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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Alex Salmond is flexing his muscles already.. his Cabinet is making a move against the Supreme Court in the UK, effectively keeping Scotland bound by Scottish Law.. Here, for example, we have a binding verdict of 'not proven'.. a verdict that reflects directly on the police and the Crown Prosecution, for not providing enough evidence for a clear guilty, or not guilty verdict..
The SNP wants to have Scottish Law recognized by the European Court in Strasbourg..
"We believe the UK Supreme Court should have no role in matters of Scots criminal law .. a view supported by Scotland's leading legal figures.." A quote from Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill..
Yet another devolutionary step.. and so quickly..

The Institute for Public Policy Research..IPPR.. is an independent think tank.. and it's estimates of Britain's jobless is frankly, amazing..
850 thousand people have been out of work for at least a year.. This report says the proportion of unemployed men out of work for more than a year increased from 25% (338,000) in 2009 to almost 40% (568,000).. for women. figures rose from 19% (169,000) in 2009 to 27% (282,000).
Now the government has devised what it calls the 'Work Project'.. Employment Minister Chris Grayling said "organisations will be paid to help people get into work and, more importantly, stay there...We're also introducing Universal Credit, which means people can no longer be financially better off on benefits than in work."
Now all that remains, is to find these long term unemployed, re-educate them, and get them into jobs which have yet to exist..
This type of thinking is 'pie in the sky'.. 'a car in every driveway and a chicken in every pot'.. Rather than waste money on profitless ventures the likes of the 'Works Project'.. it should be dreaming up strategies to entice foreign investment in this country..
For it is only with the creation of new jobs, will any government even start on reducing unemployment..

The battle to replace Strauss-Kahn at the helm of the IMF rages on.. but it would appear French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is leading the pack.. Mexico threw it's hat in the ring today.. naming their Finance Minister as a candidate.. and the African Nations are still trying to agree on a suitable candidate of their own..
But while the African States have been making a fair bit of noise about the next head of the fund be European.. it would seem that's exactly what she's going to be..
She has some big shoes to fill, for whatever his crimes, Domenique was a very capable businessman and banker..

And this has been in the offing for a while.. Moody's will likely downgrade the credit ratings of some 14 British banks.. mainly because regulators have become reticent with their bail out funds..
Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland..Santander UK, Co-Operative Bank, Coventry Building Society, Nationwide Building Society and Bank of Ireland UK could be looking at losing a point.. Moodys is also looking at Newcastle, Norwich & Peterborough, Nottingham, Principality, Skipton, West Bromwich and Yorkshire building societies.. while maintaining a 'negative' outlook on HSBC..
We were warned last month by Moody’s that it could cut its ratings for this country's smaller banks, as it assessed how they would fare without a tacit agreement that the Government would always bail them out if they got into financial difficulty.
The powers that be here.. the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury.. have said that banks that fail in the future should not expect capital injections from the public purse..
And it gets a bit worse.. Financial markets were staggered today among fears that the debt crisis is spreading across the Eurozone.. with policy makers wrangling over how to deal with Greece as it slides inevitably into bankruptcy.. a complete debacle for Spain's Socialist Party this past weekend.. the eternal problem of getting a quick answer from Italy.. the decline of the Euro.. there appears to be a sense of panic in their machinations..
Erik Berglöf, chief economist of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said that public and private sectors should be brought together soon in an “orderly process” that addresses Greece’s mountainous public debts..
The important thing is that this should be done now rather than later, and you should find a consensual solution, an orderly process, that involves both the private and public sectors,” he told The Times.
One might wonder why the question was even asked of Berglof.. his answer is so patent, a first year economics student could have come up with the same..
Unless some European countries decide to move, lock stock and barrel, to Greece, and hire locals.. or unless Saudi Arabia say, began building a series of luxury hotels along the Greek shore, again using local labour.. Until there is a viable increase in foreign investment, and a concomitant increase in tax revenues.. no country as deeply in the hole as is Greece, could climb out..
The same applies to Eire, to Portugal, to Spain, to the Eastern States who want to join the Union.. more jobs are needed... More private and government funds on profitable ventures.. funds administrated honestly and invested in areas in which it would both have an available workforce, and the nous to make a profit..
Until we see these jobs... we'll continue to slide..
So again, the whole structure teeters just a little bit more..

It's odd.. one man's hero is anothers monster.. history abounds with examples, with, in any conflict, the winner coming out looking better..
Tens of thousands of Serbia have turned out to protest the arrest and extradition of Radko Mladic, accused of the massacre at Srebrenica back in '95.. 75 hundred Serbian Muslim men and boys were machine-gunned to death.. To these supporters of Radko, he knew nothing of this atrocity.. that he was concerned during the civil war with preserving their way of life.. protecting the weak and the wounded.. commanding their forces..
Gen Mladic's lawyer.. Milos Saljic.. says his client knew he would be transferred to a UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague..but Radko's legal team is to appeal against the transfer on Monday, after a court said General Mladic was fit to be extradited.
Speaking yesterday he maintained that Mladic's health had deteriorated in the two days since the court's decision.. saying "I can tell you that his health condition today is much worse then yesterday. It is worse psychologically.."
No doubt..
However.. politically speaking..Serbian President Boris Tadic says the arrest brought the country closer to reconciliation.. and opened the doors to European Union membership for Serbia. At least, a crack..

Yesterday.. a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform detonated a vest loaded with semtex at a provincial governor's compound in northern Afghanistan, killing two top Afghan police commanders and wounding the German general who commands NATO forces in the north.. Two Germans and two other Afghans died..
The April 18 attack.. brazen and cleverly orchestrated by al Q' indicative of the high-profile guerrilla attacks that are trademarks of the Taliban's spring campaign. Unable to match the firepower of the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces, 'martyrs' conduct suicide bombings and assaults on government buildings, figuring these types of attacks will prove their resolve.
The terrorists are in a position wherein they need to take back part of the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, their traditional strongholds.. if they hope to retain their power base and the opium fields that fund their movement..
Both military and NATO commanders say this is going to be a tough summer.. with al Q'aida desperate for money, and highly incensed at the death of Osama..

It's unclear how deep of a dent the U.S.-led military campaign made in the Afghanistan 'war on terror' over the winter,or if these attacks are preludes to more widespread fighting by the Taliban this summer. Insurgents need to take back part of the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, their traditional strongholds, if they hope to retain their power base and the opium fields that fund their movement.

Just a line on Nepal.. this 'Arab Spring' seems to have hot this Himalayan nation as well.. An agreement has been reached through governmental concessions.. But something else to keep an eye on..

It appears some agreement has been reached between the various tribesmen who lead those involved in the Yememi protests and the government.. The political crisis has already cost the economy as much as $5 billion and immediate aid is needed to prevent a meltdown in the country with a nominal GDP of $31 billion,according to the Trade Minister.."The economy should not be held hostage to the political crisis, because the situation is alarming," Hisham Sharaf Abdalla said...
This fighting between government troops and armed tribesmen has overshadowed a largely peaceful protest movement that started months ago, aimed at ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year-long autocratic rule.. inspired no doubt by uprisings that brought down the long-standing leaders of Tunisia and Egypt.
We'll see how far the need to keep the economy running versus the rule of Saleh goes.. and how long it will be before government troops are called again to quell a march..

A telling trend demonstrating what some might say is the decline of Western Culture..
New statistics show that married couples in the US.. are in the minority.. That most relationships involve no formal commitment..
The flip in the 2010 Census happened in 32 states... in another seven states, less than 51 percent of households were held by married couples...
And attitudes on marriage are changing, too. About 39 percent of Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete, according to a Pew Research Center study published in November, up from 28 percent in 1978.
What is this world of ours coming to..
More floods, with more rain expected in Montana..
Onward with the Camping Countdown..

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