Slouching Towards Bethlehem – 4


Saudi Arabia is sending troops and fighter jets to Turkey’s Incirlik military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, confirmed the deployment in a statement to the Yeni Şafak newspaper on Saturday, days before a temporary ceasefire is due to come into force.

“Saudi Arabia declared its determination against Daesh (the Arabic term for Isis) by saying that they were ready to send both jets and troops,” he said.

Last week I read:

Russia will have no choice but to use Tactical (Battlefield) Nuclear Weapons to defend Syria once a ground invasion begins within 18 days, by 350,000 troops, 20,000 Tanks, 2,450 military planes and 460 Helicopters from 25 countries massing in northern Saudi Arabia. Syria has warned “any aggressor entering the country will go home in wooden coffins;” Russia has said “any country sending ground troops into Syria without permission will be considered a declaration of war.”

It only ever gets worse.

It’s a powder keg just waiting to explode. Add in several EU countries, as well as USA, Russia, and China, and it looks like WW3 all set to start in Syria. Which is what the Russians are warning (as I’ve already reported).

Russia warned of “a new world war” starting in Syria on Thursday after a dramatic day in which Gulf states threatened to send in ground forces.

And all concerned claim to be fighting IS.


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25 Responses to Slouching Towards Bethlehem – 4

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    So we got the world depression and a world war brewing. Now what side am I on. Its a tough decision as I hate the EU and I pretty well hate the moosies. Putins come across as the defender of world freedom. I actually believe he is the one who released the Global warming emails in 2009.

    But alas, I aint going into the fight,my kid might so I guess I better get him practicing his trick shooting too. Id much rather it be me going into the conflict I already know what to expect.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    The EU is finished if it doesn’t allow Italy to fix its banks

    The Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has accused the EU of behaving like the orchestra on the Titanic

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Rodney Hide: Alas, poor picked on smokers

    The nation’s smokers have my sympathy. I sometimes have an urge to take up smoking in solidarity and as an up-you to vicious, rapine Government.

    Smokers are marginalised, picked-on, blamed, banned and taxed. Smokers kill babies, destroy our health, clog our hospitals, and cause climate change. Smokers are half-citizens. They are banished with their cigarettes to the outer regions. Their views are shut down and they lack democratic voice.

    Their treatment contrasts to other drug users.

    P-addicts elicit sympathy. We expect the Government to look after P-addicts. The drug-addled days of celebrities are a rite of passage. Cannabis users are cool and hip and the police and tax man leave them alone.

    But, alas, poor smokers. Their drug is legal. They are pushed into the cold and rain, taxed and taxed and abused and belittled. And those doing the belittling and bullying can feel good and noble as they battle nasty corporates and fight for “public health”.

    About 17 per cent of New Zealanders smoke. The Government goal is to make us smoke-free by 2025. Its chief weapon is tax. Tobacco is by far the most taxed item in New Zealand. The Government takes in $1.4 billion a year in tobacco tax, which it acknowledges is more than the cost smokers impose on the public health system.

    A pack of cigarettes costs about $20. More than $14 is tax and it hits the poor and brown especially hard. Half of smokers are Maori or Pacific Islanders.

    But tax advocates are obsessed with the 2025 target and want even higher taxes. University of Otago’s Professor Nick Wilson told Parliament increasing the cost of tobacco was “one of the most powerful things that can be done” to improve our health.

    “You are on extremely strong scientific grounds for any recommendations for increases for tobacco taxes,” he said.

    Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) recommends a further 20 per cent tax increase on tobacco. T&T Consulting director Sue Taylor wants an immediate 50 per cent tax hike and 20 per cent increases in following years.

    “The rationale I’ve proposed is because I’m out there on the ground. I actually see the continued smoking despite the fact that we have programmes in place.”

    Taylor’s proposal would see a packet of cigarettes priced at a $100 by 2025.

    I suspect that would achieve the Government’s target. New Zealand would be smoke free. Taylor would not be seeing any smokers. The job would be done.

    That would be because we smokers would be holed-up, out of sight, hidden in the hills, puffing furiously on our home-grown weed – bandits and outlaws, but free.

    I hope I would be with them. I would prefer the fun and the freedom compared to the prissy lot we have become.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Comedians collectively accept hundreds of thousands of pounds to front quit smoking campaign.

  5. Rose says:

    Axe the tobacco tax escalator: Punitive taxation of smoking is just fuelling the black market
    15th February

    Simon Clark

    “We believe it makes economic sense not only to abolish the duty escalator but to freeze or even reduce tobacco taxation. It would offer long overdue relief to hard-pressed consumers, while also discouraging smokers from using the black market and maximising revenue at a time when the government needs every penny to reduce the deficit. Abandon the escalator and smokers would still make a major contribution to the economic health of the nation, far in excess of the cost of treating smoking-related diseases, currently estimated to be £2.7bn a year.

    Punitive taxation ignores a basic premise of a free society – adults should be allowed to make informed choices without excessive intervention from government. Educate but don’t discriminate. Government policy should reflect the social and economic realities of smoking, not the smoke-free utopia some people would have us inhabit. If George Osborne drops the duty escalator, he will be criticised by anti-smoking zealots, but he will be applauded by others as the chancellor who discouraged criminal activity, maximised revenue and – most importantly – treated smokers as human beings rather than unwilling participants in an antediluvian experiment in social engineering.”

    “Axe the escalator, George, and give law-abiding consumers a break.”


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      CITYAM hell I had an ongoing week battle with Nazis on that site about a year ago.

    • beobrigitte says:

      With the bomb fire fuse of political disaster in Europe just having been lit the issue of smokers as killers becomes what it is: NON-EXISTENT.
      In the meantime people buy their tobacco at the best price for them. After all, demand regulates the price. Legal or not.
      Luckily enough for me I have enough people from European countries visiting me – and they know what I most would like…. And I do travel a lot, too. I do also vape to stretch my tobacco supply. ANYTHING is better than paying towards the tobacco control lobbied persecution of law abiding citizen by paying the extortionate amount of tobacco tax in England!

      Lighting up a cigarette has history – the history of FREEDOM!

  6. Frank Davis says:

    ….the most important thing to understand here is this: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE are mulling sending ground troops to fight the Russians and Iranians who are attempting to put an end to an insurgency that’s cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. That campaign has most assuredly aggravated the violence in the short-term, but it’s an effort to restore a sense of normalcy to a country that’s seen nothing but chaos for nearly six years. Rather than let Moscow and Hezbollah finish the job, the US and its regional Sunni allies would rather send in ground troops to prop up the rebels. So please tell us: who are the bad guys and who are the good guys here?

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Johns Hopkins investigation leads to retraction of two lung papers, one highly cited

    All authors agreed with the retraction, except for one who couldn’t be located. Here’s more from the retraction note for both papers:

    The authors provided the Journal with a statement that includes results from an official investigation conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The statement enumerates problems with figures in the 2008 article (1). It states that Figures 1C and 2B contain separate blot images spliced together to represent one image without appropriate demarcation. Additionally, Figures 1C and 2B, representing two different experiments, contain the same glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) panel. Figures 5A and 5D, representing two different experiments, contain portions of the same GAPDH panel. The NQO1 (NADPH:quinone oxidoreductase 1) and GAPDH panels in Figure 6B contain separate blot images spliced together to represent one image without appropriate demarcation.

    The statement also lists problems with the figures in the 2009 article (2). It states that Figures 1A and 2A contain GAPDH panels that do not align with the lanes in the panels above. Additionally, Figures 1A and 2A, representing two different experiments, contain the same GAPDH panel. Figure 3A, representing mouse samples, contains a portion of the GAPDH panel from Figure 4C representing human samples. Figure 4C contains two separate blot images representing normal and moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease without appropriate demarcation.

    The bastards took mouse samples and claimed they were human samples……….no shit

  8. slugbop007 says:

    If you check the global population demographics 1.75 billion people are under age 14. That leaves
    75 percent age 15 and over. TC claim that there are 1.6 billion smokers in the world, so that makes around 30 percent, not their claimed 20 percent.

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