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Showing posts from February, 2008

Philippines' Galoc oilfield to start in April

This if from Reuters.
This is good news since the Philippines is very much dependent on foreign oil making the cost of gasoline and diesel quite high.


REFILE-UPDATE 1-Philippines' Galoc oilfield to start in April
Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:26am EST
(Corrects web site name in paragraph 4.)

(Adds details throughout)

By Maryelle Demongeot

SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Philippines' 17,500 barrels per day (bpd) Galoc oilfield will start commercial production in April, slightly behind plans for a first-quarter launch, an executive with Nido Petroleum Ltd (NDO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday.

The new crude will raise the Philippines' domestic crude oil output by some 70 percent to up to 42,500 bpd and will provide the first major crude oil addition to the Asia-Pacific region this year.

"Wells are now ready for production services in April 2008," Jon Pattillo, head of exploration for Australia's Nido Petroleum, which holds a 22.279 percent in the development, tol…

1 in 100 U.S. Adults behind bars

Even though the average yearly cost for retaining someone in jail is $23,000, it seems there is still lots of support for being being tough or even tougher on crime. The U.S. is now number one in incarcertang their citizens surpassing even Russia. The prison-industrial complex will probably not suffer from any recession.


1 in 100 U.S. Adults Behind Bars, New Study Says

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/28cnd-prison.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
By ADAM
LIPTAK
Published: February 28, 2008

For the first time in the nation's history, more than one in 100
American
adults is behind bars, according to a new report.

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it
to
almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The
number of
American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1
adults
is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic
adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006.

More than 900,000 on U.S. terror list.

Wow! Surely this creates a niche market and leaves room for an operator to fly terror suspects. Perhaps those flights that the CIA used for rendition could now be resumed as for profit flights to help recoup some of the U.S. taxpayers money that was spent on costly rendition flights of terror susspects to foreign torture sites.

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/ACLU_calls_out_US_over_absurd_0227.html
ACLU calls out US over 'absurd bloating' of terror watch list

Nick Juliano
The Raw Story

More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected terrorists
on the
US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond
1
million by summer, says the American Civil Liberties Union.

"If there were a million terrorists in this country, our cities would
be in
ruins," Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty
Program, stated in a press release from the group. "The absurd bloating
of
the terrorist watch lists is yet another examp…

Joseph Stiglitz: The Three Trillion Dollar War

This sounds as if it will be an interesting book. I am amazed that there is so little discussion of the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars. The Democratic front-runner wants to increase the size of the military so that Americans are unlikely to see any decline in military spending. The type of Keynesian militarism that has fuelled the U.S. economy for ages does not seem to be even within the radar of present discussions of the U.S. economic crisis.


http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/28891.html
By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush
administration predicted that the war would be self-financing and that
rebuilding the nation would cost less than $2 billion.

Coming up on the fifth anniversary of the invasion, a Nobel laureate
now
estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing America
more
than $3 trillion.

That estimate from Noble Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz also
serves
as the title of his new book, &…

Obama and Clinton flip-flops

There are five from each Democratic candidate. Perhaps the Republican candidates never flip-flop!


from washingtonpost.com

Monday, February 25, 2008; A04

Top Obama Flip-Flops

1. Special interests. In January, the Obama campaign described union
contributions to the campaigns of Clinton and John Edwards as "special
interest" money. Obama changed his tune as he began gathering his own
union endorsements. He now refers respectfully to unions as the
representatives of "working people" and says he is "thrilled" by their
support.

2. Public financing. Obama replied "yes" in September 2007 when asked
if he would agree to public financing of the presidential election if
his GOP opponent did the same. Obama has now attached several
conditions to such an agreement, including regulating spending by
outside groups. His spokesman says the candidate never committed
himself on the matter.

3. The Cuba embargo. In January 2004, Obama said it was time "to end
the embargo with C…

U.S. Demonstrators protest Iraq Oil Law.

This is from the Freepress. As noted, the mainstream press simply ignores demonstrations such as this. At least, some segments of labor have shown solidarity with Iraqi labor. Imagine that unions in the public sector are still banned so that the government does not recognise the oil unions. How many Americans are even aware of this?

Kick that barrel
by Mike Ferner
February 23, 2008

In a town awash in irony, this particular example of it couldn’t have been more striking.

Yesterday, in Washington, D.C., former Marine Corps Sergeant and Iraq War vet, Adam Kokesh, kick-rolled a 55-gallon oil drum lettered “Hands Off Iraqi Oil” across K Street – an avenue that has become synonymous with the power of corporate lobbyists.

Kokesh, former Army National Guard Sergeant Geoff Millard, and former Army Private Marc Trainer, in the center of a knot of demonstrators, took turns kicking the barrel up 16th Street towards Lafayette Park, adjoining the White House, for a protest sponsored by U.S. Labor Again…

Chomsky: The World According to Washington

The whole article is at Asia Times. With his usual sharp sarcasm Chomsky reveals at great length and in detail the transparent hypocrisy involved in Washington's (and to a great extent the world press) moralistic and vehement denunciation of some terrorist acts while studiously ignoring others.

'The world' according to Washington
By Noam Chomsky

On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hezbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. "The world is a better place without this man in it," US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said. "One way or the other he was brought to justice." Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh had been "responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden".

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as "one of the US and Israel's most wanted men" was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reporte…

In the Dragon's Lair

This is part of an article from Asiatimes. Those humanitarian and infra-structure programs of the U.S. military are designed to make the Philippines easily available for use by U.S. forces. I wonder if these secret CSL's or Co-operative Security Locations are even discussed in the Philippines. Don't be surprised if there is some corruption involving them and key filipino politicians and business people.






IN THE DRAGON'S LAIR

US prowls for China in the Philippines
By Herbert Docena Since the closure of its military bases in the country in 1991, the United States has incrementally regained, transformed and deepened its military presence and intervention in the Philippines. The manner in which the US has attempted to re-establish basing in the Philippines illustrates its attempts to radically overhaul its global offensive capabilities to become more agile and efficient while overcoming mounting domestic opposition to its presence around the world. The objectives with which the Un…

Philippines: Tiklos and Carinosa

My wife is teaching two Philippine folk dances the Tiklos and Carinosa to public school kids in a rural area. You tube has a number of videos of the dances. Philippine folk dances sound very Spanish to me! Here are a couple of addresses for the You Tube videos. There is a wealth of other material linking to the sites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg_LxU5ZBcA&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjU1QDKetiQ

Defense Dept.: More troops for Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is from the CSMonitor. There seems little reaction against the huge military buildup and expenditures by Americans. Even Obama is promising not to reduce the military but to expand it. So much for change. If he is elected there will be the same U.S. drive for hegemony as before. No one dares suggest a draft of course so what we have is more carrots. I wonder how this scheme will fit with those who are already enlisted and don't receive this benefit:
ALBANY, N.Y. -- How's this for a recruiting slogan? Join the Army, Buy a House. Faced with the challenge of expanding the U.S. Army in wartime, the military is testing an incentive program that pays enlistees up to $40,000 toward a home or a startup business after their commitment. The Army Advantage Fund program is being tested here and four other areas _ Montgomery, Ala., Cleveland, Seattle and San Antonio _ for the next six to nine months.



More troops for Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Department says
An Army general warns of s…

Esperon says military preparing for old and new threats:Philippines

This is from the Inquirer. It seems that there is never a time when the AFP leadership does not think that someone is out to overthrow the leadership. This shows how popular the leadership is and how restive are the rank and file. For a change the AFP is actually talking about threats from the right! Usually it is the NPA (Communists) or Muslim separatists who are regarded as threats.

Esperon says military preparing for old and new threats
By Nikko DizonPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 23:16:00 02/26/2008
MARAGONDON, Cavite, Philippines -- Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is not taking any chances.
Despite the assurances of the heads of the major service commands they were on top of the situation, the AFP is looking at all possible rightist threats that may arise in the face of the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal hounding the Arroyo administration, Esperon said.
And this means not just the threat posed by the Magdalo group of renegade officers led by Senator Antonio Trill…

Obama's religion

I have seen some of this stuff about Obama being a Muslim etc. on the net. This is from MSNBC. As usual the posts are not totally baseless but a mixture of fact and fiction. Obama's father was a Muslim and Obama was in Indonesia but rather than attending a Muslim school he went to Catholic and secular institutions.

"I've been to the same church _ the same Christian church _ for almost 20 years," Obama said, stressing the word Christian and drawing cheers from the faithful in reply. "I was sworn in with my hand on the family Bible. Whenever I'm in the United States Senate, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. So if you get some silly e-mail ... send it back to whoever sent it and tell them this is all crazy. Educate."

Conflict in the SEIU

It seems from these posts that Stern wants to increase union membership and thus dues by making sweetheart deals with employers. Rosselli is supposedly "old-fashioned" because he places members' interests first! With the increasing weakness of labor there is a big markout for sellout union leaders. The press applauds such leaders as "innovators" !


<http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-02-20/news/local-union-leader-rosselli- blasts-seiu-boss-andy-stern/>SF Weekly - February 20, 2008Local Union Leader Rosselli Blasts SEIU Boss Andy SternBy Matt SmithSomewhere in California there's a woman alone in a nursing home with bedsores that grow more painful and life-threatening by the day. And down the hall there's an orderly who would like to do something about her but can't, because during some shifts he's one of just two care- givers on a ward with dozens of patients."California nursing homes are sweatshops, [and] a terrible place to live," …

Who Americans will not vote for....

This survey does not bode well for McCain or perhaps to a lesser extent for Hillary but Obama can take comfort!

An atheist 65%
Someone in "their" 70s 50
Muslim 48
Homosexual 46
Mormon 32
Hispanic 15
Woman 11
Black 4etc.<http://pewresearch.org/pubs/744/mccain-too-old>

Phillipine business community divided on another "People Power" revolt.

This is from the Inquirer.
Politics is rather different in the Philippines than the U.S. I can't even imagine the U.S. public organised to overthrow the U.S. government even though Bush is very unpopular and has done much to violate American's rights as well as advancing the interests of his crony capitalist friends. Even less can one imagine business groups backing such an overthrow. I guess this just goes to show how much more politically advanced the Philippine populace is compared to Americans !
One American revolution was more than enough it seems. Homeland Security is ready for any People Power in the U.S.

Business divided on another 'People Power' revolt
Philippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 19:42:00 02/24/2008
MANILA, Philippines--Like many sectors of the Philippine society, the business community is divided over the prospect of another people power revolt unseating President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
They are also divided over the ability of the country to w…

Al Sadr demans end to Turkish incursion.

The Turkish incursion has the effect of creating some unity between groups that are often at loggerheads. Al Sadr is very much an Iraqi nationalist and does not look favorably on Kurdish separatism or regionalism. However, it is interesting that Al Sadr also blames the occupying authorities for the situation implying (no doubt correctly) that the U.S. has in effect allowed if not sanctioned the incursion. The U.S. should have acted long ago and the Turks simply lost patience as virtually nothing was done to stop the PKK in northern Iraq.

Muqtada al-Sadr's office demands end to Turkish military offensive in northern Iraq
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 24, 2008
BAGHDAD: Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's office demanded on Sunday an immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from northern Iraq and advised negotiations instead.
"We demand that the Turkish government withdraw its forces immediately from the Iraqi territory and rely on negotiations to solve t…

American History: The water cure etc. in the Philippines a century ago.

Annals Of American HistoryThe Water CureDebating torture and counterinsurgency—a century ago.By Paul Kramer 21/02/08 "New Yorker" --- Many Americans were puzzled by the news, in 1902, that United States soldiers were torturing Filipinos with water. The United States, throughout its emergence as a world power, had spoken the language of liberation, rescue, and freedom. This was the language that, when coupled with expanding military and commercial ambitions, had helped launch two very different wars. The first had been in 1898, against Spain, whose remaining empire was crumbling in the face of popular revolts in two of its colonies, Cuba and the Philippines. The brief campaign was pitched to the American public in terms of freedom and national honor (the U.S.S. Maine had blown up mysteriously in Havana Harbor), rather than of sugar and naval bases, and resulted in a formally independent Cuba.
A picture of a “water detail,” reportedly taken in May, 1901, in Sual, the Philippine…

Kosovo and Greater Albania

The Greater Albania push is an aspect of Kosovo's declaration of independence that is ignored by much of the media. Imagine those seeking independence are carrying mostly Albanian flags. I noticed that there were also many U.S. flags in some demonstrations since the Kosovans are quite appreciative of the fact that the U.S. had assured them that they would recognise Kosovo.

The recognition just ignores that the U.N. recognises the "sanctity" of existing borders so that parts of a country cannot simply secede without the consent of the country as a whole. There was not even a referendum held in Kosovo. While there is little doubt the vast majority in Kosovo do not want to be part of Serbia the unilateral declaration has split the global community. Other countries that face separatist challenges such as China, Russia and Spain have not recognised the state. Canada is still sitting on the fence but in the end will no doubt go along with the U.S. U.K. Italy etc.



Operation Indep…