Palin Family picture via redstate via drudge
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Selection of Sarah Palin as McCain running mate a stroke of genius which will electrify the GOP base
Governor Palin is a native of Idaho and holds a bachelors degree from the University of Idaho. She is a fiscal conservative and has a strong pro-life record. She is a strong opponent of high taxes and wasteful public expenditure. She is highly articulate, charismatic and is a woman of immense political substance with an amazing track record. This is music to the ears of conservative voters whether GOP , Independent or Democrat.
Sarah Palin is the first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska. The gubernatorial inauguration was held for the first time ever in Fairbanks, to honour the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the state constitution, where it was ratified, in Squarebanks. "I will unambiguously, steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state as a mother naturally guards her own," she told an overflowing crowd at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
In the first days of her administration, Palin sold the Westwind II jet purchased (on a state government credit account) by the Murkowski administration. The state placed the jet for sale on eBay three times. In August 2007, the jet was sold for $2.1 million at a profit .
Governor Palin has successfully pushed through an ethics bill and ruthlessly attacked pork barrel projects. John McCain is also a virulent opponent of such projects. She cancelled the The Gravina Island Bridge project. This had been labelled the “Bridge to Nowhere”. She has not been slow to confront the local Republican establishment. Her approval ratings range from 80%-90%.
She is a supporter of oil and gas exploration yet is determined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alaska.
She has not been slow to take a tough stance against big oil companies where necessary. In August, 2008 Palin signed a bill into law giving the state of Alaska authority to award TransCanada Pipelines a license to build and operate the $26-billion-dollar pipeline to ship natural gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48, through Canada.
She is an inspirational choice for the VP slot. This will electrify the GOP base. It will unify the party.The sour ungracious reaction of the Democratic Party to the selection of Sarah Palin is an indication that the Dems are worried. Obama's decision not to run Clinton as a running mate was a huge blunder. The McCain/Palin ticket can now take full advantage.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
ESRI and Green Party Living in Environmental Cloud Cuckoo Land: Time to accept the real causes of Greenhouse Effect
Professor Richard Tol of the ESRI says heavy carbon taxes must be introduced in the medium term.
Is Richard Tol living in cloud cuckoo land? Ireland has seen a massive rise in electricity, gas, diesel and petrol prices. That is tantamount to the introduction of a carbon tax.
Industry and agriculture are struggling under the strain of government-imposed regulation and crippling energy prices. The economy cannot withstand such economic lunacy. The Green Party as well as the ESRI wish to deliver the coupe de grace.
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan seems to assume that Ireland can save the planet. It is time for the Green Party to face facts. It is pointless living in an environmental dream world.
India and China have no intention of reducing their carbon emissions. Indeed they intend to increase them. Meanwhile some Western countries crippled by carbon taxes will be expected to compete with them. It is not on Mr Ryan. You are living in Fantasy Land.
It is indisputable that global warming is taking place. However the causes of global warming can be disputed.
Climate change is caused mainly by variations in the tilt of the earths axis and in its orbit around the sun. This is cyclical. Variations in the sun’s energy output is another cause. There are cycles in sunspot activity.
Sunspots have all but disappeared in recent years. When this happened 400 years ago it signalled the start of the Little Ice Age.
It is likely that we may face such an eventuality-sooner rather than later. The human contribution to green house gases contributes 0.25% to the Greenhouse Effect.
Since the end of the last Ice Age the earth’s temperatures have risen by 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
Time for some realism from the Geen Party and the ESRI.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
“W32.Gammima.AG worm is a level 0 gaming virus intended to gather personal information. Virus was never a threat to any of the computers used for cmd and cntl and no adverse effect on ISS Ops. Theory is virus either in initial software load or possibly transferred from personal compact flash card. Working with Russians (and other partners) regarding ground procedures to protect flown equipment in the future. It was noted that most of the IP laptops and some of the payload laptops do NOT provide virus protection/detection software .....................................”
Full story at ZDNet.com
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Texas Republican Party advice to Obama whose half-brother lives in a slum:People in glasshouses should not throw stones
Monday, August 25, 2008
Not content with supporting partial birth abortion Barack Obama believes that the American taxpayer must foot the bill for all abortions. So as far as Obama is concerned it is a case of free abortion funded by an already overburdened taxpayer. Catholics, Evangelicals, Episcopalians and others who bitterly oppose the destruction of the unborn child in the womb would be levied to extinguish the lives of innocent children. Barack has promised also to expand abortion rights through his unwavering support of The Freedom of Choice Act.
Obama is an extremist on the abortion issue. He would make the most pro-abortion president ever. He supports the secular humanist position on this issue and is at odds with the Fifth Commandment. Obama has binned Christian teaching in an effort to win the Presidency.
A vote for the Obama/Biden ticket is a vote for taxpayer- funded abortion and policies at odds with God's teaching on this issue. Joe Biden as a Catholic has jettisoned church teaching.
So much for Obama's weasel words on social justice.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Devastating McCain Ad accuses Obama of passing over Hillary Clinton:Clinton is made to eat humble pie
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"A landslide over 3km long has left a number of homes cut off in Co Kerry.
Engineers from Kerry County Council and representatives of the Shannon Fisheries Board are at the scene of the mudslide in Lyreacrompane, near Castleisland.
Lyreacrompane is an area which lies in the Stacks Mountains close to Listowel.
Around 20 acres of peat, with a depth of up to 5 metres, has so far travelled over 3km........ "
Saturday, August 23, 2008
A large segment of Biden's speech was devoted to talking down the US economy. The word disaster was used. Certainly there are some severe economic problems not alone in the US but also throughout the world. But since when is a 5/6% unemployment rate a disaster? Biden and Obama preach about the loss of 3 million jobs and attack free trade. A return to protectionism will drive unemployment closer to 10%. In general low paid industrial jobs in Europe and the US are moving to low cost destinations. This is a fact of economic life. An Obama /Biden Presidency using protectionism will not stem the flow. To pretend otherwise is just dishonest.
Today Obama and Biden preached a policy of class warfare -a policy beloved of Marxists and extreme left Socialists. This is anathema to most Americans.
Demonising John McCain on the basis of the number of residences which he owns is cheap gutter politics designed to stir up envy. Are Biden and McCain advocating a policy of confiscation of assets belonging to those who have done well? A cursory glance at the Democrat's tax policies indicates that those who work hard to build up businesses are to be penalized with higher taxes. This is a recipe for higher unemployment and economic stagnation. So much for an enterprise culture.
Incidentally Obama earned $4 million in 2007 whilst Biden is not exactly poor.
Obama and Biden favour a windfall profits tax on oil companies and bemoan petrol at 4 dollars a barrel. Yet they are opposed to off shore exploration, which would provide the extra oil supplies to force down prices and reduce the dependency on unstable regimes in the Middle East. Falling prices would soon curb the excesses of the Russian bear. Russia has flexed its military muscles buoyed up by a huge inflow of oil revenue.
Biden attacked what he termed the Bush/McCain foreign policy. Is not Biden the man who voted for the Iraq war? This is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Is this not the politician who stated in 2007 that he would not serve as a Vice President and who in reference to Obama stated that “the White House is no place to learn on the job”. Biden also said that “I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off.” Now Biden the attack dog is at odds with himself. He is living in a political glasshouse.
Both Obama and Biden express concerns for the middle class yet favour the doubling of capital gains tax and a public expenditure splurge of $1,000 billion. The middle class will fund this.
Biden the Catholic agrees with Obama’s principles. His support for abortion and the appointment of pro abort judges to the Supreme Court is an insult to Catholic voters.
An Obama /Biden presidency will cripple taxpayers. Their taxation policy is based on envy and is designed to attack the coping classes.
Friday, August 22, 2008
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Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Thankfully Brian Hayes has begun to address the issue. He is motivated by a desire to tackle this problem in a coherent manner. He is not suggesting permanent exclusion. He is not suggesting discrimination as a solution to the problem.
He is suggesting a temporary exclusion of some immigrant students.These can then benefit from intensive English language training. Lo and behold the PC (politically correct) brigade is as usual out in force with accusations of racism. It is time to ignore them with their Pavlovian responses. There is a major problem. It is time to tackle it.
Perhaps the PC do gooders might care to explain how immigrant children clearly lacking a proficiency in the English language can benefit from education in a mainstream class. At present both indigenous children and immigrant children are discriminated against where there is an inability to deal adequately with prescribed courses.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Many Irish language lobbyists are enthusiastic about the FAI decision. Is it any wonder that the Irish language has continued to decline? What we have from the FAI is tokenism-an empty meaningless gesture. Presumably the FAI will now introduce Irish language courses for the players and insist on a basic level of competency. That might mean something. Don't hold your breath.
Looking beyond the wreckage of Gori and Tskhinvali to the long-term implications for Europe’s relationship with Russia, it is clear that there can be no return to the status quo.
Until Russian tanks rolled across the Caucasus it was common in parts of Europe to put tensions with Moscow down to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. Warnings from new European Union member states on Russia’s growing aggressiveness were not heeded. Prospects for an improvement in relations were talked up with reassuring phrases about “common values,” “enhanced dialogue” and “strategic partnership,” as if the only thing missing was a bit of diplomatic effort on our part.
For the sake of Europe, we must now dispose of these illusions. This was not an “accidental war,” as some prefer to see it. It was the culmination of a deliberate strategy by Russia to undermine the sovereignty and independence of its neighbors and to begin to restore its former sphere of influence by force. It is wishful thinking to imagine that Russia’s ambitions are limited to South Ossetia or even Georgia.
The Kremlin’s “national greatness” project dictates that the whole of eastern Europe, including countries that are now part of the EU and NATO, should be subservient to the interests of Russia.
Nothing in the Western response to the attack on Georgia will convince Russia’s leaders that this objective is beyond them. On the contrary, they are likely to feel emboldened by the experience to go further unless the West grasps what is happening and establishes clear limits.
It is quite wrong to see Russia’s behavior as reckless and unpredictable. The ground for this war was carefully prepared over a period of years in which the Kremlin probed and tested the willingness of Western government to resist its encroachments.
It used energy cut-offs to intimidate Ukraine and Lithuania, waged cyberwar against Estonia, imposed trade sanctions on Poland and grabbed foreign energy investments at home.
In Georgia, Russia supported a build-up of separatist armed forces and provoked them to attack Georgia; introduced an aggressive economic blockade against Georgia; tried to undermine Georgia’s Western-minded government; launched missiles against Georgian territory, and shot down Georgian reconnaissance planes.
Having failed to encounter a concerted pushback in response to any of these measures, it was inevitable that Russia would resort to hard military power. Russia calculated this step very carefully. Through our inattention and weakness, it is we in the EU who have been reckless.
It is time to face up to some uncomfortable truths about our relationship with Russia. The most important of these is to recognize that the current Russian political elite does not share our most cherished European values. It rejects multiparty democracy, human rights and freedom of speech as the basis of its domestic political system.
More important, it denies sovereign independence, self-determination, the rule of international law, peaceful diplomacy and voluntary integration as the basis of interstate relations. Since these principles form the basis of the modern European state system, we are faced with a fundamental clash of political values.
Russia’s determination to reintroduce power politics, including the use of war as an instrument of policy, is a direct threat to the very foundations of the EU. We cannot afford to ignore that any longer.
We cannot reverse that impression and defend our value system effectively with the EU’s existing approach to Russia. The selfish and short-sighted bilateralism by which certain European countries have put their own concerns before those of Europe as a whole needs to be replaced by a policy of real solidarity. We need to counter Russia’s abusive use of gas and oil supplies by developing a single European energy system with a real external policy.
We should realize that the time is not right to extend the privileges of strategic partnership to the Russians or perhaps even allow them to benefit from accession to the WTO. Instead, we should focus on integrating with those democracies in Eastern Europe that share our values and want to be part of the EU. These measures are necessary for restoring the integrity of a European state system based on democracy and the rule of law.
Unfortunately, the EU’s failure to act in a timely fashion means that such tools of “soft power” are no longer sufficient on their own. Russia has reintroduced military force into the equation, so the defense of democratic Europe needs to acquire a harder edge.
It would be sheer folly to conclude that Georgia and Ukraine should now be kept out of NATO. It was precisely the failure of the Bucharest summit to back the promise of membership with real substance that encouraged Russia to believe that it had an opportunity to prevent the inevitable.
If we reward Russia’s aggression by continuing to keep Georgia and Ukraine in the waiting room, we should not be surprised if the result is more aggression.
No one should be in doubt any longer about what is at stake in our relationship with Russia. This is a moment of danger and choice for Europe. Do we have the willpower to stand up for our way of life and everything we have built, or will we succumb to power politics and autocracy? If we remain paralyzed by indecision, the choice will be made for us.
Mart Laar was the prime minister of Estonia from 1992 to 1994 and from 1999 to 2002 .
Monday, August 18, 2008
His policies of higher taxation and redistribution of wealth are akin to those of the French Communist Party. They are certainly to the left even of most European Socialist Parties. They are a recipe for economic stagnation and increased poverty. So deeply embedded are such policies in European countries such as France and Germany that conservative governments when elected to power can only tinker at the edges. To introduce the radical reform necessary is to court political destruction.
Will the American voters learn from the mistakes of their European friends?
Waterford started off like a hurricane and had six points on the scoreboard within nine minutes with John Mullane , Eoin Kelly,Eoin McGrath and Stephen Molumphy notching scores. Waterford moved the ball crisply and used the wings to great effect.
Low ball to the forwards was paying dividends. Ken McGrath was playing a blinder at centre back. Incidentally it was noticeable that when Tipperary switched Seamus Callinan onto Ken McGrath later in the game he troubled the Waterford centre back.
The concession of needless frees by Waterford brought Tipperary back into the game. Six of Tipperary’s scores in the first half came from frees as Eoin Kelly punished Waterford indiscretions. In addition the delivery of low ball to the Waterford forwards had dropped off. The half-time score was Waterford 0-10 Tipperary 0-10. Waterford had played most of the hurling but had little to show for it.
It appeared as if Tipperary had more in the tank. Eight minutes into the second half Tipperary hit the front for the first time with a point by Conor O’Mahony . The game see sawed. Half way through the second half Tipperary led by 0-16 to 0-14. Jack Kennedy replaced Seamus Prendergast and proceeded to have a blinder for Waterford.
In the 56th minute Eoin Kelly scored a goal for Waterford. From the puck out by Brendan Cummins Seamus Callinan scored a goal for Tipperary to keep the Premier county in front. With 8 minutes remaining the sides were level 1-17 to 1-17. With seven minutes remaining Waterford hit the front and ran out lucky if deserving winners on a score of 1-20 to 1-18. Indeed Tipperary missed several clear-cut chances in the last eight minutes.
Liam Sheedy has no need to be downhearted. He has already moulded a fine young team. Nevertheless inexperience in the last 10 minutes cost Tipperary the game.
Notwithstanding the fact that Waterford played with no mean skill and verve today Kilkenny will enter the final as the hottest of favourites. This Kilkenny team is a hurling machine. There is no major weakness in the Cats outfit. In addition the desire to win three in a row will drive the Black and Amber to new heights.
So Waterford enters the final as a rank outsider. Today the Waterford defence was tighter than in previous games. But it still is not tight enough to blunt the Kilkenny attack. There is still some looseness in defence and a tendency to concede needless frees. There is an inclination to ball watch.
Defence is a 70 minutes job and demands total concentration. In the last 10 minutes of today’s game several Tipperary forwards were left loose and could have made better use of scoring opportunities. Man marking must be total against Kilkenny forwards. Clinton Hennessy had an outstanding game in goal. Indeed all defenders played their hearts out.
Aidan Kearney will have benefited from today’s game.
The Waterford half back line blunted the Tipperary attack.
The Kilkenny forward line against Cork consisted of E Brennan, M Comerford, E Larkin, R Power, H Shefflin and A Fogarty. Each and every one of these players is a match winner in his own right. These forwards must be put under relentless pressure and allowed no space. They are not averse to using their physical power through the legitimate use of the shoulder to soften up defences. The Kilkenny attack must be smothered and allowed little room.
This is no easy task. Many would argue that it is well nigh impossible
Jamie Nagle is developing rapidly into a fine centre field player whilst Brick Walsh is returning to form. Nevertheless it will be necessary to deprive the Kilkenny centre field of good clean ball. Indeed Kilkenny centre field players have a tendency to crop up all over the field and will notch scores from any loose ball around the middle of the field or closer in for that matter. So Jamie Nagle and Brick Walsh will have their work cut out to even gain parity here.
The forward line performed well today with Eoin Kelly, Eoin McGrath, John Mullane and Stephen Molumphy playing particularly well. Dan Shanahan did much good off the ball work and was a handful for the Tipperary defence even if he is not yet back to full form.
Seamus Prendergast tried very hard. Jack Kennedy when introduced plucked some great balls out of the sky and had a blinder.
The Waterford forwards as a unit worked hard and harried the defenders clearing the ball.
In the final low ball to the forwards is a sine qua non. Use of the wings and diagonal ball can open up the Kilkenny defence. Bunching will suit Kilkenny backs who are powerful in the tackle. There must be no shooting from impossible positions. Ground hurling would also reap dividends. Goalkeepers dread the ground shot especially one from the vicinity of the square. It is essential that a Waterford player is available to take a pass from the player who is being tackled.
In essence Waterford must play at a far greater level of intensity against Kilkenny mindful of the fact that Kilkenny is a far more experienced team than Tipperary.
Kilkenny are the warmest of favourites with Waterford as rank outsiders.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
but cannot live it for you.
I can give you directions,
but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can take you to church,
but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong,
but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes,
but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice,
but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love,
but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share,
but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect,
but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends,
but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex,
but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you about alcohol & drugs,
but I can't say "No" for you.
I can tell you about lofty goals,
but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness,
but I can't force you to be gracious
I can pray for you,
but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you how to live,
but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of
my life... and I will.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
He has been cautiously testing the waters in relation to the choice of a running mate. There have been subtle hints in relation to pro aborts such as Tom Ridge. He had better jettison any possibility of a pro abort running mate very quickly. Otherwise he is a political dead man walking. There is the simplistic belief that Ridge would guarantee victory in Pennsylvania. This is only half the story. Nine or ten states would fall to Obama because of mass defections from the GOP.
Millions of Republicans who are pro lifers will just walk. Protection of the unborn is a core principle for most Catholics, Evangelicals and other Christians who support the Republican Party. The party will be torn asunder. The GOP is the pro-life party at present. If a pro abort running mate is chosen this is no longer the case. Pro-lifers must then look for an alternative.
McCain has excellent choices available such as Sarah Palin Governor of Alaska, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota amongst others. Sarah Palin would be an imaginative choice as she is a fiscal conservative, highly efficient and would reach out to female voters.
You have been warned Mr McCain. Heed it or face political oblivion. Just remember Ross Perot. He secured 19,741,065 votes in 1992 and cost the GOP the presidency.
Really one would have to fear for McCain's sanity if he chooses a pro-abortion running mate.
He is endeavouring to ride two horses at the one time on the abortion issue.
He cleverly uses differing scriptural interpretations to justify the slaughter of the innocents. The devil can quote scripture to suit his own purposes. Obama is a coward on this issue.
By twisting the meaning of words you can justify almost anything. This is what happens to those who have no core beliefs.
There is a simple rule of thumb on this issue. Just go back to first principles.
The Fifth Commandment states "Thou shalt not kill".That's all you need to guide you Mr Obama. No difficulty in deciphering the meaning of these words. Christians contemplating a vote for Obama must remember the 5th Commandment.
We are answerable to God for our actions. No Christian in good conscience can vote for abortion. This applies also to clergymen,bishops and other religious who support Obama. It is a choice between flowery empty rhetoric of Obama which glorifies the culture of death or the truth as given to us in the Fifth Commandment.
Obama’s voting record on abortion is shocking in its callousness. As far as he is concerned the unborn child is a thing to be discarded. His behaviour on partial birth abortion is horrifying. The Democratic Party has plummeted to the depths on the abortion issue. It is time for conservative Democrats to leave the Party in droves and make common cause with the GOP. Stop this dangerous liberal Barack Obama. He is out of line with Christian principles.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"It should be my wedding day today . . . I'm looking at my wedding dress and don't know if I will ever see my fiancé. It's been the second day that he's not answering my calls. Yesterday, on BBC, I saw the Georgian hostages, walled and waiting to be shot by Russians. I looked at the back of the neck of one of the soldiers and thought that it looked exactly like my fiancé's. . . I know it's silly. . . Everyone's necks look the same from the back. I know I should not think negative . . . and brace myself . . . I've never been religious, but now, I cannot do anything but praying to God. I try not to cry . . . What is happening in my country is not expectable . . . I'd like to ask the world not to leave us in front of this bloody dragon – Russia. Georgia is not Russia's last prey. Tomorrow its' going to be Ukraine, then the rest of the Europe. Please defend us, defend yourselves! "
The Russian shell ruined down the Public School of Kurta. Arkad Mekhaturashvili, employee of the school, who was blocked inside, was asking to be taken out. In response to his help plea Russian invader killed him.
Kato Papelashvili was killed in the yard of her house and she is still unburied.
The old married couple residing in the village of Achabeti is trying to hide away from Russian invaders. They contact us and tell about Russian aggressors trespassing the houses owned by Georgians, robbing and taking any goods and finally setting the houses to fire.
Happened incredible thing: Russian barbarians demolished our gorge. They bombed houses; houses with people inside were in flames. We left our homes and escaped, the road was horrifying: bombs were exploding in front of us damaging cars and people. I saw a car packed with people blew up, human intestines were flying in the air. Some women from my village chose other way to leave the gorge, through river and forests. Cars were carrying bodies of young boys. The gorge is full of dead bodies who were not buried and have been left for crows to eat. I saw a woman who bowled up in front of her house, she was split in many many parts. Wounded asked for help, but there was nobody able to help them. I saw how Russians put two men in sacks and shoot them… Elders stayed in gorge. My parents stayed there. My dad has diabetes and can’t walk. I know their life is in danger, they know it too and they are waiting for death.
It is the tenth day that I am back from Oxford, Saint John College. I studied antique writings in order to understand the concept of hero in antiquity. I came back to Tbilisi, were my husband and two little children were waiting for me. My husband is actively involved in school reform and works to inculcate tolerance in pupils. One of my sisters travels across the Caucasus holding film festival "Nationality Human" and organizes discussions on human rights issues. My second sister makes films on human rights. The war had started absolutely unexpectedly couple of days ago. My husband was recruited together with his pupils as reservist. My sister was blocked in western Georgia, where she had been looking for the place to make a film, the other sister tried to contact her Ossetian friends to get news. All day long I heard Russian aircrafts shelling city of Gori, which is some 50 kilometers far from the conflict zone. My husband was in Gori. I saw burning houses, killed and wounded people on TV. The mobile connection was paralyzed and I had no idea of what had happened to my husband. Later he and his friends came back alive. Unfortunately, I don't need antique texts any more in order to understand what heroism means, as each of us are expected to be heroes right now. Afterwards, if I stay alive, I will write on heroism nowadays.
Maybe what I want to tell you is not so shocking, but I was crossing Gori on Sunday (place which Russia troops were bombing intensively). I was travelling with my son who is only 10 years old. We were terrified - the city seems to be dead. There were many destroyed buildings, only the gray ruins and terrified silence - no children voices, nor laugh… and what was scaring was the sky, where each moment could be visible Russian Bombardiers. And my son was asking me questions, the meaning of the words were not clear for me when I was 10. He was speaking about troop's location, about international Human Low, and the Moratorium… What a pity to take away the childhood from our children!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the original conflict Russia is now seen as an agressor by many political observers.
Russia's ambassador to Nato declared that Mr Saakashvili "is no longer a man that we can deal with". Dmitri Rogozin said: "He must be punished for breaching international law. He is responsible for many war crimes." Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, said that Russia would continue its military operation until "its logical end".
Obviously Russia wishes to topple the democratically elected leader of Georgia. This has very serious implications for world peace. Will Ukraine and Poland now face similar punishment? If so the West cannot stand idly by. Russia is bitterly opposed to closer links between the US and many former Communist East European countries. Putin wishes to send a threatening message to the leaders of those countries: You can have closer links with the US at your peril. Russia could quite easily sleep walk into a world war. Is that what Putin wants?
This invasion of Georgia brings to mind Russian tanks crushing the Dubcek regime in Czechoslovakia. Of course the Hungarian uprising and the workers uprising in East Berlin were also smashed by Russian tanks.
The invasion reawakens memories of the worst excesses of Stalinism. Russia has scored a huge PR own goal. Grave doubt must exist about the durability of Russian democracy.
Western European countries which had been moving towards closer economic links with Russia will now take stock.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which is operated by BP and which transports one million barrels a day from Azerbaijan to the Mediterranean was targeted by Russian bombers. The £2 billion pipeline running through Georgia is the only major conduit for Central Asian resources not under Russian control and is of vital importance to Western Europe.
The Kremlin under Vladimir Putin, Russia's former president and now prime minister, has used gas exports to Europe as a tool of foreign policy. In 2007 Russia cut off oil supplies to Belarus therby affecting supplies to Germany and Poland amongst other neighbouring countries. In 2006 Russia demanded a hike in gas prices from Ukraine. Western Europe gets 25 percent of its gas from Russia with 80 percent of that coming via the pipeline through the Ukraine.
Thus Russia has the ability to blackmail Western Europe using energy as a tool. Increasingly Russia is seen as untrustworthy.
The invasion of Georgia further cements this view. Russian leaders need to rethink their strategy. Of course a newly confident Russia buoyed up by huge oil revenues may choose to ignore world opinion.
If so it is on a course to political isolation. A new Cold War may already have commenced.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
"Last summer, Richard Soper became one of the first homeowners in the country [UK] to install a type of eco-friendly heating system that experts believe has the potential to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Soper: Our annual heating bills are now virtually nothing, whereas we were paying over £1,500 annually for running our oil boiler.
It works by deploying the technology used in a refrigerator to absorb warmth from the ground to provide heating and hot water.
Although ground source heat pumps are commonplace across much of northern Europe, Mr Soper is one of fewer than 5,000 homeowners to have installed the technology in the UK......
....Although the technology, which was supplied by Worcester Bosch, can't be described as cheap - Mr Soper's system cost £11,500 - the savings are substantial.
"Our annual heating bills are now virtually nothing, whereas we were paying over £1,500 annually for running our oil boiler. As the heat pump runs on electricity, we have seen an increase in our electricity bill, but overall the saving is massive........................"
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This twin success has brought the anti Abba brigade out in force. Neil McCormick in the Telegraph writes a particularly acerbic article. Somehow I think that he may be writing tongue in cheek. An interesting article on the group- appeared in the Telegraph on 10/7/2008. Titled "Abba - the music: why everyone loves Abba",it was written by Ivan Hewett and delves successfully into the reasons for the group's stunning success-even if it is unfair to the band members themselves. It is a must read for all Abba fans.
Clip from Mama Mia below
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Worst Deterioration in the Public Finances in History Sees Taxes Fall 9% Below Target.
"- Monthly tax take was €776m (18%) short of expectations
- this is by far the worst month so far for the public finances. VAT proceeds alone were €447m (or 20%) below expectations, while all major tax heads were significantly below target.
- For the year-to-date, tax receipts are now €2.2bn (8.9%) below budget expectations.
- Only last month, the Government produced a revised budgetary forecast predicting that the tax shortfall would be limited to around €3.0bn (a 6.1% shortfall).
- But if the current trajectory for taxes continues (and there is no reason to expect it to improve), and assuming the Government manages to limit spending in line with budget allocations (which is by no means certain), we can now expect the tax shortfall to be at least €4.4bn (8.9%).
- This would equate to a General Government Balance of around €6.2bn (3.3% of GDP), suggesting that Ireland is on course to breach the EU's 3% of GDP borrowing limits this year.
- These figures represent the worst deterioration in the public finances in the history of the State."FG
Monday, August 4, 2008
Obama's energy policy is based mainly on conservation and increased development of renewals.
Correct tyre pressures is a major plank in his energy platform.
That is not a sufficient response to the present crisis. It is a recipe for economic decline.
Huge reserves of untapped oil lie off shore. Under a Democratic Congress and a President Obama they will remain there.
The US and the West in general will remain at the mercy of unstable Middle East regimes under the Democrats and a President Obama.
Meanwhile Communist China ploughs ahead with a policy geared towards securing foreign oil supplies and other natural resources. It has extended its tentacles into Africa and is now increasingly active in South America. It is a new colonial power.
China is a major competitor with the West. US politicians had better wake up before it is too late.
China is rapidly developing it navy, army and air-force. These will be used to protect raw material supplies and if necessary to bully countries which threaten China's interests. Competition for scarce energy resources could trigger a nuclear war.
WYD08 attracted 223,000 registered Catholic pilgrims, including 110,000 from 170 nations making it the largest event ever hosted in Australia. I find this theme song particularly moving.
Receive The Power - International Version
Written by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto
Performed by Guy Sebastian, Paulini, Robert Galea (Italian), German Silva (Spanish), and Amelia Farrugia (French)
Verse 1 (Latin)
Da ogni dove siamo qua
riuniti ad adorar.
Con te in festa noi gioiam
In tutto il mondo ti seguirem.
Receive the Power from the Holy Spirit!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world!
Verse 2 (Spanish)
Tu Espíritu nos llama
Responderemos a tu voluntad,
Testigos para siempre
De tu piedad y eterno amor.
Receive the Power from the Holy Spirit!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world!
Agneau de Dieu, nous t’adorons
Notre Seigneur, nous t’adorons
Pain de vie, nous t’adorons
Emmanuel, nous t’adorons
Agneau de Dieu, nous t’adorons
Notre Seigneur, nous t’adorons
Pain de vie, nous t’adorons
Emmanuel, nous te chanterons toujours
Receive the Power from the Holy Spirit!
Receive the Power to be a light unto the world!
________________________________________________ "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses." - Acts 1:8
Born in Kislovodsk, Russia, in 1918, Solzhenitsyn was the son of an army officer. The Nobel laureate studied Mathematics at Rostov State University. He also studied at Moscow Institute of Philosophy Literature and History.
During World War Two he saw action with the Red Army and was involved in major action at the front, and was twice decorated. He was arrested and found guilty of anti-Soviet propaganda for criticising Joseph Stalin in a letter to a friend. In 1945 he was sentenced to eight years in prison camps and later exiled from Russia to Kazakhstan. He was struck down by cancer but recovered.
Eventually reprieved he returned to European Russia.
Solzhenitsyn taught at a secondary school during the day, but spent his nights secretly engaged in writing. He described his labour camp experience in the 1962 novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Clandestine copying had seen the distribution of copies of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich among Moscow's intellectuals for months when Anna Akhmatova, Russia's greatest living poet at the time, called Solzhenitsyn. "You know that in a month you will be the most famous person on earth?" she said. "I know," he replied. The First Circle was released in 1968. The novel details the life of the occupants of a gulag prison camp located in the suburbs of Moscow. He also wrote the Cancer Ward.
Despite winning the 1970 Nobel prize for literature, Soviet authorities stripped him of his citizenship and exiled him in 1974 after his novel The Gulag Archipelago was printed in the West. This exposed the horrors of the Soviet gulag system (Soviet forced labour and concentration camp system). Solzhenitsyn eventually settled in the United States, returning to Russia in 1994 following the collapse of the Soviet Communist system. In 2007, the one-time exile received the highest Russian government award for his work in the humanities - the Russian State Prize.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Repression of bloggers and political opponents continues in Burma, China and Tibet (Call for Reporters and Bloggers to Boycott Beijing Olympics)
In the run in to the Beijing Olympics there has been a huge crack down on dissidents by the Chinese authorities. Meanwhile the level of Chinese repression has accelerated in Tibet. China supports the repressive regimes in Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan.
During the Saffron Revolution in Burma in September- spearheaded by Buddhist monks- the Tyrants of Rangoon shut down the communications systems. Frequently courageous bloggers were the only reliable source of information. Many of these were arrested and disappeared.
Nay Phone Latte, a young blogger who has been held since 29 January in the notorious Insein prison, is facing a possible seven-year sentence.
Saw Wai, a poet who was arrested on 22 January for criticising junta chief Gen. Than Shwe in coded message in a poem published in the weekly Achit Journal, appeared before the Insein prison special court for the third time on 8 July. He is now also facing a possible seven-year jail sentence.
During the Saffron Revolution the brutality of the Burmese regime was flashed around the world. The international media has now moved on to pastures new. Once more the Tyrants of Rangoon are free to repress the opposition and to stamp out all vestiges of free speech.
The following message from a blogger and Buddhist monk called Ashin Mettacara has appeared in opednews under the heading "Calling Reporters and Bloggers to boycott Beijing and to declare one day period of media mourning"
"Dear Reporters and Bloggers,
I am a 27-year-old Buddhist monk from Burma, currently studying is Sri Lanka. While I was studying in the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in September 2007, there was a Saffron Revolution in Burma. The military regime cracked down on the peaceful protestors who mostly were Buddhist monks. As I could not reconcile myself with the current military regime's human right abuses, I became a blogger. I am not a political monk nor reporter. My wish is just to use the freedom I have out of Burma to help people of my country to get freedom and be away from the unbearable pain they have to endure for too many decades.
Coming 08-08-08 is the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics in China and the 20th anniversary of the 08-08-1988 popular demonstration in Burma, when many thousands of people were killed under the military junta's brutal crackdown.
China is a major trading partner, major weapons supplier and major defender of the Burma military junta in the United Nations Security Council. Because of China's support, the military junta in Burma is still in power to this day.
I would like to call on each and every reporter and blogger around the world to boycott, without reporting information, photo and video footage of Olympics ceremonies.
I also think it would be righteous to declare 08-08-08 as a day of media mourning for the thousands who died in 1988 demonstrations in Burma, and to raise awareness of China's policies concerning Burma, the Falun Gong, Darfur and Tibet."
Will his appeal fall on deaf ears?