Monthly Archives: June 2013
Don’t believe what you hear from vested interests, rent-a-quote ‘scientists’ and’ bought’ politicians. After nearly 20 years of promises that genetically modified food would revolutionise our world, feed the hungry, boost the yields and therefore the incomes of farmers, and even cure disease, genetically modified crops have never lived up to those promises.
These are the genetically modified failures that big biotech refuses to be accountable for, doesn’t want you to know about and the reasons why we continue to say ‘NO!’ to GMOs.
Failure to deliver
Despite the hype, genetic modification consistently fails to live up to industry claims. Only two GM traits have ever made it to market – herbicide resistance and BT toxin expression. Other promises of genetic modification have failed to materialise.
The much vaunted GM ‘golden rice’ – hailed for a decade as a cure for vitamin A deficiency and night blindness still hasn’t…
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John Perry, the Fine Gael Minister for Small Business, is being taken to court by Danske Bank which is seeking repayment of close to €1.3m in loans racked up during the property boom.
The Sligo TD owns a number of businesses and properties in and around his Ballymote power base. The latest register of Oireachtas members’ interests lists his assets as including a supermarket, apartment, funeral home, 70 acres of land in various locations and offices in Ballymote and Sligo town.
If he has any sense of decency John Perry a Minister who has blatantly lied to his constituents and is being taken to court for nonpayment of debts should immediately resign his seat. However it is unliky that this arragant ywat will do so.
Generally, this man only opens his mouth to change the foot he has wedged in there. When the two feet are not at home, he comes out with gems that do not inspire confidence… “There must be assistance for small businesses that are creating unemployment throughout the country”(Dáil speech).
Rest assured this man will do nothing concrete to stimulate the retail sector where approx 40,000 jobs have been lost in the past five years. Regretfully due to Government policies, many more localized jobs are uncertain due to the inactivity of this no-getter. Even so, then again, what can you expect from a man who cannot even get around to fixing the local potholes?
John the Promise in another open-mouthed gesture guaranteed the restoration of Breast cancer services to Sligo General hospital within 100 days of Government. During a live interview with Ocean FM concerning the return of cancer services to the North West of Ireland. Perry hung up the phone when questioned on his failure to deliver on his promise. He claimed that the presenter had an agenda against him. What a cringing cop out, what paucity of thought. Perhaps a taste of things to come – A true-blue arrogant fascist to the end.
I have just done this man a slight disservice for I understand he is a high flier when it comes to claiming the few bob.
For expenses in his first twelve months, this man topped the bill. Among his colleagues, he is known as the King of uncertified reimbursement.
In conclusion, what can one say about Perry? Maybe he is a bit like the invisible man. Could you pick him out from a line-up of expense villains? That folk is the story of Perry the obscure, invisible before the election and unseen after it just waiting for his Bisto pension.
This week has seen large numbers of people continually walking down to Shell’s tunneling compound, disrupting work and blocking Shell traffic, and many people from the camp have taken advantage of the sunny weather to spend the days helping locals with turf collecting- many hands make light work! Meanwhile the guards have spent their time patrolling around harassing people on the roads.
Cops blocking the gate to the camp
A Brief blow by blow
Thursday morning as a convoy passed the camp, 20 Gardaí tried to block the gate to the camp and threw people into ditches, pushing one person’s head into the water in the ditch and generally being a bit violent. Two people were arrested. One was let out with a caution and the other was held in custody, brought to court in Castlebar Friday morning and denied bail, so he is now in Castlerea Prison awaiting a court appearance 5th July.
Later on Thursday morning a small group went to Belmullet Garda station to collect their friends and one person was dragged outside the copshop, pushed to the ground and arrested for alleged criminal damage on Sunday 23rd June. He was held overnight and brought to court in Castlebar on Friday morning. He has been granted bail and released on the condition he not enter or interfere with Shell property or traffic, and signs on once a week at Belmullet Garda Station. He will be up in court on 10th July.
Thursday afternoon a large group of 30 or so people walked down to the Shell compound in Aughoose, stopping work inside the compound and stopping any Shell traffic from entering or exiting the compound for over 3 hours. Once again IRMS (Shell private security) was policing the public road, pushing people and holding people until the guards arrived. Two people were arrested on the road. One person was released and will appear in Belmullet Court on 10th July, the other was arrested for outstanding fines and brought to Mountjoy women’s prison in Dublin. She was held overnight and released Friday morning.
Thursday finished off at 6pm when the guards finally attempted to clear the road, everyone left and no one else was arrested. A long queue of 20 vehicles and lorries which had been stuck inside finally were able to leave the compound.
Friday 28th June at 7am one person climbed a tripod erected in the road between Bellanaboy refinery and the Aughoose tunneling compound, stopping all traffic going into the compound until 11.30am when the road was cleared and the person was arrested. That person is being charged with Sections 8 and 9 of the public order act and will be up in Belmullet court on 10th July.
Three people walking back to camp from the tripod on Friday were followed by guards, and an attempt was made to arrest one of them but they jumped into a field and got away. This isn’t the first time that people have been harassed on the roads this week by Gardaí. Tuesday night as people were walking back from the pub the guards were stopping people who were walking in twos or alone, asking for names addresses and even emails. One person refused to give his details, saying he hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary and was only walking home, and he was arrested and brought to Belmullet garda station. He was released in the early hours of the morning with no charges.
Other things that have happened this week: Windows of a Shell house were broken, graffiti appeared on the main gates of the tunneling compound, and a Shell truck ran into problems with spuds up the exhaust and someone doing in its tyres. Who knows what else the pixies have gotten up to….
This is the pipe being laid between the refinery and the tunneling compound
Senior executives from Anglo Irish Bank discussed putting pressure on the then Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan in December 2008 in the latest recordings to emerge from the Anglo tapes, which are published in tomorrow’s Sunday Independent.read full article
Anglo Irish Bank faces claim of €1bn ‘overcharging’
At least one case has been rejected by the Irish courts under the IBRC Liquidation Act that requires lawsuits to be approved by the High Court. An appeal to the Supreme Court is being considered. The liquidation means that the IBRC liquidator can take …
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Fomer Anglo Irish Bank chief David Drumm apologizes, says inquiry needed on bank guaranteeread full article
It has emerged that the former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm said he would read full article
The Anglo Tapes have delivered a riveting insight into the bowels of Anglo Irish Bank during the financial crisis that toppled the State. read full article
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble slammed Irish bankers caught on tape joking about a bailout, calling them “aloof super humans” worthy of contempt… read full article
Edward Snowden took the world by storm when he released confidential information about the US government’s mass surveillance programs. Since then he has been called a traitor, a hero and a whistleblower. He isn’t the first. From Daniel Ellsberg to Bradley Manning, a handful of individuals also share the title of whistle-blower. The consequences since the release of the confidential information have all differed.
Click on the image below to launch interactive graphic
Additional research by AJ Libunao
Lies, Perfidies and Tony Blair
“Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terrorism.”President Barack Obama, April 15th 2013.
Having learned nothing from the catastrophes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, it seems President Obama, the equally clueless UK Prime Minister Cameron and his culturally challenged Foreign Secretary William Hague are cheer-leading another bloodbath in formerly peaceful, secular, outward looking Syria.
Having covertly provided arms and equipment to insurgents from numerous different countries for over two years, they have now moved to the overt stage, a move over which even arch hawks such as former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, and former Republican Senator Richard Luger, six term leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged caution.
Luger said such action would boost extremists, with Brzezinski dismissing Obama’s talk of “red lines” as thoughtless and risking: “a large-scale disaster for the United States.”
During Brzezinski’s time as National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter the decision was made to finance the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to Soviet deployment there. He’s had a bit of time to reflect on blowback and perhaps the 2,243 wasted US lives in that “graveyard of empires” – so far.
It seems however, the Washington and Whitehall regimes remain increasingly disconnected from reality. In spite of the plethora of gruesome images circulating on the internet of grinning terrorists holding up severed heads, cannibalizing body organs and summarily executing, they are to provide further arms to insurgency’s Hannibal Lecters. This, also regardless of the fact that Riad al-Assad, founder of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” is quoted as saying that suicide bombing is: “ an integral part of revolutionary action, of Free Syrian Army action.”
Meanwhile, less than a month after the murder of a soldier in London’s Woolwich by wanna be jihadists (with reported relationship with hard drugs) Britain’s increasingly rudderless ship of state allows entry to a controversial Saudi preacher, Muhamed Al Arefe, alleged to have made anti-Shia and anti-Semitic exhortations and who argues that a husband: “may use beatings to discipline his wife” as long as he beats her “lightly.”(i)
Informed friends from the Middle East charge bluntly that he recruits jihadists, as last week in visits Riyadh and Cairo. One added: “David Cameron may as well stand at the gate (of the Mosque) and hand out arms for the ‘good freedom fighters’ who will be heading to Syria after hearing Arefe’s sickening lies, sectarian incitement and calls for jihad against the ‘infidel regime.’ “
This was not a low key occasion. Arefe, spoke at the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, built on land donated by King George V1 to the Muslim Community of Britain. The Cultural Centre was officially opened by the King in 1944. The Mosque, completed in 1978, which can hold over five thousand worshippers in the main hall alone, was designed by renowned architect Sir Frederick Gibberd. Quite a platform for any recruiter.
This week it was reported (ii, iii) that weapons are flooding in to Syria from a Libya awash with weapons, “with spy chiefs saying” that the country has become a supermarket “of the world’s illegal arms trade.”
“Up to 3,000 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) have gone missing since the conflict” with more than “one million tonnes of weapons belonging to Colonel Quaddaffi” looted after his terrible death at the hands of NATO’s “allies.”
Potentially that is enough SAMs to down 3,000 airliners.
The Daily Mail understands that, unsecured: “ … there are now more weapons in Libya than in the entire arsenal of the British Army” according to MI6 estimates.
One internet video showed a stockpile of SAMs, which can hit an aircraft flying at 11,000 feet, in the hands of the Syrian insurgents. Used from airport perimeters anywhere, the result could be tragedy.
However, Akhbar Alaan TV reports(iv) Benghazi has been supplying weapons to the Syrian terrorists for “over a year.” With pictures they: “show the shipments from Libya, via Turkey to the Syrian opposition.”
The TV station’s reporter states:
“Their own Libyan revolution was supported by NATO … But these former Libyan rebels say the world is abandoning the Syrian opposition. And because of that Benghazi decided to act …”
“All these weapons are donated by former rebel units in eastern Libya … According to the Libyan organizer they also have shipped around 120 SAM 7 surface to air-missiles to Syria.”
Rebel units were, of course aided by US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, who arrived in a cargo ship loaded with arms (news, websites) and was murdered with colleagues in Benghazi on 11th September 2012.
According to the New York Times, Qatari C-17 cargo planes, capable of carrying a payload of over seventy tonnes, have picked up a weapons shipment at least three times this year, which were then delivered to the Turkish-Syrian border to be handed on to the “rebels.”
British-Libyan arms dealer Abdul Basit Haroun – who was a property developer in Manchester, UK for twenty years, until 2011 – has told Reuters that weapons are reaching Syria not alone by numerous flights, but on ships, concealed amongst humanitarian aid. Haroun has claimed that the authorities know about the shipment: “everybody knows.”
Further, Libyan Assembly Member Tawfiq Shehabi has said he supports the activities of people like Haroun, who was a brigade commander during the Libyan uprising: “After the end of the (uprising) he became involved in supporting the Syrian revolution … he does a good job of supporting the Syrian revolution.”
Claims are that permission for shipments is sought from and sanctioned by, Turkey. The UN has criticized Libya for proliferating weapons at an “alarming rate” and for “enriching the arsenals of a range of non-State actors, including terrorist groups.”(v)
Reuters interviewed Haroun and a reporter was taken to a container of weapons being prepared for delivery to Syria: “ … stacked with boxes of ammunition, rocket launchers and various types of light and medium weapons.”
Arms are flown in to “neighbouring countries on chartered flights”, several to Jordan as well as Turkey: “weapons were then transferred over the border.” (vi)
In Libya, the versatile Mr Haroun: “helps the government with state security, according to interior ministry spokesman Majdi al-Ourfi.”
Quite an own goal, NATO.
But no lessons have been learned. On Saturday (22nd June) the ridiculously named, eleven nation “Friends of Syria”, meeting in Qatar, agreed to supply: “all the necessary material” to the insurgents. Britain, with the US, is of course cheer-leading.
This in spite of warnings from such as Charles Lister, analyst at HIS – Jane’s Terrorist and Insurgency Centre – of the danger that weapons “almost invariably end up in the hands of” terrorists and extremists, and possibly even back in Britain.
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the army, said last week he was: “very much in the camp of those who would not wish to be involved and intervene in any shape or form”, with Major General Julian Thompson, who commanded British forces in the Falklands War in 1982, saying it was: “absolutely ridiculous” to contemplate another intervention …and getting involved with something else” whilst still mired in Afghanistan after nearly twelve years.
“Our information from Doha says that five countries have decided to start arming us immediately, and four other countries will give us logistical and technical support and, at a later stage, arm the Free Syrian Army,” a spokesman for the opposition fighters, Loay Al Mikdad, said in an interview with Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV.
Incredibly, with not a glance towards legality, the Doha plotters: “repeated their call for the establishment of a transitional governing body to which full executive powers would be transferred … Bashar Assad has no role in the transitional governing body or thereafter.”
However, Syria is a founding Member of the UN, one of the fifty one countries who signed to the Charter on 26th June 1945. Member States of the United Nations are bound by the UN Charter.
Article 2 (4) states:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Article 2 (1) The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
Article 2 (2) All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
The UN’s 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States directs:
“No state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state.
“Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the state or against its political economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.”
Recalling the duty of States to refrain in their international relations from military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any State,
“Considering it essential that all States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,
“In accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, States have the duty to refrain from propaganda for wars of aggression.
Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing or encouraging the organization of irregular forces or armed bands including mercenaries, for incursion into the territory of another State.
“Every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in acts of civil strife or terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts, when the acts referred to in the present paragraph involve a threat or use of force.”
End Note. Lest we Forget.
That Middle East “Peace Envoy” Tony Blair [left] who lied his way in to the destruction of Iraq, kissed his welcoming host Colonel Gaddafi then betrayed worthy of any Judas, had also entertained President Assad.
In 2002, when Bashar al Assad visited Britain, meeting the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and dined with Blair at Downing Street, it was considered bestowing an honor on the President.
“According to documents, on Nov. 14, 2002, a desk officer covering Syria and Lebanon at the Foreign and Commonwealth office wrote: “You should be aware that President Bashar of Syria will visit the U.K. as a guest of government … This will include an audience with the queen. I have been advised that we need to consider whether the queen should bestow an honor on him.”(ix)
Blair is, of course, cheer leading for Syria’s destruction:
“A spokesperson for Tony Blair defended the actions of the government under the former PM, stating: “Engagement with Syria and Assad in 2002 was absolutely right … Mr. Blair has said many times since that the situation has changed and Assad now has to go.”
Patience with the government’s austerity plan is running thin in Portugal with banners reading ‘Enough’ and ‘Government Out’. In their fourth general strike in two… read full article
Austerity: ‘unprecedented erosion’ in living standards
New Internationalist (blog)
The idea of the Peoples Assemblies is to create a mass national and local movement against austerity. Saturday’s event brought together people of all ages and walks of life – trade unionists, direct activists, students, pensioners, hackers, disabled …
“Austerity is not working for Ireland. Government has cut spending, raised taxes, increased unemployment, lowered wages, decimated services and allowed infrastructure to deteriorate on the understanding that austerity would lead to recovery …
Austerity leaves bitter taste as Leinster House sweet shop shuts
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If austerity is wrong and counter-productive when the Tories do it, it will be wrong and counter-productive whoever does it. Austerity in a red rosette is no less brutal and damaging than in a blue one. In failing to articulate a clear economic …
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|Portuguese businesses attack austerity, urge U turn
Portuguese business leaders launched on Monday a strong attack on austerity conditions tied to the EU-IMF bailout of the economy, saying that they had failed and the government should change direction to save the country from “recession”.
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|Union warns austerity will spur growth of ‘zero hours’ contracts
Austerity will spur the use of zero hours contracts, as more public sector work is outsourced to providers who rely on the ultimate flexible employment option, a think tank and union have said. The contracts, which offer no guaranteed work, are being …
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|Discredited Pro-Austerity Research Gets New Love From World’s Central Bank
Our world’s troubling austerity deficit is actually not the main message of the BIS’ 76-page opus, but an entire chapter, “Fiscal sustainability: Where do we stand?” is dedicated to the topic. And this chapter sounds a rallying cry for more austerity …
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Letter #4 to Goldman Sachs‘s Lloyd Blankfein
Posted: 25 Jun 2013 07:18 AM PDT
In this book of letters written by ordinary people affected by the fallout from the financial crisis is a chapter devoted to Goldman Sachs starting on page 91.
The fourth letter is from page 95 in The Trouble is the Banks: Letters to Wall Street, edited by Mark Greif, Dayna Tortorici, Kathleen French, Emma Janaskie and Nick Werle, printed in paperback edition by n +1 Research Branch Small Books Series #4, 2012, New York, NY.
Here is letter #4:
To: Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs
Dear Mr. Blankfein,
We are writing to you to interest you in a fantastic new opportunity for you and your loved ones. We are offering you the once in a lifetime opportunity to refinance all of your many homes and/or jets for the wealth–oops, did I say wealth–equity that you are holding in them.
Did you know that the property you bought for millions is actually worth gazillions of dollars under this plan? Yes! Gazillions! With our excellent and trustworthy panel of advisors we can help you truly capitalize on your investments and really make the most of what life has to offer.
What we do is: take the money you “earned” during those fantastic boom years, and invest it in schools, hospitals, housing and jobs for the poor, educate feed and clothe people before their brief yet worthy lives extinguish.
There really is nothing to lose from your side: just take the money backed by the assets of the houses, jets, boats and jewelry, sign your name, and we can provide you with short-term aspirations! It really is that simple. And don’t take our word for it, talk to many of our other customers in the 1% base range. Plenty of satisfaction all round!
With Such Sincerely Tepid Regards,
Walmart was charged with committing severe environmental crimes, according to court proceedings in the United States.
The San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Walmart admitted six counts of misdemeanor negligence of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States.
The company will pay approximately $81.6 million for their illegal conduct, the office said.
“Retailers like Walmart which generate hazardous waste are required to legally and safely dispose of the hazardous waste and dumping it down the sink was not legal or safe,” Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said.
“By mishandling of hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in violation of federal law, Walmart put the public and the environment at risk. It also obtained an unfair economic advantage over other companies,” Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Environment and Natural Resources Department Division said.
The fines will go in part to fund environmental projects in communities affected by the violations and help prevent future damage to the environment, Moreno said.