On The Road
Tomorrow we depart for Rome, returning October 8th.
I shan't be posting during that time, but hopefully will return inspired by the wonderful Italian people and not too impoverished by their CPI score of 5.
For freedom and liberty, low taxes, less government, high social capital, and strong national defense
Tomorrow we depart for Rome, returning October 8th.
A team of Blair's government lawyers prosecutes Brit soldiers for battlefield actions - adding the risk of disgrace and imprisonment to the soldier's "normal" combat risks of death or mutilation. No rational soldier will accept that level of risk.
The 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, held responsibility for the security of Basra, Iraq’s second city, from June to November, 2003, in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Iraq by Coalition forces.
The Battalion, with a total strength of 620 men (including 100 members of the TA (Brit National Guard)), had the task of maintaining law and order and restoring normality in a city of 1.5 to 2 million people, which:
§ had been severely oppressed for over 20 years by the previous regime,
§ which was racked by violence,
§ with a severely fractured infrastructure,
§ through the height of summer,
§ with temperatures of 50-60 degrees in daytime,
§ and never less than 40 degrees at night.
On a daily basis, the battalion faced:
Violent Black Marketeering
All capped with GENERAL TERRORIST ACTIVITY
On a daily basis, the battalion undertook:
Foot & Vehicle patrols
Illegal weapon searches
Capturing former regime personalities
Raiding illegal arms markets
Waterborne patrols on the Shatt Al Arab
Protection of the local infrastructure
Civil / Military affairs...
Creation and training of the Police Support Unity
A British corporal has become the first soldier to admit to a war crime after pleading guilty to inhumanely treating Iraqi civilians at a court martial yesterday.Soldiers are trained to kill people, break things, and control their own terror. That involves depersonalizing the enemy and forming strong bonds with their comrades. So making a Regiment-sized team mix the aggression of the battlefield with care of captive assailants is a recipe for disaster.
Corporal Donald Payne, 35, is one of seven soldiers, including his former commanding officer, to be charged over the death of Baha Musa, 26, an Iraqi hotel receptionist.
Mr Musa suffered a severe beating over a period of 36 hours while in British military custody at a detention centre in Basra, southern Iraq, the court martial at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, was told.
Julian Bevan, QC, for the prosecution, said that Mr Musa suffered 93 injuries, including fractured ribs and a broken nose. Another Iraqi civilian arrested with Mr Musa in 2003 suffered serious kidney injuries.
Earlier posts listed the biggest threats to Israel's existence, explained how its defeat would result in a second holocaust, and showed why Islam is capable of perpetrating this atrocity. This post suggests what Israel will likely do to stay relatively safe.
In the now undeniable battle between Islam and the West, which group is most likely to prevail? This is an important question for Westerners, since if Islam prevails then many of them will be killed – homosexuals, for example, and the rest enslaved – women more than men. And the standards of living of the survivors will decline to the Muslim norm, an order of magnitude reduction. Here’s an analysis that says we’ll win easily.
In Bosnia and Kosovo, whenever Saudi and Gulf agents offered funds to rebuild war-damaged communities, they insisted first on flattening cemeteries, destroying tombstones and whitewashing mosque décor, on the principle that pure iconophobic Islam abhorred the worship of idols.(This, despite the ubiquity of giant-sized idolatrous portraits, in their own countries, of Gulf and Saudi emirs on public walls -- not to mention currency notes.)The current rage against the Pope is classic bully behavior – as Stalin observed, the Pope has no divisions - as is shooting a nun in the back and running away.
This blog tries to make useful predictions about the safety and wealth of the Anglosphere - here are some that are looking good.
Some of this is the falloff immediately after 9/11, but the rest is courtesy the TSA (which gave Brits a really hard time after the Richard Reid attempted bombing), and the INS measures from September 2004.
The US share of international travel has been falling since 1992, but the decline has accelerated since September 11, 2001. Since then America has lost an estimated $286 billion (£152 billion) in revenue from foreign tourists.
While global travel has grown by a fifth, the the US travel industry’s share of the world tourism market has shrunk by a third, from 9% to 6%.
Japan is about to get its most nationalistic prime minister since the 1950s and ardent patriots are celebrating in advance, sensing that their sun is rising after decades of shame.In my experience Japanese are natural warriors, and there's some genetic evidence to support that. Their crushing defeat in WW2 pushed them into pacifism, but China and NoKo's provocations just reset them to default mode.
The resurgence of pride alarms Japan’s principal wartime victims, China and the two Korea's, but it is winning quiet applause from the United States, which foresees an enduring change in Japanese military policy.
The man in waiting is Shinzo Abe, 51, the chief cabinet secretary. He has struck a chord among voters by taking a hard line on North Korea, saying he would strike at missile sites before Kim Jong-il could fire off any weapons against Japan.
Taiwan will introduce a new home-grown missile defense shield next year...the shield, known as the Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM), is “expected to effectively counter the threat of China’s M-9...and M-11...ballistic missiles.” The system will...eventually comprise 12 ATBM missiles batteries and an uncertain number of U.S.-made Patriot missiles and early warning radars.This is a big system, and may be to defend Taiwan's nuke weapons infrastructure (manufacture and deployment) against pre-emptive missile attack - just as the Russians are now rushing to shield the Iranian nuke program. Taiwan is building its own system because it fears a Dem or RINO president would hang it out to dry.
Senator McCain and his supporter Powell's passive-aggressive war on the president has been ascribed to political ambition. But their attempt to stop the CIA interrogating people who commit and plan the slaughter of Americans is dishonest and disgraceful.
McCain isn't on the ballot this fall, but the fight with Bush could put in jeopardy the careful balance he has struck in attempting to fuel his own presidential ambitions.Their war against the war on terror (my ellipsis):
The 70-year-old senator stokes his considerable crossover appeal each time he wages a high-profile struggle with the president.
The Senate Armed Services Committee defied President Bush on Thursday, with four Republicans joining Democrats in approving a plan for the trial and interrogation of terrorism suspects that the White House has rejected as unacceptable.As McCain and Powell know, every enemy the US has fought in the last 60 years has tortured and murdered US prisoners.
The Republican rebellion was led by Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the committee chairman, with backing from Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.
The White House had said their legislation would leave the United States no option but to shut down a C.I.A. program to interrogate high-level terrorism suspects.
...(Powell) sided with the senators, saying in a letter that the president’s plan to redefine the Geneva Conventions would encourage the world to “doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” and “put our own troops at risk.”
A great US innovation is to tie foreign aid to the honesty of the recipient, and Paul Wolfowitz is causing squeals of rage by applying that principle to World Bank lending. He should keep up the good work.
Of course the "reality of the situation on the ground" is that all aid is tax dollars, pounds, etc taken from productive people in Western economies. If those donors continue to see their taxes fed to corrupt tyrants, they'll vote to cut aid.
Britain and other European countries pressed Mr Wolfowitz in April to put greater emphasis on fighting corruption by building institutions in the developing world rather than simply suspending loans.
Critics, who include a clutch of European governments and many senior members of the bank’s staff, claim that the anti-corruption campaign threatens to undermine the bank’s primary purpose of eliminating global poverty by being too ideological, arbitrary and high-handed. “In the same way that the neocons tried to impose democracy on Iraq,” said a source at the bank. “They are trying to impose their own economic and political model on Africa — without recognising the reality of the situation on the ground.”
Britain last night threw down a direct challenge to Paul Wolfowitz’s leadership of the World Bank as the Government announced that it was withholding a £50 million payment in protest at the conditions attached to aid for poorer countries.The £50 million withheld wouldn't keep an African Mercedes dealership going for a year, so I don't see it terrifying Wolfowitz into submission.
The decision by Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, reflects growing concern over Mr Wolfowitz’s aggressive anti-corruption campaign, which has led to the suspension of mutlimillion- dollar loans and contracts to countries such as Chad (158th, world's most corrupt), India (88th), Argentina (97th), Congo (130th), Kenya (144th), Ethiopia (137th) and Bangladesh (158th, bottom equal with Chad).
The unexpectedly robust public attack by Mr Benn, who is close to Gordon Brown, will sound alarm bells within the US Administration about relations with Britain when Tony Blair departs No. 10.
To balance the movie about the murder of the President, here’s our outline for the next Hollywood blockbuster.
Here’s the plot for a more civilized wish fulfillment:
In “Death of a President,” George W. Bush is murdered after making a speech in Chicago on Oct. 19, 2007. Outside the Sheraton Hotel there are massive, violent demonstrations that recall the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago more than anything of recent times.
The president’s motorcade is stopped by unruly protesters; the police don riot gear and use tear gas. It’s a bad scene, as the faux Secret Service agent who was protecting Bush recalls during the mockumentary part of the film.
…After Bush is killed and Dick Cheney becomes president, it takes about seven months for law enforcement to arrest a Syrian-American for the assassination. He’s tried and convicted.
In the meantime, we meet a black soldier recently returned from Iraq. He is initially suspected but later dismissed. Then it turns out his brother died in the war, and their distraught father has killed himself because of it.
The soldier goes through his father’s things and realizes that his grieving dad was Bush’s real killer. He held the president responsible for his son’s death.
“Death of The Media” starts with a massive explosion destroying the BBC's London TV center. Reuters and AP footage show Green Helmet (there to receive an honor from the Press Association) displaying body parts – detached yellow-socked feet still inside Gucci loafers, mutilated heads with pink bow ties still attached, eyeballs squished against Linberg eyeglasses, etc.
The world’s unluckiest multiple homeowner is shown grieving - apparently her bijou London residence next door has been cratered.
Next day the remaining BBC offices, and those of AP at Camden Lock, Reuters in Canary Wharf, and AFP in Paris are all quite exploded. That’s quickly followed by the destruction of the editorial offices (and staff) of the LAT, CNN, Minneapolis Strib, Boston Post, WaPo and others.
Kofi Annan immediately makes an impassioned speech to the (somewhat diminished) UN Press Corps stating the attacks were “apparently deliberate murders by right wing bloggers to quell dissent”. Sadly he perishes later that day, when, on a State Visit to the NYT, the building detonates taking with it him and the entire editorial staff and board of directors.
The UN 2IC steps into Annan’s (still smoldering) custom Lobb shoes and demands the Security Council mandates a UN Peacekeeping Force to round up the Right Wing Conspiracy of Bloggers, plus (of course) Hannity, O’Reilly and Limbaugh.
A US veto is overridden by a special resolution proposed by Prime Minister Cameron (regrettably to perish next day when a fawning interview at ITV in London is terminated by that body’s detonation).
The UN’s French/German/Belgian/Iranian Peacekeeping force is mostly successful in arresting the bloggers (although an entire French Army Division surrenders in the Battle Of Coulter’s Front Yard), and the captive bloggers are transported to The Hague to face 6-year trials.
But the explosions continue, even though the Brit government bans airline passengers from carrying laptops with LGF in their browser bookmarks. Ultimately over 40,000 journos are shredded, defenestrated or immolated in every part of the world – from London to the Lebanon, from Biloxi to Baghdad.
Finally the only surviving media outlets are the WSJ and London Guardian. An investigative blogger who escaped the UN has a hunch and shows a Guardian journalist how to turn on a computer and use Photoshop. The very next day the entire editorial staff of that organ is wiped out in an enormous explosion.
The blogger goes on to prove the explosions are caused by excessive use of the Clone command in Photoshop on a specific brand of computer. This causes processor overheating, which blows the battery, which in turn causes a cold fusion blast. So it goes. The WSJ survives because it uses funny line drawings rather than photos.
The film ends with the Chairman of the computer company apologizing for “any inconvenience caused”, and promising to step down to being an ordinary director at some point. The Bloggers are released and return to heroes’ welcomes - while not bitter, they have acquired a visceral hatred for Dutch cuisine.
Stripped of its publicity machine, the Islamic terror campaign disintegrates. Iraq becomes a stable democracy and in 2009 its baseball team wins the World Series. Democratic Persia’s cricket team beats the English at Lords in 2010, maintaining a long tradition. Palestinians start growing tomatoes.
All is right with the world.
Americans who don't believe Blair's successor will end the Brit alliance with the US should look at the words of the leader of the opposition Tories.
...she urged Britain and the U.S. to stand firm against "Islamist fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens. We must not falter. We must not fail. . . . We also need to renew our resolve that, however bitter or lengthy the struggle, this evil shall not prevail."That same day the man who now leads her party marked the abomination committed on the UK's closest ally and friend with these words (WSJ again, $, my ellipsis and emphasis):
The 39-year-old Tory leader claimed Britain and the U.S. had become "uncritical allies" and needed "a rebalanced special relationship." In a line that must play well with London focus groups, he said: "We should be solid but not slavish in our friendship with America." Though his party backed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Cameron vouchsafed that they now show that democracy "cannot quickly [be] imposed from the outside." Thanks for the Monday-morning generalship.
On the day marking the worst terrorist atrocity in history, he even chided the U.S. for "stoop[ing] to illiberalism" by running a prison in Guantanamo, where the men who planned 9/11 were just transferred and where no human rights abuses have been found. This Tory wants a "a new emphasis on multilateralism" where the U.N. "confers the ultimate legitimacy."
...called the (US) administration "unrealistic and simplistic" and attacked the "slavish" bond between Messrs. Bush and Blair.So Americans should start planning for the loss of their ally.
A benign interpretation of Tony Blair's saying he'll be gone in 12 months is he's taking a hit for the nation. By staying on he paralyzes the body politic and leaves the military, the cops and MI5 to mop up the bad guys. And he's preventing a populist successor dumping Israel and the historic UK/US alliance.
...73 per cent believe that “the British Government’s foreign policy, especially its support for the invasion of Iraq and refusal to demand an immediate ceasefire by Israel in the recent war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, has significantly increased the risk of terrorist attacks on Britain".And:
....62 per cent agree that “in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq".
...52 per cent believe that “even though there is no justification for terrorism, the British Government’s foreign policy, especially towards Iraq and the recent attacks on Lebanon by Israel, is anti-Muslim and it is understandable that many Muslims are offended by it”
(Two thirds disagree) that (airport) security checks should be “particularly focused on people who appear to be from the same ethnic or religious background as previous terrorists, rather than treating everyone as if they represent an equal risk”.
...63 per cent believe that “Muslim extremists hate democracy and the Western way of life, and if Britain’s foreign policy were different they would find another excuse for their terrorist activities”.
America's greatness is rooted in its people, not its leaders or institutions, and that makes it extraordinarily resistant to outside threats. I'm less sanguine about the survival of European societies, including my beloved UK.
This BBC bias works (my ellipsis):
...of 19 documentaries on Israel or the Palestinians aired by the BBC from 2000 to 2004 (as compared to only five about the earlier, nearer and far deadlier conflict in the Balkans), almost all were savagely critical of Israel.
…62 per cent (of Brits) agree that “in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq.However many Americans ignore their lefty MSM and tune in to the conservative talk shows and Fox News, to the bemusement of Annan’s Brit 2IC who thinks Americans must believe what their lefty MSM tells them.
…just 29 per cent (of Brits) believe that the airport authorities have “overreacted to the threat of terrorism and introduced excessive security measures that cause unnecessary delays without improving safety”... But more than two thirds (69 per cent) disagree.This after families had been penned, left standing in the rain for hours, and forced to check valuables that were then stolen!
The MacBook Pro is still giving its users serious problems, pointing to lousy pre-release testing. Good computer companies don't make that mistake, so maybe Apple has the HP disease.
The (non US) NATO soldiers actually the fighting in Afghanistan are Brit and Canadian - the other 30+ NATO contingents don't do rough stuff. Fair enough, someone has to run logistics. But the large German contingent should swap its mine-protected vehicles for the useless junk Brit fighters are dying in.
A NATO military chief asked yesterday for another 2,500 troops to be sent to southern Afghanistan to reinforce the Canadian and British battlegroups that have been under fierce attack by the Taleban for the past two months.Here's the real story (my emphasis):
As explained by the German ambassador to Israel, German soldiers are post-heroic (i.e. useless) but they have some good stuff:
NATO commanders in Afghanistan are not happy with all the strings attached to their authority by politicians back home. The ROE (Rules of Engagement) for NATO troops contain over seventy restrictions on how the NATO commander may use troops assigned to him. Most of these have to do with where national contingents can be moved, and how much they can be exposed to danger.
In the last six weeks, the NATO force of 20,000 troops has suffered 38 dead, but has killed about twenty times as many Taliban fighters. The NATO troops are good at what they do, but they could do more, and at less risk to themselves, if the NATO commanders had fewer strings attached to who can be used where and how.
Of particular concern is the German contingent of nearly 2,000 troops. Current ROE restricts the German troops to Kabul.
...both German and Canadian forces in Afghanistan have mine-protected vehicles. Both forces have had vehicles run over mines (and attacked by suicide bombers). In all cases where mine protected vehicles have been involved, the crews have survived with only minor injuries.The Canadians need all their equipment, but the Germans don't and and the Brits doing the fighting have lousy protection - over a quarter of our soldiers killed in Iraq died when their flimsy Land Rovers were hit with IEDs, and the proportion in Afghanistan is also high.
The legal systems of advanced societies are there to maintain high levels of trust - they catch and punish the dishonest. But when the prosecutors themselves are dishonest, the system breaks down - here are two current US examples.
...nothing but a perjury trap from beginning to end for anyone who misremembered anything about who told whom what about a low-level nobody at the CIA who happened to be married to a Walter Mitty fantasist.That makes Fitzgerald a dishonest despot.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office quietly admitted this week that it is dropping certain civil charges against Hank Greenberg, former CEO of AIG. Here ends a monumental story of prosecutorial abuse.So Mr Greenberg is a brave wealth creator and Spitzer is a dishonest bully, who I hope New Yorkers are smart enough not to elect.
Last year, as the whole world knows, Mr. Greenberg was drummed out of the insurance empire he created after Mr. Spitzer accused him of presiding over a firm that was a "black box" of accounting scandals. AIG settled with Mr. Spitzer, but Mr. Greenberg refused to roll over.
The prosecutor has (now) abandoned nearly every substantive claim he'd made against the insurance titan, claims that helped lose Mr. Greenberg his job.
...when this hoopla broke, Mr. Spitzer astounded even fellow prosecutors by threatening to indict AIG unless it fired Mr. Greenberg. Then he broke further prosecutorial codes by going on national TV to accuse Mr. Greenberg of fraud -- before he'd even filed charges. It was only months later, in the media blackout of the Thanksgiving holiday, that Mr. Spitzer leaked the news that he wouldn't pursue criminal charges. Now he's admitting most of the civil case is also bunk.
Not that any of this matters to Mr. Spitzer now. Surfing along on a wave of prosecutorial "triumphs" -- of which the Greenberg case was feted as one of those most significant -- he is cruising toward the governor's mansion. It's getting harder to believe that many of his suits weren't brought solely for that purpose.
High levels of social capital (trust) make for healthy, wealthy and peaceful societies, so it's distressing that the emerging Hewlett-Packard scandal reveals dishonesty at the heart of a US icon.
Nine journalists' phone records were targeted as part of an investigation of leaks from Hewlett-Packard Co.'s board, including the personal phone records of a Wall Street Journal reporter, Pui-Wing Tam, according to the company and the California attorney general's office.That's as well as HP's theft of the private phone records of at least two board directors. The HP board disclaims responsibility for this (it blames outside contractors) but still used the (obviously) stolen goods to sandbag a fellow.
...a situation in which there is unrestrained, selfish, and uncivilisedThat's HP board members members warring against eachother, against HP's legal & HR departments and against its outside contractors.
If the Kurd/Sunni/Shiite coalition in Iraq collapses, Israel gets a great chance to undermine Iran.
Iraq's leaders have just months to mend their differences or see their country collapse, the speaker of parliament told wrangling deputies yesterday after a car bomb caused dozens of casualties during the morning rush hour.Yup. And Sunni terrorists make the point more directly:
The United Iraqi Alliance, the dominant Shi'ite parliamentary bloc, is promoting a "law of regional formation" so that the oil-rich Shi'ite south can win self-rule on the model of the autonomous Kurdish north.
Sunni lawmakers have vociferously opposed the draft law on autonomous regions, saying it is a prelude to a carving up of the country, which would leave them with just the resources-poor center and west of Iraq.
Eight persons were killed and at least 38 wounded when a car bomb blasted a busy road in the mainly Shi'ite Qahira district of northern Baghdad during the morning rush hour, said police, who also fear a surge in violence later this week when hundreds of thousands of Shi'ites mark a religious festival.Iraq will split if the Sunni murder campaign continues - as it may given the Shi'ite counter-murder campaign.
There's a useful map of the Kurdistan here (scroll down) - you'll see they cover the northern part of Iraq, about 20% of Turkey, parts of northern Syria, and the northern 10% of Iran. Not unreasonably, they want their own nation.
Kurdistan is a mountainous region of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, inhabited predominantly by Kurds including 27-28 million people in a ...74,000 sq. mi...area, while according to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, it includes a 390,000 km² area.
Others estimate as many as 40 million Kurds live in Kurdistan, which covers an area as big as France.
That makes the Turks unhappy because their Kurds have been fighting an IRA-style independence campaign for years and if the Iraqi Kurdish province becomes a state, the Turks may make a grab for it to stop their own Kurds seceding.
That's where Israel comes in. A Kurdish nation would destroy the territorial integrity of its two big enemies - Syria and Iran. To avoid alienating Turkey - a fragile ally of Israel - Turkey's Kurds could be helped to move to territories in Iran and Syria. They'd have at least as much right to the parts of Iran they'd occupy as the Palestinians claim in Israel.
Supporting the Kurds has always made sense for Israel, but it's had its hands tied by the US commitment to create a free and unified Iraq. But if Iraq dissolves, Israeli support of the Kurds would not be perceived as unfriendly by the US.
By arming ex-Iraqi Kurdistan to the teeth, Israel would be playing the same card as Iran plays with Hizbollah and the Palestinians. And by giving Kurds the means to liberate swathes of Iran and interdict its oil, they'll speed up the collapse of the Mullahs.
I hope there are US and Israeli planners working to achieve this - the Kurds deserve their place in the sun.
Transparency International rates the US as more corrupt than the UK, although my experience of working in both is they're equally trustworthy. Now a report on a boardroom tussle at HP suggests corrupt US public companies may account for the difference.
|World Ranking||Nation||CPI Score|
|11th least corrupt||UK||8.6|
|17th least corrupt||USA||7.6|
The garage where Hewlett-Packard Co. started in Palo Alto was still there last time I looked, and it grew from there to become the bedrock of Silicon Valley - innovative, open, and honest. Look like that's changed (WSJ, $, my emphasis):
A year and a half after Carly Fiorina was pushed out as chairman and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., the aftershocks of that firing continue to shake the computer company's board of directors.
The latest eruption came at a meeting on May 18, when the board reviewed the results of an extensive investigation into press leaks that was undertaken by new board Chairman Patricia Dunn shortly after Ms. Fiorina departed.
The report, which relied in part on private telephone records, fingered George Keyworth, a longtime director and former science adviser to President Reagan, as the source of many of the leaks about board deliberations.
A boardroom showdown ensued, during which the board voted to ask Mr. Keyworth to resign, and he refused, saying he was elected by the shareholders. Venture capitalist Tom Perkins, a friend of Mr. Keyworth, quit the board on the spot in anger.
While full details of H-P's internal probe remain unclear, it appears to involve a controversial practice known as "pretexting." Under the practice, public investigators apparently call the phone company, and use personal information to falsely represent themselves as another person, in order to obtain that person's records.
H-P board members say the investigation was done by an outside contractor to the company, retained by another outside contractor. Those contractors continue to insist they used only legal methods to obtain the phone records.
But some H-P board members acknowledge feeling uncomfortable with the methods used.
I bet they do! If this is true, the chairman and some board members of HP hired someone to steal another board member's personal phone records.
In the UK this would be a criminal act - the HP board solicited, received and made use of stolen goods. It would also be a personal disgrace for the board members complicit in the act and they'd be expected to resign immediately. And they'd find it tough getting another board position, because institutional investors are suspicious of crooked directors.
And any company that behaves this way at board level is likely to have low ethical behavior right down the line.
I find London the nicest city in the world, and had assumed that's just because I was born there - turns out that's not so.
In the book (which will be published in English next year) the author waxes poetic on the joys of living in Britain. He writes of superior baguettes (made by English hands with English flour), our lovely climate (“You never get a completely grey day like in Paris”), the charming locals (“Shop assistants that actually smile at you!”), a more varied intellectual life and a capital city more conducive to love than a moonlit stroll by the Seine. London, concludes Levy, is everything Paris was 40 years ago.Naturally I agree with this judgment, but it's surprising he appreciates Brit friendliness - I'd thought all French people liked being surly. And in fairness London's pizazz owes a lot to French exiles
“There are 300,000 of us in the UK now and it isn’t like we all come here just to get a job. It is more than economic. It’s about open minds. You may look uptight with your trench coats and umbrellas, but you are really very relaxed — more relaxed than we can ever be,” says Levy.
“Because of that, when you land here you feel as if you can do anything. The French try to restrain the attractiveness of England by saying it is only for jobs that we should come, but they should forget that. England is the land of opportunity. It is just like America 100 years ago.”
It's a city of nearly 8 million where Mayor Bloomberg owns a townhouse. Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Madonna all own homes here, too. It competed to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Architects Daniel Libeskind, Norman Foster, and Richard Rogers are all working here or have recently completed buildings. Rupert Murdoch owns a big, conservative, tabloid newspaper here. The art scene is sizzling, real estate is super-pricey, and sushi-lovers can choose from at least two Nobu restaurants. The business world revolves around a big stock market and lots of new hedge funds.This is as close as any New Yorker will come to admitting his native city is not Numero Uno. What's happened here is the move of the IPO market from NYC to London, courtesy Sarbanes Oxley.
The list of parallels between New York and London has always been long, but lately, with booming economies in both cities and trendy restaurants moving into old industrial neighborhoods, the two are looking more like mirror images...
"London is by far the closest city to New York on almost every scale," the deputy mayor for economic development in the Bloomberg administration, Daniel Doctoroff, said. "In terms of the number of people, the percentage of people who are foreign born. It's arguable that there is no city that is more similar to New York than London anywhere."
Earlier posts listed the eight biggest threats to Israel’s existence, how these might wipe over 90% of Israelis off the map, and explained why the Iranian fear state could perpetrate this second holocaust.
The price of standard crude oil…was under $25/barrel in September 2003…A record price of $78.40 per barrel was reached on July 13, 2006, due in part to North Korea’s missile launches, Middle East Crisis, Iranian nuclear brinkmanship and reports from the U.S department of energy showing a decline in petroleum reserves...The top 10 oil net exporters in 2004 were:
|Country||Net Oil Exports (million barrels/day, 2004)|
|United Arab Emirates||2.33|