Thursday, 29 April 2010

Al Gore buys another mansion

Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal.

The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Read more...

Record numbers of Britons declared insolvent

Almost 400 Britons are being declared insolvent every day as numbers reached a record high last month, it was announced today.

Latest figures suggested that despite the recession being officially over, households are struggling to make ends meet.

Experts warned the so-called debt lag – where the number of unpaid bills accrues over a series of months before insolvency hits – can last from anything between nine months to two years. Read more...

Government Report Calls For Global Authority On Planetary Geo-Engineering

The House of Commons report, entitled The Regulation of Geoengineering, was compiled by the government’s Science and Technology Committee in collaboration with the U.S. House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee.

It demonstrates how seriously both governments are looking at the idea of manipulating the planet’s climate.

“…we may need geoengineering as a ‘Plan B’ if, in the event of the failure of ‘Plan A’—the reduction of greenhouse gases—we are faced with highly disruptive climate change.” the report states. “If we start work now it will provide the opportunity to explore fully the technological, environmental, political and regulatory issues.” it continues. Read more...


DEBTS out of control. Spiralling unemployment. A bloated, unaffordable public sector. Leaders fiddling statistics and refusing to be honest with the public about the depths of the economic crisis facing the country.

This is the reality of Britain after 13 years of Labour’s spectacular mismanagement. But exactly the same disturbing
picture can be painted about Greece, the once idyllic Mediterranean land whose financial meltdown now threatens to drag down the economies of Europe, including our own. Read more...

Illegal war and the myth of global warming

It is wrong that our military is being used to oppress a nation that cannot harm people on the streets of Britain.

The vast majority of Afghan people are far too impoverished to be able to reach Britain. Therefore, with stringent border control here in the UK it would be possible to keep out those that would venture to Britain to harm us. Read more...

Global warming: Business as usual

I can now declare with confidence that the debate about global warming has returned to more or less the same position as was extant prior to the release of the Climategate emails.

The media is reporting on far fetched claims of possible damage due to climate change without any independent thinking--witness today's story on climate change causing cancer due to flooding of toxic waste repositories. Global warming will also apparently increase mental illness, according to the report, not to mention asthma and other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, heat-related deaths, human developmental effects, neurological diseases, waterborne diseases, weather-related deaths, and infectious and animal-borne diseases. Monkey business as usual. Read more...

Who's next? Greece debt crisis fuels worries of new global contagion

The debt troubles in Greece are intensifying and, even more dangerous, spreading fear across Europe and beyond.

That is triggering talk of a potential global contagion, similar to what happened after the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, setting off the worst financial crisis in the United States since the 1930s and contributing to a deep global recession.

"Greece as an economy is tiny but the danger is contagion and market panic," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York. Read more...

Ad agency launches civil liberties campaign

Creative Orchestra, the not for profit advertising agency is running a campaign using an image based on Hitler, in an effort to raise debate over civil liberties in the UK.

The hard-hitting campaign is non-partisan, but aims to stimulate debate about freedom and civil liberties in the final week before the general election.

The creative uses the distinctive image of Hitler and uses a CCTV camera icon as the dictator’s moustache Read more...


FAILED asylum seekers and illegal immigrants who turn violent to avoid being kicked out of Britain are costing the taxpayer £8million a year, it emerged ­yesterday.

In just 18 months, 1,118 people became so disruptive it was deemed unsafe to escort them out of the country. Read more...

Health scheme on brink of collapse

Glasgow’s pioneering model of merging social work and frontline healthcare to save hundreds of millions of pounds is on the verge of collapse, The Herald can reveal.

The future of the groundbreaking community health care partnership (CHCP) system, often cited as a model for the rest of Scotland, has been thrown into doubt after the reluctance of the city council to commit to £400 million up front despite an agreement from last year.

The council wants its contribution, which would be added to a £490m share from the health service, paid in stages and will agree to this approach at its executive committee tomorrow.

However, the authority has been told by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that this could make the CHCP plans “unworkable”.

A senior CHCP source said: “I believe there’s now a serious threat that the whole thing could break down and be disbanded.” Read more..

Washington to use Armenian territory to attack Iran - Azerbaijani MP

According to MP Eldar Ibrahimov, the United States is planning to use Armenia for offensive against Iran.

“The United States intends to dislocate its military bases in Armenia”, Public TV channel reports that the due statement was made by chairman of the committee on agrarian policy of Milli Medjlis Eldar Ibrahimov at a meeting with representatives of the Iranian parliament on April 27.

“Iran is actively cooperating with Armenia that occupied the fifth part of the Azerbaijani territory. If not for the comprehensive support of Tehran, Armenia would have withdrawn from the Azerbaijani lands long before”, he said. Read more...

Bigot Gate, Does Gordon Brown Despise Labour Voters In Private?

UK General Election Tipping Point Against Labour - After an 10 minute exchange with a Gillian Duffy a 66 year old life long Labour voter concerning issues such as the National Debt and Immigration, Gordon Brown when getting into his car left his radio microphone on and referred to the Labour voter as a bigot. Read more...

Britons turning back on car ownership as cost of motoring soars

Britons are turning back on car ownership because of the soaring cost of motoring, according to new Government figures.

Statistics released by the Department for Transport have underlined the impact of spiralling fuel prices last year, during which the cost of filling an average tank rose by £10.

The most dramatic drop was in the number of new cars registered which fell by 6.8 per cent in 2009 compared with the previous year. Read more...

Farce of police paperwork exposed as officers spend up to 80 minutes filling in holiday request forms

Officers in one of Britain's largest police forces have been forced to take over an hour filling out a single holiday request form.
Greater Manchester Police blamed the lengthy process on the number of copies of each form that had to be printed, signed and filed away.
Chris Burrows, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: 'Some divisions and departments seek to interpret force policy in their own way and add extra levels of bureaucracy that are unnecessary. Read more...

Villagers' fury as £300,000 spent on project to help fish... after flood defences to protect homes are refused

Village residents are furious that £324,000 of public cash is being spent on a river project to help fish instead of flood defences to protect their homes.
Some householders in Darfield, South Yorkshire, have only just returned home after devastating floods three years ago. Residents have been frustrated by the refusal of the authorities to build barriers to stop the River Dearne bursting its banks and flooding nearby homes.
Now they have watched with incredulity as hundreds of thousands of pounds have been poured into an Environment Agency scheme to build a fish ladder designed to help fish swim upstream for breeding. Read more...

Grandmother tagged for selling goldfish to teenager wins battle to get sentence overturned

A grandmother tagged for selling a goldfish to a teenager today won her legal battle to have the electronic shackle removed.

Joan Higgins, 66, declared the ruling 'a victory for common sense' and pledged to celebrate her freedom with a visit to the bingo with her sister.
She is also looking forward to going to see her favourite star Rod Stewart in concert, which her curfew would have made her miss. Read more...

All your house are belong to us... sort of.

The Angry Exile, Upside Down Correspondent.

Let me take you back to mid-February when I blogged on Pauline Hanson.

Pauline Hanson, one time federal MP for the Queensland seat of Oxley ... is apparently going to migrate to Britain. She's apparently fed up with the nanny state here and says that this is no longer the land of opportunity...

Ahahahahahahahaha. Ha hah hahahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahahahahaahhahaahahahahaahaahaaaaahaa.

Pauline, love, if you think Australia is over taxed and over regulated just wait till you get off the plane at Heathrow.
Oddly enough it was just the other day when I found myself wondering if she'd gone yet, and then the very next day it turned out that she was in fact still here. Can't sell her house apparently. Actually it's more like not allowed to sell her house, at least not on her terms. Being who she is it's not a great surprise to learn that she doesn't want to sell to certain people, namely Muslims or non-resident asians. You can call it stupid, unreasonable and xenophobic if you want but it's her house to sell to whom she wants, right?

Wrong. There's actually a law against it.
Ms Hanson this afternoon hit back at Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Commission for saying she would be breaking the law if she knocked back a potential buyer on the grounds of their race or religion.

"I'm the one who decides if I want to put my signature on my contract, it's my right I will decide whether I want to sell my land to a certain person on that contract or not," the former One Nation leader told Fairfax Radio 4BC.
Personally I think she's an idiot but she has got a very good point. It's her decision to sign the contract and it's very hard to see how the law can make her sell to someone she doesn't want to deal with. More to the point it's hard to see why it should even try. If she's offered X dollars from someone who slots neatly into her views as being okay by her and is willing to turn down a much larger offer from someone else because of his religion then she's the one losing out. And beyond that all this anti-racisim pro-tolerance legislation is having a rather nasty side effect which means all of us, not just Pauline Hanson, lose out. The right to associate freely is sliding slowly away from us, and while we may chuckle and sneer at the Pauline Hansons of this world we do so at our peril. Today it's them being told what they can and can't do and who with. Tomorrow it could be any of us.

Needless to say Chez Hanson is now off the market, though that hasn't stopped the hate mongers - no, not the xenophobes but their equal and opposite counterparts - abusing the poor real estate agent who was unfortunate enough to have been hired by Hanson before the controversy broke.
[LJ Hooker Yamanto agent Keith Edwards] expected the fall-out to continue, with the real estate agent receiving a "torrent" of abusive emails and phone calls.
Anti-racists once again becoming something very much like that which they say they hate.

London 2012: one big party or one big prison?

Security precautions for London 2012 include the construction of a 17.5 km, 5,000volt electric fence, topped with 900 daylight and night vision surveillance cameras spaced at 50 metre intervals. On first sight of the fence you could be forgiven for thinking you had slipped through a wormhole in the space-time continuum to find yourself on the perimeter of a Soviet era Gulag. Read more...

Trichet Calls For Corrupt BIS To Boss Global Government In CFR Speech

In a speech before the elitist Council On Foreign Relations organization in New York earlier this week, President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet called for the imposition of global governance to be bossed by the G20 and the corrupt Bank of International Settlements in the name of safeguarding the global economy.

In an address entitled “Global Governance Today,” Trichet proclaims how the elite need to impose “A set of rules, institutions, informal groupings and cooperation mechanisms that we call “global governance”.

During the course of the speech, Trichet uses the term “global governance” well over a dozen times, outlining how “global governance is of the essence” to avoid another financial crisis. Read more...

20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins

Today, millions of Americans say that they believe that the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for that to happen. The sad truth is that the vast majority of Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that. Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war, a terror attack, a deadly pandemic or a massive natural disaster to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge. So just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants to feed, clothe and supply you and your family? Do you have a plan? Read more...

Baby boy survives for two days after botched late-term abortion

A baby boy abandoned by doctors to die after a botched abortion was found to be still alive the next morning and died the following day.

The 22-week infant later died in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy. Read more...

Do CCTV and the DNA database make us safer?

Welcome to Reality Check. Today I'm scrutinising Labour's claims that Conservative policies on CCTV and DNA would be bad for public safety.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said the Conservative Party is "seeking to restrict the police's ability" to solve crimes.

He says they would do this by taking DNA profiles off the database as well as through their opposition to greater use of CCTV on the basis that it is "all part of a surveillance society". Read more...

Thought police muscle up in Britain

BRITAIN appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian state. As a sometime teacher of political science and international law, I do not use the term totalitarian loosely.
There are no concentration camps or gulags but there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent. Read more...

EUROPE: The Titanic is SINKING

There are no good solutions here, only very difficult ones. In order to get financing, Greece must willingly put itself into a multi-year depression. And borrowing more money when it cannot afford to pay back what it has will not solve the problem. 61% of Greeks now favor leaving the euro. How has Greece responded? By banning short selling on its stock market for the next two months. That should make things better. Greeks are responding by rioting and going on strike. But you truly know when a country is dysfunctional when its AIR FORCE goes on strike. Yesterday Reuters reported that hundreds of Greek pilots called in sick in protest. The response from government? The Minister of Defense said he was "profoundly disappointed." Now that had to make the pilots feel bad. Read more...

Boy, 3, held as terrorist by Paris police

A boy of three was arrested as a terrorist suspect and held by police for more than two hours, it emerged today.

The North African illegal immigrant's son, identified only as Daniel, was held with his father in Paris. The father was questioned about links to radical Islamic groups. More

RBS caves in on 'obscene' pay and raises bonuses threshold

Warning for Britain as financial chaos spreads to Spain

Spain's economy was thrown into chaos on Thursday when its credit rating was cut, sharpening fears that Britain may suffer a similar fate.

The turmoil came just a day after Greece’s rating was cut, increasing concerns of a Europe-wide financial crisis.

The euro fell sharply and the interest rates European governments pay to borrow money jumped after Standard and Poor’s, a credit ratings agency, downgraded Spain. Read more...

Why The Coming Election Could Bring The PERMANENT End Of The UK Labour Party

Gordon Brown's gaffe today in calling an old woman a bigot for her opinions on Eastern Europeans belies bigger problems for a party now faced with becoming obsolete.

The rise of the Liberal Democrats, through leader Nick Clegg's masterful performances in the country's first televised debates, is putting pressure on a Labour Party which has been considered the only other since the 1920s. Read more...

Why Should You Be Freaked Out About Greece? Remember, The Great Depression Had Two Parts

The most terrifying words I've seen written so far about the growing crisis in Greece were penned by Yves Smith yesterday: "So the whole idea that the financial crisis was over is being called into doubt. Recall that the Great Depression nadir was the sovereign debt default phase. And the EU's erratic responses (obvious hesitancy followed by finesses rather than decisive responses) is going to prove even more detrimental as the Club Med crisis grinds on."

The Great Depression was composed of two separate panics. As you can see from contemporary accounts--and I highly recommend that anyone who is interested in the Great Depression read the archives of that blog along with Benjamin Roth's diary of the Great Depression--in 1930 people thought they'd seen the worst of things. Read more...

Brown’s ‘bigot’ blunder plunges Labour campaign into crisis

Gordon Brown prostrated himself as a “penitent sinner” yesterday after a brush with a voter triggered a calamitous chain of events that threatened to derail Labour on the eve of tonight’s pivotal TV debate.

The Prime Minister spent an unscheduled 45 minutes inside the terraced house of Gillian Duffy apologising to the Labour-supporting widow for insulting her behind her back. Read more...

Man fined for reversing into his own driveway

Maxwell Cannon was issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice and informed that he was committing a traffic offence for waiting on the zigzag markings of a pediestrian crossing outside his home in Harrington, near Workington in Cumbria.

Mr Cannon, 25, said he was waiting for a break in the heavy traffic to reverse onto his property on August 10 last year and appealed the ticket at West Allerdale Magistrate's Court. Read more...

EU plans IP address snatch to battle cybercrime

An international cybercrime centre will be able to revoke domain names and IP addresses under new proposals by European governments.

The EU Council of Ministers announced the plan yesterday. They want a new body, possibly based at Europol, the EU police agency, to take on an array of tasks to combat cybercrime.

The most eye-catching of the potential centre's briefly-described roles will be to "adopt a common approach in the fight against cybercrime internationally, particularly in relation to the revocation of domain names and IP addresses", the Council of Ministers suggested. ungedie

Lib Dems' secret plan for high street cannabis cafes

Cannabis cafes would be permitted under secret Liberal Democrat plans.

A leaked policy document calls for the decriminalisation of the drug in an approach even more radical than Amsterdam’s.

The paper also suggests allowing possession of cannabis, social supply to adults and cultivation of the plants for personal use. Read more...

Hung parliament 'could tilt Britain into Greek-style financial turmoil'

A hung parliament could lead to a Greek-style financial crisis, business leaders and economists have warned.

They said of a run on the pound and loss of faith in Britain’s ability to tackle its deficit, which is on a par with that of Greece.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the crisis was spreading ‘like ebola’ across Europe. Read more...

Europe's dithering on debt threatens to power up the financial doomsday machine again

A renewed sense of panic has returned to markets. Only recently, Western policy-makers had declared a depression averted, an outcome they modestly attributed to their own actions in unleashing an unprecedented programme of co-ordinated financial system intervention, fiscal stimulus and monetary easing. The banking system seemed to be healing itself and for many countries, the wider economy was returning to growth.

But now the financial doomsday machine, so recently declared deactivated, shows every sign of starting up again. Are we about to move on to a second, possibly more damaging, phase of the financial crisis that will tip us back into prolonged recession? And if so, what can be done to prevent it? Read more...

Business leaders warn next Government: either shrink the state or risk economic ruin

One of Britain's most powerful trade bodies has warned that the winner of the next election must be prepared to reduce the size of the Government immediately or risk economic problems for a decade.

The Institute of Directors used its annual conference in London to criticise all of the political parties for failing to produce policies that will adequately tackle Britain's economic problems.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's crucial televised debate on the economy, Miles Templeman, director general, said: "We're a week from the General Election but we're still years from bringing the deficit and the size of the Government under control. If the truth be told, no political party is advocating the scale of spending and deficit reduction we need, not just for the next few years, but for the next decade. Read more...

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