News The BBC
Probably Didn't Bring You
By Vernon Coleman
1. A former British Ambassador reports that none of the
arrested terrorists who were alleged to be preparing to blow up a British
airliner in the summer of 2006 had even bought a plane ticket. Many didn't even
have a passport - and had been under surveillance for over a year. Nothing from
the surveillance had suggested that the Government needed to start a major panic
among airlines and start confiscating bottled milk intended for babies. `The
timing is deeply political,' reports the former Ambassador. `This is more
propaganda than plot.'
2. USA Vice President Dick Cheney has done well
out of the no-bid/no-audit contracts his former firm Halliburton has been given
by the American Government. The value of his stock options rose more than 3,000
per cent between 2004 and 2005. In 2004 the Vice President's options were worth
$241,498. A year later they were worth over $8,000,000.
3. There's a
growing myth that corn and other food commodities will cure the problems created
by the coming shortage of oil. The reality is that using corn to create petrol
for cars will result in much of the world starving to death. In the American
State of Iowa 25 ethanol plants are now operating, and 30 being built or
planned. Once built they will consume half the State's crop production. Prices
for sugar, corn and wheat are already up because foodstuffs are being used for
fuel and a huge chunk of world grain consumption is going into American petrol
tanks. This will result in greater starvation in a world where there is a
continuing and (because of global warming) developing food shortage.
grain needed to fill a petrol tank with ethanol would feed one person for a
whole year. Enthusiasts also ignore the fact that turning corn, soybeans, sugar
cane and rice into fuel requires fuel. Ethanol costs more in terms of energy to
get it than it delivers (you have to factor in the energy cost of building and
running tractors, and transporting the stuff etc). Astonishingly, if you include
the energy needed to plant the corn, water it, harvest it and turn it into
alcohol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make a gallon of ethanol but that gallon of
ethanol only produces 77,000 BTU. This means a loss of 54,000 BTU for every
gallon of ethanol produced. Finally, using crops to provide fuel still
contributes to the global warming problem.
4. Halliburton is accused of
selling key components for a nuclear reactor to an Iranian company. This was
allegedly done as recently as January 2005. Halliburton is, of course, the
company where USA Vice President Dick Cheney used to work.
5. The number
of homeless people in American cities continues to grow.
recent studies have confirmed that genetically modified foods do damage human
health. Meanwhile, despite this, the USA controlled World Trade Organisation
looks like upholding the ruling that European countries have violated
international trade rules by refusing to import genetically modified
7. The Bush Administration in the USA plans to resume production
of anti-personnel landmines.
8. The World Bank funds the Israel-Palestine
Wall. Its vision of economic development in the region avoids any discussion of
the Wall's legality despite the fact that the International Court of Justice has
called for the Wall to be torn down. Paul Wolfowitz, formerly Deputy Secretary
of Defense in the USA, is head of the World Bank.
9. The American Civil
Liberties Union has released documents on 44 autopsies performed in Afghanistan
and Iraq. Twenty one of the deaths are listed as homicides and the documents
show that detainees died during or after interrogations by American
10. Research from oceanographic specialists, marine biologists,
meteorologists and glaciologists reveals that the oceans are changing in ominous
ways. Global environmental changes are having a serious effect on our
11. American lobbyists funded by the American oil industry have
launched a campaign in Europe which is designed to persuade European
politicians, voters and the media that commitments under the Kyoto protocol
should be abandoned.
12. Brigham Young University physics professor
Steven E Jones has done research which led him to the conclusion that the
official explanation for the collapse of the World Trade Centre buildings on
11/9 was `implausible according to the laws of physics'. At least 74 other
American professors believe that 11/9 was arranged or orchestrated by warmongers
inside the White House.
13. Between 6 and 7 million people have died in
the Congo since 1996 as a result of wars and invasions sponsored by Western
nations trying to gain control of the mineral wealth in that country.
The American Government's Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $385
million contingency contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to pay for detention
camps each able to hold 5,000 people.
15. Drivers working for the
Ministry of Defence were involved in 7,781 road traffic accidents in 2005.
(That's a rate of 2.36 road traffic accidents every 100,000 miles). As a result
11 MOD employees were killed on duty on the roads and 41 were killed while off
duty. The estimated total cost of all these accidents was £142.80
16. The latest survey of Americans shows that 36% believe that
it is `very likely' or `somewhat likely' that their Government was involved in
the 11/9 attacks.
17. British Airways lost one bag for every 60
passengers in the second quarter of 2006. That was before laptops and other
handluggage had to go into the hold.
18. The UK Treasury is late again
providing evidence to the enquiry into how the Government failed to protect
British citizens whose pensions were held with the company Equitable Life. It is
now estimated that the Treasury will not provide the information required until
well into 2007. (By when, of course, many aggrieved pensioners, who might have
had a claim against the Government, will have died.) These delays are saving the
Government millions of pounds in compensation.
19. Americans didn't just
lose the Ryder Cup recently. Earlier this year the Americans didn't even make
the semi-finals in the World Baseball Classic competition. The Americans were
knocked out by Mexico. And the Americans lost to Greece in the semi-finals of
the World Basketball Championship. Global dominance, eh?
George W Bush has appointed a special counsel to oversee the virtual elimination
of whistleblower-rights in the American Government.
And finally: a woman
in New York wants $114 million in damages from coffee house Starbucks. The chain
refused to honour a coupon for a free coffee. The woman's lawyer says the claim
is a `very conservative figure' considering how `betrayed' his client feels.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 19th October 2006 Vernon Coleman is the
author of Living in a Fascist Country, available from the shop on this
website and from good bookshops everywhere. Advertisements for Living in a
Fascist Country have been refused by numerous newspapers and magazines. Ads
for Vernon Coleman's books are refused despite the fact that neither the books
nor the advertisements break any laws.
Copyright Vernon Coleman