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.
The 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.

6. Several 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 foods.

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 military.

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 oceans.

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.

14. 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 million.

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?

20. President 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 2006