Friday, June 27, 2008

Balance sheet.

What is life `cept pleasure and pain,
Wherein all loss is anothers` gain.

As the Arabs, Chinese and Russians continue to expand their economies, the finances of the U.K./U.S. contract and stumble.

From the Times of London. (Click to link to full piece.)

The Dow Jones closed down 106.90 points last night, or nearly 1 per cent, to 11,346.50, just shy of a 20 per cent decrease from October’s stock market peak. Economists classify a bear market as one that has lost a fifth of its value from a bull market’s peak.
The US economy, the world’s biggest, is already believed to be in recession, with the unemployment rate at about 5.4 per cent. About 380,000 Americans are losing their jobs each week. The surging oil price, the rising cost of food, deteriorating credit conditions and a housing slump are combining to put Americans under pressure.

There will be a lot of searching this weekend, among rich and poor alike. Those who have recently lost their jobs will be looking for new employment, which may not be there.
The wealthier ones will be looking to find other places to invest their rapidly shrinking capital.
Here in Wales, the roads and towns seem quieter than usual, with fuel now having passed £5 per gallon, peoples` income has been "taxed" by the oil merchants.
The price of electricity and gas is set to rise considerably, as is the cost of corporate food.

Just a few miles from here, in Newport Pembrokeshire, is a small development, "Brithdir Mawr", which is self sustaining and eco-friendly, an alternative lifestyle that so many would love to build, but just never seem to have the time.
The project was drawn from both local Celtic influences, and from North American Indian traditions.
Click for link to site.

The non-corporate Amero-Celtic home!!?

Priceless, isn`t it, but if you were wondering, it cost £3,000 to construct.

Follow the money....

Haven`t had much time to blog, however, the old saying, follow the money seems to be holding true.
Whilst we in the West are facing recession, unemployment and war, the Chinese have increased their imports of iron ore by a little over 15% in Q1 of this year, and not only that, have agreed to an 80% rise in price.
The price of scrap metal is rising fast, as is the price of oil, and food.

Not because there are shortages, but because simply put, there are greedy "traders" who produce nothing except invoices.
Between the oil fields and the vehicles, between the farms and the homes, there are those who do nothing except buy and sell.
The bankers and brokers are not involved in transportation or packaging, nor in extraction, production or cultivation, they however are making more money than anyone else in the game.

Like a game of monopoly, where one player holds all the properties and utilities, the situation becomes a predictable, boring waste of time.

Our politicians do nothing, they bow, scrape, and tug their forelocks, and hope to be remembered when soliciting campaign funds.
Or they, and their compliant media acolytes tell us to beware of the terrorists, and the immigrants, and the moslems, and the young people, bogeyman politics in the most childish of senses.

Strangely enough, or not, the Chinese (and Russians)do not seem to be in such chaos as we with our "capitalist free-market".
Both nations have large budget surpluses, and seem to be using these reserves to affect the balance of industrial power, and with Russia now the number one producer of oil, in the greater game, the "Godless ones" are certainly ahead on points.

Here`s a short piece from China, Click on title for link to original.

Jun. 27, 2008 (China Knowledge) - In the first four months this year, China's iron ore imports increased by 15.1% year-on-year to 150 million tons, as importers were concerned about the probability of a further rise in prices in the near term.

The average price rose to a record high of US$129.5 per ton, up 80%. Value of total imports reached US$19.87 billion.

In the period, imports from Australia surged 10.3% to 56.18 million tons, while imports from India increased 19% to 38.23 million tons, and imports from Brazil surged 8.6% to 33.07 million tons. Australia, India and Brazil are the three largest exporters of iron ore to China, making up 83% of China's total imports.

Imports from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were up 110%, to 4.28 million tons.
Baosteel, China's largest iron and steel maker, said Monday it has agreed to a 96.5% price increase for imports from Australian mining group RioTinto.

Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton is looking for price increases higher than of its rival Rio Tinto, according to reports in South China Morning Post. The Chinese government and steel industry officials are considering a boycott of iron imports from BHP Billiton, in order to containing prices from rising too much.

Of course, if the Chinese are willing to pay, without quibble, near double in price for iron ore, then what hope for the other industrialised nations?
Ah well, interesting times!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rosie returns.

What can be said, but last night the word was out.
In the bars and shops, in the cafes, and throughout our little land, the news that Rosie landed in Scotland on Wednesday, and was met by her family and welcomed by her friends, as she just kept running.

It`s really good to have someone like Rosie.
In a world that seeks to create heroes for our future, we owe her more than mere words could ever speak.
The illustrious "Times of London" has run an article, full of interesting "facts", including a reference to the time that Rosie sailed single-handed around the world, and a good part of that was done completely naked...(Ah, meanwhile, as the waves roll infinitely toward the shore..;)

Click here for link...

The BBC have also run a good article, with several video clips, unfortunately, whilst they don`t charge to link, the videos seem not to be "embedable".

If you`d like to see and hear "Grandma Rosie", then Click `ere

Here`s the incredible woman herself, passing through the United States....

If you`d like to learn more, her website is in the links section, and she also has a "guest book"....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We won`t back down.

Now,over by `ere in the lands of wild West Wales, the men have had e-fucking-nough.

The greed of a tiny minority of capitalists is forcing thousands out of work, and even out of their homes.
We all work and take a little profit, but those in the oil supply chain are not just taking a profit, they are taking the piss.

So a group of independent truckers have set up pickets at the local oil refineries.
For those of you who might not understand the difference, a blockade "blocks" all movement of traffic, goods and people. (Illegal, and brings huge police response.)

A "Picket", allows the passage of people and goods, but politely and respectfully asks that other working class people do not cross "the line". (Legal, but still attracts police, just in case...)
It`s a British tradition!!

Here`s the latest, (Click for link to original source..Daily Post.)

Up to 70 lorries and their drivers, including from Newtown, parked up outside the Chevron refinery in Pembroke Dock and the Murco refinery in Milford Haven.

Alan Greene, chairman of the Mid and West section of the Road Haulage Association in Wales, predicted picketing would spread across the UK.

He said the message behind the campaign of peaceful picketing is getting through – “fuel taxes in the UK are far too high.”

As a prominent regional spokesman for the fuel protests which brought Britain to a standstill in 2000, he claims the situation for hauliers today is worse.

“The rising cost of petrol is affecting everyone across the world but the UK is being hardest hit as usual,” said Mr Greene.

“No other country in Europe is facing the sort of crippling fuel taxes which Brown has imposed in the UK – it is making the current situation much worse.

“We are being led like lambs to the slaughter. One haulier business a week in the UK is going to the wall at the moment.

“The haulage business I spent my working life building up has been passed over to my sons and I don’t want to see it ruined.

“Every country in Europe subsidies fuel for hauliers, commercial diesel is the equivalent of just 60p a litre in Ireland. In the UK they subsidise f-all.”

He said hauliers from Llandrindod Wells, Newtown, mid Wales, and all over west Wales had answered the call to protest.

“We are convincing tanker drivers not to take to the road.

“This is going to spread to other parts of Wales and right across the UK. The type of price rises we are seeing now nobody can absorb any more.”

The truckers are in the front line, looking straight at the government, who prattle on about "supply and demand", and "free markets", the reality is that they are doing nothing.
Every month this year has seen job losses, with forecasts of hundreds of thousands of redundancies to come.
These guys are not giving in, and with these two West Wales refineries processing over 200,000 barrels per day, this picket is going to hit the UK right between the eyes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

fuel protest

Staying with the theme of motorcycles and rebellion, the short clip shows what the Bikers of Britain are thinking about the fuel prices.
Last night, several hundred pickets took up position in front of a local oil refinery at Pembroke, that too remains unreported as of this morning.
Mostly truck drivers, but also farmers and regular folk.
There are protests continuing all across Europe, the media are focusing on football and golf.
Tennis too, seems popular as the banks and corporations are experiencing declines in revenue that are setting off a massive recession.
Without doubt, the Western world has enough politicians and "experts", none of whom it seems are going to curb the greed of those who are selling fuel.
The protests and pickets are gathering strength, and something has to give.

Prison break.

The media have not covered much about the prison break in Afghanistan, where the Taliban stormed the prison in Kandahar, a town under Canadian control.
Control? you must be fucking joking.

32 talibs on motorcycles, and 2 suicide bombers entered the town, and blew the doors off the jail, they even had mini-buses laid on around the town to escort the 1,000 plus prisoners away to their homes and families.

The morale-boosting effect of this attack, will without doubt, elevate the spirits of the Taliban.

Freedom fighters or terrorists? Perhaps some Canadians .)need to think outside the box, and seriously find a new career.

Click here for link to story, unsuprisingly, a few Arab sites seem to be experiencing "technical difficulties", and youtube aren`t showing any videos...yet..

When the Afghans get around to telling stories to their children, this one will be the clincher of all time.
"....Listen carefully children, " says the gaunt old woman, as they gather around the family table. "I will tell you the most beautiful tale of granpapa Sidi Amin."
"Many years ago, your grandfather became the hero of all Afghanistan, when he rode his motorcycle throught the prison gates, on and on through clouds of dust, with flames and smoke all around him....with one arm firing his Kalishnikov, and with the other he scooped up his little brother, who had been held by the contemptible invaders .."
The eyes of those children will shine bright wide, with fervour and love, and yet is it not a sad indication of human stupidity, that these things are actually happening, and that we in the West are paying for it with our taxes.
A stupid and non-fucking-constructive waste of taxes.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The fishermen are not content.

The strikes and protests continue across Europe. Click the title to see video and BBC report.of attacks on the parliament in Brussels.
This strike is turning ugly, broken windows, fires, water cannons, and the enthusiasm of the riot police is definitely. not a positive step towards reconciliation.

Not just the fishermen, but the farmers and truck drivers too.

Even the Germans are getting annoyed....

The oil companies are coming towards the end of their reign, as new fuels and technologies are emerging, perhaps too, the political system is being shaken a little, we will have to see what emerges over the next few months.

Capitalism has inserted itself between the consumer and the producer, whether it is fish or milk or oil, the bankers and brokers are there, with their bedfellows the politicians and capitalists, all trying to grab the biggest share.

Me personally , I`m not getting too close to the front line in this, I`ve taken a break from work, in support of my co-workers, and the principle that without labour, there will be no capital.
So I`ve tidied the flat, done the gardening, and have been eating fish for the last three days.
Crabs and lobsters that should have been sold in Paris and Brussels are now feeding the local fisherfolk.

Where will it end? The cost of fuel has to go down, but the governments are desperate for the tax revenues, which rise with the price, however, all over Europe, businesses are failing, and house prices are falling.
What hope for the next few years? Well instead of investing in shares and property, maybe a small parcel of land, some goats, sheep, vegetables, and a few recipes for kebabs and stews.