Finally, the weekend has arrived and I can concentrate on more intellectual pursuits……..American politics had moved beyond intellectual and into the absurd…….for many years I have read a lot of stuff written about Stonehenge and what it is all about….some say a an ancient observatory, others think it a ritual location of early Brits…..and then there are some looney tunes of theories…best left for the loonies to spout…..but the pressing question is….just what the Hell is Stonehenge?
Newser) – Observatory? Solar calendar? Add this to the theory on the origins of Stonehenge: Researchers say it began earlier than thought as a cemetery for elite Stone Age families, reports the Guardian. The most extensive analysis yet of remains excavated from the site suggests that men, women, and children were buried there in a circular graveyard beginning about 3000 BC. That would push back the origins of the site about 500 years.
“The whole history of the monument is inseparably linked to death and burial, but I believe that there are hundreds more burials to be found across the site, which will tell us more of the story,” says one archeologist. The researchers also say that at least 4,000 people—a massive number relative to the population at the time—traveled from afar as Scotland to construct the monument we know today over a 10-year period, reports AP. That’s based on the analysis of animal teeth the workers brought along for ritual feasts. “Stonehenge was a monument that brought ancient Britain together,” the lead researcher tells the BBC. The findings will be detailed in a BBC documentary airing tomorrow.
So does that really answer the question or is it still open to interpretation? Thoughts?
Today in history…….30 years ago it was WAR!
Do you remember the “Iron Lady”? That strong female PM of the UK? If not, do not fret there is a movie you can see to fill in any blanks in your memory…..I could go on and on and try to educate my readers, but it would be a waste of time….why? Most people could care less about Thatcher and her rule as the Iron Lady of British politics…..but there is a few things that seem to merit a mention…..
I racked my brain trying to find the best way to start this post and being an old fart Google did not come to mind at first….but then that damn light bulb went off and thanx to Wikipedia……The Falklands War began on Friday 2 April 1982, when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. The resulting conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, which returned the islands to British control. 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders died during the conflict. It remains the most recent external conflict to be fought by the UK without any allied states and the only external Argentine war since the 1880s.
The conflict was the result of a protracted historical confrontation regarding the sovereignty of the islands. Argentina has asserted that the Falkland Islands are Argentinian territory since the 19th century and, as of 2011, shows no sign of relinquishing the claim. The claim was added to the Argentine constitution after its reformation in 1994. As such, the Argentine government characterised their initial invasion as the re-occupation of its own territory, whilst the British government saw it as an invasion of a British dependent territory. However, neither state officially declared war and hostilities were almost exclusively limited to the territories under dispute and the local area of the South Atlantic.
Now with that short history lesson down….why on earth would I post something as trivial, at least to the US, as the 1982 conflict between Argentina and the UK?
Good question with an excellent answer…..
Military chiefs are dusting off their plans for the defence of the Falklands after South American countries banned ships from the islands docking in their ports.
Sources fear Prince William’s six-month deployment to the South Atlantic as an air-sea rescue pilot next year could provoke more sabre-rattling.
Yesterday Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed Britain was ready to use its military to steal natural resources ‘anywhere, anyhow’.
She said: ‘They’re currently taking our oil reserves and fish stocks from the Falklands but when they need more natural resources they will come and use force to steal them wherever and however they can.
Mercosur, the South American trading block which also includes Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay have agreed to ban boats sailing under the Falklands flag from docking at their ports – even though Paraguay does not even have a coastline.
Will this be how the new year begins?
Middles East Desk
NO! This is NOT a post about some royal wedding!
Once again, if I am mistaken I hope that my friend and reader Quin of Quintessential Havoc (my blogroll will take you to his site….visit often!) will help me and others understand the complexity of this situation…..
Has the world learned nothing from the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The battle for Libya is forming stupid responses around the world….and the UK and France are about to make one of their own…..I know….what am I going on about?
This from a report by Patrick O’Connor:
The British Conservative-Liberal government of Prime Minister David Cameron and the French administration of President Nicolas Sarkozy are moving closer to deploying ground forces in Libya, escalating the neocolonial war being waged against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
In a televised interview, Cameron repeatedly refused to rule out launching operations involving ground troops. “What we’ve said is there is no question of an invasion or an occupation, this is not about Britain putting boots on the ground, this is not what we are about here,” he declared.
The European Union has prepared a force of 1,000 troops and drawn up a “concept of operations” for deployment to Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city, located 200 kilometres from the capital Tripoli. The mission, named EUFOR Libya, has its operation headquarters in Italy, Libya’s former colonial ruler, and is under the command of an Italian rear admiral.
The EU’s 27 member-states decided to prepare the EUFOR Libya force at the beginning of the month—before the fighting in Misrata intensified—and they are now awaiting approval for deployment from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Guardian has reported: “With the situation in Libya, particularly Misrata, getting more critical, diplomats in Brussels say the pressure is mounting on the UN to authorise the EU force.”
Fierce rivalries between the powers are emerging ever more openly. The French government has reportedly exerted “strong pressure” on the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to secure UN approval for EUFOR Libya. However, the EU force is largely comprised of German troops. The German government of Angela Merkel abstained on Security Council resolution 1973, but has since shifted its position—keen to secure its share of Libya’s lucrative oil reserves in the event Gaddafi is ousted—and has backed the possible deployment of ground forces. The Sarkozy government’s concern at being outmanoeuvred by Berlin no doubt prompted Poniatowski’s demand for more French special forces to be sent into Libya.
What are they doing? Are they going to take out a dictator that is dangerous to his people? Does that sound familiar? What is the EU doing?
Hey guys! Take a good close look at what has happened to the US in its rush to remove Saddam…look at the consequences….you are about to bite off more than you can digest!
From the VOMITORIUM
We Americans think we are the most unique individuals in the entire world…..a bit arrogant and self centered, but I think they have a point……let me explain….
Only in America…..
Would we allow liars to become the pillars of society
Would we allow major decisions to be made on false information…..
Would we consider allowing hate and bigotry to replace tolerance….
Would we consider fear a better choice than common sense…….
Would we prize inaction over action…….
With all that said I still cannot understand the fascination of the American people on anything royal…..
We hold our breath at the announcement of Prince whats-his-name and Lady Kate (?)……
Or the offer of a replica of the Princess Di ring that the Prince gave to his lady….it is a fake sapphire, fake diamonds and fake silver setting and will sell for $40 plus S&H……and it will become an instant best buy…..
All that is just plain silly…but there is something that is just extremely scary……
undergarments purportedly belonging to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II are now being auctioned off by a man in Florida, sparking a trend for selling celebrity knickers.
Globetrotting Miami bon vivant “Baron” Joseph de Bicske Dobronyi – or Sepy, as he was known – reportedly snagged the royal bloomers off a friend after they were left on a private plane when the Queen visited Chile in 1968, celebrity website TMZ.com reported…
It seems that some of Queen Victoria’s drawer brought about $9,000 at auction……
Just how f*cking sick are you people?
I recently wrote a post about the campaign ads and how they were choked full of lies, half truths and exaggerations….and why we as a country cannot make these cowards tell the truth in their ads for election….after all they are selling a service…the service of representation….
Across the pond…in the UK…they have the right stuff when it comes to these ads….
A candidate named Phil Woolas was suspended and his election was nullified for lying in election campaign stuff….
Woolas – who was Immigration Minister under Gordon Brown – was found guilty by two High Court judges of breaking election law by knowingly making false statements about an opponent.
He accused Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins in a pamphlet and two mock newspapers of pandering to Islamic extremists. His campaign team was said to have set out to “make the white folk angry”.
I have spent many hours in conversation with Quin of Quintessential Havoc (blogroll will get you to this insightful blog) discussing Europe and the UK….I will admit that I am a bit confused with the politics in the UK and especially the EU and he tries desperately to help me understand……..
I remember (damn I am old) the days of Reagan and Thatcher……the 80′s were an interesting time at least in global politics, but (there it is again) I had a hard time trying to recall some of the policies of the Thatcher admin……sooooo…I had to go a hunting…..
I found an article by Chris Marsden which compares, at least somewhat, Cameron policies with those of Thatcher…..
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s “Big Society” programme offers an ideological justification for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s efforts to impose between £85 billion and £100 billion in cuts over the next four years.
Cameron is Thatcher’s heir, but he cannot display similar candour or malice, given the bitter experience of millions of people with the results of Thatcher’s slash-and-burn strategy. Instead, he cynically portrays cuts as opening “opportunities” for charities and local communities and privatization as a means of facilitating “greater local democracy.”
The paucity of the actual programme Cameron announced was in inverse proportion to the scale of the rhetoric employed. Describing the “Big Society” as a “huge cultural change,” and employing words such as “freedom” and “empowerment,” he offered up four “vanguard” schemes—in Liverpool; Eden Valley, Cumbria; Windsor and Maidenhead; and the London Borough of Sutton. These involve such initiatives as reopening a closed local pub and a volunteer programme in local museums, involving unemployed youth.
The objective of voluntary work is to force down wages, a central component of a vast privatization campaign. Last week, the Guardian reported that under the guise of an efficiency drive, ostensibly aimed at boosting productivity in the health service and elsewhere, billions of pounds are being made available for private companies.
“Outsourcing firms are preparing for a bonanza of local authority contracts to provide everything from binmen to back office bureaucrats and have reported a doubling in the number of deals on offer this year,” the newspaper reported. “Private health companies are also expected to earn billions of pounds from the planned overhaul of the NHS in which GPs would take over responsibility for spending £70 billion.”
Just a few points in the article that I found interesting……some of it sounds feasible and some of it sounds like the privatization crap of the Reagan years, which has NOT been that good for the people…companies have made out like bandits but Main Street has seen a slowing of wages and opportunities……
I would like to ask my friend Quin to comment on the return of Thatcherism…….oh crap! An overhaul of the health system…hopefully the Brits will be more adult about the debate than their American brothers…
From the VOMITORIUM
I thought that one of my more ardent readers would appreciate this piece…..Quin of Quintessential Havoc (my blogroll will get you to this insightful blog)…….I could not resist….sorry
There seems to be accusations flying around Europe about corruption and government…..a tried and true defense against corruption is point the finger elsewhere……the malignant midget speaks….
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has defended himself against allegations of corruption by bringing up the Westminster expenses scandal.
“France is not a corrupt country,” he said.
“The political class, left and right alike, is in general honest. French public officials are people of great rigour.
“The most recent political scandal took place in Britain, not France.”
But apparently Sarkozy missed the latest news….
Police are questioning France’s richest woman, her lawyer told CNN Monday, as they investigate claims one of her advisers gave envelopes of cash to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Labor Minister Eric Woerth.
Bettencourt’s former book-keeper, Claire Thibout, elaborated on the allegations in an interview this month with a French investigative website.
She said she prepared envelopes of cash that were to be given to Sarkozy and Woerth, who previously worked in the Budget Ministry and was in charge of reforms to France’s retirement system.
There you have! There is NO corruption in France, but in the UK it is another story altogether…….kinda rules out the theory of the EU as one big happy family, huh?
God, I love this stuff!
There has been a lot of blame thrown around over the oil spill that BP made…..and across the pond we are being warned……
This from the Evening Standard in the UK……
Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit branded Mr Obama’s conduct “despicable”. And with the dispute threatening to escalate into a diplomatic row, Mr Johnson also appeared to suggest that David Cameron should step in to defend BP.
There seems to be a bit of a disconnect here…….politicians in the UK are up in arms about the US bashing the country……I hate to piss on their parade but NO one here is blaming the country of Great Britain for the oil spill….however we are pretty pissed at a company called British Petroleum (BP)…..but I do not believe that anyone here thinks that they are one in the same entities……as I have said in the past, Americans are not the brightest bulbs in the pack, but I do NOT believe that anyone is stupid enough to blame a country for what a corporation has done. Unless of course, the corporation is running the country……
I mean, on come, even the CEO of BP has stated for the record that it is the responsibility of the company to make good on the losses that they have created….
Apparently the news coverage across the pond is not being accurate and are trying to lather the people up for NO good reason……maybe it is just political spin for some reason…kinda the way some are blaming Obama for the spill….whatever the case it is f*cking wrong to do so.
This news does NOT pass the sniff test……Sorry my friends but NO one is blame the UK!
International Studies Group
I know there will be opinion upon opinion about the new government in the UK…..there seems to be the same anger there as in the US, but I would like to hear from my friends in the UK on a story that I read…..please, I just want a take on the story, I am not condemning or condoning…just wondering…..
In a story by Chris Talbert:
Conservative Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne and Liberal Democrat David Laws, chief secretary to the Treasury stood side by side to announce a £6 billion package of cuts on Monday. Laws said that the announcement was intended to send a “shockwave” through every department of government.
The package of cuts reflects the priorities set out last week in the coalition’s Programme for Government. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat deputy Nick Clegg unveiled the programme amid some nervousness from the Tory right, which feared that their visceral class instincts might be toned down by the presence of Liberal Democrats in the government. But, as the Daily Telegraph immediately recognised, “behind some obvious Lib Dem language, the hard-line Tory policies have survived almost precisely intact”.
I realize that every country has to make decisions on where to cut the “fat” but is it the best place to start? Could not the bureaucracy of these countries be the place to start? Maybe save the entitlement programs for last? I realize this is not the only answer but is it just easier to attack entitlements first? It seems so in the US….entitlements are ALWAYS the root of all deficits…..the Boogie Man if you will……..