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XII-2005: 09 18 19 19-2 20 24 25 27 | I-2006: 01 01-2 02 03 04 08 10 15 15-2 17 18 18-2 19 20 21 23 25 29 | II-2006: 02

New translation, the Magna Carta




bush - state of the nation address 2006

“....The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.

“Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.”

“ Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.

“Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs -- more than Japan and the European Union combined. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.

“The American economy is preeminent, but we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors, like China and India, and this creates uncertainty, which makes it easier to feed people's fears. So we're seeing some old temptations return. Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy -- even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction -- toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.”

This was followed by various interesting comments on the US economy - reading of this section is recommended.

Then on to energy. This area is ropey, but the Americans are slowly adjusting to reality.

“Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

“So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy....

“Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025 [...]. ”

“ [...] Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs [...].”
“ [...] Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row. [...] ”

Bush sounds a bit tired - not one of his best speeches, rambling, even shallow at times, but also interesting in parts.

the web address for the article above is

the France Zone at
Economics and money zone at




interview with one of america’s most powerful voices - mccain

For those who read with care, advised reading for background.

“Are you thinking of a specific earmarking reform?”

“We're taking that on head on. This Abramoff thing is not over yet. It's like any other evil, it has gradually increased. In 1984 Reagan vetoed a highway bill with 152 of these special projects; the last highway bill had 16,140 special projects. Evil will grow unless it is eradicated.”

“Do you believe the Republicans will suffer for this?”

“I don't know, err, to be honest I don't think so.”

“What should Bush do about it?”

“I would like to see him veto the next appropriations bill which has a single pork barrel project in it.”

the web address for the article above is

confusion in iran - or confusion outside iran - or trust the fossil media - or all three

And so much fuss over a possible tiny bank transfer.

Iran appears to have a way of running affairs rather alien to sanity. The idea seems to be to say everything and its opposite in the hope of befuddling the less mentally organised; and it sure seems to work with ‘news’papers such as The Scotsman, as well as with others.

“A deputy central bank chief categorically denied that Iran was moving foreign currency out of Europe to Southeast Asia. The comments appeared to flatly contradict previous reported remarks by the bank's president.

“ "At the moment, Iran does not have any schedule to transfer its foreign exchange accounts to the named countries," Mohammad-Jafar Mojarad told the state news agency IRNA when asked if Iran has transferred the accounts to Asia.”

“[... ] meanwhile Iranian President Mahmoud Ahminastraightjacket called on Islamic states to use their economic power against the West.

“ "Along with the political war, there's an big, hidden economic war going on and Islamic states should use their potential to cut off the hands of the enemy," he said. ”[Quoted from]

Meanwhile, Reuters thinks Iran is talking to them

“Iran, which has said it is shifting its money out European accounts as the threat of U.N. sanctions mounts, will not move its currency assets to Asia, a deputy central bank governor said on Saturday.”

and “several economists” are also in on the act:

“Several economists have speculated Iran could prefer to move its assets to Gulf and other Islamic accounts.”

As for The Scotsman:

The Scotsman sitting on Ben Nevis says Iran pulls $50bn out of EU banks.

related material
on ahminastraightjacket - is victor davis hanson losing heart?
on the fruitcake in iran

the web address for the article above is

bliar’s next step - any caution or conviction now to be on record for 100 years

“Police to file all offences for life

“RECORDS of all criminal convictions and cautions will remain on police files for 100 years after chief constables overturned the principle that offences can be "spent", The Times has learnt.

“The change, which comes into force in April, will make it harder for people who committed youthful indiscretions to get employment. One in three men and one in ten women has a criminal conviction by the time they are 30.

“Some six million criminal convictions, including cautions and minor offences already on record, will now be kept for life.”

Trust me - I’m Tony, the public liar

“More information will be available but its use will be responsibly controlled - we are not letting everyone have sight of this material. There has to be a legitimate reason for access, for us to disclose it.”

related material
how a police state works

the web address for the article above is

degradation of society by socialism

John Prescott (UK deputy Prime Minister) - the genuine voice of socialism.

“If you set up a school and it becomes a good school, the great danger is that everyone wants to go there.”

An example of the socialist mind-set and the hatred of excellence.
A useful item by Charles Moore.

“Try to apply the concept to other matters. How does it sound when you say: "If you set up a good shop, the danger is that everyone wants to go there"? How about: "If you build a nice town, the danger is that everyone wants to go there"? Or: "If you set up a good neo-natal unit, the danger is that everyone wants to go there"? ”

Pray to the lunatic notion of ‘equality’ and destroy value.

the web address for the article above is

on ahminastraightjacket - is victor davis hanson losing heart?

“Iran's president may be evil, but he understands the Western postmodern mind all too well

“ "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

“So rants Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Given his apocalyptic rhetoric, we can understand why President Ahmadinejad might want an arsenal of nuclear missiles. He'd be able to shake down a constant stream of rich European emissaries, threaten the Arab Gulf states to lower oil production, neutralize the influence of the United States in the region - and, of course, destroy Israel.

“In all his crazed pronouncements, Ahmadinejad reflects an end-of-days view: History is coming to its grand finale under his aegis. Indeed, President Ahmadinejad magically entrances even his foreign audiences into stupor. Of his recent United Nations speech, he boasted: "I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there. And for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink."

“So the name of the haloed Ahmadinejad will live for the ages - but only if he alone takes out the crusader interloper in Jerusalem . The Shia may be the dispossessed of the Muslim world, but, as the messianic figure the Great Mahdi come to earth, Ahmadinejad can do something for the devout not seen since Saladin expelled the infidels from Palestine.

“But for now, barring divine intervention, Ahmadinejad's task poses two small hurdles: getting the bomb and preparing the world for Israel's demise.

“Oddly, the first obstacle may be easier. An impoverished Pakistan and North Korea pulled it off. China and Russia will sell Tehran anything it cannot get from rogue regimes. Ultimately, Moscow and Beijing will probably veto any punitive action of the United Nations.”

So ignore them. ‘Moscow’ and ‘Beijing’ also have some hard thinking to do.

I constantly think that very few people understand how serious these problems really are. Iran must be controlled, it is not a game with any other options.

While I cannot clearly assign time tables, I would expect nuclear exchanges somewhere within the next ten years if the West allows Iran to continue on the nuclear rocket path.
Iran must be stopped while you still have some control of the situation. If the West does not act in time, the situation will slip ever further out of control.

This is no new message:

  1. I have repeatedly said Iraq is a benevolent tea party compared with what could develop.
  2. I have repeatedly stated that my great fear is a lack of will in the West.

It is clear from long-term reading of Victor Hanson that he has long had my second fear in his mind.

I do not know what this latest item from him signifies, maybe it is ‘political’. This would be a new move from him (Hanson is one of the very few I know who ‘tells it like it is’ and is realistic). The alternative is that he is steadily losing faith.

All the blather from old Europe shows an area in terminal cultural decline, much more so than any other area. (Europeans are immensely vulnerable if they prat around.)

related material
on the fruitcake in iran

the web address for the article above is

curtains for al-quaeda?

“Which is my third point. If all goes even reasonably well, and if a combination of elections and prosperity is enough to draw more mainstream Sunnis into politics and away from Baathist nostalgia, it will have been proved that Bin-Ladenism can be taken on - and openly defeated - in a major Middle Eastern country. And not just defeated but discredited. Humiliated. Is there anyone who does not think that this is a historic prize worth having? Worth fighting for, in fact?” [Quoted from]

marker at

“The battle, which the insurgents said was fought on Oct. 23, was one of several clashes between Al Qaeda and local Iraqi guerrilla groups that have broken out in recent months across the Sunni Triangle.

“American and Iraqi officials believe that the conflicts present them with one of the biggest opportunities since the insurgency burst upon Iraq nearly three years ago. They have begun talking with local insurgents, hoping to enlist them to cooperate against Al Qaeda, said Western diplomats, Iraqi officials and an insurgent leader.”

“But the split within the insurgency is coinciding with Sunni Arabs' new desire to participate in Iraq's political process, and a growing resentment of the militants. Iraqis are increasingly saying that they regard Al Qaeda as a foreign-led force, whose extreme religious goals and desires for sectarian war against Iraq's Shiite majority override Iraqi tribal and nationalist traditions.”

“In town after town, Iraqis and Americans say, local Iraqi insurgents and tribal groups have begun trying to expel Al Qaeda's fighters, and, in some cases, kill them. It is unclear how deeply the split pervades Iraqi society. Iraqi leaders say that in some Iraqi cities, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and local insurgent groups continue to cooperate with one another.”

“The tribe was furious, and its members tracked down the three men who carried out the killing. Elders from the tribe held a trial in a local farmhouse and interrogated the men for days. They said they worked for a fighter from Saudi Arabia who bankrolled the attacks, Mr. Samarrai said.

“The Samarrai brothers said Al Qaeda's appeal was based less on religion than on money. The Iraqis who killed the sheik were believed to have received $500 to $1,000 for the job, and the same amount for dozens of other similar killings, Waleed al-Samarrai said. He said local insurgents had changed allegiances, lured away by Al Qaeda's money.”

“Despite such tensions, the Americans face significant challenges in trying to exploit the split. "It is against my beliefs to put my hand with the Americans," said an Iraqi member of the Islamic Army who uses the nom de guerre Abu Omar.

“Still, he said in an interview in a house in Baghdad, he allowed himself a small celebration whenever a member of Al Qaeda fell to an American bullet. "I feel happy when the Americans kill them," he said.” [Quoted from]

looks like al-qaeda hurting - bin liner wants a ‘truce’

Naturally, the proposal is wrapped up in the usual threats.

the web address for the article above is

tony blair and ‘crime’

From a correspondent:
“The police appear to be busy 'solving' crime that Bliar wants solved, rather than the crime which ommunities need solved.”

There is plenty more on that theme.
Bliar does not want crime solved,
Bliar wants the appearance of activity, any activity, especially pointless activity.
He has pushed that into all areas.

It is a ‘policy’ that provides make work ‘jobs’.
It is a ‘policy’ that provides clients for his socialist state.
It is a ‘policy’ that provides a constant stream of headlines in the fossil press.

It is a make-believe world, the make-believe world for which every socialist strives and dreams.

The more supposed ‘criminal offences’ a government can generate, the more excuses they can find to interfere in your life. Hence socialist governments can be, in part, identified by the number of ‘laws’ they make up. The more ridiculous and ill-defined those ‘laws’ are the better they are for the purposes of repressive government.

The objective is to criminalise everything and nothing; to put the citizen in a position of uncertainty, where they have no idea whether their actions are criminalised or not; to put the government in a position where they can arrest anybody for anything or for nothing at all; to spread insecurity and fear amongst the population - in a word to terrorise.

the web address for the article above is

e.u-ville whines and whines, while consuming ever more u.s. produce

From Anti-Americanism in World Politics, due to be published this autumn by Cornell:

“ In the time period studied, the European sales of all six firms rose. But the sales of the U.S. firms grew more rapidly. From 2002-2004, Coke's sales in Europe rose 37 percent, McDonald's rose 31 percent, and Nike's rose 40 percent. By contrast, adidas-Salomon's Europeans sales rose about 8 percent, Cadbury Schweppes' rose 28 percent, and Nestlé's rose about 2 percent - albeit off a gigantic base. What's more, "all three American firms increased the share of their [overall] revenues deriving from Europe." In other words, as they were demonstrating against U.S. policy and telling market researchers they'd boycott Coca-Cola and McDonald's, Euros were increasingly lacing up their Nikes to walk down to McDonald's, where they'd wash down the junk food with a supersized Diet Coke. The conclusion: "Reports of consumer anti-Americanism damaging sales of U.S.-based firms in Europe are highly exaggerated." ”

the web address for the article above is

closing in on iran

  • russia increasingly signalling strong opposition to nuclear iran

    “Russia's priority task in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program is to prevent the violation of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

    “ "The major task for us is not even our bilateral relations, or our investments in Iran's economy or our economic benefit from cooperation with Iran. In this situation, our priority task is to prevent the violation of the nuclear non-proliferation regime," Lavrov said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

    “ "We couldn't calmly watch what happens until we make sure that we'll
    be able to avoid this threat," he said." ”

  • fortunately america is not messing around over iran whatever old european socialists may dream

    “Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers said Sunday there must be major immediate diplomatic action on Iran's nuclear activities, and that the option of military action cannot be taken off the table.”

    “Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, told "Fox News Sunday" that the United States should work to win over those two nations [russia and china].

    “If we're going to put an economic stranglehold on Iran, which we should be doing -- it's preferable to military, any military option, and maybe more effective -- we need the Russians and Chinese.

    “They need stuff from us. They need trade. They need all kinds of assistance. We ought to play hardball with them," he said. "And if President Bush were to do that, either publicly or privately, I think he'd get broad bipartisan backing."

  • even el baradei talks of force over iran

    “Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, has admitted that after three years of studying Iran's nuclear facilities, he is still "not yet in a position to make a judgment on the peaceful nature of the programme".

    “ "If they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponisation programme along the way, they are really not very far - a few months - from a weapon," he told Newsweek magazine in an article published today.

    “Dr ElBaradei said that the stand-off was reaching a critical point. "We are coming to the litmus test in the next few weeks," he told Newsweek.

    “ "Diplomacy is not just talking. Diplomacy has to be backed by pressure and, in extreme cases, by force. We have rules. We have to do everything possible to uphold the rules through conviction. If not, then you impose them."

  • iranians regarding their president as heretical or mad

“ [...] Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, rejects Tehran's influence in favour of Iraqi nationalism and traditional Shia doctrines which keep the clergy out of politics. But let Tehran off the diplomatic hook regarding nuclear weapons and all that could change.”

“ [...] He has recently begun to associate himself publicly with the return of the Mahdi, Shia Islam's last imam who disappeared a little over a thousand years ago and whose personal return, Shia Muslims believe, will usher in an age of universal justice. Such talk by Ahmadinejad has angered the senior ayatollahs who view it as verging on heresy, while liberal Iranians think he has gone mad. Now is a good time to undermine Ahmadinejad and make him bear the cost of Tehran backing down on the nuclear issue.”

the web address for the article above is

brown the clown also is now running scared of cameron and a revived uk tory party

Good news:
all the little socialists are going quack quack quack.

For more than a decade a bunch of brainless socialists who captured the Tory [Conservative] Party have given OldNewOld Labour and the pretend Lib-Dems a free ride politically.

When at last, the socialist coup is removed, immediately, as I have long claimed, the Tory Party would be in a position to easily remove the mediocre public liar in 10 Downing Street.

To watch the scramble in the mediocre parties, it looks like they believe there is a real leader in the Tory Party again.

They believe it, as the widespread fluttering suggests with

  • panic among the old fogey Tory socialists
    They who kept their party out of power so long obviously believe it, by the look of their recent snide cackling and whining in the fossil press.

  • panic among the socialist sheep fodder
    As every socialist tells me, Cameron is just another lying socialist who cannot be trusted, and they never ever talk sense.

  • panic in the fake Lib-Dems
    After continual euro-fanaticism and advocacy of tax and spend, the fake Lib-Dems are running in panic to dump socialist Charles Kennedy for a more apparently liberal leader, under the excuse they are suddenly concerned that Kennedy is a drunkard.

  • panic in OldNewOld Labour
    After eight years of determined centralisation and attacks on civil liberties at every turn, Gordon Brown now wants to sell himself as a devolving liberal. Just like that, he is suddenly against all the policies he has backed with his wife next door [‘Mrs.’ Blair] for nearly ten years.

“It was also intriguing to hear Mr Brown embrace localism and "further devolution of power away from Westminster, particularly" to schools, hospitals and the self management of local services". From the Treasury, Mr Brown has presided over the most uncompromising centralisation of government in living memory. He vigorously opposed foundation hospitals, precisely the sort of localised institution he now claims to champion. We will believe in this conversion when we see it.” [Quoted from]

This is all cause for gathering joy among the yaks in abelard’s high pasture.

Why? This is clearly all good evidence that the forces of darkness and strife do, in fact, sense that the socialist one-party-with-three-names state they loved so much is rapidly wilting

If all these opposing groups believe there is now a serious Conservative leader, perhaps soon even cautious me will start to believe it too!

To keep in touch with the gathering reorganisation within the Conservative party.

the web address for the article above is

the training of jihadis under madsam - us government secrecy hampering the interdiction of iraqi killers

“The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.

“Nearly three years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, only 50,000 of these 2 million "exploitable items" have been thoroughly examined. That's 2.5 percent. Despite the hard work of the individuals assigned to the "DOCEX" project, the process is not moving quickly enough, says Michael Tanji, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who helped lead the document exploitation effort for 18 months. "At this rate," he says, "if we continue to approach DOCEX in a linear fashion, our great-grandchildren will still be sorting through this stuff." ”

the web address for the article above is

living on the fumes of past glory?

“The world is becoming a more dangerous place, despite your new protocols of childlessness, pacifism, socialism, and hedonism. Islamic radicalism, an ascendant Communist China, a growing new collectivism in Latin America, perhaps a neo-czarist Russia as well, in addition to the famine and savagery in Africa, all that and more threaten the promise of the West.

“So criticize us for our sins; lend us your advice; impart to America the wealth of your greater experience - but as a partner and an equal in a war, not as an inferior or envious neutral on the sidelines. History is unforgiving. None of us receives exemption simply by reason of the fumes of past glory.

“Either your economy will reform, your populace multiply, and your citizenry defend itself, or not. And if not, then Europe as we have known it will pass away - to the great joy of the Islamists but to the terrible sorrow of America.”

related material
steyn very confused - the auroran sunset

the web address for the article above is

bbc joins other socialists in puffing china

Be very scared!

“At the dawn of a new century, there is a new kid on the block.”

“They could be very successful in the US, in the West, but in China? No, because we're more entrepreneurial than them, in China today.

“They [America] were very entrepreneurial 25 years ago, but today they're not entrepreneurial at all. They're very corporate.”

“Lenovo's Alice Li told Click: "It's a very important transaction for us. For Lenovo that acquisition makes us a truly international company.

“We've accumulated an international management team and reputable international brands - for example, Thinkpad - and all the patented technology related to that brand.”

And now for a dose of reality:

    annual GDP per capita
  • USA $40,100
    20% of the world’s production by value (1/20 world population)
  • China $5,600
    121st rank (of 232) in terms of per capita GDP, behind places such as Libya, Algeria and Namibia
  • number of universities
    USA 5,758 (population 295,734,134)
    or 1 uni per 51,361 people (25 times the Chinese rate)
  • China 1,054 (population 1,306,313,812)
    or 1 uni per 1,239,387 people
  • India 8,407
  • Bangladesh 1,268
  • France 1,062
  • Mexico 1,341
the web address for the article above is

while fossil media scribblers panic about the imminent end of America, here is at least one writer whose feet remain firmly on the ground.

He can read numbers:

“THE stock market has correctly forecast nine of the past three recessions”

“ There is good news and bad news to being in uncharted waters. The good news is there's no reason to use the old financial charts that seem to be telling us we're headed for a recession. The bad news is no one really has a very good idea where on earth we will go from here.”

He can even manage the astrology with some fluency.

Links to many of Gerard Baker’s articles.

the web address for the article above is

socialist oldnewoldlabour harms the poorer classes - as ever

“In short, state schools are not proving the great engines of social mobility that Labour had envisaged; they are in fact a vast middle-class welfare programme, a handy service available to those who cannot or will not cough up private school fees but still want their child polished and prepped. Aneurin Bevan would not approve, but show me parents with a new Labour label, and you can bet they have either tweaked the system or gone private. Bog standard comprehensives are for other people's children.

“Mr Blair is now proposing for the whole country the system that benefited his own children at a handful of selective London state schools: the minimum of local authority control and the maximum autonomy for head teachers. The Left is howling in protest: they much prefer a system that looks superficially fair, while being easily rigged by determined parents. A really independent, ambitious head teacher may just decide that the dim and lazy offspring of the million-pound house next to the school gates are less deserving of places than the bright and hard-working children of a family outside the nominal catchment area. That would be good for social mobility - and almost as nasty a shock to the middle-class monopolists as a New Statesman-type lottery.”

the web address for the article above is

energy politics continue to rise up the agenda

the ukraine-russia farce act 3: the settlement

“[...] Under the deal, Russia will be paid $230 (?192) per 1,000 cubic metres for the gas it exports to Ukraine - up from the $50 it was paid until now.”

Step 1
“[...] Russian energy company, said the five year deal, effective from January 1, would be based on a price of $230 per 1,000 cubic metres [...] ”

step 2
“[...] however, that after including supplies from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Kiev would actually pay $95 per 1,000 cubic metres at its border [...] ”

step 3
“[...] agreed that Ukraine would receive increased transit fees for the 80 per cent of Russian gas that is pumped to European consumers [...] ”

Anyone wanna bet what the ‘new’ price works out at????

marker at

Putin attempts to play power politics with energy. He is also playing a purposefully ambivalent game in Iran.

Map showing international gasline routes from Russia to Europe. Image credit: Inogate Maps
Map showing international gasline routes from Russia to Europe. Image credit: Inogate Maps
Click here or on map for full map.

Information and large map of relevant pipe lines.

It is said that 80% of the gas flows from Russia to Europe (half to the EU) pass through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in an immensely powerful position to charge Russia rents on the use of the system. It seems farcical for ‘Russia’ to get into a dispute of this nature which they cannot possibly win without military force, again a very poor option for Russia considering its current multitude of problems. (Russia is apparently still charging Belarus - to the north of Ukraine on the map - at the old rates.)

I do not like apparent farce in international relations, especially between these two fairly advanced nations. When I see farce, I start to think either stupidity or collusion. My taste is always to first think collusion, in this case that Russia and Ukraine are colluding to drive up prices. On the other hand, stupidity can lead to dangerous miscalculations.

Is it possible that Putin would take such risks merely in some dubious fancy that he could influence Ukrainian elections, or is he performing just to impress the folks back home? That would look to me like a high price for a small return.

marker at

Meanwhile, the UK government continues to dither and avoid urgent UK decisions to secure future energy supplies.

“A Russian gas supply crisis triggered warnings last night that UK householders will face further significant price increases in 2006. Growing unease over future energy security in Britain also led to calls for a quick decision on a new generation of nuclear power stations. Analysts predict that, as things stand, by 2020 almost 70% of Britain's electricity generation will be reliant on gas imported from countries such as Russia.”

marker at

“[...] we've managed to squander our own indigenous oil and gas supplies (which should have seen us comfortable for decades to come) and it looks like not only will we be minus the income from selling it off, but we will soon be in the position of being forced to pay whatever the supplier feels is the going rate, not to mention the vulnerability of thousands of miles of pipelines.”[Quoted from]

As far as I so far understand it, the claim that Gazprom is turning down the flow is not equivalent to cutting Ukraine’s supplies. If Gazprom has in fact done what they say, it is at least as likely that the real result will be to cut the supplies to Europe, not Ukraine.

Any suggestion the Russian games will not effect Europe is childish babble. Any reduction in market supplies will inevitably drive up energy prices elsewhere.

marker at

Back in the real world, an insight into the patriotism and concern for ‘their’ people from old European politicians.

“Germany is most at risk and its former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is largely to blame. He failed to back the European Commission's efforts to free up competition in the gas market, supported the Greens in closing nuclear power stations and strengthened Gazprom's close tie to Ruhrgas. Schröder's reward (a cushy job in a Gazprom subsidiary) will be at the expense of German consumers who pay a high price for fuel which can only get dearer.” [Quoted from]

This is the same politician who refused to support america in the removal of Madsam in Iraq and who sought to close down Germany’s nuclear generation capability.

marker at

Now ‘Russia’ seems to be moving to reverse its posture

“A heavily-criticised Russia on Monday promised to restore full gas supplies to Europe after Germany warned that its dispute with Ukraine over deliveries could hurt its long-term credibility as an energy supplier.”

“As criticism mounted, the state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom said it would restore full gas supplies through the pipeline to Europe by Tuesday evening, and that it had piped across an extra 95 million cubic metres of gas.”

related material
ukraine - useful background reports

the web address for the article above is

read about crunchy conservatism page 1 page 2

“The entire Hutchins clan - 12 kids, all home schooled, all polite and mature in a way that most American kids just aren't any more - work together on the farm. While most kids are sitting slack-jawed in front of television sets, being passively pounded into good little consumers, the Hutchinses are every single day connecting deeply to the earth and to tradition.”

“A society built on consumerism will break down eventually for the same reason socialism did: because even though it is infinitely better than socialism at meeting our physical needs, it also treats human beings as mere materialists.”

Just a few more steps....

he web address for the article above is

britain is run by bureaucrats

“Look at the Society section in the Guardian, which has become so engorged under this Government that it is now longer than many Russian novels.

“There you will see page after page of vacancies on the state payroll: outreach workers, diversity co-ordinators, policy advisers, liaison officers. Some of them come with six-figure salaries. Indeed, the average annual pay for the posts advertised in Guardian Society this year is £10,000 higher than the mean private sector wage.

“Remember this the next time you hear Tony Blair chuntering on about "investing in schools'n'hospitals". For these are not recognisable jobs we are discussing: not nurses or classroom assistants or municipal gardeners.”

“By bloating the state in this way, Labour has created a caste of people with a vested interest in pursuing certain policies. It doesn't much matter how we vote, nationally or locally, as long as decisions are in the hands of strategy co-ordinators and policy directors.

Very precise and to the point. It is deep in the DNA of socialists to meddle. Among other matters, it gives them excuses not to work.

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