It would probably be easier to count the number of countries the U.S. hasn’t bombed – with civilians often taking the brunt of the “shock and awe” (=”terrorist”?) actions. Now Pakistan where it is said most of the casualties are again civilian.
Bush is seeking British support. It’s looking likely after Brown is pausing for thought – no not his, the warmongering lot who advise governments I suppose.
Meanwhile Sarah Palin has been exposing herself. She will be prepared she says to commit U.S. troops against Russia to support Georgia and Ukraine, and supported Bush’s incursion into Pakistan without the need to consult the Pakistan government.
Vladimir Putin has been saying why Russia reacted to being given “a bloody nose” and playing down the idea that we’re entering a new cold war era. Russia is not trying to rebuild the Soviet empire he maintained. Can’t say exactly that they’re doing nowt though.
Barely had Hurricane Gustav passed over the tip of Cuba when Ike followed on crossing the island from east to west, finishing off Gustav’s devastation in some areas. Now Texas in battening down hatches as Ike gains strength across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The earlier hurricane failed to claim any lives in Cuba, but Ike killed 4 according to some reports. Damage is estimated in millions of dollars to the island.
The entry of Sarah Palin onto the scene is bringing a good bit of Biblical “truth” into play. “Truth” in the sense that a fundamentalist believer would like to see it, that is. So it is Queen Esther who Palin models herself on, according to a pastor who knows her.
Don’t know about Esther’s use of expenses, but according to the Washington Post Sarah Palin charged the state for 319 nights at home. Whether this is a matter of “digging the dirt” when there are other important issues to talk about is a matter of opinion. I would think that it’s quite an important consideration given that as is so often mentioned Sarah could be literally “a heart beat” away from the presidency of the United States of America. The continued domination of the U.S. – and the world – of a group of neo-con fundamentalists isn’t good news for any of us. The judgment to bring a virtually unknown player is an act which needs serious consideration. However it is clear that Sarah Palin was brought in to woo women’s votes for Republicans following the failure of Hillary Clinton to secure the Democratic nomination. With all her failings we know Clinton to be an experienced politician even if there are uncomfortable links with a past presidency.
Liam Byrne, the most influential person in the West Midlands according to the Birmingham Post’s reckoning, had the opportunity to present the region to the Cabinet on its trip to Brum yesterday. Here’s his presentation.
….yes, well. Anyone still awake?
This was a wonderful opportunity for him. He wondered if Westminster was listening to us in the region. I often wonder if Liam Byrne is listening himself.
In his presentation on transport he talks about the “first ever” consensus. I am struggling to imagine what he is referring to. When he talks about achievements he points to New Street Station and then only how it has been delayed. In recent weeks mention has been made of high speed rail links going well beyond Gateway. Is this what he was talking about. Of local schemes to increase local rail services the good news is the Moseley/Kings Heath line. An idea for a service from Frankley appears to have bitten the dust, while both present and former chairs of the WMPTA have written letters asking Liam Byrne to look at the Walsall to Wolverhampton service. Rapid transport in and around the region? If we’re going to develop the economy and overcome the gridlock with all the wasted time and money that entails we need to see clearly where we’re going!
Nationalisation is not nationalisation when I say so. So says George W. Bush, so says Gordon Brown. In both U.S. and U.K. failure of the housing markets has led to the unthinkable when governments that have ideologically rejected public ownership have had to step in. “It’s only temporary” says Brown after failing to find a suitable private buyer. Tycoon Richard Branson tried hard, very hard travelling the globe as far as Beijing to try to get something for nothing. Thankfully he failed to impress.
I’m glad someone has at last said something about what is happening in New Labour, and particularly “smug” and “arrogant” Miliband prancing around. A Union leader has made the point that we might as well go for Cameron when his and Miliband’s policies are not dissimilar. I have to say that when both went to Georgia it was not possible to split the duo. Nasty Russians, welcome to NATO etc. Bit naive though. Do they remember what the cold war was like?
Evidently some of the expletives had to be deleted, but nevertheless it was felt strongly that the sentiments should stand. The message is that a return to Blairism isn’t what is wanted, and that is directed at Charles Clarke too.
The story below is of a village which has been arrested. It is circled by a wall to protect an illegal settlement of the ultra-orthodox Zionists who believe that they, and they only, have the right to settle on that space. Even Israeli law says this is wrong but the rule of law doesn’t matter. The Israeli army upholds this illegality and when villagers and their international supporters protest weekly they are routinely met with gas, stun grenades and water cannon. In recent weeks this was added to with the army descending to the lowest by shooting shit at the people. This is not to mention the live ammunition that seriously wounded a young man recently.
If the international community believe in keeping the law then no one should turn a blind eye to what is happening, and being allowed to happen here or anywhere else. Ignoring it undermines equality and justice for all of us as the writer of the following story says.
This is a report from today’s Independent (6/9/2008). Evidently the only way New Labour could get extra support is to get Blair back. Since he’s not a M.P he can’t. The Almighty works in mysterious ways.
Put Miliband in and apart from starting World Ward III you’d get no improvement on what you’ve already got. Ditto Straw. With Johnson, Harman or Balls it would be worse. What I’m not clear about is what New Labour think they’re trying to achieve. Charles Clarke has renewed his blustering muttering darkly about the need for a “change of direction”. What I don’t see is any intention for the New Labour architects to allow anyone in. Any moves towards a socialist agenda is met with cries of “no return to the past” – well not any further than the Blair years anyway. Since it these that’s caused the crisis in the first place all you’re doing is to keep digging the hole ever deeper.
A report on Angola prior to elections shows a booming economy. Oil is a major factor, and Angola has mineral wealth too. China is a major player and gets most of its oil from this source.
So what has happened to the poverty that Africans have faced under colonial rule? It sound as if that is not defeated yet and that a “trickle-down” policy is at play. Such an idea is usually a myth promoted by those in control of resources, so how much insiders will benefit (a few or many), and how much will go outside? The jury is out whether modern China is a capitalist or socialist economy, with many suspecting it has moved in the former direction. Certainly China’s presence in African countries has shown more of the characteristics of a new colonialism leaving many suffering the blight of activities such as mining.
I read with interest the effects of the hurricane Gustavo on Cuba. While all eyes were on New Orleans, which eventually missed the full force in the end, clearly a part of Cuba met with utter devastation, yet no one died as a result.
My source is once more Fidel Castro who writes in graphic terms about the effects of the storm, and then about the determined efforts to rebuild. Reading the “reflections” is a bit more than just learning about how scarce resources are used because we are taken back to bits of history usually glossed over. Do we remember apartheid South Africa having 7 nuclear bombs courtesy of U.S. – and contemplating their use when Cuban troops were in Angola?