Friday! Fry & Laurie- Sexual Intercourse

“It’s very hard for you to believe isn’t it? It’s very hard for you to believe, that there are still some of us who can bring a child into this world without recourse to cannabis & government handouts!”

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Pigs At The Trough

In a hurried and emotive statement after London’s markets had closed, Barclays attempted to calm fears that it faces a cash crisis. Rumours had circulated all day that Barclays was forced to go to the Bank of England after the central bank said it had lent £1.6bn at its penal rate of 6.75%. It is thought that Barclays borrowed the entire amount.

Hmm 6.75 % that’s the ‘penal rate’ which makes the rate to us poor schlubs what exactly? Capital punishment? Meanwhile besuited scumfucks aren’t getting as much swill as they’d like-

Major private equity buyouts have ground to a halt because of a backlog of “a year’s worth” of debt financing that banks must sell to other investors before they can start funding new deals, industry sources said. “There is a $100bn (49.7bn) pipeline of deals [in Europe] that needs to be sold…”

A syndicate of lenders led by Deutsche Bank has been unable to get rid of any of the £9bn it put up to finance KKR’s takeover of Alliance Boots, despite much of it being at a discount. Barclays and Mizuho, the lead banks on the £6.1 merger of the AA and Saga, have also been stuck with the loans from that deal.

Do you want to know what causes recessions? Greed. That answer also applies to executive pay, so how much did your wages go up this year? Was it 37%?-

Only a handful of top companies in continental Europe and the US are led by UK executives, despite claims that high levels of boardroom pay are essential to prevent a management brain drain. The Guardian/RTF survey of executive remuneration revealed this week that average pay for directors at Britain’s top companies rose 37% last year, with chief executives making on average £2.875m. Supporters of such high levels of pay say that British talent would migrate overseas if the price wasn’t right at home.

Analysis of Germany’s Dax 30, the Dow Jones industrial average and the companies that make up the Euronext 100 – in France, Portugal, Holland and Belgium – reveals less than half a dozen are run by UK chief executives.

So what happens when we begin to win some victories against big corporations? Yep that’s right they connive with the govt. to put the claims to court and until the case is decided (can you say- litigation and endless appeals) no more payouts-

While the test case is going on, claims will be suspended, except in genuine cases of financial hardship.

At the end of this orgy of greed the crash that’s coming will mean less income for the govt. and what do you think our conservative govt. will cut? After all we all know social programs and health services only make the labour market less…malleable.

There is a graph hidden somewhere in Europe of which Church of the Free Market disciples will never speak, it is a fabled document as blasphemous to them as the Necronomicon, it shows that with generous social spending and universal education/healthcare, the crashes of the boom and bust capitalist con game are smoothed out and become less severe. People suffer much less, however the trade off is the booms are not as great… are you getting the picture? Anything that bogart’s their greed high is attacked even though it would lift millions out of poverty, poor health and substandard education

The recent turmoil in financial markets could cost the Exchequer as much as £10bn per year in lost revenues. Research by Credit Suisse based on past market downturns suggests that a 10 per cent fall in real share prices “might eventually be associated with a 7. 5 per cent fall in business investment and a 2.5 per cent fall in consumer spending. The larger part of the impact on business investment comes through over a two to three year period. It takes longer in the case of consumer spending”. This would equate to about 2 per cent of GDP, a significant hit, with an implied reduction of around the same magnitude in Government revenues, or approximately £10bn per year by the end of the timescale.

They make their mess, jump ship with their booty and the Church of the Free Market corrupted governments do not hold them to account and instead the most vulnerable suffer. Can’t wait to hear the next spate of benefit scroungers and single mother speeches given by both our conservative pro-market parties. Always makes a recession go with such a swing, because y’know it’s someone surviving on £60 a week that’s wrecking our economy, innit?

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Cheney PR Offensive For Attack On Iran Launching In September

From Juan Cole’s blog

Barnett Rubin relays a message from a well-connected friend in Washington on the Cheney Administration’s plans to roll out a military confrontation with Iran in September. He writes at the Global Affairs blog:

” My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions. He summarized what he was told this way:

They [the source’s institution] have “instructions” (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this–they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is “plenty.”

Of course I cannot verify this report. But besides all the other pieces of information about this circulating, I heard last week from a former U.S. government contractor. According to this friend, someone in the Department of Defense called, asking for cost estimates for a model for reconstruction in Asia. The former contractor finally concluded that the model was intended for Iran.”

Earlier, McClatchy reported on Aug. 9 that Cheney has been urging bombing of Iranian trails to Iraq. This position struck me as eerily reminiscent of Nixon-Kissinger’s treatment of Cambodia (which is what really caused the Khmer Rouge horrors, not, as Bush said the other day, US withdrawal from Vietnam; we dropped enormous amounts of ordnance on that country and severely disrupted it).

It perhaps has already begun, remember the Iranians arrested and blindfolded in Baghdad who were actually engineers & energy ministry officials there as guests of the Iraq govt.

prior to the Iranians’ arrest, U.S. soldiers were aware that the hotel where the Iranians were staying had proof that the Iranians were in Iraq at the invitation of Iraq’s Energy Ministry. 

They were sat eating dinner at their hotel when US forces with corporate media camera crews busted in and arrested them, they were released the next day footage of Iranians being arrested in Iraq achieved. The lie had been shouted, the retraction the next day whispered and Iran insulted and provoked and slow of thinking domestic viewers have -Iran are baddies- imprinted on their lizard brains. Mission accomplished.

Guess Who’s Been Editing Their Wiki Page, Can You Say SOA/WHINSEC?

Oh yeah, I have to admit I did a trace myself but the traffic demands on the scanner stalled it. But fear not SOA Watch caught the Fort Benning pixies at their naughty work (from SOAW email bulletin)-

A new scanning program has revealed that Wikipedia entries on the School of the Americas, renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHINSEC) have been edited from an IP address from Fort Benning to omit all references to human rights abuses connected to the school.

The IP address used was 150.226.95.18. Any IP address that begins with 150.226 belongs to Fort Benning. That IP address has the name of doim1-358.benning.army.mil, which is via the Directorate of Information Management at Fort Benning.

The program also revealed that an entry about Fort Benning was altered to delete all mention of SOA Watch. Graduates of the School of the Americas have a documented track record of using the skills they were taught at the SOA/WHINSEC against union organizers, social justice activists, faith leaders and everyone who speaks out for social change and the rights of the poor. 

And in good news-

Chile’s Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence handed down to a former general for his part in the murder of 12 opponents of Augusto Pinochet.

Hugo Salas Wenzel, a graduate of the School of the Americas was the head of the National Information Center, the intelligence service, which carried out the killings. He is the first senior member of Augusto Pinochet’s military government to be given a life sentence for human rights abuses committed between 1973 and 1990.

The 1973 coup and its bloody aftermath were largely the work of SOA graduates. The Spanish lawyers who presented the charges that resulted in Pinochet’s 1998 arrest also requested the indictment of 30 other high-ranking officials of the Chilean dictatorship. Ten of those are SOA graduates. Although Pinochet himself was not an SOA graduate, his influence is clearly held in high esteem. In 1991, visitors could view a note from Pinochet, and a ceremonial sword donated by him, on display in the office of the SOA commandant. 

New Orleans-Ethnic Cleansing: Hell No We Ain’t Alright

Courtesy of MISTER Chuck D. free mp3 download is here (Oh yeah, don’t say I never give you nothing). So get down to that and remember blame Bush all you like but keep on target- racism, privatisation, conservatism. Here, there and everywhere is deadly. The same partisan hacks who made fortunes contracting in Iraq are doing the same on the gulf coast, party connected, corrupt corporate disaster capitalists.

Burma Action Day Friday

A Europe-wide day of action focussing on Portugal as EU President will take place on Friday 31st August. Members of the European Burma Network, the European coalition of organisations campaigning on Burma, will be organising a variety of actions, including protests at embassies, letter writing campaigns and emailing Portuguese embassies. At least 11 countries will be taking part, including UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Poland and Norway.

In London there will be a protest at the Portuguese Embassy, 12noon-1pm, 11 Belgrave Sq, SW1X 8PP. Nearest tube Hyde Park Corner.

The day of action is in response to the failure of the European Union to take any concrete action in response to the Burmese military regime’s crackdown on peaceful protestors in Burma. To date the only step taken by the EU has been to issue a statement of concern. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Right to Memory and to Truth

The BBC report (h/t Rafael) on the publication of the official record of atrocities performed by the right wing military dictatorship of Brazil. Good on them, except, they don’t mention it was right wing (ok so people assume that perhaps, but what about those not so savvy?) but … well you can read the article at the bottom of this list of School of the America Graduates who staffed the repressive forces. See strangely the BBC forgot to mention America’s role in Brazil’s right wing military dictatorship, how ironic for a report on a document entitled ‘The Right to Memory and to Truth’ sarcastic, moi? (oh and a corruption scandal hogs the news about Brazil so this story got reported in single figures while the administration’s corruption problems becomes the story in the mainstream sphere)-

Bismarck Baracuhy Amancio Ramalho, 1967, Military Intelligence, Phase II
Repressive Forces: According to the Brazilian human rights group
Tortura Nunca Mais, he is linked to the repressive forces that existed
in Brazil in the 1960’s and 70’s. (Tortura Nunca Mais)

Mauro Baptista Lobo, 1967, Counterintelligence
Repressive Forces: According to the Brazilian human rights group
Tortura Nunca Mais, he is linked to the repressive forces that existed
in Brazil in the 1960’s and 70’s. (Tortura Nunca Mais)
Read the rest of this entry »

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