Saturday, March 31, 2007
This shows how interlinked the world economy is & how near the edge the US economy is that it can be at risk from a very few striking "cheese eating surrender monkeys".
The world economy is doing so well that we can afford this sort of "environmental" Ludditism, right up to the point when we can't.
A strike by workers at the French Mediterranean oil terminal Fos-Lavera, in its third week, has begun to hit refinery output and raised concerns over Europe’s ability to export fuel to the United States.Again I want to say how poor our media is limiting themselves to what our leaders want to publicise or to the relentlessly trivial. Doubtless, if the US really does run into a shortage it will be a massive news story & journalists will be expressing surprise that nobody (else) saw it coming.
Strikers met port and Gaz de France officials on Thursday in a fresh bid to find a way out of the 16-day strike.
Some refineries could start shutting down as soon as Friday if the dispute is not resolved, operators said. Fos Lavera is the world’s third-biggest port for oil products with 64.2 million tonnes moving through it annually.
Technical analysts at Barclays Capital said oil would find it tough to break through $70, for the time being at least. US crude hit a record $78.40 last July.
“All signs warn that oil will struggle to make headway above $70 first time around and at the very least a period of consolidation is needed,” they wrote in a report.
Oil rose 1 per cent yesterday to nearly US$67 a barrel on intensifying global supply worries stoked by the row between Britain and Iran and a strike in France that threatens to crimp summer fuel supplies in the United States.It doesn't take much imagination to realise that Iran is doing very nicely out of this crisis or to suspect this may be why they are doing it. Such imagination, however, would complicate the story.
Light crude for May delivery rose 53c to US$66.56 a barrel, having jumped 3 per cent a day ago.
London Brent crude rose 83c to US$68.71 a barrel, climbing for the eighth day in a row.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Where Taxpayers Money Comes From
Income tax £157 (£12.15)
National Insurance £ 95 (£7.35)
Excise £ 41 (£3.17)
Corporation Tax £ 50 (£3.87)
VAT £ 80 (£6.19)
Business Rates £ 22 (£1.7)
Council Tax £ 23 (£1.78)
Other (capital gains, stamp duty,
£ 84 (£6.5)
TOTAL £553 (£42.8)
Total expenditure for Scotland for 2004-5 was £47.7 billion (£25.8 billion by Holyrood) c/o Brian Monteith's new book Paying the Piper so adding 10% for 2007 I assume £52.47 billion. The UK figure is £587 billion which puts our spending at 8.9% (somewhat higher but as I said I am taking no account of oil & certainly a far smaller deficit than the £50 billion the EU costs us).
Where Taxpayer's Money is Spent
Health £104 (£9.26)
Transport £ 20 (£1.78)
Education £ 77 (£6.85)
Defence £ 32 (£2.8)
Nat Debt Interest £ 30 (£2.67)
Industry, Agriculture, Employment & training
£ 21 (£1.87)
Public Order £ 33 (£2.94)
Housing £ 22 (£1.96)
Social Protection £161( (£14.3)
Other - public services, culture,
sport international development, civil servant
pensions etc £ 59 (£5.25)
Total £587 (£52.47)
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Emissions of carbon dioxide from the power sector are shooting up because of an increasing switch from burning high-priced gas to cheaper, but more carbon-intensive, coal, says the report, commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).Since this comes from the Indie & WWF (some of these wrestlers must have fallen on their heads to often) they make no mention of the real cause - that most of Britain's 20% of electricity from nuclear reactors has already closed. They also make a token remark about renewables though semi-acknowledging how useless they are, though in fact in fact windmills are obviously not running nearly fast enough to keep up. No mention either of the 5% of the UK's power which comes from France, which doesn't count as nuclear once it reaches our side of the Channel.
They have rocketed by nearly 30 per cent since 1999, with a rise of 6 per cent in 2006 alone - and this raises "serious concerns", the report says, about whether the Government can meet its proposed target under the recently launched Climate Change Bill to cut emissions by 26 per cent to 32 per cent by 2020......
In Britain, electricity consumption continues to rise, despite government promises of a "step change" in energy efficiency - and although renewables are making welcome progress, they are having to run fast to keep up with rising demand
The twists & turns these people are going through to pretend they have a clue.
Both A Place to Stand & 9% Growth Party are on the banned list. I suspect this must beentirely automatic because the mentions of China here have tended to defend them from the criticisms of our own media & the several mentions on the other have all been comparing their economic growth favourably with ours.
I don't suppose not reading my prose does them any harm but the all encompasing nature of their firewall must limit their interaction with the rest of the world.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
“Much of what has been written gives the impression that there were not many slaves and minimizes the impact that slavery had on Europe,” Davis said. “Most accounts only look at slavery in one place, or only for a short period of time. But when you take a broader, longer view, the massive scope of this slavery and its powerful impact become clear.”It is politically correct to ignore this because it allows us to emote about the victimhood of blacks, but it also allows us to ignore that European culture was not always the world's dominant form.
Davis said it is useful to compare this Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy, more white Christian slaves were probably taken to Barbary than black African slaves to the Americas, according to Davis.
While 12 million Africans transported is a large number it is worth remebering that it is about 6 years of malaria deaths, something we could prevent if we wanted to.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Peter Ellis's letter (23 March) comparing Scotland's growth to Albania's is wrong to say that theirs, at 6 per cent is the best in Europe. Ukraine (9.4 per cent), Lithuania (9 per cent), Latvia (7.4 per cent), Russia 7.3 (per cent), Belarus (6.8 per cent), Moldova (6.3 per cent). Estonia and Ireland have also had very impressive long-term growth.This is Mr Ellis' original letter on which I have commented. The growth figures are from Geography IQ Others will differ slightly depending on the year under question & counting methods - but not by much.
Of course, many countries are doing as well or better: China's 9.1 per cent growth means GNP doubles every eight years.
However, the basic point is true. Scotland (long term rate 1.5 per cent), and indeed the United Kingdom (2.5 per cent) could, and should, do far better if we only attempted to make growth the priority these nations do.
All power to the Albanians where it is deserved, but I do not think we are unable to match or exceed them.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
SLAVERY - THE APOLOGY WE WON'T BE MAKING
At the same time you will see no apology for the fast growing form of slavery which our government & these same great & good are currently directly complicit in.
In 1999 we appointed our KLA hirelings, a NATO armed group of "freedom fighters" drawn from drug lords & brothel keepers, as the "police" of Kosovo. Since then they have been allowed to kidnap thousands of schoolchildren to sell to western Europe as brothel slaves.
This Reuters report from 1999 got zero coverage in the UK media & even on the net is difficult to trace
Dec 16 (Reuters) - British troops said on Thursday that theyBy 2004 this had become more institutionalised & even Amnesty International, who had lied & propagandised repeatedly to help the KLA & NATO make war on Yugoslavia had noticed.
had stepped up patrols in the streets of Pristina to allay fears that
teenagers are being abducted into prostitution.
``There is a fear that teenagers -- both boys and girls-- are being
abducted off the streets,'' said Major Simon Plummer, of Britain's Royal
``What we are trying to do is quell this fear by increasing patrols
on the streets,'' he told Reuters during a lightning visit to Pristina
by British Defence Minister Minister Geoff Hoon.
Plummer said there were reports of up to 15 abductions in the last
U.N. and NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo are fueling a human trafficking industry that sexually exploits women and girls as young as 11, according to a report released today by Amnesty International.The Amnesty report also went unmentioned by our media.
The report, titled "So Does It Mean That We Have The Rights?" Protecting The Human Rights of Women And Girls Trafficked for Forced Prostitution in Kosovo, asserts that after 1999, when 40,000 Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops and hundreds of U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) personnel arrived in the breakaway Serb province, "a small-scale local market for prostitution was transformed into a large-scale industry based on trafficking predominantly run by organized criminal networks."
International personnel make up about 20 percent of those using the trafficked women and girls, Amnesty said.
......The fact that the supposed guardians of women's rights are actually clients leaves the women trapped, Amnesty said. "Women and girls are sold into slavery. They are threatened, beaten, raped and effectively imprisoned by their owners. With clients including international police and troops, the girls and women are often too afraid to escape, and the authorities are failing to help them," Amnesty said. "It is outrageous that the very same people who are there to protect these women and girls are using their position and exploiting them instead Â and they are getting away with it."
Furthermore, the rights group said, when UNMIK police conduct raids on brothels they often cite the women for prostitution and then do not uphold their rights as detainees.
......Amnesty is calling on UNMIK and the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo to crack down on the trafficking rings and to protect victims of trafficking instead of exploiting or persecuting them. The group also called on the United Nations and NATO to ensure that all military and civilian peacekeepers Â who enjoy general immunity from prosecution Â suspected of criminal participation in trafficking are brought to justice (Amnesty International release II).
U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of fueling trafficking in the Balkans before. In October 2000, former U.N. police officer Kathryn Bolkovac, an employee of the private security firm DynCorp, told superiors that U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia were using prostitutes as young as 15 and were failing to intervene in the abuse of the women. She also accused DynCorp employees of running a prostitution ring (U.N. Wire, Aug. 7, 2002). Bolkovac was fired and awarded $177,000 after a British court found she was wrongly terminated (U.N. Wire, May 5, 2003).
Despite all the heroism of people like Wilberforce historians tend to accept that a major reason slvery died out is that with the industrial revolution brutr musclework done by slaves, whose every incentive is to avoid work, was uneconomic. Unfortunately sex slavery is not only economic, indeed highly profitable, as society gets richer & profitability turns from manufacturing to more conventional service industries (or perhaps less conventional) it is likely that this is going to be ever more profitable.
It is clear that, government having started supporting this we are seeing it growing, in Bosnia & Montenegro, where the regimes are under our direct control. We are also seeing KLA "traders" extending their range across much of eastern Europe. This is not surprising. In the USA Prohibition provided the background & the support of corrupt officials the basis, for the growth of the Mafia which has infiltrated most of US society & is in place 80 years later, even after tinitialial soil for it has gone.
I think we are seeing slavery being re-established in our lifetimes, with the complicity of our governments.
If this is not to become fully established it must be fought. If a woman wants to become a prostitute I have no problem with that - it is lsvery we must oppose without compromise. In Britain holding slaves should be a crime comparable to murder. Donne may have said that any man's death diminishes me but I think the execution of a pimp slaver would not diminish mine - the true diminution of us all as humans is toleratingong this. We should give British citizenship to unwilling girls freed in Britain, who are willing to testify - it is the very least we, as a society, owe them. We should charge policeman & politicians who, by looking the other way, are accessories to this as we would treat accessories to murder. We should make using such girls a serious criminal offence, except where those involved promptly tell the police & give full co-operation.
This must be made entirely unacceptable if a free society is to be maintained - the effects on society are far more debilitating than drugs.
And we must do the same in Kosovo & elsewhere. The crossover between this & the genocide we supported is clear - for example Nasir Oric, perpetrator of the real Srebrenica massacre is running a "night club" in Tuzla. We have already debased ourselves by our participation in this. It is a pure moral issue but we need to notice the existence & growth, of slavery in Europe & act firmly to stop it.
Do you agree with Canon Kenyon Wright who said that catastrophic global warming is "no longer in serious doubt"?Well the Scotsman used my question & I apologise for my mistake in thinking that Canon Wright was a C of S devine.
Neil Craig, Glasgow
Global warming is not in doubt. The only area of debate is on the subject of what is causing it.
While the climate always moves up & down the fact that it is down since 1998 means that the question of whether we are in an up phase or not must be, at least, in doubt. Nonetheless, since he acknowledges the doubt as to whether, or to what extent, mankind causes it, this is a better answer than we might have expected a few weeks ago.
All this was in response to Cannon Wright's letter, in respone to one of mine, which was much more specific
There is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is a reality, to a degree never even remotely approached at any previous stage of history, and that the primary cause is human activity. These facts are no longer in serious doubt.The degree to which this appears, 4 months later, to be dated, shows how the debate is no longer "over" but is being won.
The neo-conservative press and radio in the United States constantly confuse people there by presenting the arguments for and against as if there was some sort of balance to be struck. They ignore the fact that the vast majority of serious scientists now accept both the fact and the human causes of global warming, while those who claim otherwise seldom have any real authority and often are funded by groups with a vested interest in avoiding the implications of the reality.