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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Problems continue at the stricken Fukujima Diiachi nuclear facility.. As the flow of radioactive iodine continues to spread worldwide, local levels continue to rise, now at 4,385 times the danger level in the sea off the reactors.. Just how quickly them can stem the direct flow of pollution from the 4 damaged reactors is yet unannounced, but it remains a concern that will soon be found right around the Pacific Rim, a problem that could affect industries from Alaska to California.. Soon will come the allocation of responsibility for the loss of revenue from foreign industries affected by this disaster.. and that could add billions of dollars to the rebuilding process for Japan.. Meanwhile, as the seaports on the west of Japan remain closed, with only two of five still operational, the auto industry in North America has already felt the pinch.. Toyota Canada has cut all overtime, GM and Chrysler in Detroit have already announced a weeks closure, all for lack of parts usually supplied by Japanese manufacturers. The IAA has already recommended the Japanese government to extend the exclusion zone to double the current 20 kilometers around the plant, and until there is some positive news about the direct leaks from the reactors, this situation will only worsen.. In Libya, it appears the lack of military infrastructure is forcing the 'freedom fighters' to retreat from recent advances.. The fact is, that while they're willing to topple the regime of Mohammar, there's no central command to coordinate attacks and strategic withdrawals.. something that may well soon change.. Washington is remaining quiet about Barack's reference to the possibility of covert military help for the rebels, but it would seem that without outside help, this uprising could well be forced back to Benghazi, where they began.. And, it has been announced that the latest defector from Gadaffi's Cabinet will not be allowed Diplomatic Immunity, which means Moussa Koussa is still under threat of action against him by the International Court.. However, although his influence in the activities of Mohammar's government has diminished over the past year or so..since a reported disagreement with one of Gadaffi's sons.. doubtless it will be taken into account that he has offered himself for debriefing by British Intelligence..
Seems a rat has escaped through the hawsehole, and bolted from Mohammar's government... Libya's Foreign Minister has come to London, saying he cannot serve this regime any longer..
One had to wonder how many would leave this sinking ship, with the threat of inquiries by the International Courts.. further, will this one rat simply be the first in a steady stream..

And more trace rarioactive iodine have been found, further up the Clyde from Glasgow..
Levels are minute, but are an indication that this infusion from the Fukujima disaster will travel worldwide.
If it hits the eastern mainland, China, and all the Far East will suffer, as rice is grown in paddies.. if their water goes off.. so does their crop..

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An interesting conversation concerning the upcoming Canadian election..slated for May 2d..
The consensus seemed to be the Conservatives would take a majority away from this, perhaps for two reasons..
One is the personality of Michael Ignatiev, the Liberal leader, and the generally agreed incompetence of his Vice...
But perhaps the most galling point for the majority of Canadians apears to be Quebec, and the Liberals have been in talks with the Parti Quebecois, the Provincial government. They appear too friendly.
It's the same in Ontario aparently, with the Liberals sure to lose power, after decades in control. The Tories are the odds on favourite..
Canada's a country not spoken about often in the foreign news.. but it's the second largest in the world.. it's the largest exporter of grain in the world.. it's the second largest supplyer of gold in the world... the list coninues..
More should be reading the Toronto Globe and Mail.. or the Toronto Sun.. more often..

Japan appears to have given up on trying to salvage the Fukashima reactors one, two, and three, and will apparently talk to locals about shutting the entire operation down.. The highest levels of radioactive iodine yet have been recorded off the western coast of the island, and there continues to be leakage from the coolant tanks into the waters offshore..
They say it won't be long before a 'special substance' will be poured into the stricken reactors, sealing the leaks, thereby reducing the amounts of runoff..
If it's anything like Chernobyl, we'll see concrete filling the reactors in the near future, leaving the area uninhabitable for at least 20 years or so...
The Japanese government says though, that it's not giving up on nuclear power. But the next they build, will certainly be state of the art..

Britain's going to expel 5 Libyan dilomats, calling them a 'threat to national security'... But the bigger story is William Hague supporting the idea of actually and openly arming the 'freedom fighters'. There is little doubt the French have been surreptitiously doing exactly that for more than a week, but to openly support the uprising is tantamount to calling for an immediate regime change, regardless of cost to Libyan casualties. It's diect interference in what's essentially a civil war, and has far reaching consiquences..
For will we next see the same action in Syria.. or Zimbabwe.. or any other country at war with itself... Our moral position is tenuous at best..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of exceeding interest is the announcement of a new Christian Text found in Jordan, and smuggled into Israel some 4 or 5 years ago..
Now in the hands of the British Museum, this text is being touted as 'the greatest Christian archeology find, ever..', dating back some 1800 to 2 thousand years.
This is thought to be the work of the 'Jerusalem Church', the first of any of the many Christian denominations, and while still in the early stages of translation, could give a more accurate position Christ himself on his divinity, and his message to his followers.
Odds are, it will be allocated to join the Apocrypha..

Rising levels of radiation from the Fukujima nuclear plant have hit the west coast of the US, with fishermen from Washington State through California wondering if their catches will be safe to eat.. Begs the question, will there be court action taken against the Japanese government for loss of revenue in all affected areas..

More than 35 representatives from various governments and organisations are meeting this afternoon in London... all these people to decide the fate of Mohammar..
Perhaps primary among the discussions, is whether the west has the mandate to actually arm the rebels, a practice no doubt going on in an unofficial manner for some time now..
But the reports are stressing the main concern is, what will happen to Libya after Gaddafi's gone.. Representatives of the 'Freedom Fighters' are in attendance, as well as those still supporting the current regime..
If there is any clear consensus from this meeting, it will be loose and indecisive, with no country willing to commit themselves to any concrete action at this time.
This is perhaps going to be a longstanding problem..

And something to take from 'The Lancet' today..
A new study they've completed indicates that the death rate among teens and those in their early 20's, have overtaken that of younger children..
Violence, road accidents, drug and alcohol use, and suicides, have all contributed to this reversal in figures..
While our teen years used to be the healthiest of our lives, it seems societal changes have made the teen years the hardest to get through..
More than 50 countries were among those taken into account in this poll..
A high level meeting in London today, with leaders of the coalition working towards the defeat of Mohammar which will likely include members of the 'freedom fighters' in attendance.. The subject is what will happen in Libya post-Gaddafi.. and exactly what help NATO can do in relation to arming the rebels..
It's a major concern for those gathering today..Libya exports a lot of oil, and to whom and where it goes if Mohammar is ousted..
Barack had been accused of 'dithering' on the Libya question.. of not defining exactly what the American military role will be in this kefuffle. According to Obama, there will no American 'boots on the ground' in this conflict, they don't want another Iraq on their hands. It would seem that Barack's exceedingly concerned with this conflict being labeled 'Obama's War'.. Perhaps with that eventuality, or possibility, than in bringing this conflict to a speedy end..

Japan's in some hot water pun intended..
The situation at Fukajima's getting worse, not better. Radiation levels are growing higher and higher in the sea off the northwestern part of Hokkaido, putting the fishing industry into a situation those in Canada's New Brunswick and Newfoundland could easily relate to. Japanese fish are eaten around the world, but not when they glow in the dark..
As to the effect this disaster is having on the Japanese public itself, it would seem they're taking this phlegmatically, dealing with rising food prices and power cuts with exceptionally stoicism. Had this happened in any western country, thousands of people would have taken to the streets already, blaming the government for that which nature doles out..
It speaks volumes about the difference between Japan and the rest of the world. One can bet, that while Japan may have it's problem for a while yet, it's people will deal with it, and that country won't be long in recovering..

And just a note here on a somewhat disturbing possibility in the British education system..
There has been a poll conducted, aimed at seeing how many students would be interested on sitting in on the recruiting interviews for new teachers..
This idea itself is risible, wherein there is a situation where a 9 to 12 year-old would have a voice in whether or not a candidate is hired.
What does this say for the credibility of teachers themselves? How deeply would their authority be undermined? We're moving in the wrong direction as a society as a whole, in that we're giving a voice to those who do not understand the issues, nor the long term consequences of any action their 'gut reaction' might take them..
We're breeding a contempt for all those in control, as though any problems we may face becomes the fault of those we put in authority, and this, in itself, is a great pity.. It contributes to the destruction of all that has been built up over centuries of consideration, without putting any responsibility on the man on the street at all..
Not good..

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's our turn today.. The TUC has announced a turnout of near 100 thousand protesters to crowd the center of London.. Scotland Yard says they'll have 45 thousand police watching.. Now, the Trades Union Congress have insisted this is going to be peaceful, and all precautions will be taken to keep troublemakers away, and the TUC itself says it will have a thousand stewards on patrol, but this is going to possibly the largest union protest in literally decades, and union gatherings have a history of 'enthusiastic' marchers, taking the Law into their own hands..
The purpose is to tell the government the proposed draconian cuts, are simply too much too fast..too many workers will find themselves on the dole with a recovery still uncertain..
It's moot what effect this action is going to have on Parliament, and the plans to reduce our debt load, but it's a certainty many are travelling to London today, to have their feelings known.. MP's have also said that's it's credible and right to come and protest budget plans, but it would be better for Union leaders to offer a 'credible plan' to bring down the deficit.. So far, the Union has simply offered a Keynsian solution.. spend that which we don't have, to maintain minimum payments on the interest we're paying on the debt..
Not an option says the government.
Something to keep an eye on..

However, this addition being made at just past 11PM.. this whole movement is not what the TUC had in mind when they planned this march.. There were factions, some carrying 'red and black flags', which split off from the main march, and began what's turned into utter chaos in downtown London. There are some 300 people being contained by the police, those who perpetrated the violence against shops and police themselves, near Charing Cross Station..
While the police are saying those who are still in evidence near Trafalgar Square came from the Picadilly area, and not protestors, but are criminals..Equally, a spokeswoman for the protestors is saying that's just Police spin, that this is what they claim in any protest of this size..
This is not the development the TUC wanted at all, saying this confrontation only detracts from their initial purpose..
Too right..

While those working on the Fukajima nuclear plant are not sure where the contamination is coming from, it's been noted idodine radiation levels are some 1250 times higher in the sea around the plant than they should be..
Could it possibly be a crack in the plenum, the cooling container itself, allowing runoff to go back to the waters just offshore..?
While this is a problem we've watched since the earthquake and tsunami for a couple of weks now, it's not to be assumed that the situation is under control. There is still the chance of a meltdown, and further problems for those on that island..

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our world is changing, and rapidly at that..
North Africa in turmoil.. NATO now leading the air attacks in Libya now, with expectation of that coalition taking responsibility for ground action as well within the next couple of days... France still calling for an 'inner coalition', the 11 original member states that pushed for UN Resolution 1973, to hold responsibility for ground attacks.. this, to keep Qatar and the UAE still involved in the decision making process.. It will be a disappointment for Sarkozy, but doubtless some accomodation will be reached..
The leaders of the 'freedom fighters', as they now prefer to be called.. have asserted their victory, and while there is an arms embargo, one wonders how many French and British supplies are surrepticiously appeared in the beaches of Benghasi..
Meanwhile, the turmoil in the rest of the Middle East continues, with Yememi protestors shot and killed by government troops.. and thousands on the streets again today..
And while yesterday's budget here should see petrol prices come down, one must wonder how long this respite will last, as the major oil producing States begin cutting back production once again..
The sigh of relief whispering throughout the halls of the American State Department must certainly be audible..
The US never wanted to be in control of the coalition forces fighting with the rebels in Libya.. and tonight that responsibility has been handed to NATO..
Now the US is a major partner in that coalition, but theirs will not be the final word..
While there are continued reports of shortages of water, food, and power in the cities still being fought over, western reports show a population willing to resist, regardless of the cost.. It's an image that we're being inundated with, that of defiant rebel forces sitting on destroyed government tanks.. We're also seeing pro-government crowds chanting their support for the man who's led them for 41 years.. the same fervent support was also seen in Cuba, for Fidel Castro and his particular form of Communism, in which the State nominally owns everything..
With the nightly bombing of Tripoli, bombers and fighter aircraft will continue their nightly missions, but now, under NATO command..
It would have been even better, had the entire responsibility had been placed on the UN itself, but the certainty of veto's from Russia and China makes that option untenable..
But again there is support from the Arab League.. a necessity for any western action whatsoever..
But, this could turn into another Bosnia.. a protracted campaign...
One can only hope that NATO commanders have a better idea of what it is, and what their role is afterwards should Gaddafi be ousted..
So many questions, but at this point, says NATO, they'll stick within the UN mandate allowed in Resolution 1973.. Maintain a no-fly zone.. and the responsibility to 'maintain the safety of civilians'.. but there will be a separate coalition within NATO, which will include the nations originally involved in this conflict..
Juristictional debates could turn this entire effort into little more than a joke..

Fifty Japanese workers are now willingly absorbing exceptionally high amounts of radiation, as they try and get a better idea of what's to be done to increase coolant, preventing a meltdown.. So far, two workers are missing, and 25 in hospital suffering extreme over exposure..
The effcts on household items already tainted as far away as Tokyo, where there are concerns about contamination of tap water ..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yet another domino falls in the Eurozone, with Portugal expected to ask for a 'bailout' loan, to hold their economy together.. With yesterday's collapse of the government, and the resignation of Socrates, that country is now scrambling to arrange yet another general election, a process which could take months, and those who had supported the government in the past, are now left with a shambolic situation..
There is also concern here in Britain, with the possibility of our participation in this bailout.. with the budget only announced yesterday, there are questions as to whether we ourselves can afford to pump some 30 odd billions of Pounds Sterling to keep yet another economy from total collapse..
Should the Portuguese financial situation worsen, it will cause a ripple effect throughout the EU, with financial institutions watching closely the country's standing with analysts the likes of Standard and Poors, which has already downgraded Portugal to an A3 credit risk..
As yet, Portugal has not followed the actions of Greece and Ireland, both of which accepted loans from the IMF at rates which will not be condusive to a recovery within the forseeable future. But, the odds are stacked against such a loan not being asked for, leaving the future of the Eurozone, the Euro itself, and the EU in some question..
We'll see over the course of today, with the leaders of the EU countries meeting in Brussels, with the plan having been discussions on how the growing debt problems of the member nations might be addressed.
One must ask how many straws it will take, to bring this camel down..

The airstrikes continue in Libya overnight, as coalition sources saying they now have virtual complete control of Libyan airspace.. British forces have conducted some 59 sorties against Mohammar's military machine, and there are no plans to bring this bombing to an end. In fact, with the Libyan airforce effectively out of the equation, those coalition aircraft can now fly lower missions, making targetting government military forces easier.
Meanwhile, the Libyan propaganda machine continues to pump out reports of civilian casualties, while the coalition counterpart insisting their attacks are on military targets only..The latest figures from Mohammar are, that more than 100 civilian deaths have been recorded so far..
Again, with the number of human shields that man has inspired, that figure may well be conservative. But it begs the question, if you choose to become involved in armed conflict, are you then a member of the armed forces, or are you still a civilian..?
Regardless, there are those loyal to the regime who are using themselves as human shields, and that would seem to guarantee there be some 'civilian' casualties, brought about by the actions of the regime itself..
There's a fine line between combatant and non-combatant when it comes to the issue of human shields.. Whether one takes up arms, or deliberately puts oneself in harms way.. one is making a choice to 'serve' the regeme..

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's budget day.. and there is some concern over what might be announced at half-twelve this afternoon..
We've been told that there won't be any drastic changes in our standard of living, that while public sector spending is going to be cut, the public sector should find it easier to borrow. The 5% increase in fuel duty, due to come into effect next month, has apparently been scrapped, and while inflation still makes the price of filling one's tank expensive, at least the government's not taking any more from our pockets.
But the problem is, that quantitative easing will continue to bring down our deficit..
We're not as badly off as say Greece, who's deficit stands at 144% of it's GDP.. Eire, who's deficit will stand at 100% of it's GDP.. We're at 77% of our GDP, and in all cases, it's the interest payments on these figures that will take perhaps decades to bring down to anywhere near where we stood before the recession two years ago..
The consensus is, that this budget will do it's best to ease the minds of corporations, and small businesses, and the odds are good that we'll see a rise in the Bank of England's benchmark interest rate, to help those who's retirements depend on their savings.. There is also the chance that families will see a slight decrease in income tax..
But all is moot, and the proof of the pudding will be what that red briefcase contains, and that we'll need to wait to find out until after Prime Minister's questions this afternoon..
One disturbing situation is that of Portugal, who's Parliament votes this afternoon on austerity measures. Their Prime Minister, rather foolishly, has threatened to resign if the Opposition does not back his measures, and the Opposition has already said it will not. If the Prime Minister does step down, that would leave the country in financial chaos. It would mean a coalition government, with no powers to negotiate a bailout, which may well be necessary. Again, this afternoon will be an important one for Portugal, with the one hope being, regardless of the vote, the Prime Minister will keep his seat. It would take months for another general election, and in that time, the country could collapse.

Meanwhile, Japan's estimate of the cost of repairs surpasses Standard and Poors by some $50 billion dollars.. The latest Japanese estimate is now $300 billionAm, and while the government says there's no chance of a recession, their are concerns about the length of time it's going to take to effect repairs.
There are real concerns about the amount of radiation levels detected in food and water.. Those near the Fukujima Plant have been told there are now 11 types of food they may not eat, due to contamination. Mothers have been warned not to allow their children to drink tapwater..
At the plant itself, there are still major concerns about reactors 3 and 4, with steam still rising from both.. While they have connected electrical supplies to reactor 3, the rate of coolant is still exceedingly slow in accumulating, leaving the possibility of a meltdown a real danger..

Meanwhile, Mohammar continues with his inflammatory rhetoric in Tripoli, as coalition aircraft continue their round the clock bombardments..
There was a report yesterday that one of his sons was killed by a kamikaze rebel aircraft, but confirmation is lacking..
The situation in Libya is becoming something of a problem for those involved in trying to oust the madman in charge.. Just how far the US, Britain, France, Canada et al can go, is as yet unclear. However, it's a sure bet those wanting to aid the rebels are limited in their scope. These opposing the regime are poorly armed, poorly trained, and while willing, are certainly unable to stand up to the government tanks and trained troops.
There's also unconfirmed reports that Mohammar's looking for a place of refuge.. a country which would take him in should he have to leave in somewhat of a rush..
Reports from the area are becoming more and more sketchy, as journalists are now targets themselves.
Yet, it seems we'll persevere in efforts to get the man out.. but how long this is going to take, is becoming more and more of a question..

Monday, March 21, 2011

Human shields around military compounds in Tripoli.. the last resort of a man who's days would seem to be numbered..
Airstrikes have Mohammars troops in retreat around Benghazi and Tobruk, but any push west will necessitate coalition ground troops to take on those who still support Gadaffi,and that's going to mean 'civilian' casualties. Since arms stores belonging to the government have been opened, it raises the question, who actually is a combatant, and who is a civilian, and this is going to undermine support from the Arab League for this action. The plan was, to strike a blow against the regime that would force Mohammar to take stock of his situation, and resign. That has not worked at all, with those loyal defiant in their defence of their Dictator..
What this seems to be leading to, is either an all out attack to kill Gadaffi, or a partition of the country.
It's obvious Mohammar's insane, and is determined to kill his own population by turning them into a threat to the coalition. Yet, the West still maintains their aim is not to kill Gaddafi, but only to remove him.
Internationally, this could well turn into a disaster, alienating the Arab League and Council.. and making those in the West anathema to Muslims in general.
It's not doing much for Barack at home either, as he appears to waffle in his determination to free Libya. Here, the consensus appears to be that one black op... one snipers bullet, could bring this all to an end.
In the east of Libya, there is exceptional support for the liberation of their country, and appreciation for the allied airstrikes..
However, in the west, the pro-Gaddafi population still backs their leader with a fanatic zeal, as demonstrated by their lining up in their numbers to endure civilian deaths when anti-aircraft installations are targeted..
It's a delicate situation, and Gaddafi's an expert in propaganda, understanding that disinformation is as effective as bullets.
While the allied commanders understand that slaughter of civilians must come to an end on both sides, the shadow of Afghanistan and Pakistan looms heavily on their strategy, and how long this action will take, is now a mystery..

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It would seem the consensus among worldwide analysts is, that the situation at the Fukujima Power Plant, may well be beyond control. While all efforts are being made today to keep the reservoir tanks at reactor 3, including using helecopters to drop water into the containment vessel, they have to fly that high to escape the heavy radiation, that much of their loads are being dumped out of position.
Perhaps the worst fear, is what's going to happen when the depleated stores of rods heats to a critical point, melts the zirconium containment tubes, and dumps tons of nuclear waste into the air. To add to this, there's also the fear of the coolant level in the active tanks, for the same scenario could be seen there..
Also, adding to Japan's problems, the Yen has dropped to it's lowest level in decades, which will certainly affect it's international weight. Japan used to have the second highest economy in the world, but with the cost of boosting it's banks worldwide and the reconstruction effort, we could well see a considerable change in the world's economy overall.
And, to add to the problem, there are good possibilities more quakes are in the offing..

And finally, the UN Security Council has approved not only provides a nofly zone, but includes that provision which will allow for the 'reasonable protection' of the civilian government..
Thus, Benghasi's been saved at the very stroke...
This resolution has comitted British and French aircraft to do the job themselves for the time being, but Italy has announced it will allow the use of their airbases for the Eurofighters and bombers.. And what might be the fly in the ointment, the US has not comitted itself to active partake in this plan.
However, the Libyan Airforce counts out at 30 jets..
Not good odds..
Well.. officials misinterpreted figures, and workers at the Fukujima plant have been called back to work.. however, the miliraty's using helicopters to dump water into the caldera, and there appears to be little sign the situation's getting better..
One has to wonder when those helicopters will start dumping cement, after the meltdown..
There appears to be among the Japanese people a stoicism that would, or could, be seen elsewhere. Most of those in temporary accommodation will have literally nothing to go back to.. the cost of rebuilding will add even more burdens on a straining treasury, and they know it. But those who can walk to work, are doing just that. Those who's livings have been washed away, patiently wait.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It would seem that Japan's position of the third largest economy may well be under threat.. Japanese banks have injected more than 200 billion dollars into international banks to ensure loans can still be made without hindrance, but one must ask what will happen when the cost of the earthquakes and tsunami's finally has to be paid.
Conservative figures estimate more than 200 billion alone, to bring the country back to anywhere near what it was.. Workers, normally at their jobs, are either missing, dead, or searching for relatives..
The workers at the Fukujima nuclear plant have been evacuated because of radiation fears, and white smoke or steam can now be seen rising from the reactor. Now, they are using what might be called ad hoc methods, such as pumping sea water into the core as well as fresh.. would seem to indicate all measures are being taken to avert a meltdown..
But, this does not bode well, with comparisons being made with Three Mile Island, and worst, with Chernobyl..

And with Libya, Britain and France have tabled a draft resolution, demanding a no fly zone over the country.. but this dispite possible opposition from China.. the vote must be unanimous..
In the meanwhile, the rebel forces are continuously pushed back.Without international support this rebellion may well be finished..
Seems diplomatic reservations may well put Mohammar back in power again, and if that happens, may the gods help those who tried to change the system..

Monday, March 14, 2011

Twenty seven billion Pounds a year.
Not a figure one might think would be spent on Childrens Aid, or on traffic safety.. but it represents the money spent on dealing with alcohol overconsumption. It represents the costs for Police, for ambulances, for hospital treatments, for damage to private and public buildings.. The alcohol society is an exceedingly expensive lifestyle indeed.
Yet still, the government is rolling along with the alcohol producers, in attempts to cut down on public consumption.. raising prices is not on the table though, because tat issue would have to go through the European parliamentary system, and would take years. Politicians are instead concentrating on the alcohol producers and the outlets where alcohol is sold... and this approach is nothing more than a chimera, designed to give the impression 'something' is being done.
There is a paper to be signed in the Commons today, generally aimed at confining drinking, but senior Health Department officials are planning to boycott the vote, saying it simply doesn't go far enough.
All this, over a drug which historically caused personal and property damage, while cannabis is still 'the great gateway drug', a supposition which has been disproven many many times.
We're a perverse society, steeped in propaganda 70 or 80 years old, and for some reason, more than reluctant to change our ways..
Shame, that..

The UN is almost in agreement in declaring a no fly zone over the country, as pro-Mohammar forces are taking back rebel territories. If Benghazi falls to Mohammar's forces, that's it for the revolution, and all this while the UN sat about twiddling it's thumbs, endlessly debating the 'proper' response.In the meantime, Mohammar is flying mercenaries in en masse, and using weaponry far superior to those untrained troops making up the rebel forces.. It would seem at the moment, that the uprising may well be crushed..
Recall the failure of the international community in intervention in Bosnia, through diplomatic dithering..
Meanwhile, a thousand Egyptian troops have hit the ground in Bahrain, to help settle the problem there. They're there at the request of the government, not to open fire on protestors, but to contain a situation which could eventually lead to open elections.. Some in the government have taken the stand that the appearance of any foreign troops, would be tantamount to a declaration of war, and this in itself is going to unsettle UN diplomats, and further delay any actions taken in the rest of the Middle East..
Not to be accused of Madisonian Manifest Destiny, it would appear that we in the West, because of our addiction to Middle Eastern oil, should be considering these recent developments as matters of National Security, and should be acted upon as such.

Meanwhile, in Japan, it appears the fuel rods of one of their reactors in Fukashima are now fully exposed, which officials are now saying 'could lead to a possible meltdown'..
The situation in that country is deteriorating by the minute.. and yet, the Japanese themselves are holding themselves within their code of conduct. No looting, no riots, just, where possible, life goes on as usual.
Admirable, to say the very least..

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Interesting, this situation we're in the West..
We are that dependant on a continuous supply of gas and oil from the Middle East, we're between a rock and a hard place as to whether there can be a consensus, voted by the UN this time, that would allow foreign boots to hit Libyan soil..
Not to say they can't be supplied with arms, but certainly not those as large or sophisticated as Mohammar's army.. and they're not trained to fight seasoned troops..
There hasn't even been a decision yet on a no-fly zone..
There is a very good chance, that should the world act quickly, Libia will remain a dictatorship, and this uprising will fail..
There are current talks between the west and the Arab League and the Confederacy of Arab States about how far the west can go, but we have nothing from that yet..
One chip the Arab States hold, and that's who's going to get some of the rights to the richest oilfield in the world..
Watch Saudi Arabia..

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So it's civil war in Libya, with international diplomats scrambling to find some unassailable position to support the rebel cause..
Britain, the US, and France have advocated a no-fly zone over the country, but before such a move can be made, they want not only the support of the international community, but a resolution from the UN itself. There are real fears of any 'unilateral' moves towards putting foreign feet on the ground to aid those in revolution, but with all this diplomatic wrangling going on, it could be too late by the time they reach consensus..
At the moment, the rebels are retreating from the key oil port of Ras Lanuf, and while Libya has cut off all oil exports to the west, they continue to supply Russia and China, and it's to be remembered we in the west depend on that country for 12.5% of our total oil supply.. That's no small potato's..

Pensions and those living on retirement savings were hit again today by the Bank of England.. the Interest rate has once again been held at 0.5%, keeping it it's two year level.. There had been some expectation that the rate would rise today, to ease the increases 'quantative easing' has imposed, but no such luck there..
With inflation over 2%, it's not going to be long now before elected officials will find themselves fighting growing popular unpopularity, and at this rate, the Labour Party may well find itself back in power at the next election sinply for no other reason than a backlash against those who're trying to level this country's massive debt load.
It must be said, that unless Labour adopts some form of Keynsian economics solution, putting us further in debt, they'll have no option to continue the policies now in effect. between a rock and a hard place here.. and the sqeeze is getting tighter..

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It appears the Chinese government had been forced to promise some 200 million to build new homes, post haste.. They're facing a FannyMae/FreddieMac situation, with housing prices rising exponentially.. an average of 8% in the cities, and a staggering 25% in the smaller villages.. suburbs effectively..
One would have thought that this would be the result of increased demand by the new workforce who've left the rice paddies, educated themselves, and now want a piece of the pie.. and should have been integral in the plan China's followed so far in aping 'westernism'.. They left out the factor which allowed more and more to afford housing of their own, and of the demand for such accommodation..
It's been noticed that China appears to be following a series of five year plans. From the industrial beginning, to the competent use of the vast pool of talent that country possesses, to slow acceptance of US products and companies.. to entry well into the Western business world...but the question is, what next..?
Is there the remote possibility that the billions of Chinese rise, and demand the franchise..? Very doubtful one would think, their very lifestyle makes that possibility null..

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Interesting times in France.. with the far-right leading the polls..
Seems Sarkozy's shenannigans coulod cost him his job...

More later..

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Working hours, for a writer. The concept boggles the mind, tell the truth.
As though someone involved in the creative act so intimately, that they pour the visions within their minds upon paper, so to speak, and they do it to the sound of a whistle, the tick of a time clock, the measured beat of a metronome.
Ah, would it were so easy, to regulate the creative juices as though with a tap, using only that which one wishes to expend within a certain time limit, while storing the rest in a mental reservoir, ‘til the next appointed hour.
Yet one must not bemoan one’s fate, for it is what one makes of what one is capable. Thanks must be given that any form of expression is possible, despite the times the well appears to dry.
Indeed, there are those who have no well, no fountainhead, no means to express, articulate, exorcise, and they are those perhaps who should be attended to. They are those who should be subject to studies, tests, measurement and census, for they are those who might count themselves the majority.
Vicarious life, or lives, through mass communication, and continuous improvement on the virtual reality of gaming, are among the tools we’re using to forge a worldwide society, linked by apathy.
Regardless, if this story is to be told, it will not be by a schedule, nor written solely in the authors favourite brand of pencil on foolscap in longhand, nor while sitting on one’s childhood stool by the light of a bedside lamp using an Underwood typewriter..
It will spurt in irregular pulses, as life’s blood from a severed artery, and bulge from the main body occasionally, as intestines from a gaping belly wound. It will spurt upon the reader, as pus from the lancing of a long-festering wound.
Few lives are what might be called pleasant; fewer still those which might be happy. Life is for most, a series of events, seemingly unconnected, which lead from one catastrophe to another. For most, stress is so ubiquitous, it has become the norm, and we exist from one crisis to the next.
It might even be uncomfortable to be between agitations, for there is always the knowledge this well-being cannot last.

Thursday, 3d March 2011

We seem to have proven our point with the events of the past seven years. It’s as though the Four Horsemen have been set loose, with Famine, Pestilence, and War
worldwide. Even in the most prosperous nations, there are the starving; even in the most prosperous of nations there are those going untreated for debilitating diseases; especially the most prosperous nations are undergoing Civil Wars. The rider on the Pale Horse, is everywhere.
We have built a world which revolves around economics, and it is failing. The common greed of even those overthrowing oppressive regimes are doing so to gain what they see as a piece of the pie..
Man has lost, for the most part with the exception of Zealots, lost a moral and spiritual direction. People are far too busy earning, to take the time for introspection.
The debts of the various countries of this world are beyond calculation, and will prove impossible to repay given any time frame, and interest payments of IMF loans will continue to stifle any real improvements for the common man, and at those point, this system is heading for a grand fall..
Morality seems to be the main victim in this change, for it’s no longer possible to fail. The entire house of cards rests on the strongest economy holding the weakest afloat. This is not a moral action, but obfuscation and deceit on the part of those who have led us to this point. Too long we have been inculcated with material possessions we truly cannot afford. Too long have we given in to the base compulsion to mortgage ourselves for unnecessary luxuries.
Now, we find ourselves in a situation wherein any government we elect will, of necessity, cut back on things we considered ‘rights’.. And the unfortunate outcome of that, will be a constant change in leadership, each facing the same problems, none of which will they have a more palliative solution for.
We are quickly approaching the year 2012, in which the Aztecs predicted that in December of that year, this world will end.
Be it the world inn it’s entirety, or that which we have to know, 2012 could indeed be a decisive year..

Must make a note of Libya here.. Mohammar remains ensconced in Tripoli, while to the east of the country Benghazi's in rebels hands. It's as though a line has been drawn through the middle of the country, and both sides are concerned that neither have the military might to dislodge the other.
But Mohammar's worried. He's had those air force squadrons still loyal to him, bomb ammunition dumps in the east.
What's perhaps going to happen is Mohammar will followed a scorched earth policy using the Imperial Guard, who have a vested interest in keeping their leader in power..But a problem exists, with defections from the Revolutionary and Imperial Guards..
Either way, this may be a protracted slugging match between the two factions, with the consequence for us being higher petrol and heating oil prices, for the foreseeable future..

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Amazing, that which is happening in North Africa..
Libya, Oman, Ymen, all in revolt against timeless regemes..
These people are willing to face, and take up arms against their leaders, and is perhaps the first such action since the establishment of America. While thousands crowd to leave the country in fear of violence in the streets, Libya in particular is on the verge of civil war. If the other countries don't recognize the will of the people, the same could happen again, and again..
What is curious, is that while David Cameron stood and threatened Mohammar with a no fly zone, Hillary hinted at the possibility, and Barack's said nothing at all..
It seems the fact that Libya has deposits of sweet oil surpassing Saudi Arabia, it may well be that if the need arose, Barack could stand and say 'hold on, let this man leave on his own terms..'
Odd, that Britain, this time, is the one to sabre rattling..

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

It would seem the upset in the Middle East has hit home.. £1.30 a litre for unleaded petrol, and £1.35 for diesel.. Food prices have risen on this island by some 5%, driving more and more to generic brands. An interesting point, while we have the highest food prices in Europe, it's come out that discount grocery stores the like of Aldi, are used by only $.5% of our public, compared to say Germany, where those same outlets are used by 43% of the population.. It would seem the use of Tesco or Safeway or Morrisons, is ingrained in the British psyche. But this is not a temporary situation.
If this nonsense in the Middle East does not die down, the price of crude will continue to rise, with some analysts expecting $130 to $150 a barrel.. Brent Crude stands at $114 a barrel today, and that is risible..

As for Libya, Mohammar is defiant, as tens of thousands try to leave the country to escape what they see as an eventual armed conflict. David Cameron proposed a 'no fly' zone over Libya to control government forces from using aircraft and gunships against the population in the east of the country, which has effectively separated from the west. This is under serious consideration by the US and the UN, and would be tantamount to an armed response to oust Mohammar..

But by far, the effect these disruptions are having on the British man on the street, is starting to hit pocketbooks.
We've marched to war for less..

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