David Knopfler Blog

Somewhat political observations

Sunday, February 26, 2006

To euphemize isn't wise.

Tony Blair has announced in today's Observer that he's not illiberal. Whether Tony Blair cares to admit it or not, the fact is, sadly, his appetite for authoritarian positions is a matter of record and repeatedly so. Spinning the accusation to something it isn't and partially defending those aspects he prefers to, is effortless work for a trained lawyer like Blair. Personally I've had enough of it... time's up. Who, going to watch "Goodnight and Good-luck" could seriously imagine Blair understanding, or acting to protect the issues those journalists held dear? That junior senator from Wisconsin on the other hand?.. To euphemize the illegal detention and torture of detainees at Guantanamo as "an anomaly" year after year will not wash and shouldn't. As Martin Luther King put it, "a right delayed is a right denied." Does Blair also think the Bellmarsh detainees an anomaly? By their deeds... and Blair's principle deed, or rather misdeed, however forced he believed his hand to be, was undoubtedly his intemperate alignment to the US Neo-Con' agenda in Iraq, the upshot of which is a profoundly racist, profoundly ignorant PM swept into power in Iran ... always a bigger threat to vested western interests in the middle east than Iraq. Eisenhower had a position on illegal detention - quoted in the aforementioned movie - - he said "We are proud because from the beginning of this nation man can walk upright. No matter who he is or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend or his enemy and he does not fear that because that enemy may be in a position of great power that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot here without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the Habeas Corpus Act and we respect it."

Halliburton apparently tell lies at their website

Halliburton say at their website they really care about community relations. An issue that will affect all the communities where they invest would be global warming I'd guess, and the impact of oil dependency on global warming seems pretty much established science, so I looked up "global warming" in the search engine at their website to see what innovations they are bringing to bear to help the problem - but they didn't have a single entry. Hmm.. they had 176 for "oil" (surprised it was so few actually). So then I looked up their energy page to see what they had to say about alternative energies supplies - but they only seem to operate in the field of oil and gas extraction. Don't they even have a picture of a happy kangaroo like Chevron - or a fig leaf maybe?

Friday, February 24, 2006

This too shall pass.

In 1997 New Labour on civil rights could have been speaking from Amnesty head office. Kate Allen's sense of betrayal in the piece Kate Allen: How Labour has betrayed the promises it made in 1997 is, I suspect, justified: Jack Straw's recent expressed indifference to the torture inside the US run gulag at Guantanamo Bay, demonstrates the same integrity as Foreign Secretary he displayed as Home Secretary and affable and likeable though Tony Blair can be in a press conference, looking out at the world from inside George Bush's rectum, no wonder the world to him appears upside down. For him to weasel further from his constipated inverted pulpit on issues like torture, must soon be reaching it's epiphany? This too shall pass.

I wonder however if Kate is correct when she says "It is of course true the threat of terrorist attack is far greater" Granted it certainly "appears" to be greater; indeed it "feels" greater but is it?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Human rights: a broken promise

Not since the seventies have Amnesty International lambasted a UK Government as fiercely. Their new 70 page report is posted at their site

The summary is here

and the full report is here

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Plant a tree or three

At the Chevron website the words global warming are nowhere to be found, not even at their environmenal section which helpfully has provided a nice picture of a kangaroo - isn't that cute? Instead I found this... "But consider that in the next 20 years, the world will add almost 1.5 billion people and you begin to understand the magnitude of our challenge. By 2025, world energy consumption is expected to grow by over 40 percent. Over that timeframe, conventional hydrocarbons - oil and natural gas, as well as coal - will continue to meet roughly 80 percent of that demand... Global demand for oil will increase from 84 million barrels today to over 105 million barrels in 2025, or 1.4 percent annually. But even more dramatic will be the growth in demand for natural gas, which is projected to rise over 2 percent annually in that time." George L. Kirkland Executive Vice President, Chevron Corporation 2006

Seems on googling a number of sites, that carbon extraction is too expensive as a mechanised process... how about planting a few trees then? I failed GCSE level chemistry so maybe I'm missing the point, or perhaps I'm wondering why the Emporer is walking down Mainstreet naked? As I understand it, deciduous trees do photosynthesis really well and since any fool can plant a tree or three - or failing that, just neglect to mow the lawn for several years - which at the end of the day has the desired effect i.e. CO2 - C = O2 .... better for everyone. What am I missing?