14 am

    Oliver Twist was in the workhouse and starving. The trolls get pleasure from trying to upset decent people like yourself.

  77. Maybe Habba.

    More a learned philanthropist.

  78. Pete Seeger in 2009 at the presidential inaugural celebrations. There’s a clip of Obama who is not singing ‘This land is your land. . .’ because he does not believe this land was made for you and me, just for him. Five years of broken promises, with Guantanamo still there, and no money in the pot except for wars on credit. Pete Seeger was a campaigner who probably had belief in Obama five years ago. We all had hope for something better. The two party system where money stolen from taxpayers pays for presidential candidates has to be abolished if a just society is to be built.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE4H0k8TDgw

  79. @ A node

    Locate a comment which sympathises with the victims of Western aggression.

    Yep all those demonstrators in Kyiv are just agents of Western aggression and the Ukraine government are the victims.

  80. Fred

    I think you will find that if you place your savings in a bank then it is the bank which has the debt to you.

  81. @ESLO

    I wouldn’t do that, I’d rather just put it away in a drawer.

    Then I’d know it was safe.

  82. “Bundesbank calls for capital levy to avert government bankruptcies”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/27/us-eurozone-crisis-bundesbank-idUSBREA0Q0HV20140127

    “Eurozone ministers impatient on Greek bailout review”

    http://euobserver.com/news/122891

  83. @John

    This Land is your Land was written by Woody Guthrie.

    So was this:

    Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen.

    And as through your life you travel,
    Yes, as through your life you roam,
    You won’t never see an outlaw
    Drive a family from their home.

  84. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 11:07 am

    ESLO

    ‘I think you will find that if you place your savings in a bank then it is the bank which has the debt to you.’

    They’re talking right now about charging for the privilege of a current account. At present they have the use of your money interest-free, and use it to leverage loans of cash which they have created, at high interest, to third parties. Or lend it overnight to other banks, and pocket the interest on those loans. Doesn’t look like they feel terribly indebted, to me.

  85. David Cameron’s trip switch.
    The UK has been in debt for centuries and the present government has increased the debt, as will the one that will follow.
    Somebody or something deliberately or not deliberately pressed the trip switch.

    The only thing that will trip the RCD is a faulty circuit. The way this country runs the economy is faulty. If you push the trip back up it will trip again. I wish I had some customers with enough money to pay for a job instead of just endlessly pricing work and see it done by cowboys. he cowboys of the economy are the bankers.

    Baronness Wheatcroft on Radio 4 this morning asking why we can’t have bankers that do a good job for their pay:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25924268

  86. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 11:44 am

    I tell you, Guano, there’s at least one thing Islam can teach the West – the faith (if not all of its adherents, naming no Saudi or Qatari names) takes a very dim view of usury.

  87. “Methane gas released by dairy cows has caused an explosion in a cow shed in Germany.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25922514

    Police are looking for a Muslim man seen leaving the area carrying a box of matches.

  88. @ESLO 28 Jan, 2014 – 10:17 am

    @ A node
    “Yep all those demonstrators in Kyiv are just agents of Western aggression and the Ukraine government are the victims.”

    Yep, you’ve got the idea. More specifically:
    Some of the leaders of those demonstrators in Kyiv are agents of Western aggression, and everybody else in the Ukraine is or soon will be a victim.

  89. “Baronness Wheatcroft on Radio 4 this morning asking why we can’t have bankers that do a good job for their pay”

    They’re doing a good job for themselves and their mates, which is what they’re designed to do.

    If you want a banking system that does a good job for everyone else, then you’ll need a public banking system.

    There’a much more talk and action on these and other issues in the US at State level. The UK is sleepwalking as per usual.

    http://publicbankinginstitute.org/

    Of particular interest is the Nullification campaign:

    http://www.nullifynow.com/

  90. “The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing.”

    William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694, then a privately owned bank.

  91. still a privately owned bank

  92. Here’s an interesting backgrounder on the Ukrainian conflict:

    http://www.corbettreport.com/?s=ukraine&x=0&y=0

  93. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    Nullification campaign? That site is by and for rednecks against Obamacare and for unrestricted firearm ownership. They propose to use the Tenth Amendment to bypass federal legislation. You’re not serious, Mary?

    The Tenth Amendment deals with powers delegated to States which are not claimed by the Federal government. It is totally irrelevant to the UK.

  94. According to Reuters, US weapons continue to flow in to the Syrian rabble rebels.

    ‘Kerry – He speak with forked tongue, Kemosabe’ as Tonto used to say in the Lone Ranger!

    http://interventionswatch.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/u-s-weapons-continuing-to-flow-to-rebels-in-syria/

  95. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    &-

    ‘Several states have introduced various resolutions and legislation in protest to federal actions.[11] Despite this, the Supreme Court has explicitly rejected the idea that the states can nullify federal law. In Cooper v. Aaron (1958), the Supreme Court of the United States held that federal law prevails over state law due to the operation of the Supremacy Clause, and that federal law “can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive or judicial officers nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes . . .” Thus, state laws purporting to nullify federal statutes or to exempt states and their citizens from federal statutes have only symbolic impact.’
    (Wikipedia – Tenth Amendment)

  96. Nullification Beelzebub? Not me.

  97. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    Mary: Sorry, sorry. Herbie’s post, not yours. Senior moment, I think.

  98. Beelzebub

    There’s nothing wrong in attempts to bypass federal legislation. That’s where the elite powerbase is and where all the illiberal legislation and federal agencies are coming from.

    For example, there’s talk of using it in Utah against the NSA.

    If it’s OK for Jefferson, it’s probably OK.

  99. Atos and G4S questioned by MPs: Politics live blog
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/2014/jan/28/atos-and-g4s-questioned-by-mps-politics-live-blog

    Atos run BBC’s IT as well as acting as IDS’s heavies.

    G4S are involved in the cruel Israeli penal system. HMP Oakwood which they operate might enter into the conversation. Their Limp Ics fiasco has probably been completely forgotten by now.

  100. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    28 Jan, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Herbie –
    Nothing I can say can possibly alter your belief in the evil nature of Federal, and the angelic nature of State legislatures. Two words: “pork barrel”. The one feeds the other. And the other feeds the one.

    The Tenth Amendment was long ago described as a truism which clarifies, but adds nothing of substance, to the rest of the Constitution. Whoever invokes it.

    I’d hardly describe Obama as elite, btw.

  101. I wouldn’t say that the States were angelic, but we’re not dealing in absolutes. We’re looking to push buttons of resistance, and it’s much easier to do that at local than national level.

    “I’d hardly describe Obama as elite, btw.”

    He’s working for elite interests. That’s all that matters.

  102. Mary,

    You really do have to question the sanity of Iain Duncan Smith!.

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/not-so-hidden-ideology-behind-the-dwp-war-on-women/

    “Take Online Action Against The CRAPITA Conference: Cashing in on Poverty”

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/take-online-action-against-the-crapita-conference-cashing-in-on-poverty/

  103. A bit of fun for the Where’s Werrity? fans here. Check page 30 of this latest pdf from Edward Snowden:

    http://cryptome.org/2014/01/gchq-squeaky-dolphin.pdf

    Well, it’s nice to know someone’s keeping an eye on the matter… ;)

    Less impressed at the illustration on page 32, mind. GCHQ (authors of this delightfully code-named “Squeaky Dolphin” presentation) keeping tabs on human rights protesters in Bahrain via Facebook and YouTube? What’s that to do with the national security of Britain? Plenty to do with the economic interests of a select few, of course. High time they just called a spade and spade and ditched the “national security” cover story entirely.

    And the rest of it. Is it me, or does this whole document scream Amateur Hour at Psyops HQ? If this is the level of sophistication of their “human behaviour profiling”, then – as a British taxpayer – I want my money back.

    And “Squeaky Dolphin”? Who dreams up these codenames? (And what does their pyschiatrist say about it all?)

    *Intelligence* services. Pfft.

  104. Wonder if P Andrew’s activities in Bahrain come into the view of GCHQ’a Squeaky Dolphin project?

    Mon 13 Jan 2014
    Prince Andrew to visit protest-hit Bahrain

    The Duke of York is set to visit he protest-hit country of Bahrain on an official visit.

    Prince Andrew’s trip begins tomorrow and comes after the Government requested he to travelled to the Middle Eastern state.
    The Duke of York will begin his visit to Bahrain tomorrow. The Duke of York will begin his visit to Bahrain tomorrow. Credit: Alastair Grant/PA Wire
    Bahrain’s government, dominated by members of its royal family, has been accused by campaigning groups of a string of human rights abuses since 2011.

    Critics claim little has changed since then and trouble has flared up consistently since those first demonstrations.

    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-01-13/prince-andrew-to-visit-protest-hit-bahrain/

    He, the arms manufacturers and his cronies in the ComDem Koalition are quite revolting.

    ‘Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has called for Prince Andrew to speak out against the government repression taking place in Bahrain and has renewed calls for the UK government to cease all arms exports to the oppressive Bahraini regime.

    The call comes as Prince Andrew heads to Bahrain to join the government in celebrating GREAT British Week at the Bahrain International Circuit. GREAT British Week will run from 15 — 22 January in conjunction with the third Bahrain International Air Show. Organisers say that the events are to mark the ’200 years of friendship between the UK and Bahrain’ and will be attended by a 250 strong British trade delegation; including Prince Andrew, representatives from the UK government and a number of major arms companies, including Rolls Royce (Aero) and BAE Systems, who will be promoting sales of its Typhoon fighter jets.

    The event follows the suspension of national reconciliation talks in Bahrain and the Stop The Shipment campaign, which succeeded in stopping a huge shipment of South Korean tear gas canisters to Bahrain. Following a high profile, multimedia campaign DAPA, South Korea’s arms export licensing agency, announced that due to political instability and pressure from international rights groups they will cease all tear gas exports to the Bahraini dictatorship.’
    /.
    http://www.pressenza.com/2014/01/campaigners-call-uk-halt-arms-exports-bahrain-prince-andrew-joins-sales-drive/

  105. Interesting discussion of Obama and his family’s connections to the CIA:

    http://exopolitics.blogs.com/files/wayne-madsen-obama-all-in-the-company.pdf

    Similar research was used to produce the book covered in this interview:

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/01/10/bfp-exclusive-interview-with-andrew-kreig-the-cia-global-empire-the-u-s-presidency/

  106. Scarlett is involved in yet more adverse publicity. Better ditch Sodastream Scarlett or is it the money from Messrs Cohen and Birnbaum and co that’s keeping you tied to them?

    An ad created by Israeli company SodaStream to air during the Super Bowl has been rejected by Fox, the network carrying the big game, because it contains a dig at big soda manufacturers Coca-Cola and Pepsi, it was reported over the weekend.

    /..

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/scarlett-johansson-sodastream-ad-nixed-for-super-bowl/

    http://sodastream.investorroom.com/directors

    ‘Controversy

    The EU’s highest court ruled in 2010 that Sodastream was not entitled to claim a “Made in Israel” exemption from EU customs payments for products manufactured in the West Bank because Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are outside of the territorial scope of the EC-Israel Agreement.

    Sodastream has been criticized for operating their manufacturing plant in the West Bank. Sodastream employs 900 West Bank Palestinians. According to Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, their factories are “apolitical” and they provide Palestinian employees with “respectable employment opportunities and an appropriate salary and benefits”. Activists have responded that SodaStream is just exploiting local cheap labor.

    The United Church of Canada launched a campaign to boycott Sodastream’s products manufactured in the West Bank on land occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. According to church leader Gary Paterson, the objectives were to “live out God’s mission in the world” and “bring peace with justice to the Holy Land”.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodastream

  107. A google alert sent this

    28 January 2014, 10:36

    CIA front “Premier Executives” exposed by former UK ambassador

    In an interview with the Voice of Russia the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray revealed that over 127 rendition flights had taken place during Mr. Murray’s tenure as ambassador and the no less than 127 people who were renditioned to Uzbekistan by the Central Intelligence Agency were never flown out of the country and never heard from again.

    Mr. Murray raised the issue with the authorities in the United Kingdom, his home country, and faced extreme backlash for doing so. He claims that most likely every person on those flights was later killed.

    It was revealed to Mr. Murray by pilots operating the flights and working for the CIA that they were working for a company called Premier Executives out of the state of South Carolina in the US. Premier Executives is a private carrier used by the CIA and is a CIA front company set up to facilitate extraordinary rendition flights, which appear to be flights of no return.

    Full interview to be published soon here on the Voice of Russia.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_01_28/CIA-front-Premier-Executives-exposed-by-former-UK-ambassador-3673/

    Terrible – even to read about it.

  108. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Fred

    “I wouldn’t do that, I’d rather just put it (ie, money) away in a drawer.

    Then I’d know it was safe.”
    __________________

    But would it be safe,, Fred? It might get stolen by someone breaking into your house. And in that event it wouldn’t be covered by the £85.000 deposit guarantee scheme.
    I advise you to reconsider.

  109. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    Fred

    as an after-thought : and supposing your house burned down?

    I’m very concerned for your money, Fred.

  110. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Questions to no one in particular (but, as always, all are free to respond!) :

    Could a blog like Craig Murray’s operate freely in Russia, China, Iran, Syria or Cuba?

    Could a blog like Craig Murray’s operate freely on the United States?

  111. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:45 pm

    “PS Suggestions for the collective nouns for royal residences?”
    ______________________

    How about : “a National Heritage” ?

  112. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    In accordance with Craig Murray’s injunction that one should not ascribe motives to posters, I shall not comment on your refusal to tell us why you learnt Russian.

    However, I’ll allow myself to interpret your refusal to say whether or not you regret the demise of the Soviet Union as signifying that you do regret that demise.

    I think that’s fair enough.

  113. “Could a blog like Craig Murray’s operate freely in Russia, China, Iran, Syria or Cuba?”

    What differentiates those countries from the US and UK is that they’re all subject to active and ongoing internal attack from forces with external assistance.

    Despite the blethering from politicians in the US and UK the same does not apply. What minor disgruntlement you get here is well infiltrated and managed by internal security, and there’s no external assistance.

    What we’re living with at the moment is a situation in which the West has no known predators to speak of and that’s why they’re acting so rashly, in economic and military terms. It could of course all still go pear-shaped.

    So, Craig’s blog and others like it are a minor nuisance to western elites but would represent a much greater challenge in the countries mentioned above.

  114. Clive James learnt Russian so that he could enjoy Pushkin in the original.

    Habby has such limited horizons.

  115. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 4:45 pm

    Herbie

    So I think you agree that a blog like Craig Murray’s could not operate freely in Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Cuba.

    Reason : it would represent a “challenge” to those govts.

    Anyone else care to stick their neck out? :)

  116. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    28 Jan, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Herbie

    “What minor disgruntlement you get here is well infiltrated and managed by internal security,…”
    ________________

    Puzzled! Are you saying that this blog is managed by internal security?

  117. Regarding freedom of expression …. the west vs the rest.
    From Medialens latest email alert:

    “The Russian-born filmmaker Andre Vltchek, who has travelled the world extensively in making his documentaries, relates his experience of appearing in the media in different countries. He observes that when he speaks in China, he does so uncensored:

    ‘I was on CCTV – their National TV – and for half an hour I was talking about very sensitive issues. And I felt much freer in Beijing than when the BBC interviews me, because the BBC doesn’t even let me speak, without demanding a full account of what exactly I am intending to say.’ (Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek, On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare, Pluto Press, London, 2013, p. 31)

    Vltchek continued:

    ‘people in the West are so used to thinking that we are so democratic in terms of the way our media is run and covers the stories. Even if we know it’s not the case, we still, subconsciously, expect that it’s still somehow better than in other places and it is actually shocking when we realize that a place like China or Turkey or Iran would run more unedited or uncensored pieces than our own mainstream media outlets. Let me put it this way: Chinese television and newspapers are much more critical of their economic and political system than our television stations or newspapers are of ours. Imagine ABC, CBS, or NBC [major US television stations] coming on air and beginning to question the basics of capitalism or the Western parliamentary system.’ (Ibid., p. 32)”

    Read it all here:
    http://medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=753:propaganda-the-dominant-grand-narrative-of-our-time&catid=52:alerts-2014&Itemid=245

  118. I was thinking more of protest groups, habby. You’ll have seen the stories of infiltration and agents provocateur and so on.

    Western elites don’t much mind what people discuss in blogs, so long as it’s not coordinated with direct action, and anyway there’s so much fog of distraction and drivel out there that most people haven’t a clue what’s going on.

    In those countries you mention they are facing a coordinated external threat and you can see that in Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Iran etc. They’re doing what the West would do and indeed has done in similar circumstances. The history of the US and UK is quite revealing in that regard.

    So, again your appeals to some form of exceptionalism at work in the West turns out to be no more than a figment of your imagination, brought about no doubt by your quite curious ignorance of the facts and inability to form a judgement.

  119. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSkn5Mk10Y0 Peter Paul and Mary
    Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

    BBC News had Billy Bragg on speaking from Exeter about Pete. He finished singing the Where Have All The Flowers Gone? They cut him off before he could sing the last three verses. ‘Out of time’. Of course they were in case people got the message that wars kill people.

    Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the soldiers gone?
    Gone to graveyards, everyone.
    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

    Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Gone to flowers, everyone.
    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

    Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
    Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Young girls have picked them everyone.
    Oh, when will they ever learn?
    Oh, when will they ever learn?

    ~~~

    Obomber said of Pete Seeger.

    “Once called ‘America’s tuning fork’, Pete Seeger believed deeply in the power of song,”.

    “But more importantly, he believed in the power of community.”

    “To stand up for what’s right, speak out against what’s wrong, and move this country closer to the America he knew we could be.”

    “Over the years, Pete used his voice – and his hammer – to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation. And he always invited us to sing along.”

    “For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete’s family and all those who loved him.”.

    Hypocrite.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25923852

    I have always loved this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UKvpONl3No

  120. This article throws up a newfound drang by Ms. von der Leyen and Herr Steinmeier to up Germany, the powerhouse of Europe, and its military projection abroad.

    For our Belgian armchair contingent, should we throw NATO mout of its new building and use it for a European peace and defence force?

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-considers-increasing-role-in-foreign-military-missions-a-945771.html

  121. Mary

    Billy Bragg was on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’ during Operation Cast Lead. The mealy mouthed sell-out offered no support to the Palestinians and instead stressed Israel’s right to self-defence.
    A few years later, I had a protracted email conversation with him. I summerise it thus:

    Me: you had an opportunity to stick up for the most oppressed people on Earth during some of their darkest days and you didn’t.
    Him: I’m a good guy, look at the lyrics of my songs.
    Me: Yeah, but when it counted, you didn’t stand up.
    Him : But I’m a good guy, look at the lyrics of my songs.
    Yeah, but what about the Palestinians.
    Him: But I’m a good guy, look at the lyrics of my songs.
    Me: Oh fuck off you hypocrite.

  122. Very strange A Node. I do not disbelieve what you say but it does seem to be at odds with his part in these productions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_for_Palestine

    http://www.irishleftreview.org/2010/06/02/listening-billy-braggs-rachel-corrie/

    Unlike many other performers, he does not appear to have performed in Israel either, unlike Morrissey, Madonna and Elton John and so on.

  123. Launch of the Jerusalem Report in Parliament

    EVENTS / Posted by Friends of Al-Aqsa / Wednesday, 05th February, 2014

    To draw attention to the challenges faced by Palestinian citizens living in Jerusalem in light of Israeli Policies.

    The report will cover:
    •Historic Overview: An Introduction to Jerusalem
    •The Status of Palestinian Jerusalemites, 1967 – present
    •Protecting Jerusalem’s Palestinian Cultural Heritage

    Speakers include:

    * Megan Driscoll, Advocacy Officer, Coalition for Jerusalem (based in Jerusalem)
    * Ismail Patel, Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa
    * Linda Ramsden, Director of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK
    * Yasmin Qureshi MP

    The launch will be held on Wednesday 5 February 2014 from 18:30 – 20:00 at the Grimmond Room, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, SW1A 2LW.

    If you are able to attend please email aatikha@foa.org.uk.

    http://www.foa.org.uk/events/launch-of-the-jerusalem-report-in-parliament

  124. “AGXIIK: Federal Takeover of Retirement Plans is Coming!”

    http://www.silverdoctors.com/agxiik-2/

  125. BrianFujisan

    28 Jan, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    R.I.P Pete Seeger

    Re Syria….

    By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
    Global Research, January 28, 2014
    Global Research 15 December 2013

    “From the outset, the Western military alliance has (covertly) supported the terrorists with a view to destabilizing Syria as a nation state.

    Lest we forget, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA.

    The US, NATO, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have channeled most of their support to the Al Qaeda brigades, which are also integrated by Western Special Forces.

    British and French Special Forces have been actively training opposition rebels from a base in Turkey.

    Israel has provided a safe have to Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in the occupied Golan Heights.

    Western special forces have been training the rebels in the use of chemical weapons in Jordan.”

    “This is a war of aggression. It is not a civil war.

    The New Islamic Front

    The Al Qaeda fighters integrated by mercenaries, trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar constitute the mainstay of so-called opposition forces, which have been involved in countless atrocities and terrorist acts directed against the civilian population from the outset in March 2011.

    The existence of “more moderate opposition brigades” supported by the West is a myth. They exist in name, they do not constitute a meaningful military force. They are not the object of significant support by their Western handlers, who prefer to channel their aid to the Al Qaeda affiliated brigades.

    The FSA and its Supreme Military Command essentially serve as a front organization. The SMC under the helm of General Salim Idriss has largely been used to channel support to the terrorists.

    In recent developments, fighting has broke out between the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels covertly supported by the West and the more moderate FSA brigades, officially supported by the West.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-new-islamic-front-expanded-u-s-support-to-al-qaeda-rebels-in-syria/5361660

  126. Mary,

    I’ve spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to track down a transcript of the Any Questions programme, very close but no luck yet and I have to go out for the night. I think the episode in question must have been at the time of the Goldstone Report rather than Cast Lead. I’ll have another go tomorrow, let him condemn himself from his own mouth.

    BTW, the lyrics of “The lonesome death of Rachel Corrie” are also typically mealy mouthed … he spends most of them attacking the American Establishment, and even the few words referring to Israel include a justification for their actions.

    An Israeli bulldozer killed poor Rachel Corrie
    As she stood in its path in the town of Rafah
    She lost her young life in an act of compassion
    Trying to protect the poor people of Gaza
    Whose homes are destroyed by tank shells and bulldozers
    And whose plight is exploited by suicide bombers
    Who kill in the name of the people of Gaza

    But Rachel Corrie believed in non-violent resistance
    Put herself in harm’s way as a shield of the people
    And paid with her life in a manner most brutal

  127. BrianFujisan

    Did you miss that bit in the Queen’s xmas speech to the nation in which she praised the UK forces now facing new challenges in a changing world, and welcomed new faces from the former commonwealth countries with a shared heritage who were fighting heroically alongside UK soldiers in hot spots round the world. That was AlQaida, who now form a new battalion annexed to the dwindling UK army. Defense cuts = Chop orf their heads!

  128. Resident Dissident

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:24 pm

    Fred

    Even if you put the money away in a drawer society has a debt to honour to you in the future – unless you expect nothing in return when you spend your cash. If your savings are whittled away by inflation I’m pretty sure that you feel that someone has not honoured their debt to you. Not for nothing do our bank notes contain a promise to pay the bearer.

  129. Resident Dissident

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    Resident Dissident, 27 Jan, 2014 – 11:21 pm

    I know because I read up on these things. Suggest you do too.

    And which books would you recommend – I suspect that our reading lists may differ somewhat. Anything from Luke Harding or Masha Gessen for instance?

  130. He is a fraud then A Node. Would the AQ episode be this one 1/7/2011?

    Duration: 50 minutes
    First broadcast:Friday 01 July 2011
    Your chance to have your say. Call Jonathan Dimbleby on 03700 100 444 or email us at any.answers@bbc.co.uk about Iain Duncan Smith’s call for firms to employ Brits before foreigners; public versus private pensions; the Liberal Democrats’ role in the Coalition and bailing out Greece. Respond to last night’s panel from Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire: musician Billy Bragg, businesswoman Deborah Meaden, Work and Pensions minister, Steve Webb and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0124r4h
    ‘Billy Bragg is a political activist and a musician. He spent yesterday rallying with strikers in Exeter and at last week’s Glastonbury Festival he was curator of a programme of pop and politics at the Left Field tent. In last year’s election, he helped campaign against the BNP in Barking & Dagenham, the constituency where he grew up, while also calling for change to the electoral system. In the previous two elections, he had run a tactical vote-swapping campaign to keep out the Conservatives in Dorset. “He was “hugely disappointed” the Liberal Democrats “entered into a coalition with Cameron”. Last year he announced would withhold his tax until the Chancellor acted to curb the bonus payments to investments bankers at RBS. In 1981 he joined a tank regiment of the British Army but bought himself out three months later. It was, he has said, the most wisely spent £175 of his life. As a musician his songs became overtly political in the 1980s particularly during the miners’ strike in 1984 when he played regularly to political rallies and benefit concerts. More recently he set up Jail Guitar Doors, an independent initiative to provide musical equipment for prison inmates and the Featured Artists Coalition, which campaigns for the protection of performers’ and musicians’ rights.’

  131. Resident Dissident

    28 Jan, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    “PS Suggestions for the collective nouns for royal residences?”
    ______________________

    How about : “a National Heritage” ?

    I look forward to the day when the nation can fully realise its inheritance.

  132. An e-mail from David Babbs 38 Degrees just in. Letters to MPs, petitions signed, even ads in the papers today have come to naught. More squelching of freedoms by the ConDems.

    Dear Mary,

    I wanted to let you know straight away. I’m afraid we lost the gagging law vote in the House of Lords this evening. That’s it – it’s going to become law.

    It couldn’t have been closer. On the final vote, 245 Lords voted in favour and 245 against. Unfortunately the rules mean that in the case of a tie, the government gets its way.

    Personally I feel pretty devastated about this. I’m worried about what it means for the future of 38 Degrees. More importantly, I’m worried about what it means for the future of democracy, and what it tells us about the state of British politics.

    But I also feel proud of everything 38 Degrees members did together to fight this. I hope you do too.

    There will be a lot of thinking and discussion to be done in the coming days. 38 Degrees members will need to pull together to think about how to fight this terrible law. And we’ll need to work out how we can keep standing up for all we believe in – despite the restrictions the government is trying to impose.

    But right now, I feel sure of one thing. We won’t give up.

    Sorry I’m not emailing with better news, and thank you for everything you’ve done,

    David

  133. Ottaway goes over the top and calls the police.

    Tory MP calls police on handful of retired constituents delivering petition against lobbying bill ‘gagging law’
    22.1.14
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tory-mp-calls-police-on-handful-of-retired-constituents-delivering-lobbying-bill-gagging-law-petition-9078297.html

    He is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

    ‘2009 expenses scandal

    During the Daily Telegraph expenses scandal it was revealed that Ottaway claimed for a second home nine miles south of the constituency, with another house minutes from Parliament. Ottaway apologised to constituents for his part in ‘allowing an indefensible system of allowances to develop'[23] and announced he would let Croydon South party members decide his fate in a vote of confidence. The local association’s President, Lord Bowness, chaired the meeting, which ended in a secret ballot that Ottaway won.

    Among his expenses claims between April 2004 and March 2008 were £59.99 on light bulbs and £48 for modifying a scarifier. He paid back £2,025 that he had claimed as half of the price of an orthopaedic bed and £1,400 for homeware and electrical goods. David Cameron’s Conservative head office scrutiny panel did not ask him to pay back any more.

    Refusal to meet with constituents

    On 22 January 2014 it was reported that Ottaway called the police for ‘security’ when a group of constituents – most of whom were of pension age – visited his office to hand in a petition against the ‘Gagging Law’ (Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill). A Met spokesman said: “Officers spoke to all parties. No offences were identified and the officers left.” The MP however is reported as saying that he would do the same again. [24]’

    Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ottaway

  134. “Even if you put the money away in a drawer society has a debt to honour to you in the future – unless you expect nothing in return when you spend your cash. If your savings are whittled away by inflation I’m pretty sure that you feel that someone has not honoured their debt to you. Not for nothing do our bank notes contain a promise to pay the bearer.”

    So why do they contain a promise to pay the bearer then?

  135. Arbed wrote

    And the rest of it. Is it me, or does this whole document scream Amateur Hour at Psyops HQ? If this is the level of sophistication of their “human behaviour profiling”, then – as a British taxpayer – I want my money back.

    And “Squeaky Dolphin”? Who dreams up these codenames? (And what does their pyschiatrist say about it all?)

    And what to make of “Paranoid Smurf“?

    https://squonk.tk/blog/2013/12/19/the-new-yorker-state-of-deception/comment-page-4/#comment-2859
    http://rt.com/news/nsa-gchq-phone-data-263/

  136. “And what to make of “Paranoid Smurf“?”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/01/28/nsar-j28.html

  137. @ Mary & A Node, re Billy Bragg, “Bragg supported the pro-Iraq war candidate Oona King against the anti-war George Galloway in the 2005 general election in the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow”

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/Billy-Bragg/biography/

  138. Despite the misery caused by the bankers getting rich by defrauding the people not one individual banker has been charged, they are free to rob again and pay themselves obscene bonuses for doing it.

    But the CPS has seen fit to charge three men with taking food from a skip at the back of a supermarket, lied that the food was worth £33 when the fact is it had negative value, the supermarket would have to pay someone to take it and dump it.

    Proof if proof were needed that the CPS do not represent the people, they are lackeys of the rich fat cat bastards that are steadily shafting all of us.

  139. Sofia Kibo Noh

    28 Jan, 2014 - 11:39 pm

    What a wonderful surprise to find Craig blogging again, always worth reading. Also great to find so many of the old reliables commenting away. I’ve missed you all….almost….it seems nothing new has been brewed up in the bowels of Haifa Uni during the lull. Same old strategy….bore the buggers to death!

    Re Syria coverage by the BBC ……what a sick joke!

    Here in the Great Caldera the sun has just set. Legions of fruit-bats are flapping lazily from their caves and gliding down towards the forest for another noisy night feasting on puki figs and a slow but insistent drumbeat is inviting us to gather for our own feast, to celebrate the adoption of Bitcoin as the reserve currency for all the peoples of the watershed. Except that is, the Usurii of the Swamp of Morg who predatory monopoly as “trusted third parties” in the issuing and manipulating their debt-based fiat currencies.

    They claim Bitcoin is nothing but a ponzi scheme with no intrinsic value, that people buy drugs and bad stuff with it and they can’t protect us when we use it. The Usurii Dollar on the other hand has it’s value hanging on our children’s, and their children’s ability to pay the debts, and the confidence instilled by the ferocity of their warriors. Also they assure us, it is never used for anything remotely criminal, and for our own good, our bank and pension deposits can always be tapped into when bankers decide they need the money to “bail us out”. Sadly for them, their warnings are increasingly regarded as comically predictable protests from an irrelevant elite .

    Maybe one of the grown-ups here can explain to me why I should put my faith in debt-based curreny when we now have the technology for decentralised, encrypted, peer to peer trading free from parasitic bankers and their political servants.

    ……..

    OT.
    Message for Brian Fujisan from the Shaman. He notices you are still using Windows when you could install Linux easier than you could catch a cold. He says Windows is to operating systems something like what fiat currencies are to money.

    Finally since it’s almost Happy Hour in the dark, rain-soaked sump of Britania, here’s something to cheer you all up……the best of Israel meets the best of Mali. No aparteid walls here!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaCpc7osbek

  140. Makes you wonder why they call that ff-ing piece of IOU a ‘banknote‘…

    Fuk-us-hima – they surely do.

  141. Sofia Kibo Noh

    28 Jan, 2014 - 11:43 pm

    Oops!

    Correction.

    …Except that is, the Usurii of the Swamp of Morg who wish to keep their predatory monopoly as “trusted third parties” in the issuing and manipulating their debt-based fiat currencies….

  142. @Fred, did you note “the CPS responded this month that the case would go ahead, because “we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals” ? Which “Public interest” do they mean ? Corporate interests probably, as I would have thought that the “Public” would prefer desperate people to be resourceful, eco & recycle friendly, rather than turning to crime to feed themselves. It seems that they seek to make an example in this case, so as to deter (ie terrorise), anybody else from undermining the everything can only be sold to make a profit system, ie no freebies, even if it’s literally garbage destined for a landfill.

  143. “Utah solved homelessness by giving people homes.”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/utah-ending-homelessness-giving-people-homes-1390056183

  144. The Guardian just launched an online poll on the ScarJo controversy. So far it’s a blowout: 87% of voters (number unspecified) says yes, Oxfam should sever its ties with its recently appointed “brand ambassador.” I suspect, though, that SodaStream’s friends have not yet mobilized their forces – look for a big surge in the “no” column when they do. Still, we should be able to win this one – vote now, and spread the word.

    Poll closes in seven days (Tuesday, Feb. 4).

  145. BrianFujisan

    29 Jan, 2014 - 1:44 am

    Someone

    Meant to say thanks for that Japanfocus Link 26th @ 12;22 pm

    Sofia….

    Delighted to hear from you…

    That’s a right talented Shaman you have there in the Land of the Great Caldera…got a friend taking a look at my pc setup this weekend…. i Love the wonders of science…but very un-techy :)

    A Node, Macky…most interesting Re Billy Brag…Amazing what one can learn on this Blog…

  146. Obomber repromises all his previous broken promises.

    Guantanamo to close
    Limit drone warfare
    Stop snooping
    blah be blah de blah………..

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/state-of-the-union-2014-excerpts-from-obamas-speech/2014/01/28/dc8017a0-886e-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

  147. Ref Billy the Bragg and his friend Oona.

    I did not know that Oona Tamsyn King was now Baroness King of Bow (that has a nice ring to it) and that:

    ‘King, who is mixed race, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to Preston King, an African-American academic and his wife, Murreil Hazel (née Stern), a white Jewish social justice activist. She is the niece of the medical doctor Miriam Stoppard (her mother’s sister) and her playwright husband Tom Stoppard.[3] Her cousin is the actor Ed Stoppard. On her father’s side, she comes from a line of civil rights activists and successful entrepreneurs. Her paternal grandfather, the civil rights activist, Clennon Washington King, Sr. fathered seven sons.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oona_King

    I see she goes whichever way the wind is blowing.

    ‘King supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was controversial for the constituency’s large Muslim population. This support was used against her in the election campaign of Respect’s George Galloway, a leader of the Stop the War Coalition, who later defeated her in the 2005 general election. This challenge was one of the media highlights of the election.

    She subsequently changed her views, after viewing the poor handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath by the United States:

    it shows that America has no grasp whatever on the activity needed to rebuild a destroyed city. And if they can’t do that in their own country, then it’s obvious why they can’t do it in Iraq. So … I regret that we went to war with a country that has shown itself to be incapable of the very basic actions required to deal with post-conflict reconstruction.

    She however maintained that she does not regret voting for the war in Iraq, “I could never have voted against getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was responsible for the deaths of one million people.”‘

    No irony at all in those last words considering the death toll of BLiar’s war.

    ~~
    PS Good to see Macky and Sofia here again.

  148. Bill and Melinda Gates published their annual January letter, no doubt well-read at the World Economic Summit in Davos. They said that ‘many people think the world is getting worse’ – and it demonstrably is, in terms of pollution, social instability and the widening gap between rich and poor.

    The crumbs from Gates’ table are not the answer: Martin Luther King has it – ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools’ – a complete change of outlook.

    Economist John Kay in the Financial Times challenges Gates’ figures in terms which are not readily accessible to the average reader but then looks beyond the globalised centres of major cities, similar everywhere: “You do not have to venture far from the centre of Nairobi or Shanghai, and only round the corner in Mumbai, to see sights unimaginable in Norway or Switzerland”.

    Gates’ big myth – an assertion that people believe the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease – is completely untrue.

    /..
    http://politicalcleanup.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/bill-gates-myth/

    live links within

  149. Someone, 28 Jan, 10.57pm

    Thanks Someone, great link, worth repeating

    NSA, GCHQ mapping “political alignment” of cellphone users:
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/01/28/nsar-j28.html

    particularly in view of latest news

    Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer:
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/28/gchq-mass-surveillance-spying-law-lawyer

  150. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    29 Jan, 2014 - 9:24 am

    ‘Re Syria coverage by the BBC ……what a sick joke!’

    Nor is it just Syria. A couple of days ago R4 News carried Not Very Old Labour’s proposal to reintroduce a 50% tax band for people who could well afford it were it not that the berthing fees for their yachts have risen disastrously (as a result, obviously, of the previous government’s policies).

    The bare announcement was followed by three spokesmen explaining why this was a bad idea and would only raise 30p in extra tax. No-one explained on NVOL’s behalf why it might be a good idea. Contradictorily, in the same piece, a reporter mentioned that the proposed victims already paid 30% of all tax…rather destroying the argument that raising the level would not produce much revenue.

  151. How Pete Seeger stood up to Messrs Tavenner, Scherer and Walter….. Un Amerikan Activities Committee…

    Tue Jan 28, 2014
    Testimony of Pete Seeger before the House Un-American Activities Committee, August 18, 1955
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/28/1273074/-Testimony-of-Pete-Seeger-before-the-House-Un-American-Activities-Committee-August-18-1955

    .
    .
    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

  152. “Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer:”

    I wonder if the CPS will deem it in the public interest to press charges or if it’s only people who eat out of dustbins that are a threat to society.

    There’s a full transcript of the report here BTW:

    http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/APPG-Final.pdf

  153. 28 January 2014, 16:26

    I am in effect banned from being on the BBC – AMB Craig Murray
    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_01_28/I-am-in-effect-banned-from-being-on-the-BBC-AMB-Craig-Murray-7601/

    It is obvious that 9/11 was a set up.

  154. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    29 Jan, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    ? Breaking – also reported on Sky –

    Apparently someone doesn’t like Blair. Incredible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gshD6gbGHCw

  155. Beelzebub (La Vita è Finita)

    29 Jan, 2014 - 12:37 pm

  156. Re the hypocritical self-serving toadying slimeball

    I can’t track down the ‘Any Questions’ broadcast (no it wasn’t 1/7/11, Mary, must’ve been 2009), but I can still honour my promise to let him condemn himself from his own mouth. Check this exercise in forelock-tugging from our champion of the peepul.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-487796/How-Queen-charmed-pants-Confessions-old-Leftie.html
    Here’s a taster: “…. when suddenly there [the Queen] was, offering me her hand with a look that seemed to say: “Well, well. I didn’t expect to see you here, Braggy.” There’s plenty more where that came from.

    Arise, Sir William Bragg!!!

  157. From today’s Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/28/vladimir-putin-ukraine-crisis-eu

    Putin said. “I’m sure the Ukrainian people will sort this out and Russia is not going to interfere.”

    A former Ukrainian foreign ministry official said the Kremlin was exerting huge pressure on Yanukovych behind the scenes, urging him to deal more harshly with anti-government protesters. “Ukraine is out of money. If Russia stops financing Yanukovych, he will be unable to pay his loyal supporters,” the official said.

    Someone is lying and I know who my money is on. I note the terrorist label is now being applied to the demonstrators.

  158. I am in effect banned from being on the BBC – AMB Craig Murray

    So that’s why they played this last July?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qs5x7

  159. “The bare announcement was followed by three spokesmen explaining why this was a bad idea and would only raise 30p in extra tax. No-one explained on NVOL’s behalf why it might be a good idea. Contradictorily, in the same piece, a reporter mentioned that the proposed victims already paid 30% of all tax…rather destroying the argument that raising the level would not produce much revenue.”

    Yet strangely enough the OBR say that one of the things creating uncertainty about the public finances for the rest of the fiscal year is regarding the impact of the introduction of the 45% tax rate on the tax take. If the Govt is so certain about the impact of the 50p tax rate then I would have thought that they would have had a pretty good idea about the introduction of the 45% rate 9 months into the tax year – but apparently not.

    Shouldn’t Cable have resigned by now for selling off the Post Office on the cheap – he said we should wait 3 months to let the dust settle before commenting on what was a fair price. Well the dust has settled and it is clear that the PO was sold off for £1.8bn less than it was worth. Unlike £30 of stale sandwiches prosecution is not considered to be in the public interest.

  160. It’s the hammer of Justice,
    It’s the bell of Freedom,
    It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
    All over this land.

    RIP Pete Seeger

    I have many tapes of Seeger’s songs and unlike some I listen to the words.

  161. Mary

    Could you explain the relevance of Oona King’s family history to the points you were making?

    Perhaps you might wish to reveal your own family tree so that we can see its relevance to your own political stance?

  162. “Trillions Of Dollars In Losses Would Be A Reason? JPMorgan Technology Vice President Dies”

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/trillions-of-dollars-in-losses-would-be-a-reason-jpmorgan-technology-vice-president-dies/

  163. Great links, Someone and Daniel, thanks. So Fukushima has officially passed the test, we can call it a sieve now. Its extraordinary that Japan can not be forced to accept outside help, soon the whole place will be so radiated that nobody would want to go and help, what utter fools!
    I have taken to use brollies rather a lot in these chaotic days, I also force them on others in the family, cause, whats going up must come down.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm10VdKKWDY
    Chris Busby in his usual style, adding his twist to opinion. Fair enough he’s been studying it all his life. Some 6.30 min. in.

    On the day Mark Carney gave his before and after ‘technical’, in parts critical, advice to Scotlands continued use of Sterling I feel like raising the spirits a little.

    These HairyMclarries have been recommended by a fiddler called Rachel, she now and then plays in Edingburghs traditional pubs. Enjoy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z3A5Tgy47M

    Good to have you back Sofia, I hope you have been behaving yourselfs during your prolonged absence from that wayward dad of yours…..:)

  164. doug scorgie

    29 Jan, 2014 - 2:21 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    27 Jan, 2014 – 10:29 pm

    “Mary is currently homing in on actresses.”

    Habbabkuk why the plural “actresses” when you know only one actress is at issue?

    “Tip to Mary : some actresses are…..Jewish!!”

    Yes Habbabkuk Scarlett Johansson is Jewish but does that matter?

    If she is advertising Soda Stream for personal remuneration only, it is important that it be brought to her attention the activities of that company in the illegal settlements of the West Bank and pressure should be put on her to stop her endorsement of the firm.

    Her Jewishness is not an issue. There are no anti-Jewish racists on this blog.

  165. “There are no anti-Jewish racists on this blog.”

    Only because you are defining being anti-Jewish as not being racist I fear.

  166. doug scorgie

    29 Jan, 2014 - 3:03 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    27 Jan, 2014 – 11:00 pm

    To Herbie about Saddam and Assad:

    “Presumably, if you think that the West was mistaken to consider them to be goodies, then you should welcome the fact that the West changed its mind and subsequently thought of them as baddies.”

    The west has never been “mistaken” about dictators and tyrants; they support the ones conducive to western interests and depose the others; both positions cause great suffering for the people involved.

    It is the nature of animals (and humans are of the animal kingdom) that the powerful exploit the weak.

    The emergence of civilisation and democratic institutions was supposed to prevent such exploitation. Sadly that is not the case in reality.

    The US and other western nations gang together and use their collective power to exploit the weaker emerging nations for their own gains; just as happens in the animal world.

    Dog eat dog; survival of the strongest.

    What happened to humanity?

  167. James Corbett and co discuss some of the curiousities surrounding the Snowden affair, voicing some scepticism about how the story has been sold:

    http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-813-jimenez-secker-corbett-roudtable-on-snowden-james-bond/

    Meanwhile here’s Snowden’s latest interview on German TV:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f93_1390833151

    It should be remembered that there have actually been more significant whistleblowers than Snowden in very recent years and you don’t hear so much about them.

  168. doug scorgie

    29 Jan, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    27 Jan, 2014 – 11:03 pm

    “John, you treat us to your views on many things. So why do you decliunbe to answer this question?”

    Pissed again Habbabkuk?

  169. doug scorgie

    29 Jan, 2014 - 3:50 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    28 Jan, 2014 – 3:45 pm

    “PS Suggestions for the collective nouns for royal residences?

    How about : “a National Heritage” ?

    Sorry Habbabkuk not valid grammatically.

    How about a thievery of royal residences?

  170. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/01/syria-and-diplomacy/comment-page-3/#comment-439040

    My family tree is my own business. I am not in the public domain like Ms King who is a parliamentarian and a legislator, neither am I in a position to vote for offensive wars against other nation states like Ms King.

    She is yet another hypocrite.

    Her voting record as an MP.

    Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.
    Voted very strongly for a stricter asylum system.
    Voted very strongly for equal gay rights.
    Voted very strongly for university tuition fees.
    Voted very strongly for removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
    Voted very strongly for a wholly elected House of Lords.
    Voted very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals.
    Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
    Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
    Voted for encouraging occupational pensions.
    Voted a mixture of for and against laws to stop climate change.
    Voted moderately for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws.
    Voted very strongly for the hunting ban.
    Voted a mixture of for and against a smoking ban.
    Has never voted on a more proportional system for electing MPs.
    Has never voted on replacing Trident.
    Voted moderately against greater autonomy for schools.

    Pal of Ann Clwyd too infamous for these lies/allegations against Saddam Hussein.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein's_alleged_shredder

  171. On 22 January I said:

    ‘I am reliably informed that ESLO was once one of the many “Anons” here, then “I am the lizard Habbabkuk” and then “For the return of Habba and Free Speech”. Perhaps ESLO could verify that this is correct.’

    On the following day Eslo replied with this paranoid remark.

    ‘Mary I’m not sure why you are asking me, who you no doubt consider to be a unreliable source, to confirm what you have been told by a source you deem to be reliable. Nevertheless, the changes in the handles I used were all pretty well documented at the time. Interesting all this suggests that Mary and others have some form of network outside this blog – perhaps this is why they assume that their opponents behave in a similar co-ordinated manner. I do trust that I am on the list of those to dealt with come the Revolution – I wouldn’t want to be left off.’

    LOL as the saying goes.

  172. Mary

    You have patently failed to answer my question as to why Oona King’s family history (and family life for that matter) is of any relevance to her political views. You are being the hypocrite in expecting that right for yourself but not for Oona King.

  173. Mary

    Be assured that I do not need any help or encouragement from anyone to attack your dubious methods. Just answer my question as to why Oona King’s family history (and family life for that matter) is of any relevance to her political views?

  174. More on Sodastream

    Channel 4’s new series The Jump began last night. The series is sponsored by SodaStream, which has a factory located in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim (the factory is in the settlement’s industrial sector, Mishor Adumim). This is the web homepage for The Jump, with ‘Sponsored by SodaStream’ prominent on the right hand side: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-jump

    More info on the deal: http://www.thedrum.com/node/138266

    Please write to Channel 4 to point out the inappropriateness of signing a sponsorship deal with a company whose factory is located on stolen land, whose water resources are stolen (80% of the water drilled in the West Bank goes to settlements), which pays taxes to an illegal settlement thereby helping it to grow and sustain itself, whose presence in the West Bank, along with the settlements, helps to destroy the Palestinian economy, and whose complicity in the theft of Palestinian land means there is little or no land left for a Palestinian state?

    The settlement of Ma’ale Adumim is built on the land of seven destroyed Palestinian villages – Abu Dis, Azarya, Atur, Issauya, Han El-Akhmar, Anata and Nebbi Muss.

    The email address to write to is: ViewerEnquiries@Channel4.co.uk

    It’s highly unlikely that Channel 4 will pull out of the sponsorship deal at this point, and, contractually, probably can’t do so.

    However, registering a high volume of complaints about this deal should make them think twice about working with SodaStream again, and this will be important in the BDS campaign against SodaStream.

    If you’re interested in PSC’s current campaigns against SodaStream (including targeting John Lewis), please see our latest update: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/pscupdate20140102/

  175. ESLO asks:

    “why Oona King’s family history (and family life for that matter) is of any relevance to her political views”

    Normally we’d expect that such background info would be of central importance in shaping one’s political views.

    In the US and other places such details are usually gone through with a fine toothcomb.

    But you find this strange. I wonder why.

    Perhaps it’s that you don’t have much in the way of expectations in this machine politician world. King certainly seems to have voted along the lines dictated by Blair Central Command, but I’d certainly argue that we need more politicians who think for themselves, so it was great to see her booted out at election. Central Command ignores things like democracy though and foisted her upon us again, initially through promoting her gob in media at every available opportunity and then by giving her an unelected seat in the upper legislature.

    She certainly does appear to have had a gilded public life, in her short career. I’m not sure I’ve noticed anything from her that one would lead one to expect her having such greatness thrust upon her, so what is it?

  176. But you find this strange. I wonder why.

    I find it strange because it was of no relevance whatsoever to the views that Mary expressed about her politics.

  177. “email from Prof. Dr. Ebrahim Afsah Faculty of Law University of Copenhagen to Corsera students”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=5ff38c67999ca06e31f17a6351128dcd&showtopic=21000&hl=

  178. ESLO

    How can you argue that Oona King’s background played no part in the formation of her political views, when she herself has used her background as the frame for her political views?

  179. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    Fred

    “If your savings are whittled away by inflation…..”
    _______________

    Inflation is theft of a sort, to be sure. But who are the thieves? Some might feel that among the thieves are those who demand wage increases the increase which are out of line with their productivity increases.

  180. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    @ Mr Scourgie

    “Habbabkuk why the plural “actresses” when you know only one actress is at issue?”
    _____________________

    As always I’ll limit myself to correcting you on points of fact.

    If you would care to look back more carefully, I think you’ll find that Mary has slagged off Scarlett Johansson and Susan Sarandon. That makes two actresses, I believe.

    I didn’t actually know that Scarlett Johansson was Jewish; Mary probably didn’t either, as I find it difficult to believe that she would not have made mention of this damning fact (ref. former MP Oona King, cf. above)

  181. “Inflation is theft of a sort, to be sure. But who are the thieves? Some might feel that among the thieves are those who demand wage increases the increase which are out of line with their productivity increases.”

    Oh dear. Habby obviously hasn’t noticed that the only significant wage increases over the past 20 odd years have been at senior corporate level.

  182. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:13 pm

    Mary says (not a quote, for once..) art 10h48

    “It is obvious that 9/11 was a set up.”
    _________________

    That’s interesting. I believe this is the first time you’ve written that?

  183. One honourable gentleman who appears to have the best of qualities for being an MP is Mike Thornton M.P. Eastleigh. He has raised questions about electrical safety in private rented housing and about mental health issues. I wanted to add my thoughts to the former, that electrical testing should be like an MOT, Pass or Fail, recorded officially. No letting and no insurance until a Pass is achieved.

    But they said I would have to write to own MP, war criminal, gravy trainer, New Labour slime merchant. Huh! Today my van had to have a new Crank Sensor. Its going to set off flashing orange lights whenever I start to get angry.

  184. Were we really concerned about multicultural outcomes in public and other significant areas of life, as Ms King claims to be herself, then we’d have to look at how differing communities are represented.

    You know like are some communities under represented, and if so how can we explain this, and are other communities over represented, and if so how can we explain that.

    There was much talk during the Blair regime about Scots over running the place. In N. Ireland it’s Catholics everywhere you look. During the Thatch regime there was talk about the number of Jews in her cabinet, mostly from other Jews who were concerned that such prominence in such numbers was a tad inyerface.

    But, these are legitimate areas of concern if we’re to take multiculturalism seriously.

    No sniggering at the back…

  185. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:41 pm

    @ Herbie

    “Oh dear. Habby obviously hasn’t noticed that the only significant wage increases over the past 20 odd years have been at senior corporate level.”
    ___________________

    You are right to some extent, although I would extend the list of beneficiaries slightly (eg, doctors, solicitors, estate agents, etc etc).

    But I am old enough to remember noticing the high inflation of the 1960s and 1970s (I believe it was 25% in 1975?) and that was certainly caused by large groups of industrial and public sector workers gaining high wage increases without any corresponding increases in productivity.

  186. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:46 pm

    @ Mr Scourgie:

    “What happened to humanity?”
    _______________________

    To go by the posts on this blog, my suspicion is that it has been hijacked by you and your fellow-Eminences and that there is none of it left over for anyone else. You haven in effect, created a monopoly in humanity. Am I warm?

  187. Sheik Yamani and the rise in oil prices were the much bigger factor in inflation by the 1970s, and there were certainly massive rises in productivity in the post-war period. That’s what it was all about, at least until Germany and Japan got their engine going again.

    There was obviously a lot of borrowing in the post-war period, a massive increase in the money supply and the fall in sterling which increased the price of imports.

  188. BrianFujisan

    29 Jan, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    Summary of Israeli Violations of International Law in 2013

    The year 2013 witnessed over 20,000 severe violations against the occupied State of Palestine and its people, who have suffered a number of violent attacks and incursions at the hands of Israel, the occupying power. These violations include attacks by both Israeli authorities and settlers, along with home demolitions, arbitrary arrests and the ongoing construction of illegal settlements.

    Since the resumption of negotiations at the end of July 2013, Israel has announced almost 6200 new settlement units, throughout the occupied State of Palestine.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/summary-of-israeli-violations-of-international-law-in-2013/5366646

  189. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    29 Jan, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Herbie

    “Sheik Yamani and the rise in oil prices were the much bigger factor in inflation by the 1970s, and there were certainly massive rises in productivity in the post-war period. That’s what it was all about, at least until Germany and Japan got their engine going again.”
    _________________

    That’s a bit of an amalgam, isn’t it?

    UK inflation in the 1960s, ie BEFORE the first oil price rise (which was anyway a rather modest one compared to what followed)??

    Massive rises in productivity in the UK (remember, we’re talking about the UK) –
    some good rises in the 1950s, much less impressive in the 1960s and 1970s.

    What is that last sentence of yours supposed to mean?

    Do you have any idea of the percentage wage rises that were demanded and then obtained through strikes or the threat of strikes in the 1960s and even more the 1970s?

  190. Tell us something we don’t know Mr Brahimi.

    BREAKING NEWS:UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi says he doesn’t expect to achieve “anything substantive” in first round of Syria talks.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25953278

    Perhaps next time, if there is a second round, Kerry and co will not wade in with their hostile rhetoric and demands for President Assad to go.

  191. BrianFujisan

    29 Jan, 2014 - 6:32 pm

    Aye Mary …A bunch of Complete worms the lot of them…with Washington sending a delegation to G2… after the bastards had already voted SECRETLY to send more arms and Money to the terrorist canibals…ahh sorry “Moderates”….they are happy to see the carnage continue… makes me sick….

    Congressional lawmakers have quietly authorized sending small arms, an assorted variety of rockets, and financial backing to so-called “moderate” rebels fighting in Syria’s civil war, according to a new report.

    American and European security officials told Reuters that the US will provide anti-tank rockets, but nothing as deadly as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (known as MANPADs), which can be used to bring down military or civilian aircraft.

    US Congress secretly approves sending small arms to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels

    Legislators voted in closed-door meetings to fund the opposition forces through September 30, the end of the US government’s fiscal year. The decision is an about-face from congressional debates last year, in which the same committees were reluctant to supply arms over concerns that American weapons would wind up in the hands of radical Islamists fighting in the region, the Al-Qaeda-backed Al-Nusra being the most well known.

    http://rt.com/news/congress-approves-weapons-syria-secretly-270/

  192. Craig’s piece is referred to in this Medialens thread http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1391013660.html
    concerning a Sunny Hundal advocating military intervention in Syria. The BBC has accommodated his warmongering.

    Syria: Call for UK military intervention from Sunny Hundal
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25934705

    Who is this Sunny Hundal and what are his antecedents? Anyone know?

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