Saturday, August 09, 2008
VAZIANI, Georgia - One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia.
Officials said the exercise, called "Immediate Response 2008," had been planned for months and was not linked to a stand-off between Moscow and Tbilisi....
The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital Tbilisi.....
Georgia and the Pentagon cooperate closely.....
I really hope the US troops, excepting observers & advisers left at the end of those 2 weeks. Part of the justification Russia gave for intervening was that Russian peacekeepers there officially had been killed. Let us hope this does not, in turn, happen to US troops.
This makes it virtually certain the US knew about this in advance. Somebody on the BBC news yesterday intelligently pointed out that this attack has been timed to coincide with the Russian leadership being out of the country in Beijing. If they had reacted slowly Russia might have been faced with a fait accompli.
We can already see the media campaign growing. This morning the BBC said that "it was impossible to tell who fired the first shot". This is a complete & deliberate lie. Whether justified or not, the first shooting was done by the Georgians shelling the Ossetian town (it hardly justifies being called a capital).
There is a very real danger, as with Fort Sumter, Sarajevo in 1914 or the US order to British troops in Kosovo to attack Russian soldiers who had "liberated" the airport, of escalation. Fortunately in the 3rd instance the British officer in command refused to do so. Is Soputh Ossetia worth the bones of an American or British grenadier.
Friday, August 08, 2008
SOUTH OSSETIA - SHOTS HEARD ROUND THE WORLD?
South Ossetia is a very small place. Population 70,000, 2/3rd Ossetians (Noeth Ossetia is part of Russia) & 1/3rd Georgians. There seems no doubt that this current round was started by the Georgian government, nor that some Russian peacekeepers have been killed
There is no readily apparent just solution here. Let it secede & then have a democratic majority vote for union with Russia & the 1/3rd of Georgians will be annoyed. On the other hand the Georgian government is clearly killing civilians which is not to be supported. On the 3rd hand, looking at the map it is clear the Georgia's boundaries would be less manageable after secession - as Russia's are after the departure of Estonia. Does Russia actually wish to be expanded by expanding a new minority group, however pro-Russian they may be?
Legally it is part of Georgia but then the same applies to Kosovo.
And that is the real problem. Georgia is a NATO satellite though, thankfully, not a NATO member or we would be committed to a war.
Damn sure the western press will be siding with the Georgians. Before the 2 elections in the orange revolution in the Ukraine there were a similar 2 elections in the rose revolution in Georgia, with exactly the same tactics, a party with exactly the same name & equally obvious western funding of one side. The only difference was that in Georgia, the opposition, having narrowly lost the first election, with western observers crying fraud, they won the second with over 90 of the vote, with western observers happy.
Georgia is thus now a NATO satellite. Our media, which managed to report Yugoslavia for 18 years without mentioning that the "moderate multiculturalists" we were helping were actually (ex-)Nazis publicly committed to genocide. I think they will again know which side they are supposed to report from.
The Russians cannot be expected to be neutral on this for 2 reasons. Firstly precisely because Georgia has become a western satellite in an area of the world where Russia has always been the only regional power. If they let semi-Russians be defeated, killed & possibly ethnically cleansed everybody will think they can push them around. Secondly because Kosovo has established a precedent. If NATO can grab Kosovo then what Russian government can accept that NATO has a right to tell them the same cannot happen here? This was warned at the time of Kosovo's "independence". In fact up till now the Russians have been opposed to legal secession, partly because they have stood for the rule of international law, when we have not.
Because Georgia is a NATO satellite & wishing to be a NATO member it seems unlikely that this war was started without NATO approval. If so it is an extremely stupid piece of adventurism. There is no genuine NATO interest here, unless starting a fight is in our interest. We should stand clear.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
The Scotsman & everybody else has been reporting heavily on the prat who shimmied up a lamppost with a Tibet banner. Indeed last night News at ten assured us that 2 massive blows had been struck against the Chinese Olympics by President Bush making a speech & by this poster. I commented comparing that the banner hung up was in English. It was therefore not aimed at reaching the Chinese but was purely a western media propaganda stunt. Also mentioning the refusal of the media to report our government's involvement in atrocities in Kosovo & that "I would also be interested to see who paid his fare? Was it him or was it "Students for a free Tibet" & who funds them. Do they pass the hat round the student ref or is it, like the finance for the "democratic opposition" in so many countries, ultimately from western governments?
At the very least that is a question healthy news media would ask"
I got this innocent reply:
139 Yeah1,07/08/2008 13:15:48
"Does anybody seriously claim that some Brit putting up a banner in China is a more important story than Blair & Brown raping thousands of children & dissecting 300-1,300 teenagers?"
I'm sure if Blair and Brown really had raped and 'dissected' thousands of children then that would be front page news around the world.
That story is a figment of your warped imagination however, the media will generally stick to reporting things that have actually happened rather than things that are made up by weirdos like you.
However the reason I am putting this up here is something the same poster (comment 161) said, which I had missed in the main article
if you read the article you will see that he does actually have a job, which he is currently on a leave of absence from: "he was employed as an environmental justice project officer by Friends of the Earth and is currently on leave of absence."
This struck a chord with a previous article I have done here on FoE being largely government funded. I replied (#176)
Actually I said it was teenagers they dissected. They kidnapped raped & sold schoolgirls. Your belief that it would have been front page news, or even reported at all, either around the world or even in this paper depends on the assumption that the media can be relied on to tell the truth.
So clearly I was right on both charges & your certainty as the the possibility of the media not censoring atrocities was unjustified.
Yeah 160 inadvertently confirms my other suggestion that he was being funded by western governments by pointing out that this numpty got leave of absence from his day job with Friends of the Earth. Friends of the Earth, at least in its European incarnation, is overwhelmingly funded by the EU & member governments., while lobbying them for ever more EU eco-fascist regulations.
I think we may reasonably take this as proof of the media, government & politically approved special interest groups acting together to fabricate propaganda & suppress the real truth so that government can produce hobgoblins, be it global warming or China to keep us obedient.
Incidentally the 2nd link above comes from a previous article of mine on our KLA allies kidnapping children There were 2 links on that article, The first, a Reuters report, is quoted in full. The reason I give for doing this is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find it anywhere on the net. Since then the first link held by the university of Buffalo has become "invalid". Google list 3 sites in the world containing the words on my article . A Place to Stand isn't one of them!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I saw this care of Greeniewatch. I had not heard it before & must admit to some surprise, having thought that this at least was a scare which made sense & wasn't really claiming it would destroy the world (at least most proponents didn't.
Once again, like all eco alarmist stories (& to be fair alarmist stories from other sources too) this has not had media coverage which remotely matches the coverage of the initial scare story. In fact at the time of writing the main story thrown up by that term is "THE scientist who coined the term acid rain says the world is close to a [global warming} tipping point" which rather misses the point that he was wrong first time round.
British acid rain is good for Norway's trees, says a Norwegian scientific study.
It wipes out damage caused by pollution from local industry and has helped the country's forests spread by a quarter in recent decades.
The report, by the state-run Norwegian forestry research institute, says that acid rain has been unfairly demonised.
Svein Solberg, of the institute, said: "After 15 years' research, it is now clear to us that, as far as forests are concerned, our fear of acid rain was totally unfounded.
"What we have found is that Norwegian forests have had a growth rate of some 25 per cent over the past 15 years and that acid rain is the reason."
UPDATE Rereading the source I find it is dated in 2004. This explains why it isn't being reported today. It makes it even more disgraceful that it hasn't been reported at all.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee." - F. Lee Bailey
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer
"Judges who think it is their job to produce 'fair and just' solutions to society's problems undermine the essence of law. The rule of law means having rules known in advance and applied to all. You cannot have that if judges base decisions on what they think is fair and just." - Thomas Sowell
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies.” - Groucho Marx
"If the truth of a proposition depended on the number of people who believed it, the earth would still be flat." - Richard Prebble
"Men occasionally stumble on the truth. But most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." - Winston Churchill
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." -- Ronald Reagan (1986)
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." -- Pericles (430 B.C.)
"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." -Voltaire (1764)
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program." - Ronald Reagan
"When people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin
Sunday, August 03, 2008
1) Modern health care (died aged 33)
3) Electric light
4) Cars, trains, buses or indeed anything that goes faster than 10mph
5) Bananas, coffee, tea, sugar, potatoes rice or indeed anything not grown in the immediate neighbourhood at the time
6) A dentist
7) Whisky (or any distilled spirit)
8) Flying to Egypt on holiday (it took him years & he had to take an army with him)
9) Women who don't get pregnant, do shower & don't have smallpox scars (or possibly measles nobody is quite sure what disease were going round then but if so measles killed)
10) Telephones. Running an empire stretching from Yugoslavia to Pakistan by runner would not be easy.
And now here are 10 that will probably be available to everybody in the developed world by 2100 that our present world leaders would give billions for:
1) A cure for Alzheimer's (Reagan had this)
2) Space travel. By 2100 there will be space elevators & people will be able to pop up to orbit by the million (granted a few billionaires have been able to reach orbit in considerable discomfort).
3) A cure to aging - my guess is that maximum life expectancy will be rising more than 1 year per year.
4) Brain computer connectivity. When we have solved the code to connect to the brain it will be like having everything & everybody on the internet available telepathically.
5) Invented GM foods. Currently all we are doing is improving a few foods by giving them longer shelf lives but the potential to create completely new stuff is unlimited.
6) Virtual reality - possibly by direct brain link, possibly by all over body suits.
7) Regeneration of arms, fingers, lungs, teeth or indeed entire bodies.
8) The ability to download yourself into a computer programme thus achieving true immortality.
9) Robot women (or I suppose men). Fully functional & programmable. Now that will change social relations though probably not to the benefit of society as a whole.
10) Mind expanding drugs. That is ones that make you smarter, among other things.
Note that these are not merely for the rich. Anything small which can be mass produced can ultimately be produced cheaply. Most expensive is #9 which I can see costing the equivalent of a small car. Note also that, as with the first lot, I am merely talking about things which produce a massive qualitative change not just a change in quantity since quantity is no problem for world leaders. There will also be things I can't imagine. For example at the rate the internet & computerisation is progressing I cannot believe it will not improve out of all recognition but I can't think how (except for intelligent computers which I hope will not become ubiquitous). Note that there are also "minor" things like being able to travel the world for buttons, either in larger jumbo jets or automated railcars in vacuum tunnels. Then there will be things which will still be expensive like space travel beyond the Moon.
However none of these require breakthroughs in scienctific theory though most of them need refinements that we don't yet know how to do but can reasonably expect we will. This is completely unlike the improvements since Alexander, none of which could even be understood with the knowledge of the time.
Finally note that though I have set these for 100 years that is choosing to err on the conservative side. #1 for example could be with us in 5 years, 10 if the regulators get fussy. #5 could pretty much be here already if it was not being held back by regulators. The main brake may well be, indeed probably already is, government regulation.
I am hardly the first to recognise this & indeed to err on the conservative side:
It is now the fashion to place the golden age of England in times when noblemen were destitute of comforts the want of which would be intolerable to a modern footman, when farmers and shopkeepers breakfasted on loaves the very sight of which would raise a riot in a modern workhouse, when to have a clean shirt once a week was a privilege reserved for the higher class of gentry, when men died faster in the purest country air than they now die in the most pestilential lanes of our towns, and when men died faster in the lanes of our towns than they now die on the coast of Guiana.
We too shall, in our turn, be outstripped, and in our turn be envied. It may well be, in the twentieth century, that the peasant of Dorsetshire may think himself miserably paid with twenty shillings a week; that the carpenter at Greenwich may receive ten shillings a day; that labouring men may be as little used to dine without meat as they now are to eat rye bread; that sanitary police and medical discoveries may have added several more years to the average length of human life; that numerous comforts and luxuries which are now unknown, or confined to a few, may be within the reach of every diligent and thrifty working man.
And yet it may then be the mode to assert that the increase of wealth and the progress of science have benefited the few at the expense of the many, and to talk of the reign of Queen Victoria as the time when England was truly merry England, when all classes were bound together by brotherly sympathy, when the rich did not grind the faces of the poor, and when the poor did not envy the splendour of the rich.
- Macaulay, History of England, Chapter 3