Thursday 27th of January 2022

in the trough of things .....

from the ABC …..

Costello urges banks to lower fees. 

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello is urging banks to reduce
the fees they charge when customers open or close accounts. 

Mr Costello says he has met with the major banks to ask
them to lower entry and exit fees they charge on accounts. 

He says uncompetitive fees are hurting consumers. 

what's to celebrate .....

‘Israel is 58 years old today.

Israelis have already celebrated
with barbecues and parties. And so they should, for they've pulled off an
amazing stunt: the creation of a state for one people on the land of another -
and at their massive expense - without incurring effective sanction. Some of
those not celebrating, the Arab citizens of Israel, were also there,
demonstrating to remind the world that Israel displaced 250,000 to take their
land without compensation. 

keeping us safe .....

‘MI5 is being accused of a cover-up for failing to
disclose to a parliamentary watchdog that it bugged the leader of the July 7
suicide bombers discussing the building of a bomb months before the London

MI5 had secret tape recordings of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the gang leader,
talking about how to build the device and then leave the country because there
would be a lot of police activity. 

However, despite the recordings,
MI5 allowed him to escape the net. Transcripts of the tapes were never shown to
the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC), which investigated
the attacks. 

AWB- Who changed the script?

Given the totality of the apology drafted by AWB's Andrew Lindberg, what was the catalyst for assuming their apparent legal strategy of forgetfulness after having created such a self-damning document?

[From The Australian]

1. As a result of the Volcker inquiry into the OFF (oil-for-food)
Program AWB accepts that in paying money for inland transportation and
after sales service it paid money to the Iraq government in
contravention of the UN sanctions.

2. Even though there were warning signs to some employees that this may
have been occurring AWB did not challenge these payments and was not
alert to the potential consequences of making these payments. For this
we are truly sorry and deeply regret any damage this may have caused to
Australia's trading reputation, the Australian government or the United

Halliburton's Detention Centres Only Blueprints, Says CEO

Halliburton's US contract to build detention centres was part of a plan that may never be completed, it was revealed today.

The suprising admission came from the successor to US Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton President and CEO Mr David Lesar.

During a question and answer session at the company's AGM a stockholder asked for details of the US$385 million contract.   The deal, said Mr Lesar, was part of a contigency plan.

"There are no plans at this point to actually physically build
anything. We don't know when or if or where this contract will be
activated," he said.

reflecting hubris .....

‘Recently, a number - one billion
- in the
New York Times
stopped me in my tracks. According to a report
commissioned by the foundation charged with building Reflecting
, the memorial to the dead in the attack on the World Trade
Center, its projected cost is now estimated at about a billion dollars and
still rising. According to Oliver Burkeman of the
British Guardian
, "Taking inflation into account, $1bn would be
more than a quarter of the original cost of the twin towers that were destroyed
in 2001." 

choppers .....


Requiem for the Sea King
CBC News Online | Updated Feb. 3,

They are known as the
"ancient" Sea Kings, the "geriatric" Sea Kings, the
"venerable" Sea Kings. They have been called "flying
coffins." Purchased with considerable fanfare by the federal
government in 1963, when they turned heads with their impressive exploits,
the Sea Kings are now a sick, ageing fleet, with pieces literally falling
out of the skies. Canada bought 41 of the single-rotor Sea Kings,
technically known as the Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King. Twenty-eight of them
remain in service, and those still flying are often hit by flameouts,
engine stalls, generator failures and gearbox problems. Pilots have died
flying them, falling into oceans, crashing into muskeg – more so the older
they get. After the federal government renewed the bidding process in 1999
to replace the fleet, builders around the world jockeyed for position to
win the contract. 

Sixteen Arrested AT U.S. Halliburton Protest

Today's Houston Chronicle says it all:

Sixteen people protesting Halliburton Co.'s environmental record and
its role as a military contractor were arrested on trespassing charges
Wednesday when they surged toward a building where company shareholders
were meeting.

Another man was arrested on a charge of destroying public property for tearing up a plastic fence holding back protesters.

A masked man beat on a large empty jug and protesters chanted, "The
whole world is watching," and "Shame on you," while police made the
arrests. A designated area had been set up for the protest, and police
had told protesters not to leave that area.

No Fitting Epitath- The Kovco Leaks

I've gotten into lots of trouble over the Kovco scandal.  Days before his body went missing I wrote that I beleived a cover-up was occurring.  Everything I wrote after that landed me in more trouble.  In spite of this I need to write down what follows:

Right now I cant' believe that not one but two officials, including the person who compiled the "accidentally leaked" the report weren't, at the very least, carrying out their actions with subconsiously compelled deliberateness.

Here's the timeline:  Kovco is killied by a bullet.   The body is moved before an MP investigation at the order of the commander in chief of Australian armed forces in Iraq.  Kovco's body goes missing, the wrong coffin sent to Ausralia.  The official version of his death is changed, and  though we're told that he didn't die cleaning his gun, no other explanation is offered.  Then the bullet (or maybe just its casing) goes missing and isn't provded with Kovco's remains to be examined by the NSW coroner.

the dark doppelganger .....

‘But who is Osama bin Laden

Let me rephrase that. What is
Osama bin Laden? 

He's America's family secret. He
is the American president's dark doppelganger. The savage twin of all that
purports to be beautiful and civilised. He has been sculpted from the spare rib
of a world laid to waste by America's foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy,
its nuclear arsenal, its vulgarly stated policy of "full-spectrum
dominance", its chilling disregard for non-American lives, its barbarous
military interventions, its support for despotic and dictatorial regimes, its
merciless economic agenda that has munched through the economies of poor
countries like a cloud of locusts. Its marauding multinationals who are taking
over the air we breathe, the ground we stand on, the water we drink, the
thoughts we think. Now that the family secret has been spilled, the twins are
blurring into one another and gradually becoming interchangeable. Their guns,
bombs, money and drugs have been going around in the loop for a while (the
Stinger missiles that will greet US helicopters were supplied by the CIA). The
heroin used by America's drug addicts comes from Afghanistan. The Bush
administration recently gave Afghanistan a $43m subsidy for a "war on

Now Bush and Bin Laden have even begun to borrow each other's rhetoric. Each
refers to the other as "the head of the snake". Both invoke God and
use the loose millenarian currency of good and evil as their terms of
reference. Both are engaged in unequivocal political crimes. Both are
dangerously armed - one with the nuclear arsenal of the obscenely powerful, the
other with the incandescent, destructive power of the utterly hopeless. The
fireball and the ice pick. The bludgeon and the axe. The important thing to
keep in mind is that neither is an acceptable alternative to the other.’ 

Halliburton's Share

As protesters gather in Oklahoma for this year's Halliburton stockholders meeting, Corpwatch Director Pratap Chatterjee has given an excellent overview of Halliburton's involvement in oil exploration.

[extract from Democracy Now broadcast} 

"Halliburton is actually one of the principle players in the issue of
climate change, and the reason is that it's so profitable for them and
for the oil companies. Halliburton, in fact, is the company that
pioneered a lot of the offshore drilling technologies, the fracturing
technologies. So it's incredibly profitable for them to do this work,
and they do this and they’re part of pretty much every major oil
operation around the world.

junior hits the diplomatic trail .....

To:                 President of Iran
From:            President of Amurrica
Mr Moo-uh Abba-dabba-jen,
After carefully listening to a one minute summary prepared by my staff of your
recent 18 page letter complaining about so-called wars of aggression by the US,
torture and one-sided blind support of Israel, I have decided to write a letter
back since -after all- I am the decider. 

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