Archive for January, 2009


Gigantic Shoe in Tikrit, Iraq

January 31, 2009

(Or, how you just can’t keep a good idea down.)

January 29.

A sculpture of a gigantic shoe has been installed in Tikrit (180 kilometers north of Baghdad) as a tribute to Iraqi journalist Muntazer al Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at former US President George W. Bush.

The work by Baghdad artist Laith al-Ameri measures three meters high by two-and-a-half wide and represents a shoe in which a tree has been planted.

The sculpture was inaugurated Tuesday in the garden of the Children’s Foundation, an Iraqi organization that cares for children whose parents died as victims of the violence unleashed in the country since the US invasion of March 2003.

The sculpture “is a gift to the family of Muntazer al Zaida, a hero whose act of protest permitted all Iraqis to stand tall,” said Faten Massiri, an official at the Foundation, during a ceremony attended by the institution’s director Chaha al Juburi.

On December 14, 2008, the journalist stood up in the middle of a press conference being held by Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki and shouted “this is the farewell kiss, you dog,” and threw his two shoes at the US president, reported AFP.


Things I read Jan 30, 09 – Boiling frogs and dollars

January 30, 2009

Unemployment rate soars
“There are literally millions of workers unemployed with no hope of finding a new job,” she said. “The queue is just too long.”…A new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management also found that nearly 75 percent of human resource professionals from U.S. companies were expecting deeper job cuts in the U.S. labor force in the next few months.

Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Operations
Yes the past and future from the horses mouth…I have blogged on this before here. Search ‘irregular warfare’.

Russian, Chinese PMs seek to seize control of the dollar
Whether or not Americans realise it, this is the worst possible news for them. By far the story they should be most afraid of. This is the beginning of the end for the dollar, Act IV of the tragedy.

“…the Putin and Wen call to regulate the dollar is a clear power play that would threaten the basic sovereignty of the U.S. government. It also reflects a new upsurge in Sino-Russian cooperation against the United States…”

Global Consciousness Project -Trans-Humanity Awakening To Reality
Do you think it’s possible to think our way out of this mess??

Military And New Orleans Police Conducting Nite Time Helicopter Drills In City
Yeah no worries folks. If you put a frog in a pot of cold water and bring it slowly to a boil, the frog won’t even realize that you are in the process of boiling it.

Congress Seeks To Authorize & Legalize FEMA Camp Facilities

Pew: Almost half of Americans want to live somewhere else

Officials: Army suicides at 3-decade high
WARNING – Taking the blossom of youth and training them to bomb, mutilate and torture other humans could be damaging to their health.

Iraq soldier crying
So many tears from so many people in so many countries. When will we learn that when we kill someone else, we kill ourselves too?

More Orwellian horror for English people.

Why Americans get a distorted View of the Conflict between Israel and Palestinians
The construction of delusion is in the details From Rainbow Warriors blog.

Up Yours
English froggies jumping out of the pot….. GO FROGGIES GO!

Obama’s First Acts Of War

Names and Photos of Israeli War Criminals in Gaza
Many of these people may be charged by the Hague. Put nicely in context in Smoking Mirrors blog here. Don’t wait long to look…these pictures have a way of disappearing.

I don’t like to leave the bad news of the day without a little something…a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…so they say. Here is a picture of the ‘glass frog’.


My Future As An Arms Manufacturer

January 30, 2009

By Terry Jones

January 29, 2009

“The Nation” — I’ve decided to start manufacturing weapons. Nothing too ambitious, just some small arms, a few automatic weapons, and maybe a couple of bombs. You know the sort of thing.

It’s not that I’m keen on killing people. I haven’t actually killed anyone myself yet. It’s all to do with economics.

You see, I can’t help but notice that the arms industry is doing extremely well. In fact in these times of economic disaster, it’s the one industry that seems to be expanding.

According to the Government’s Defence and Security Organization, the UK has become the top global defense exporter, notching up a golden £10 billion of new business and snagging a walloping 33 percent of the market.

In fact the UK is now the second-biggest player in the global arms market, with a whizzo $53 billion of sales over the past five years, compared with America’s $63 billion and Russia’s measly $33 billion, France’s pathetic $17 billion, and Germany and Israel trailing at $9 billion each.

And even in these difficult economic times, things look good for the future too. In 2007, global arms buying rose by 6 percent to £1. 3 trillion. And according to the Center For Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the US spent $696 billion last year and is set to increase that to $706 billion this year.

US operations in Iraq are currently costing $14 million per hour. That’s $343 million per day, or $3, 973 per second. By the time you finish reading this, the United States will have spent another $1 million in Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

That’s an awful lot of gravy to share around, and I wouldn’t mind putting my knees under the arms industry’s table.

What I admire about the arms industry is that it’s willing to put its money where its mouth is, when it comes to promoting its members’ interests. And it has a lot of money.

Last summer, for example, the National Rifle Association of America announced that it intended to spend $40 million during the 2008 elections. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? And $15 million was earmarked merely to persuade the Americans that Barack Obama would be a threat to gun ownership in the US.

They wouldn’t throw that sort of money around if they didn’t think it was going to do some good. And of course it does.

In the 2000 presidential race, the arms industry gave Bush five times the donations it gave to Al Gore. And Bush duly showed his thanks by doubling the expenditure on defense from just over $333 billion in 2001 to $696 billion in 2008.

And since November, the outgoing president has rushed through a whole slew of arms export deals, just to make sure his friends in the arms industry survive any economic downturn.

With friends like that, I know I’m going to feel right at home as an arms manufacturer.

Another thing that persuades me that the arms industry is the industry for me is its professionalism when it comes to creating markets.

One of the main responsibilities of any industry, of course, is to make sure it creates its own markets. You can’t just rely on the demand being there, you have to go out and actually stimulate the demand.

And this is where, for me, the arms industry proves itself to be one of the most responsible in the world–on a par with the heroin and crack cocaine industry.

Take what happened after the collapse of Communism, which had provided the arms industry’s bread and butter since the Second World War.

The arms industry was faced with empty order books. As the then-chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell put it, they were “running out of enemies”! But it only lasted for about six months.

At the time, I remember reading an editorial in a magazine called Weapons Today that described how the industry had fallen on lean times. But “Cheer up!” the editor wrote, because now that Saddam Hussein has invaded Kuwait, things will start looking up, and in the future we in the arms industry can look forward to Islam replacing Communism to keep our order books full.

To be quite honest, when I read that in 1990 I thought they were off their heads, but now I realize that one should never underestimate the professionalism and skill of the weapons industry in creating markets for their product.

I don’t know how they’ve done it, but I am certain my future colleagues have had a big hand in making their own dreams come true.

And now, as the DSO notes with satisfaction in a recent Market Review, there has been a “return to higher spending in the Middle East.” And as long as America keeps encouraging Israel to bomb the hell out of Gaza, thereby fueling the Islamic backlash that we are all praying for, we in the arms industry can look forward to a secure future, safe in the knowledge that the “Middle East regional market” will continue to expand well into the foreseeable golden future.

I can’t wait to get manufacturing those shells and landmines.

Terry Jones is a film director and actor and member of the Monty Python comedy group. – Terry Jones’s War on the War on Terror: Observations and Denunciations by a Founding Member of Monty Python (Nation Books)


A bit of fun – A political riddle

January 29, 2009

The quote below is from a current event. Just for some fun, I am going to reproduce it here, removing obvious giveaways, to try and guess who said it. Just a bit of Irish craic. The answer is at the end.

MISTER MYSTERY called Wednesday for “profound changes” in U.S. foreign policy including an end to support for Israel…

MISTER MYSTERY urged Washington to withdraw its troops stationed around the world. MISTER MYSTERYwould be closely watching what President Barack Obama’s new administration does and would welcome a real shift in its approach.

“Change means giving up support for the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering … Zionists and letting the Palestinian nation decide its own destiny,” MISTER MYSTERY said. “Change means putting an end to U.S. military presence in (different parts of) the world.”

Without mentioning Obama by name, MISTER MYSTERY repeatedly referred to those who want “change,” a buzzword of Obama’s election campaign.

“When they say ‘we want to bring changes’, change may happen in two ways: First is profound, fundamental and effective change … the second … is a change of tactics,” he told thousands of people …

“We will wait patiently, listen to their words carefully, scrutinize their actions under a magnifier and if change happens truly and fundamentally, we will welcome that,” he added….
MISTER MYSTERY cited the U.S.-backed coup that toppled the elected government …

In an interview with ??? news channel that aired Tuesday, … “It is important for us to be willing to talk …, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress.”

Later Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters the U.S. administration is undertaking a wide-ranging and comprehensive assessment of American foreign policy options toward ….


  • Russia
  • China
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Palestine
  • Gaza
  • Bolivia
  • Venezuela
  • Argentina
  • Lebanon
  • Ecuador
  • Cuba

The Origninal Source

How did you do?


News you WANT to read – Microfinance

January 29, 2009

Most people have never heard of microfinance; maybe 1 in 100 might have a foggy notion of what it is. Yet it is the most powerful tool the world has seen to help end poverty and empower the indigenous businesses of the poor in any country.

I will provide a brief overview here and then list many urls for anyone who is interested in learning more and who has a desire to help poor people help themselves. The concept has never been more relevant than now during the financial meltdown of global economy.

In 1976 an man in Bangledesh named Muhammad_Yunus began lending small amounts of money to very poor rural women to help them start small businesses to support their families. There was and still is no loan contract, no penalties for defaulting on the loans (except the person could not borrow again) and the repayment rate is over 95%. In 2006, Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize for the incredible success of his work.

In fact, now 30 years later, microfinance is everywhere it seems, even helping the poor of New York City. The concept has reached the time when it flowers into hope for millions of poor people the world over.

For anyone who has ever thought, ‘I wish I could help, but charities are corrupt and I don’t know how.’ microfinance is a program well worth knowing about. The stories will touch your soul and give hope in a world that sadly needs it.

I hope you will enjoy the material I have provided here and spread the good word. Recently a man has had the brilliant idea to take Microfinance to the internet on a site called Kiva. It has been wildly successful.

Microfinance is not only a proven way to alleviate poverty but a way to find hope in an increasingly dismal world. And it follows the age old wisdom of helping by allowing people to help themselves without funds siphoned off by corrupt governments and dodgy charities.

Have a looksee. I think you will be as impressed as I have been. And if you are, please spread the word.

The real story of Kehinde Azeez.

Recent articles about Microfiance.

Good News in the Global Economy

Students start Olneyville microfinance bank

Liberia Gets First Microfinance Bank

‘Lend to End Poverty’ Campaign Calls On World Economic Forum to …

A stimulus package for the world


Obama, Raytheon and the war machine

January 29, 2009

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Hope for an new strategy for the American empire under Obama is fading fast. Just as Bush picked Cheney, the CEO for Haliburton for his VP (or was it that Haliburton picked Bush for president? – We shall never know), now we have the Great Hope of America Obama picking a man deeply embedded in the manufacture of products that kill people on a massive scale to his cabinet.

Raytheon is a company that six women in Northern Ireland briefly shut down in protest of the company’s part in supplying Israel with the bombs they used on women and children. Derry Anti War Protesters Blockade Raytheon The president now may be more popular, but may a wolf in lambs cloaking. Raytheon’s company profile may be found here. Can you imagine a man who has spent his whole life building war machines advocating peace?

The Video
here also reveals disturbing evidence of Obama’s duplicity. Pretty is as pretty does and so far Obama is not looking too good. We all had misgivings about his pick of a cabinet decidedly pro-war and similar to Bush’s cabinet. If American’s have been fooled again, they will pay with the future of their children.

I believe before the end of 2009, America will again have a mandatory draft for an attack on Iran. I hope I am wrong, but afraid I am right.


Will Israel be tried in the Hague?

January 26, 2009

Charges filed by international attorneys
against 15 Israeli officials


Bethlehem / PNN – Palestinian and international efforts continue to institute legal proceedings for the prosecution of Israeli officials in the commission of war crimes.

Although Israeli forces are involved in thousands of cases, local experts such as the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights believe that the recent major attacks on the Gaza Strip will successfully prosecuted.

“They were well-documented, televised and the world was paying attention,” a member of the Gaza City team commented.

After the very public detection of large-scale atrocities which included the use of white phosphorus bombs in enclosed civilian areas and the liquidation of children there is little defense.

Fifteen specific names are now pending for prosecution in The Hague’s war crimes tribunal.

Those listed for prosecution include Israeli political and military officials, namely Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.

Israelis are being warned internally against leaving its boundaries due to fears of arrest.

French lawyer Gilles Dovers is handling the complaint in Paris calling for the “open investigation into war crimes” committed by Israeli forces during three weeks in Gaza.

Dovers said today that 500 complaints are being submitted by Arab, European and Latin American officials. Bolivia is preparing its own case, as is Venezuela.

Argentine international prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is deciding whether to go ahead with an investigation.

The French lawyer said there is some fear of interference from the United Nations Security Council under pressure from the United States to stop the proceedings and prevent the achievement of access to trial. The founding texts of the International Criminal Court empower the Security Council to suspend its work.

Today’s invitation to try at least 15 Israeli officials is being delivered by 30 international lawyers of several nationalities.

In parallel, the intention of a group of French lawyers to file a complaint on behalf of French citizens of Palestinian origin to the French courts against Israeli officials is gaining attention in the cities of Paris and eastern France.

Coordination with other lawyers in Belgium and Spain is underway as similar complaints against the Israeli officials are being made in Brussels and Madrid. Belgium is among the countries who issued charges against Ariel Sharon in the past.

Moroccan lawyers also disclosed yesterday practical steps toward filing a lawsuit against “the perpetrators of war crimes” in Gaza. Six lawyers are working with the Minister of Justice of Morocco.

As reported by PNN throughout the week, in Tel Aviv Israeli activists published 15 names:

Ehud Barak, Amir Peretz, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Avi Dichter, Carmi Gilon, Dan Halutz, Doron Almog, Ehud Olmert, Eliezer Shkedy, Gabi Ashkenazi, Giora Eiland, Matan Vilani, Moshe Bogi Yaalon, Shaul Mofaz and Tzipi Livni,

along with reasons they are listed and photos on:

included with the note: “Anyone who has information about the suspect when he is outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to…” and gives contact information for The Hague.