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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A couple of thoughts to end the day..
Internationally.. Condalessa's turned the heat up a dgree or two.. her comments to the effect that 'too much power is centred in the Kremlin' is a not so thinly veild attack on Vlad.. and Vlad's not about to disappear from the Russian government..
A tone is being set by the Bush White House with Russia that will be something of a concern for the Republican who'll likely inherit.. It's also a situation the Republicans can campaign strongly on.. they haveing the supposed 'long-range plan'..
Extraordinary, for such a senior American diplomat to be so blatently rude to their host..

Two senior American 'officials' have flown to Turkey in the hopes of defusing a situation which is causing adeterioration in the two NATO allies' relationship.
Eric Edelman, an ex-US ambassador to Ankara, and Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried are to hold talks with top Turkish foreign ministry officials..
The US has criticised Turkish threats to stage cross-border raids on Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq.. and, perhaps a more volotile issue in the minds of the Turkish man on the street..ties have also been strained by a US congressional vote branding the killing of Armenians in 1915-17 as genocide..
It's a label no Turk wants affixed to it's history..
This could be a crucial issue.. what with Turkey awaiting admission to the EU.. the constant factor of Turkey being an Islamic State..
It's an ally the West does not want to lose.. other than perhaps the country which epitomises 'the West'.. the US..
Why Congress voted to accept that term is a mystery.. one which perhaps deserves some investigation..

And.. some mention must be made concerning the statement from retired American Lt.General Ricardo Sanchez.. who has labelled US political leaders as "incompetent" and "corrupted"..
He continues with condemning the current strategy in the conflict, which he warned was "a nightmare with no end in sight".
The White House responded.. by pointing to the report by current commander Gen. David Petraeus and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who said the situation was 'difficult'.. but marked by gradual improvements.
White House spokesman Trey Bohn said.. "We appreciate his (Gen Sanchez's) service to the country... As General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have said, there is more work to be done, but progress is being made in Iraq."
Gen Sanchez was commander of coalition forces in Iraq for a year from mid-2003..
He retired last year in the aftermath of the scandal over detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.. He himself, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
'Delaying defeat' was the eventual outcome of present While House strategy, said Gen. Sanchez..
It's a certainty it's a situation George will hope to control, a best as he can.. and one from which he'll be only to happy to turn his back on..

Now, back at the ranch..
A leading environmentalist..Sir Jonathon Porritt.. said "soaring" speeches about making the UK a world leader in fighting climate change were not backed up by action..
Now, this issue was one of the main planks in the Conservative 'manifesto'.. as delivered in Brighton at their annual conference.
Environmental issues.. alternate fuel development.. viability studies supporting certain projects which have been subject to funding delay by Tony's Labour were trooped out again.. and it was pointed out that while the studies were, in some cases, several years old.. all they had predicted as far as weather changes had taken place..
It would seem that Labour is now willing to address the issue with more diligence..
Ten years of procrastination is pretty good, in political terms..

Not much to announce in the way of real developments in the postal strike issue..
While it's been released that 'Ministers are pleased' at the details which appear to have brought the threat of rolling strikes to an end, and a return to normalcy as we have come to accept it..
But.. we've yet to hear any of those 'details' in any confirmed sense..
It is understood that the "big pillars" of management demands were in place including pension fund reform, a pay rise this year of around 2.5% and the reform of working practices.. but the company had not "got it all its own way".
Quite frankly.. it's been somewhat refreshing this past week or so.. not to see the unending stream of bills and circulars littering the floor in the morning..
But there are many of us who have been waiting for parcel deliveries..

While simplistic to the extreme.. to many in this country the government has only five jobs..
To ensure tax dollars are spent wisely.. to keep our Armed Forces up to date.. to manage our healthcare system properly.. to keep our streets safe and fires put out.. and to ensure the garbage is picked up and the post delivered..
That's it.
And it is source of constant wonder to us all, why no government appears to be capable of delivering.

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