Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bliar! Bliar! Bliar!, Out! Out! Out!

Big-up to Bristol Stop the War for thier plans to make Bliar's last day an Anti-War day. Iraq is his rotten legacy and he'd better get used to it. On the Iraq/War subject, this is a scary & interesting article;

Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.

Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That's greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million -- and yet it's a gross underestimate of the Pentagon's wartime consumption.

It's an oil war in more than one sense - also a major contributor ro Global warming.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Knights Templar of Jerusalem in Bristol

Here's an odd bit of news.. out in town today I saw this poster claiming that, "For the first time in 700 years the Knights Templar of Jerusalem will be holding an investiture service at St.Mary Redcliffe Church on Saturday 23rd June at 4.30pm. All welcome."

Wow, it's not every day that you hear the Kights Templar still even exist, never mind that they will be holding a public event! I have been doing a bit of research, as I don't know if the 'Knights Templar of Jerusalem' are the same group as the 'Knights Templar' as found in Dan Brown et in googling I found reference to a document reportedly dated 1312;

"For an everlasting record. Not long ago, under the Lord's providence, we held a general council at Vienne, at which we suppressed the former order of the Knights Templar of Jerusalem. We granted, attached and joined the Templar possessions, with the approval of the sacred council, to the order of the Hospital of saint John of Jerusalem..."

Is this the same Knights Templar of conspiracy theory? A wikipedia entry notes, "The Freemasons began incorporating Templar symbols and rituals in the 1700s, and have a modern title called 'Order of the Knights Templar' to which members can aspire." Is this the 'Knights Templar of Jerusalem'? Further wikipedia entries note, "Knights Templar is an international philanthropic masonic order...There is absolutely no historical evidence to link the medieval Knights Templar and Masonic Templarism."

So perhaps this is just a modern(ish) re-take on a far older history?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Slash Blair

If you know HTML, aka Hyper Text Markup Language, the language used to write web pages, you will know what the 'slash' code is. It means what you are doing has come to an end. So if you were to write < B > it would signal the beginning of a bold section of text. The slash 'B' as in < / B > would signal the end of the bold text. In HTML you place inside the tags what is related, for example the text you wish to made bold. 1997 was the beginning of the Blair phase; < Blair > and now we are at the end of the Bliar phase; < / Blair >

We can place Bliar's crumbling legacy inside these tags;

< Blair >
Civil war in Iraq.
Massive rise in use on con-sultants and private sector in public life.
Growing insurgency and civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
Ongoing dirty war in Colombia.
US does not sign up to Kyoto.
G8 reneges on promises to act on global poverty.
Palestinian hopes crushed in civil war.
< / Blair >

Sunday, June 10, 2007

BAE and a Sick Trade

BAE and bribery – two linked words that seem to currently echo through the media. On google news its says there are 473 related articles to the story that will not die. Part based in Filton, north Bristol, BAE are accused of having run a slush fund that paid Saudi prince Bandar a staggering £1 to 2 billion in payments to secure a £43 billion arms deal. The serious fraud office was investigating this accusation until Bliar ordered it to stop after the Saudi's threatened to withdraw support in the 'war of terror' if the UK carried on it's investigation. At the time there was outcry as Britain had been hammering African leader sover corruption only be be caught in its own corruption scandal.

Then the Guardian uncovered evidence that suggested the attorney-general ordered evidence of bribery and the slush fund to be hidden from an non-UK investigation into BAE's conduct. The attorney-general says he did nothing wrong, BAE say they did northing wrong (other than being an arms dealer!!) but because the investigation had not run its course and Bliar and the attorney-general may well have obfuscated on the issue – how do we know that?

Something here stinks and the brave Bristolains who occupied BAE's offices in April this year are to congratulated with keeping the story alive and taking a stand that says not all of us in this city are happy about being dragged into the world's limelight for dodgy arms deals without a fight.

But the story is not over – Neo-Labour, who have now taken over the local council from the Lib Dems, have been been the friend of arms dealers and dodgy regimes for the last ten years – over £45 billion in sales including £110 million to the pariah state of Israel, half-a billion worth to that bastion of freedom China, Colombia -a country run by a man linked to right-wing terrorist organizations and the list goes on. They have also granted almost 200 export licenses to countries that don't have any soldiers? Yes the Channel Islands have has CS gas and submachine guns exported to them. Why? From there they can be 'laundered' to the highest bidder with no questions asked.

Not only that, but the arms trade gets around £900 million in subsidies from the government per year. That might build a hospital or two?

A sick trade presided over by a sick political party mired in a sick political system.

So while this global scandal plays out, what does our crusading local paper, the Evening Post, have as a headline? A big brother story. I went to the website to check out their coverage of the story – I could not seem much about the scandal, but the first story that appeared on the search was 'Profits at BAE soar to £1bn' – which says it all really.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Global Warming: A Call to Action

While other newspapers were concentrating on 'proper news' as the new Big Brother got underway, I was pleased to see the Independent publishing something that matters with a plea from an Inuit leader on the expansion of Stansted Airport:

"What happens in Britain effects us in the North [Greenland] You may say that the expansion of London Stansted airport will play only a small part in increasing climate change, but everyone can say that about almost everything they do. It is an excuse for doing nothing. The result of that attitude would be catastrophic."

Wise words. The same plea could be made for the disastrous Bristol Airport Expansion.