Saturday, February 28, 2009

Clifford T Ward Gaye-Original Sound with lyrics

Clifford T. Ward

Won't you let me have a say
In the way you behave,
I won't last another day
If you decide to go away.

You're the tray of nice things
I upset yesterday,
The display of bright rings
I let slip away.


Oh Gaye,
You allay my every fear
In a most extraordinary way,
If I thought that I could find
my way without you
I would not ask you to stay.

You're the tray of nice things
I upset yesterday,
The mainstay of my dreams
That I let slip away.


Won't you let me have a say
In the way you behave,
I won't last another day
If you decide to go away.

Don't go away,
Oh please stay,
Don't go away,
Please stay.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pneumonia and other lung infections are the number-one killers of children worldwide

DAKAR, 27 February 2009 (IRIN)
Pneumonia and other lung infections are the number-one killers of children worldwide – deadlier than AIDS, malaria and measles combined, but in developing countries lacking medical staff and laboratories the illnesses are often treated blindly with antibiotics. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced it will give US$40 million to improve screenings for pneumococcal disease - the most common forms being pneumonia and meningitis.

In five developing countries yet to be selected, Gates Foundation will pay for laboratories to use screening techniques such as inflating children’s lungs with mist to get lung samples, and MassTag PCR technology to test for up to 30 causes of infection. Samba Sow, the director of Mali’s Centre for Vaccine Development, told IRIN that improving diagnostics is just as critical to saving lives as vaccines. “A given vaccine will cure only certain serotypes [strains]. Few [sub-Saharan African] countries can say ‘here is the data, this is the vaccine we need.’”

The World Health Organization (WHO) in August 2008 approved the use of a pneumococcus vaccine in 72 countries that qualify for donations from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The alliance plans in 2009 to offer vaccines - donated by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals - that protect against seven strains of the lung disease – 1.3 million in Rwanda and 500,000 in The Gambia. Candy GAVI has estimated that accurate pneumonia diagnostics and vaccinations can save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children every year.

Sow told IRIN the true number of children dying from or vulnerable to pneumonia is hard to measure. WHO estimates two million deaths per year worldwide from acute respiratory infections, of which pneumonia is the most common. Sow said when children fall ill in Africa, they are most often treated for malaria without laboratory confirmation. “People almost never think about pneumonia. If a child is lucky, the antibiotic [given] will kill the [pneumococcus] pathogens. In Africa, antibiotics are used like candy.” Medical studies have shown that more than one-third of pathogens causing pneumococcus are resistant to antibiotics. “Patients are still at risk of dying even with antibiotics,” said Sow. “Good diagnoses can save lives. And the ideal is to have vaccines to treat those accurate diagnose. (IRIN)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Texas Governor Rick Perry in sensational call for deployment of US troops on Mexico border

40,000 Mexican soldiers are deployed across the country in a campaign to root out drug cartels. There are four major cartels: The Sinaloa cartel, the Gulf cartel, the Tijuana cartel, and the Juarez cartel. They control the trafficking of drugs from South America to the US. The drug cartels are believed to be operating in many US cities.

The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that of the 6,000 murders in Mexico in 2008, 90% were drug related. Cartels are at war with each other - over territory-and with the government. There have been huge drug seizures, and senior cartel leaders have been imprisoned or killed.

It is estimated that 1300 people have been murdered so far in 2009-testament to the fact that that the level of violence is escalating. Atrocities include decapitation,cutting out of tongues and the use of acid in addition to the the usual shootings, kidnappings and robberies. Mexico is sending up to 5,000 new troops and federal police into Ciudad Juarez, where there is open warfare amongst drug gangs. Ciudad Juarez is across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas. So far this month 250 people have been murdered in the city by hitmen.

It is against this background that Texas Governor Rick Perry has called on the Obama administration to provide 1000 troops to help guard the Texas-Mexican border and prevent an overspill of violence.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Steve Ellis and Love Affair:Bringing on back the good times

Love Affair sold more singles in 1968 in the UK than any other band, except for The Beatles. This classic hit comes from 1969 and it got to no.9 in the charts of that very year!

Jindal response to Obama speech prepares the ground for 2012 challenge

Governor Jindal's response to president Obama's speech has been criticized in some quarters as somewhat anodyne. Undoubtedly his delivery was largely monotone and somewhat devoid of passion. However on balance he is likely to benefit from this speech. He skilfully stitched his family background into the record. He stressed his humble origins. There is an uncanny resemblance between his upbringing and that of Barack Obama.

He stresses core Republican values such as lower personal and business taxation and less government. Here he is appealing to the GOP base. His speech is interspersed with a mix of criticism and praise for Barack Obama. Thus he comes across as fair minded and not meanspirited. Jindal is aiming to increase his profile among the electorate as he prepares to campaign for the GOP nomination for the 2012 presidential election. This speech should increase his recognition factor.
It is likely that Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal will be front-runners in the race for the GOP nomination for 2012.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gives the GOP response to President Obama's address Tuesday-Transcript

Tonight, we witnessed a great moment in the history of our Republic. In the very chamber where Congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first African-American president stepped forward to address the state of our union. With his speech tonight, the president completed a redemptive journey that took our nation from Independence Hall to Gettysburg to the lunch counter and now, finally, the Oval Office.

Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the president's personal story -- the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world.

Like the president's father, my own parents came to this country from a distant land. When they arrived in Baton Rouge, my mother was already 4-½-months pregnant. I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a "pre-existing condition." To find work, my dad picked up the yellow pages and started calling local businesses. Even after landing a job, he could still not afford to pay for my delivery, so he worked out an installment plan with the doctor. Fortunately for me, he never missed a payment.

As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country, and they instilled in me an immigrant's wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: "Bobby, Americans can do anything." I still believe that to this day: Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there is no challenge we can't overcome.
As the president made clear this evening, we are now in a time of challenge. Many of you listening tonight have lost jobs. Others have seen your college and retirement savings dwindle. Many of you are worried about losing your health care and your homes. And you are looking to your elected leaders in Washington for solutions.

Republicans are ready to work with the new president to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana we don't care what party you belong to, if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation's capital. All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the president's strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward.

Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us.
Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina -- we have our doubts.
Let me tell you a story.
During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office, I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: "Well, I'm the Sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!" I asked him: "Sheriff, what's got you so mad?" He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go, when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, "Sheriff, that's ridiculous." And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: "Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!" Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.
That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families, cutting taxes for small businesses, strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers, and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.
But Democratic leaders in Congress -- they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.

Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children.

In Louisiana, we took a different approach. Since I became governor, we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget. To create jobs for our citizens, we cut taxes six times -- including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state. We passed those tax cuts with bipartisan majorities. Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences -- we worked together to make sure our people could keep more of what they earn. If it can be done in Baton Rouge, surely it can be done in Washington, D.C.
To strengthen our economy, we need urgent action to keep energy prices down. All of us remember what it felt like to pay $4 at the pump and unless we act now, those prices will return.

To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation, increase energy efficiency, increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, increase our use of nuclear power, and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home. We believe that Americans can do anything and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage -- period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage. What we oppose is universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything, and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to make sure every child in America gets the best possible education. After Katrina, we reinvented the New Orleans school system, opening dozens of new charter schools, and creating a new scholarship program that is giving parents the chance to send their children to private or parochial schools of their choice. We believe that, with the proper education, the children of America can do anything. And it shouldn't take a devastating storm to bring this kind of innovation to education in our country.

To strengthen our economy, we must promote confidence in America by ensuring ours is the most ethical and transparent system in the world. In my home state, there used to be saying: At any given time, half of Louisiana was said to be half under water, and the other half is under indictment. No one says that anymore. Last year, we passed some of the strongest ethics laws in the nation and today, Louisiana has turned her back on the corruption of the past. We need to bring transparency to Washington, D.C., so we can rid our Capitol of corruption and ensure we never see the passage of another trillion dollar spending bill that Congress has not even read and the American people haven't even seen.

As we take these steps, we must remember for all our troubles at home, dangerous enemies still seek our destruction. Now is no time to dismantle the defenses that have protected this country for hundreds of years, or make deep cuts in funding for our troops. America's fighting men and women can do anything. If we give them the resources they need, they will stay on the offensive, defeat our enemies, and protect us from harm.

In all these areas, Republicans want to work with President Obama. We appreciate his message of hope, but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washington -- they place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you, the American people. In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government. We oppose the National Democratic view that says the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, to empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and to create jobs.

In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear -- our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust -- and rightly so.

Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say this: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share, the principles you elected us to fight for, the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on earth.
You know, a few weeks ago, the president warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse." Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover. Don't let anyone tell you that America's best days are behind her. This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery, overcame the Great Depression, prevailed in two World Wars, won the struggle for civil rights, defeated the Soviet menace, and responded with determined courage to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man, and the American spirit will triumph again.

We can have confidence in our future, because, amid all of today's challenges, we also count many blessings: We have the most innovative citizens, the most abundant resources, the most resilient economy, the most powerful military, and the freest political system in the history of the world. My fellow citizens, never forget: We are Americans. And like my dad said years ago, Americans can do anything.
Thank you for listening. God bless you. God bless Louisiana. And God bless America.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unseen footage of American soldiers training for the D-day landings in North Devon during the Second World War

The 10-minute reels feature the wartime leaders Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and future American president.
The clips show Churchill and Eisenhower visiting the 101st Airborne which was stationed in North Devon. There is also film footage of Russians at Putsborough beach.

The Russians can be seen with the American Army and is believed to be looking at plans for the Omaha landing during the Soviet military mission to observe western training.

The footage, which has been found by Tony Koorlander, a former technical co-ordinator for BBC TV news, has lain undiscovered in the National Archive in Baltimore since the end of the war.
Full story at The Telegraph

Base jumping from Moscow’s Ostankino TV tower

This video shows base-jumpers take a breathtaking leap off Moscow’s Ostankino TV tower. This is Europe's tallest tower. It stands 540 metres (1772 ft) tall. It was designed by Nikolai Nikitin.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Finland-Lutheran Heavy Metal Pastor and His Band Rock Churches

A Lutheran priest in Finland has given up the traditional choir for a heavy metal band which now offers a unique take on the traditional Lutheran church service. Churches in Sweden, Germany and the UK have invited the pastor to participate in services.

Side Effects from Cervical Cancer Vaccine in Valencia Spain

Some cervical cancer vaccines were withdrawn following the side effects suffered by two 14-year old girls in Valencia Spain. One of the girls was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital Clínico in the city. The other girl was admitted to a normal ward. Both suffered from convulsions and other complications. Later a third a girl was placed in intensive care having suffered from convulsions.
According to Typically Spanish
The health monitoring system, El Sistema Español de Farmacovigilancia, registered as many as 45 cases of bad reactions to the cervical cancer vaccine, while sources at the Ministry for Health put the number at only five.
Today Typically Spanish reports that:
One of the two 14 year old girls from Valencia who was admitted hospital 19 days ago after a side effect reaction to the cervical cancer vaccine earlier this month has had to return to the UCI, Intensive Care Unit. She is said to be in a serious but stable condition, while the second girl remains on the general ward and is making good progress. The two girls received their jabs on the 4th and 6th of February in health centres in Burjassot and Valencia. The Gardasil vaccine, lot NH52670, resulted in them both suffering from convulsions and losing consciousness for a time. After withdrawing the lot concerned, the Valencia regional health authority has once again started the VPH vaccine campaign.
The Ministry for Health says that since Gardasil was approved in Europe in October 2006, more than 1.14 million doses have been distributed in Spain.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Olle Wästberg, Director General of the Swedish Institute reveals how the Swedish Banking Crisis of 1992 was resolved

Olle Wästberg, Director General of the Swedish Institute reveals some insights -garnered from his inside track in the early 1990s- into the bone-shaking Swedish banking crisis and its eventual resolution. This article appeared in the Swedish English Language Newspaper-The Local . Here is a brief excerpt.

“....Nowadays when international newspapers and magazines write about “the Swedish model,” they allude to the way Sweden managed the financial crisis in the beginning of the 1990s.Back then, the banking crisis was handled by the then Minister of Fiscal and Financial Affairs Bo Lundgren (now Director General of the Swedish National Debt Office), his State Secretary Urban Bäckström (now Director General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise) and the leading civil servant in the field Stefan Ingves (now Chairman of the Riksbank)........

Hopefully Irish policy makers will learn from the Swedish experience. The full article may be accessed here

Dublin: At least 100,000 protest at Government handling of economy (21/2/09)

Video requires RealPlayer-Download here

Up to 120,people gathered in Dublin today to protest over the impact of the economic recession on workers. The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, David Begg, called on the Government to negotiate with the trade union movement on its alternative ten-point plan for economic recovery. Mr Begg said that a corrupt business elite had done huge damage to Ireland and described its actions as economic treason.

Video:ACORN Breaks Into foreclosed Baltimore Home

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Israel:Jerusalem Online Video News-Produced by Channel Two News-Click for Sound

Click for Sound

UK Economy in crisis as unemployment and debt surge

Whilst much international attention has been focussed on the economies of countries such as US, Iceland and Ireland the developing crisis in the UK economy has merited little analysis internationally. The Labour government of Gordon Brown will face into the next general election without the benefit of a booming economy.

The British Government bailout of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB, is likely to add between £1 TRILLION and £1.5 TRILLION to the public debt, the equivalent of between 70 and 100 per cent of GDP, the Office for National Statistics has indicated.
Britain’s public sector net debt has already reached 47.8 per cent of GDP- January official figures show. Quite simply UK public finances are in a mess. Meanwhile the value of Sterling has plummeted by about 27pc against the dollar and 15pc against the euro over the past year. The Bank of England has cut interest rates with a view to depreciating the currency. This it is believed will reinvigorate exports. So far this policy has had little success.
The November 2008 stimulus package-designed to mitigate the impact of the global recession- was priced at 25.6 billion-pound ($38.8 billion) over two years.

With the public finances plunging more deeply into the red than anticipated by the Treasury, its forecast for a deficit of £118bn or 8 per cent of national income is to say the least highly optimistic.
It is anticipated by SOME independent observers that the deficit will reach almost £130bn in 2008-09. The position for 2010-11 is likely to be no better.

The UK’s leading business group predicts the recession, which began in the third quarter of 2008, will last throughout 2009. The economy is expected to contract by 3.3 per cent and unemployment will reach close to 2.9 million by the end of the year. After six quarters of negative growth, the economy is expected to stabilise early next year with the recovery building throughout 2010…..

The CBI predicts the economy will contract by a cumulative 4.5 per cent over the six quarters of negative growth. GDP growth for 2009 has been revised down from -1.7 per cent in November to -3.3 percent. In 2010, GDP growth is expected to be 0.0 per cent -1.7 per cent in November to -3.3 percent. In 2010, GDP growth is expected to be 0.0 per cent…..As the recession deepens, unemployment is expected to rise sharply over the course of 2009. The CBI predicts unemployment will peak at just over 3 million (9.6 per cent) in the second quarter of 2010.

All in all gloomy times for the British economy. Swingeing cuts in public expenditure and tax rises are a sine qua non to arrest the slide in UK economic fortunes. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling faces an unenviable task.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Video: Santiago Chile- Husband still caring for his unconscious wife 14 years later

Santiago, Chile, Feb 17, 2009 / 03:19 pm (CNA).- Carlos Abarca visits his wife Erika Sotelo three times a day. She has been in a coma for the last fourteen years, after suffering complications during surgery at a hospital in Santiago. This devoted husband tells how his day-to-day life is with his wife and how in these difficult circumstances, his affection for her “is stronger than ever” and that he always “hopes for a miracle.... Read the full story at CNA

Erika Before The Tragedy

Carlos Abarca visits his wife Erika in Hospital

This is a truly amazing love story. As far as Carlos is concerned respect for the sanctity of human life is paramount. His wonderful sacrifice brings to mind the lyrics of the Power of Love (Huey Lewis)

Radio Seagull broadcasts onboard a converted lightship, the Jenni Baynton, in Harlingen Harbour Holland

Click to enlarge photograph.

Radio Seagull is onboard a converted lightship, the Jenni Baynton, in Harlingen Harbour Holland.It broadcasts on 1602AM and online at Radioseagull. To listern online iTunes or Winamp is required. The station plays rock music. It looks for new, interesting music that other stations wouldn’t want to play because it has not made the charts. It is a refreshing sound.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Russia Today asks did Israel test new weapons in Gaza? Israel denies allegations

The Palestinian Authority is calling for an international investigation of the weapons used by Israel during its three-week assault on Gaza. There are claims so-called DIME bombs were dropped from drone aircraft. This kind of bomb is designed to produce an intense explosion in a small space.

Mona Al-Ashkar, an 18-year-old Gaza resident, lost her left leg and half her body was paralysed, after she was hit by an Israeli shell.

“I used to dream of going to university and becoming a maths teacher. I wanted to marry and have children. But now only God knows if I can. Which man is going to marry a girl in my situation? How can I marry without a leg? I can't move. I can't leave this bed. I don't know what will happen to me. Please God, please God!” she says.

According to the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), as many as 500 people in Gaza underwent amputations as a result of the recent conflict. Full story at RT

Monday, February 16, 2009

Video:12-year-old Canadian schoolgirl speaks out on the issue of abortion

12-year-old "Lia" of Toronto participated in a school competition and gave this superbly crafted pro-life speech. She emerged victorious notwithstanding the fact that she was told that she would be disqualified because of the subject matter. It is the finest articulation of the pro- life position that I have ever heard or read. It is marked by a comprehensiveness, lucidity and clarity, which demolishes the arguments in favour of abortion.
Moral Outcry provides further details.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Video:Darfur Genocide Exposed-Four Sudanese men admit that they participated in violence and massacres

A video recently released by Aegis Trust shows the testimony of four men who state they actively participated in the violence and massacres on Darfur, and who are not afraid to call it genocide. The video was uploaded on The Hub and it is hoped that people will pass it on to others in order to spread this information:

The men - whose identities are obscured - are former members of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed militia: one was a senior officer in the Sudan Army Finance, one a high-ranking Janjaweed commander, another a Janjaweed footsoldier, and the last a Sudanese soldier.
On the video, you can hear their testimonies of how the Sudanese government recruited the Janjaweed militias, gave them weapons and supplies and whenever they attacked villages, the government would cover it up and state that the attack had been done by the military against rebels, and not by militias attacking civilians. The video is available with German subtitles, Arabic subtitles and French subtitles.

According to Aegis Trust's press release on Human Rights First, this video could assist in the International Criminal Court's decision to issue an arrest warrant against Sudan's president, General Omar al-Bashir:
Since 2003, at least 300,000 civilians have died in Darfur and millions have been displaced from their homes, many of them at the hands of militia nicknamed the ‘Janjaweed' ('devils on horseback'). Time after time, survivors stated - and international observers confirmed - that as they murdered, raped, looted and burned village after village, the Janjaweed was backed by the Sudanese army and air force. Yet the Sudanese Government has consistently denied responsibility for atrocities in Darfur and to this day, says it has nothing to do with the Janjaweed.
However, the defectors in this film - some of them speaking publicly for the first time - tell a very different story.(Source: Global Voices)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ireland-Irish Times/tnsMRBI poll shows collapse in FF support

The adjusted figures for party support, compared with the last Irish Times poll in November are:
  • Fianna Fáil, 22 per cent (down 5 points);
  • Fine Gael, 32 per cent (down 2 points);
  • Labour, 24 per cent (up 10 point);
  • Sinn Féin, 8 per cent (up 1 point);
  • Green Party, 4 per cent (no change);
  • Independents/others, 9 per cent (down 4 points).

This is a catastrophic performance by FF. The imposition of a pension levy on public service workers is the match which lit the fuse. Large numbers of public service workers appear to have transferred their support to Labour. Dissatisfaction with the state of the economy is rife. Unemployment stood at 327,861 in January a rise of 36,498 in one month. This represents a rise of 146,412 in one year and appears to have contributed to the haemorrhage in working class support from FF. Education cuts backs allied to slashing health cuts have further fueled resentment. The botched budget of October 2008 has driven a stake into the heart of FF. In addition shocking banking revelations have infuriated the electorate. Whilst this poll was taken before the announcement of the Governments plans to recapitalise the banks, the electorate appears to have taken the inevitability of recapitalisation into account in its reactions in this poll. The decision of the government to plough taxpayers money into the banks is highly unpopular. Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan in particular have come under sustained attack.

The Labour Party has benefited from huge exposure on RTE. Party spokesmen have been highly visible since the first week in January. In addition populist statements by the party leader Eamon Gilmore and by Joan Burton-rightly condemning huge salaries for bank executives- have struck a chord with the electorate. The party in contrast to FG has skilfully avoided outlining a plan to right the public finances. Indeed it has failed to outline any harsh measures that it would take in government. Consequently much of the Labour support is probably soft and likely to slip away if and when the party nails its colours to the higher taxation mast. If the Labour Party is to have credibility in the long term it must outline a policy platform to tackle the economic crisis.

FG whilst down 2% has managed to remain in first place and above the 30% mark. Richard Bruton and Leo Leo Varadkar in particular have performed strongly on the national media. The Party has outlined an alternative budget strategy, which includes harsh measures that it deems essential to protect the economy.

Just 14% are satisfied with the Government's performance whilst 82% are dissatisfied. The FF/Green coalition will cling to power in an effort to ride out the storm. To do otherwise would be to commit political suicide.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Earthquake strikes northeast tip of Indonesia's Sulawesi Island (11/2/09)-geological background

A strong earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter struck off the northeast tip of Sulawesi island Indonesia. Indonesia -a country of over 230 million people-suffers frequent earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. The epicenter was located about 320 kilometers north-northeast of the town of Manado, the US Geological Survey said.
Northeastern Indonesia is characterized by complex tectonics in which motions of numerous small plates are accommodating large-scale convergence between the Philippine Sea and Sunda plates. In the region of today's earthquake, the Philippine Sea plate moves west-northwest with respect to the Sunda plate at a velocity of about 62 mm/year. Locally, arc-arc collision is occurring between the Sangihe and Halmahera micro plates, wedging between them the Molucca Sea micro plate, which subducts beneath both (i.e. to the east and west) and forms an inverted-U-shaped seismic zone. Seismicity within the Molucca Sea plate is active to depths of approximately 260 km to the east and 400 km to the west. The tectonic setting of this region is unique in that it is the only global example of an active arc-arc collision consuming an oceanic basin via subduction in two directions.
The earthquake occurred approximately 30 km off the western coast of the Pulau Salebabu (Indonesia) in an area that has seen large earthquakes in the past. Since 1986, there have been two earthquakes with magnitude greater than 7 in this region.(USGS)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fine Gael calls for creation of 'good banks' with clean balance sheets into which the taxpayers' recapitalisation would go.

Acccording to FG the Government's recapitalisation plans may leave taxpayers' dangerously exposed to massive bad debts and the Government should urgently consider other options, including the creation of brand new 'good banks' with clean balance sheets.

Fine Gael Deputy Leader & Finance Spokesman Richard Bruton TD said today (Monday).
"It is time to look at other alternatives to the present proposal for recapitalisation.
"Fine Gael has huge concerns that the taxpayer is being asked to put money into banks without knowing the full extent of the hole in their balance sheet. There is a real risk that the only result will be to allow the existing banks to nurse along their dodgy property lending while continuing to starve viable businesses of access to the credit they so badly need.
"The taxpayers' interest is to kick-start new lending. It is not to protect the existing banks or those who knowingly took on the risk of funding their impaired lending policies.
"It is now time to look at a different model, which would create 'good banks' with clean balance sheets into which the taxpayers' recapitalisation would go.

"This would involve separating from within each bank a new bank which would hold all the state guaranteed deposits and which would buy those parts of the loan book such as residential mortgage loans and business overdrafts which can be easily valued from the existing parent bank. This would constitute a new good bank with a clean balance sheet. Its capital base would be provided by the taxpayers' recapitalisation, hopefully with other private capital, and some small shareholding could be given to the existing shareholders. These new banks would then be well capitalised with a clean balance sheet and fully open to resume lending.

"A legacy bank would be left behind in each case which would no longer engage in any lending. Its role would be to manage the remainder of the loan book and recoup maximum value from it over time. It would be managed entirely in the interest of the existing capital owners and non-guaranteed creditors. Fine Gael believes that this alternative model deserves serious assessment and could offer a much better use of scarce taxpayers' resources."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Florida doctor loses license after botched abortion and can no longer practice medicine in the state

The Board of Medicine has revoked the license of a Florida doctor accused of medical malpractice in a botched abortion case in which a live baby was delivered, but ended up dead in a cardboard box. Police found the infant's decomposing remains a week later.

The board on Friday found Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique in violation of Florida statutes by committing medical malpractice, delegating responsibility to unlicensed personnel, and failing to keep an accurate medical record. Renelique and his attorney declined to comment after the hearing..............The Department of Health recommended that his license be suspended. But the board decided to revoke it instead which means he will not be able to practice medicine in Florida.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case, but the state attorney's office is investigating (Buffalo News)

Abortion is an ugly and sordid business.Hopefully Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique may learn to appreciate the sanctity of human life and abide by the Law of God.The decision of the Board of Medicine to revoke the license is welcome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Burma- Images of Burmese Political Prisoners jailed by a tyrannical junta whilst India and China stand idly by

Some images of Burmese political prisoners including:Shin Gambira,Ko Ko Gyi,Su Su Nway,Nilar Thein, Noble Aye, Thin Thin Aye, Khin Moe Aye and Aung San Su Kyi. Unfortunately the outside world has largely forgotten about the repression, which still stalks the country. Even this week The South Dagon Township Court sentenced ‘All Burma Federation of Students Union’ (ABFSU) leader Dee Nyein Linn to another five years in prison, for unlawful association. He has already been serving a prison term of over 10 years. It is time for the US and the EU to exert greater pressure on the tyrants of Rangoon. Sadly India and China have turned a blind eye to the activities of the Burmese Junta. China actively supports the Burmese army.
Images taken from Burma Bloggers' Network

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Miami Abortion Horror Story-Fl Doctor Investigated

The following is an excerpt from a report in the Buffalo News. It is an absolute shocker.
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.
Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.
Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.
What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.
Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips........

The state Board of Medicine is to hear Renelique's case in Tampa on Friday and determine whether to strip his license. The state attorney's homicide division is investigating....

India- Video of Moral Police attack on girls in Mangalore pub

Video of the incident shows how the women were pulled by their hair and thrown out of the pub by almost 30 men. Eight girls were injured with two needing treatment in hospital.The incident has caused a furore, drawing criticism from all quarters. Some 28 men were arrested but later released on bail.The activists said the women were violating traditional Indian values by drinking alcohol in public and warned that the women would face dire consequences if seen in pubs again...RT

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama Plans To Reduce US Nuclear Arsenal By 80%- The Ultimate Folly

The Times Online carries the following:
President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each country’s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent.
The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administration’s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow. ..

This plan is the ultimate folly. The Balance of Terror has served the world well. Of course there was a Cold War between the West and Russia but the fear of a nuclear holocaust has on occasions concentrated minds and allowed the US and Russia to pull back from the brink.

Obama's plan is highly irresponsible and puts Western security in peril. There is no mention of the Chinese nuclear arsenal. Presumably Obama is content to allow the development of China as the worlds major nuclear super power. China will then be free to blackmail the US and Europe.

Think again Mr Obama. It is one thing to win cheers from the extreme left of the Democratic Party. It is quite another to put the security of the Free World in jeopardy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Declares War On The New York Times - 2/2/09 ("Its War Absolute War")

Below is an excerpt from a New York Times editorial titled The Nativists Are Restless. It attacks Bill O'Reilly and imputes racist motives to him. Naturally he has taken umbrage at the imputation of racism. He has declared war on the New York Times with the words "Its War Absolute War"
It is easy to mock white-supremacist views as pathetic and to assume that nativism in the age of Obama is on the way out. The country has, of course, made considerable progress since the days of Know-Nothings and the Klan. But racism has a nasty habit of never going away, no matter how much we may want it to, and thus the perpetual need for vigilance.

It is all around us. Much was made of the Republican mailing of the parody song “Barack the Magic Negro,” but the same notorious CD included “The Star Spanglish Banner,” a puerile bit of Latino-baiting. It is easily found on YouTube. Google the words “Bill O’Reilly” and “white, Christian male power structure” for another YouTube taste of the Fox News host assailing the immigration views of “the far left” (including The Times) as racially traitorous...

Japan:Threat To Tokyo as Mount Asamo Volcano erupts

Mount Asamo has erupted near Tokyo, Japan covering parts of the Japanese capital with ash. So far there have been no reports of casualties. There is no sound on some of this video. Mount Asama lies about 90 miles northwest of Tokyo. Japan lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

A major earthquake or volcanic eruption could destroy the financial district of Tokyo and wreck the world's financial system.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Glenn Beck slideshow charts the rise in US Government Debt and printing of money

This Fox News slideshow charts the horrific rise in US government debt from 1929-2009. It is a shocker. The once mighty dollar has become a devalued currency as the Fed prints more and more money to feed a voracious government machine. It is time for massive government expenditure cuts not increased expenditure. The US government-like some European governments- is sucking the lifeblood out of the economy. A stimulus package may provide some temporary respite but will eventually run out of steam if the fundamentals are not sound.