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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taliban rebels, still peeved at the killing of Osama, have attacked a Pakistani Naval Airbase.. destroying at least one aircraft..
If anything demonstrates what lengths al Q'aida elements will go to, this is certainly it.. This attack was carried out by twenty men, armed with sophisticated weapons..
The authorities say they have them cornered in a single building now, and they'll either capture, or kill them..
Bet they try and keep at least one alive..
Now they say several planes have been destroyed.. with 11 killed.. The latest is that they've taken Chinese personel hostage..
But the utter hubris.. 20 men attacking a well defended Naval Base.. it seems to put the lie to the recent assurances, that al Q'aida's a dead organization..

It's been two months now since the Japanese tsunami.. and voices are being raised, saying the government's got it wrong..
Two months of cleaning, and still there are hundreds of wrecked cars in berms of sand and dirt.. There are still rolling power blackouts throughout the island, and with plans to build another 5 reactors shelved for the time being.. it's going to be quite the job to get anywhere near to normal again..
With the country officially in recession again, the government's going to be hard pressed to rush the reconstruction process in any sense that the common man will see it.. Their prime concern will be the reopening of the three ports closed by radiation pollution. The only road for Japanese recovery is to re-establish their international trade.. and that depends on those ports..

Spain has jumped on the 'lets revolt against the government' wagon, with thousands taking to the streets protesting the state of their economy..
Also it was voting day, os course.. But even as they went to the polls, some 100 or so politicians were facing corruption charges, both from the ruling Socialist Party, but the opposition party as well.. Many voters were urging that the ballots be left blank.. demonstrating how there was no particular party that deserved their support..
As the Euro totters in that country.. Kahn picked a great time to be charged in New York on a rape charge..

Israel seems somewhat split on it's take on these Arab uprisings.. some think it would be a good opportunity for trade, and for investment in countries the likes of Egypt, where labour's cheap..
While others see it as a possible threat.. a coming together of Arab States, still intent on destroying Israel..
As for the Palestinian point of view.. Egypt seems willing, for the now, to stick to the 1979 borders set after their infamous conflict.. but there's a sentiment..
"Once Egypt is strong, the regional situation will be different because there will be Turkey, Egypt and Iran. When these three are strong and allies, Israel will choose to go away." was the view of one Egyptian businessman..
Dangerous thinking..

Of course, it wouldn't do to pass by Baracks European Tour, which begins today in Ireland.. There, the President will retrace his 'family roots'.. He's also coming here to the UK.. and to France and Poland as well..
It's a week long itinerary, which includes his participation in a Group of Eight meeting, a three day visit here where he'll stay as guest of the Queen at Buck address to the combined Houses in Westminster..and private talks with David Cameron.. Odd that nick Clegg's not invited..
But nevertheless, Barack will be here long enough to get a good feel on the tenor of the country..
And then on to France, a declining power on the world stage, but one which is posting a higher GDP increase than we are..
And Poland.. where there is muttering beneath the surface of a withdrawal from the Eurozone, and the re-adoption of the Zloty.. indurial investment is what Poland will be looking for.. A solid friend among the pre-USSR countries, would be of great strategic value to the US...
It promises to be an interesting visit. But one must wonder, how much will Barack rely on smoke and mirrors.. and how much he can do of substance..
Now here's an aspect of the talks Barack will have with Cameron that could be cause for some concern.. they're announcing a joint task force for 'national security'..
The NSSB.. National Security Strategy Board that is.. will be announced after tomorrows' meeting.. That's just what we need.. another think-tank with weapons at it's disposal.. and what's sure to be a further intrusion of our private lives..
It can only be said, that we are the victims of our own folly.. That we have abrogated the right, the essence within us.. that made us care what the government does for us.. What it does for us, is lauded in the Commons.. what it takes from us, is strictly backroom business..

Yet another disappointment for the pre-Trib believers.. as Rev. Camping's prediction fizzled out..
Point in fact, the Reverend himself hasn't been seen since his deadline passed..
Such a shame.. Campings Ministry, by way of donations, takes in millions..
But today, his radio station remains silent.. his audience on 66 American stations, and those to whom he broadcast overseas is disappointed..
Perhaps he alone, was Raptured..
But hey.. we've got a volcano in Iceland who's ash will likely drift over Europe.. we have a tornado today that tore a huge swath through Joplin Missouri.. and the forecast calls for more to come..
Maybe he meant the biginning of the end...

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