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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's indicative of the success what just a few terrorists can have.. what impact they can make on the lives of millions of us..
Case in point: Three British Muslims have been convicted of, to quote the BBC itself.."a massive terrorist conspiracy to murder.."
Quite a statement in defining the scope of the plot..
But, Reuters is taking a somewhat less enthusiastic in it's reporting, saying "..Three Britons were found guilty on Monday of conspiracy to kill using homemade liquid bombs, but a jury failed to agree that they intended to blow up transatlantic airliners in an al Qaeda-style attack..."
This was a five month trial, attracting, of course, great concern here in Britain..
It was the investigation of this plot that led to the banning of liquids in on-board luggage and vastly intensified examination of baggage in general..a move which while not only involved some great expense to airport security, but to the length of time passengers had to wait for their bags to load on..
It's become a situation not unlike that in Canada in the 1960's, with the FLQ in Quebec..APC's..armed soldiers on the streets of Ottawa.. What could be Pierre Trudeau's best line was prompted by that terrorist attack in the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec..
A few barns were burnt by the way..
But Trudeau, when told by an astonished reporter that "..(he) could not declare Martial Law..!" simply turned and said "Watch me."
Seemingly a non sequitur there, but the point is, that the FLQ consisted of one cell, numbering 6.
That's all.
It is not being said here that we are facing what has become a constant state of danger.. That, just in the days when the IRA bombed London itself, we face the ubiquitous threat of violent attack by those driven by idealism, but let us not become that which all terrorists aim for, that being timid.. too eager to abrogate rights and freedoms for the sake of 'national security'.
Quoting Reuters again..
" After more than 50 hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury was unconvinced by the prosecution's description of a complex airline bomb plot, finding only three of the defendants -- Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain -- guilty of a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
The jury failed to reach a verdict on four other defendants and the eighth was found not guilty on all charges."
One has to wonder whose ends have been met to best effect.
And lets not even begin about Gitmo, perhaps a facility only the US and the old USSR could ever get away with..
Well.. perhaps modern Russia.. and Georgia.. some of the Slavic Republics.. Africa maybe..
But who knows what goes on there, eh?

And here we go with the housing market.. The value of homes across the country have dropped by between 25 and 30% across the country over the past four months, which of course means that all those who now homes which have been repossessed have lost the same amount of the equity of their investments..
Banks.. equity funds.. speculators.. are all looking at a situation which is approaching something almost Keynesian. While they are currently tightening credit, they are forcing an inevitable loss with ripples which, if they continue to spread, will strangle the downstream businesses which the banks rely upon to keep them solvent.. Fewer housing starts at the ridiculous rate of 54%..
The picture is plain..
A multi-trillion dollar bailout is not the solution Britain needs.. something far cheaper would suffice..
The abolition of the Stamp Tax on houses worth less than $225thousand is a start..
But what's needed more, is a scheme either sponsored by the government or the private housing sector, which allows the price of property to fall even more, coupled with mortgages tied to a government bond. Wherein qualified buyers could take a bank mortgage for say £135 thousand on a property assessed at £200thousand, with the government guaranteeing the remaining £65thousand..bonds which would still be repaid to the government by the home buyer, but at a zero% rate. Conditions the likes of the immediate repayment of any Bonded amount should the property be sold on would have course need ironing out..
We'll see..

Okay. Muscle-flexing over for the time being..
Russia has conditionally agreed to remove its forces from Georgian land.. other than of course Abkhazia and South Ossetia - by the second week of October.
Sudetenland.. Alsace Lorraine..

Interesting that George has set a firm target for troop withdrawal.. 8 thousand boys to come home, by early 2009..
Now George himself will not in control of course.. But he has set what will be a policy that McCain will certainly follow..
And simultaniously put Obama in a position where he's got to have a concrete plan to effect at least that target.
We'll keep an eye out for the counter-bid in the Democratic hustings..

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