Do You Really Want A Liar In The White House?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hillary Clinton liar

I ended a post last week that ended with the line, “If you want a liar in the White House there’s always Hillary.”

Some people may have thought it a little harsh, particularly those who were considering voting for her, but harsh or not it is a fact.

Her wayward husband Bill was a liar and he made President and impeachment. Now she is trying to carry on the tradition.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth.

Everyone knows it.

And everyone includes the representatives from other countries that she would have to interact with, if – God help us – the American people are stupid enough to make her President.

Unfortunately, such is the attention span of people nowadays they only seem to remember the last thing they see and hear. If something happened in the past it is as if it never occurred at all.

2016 US Presidential race

With a position as important as the US Presidency at stake it is surely necessary to examine the candidates more closely than that.

Hillary Clinton’s lies are many and they cover almost every aspect of her life. She is an opportunist, always willing to try to enhance her position by lying. Nothing is sacred.

And it isn’t a recent occurrence. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a liar for her entire political life, probably longer than that.

Take a look for yourselves.

hillary clinton 09

Going waaaaay back to 1974, when Hillary Clinton was 27, she worked for the House Judiciary Committee which at that time was investigating Richard Nixon and Watergate.

Strictly against House rules, she met with Teddy Kennedy’s chief political strategist and then manipulated the system, wrote a “fraudulent legal brief” and “confiscated public documents”.

They had no choice but fire Hillary Rodham. When asked why she was fired, Jerry Zeifman, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation, said in an interview, “Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer, she conspired to violate the Constitution, the Rules of the House, the Rules of the Committee, and the rules of confidentiality.”

Zeifman later wrote in a 2006 book titled ‘Hillary’s Pursuit of Power’, that “Hillary Clinton is ethically unfit to be either a senator or president.”

Hillary Clinton fired from Congressional job for unethical behaviorpng

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When she made it to the White House as First Lady, she was still a stranger to the truth. Trying to distance herself from another gaff, Hillary said she didn’t know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.

Hillary lied.

Staff do what you tell them to do. That’s why they work for you and not you for them. The memorandum relating to the firings went  “missing” for two years.

Hillary you're fired

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The “missing” lie was a trait that was to continue. Documents regarding Hillary’s work at the Rose Law firm in Arkansas, specifically regarding a savings and loan company run by the Clintons’ business partner in the Whitewater land venture also went “missing” for two years.

Eventually they miraculously reappeared when a White House aide found them, in the White House, in a storage area on the third-floor, which is the private residence of the President and First Lady.

Hillary said that she had no idea the documents were there, which would have been fine except for the fact that the FBI found Hillary’s fingerprints on the documents. Hillary is still the only First Lady in American history to be fingerprinted by the FBI.

fingerprint

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Lying to take advantage of national tragedies is also a depth to which Hillary Clinton will gladly stoop.

For example, when everyone else was in shock and sympathizing with the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack tragedy, Hillary tried to take some of the attention for herself. She said her daughter Chelsea was jogging around the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 at the time of the airplanes flew into the twin towers.

Hillary lied.

Chelsea was in bed watching it on TV.

9-11 attacks wtc

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To try to aggrandize herself on another occasion, Hillary said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest.

Hillary lied.

Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest five years AFTER Hillary Rodham was born. Nobody knew who he was and therefore wouldn’t have named their children after him.

Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest - the Aukland Star

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When she was on a visit to Bosnia, Hillary said she came under sniper fire as she disembarked at the airport.

Hillary lied.

Video taken at the time shows a girl presented her with flowers and she and Chelsea can be seen on video walking across the Bosnian tarmac smiling and greeting well-wishers. Not a sniper’s bullet in sight. Here’s a nice video report to prove it.

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As regards finances, Hillary said she learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market.

Hillary lied.

The Wall Street Journal didn’t even cover the market back then.

stock_market board

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Hillary said she didn’t know about the pardons given to members of the violent Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN or that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that her husband Bill Clinton granted.

Hillary lied.

Her husband and her brothers knew and she didn’t? A likely story! With an ill-advised stroke of a pen President Clinton made a mockery of the pledge to “wage an all-out war against terrorism” by pardoning 14 FALN terrorists.

FALN terrorists logo

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Still on the subject of pardons, Hillary also said she had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons that reduced the prison terms of four New York Hasidic Jews convicted of defrauding tens of millions of dollars from the government.

Hillary lied.

In fact, of all the pardons that President Clinton granted as he was leaving the White House, this one has Hillary written all over it. She attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons and got repaid in votes, 1,400 to 12.

New Square Hasidic pardons

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To try to excuse her greed, Hillary said taking the White House gifts was a “clerical error”.

Hillary lied.

The “error”, clerical or otherwise, was getting caught and she came up with the best excuse she could think of at the time.

hillary-clinton-winking-AP-640x480

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To try to make herself look more statesmanlike Hillary said she negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia.

Hillary lied.

They were released the day before she even got there.

refugees_macedonia

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In a pathetic attempt to get sympathy where none was deserved, Hillary said her family was broke when they left the White House.

Hillary lied.

And they only made a paltry $12 million the year after Bill Clinton’s Presidency.

hillbillary clinton

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Never noted for her humility, Hillary said she was “instrumental” in the Northern Ireland peace process.

Hillary lied.

She and President Bill visited Northern Ireland and did some PR work for the deal that ushered terrorists into government in Belfast, but those actually at the negotiating table say Hillary was nowhere to be seen.

ni peace talks

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Hillary said the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other officials was a “spontaneous protest” gone wrong.

Hillary lied.

Based on State Department documents we know that, not only was Benghazi a terrorist attack, but that Hillary was well aware of that fact and deliberately misled the public.

American-victims-of-Benghazi-terror-attack-9-11-2012

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Then there is the private email server she set up the day before her nomination as Secretary of State, and used for her entire tenure in that office. Hillary said the whole thing was innocent and that access would be given to scrutinize her emails.

Hillary lied.

The whole procedure was far from innocent. For one thing it is in direct violation of a 2009 Federal Law.  Hillary set up her private email server and used it when she was Secretary of State so that there would be no official government records of those emails. She could pick and choose what to release and what to delete. Her aides also used private email addresses. Actualy both the Clintons loved email for that very reason, because it was so much easier to hide stuff, when she was asked to turn over 1.8 million emails to Judicial Watch, Congress, and federal investigators.

hillary clinton email scandal cartoon

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What do you call someone with a record like that except a liar?

How are we supposed to believe that all of a sudden she has had a “road to the White House” conversion and become honest and straightforward, rather than a schemer and a liar?

I’m reminded of that old joke,

Question: “How can you tell when a politician is lying?”

Answer: “When his/her lips are moving.”

It needs to be updated for Hillary.

She can lie even when her lips aren’t moving, or get emails or other people to do it for her.

So do you want a liar in the White House?

Do you???

hillary clinton 3 dollar bill

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Are Government Bureaucrats Capable Of Looking After Data They Collect About Us?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Office of Personnel Management

If you’ve read any of the political posts on this blog you’ll already know the answer to the question posed in the title.

Staffed by stupid bureaucrats, the government isn’t capable of doing anything right, apart from trying to make all our lives miserable with needless and intrusive rules and regulations.

Proving the point, recently in the press there have been numerous stories about the personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees being the victim of what they call a ‘cyber breach’ at the Office of Personnel Management.

I say 18 million because that is what has currently been estimated by none other than FBI Director James Comey in a closed-door briefing to Senators recently. A far cry from the government’s lies that ‘only’ 4.2 million files were hacked. And that 18 million number is expected to grow, not get smaller – which I suppose makes the government’s lie even bigger.

The same hackers who accessed the Office of Personnel Management’s data are believed to have last year breached an OPM contractor, KeyPoint Government Solutions. When that OPM breach was discovered in April, investigators found that KeyPoint security credentials were used to breach the OPM system.

KeyPoint_Logo

Some investigators believe that after that intrusion last year, OPM bureaucrats should have blocked all access from KeyPoint, and that doing so could have prevented more serious damage.

But the bureaucrats refused to do anything – probably waiting for a sub-committee to write a 2,000 page report first!

It is believed that the Chinese government is behind this latest ‘cyber breach’, which is considered the worst ever against the U.S. government – so far, that is. The Chinese hackers are believed to have built their own backdoor access to the OPM system, armed with high-level system administrator access codes.

Naturally since it happened under his watch and the buck stops with him, President Obama has ordered his administration to answer all accusations of incompetence by minimizing the severity of breach.

But the OPM’s internal auditors told a House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee last week that key databases housing sensitive national security data, including applications for background checks, had not met federal security standards.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., responded thus, “I wish that you [the OPM] were as strenuous and hardworking at keeping information out of the hands of hackers as are at keeping information out of the hands of Congress.”

If only!

So are the government bureaucrats capable of looking after the data they collect on us?

Of course they aren’t.

Looks as if all Snowden, the subject of Wednesday’s post (if you want to read it click here), is really guilty of, is doing the bureaucrat’s job more efficiently.

whistleblower techie

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Handcuffs Explains A Lot – More Fasab Facts!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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You’ll understand the title of this post better in a moment when you read the latest collection of facts from the fasab archives.

A little bit of something for everyone I hope.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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In Spanish the word

“esposas”

means both

“wives” and “handcuffs”.

That explains a lot.

handcuffs

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NASA was sued by three men from Yemen

for trespassing on Mars.

They claimed that they had inherited

the planet from their ancestors

thousands of years ago.

trespassing on Mars

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The Incas introduced the world to potatoes

via the Spanish conquistadors and

nearly a quarter of Europe’s growth

between the 1700s and the 1900s has been

attributed to the introduction of this crop.

potatoes

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According to scientists, about three quarters

of the species that make Australia home

have yet to be discovered.

wildlife in Australia

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When an unemployed painter named

Richard Lawrence tried to shoot Andrew Jackson,

his gun wouldn’t fire.

The 67 year old president began to

beat his would-be assassin with a cane

during which the assassin pulled out another gun.

This gun also misfired and the

disgruntled painter was dragged away.

Richard Lawrence tried to shoot Andrew Jackson

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There is actually high speed internet access

all the way up Mount Everest.

Everest

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In 2000, Congress passed the

National Moment of Remembrance Act

which requires all Americans to stop

what they are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day

to remember and honor those who have died

serving the United States.

National Moment of Remembrance Act

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At the start of World War I

the US Air Force only had 18 pilots.

A pilot checks his bomb placement after dropping a "flour bomb" during a target competition Sept. 22 at the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous World War I Fly-In on the grounds of the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Activities included period re-enactors in a war encampment setting, era automobiles on display and participating in a parade, flying exhibitions by WWI radio-controlled aircraft, and a collector's show for WWI items.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Joshua Strang)

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Rogue planets, also known as interstellar planets,

nomad planets or orphan planets, are

planetary-mass objects that have

broken from their orbits and

travel aimlessly through space.

The closest rogue planet to Earth yet discovered

is around 7 light years away.

Rogue planets

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You can get ice cream in lobster,

squid Ink, and caviar flavors.

lobster ice cream

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At 1,435 meters per second

the speed of sound in water is almost

five times faster than it is in air.

speed of sound in water

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Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones

attributed his popular song

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

to a dream.

He’s said to have recorded the acoustic riffs

just before falling back to sleep.

(The riffs were followed by 40 minutes of him snoring.)

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Sorry Elvis, You May As Well Come Back Home!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We all know politicians and their bureaucratic lap dogs are stupid. We also know that they fanny around trying to find ways to steal more of our money and then waste it on laws and other interference we neither want nor need.

But sometimes their efforts are just staggeringly unnecessary and stupid.

Did you know, for example, that the morons in the US Congress wasted time, money, energy, not to mention paper and ink, discussing and clarifying that any income earned by U.S. residents while in space would be subject to U.S. taxes!

residents while in space would be subject to U.S. taxes

During the Apollo missions we already witnessed the nonsensical spectacle of national heroes like Neil Armstrong having to be processed through US Customs and Immigration when they returned from the Moon. Talk about bureaucratic jobsworth claptrap!

Now the idiots in Congress have declared that colonists on Mars, of whom there are currently, and for the foreseeable future, none, zero and nil, will be taxed on the income they earn while en route to, and living on, the Red Planet. I suppose to continue the madness, the US authorities will try to make the Martians themselves  –  if we find any  –  subject to US taxes too!

It’s enough to make you get your antennae in a tangle!

It’s all because the US government is broke and because it wants to have total control over its citizens (not the uber rich ones, of course, they can do whatever they want). Unlike most countries, the United States uses a ‘worldwide’ system of taxation, under which it taxes all income earned by U.S. citizens and residents, regardless of where it is earned.

The arrogance of a ‘worldwide’ catchment is apparently not enough, now America thinks it must have a ‘pan-galactic’ tax system.

tax burden

At seven times the size of the humongous novel ‘War and Peace’, and at around four million words and counting, the US Tax Code is already monstrously over-sized, but with the whole Universe to cater for it’s only going to get bigger and more complicated. For example, I foresee vast sections trying to explain how to cater for an Earth year of 365 days being factored into a Martian year of 687 days.

Make that getting your antennae in a knot rather than just a tangle.

But no doubt the bureaucrats back on Earth are already salivating at the prospect of drafting even more crap.

As for those with Martian ambitions?

Sorry Elvis, you might as well come back home. We miss you!

Elvis on Mars

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I Spy With Your Little ‘i’ – A Free And Open Internet?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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internet surveillance

When the internet was born it was a tool of the military establishment.

Then it broke out of that stranglehold and escaped into a world of freedom of expression and communication for everyone.

Never before had a system like this been available to the general public. Never before had it been so easy to find information, search for friends, communicate with groups with similar interests, etc. Its popularity was assured.

The world wide web developed at break neck speed, much too quick for the people who hate and detest freedom. They were confounded.

It was a free and open internet.

world wide web

So how could it ever go wrong?

Well, as with the financial crisis, when you dig down a bit you find the Clinton administration again as the culprit.

During the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was first being woven into social and cultural life, internet companies and corporate advertisers lobbied the Clinton administration to minimize privacy restrictions, so that they could re-engineer the Web to enable commercial surveillance of internet users.

The warnings of public interest groups were ignored as social networks, search engines, service providers and advertisers lobbied hard against even the smallest of efforts at data protection. Motivated by greed, they ensured that commercial surveillance would be pervasively integrated online. They are still at it today, that’s really what cloud computing services are all about.

A few thousand giant corporations, like Google, have become able to capture information every minute, of every hour, of every day, from everyone who uses the internet. And they can’t stop because their profit strategies totally rely on accumulating user data.

google for profit surveillance

Thus began the surveillance society. The government saw how easy this could now be done and began to catch up fast. If there was snooping to be done, they were not to be left out in the cold.

Until Edward Snowden, who had been a computer consultant working for a subcontractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA), copied several hundred thousand classified documents relating to surveillance programs being conducted by the US and its allies in the name of the war on terror, and sent them to journalists, nobody really understood the level of snooping that was going on.

Most of it was unnecessary, intrusive, unproductive and immoral, and after Snowden’s revelations nobody believed the United States government was totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

ennesssseh

Further revelations published since have helped to reveal a surveillance system that intrudes into almost every facet of our private lives. Privacy in fact is a thing of the past, unless you have the time, resources and knowledge to try to circumvent it.

If the government was only spying on the communications of foreign countries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, and if it was confined to what could be termed ‘unfriendly’ nations and their agents throughout the world, then I don’t think anyone would mind so much. It’s a necessary evil in today’s world.

But unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. Friendly nations and heads of state, European institutions, the UN headquarters, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to name but a few, have all also come under the snooper’s gaze.

This has not only shown up the irresponsibility and arrogance of those in charge of the snoopers, and their lack of common sense and ethics, but it has also created even more ill will against the United States.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an ally of the United States, was a victim of the snoopers. As a result of that revelation, the German government protested publicly its outrage. It also terminated its longstanding telecommunications service contract with Verizon, directing its business to Deutsche Telekom instead. Two weeks after that it expelled the head of US intelligence in Germany.

The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, also took public stands against US privacy invasions. He, like Merkel, had also personally been a victim of the US snoopers.

Then the UN General Assembly voted unanimously to affirm online privacy as a human right, and in June 2014, responding to the EU, the US Justice Department had to promise to send legislation to Congress that would grant European citizens many of the (inadequate) privacy protections accorded to US citizens.

Bad enough not trusting your supposed ‘allies’, but US intelligence agencies have gone even further. Now they don’t even trust the decent, honest, hard-working citizens of America who have never broken any laws, nor have any intention of doing so.

prism

The Prism program, for example, allows the NSA to collect data from your emails, telephone conversations, contacts, videos, etc., from major US digital companies including Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

The XKeyscore program uses several hundred servers distributed across the world to store information on the activities of every Internet user, including your emails, internet searches, the websites you visit, what you post on social networks, and blogs like this. (Whoops!)

The list goes on and on.

After Snowden’s revelations, commercial firms like Google, Facebook and others scrambled to distance themselves by professing outrage. Their protestations had little to do with political principle but a lot to do with ensuring they continued to make fortunes by collecting data on us.

The US Internet companies went on a public relations offensive, and also raced to reorganize their overseas operations, to reassure worried foreign customers that they were complying with local data protection measures.

IBM, for example, committed over a billion dollars to building additional data centers overseas, hoping to ease customer fears that their data was not safe from the US government’s surveillance. But then the US authorities demanded that Microsoft, which deploys more than a million computers in over 40 countries, hand over emails stored on its servers in Ireland. Data is not safe and private anywhere it seems.

Last week I wrote a post about the Facebook/US Army experiment in trying (successfully) influence how people thought. (Click here if you want to read it.)

And so it continues.

Personally I think it is a pity that the powers that be are able to devote time, energy and money against people who have done nothing wrong, yet seem unwilling to remove child pornography and other evils from the world wide web. But the latter would require a decree of decency and morals that is sadly lacking in those who direct such matters for the government.

The US has lost the moral authority to talk about a free and open Internet, because that free and open internet has already been destroyed.

No doubt there is worse to come.

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Corruptocracy!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A Sunday Sermon

It’s been a while since I did a Sunday Sermon. It’s an occasional, rather than a regular, feature here at the fasab blog. It just happens when I’m in the mood to have a bit of a rant about a subject that I consider to be serious.

If you have read much of my blog you will know that two of my favorite targets are the banksters and politicians. When they act alone they are dangerous, when they combine their forces they are lethal.

Today I’m taking aim at both of them.

Strap yourselves in, here we go….

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corruptocracy

In the wake of the financial catastrophe that the greedy banksters inflicted on the world there has been a lot of talk (but very little real action) about bringing these thieves under some kind of control.

Naturally the banks are fighting tooth and nail against any kind of financial reform and they have the contacts and the financial resources to do it.

They have, for example, dragged their heels at every opportunity, used our money (kindly donated by a stupid government) to lobby friendly and unprincipled politicians in Congress to repeal aspects of Dodd-Frank, sent armies of lawyers to frustrate regulators and make any new rules as weak as possible and threatened a plethora of legal challenges and lawsuits.

It has been a ‘David and Goliath’ battle but this time the richer and more powerful Goliath seems to be winning.

David and Goliath

Unsurprisingly the banks’ biggest political allies in opposing the much needed financial reforms have been Democrats, such as the Robert E. Rubin wing of the Democratic Party, which has opposed moves to break up the big banks after the 2008 global crisis.

I say ‘unsurprisingly’ because the whole mess was caused by the Democrat regime of Bill Clinton who got rid of the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking. Small wonder that they are railing against its reinstatement.

Unfortunately they aren’t alone. Most Republicans also oppose effective moves against the banksters. A fact less shocking when you realize that in the last two election cycles, over 60 percent of the bankster’s donations went to Republicans. It seems America’s form of democracy is still more about what the money-men want (and are willing to pay for), rather than what the ordinary people want.

banksters demands

Most disappointing of all, however, has been President Obama. He swept to power promising ‘change’ but he never backed meaningful reforms against the banks. On the contrary, the Obama Administration has repeatedly put forward nominees with Wall Street connections for major oversight roles. It’s a bit like appointing some of the inmates of a prison as the prison guards!

During the debate over the Dodd-Frank Act, Obama’s henchmen even lobbied against an amendment offered by two of his own Democratic senators (Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ted Kaufman of Delaware) who wanted to cap the size of the banks.

The fact is, that if Obama had taken a stronger position on the much needed financial reform it would have been much stronger and much more effective.

Now they are neither strong nor effective. They won’t work, in other words. It’s just been a bit of window dressing and bluff for the benefit of gullible voters.

gullible voters

And now even more money will be paid to Republicans since they routed the Democrats and swept to power in the US Senate, as well as expanding their majority control in the House of Representatives. That means even less will be done against the banksters.

It is a simple equation. Money buys politicians, buys power and influence.

Some people call it corruption.

Others try to tell us it is democracy.

I know which one I think it is!

In fact let’s use a new word….

Corruptocracy!

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So Come On America, Do Something Smart This Time.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I hate to have to say “I told you so” (actually I love it), but in last week’s Sunday Sermon I was on a well worn theme of mine, the blundering stupidity of American foreign policy – if you can even call it a policy. Particularly the current American lust for getting involved in the turmoil in the Ukraine. (If you want to recap, click here…)

Russia Ukraine map

I offered the theory that it was not unreasonable for a Russian leader like Putin not to want a fully nuclear armed Ukraine as anything other than an ally on his doorstep. And to try to clarify the position from his point of view I used the example of how America reacted (rightly) when the Russian leader of the 1960s, Khrushchev, tried to do the same thing in Cuba – right on America’s doorstep.

Well, I can’t take a great deal of credit for what happened next. It was an obvious consequence of American interference in Ukraine. Obvious to everyone that is except the morons in Washington.

Yes, Valdimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba this week.

Putin Castro

His message could not be clearer, again to everyone except the Congress, Senate, White House, State Department, and the rest. For their benefit rather than the readers’, Putin’s message is simple  –  if you want to **** in my back yard, then I can **** in yours too.

The Cuban economy is in dire straits. The Russians have already forgiven the substantial multi-$billion debt owed to them and will no doubt follow that up with a new infusion of money to help the country out.

The smart move for America would be to immediately end the now pointless economic embargo of Cuba (the desk drawers of the hypocrites in Washington are full of boxes Cuban cigars anyway!) and open up new friendlier relations. I think America would be surprised just how amenable the Cubans would be to better relations with them.

Box of Cuban Cigars

But they’d better act fast.

If they adopt their usual short-sighted warmongering posture, then Russia’s influence will only get stronger and its presence ever closer to American shores. I don’t think anybody wants that outcome.

So come on America, do something smart this time.

The world is watching!

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The Last Post – Of 2013.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

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The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.

snow-snow-snow

In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.

oklahoma-tornado-wallpaper-2013

June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013

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Scandals

2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).

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In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal

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In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.

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However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.

nsa-spying-scandal

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In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.

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And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.

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All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.

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In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.

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In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.

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In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford

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Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines

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Departures

As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.

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Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter

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From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.

ed_koch 

Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.

Chavez

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Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.

conrad-bain 

Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.

dale-robertson 

Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.

James-Gandolfini 

Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.

gary_david_goldberg 

Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.

David_Frost 

In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.

ed-lauter 

Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5”.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.

frank-thornton-capt-peacock 

Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)

brian_forbes 

Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.

Lewis-Collins 

Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.

Paul-Walker 

Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole

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The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,

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Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.

patti-page 

Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.

 patty_andrews_sisters

Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.

 lou-reed

Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.

reg-presley

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Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 

KEN_NORTON

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The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.

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Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library 

Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson

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Other notable people who died during 2013 include,

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Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel

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Gas Bags And Gas Prices

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Back at the end of July in a previous Sunday Sermon I wrote that:

“Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.”

Obama-Peace-Prize

Of course it’s still being denied by Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and his administration, but there is little doubt now that Syria is next on their war hit list and we are indeed about to be bogged down in another bloody mess.

Already naval and ground forces are being positioned, for example, the cruise missile laden USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan are all in the eastern Mediterranean.

The only remaining part is to con-vince the American public, who do not want another Middle Eastern debacle, that they are wrong and that a strike on Syria is essential for their future well being.

chemical weapons

The pretext that is going to be used this time is ‘evidence’ of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the rebels. And the people that are being relied on to provide that ‘evidence’ are the very same people who provided false ‘evidence’ that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Everyone now knows and accepts that the WMD excuse for getting embroiled in Iraq was a deliberate deceit – otherwise known as a ‘lie’ – so the track record of the ‘evidence’ providers is neither good nor credible.

Already government apologists are making statements about how Syria had “used them [chemical weapons] before”, which is untrue. UN investigators charged the rebels, not Assad’s government’s forces, with use of chemical weapons in Syria earlier this year. Strangely (or perhaps not) Obama did not feel such a moral necessity to send a missile or two towards the rebels, instead he gave them more support. 

Now add to that another good pinch of hypocrisy.

In fact make that two good pinches.

The first, because the rebellion now taking place within Syria would not have happened without the financial and military assistance of the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The hypocritical part of it all is that these three nations are in fact supporting people who, if successful, will become even more bitter enemies than the Assad regime.

And the second, because in an alleged effort to encourage ‘democracy’ in Syria, ‘democracy’ in America and Europe is being ignored.

For example, 64 percent of the French people have said they don’t want to get involved, but as in America the ‘people’ don’t have a say on the final outcome.

In Britain the Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron got a very embarrassing slap in the face in Parliament when he tried to emulate the lies of previous Prime Minister Tony Blair but lost a vote on military intervention in Syria. His spin doctors will be working overtime to cook up a good story for the next debate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

And it is plain that the majority of ordinary Americans do not want the President they elected on the promise of getting their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging them into another conflict which could prove to be as bloody if not bloodier. So plain in fact that until late Friday Obama had planned bypassing Congress obviously trying to avoid a similar embarrassment to that which was suffered by British PM Cameron.

Think this time it will only be a few missiles and drones and that troops won’t be involved? After all Obama has said “We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach”.

Then you need to think again.

Sure, at the outset Obama will try to fool the public by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these alone won’t be enough. Even in today’s high-tech world you can’t wage wars without those boots on the ground. And in those boots are brave, but misled men and women, some of whom will lose their lives or be maimed as a result.

Boots On The Ground Fallen Soldier

The doomsday pundits are saying that all this posturing and war mongering by Obama could spiral into something worse. Possibly even be the start of WW3. Unfortunately grandiose claims like these only serve to lessen the credibility of those who are arguing against another foreign intervention.

Putin seems to have more sense than Obama. The Russians have already made their mistake in Afghanistan and are unlikely to do it again. Even less do they want to start or become involved in, a major conflict – not at the moment anyway.

China has little interest in getting involved in a conflict in the middle east either. They will take the long view, and, as they did with Iraq, they will let the US waste billions more dollars blowing things down and building them up again and then they will step in and secure more oil supplies for themselves.  

If it does get down to the nitty gritty one possibility that is more realistic is that the conflict could spread to other nations within the Middle East.

Iran for example has a mutual assistance pact with Syria. It also knows it is next on the US hit list so the longer the US is focused on Syria the longer it will postpone an attack on itself. It is not beyond imagination therefore that Iran could send arms and even troops to assist Assad.

Neither is it unreasonable to imagine that, if missile strikes on Syria result in retaliatory Syrian missile attacks on Israel, Israeli troops will also be sent into Syrian territory, with US forces backing them up shortly thereafter.

That is boots on the ground, no matter what denials you currently hear.

However it pans out, two things are certain. ‘Evidence’ or no ‘evidence’ Uncle Sam will stick his nose in once again. And if it all goes pear shaped, as it most likely will, then UP is the only way your gasoline and heating oil prices will be heading.   

Happy winter!

gas and oil prices

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Twelve 12 (Part 1)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to significant number factoid Friday.

Today the number is twelve and as usual it has a lot more associations that you might at first think. So many in fact that I have decided to split this post into two parts.

The second part (next Friday) will consist of the many entries in the ‘militaria’ section, while today’s will include the rest.

Even with the split it’s still a long post, but I hope those of you interested in numbers and their associations will enjoy reading it.

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The Number Twelve  12

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12

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In religion

  • The number 12 is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but also found in some other belief systems.
  • From the Bible we know that Jacob had 12 sons, (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin), who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
  • The New Testament describes twelve apostles of Jesus; after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and hanged himself, a meeting was held (Acts) to add Matthias to complete the number twelve once more.
  • The Book of Revelation contains much numerical symbolism, and a lot of the numbers mentioned have 12 as a divisor.
  • Revelation 12:1 mentions a woman—interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church or the Virgin Mary—wearing a crown of twelve stars (representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel).
  • Also there are 12,000 people sealed from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, making a total of 144,000 (which is the square of 12 multiplied by a thousand).

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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
  • In Orthodox Judaism, 12 signifies the age a girl matures (bat mitzvah)
  • There are 12 days of Christmas; the period of thirteen days including Epiphany is sometimes known as Christmastide, thus Twelfth Night is another name for the twelfth day of Christmas or January 5 (the eve of Epiphany).
  • Similarly, Eastern Orthodoxy observes 12 Great Feasts.
  • In Twelver (or Imami) Shi’a Islam, there are twelve Imams, successors of the prophet Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam were—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn’s descendants. Imamah is the Shi‘ah doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shi‘ah believe that the A’immah (“Imams”) are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muhammad, and Twelver and Isma‘ili Shi‘ah further that Imams are possessed of supernatural knowledge, authority, and infallibility as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of Muhammad. Both beliefs distinguish the Shi‘ah from Sunnis.
  • In the Quran, the Sura number 12 is Sura Yusuf (Joseph), and it is located in Juz’a number 12. This Sura narrates the story of Prophet Yusuf and his 12 brothers.
  • In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has 12 names. Also, there are 12 Petals in Anahata (Heart Chakra. There are twelve “Jyotirlingas” in Hindu Shaivism. The Shaivites (orthodox devotees of God Shiva) treat them with great respect and they are visited by almost every pious Hindu at least once in a lifetime.

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  • In antiquity there are numerous magical/religious uses of twelves.
  • Ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon.
  • Greek mythology has the twelve labors of Hercules.
  • The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons.
  • Several sets of twelve cities are identified in history as a dodecapolis, the most familiar being the Etruscan League.
  • In the King Arthur Legend, Arthur is said to have subdued 12 rebel princes and to have won 12 great battles against Saxon invaders.

Knights of the Round Table

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In mathematics

  • Twelve is the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12.
  • Twelve is a sublime number, a number that has a perfect number of divisors, and the sum of its divisors is also a perfect number.
  • Twelve is a superfactorial, being the product of the first three factorials.
  • The first four positive integers show up in the following equation 12 = 3 × 4, which can be continued with the equation 56 = 7 × 8.
  • A twelve-sided polygon is a dodecagon.
  • A twelve-faced polyhedron is a dodecahedron.

dodecahedron

  • Regular cubes and octahedrons both have 12 edges, while regular icosahedrons have 12 vertices.
  • The duodecimal system (1210 [twelve] = 1012), which is the use of 12 as a division factor for many ancient and medieval weights and measures, including hours, probably originates from Mesopotamia.
  • In base thirteen and higher bases (such as hexadecimal), twelve is represented as C. In base 10, the number 12 is a Harshad number.

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In science and technology

  • Twelve is the atomic number of magnesium in the periodic table.
  • The human body has twelve cranial nerves.
  • The duodenum (from Latin duodecim, “twelve”) is the first part of the small intestine, that is about twelve inches (30 cm) long. More precisely, this section of the intestine was measured not in inches but in fingerwidths. In fact, in German the name of the duodenum is Zwölffingerdarm and in Dutch the name is twaalfvingerige darm, both meaning “twelve-finger bowel”.
  • Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. The vitamin is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12), a colorless gas usually sold under the brand name Freon-12, is a chlorofluorocarbon halomethane (CFC), used as a refrigerant and aerosol spray propellant. Complying with the Montreal Protocol, its manufacture was banned in the United States along with many other countries in 1996 due to concerns about damage to the ozone layer. It is soluble in many organic solvents. Dichlorodifluoromethane was also the main component of Silly String.

silly-string

  • Force 12 on the Beaufort wind force scale corresponds to the maximum wind speed of a hurricane.
  • There are twelve function keys on most PC keyboards (F1 through F12)
  • There are twelve keys in any standard digital telephone (1 through 9, 0, * and #)
  • Microsoft’s Rich Text Format specification assigns numbers congruent to 12 mod 256 to variants of the French language.

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In space

  • Messier object M12 is a magnitude 8.0 globular cluster in the constellation Ophiuchus.
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 12 is a magnitude 13.1 spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces.
  • The 12th moon of Jupiter is Lysithea.
  • Twelve people have walked on Earth’s moon.
  • Telstar 12, is a commercial broadcast satellite used in telecommunications, operated by Loral Skynet. It is a Ku band satellite with coverage of North America as far West as Cleveland, Ohio, the majority of South America, Europe as far East as the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Telstar 12 also has the capability to provide intercontinental connectivity including trans-Atlantic to the Mid-East.

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  • Apollo 12
  • Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon (an H type mission).
  • It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit. The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms.
  • Unlike the first landing by Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at their expected location, the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor, and removed some parts for return to Earth.
  • The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown.

apollo 12 patch

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  • STS-12 
  • During the Space Shuttle program, several missions were cancelled. Many were cancelled as a result of the Challenger and the Columbia disasters. Many early missions were cancelled due to delays in the development of the shuttle. Others were cancelled because of changes in payload and missions requirements.
  • STS-12 was originally scheduled for launch on 30 January 1981. The crew of three were to place the satellites TDRS-C and Anik-C2 into orbit during the 2-day mission. An alternate mission was also planned which replaced the TDRS-C with an Intelsat-V satellite, and would last five days instead of two. TDRS-C was eventually made as the replacement for the destroyed TDRS-B and launched from Discovery on STS-26 in September 1988.
  • The crew of STS-12 were, Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr. (Commander); Michael L. Coats (Pilot); and Mission Specialists Richard M. Mullane, Steven A. Hawley and Judith A. Resnik.

sts12_patch

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  • Majestic 12
  • According to UFO conspiracy theory, Majestic 12 (or MJ-12) is the supposed code name of an alleged secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The purpose of the committee was to investigate the recovery of a UFO north of Roswell, New Mexico during July 1947.
  • Initial indications of such a group’s existence appeared in 1978 in declassified Canadian documents. Another reference to a classified group called “MJ-12” was discovered in 1980, but was later identified to be a hoax. In 1984 a set of documents was discovered in United States archives, which closely resemble real declassified documents, but which the FBI have declared to be “completely bogus”.
  • UFO conspiracy theories and the popular media based on them sometimes incorporate Majestic 12.

Majestic 12

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In politics

  • The 12th President of the United States of America (1849–1850) was Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850). An American military leader, his 40-year military career ended with far-reaching victories in the Mexican–American War. His status as a national hero won him election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died 16 months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.

12th US President-Zachary_Taylor-circa1850

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  • The Twelfth Amendment (Amendment XII) to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice President. It replaced Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, which provided the original procedure by which the Electoral College functioned. Problems with the original procedure arose in the elections of 1796 and 1800. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Congress on December 9, 1803, and was ratified by the required number of state legislatures on June 15, 1804.
  • The United States of America is divided into twelve Federal Reserve Districts (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco); American paper currency has serial numbers beginning with one of twelve different letters, A through L, representing the Federal Reserve Bank from which the currency originated.

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  • There are 12 stars are featured on the Flag of Europe

EU Flag

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  • The French department Aveyron is number twelve.
  • In Northern Ireland the Twelfth of July is the main day of celebration and commemoration for the Protestant and Unionist community, and a public holiday.

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In sport

  • The competition that was founded in 2001 as the Celtic League changed its name in 2011 to Pro12, reflecting its status as a 12-team league after it expanded in 2010 to include teams from Italy.
  • The Southern Hemisphere competition now known as Super Rugby was known from 1996 through 2005, an era in which it had 12 teams, as Super 12.
  • In both soccer and American football, the number 12 can be a symbolic reference to the fans because of the support they give to the 11 players on the field.
  • Texas A&M University reserves the number 12 jersey for a walk-on player who represents the original “12th Man”, a fan who was asked to play when the team’s reserves were low in a college American football game in 1922.
  • Bayern Munich, Hammarby, Feyenoord, Atlético Mineiro, Flamengo, Seattle Seahawks, Portsmouth and Cork City do not allow field players to wear the number 12 on their jersey because it is reserved for their supporters.
  • The jersey number 12 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats (or, in one case, a team’s fans):
  • In Major League Baseball: the Tampa Bay Rays, for Hall of Famer Wade Boggs; the Toronto Blue Jays, for Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

Roberto Alomar

  • In the NFL: the Buffalo Bills, for Hall of Famer Jim Kelly; the Miami Dolphins, for Hall of Famer Bob Griese; the New York Jets, for Hall of Famer Joe Namath; the San Francisco 49ers, for John Brodie; the Seattle Seahawks, for their fans (the “12th Man”); the Dallas Cowboys have a policy of not retiring numbers, however, the team has not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Roger Staubach; the Pittsburgh Steelers currently have a policy of not retiring numbers, having retired only one number (70) in their earlier history, however, the Steelers have not issued #12 since the retirement of Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

Bob Griese Miami Dolphins

  • In the NBA: the New York Knicks, for Dick Barnett; the Utah Jazz, for Hall of Famer John Stockton; the Cincinnati Royals, for Hall of Famer Maurice Stokes, who suffered a career-ending head injury in 1958, the team’s first season in Cincinnati and the franchise continues to honor the number in its current incarnation as the Sacramento Kings.

maurice_stokes

  • In the NHL: he Detroit Red Wings, for Hall of Famer Sid Abel; the Montreal Canadiens, for Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer and Dickie Moore; the Vancouver Canucks, for Stan Smyl; the jersey number 12 has also been retired by the men’s basketball program of the University of North Carolina for Phil Ford.

Stan Smyl

  • In Canadian football, 12 is the maximum number of players that can be on the field of play for each team at any time.
  • In ten-pin bowling, 12 is the number of strikes needed for a perfect game.
  • In curling, the House or the circular scoring area, is 12 feet in diameter.
  • In cricket, another sport with eleven players per team, teams may select a “12th man”, who may replace an injured player for the purpose of fielding (but not batting, bowling or keeping wicket).
  • In association football, 12 was also the number of teams in the finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in its first two editions in 1991 and 1995.

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In books, music, movies and TV

  • Books
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a comedy by William Shakespeare.
  • ‘Twelve Angry Men’ by Reginald Rose, was adapted from his own teleplay (see TV below).
  • ‘The Twelve’ is a poem by Aleksandr Blok.
  • ‘Twelve’ is a novel by Nick McDonell.
  • ‘The Twelve Chairs’ is a satirical novel by the Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov.
  • ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ is a 1946 novel by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
  • ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is a folk tale.
  • ‘The Aeneid’, an epic poem by Virgil is divided into two halves composed of twelve books.
  • ‘Paradise Lost’, an epic poem by John Milton is divided into twelve books perhaps in imitation of the Aeneid.
  • In ‘The Hunger Games’, the fictional country of Panem is separated into twelve districts.

AENEID

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  • Music
  • Twelve is the number of pitch classes in an octave; the total number of major keys; and the total number of minor keys.
  • The twelfth is the interval of an octave and a fifth. Instruments such as the clarinet which behave as a stopped cylindrical pipe overblow at the twelfth.
  • The twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called twelve-tone music.
  • One of the most famous classical music pieces is the 1812 overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  • The 12-inch single is a vinyl record format.
  • B12 are a British electronic music duo consisting of Mike Golding and Steve Rutter.
  • There is a group called ‘Twelve Girls Band’.
  • ‘Twelfth Night’ is a progressive rock band.
  • ‘12 Play’ is an R. Kelly album.
  • ‘The Number 12 Looks Like You’ is a mathcore band.
  • ‘Twelve’ is an album by Patti Smith.
  • ‘Twelve Deadly Cyns…and Then Some’ is an album by Cyndi Lauper.
  • ‘D12’ a rap group also known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.
  • There is a musical group named ‘12 Stones’.
  • ‘12’, a Song from Brave Murder Day by Katatonia.
  • ‘12’ is a studio album by German singer Herbert Grönemeyer.
  • ‘12’ is the 12th studio album by Keller Williams.
  • ‘12 Hundred’ is a song by band Mushroomhead of their Savior Sorrow album.
  • ‘12’ (“Dodeka” in Greek) is one of the most well-known hits by Anna Vissi.
  • ‘Twelve drummers drumming’ is the gift on the twelfth day of Christmas in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
  • ‘12:59 Lullaby’ by Bedouin Soundclash.
  • ‘Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35’ by Bob Dylan.
  • ‘Little 12 Toes’ by Chavez (band).
  • ‘12 Hours’ by Davenport Cabinet.
  • ‘12’ by Hot Chip.
  • ‘Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses’ by Kathy Mattea.
  • ‘Twelve Reasons Why’ by My Life Story.
  • ‘Dozen Wicked Words’ by The Longpigs.
  • ‘Prelude 12’ by Styx.
  • ‘12:51’ by The Strokes.
  • ‘12 Steps’ by Violent Femmes.
  • ‘The 12th Of September’ by Xavier Rudd.
  • ‘12 Fingers’ by Young the Giant.
  • ‘12-Bar Original’ by The Beatles.
  • Twelve is the number of studio albums ‘The Beatles’ released.

Dylan rainydaySP

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  • Movies
  • Movies with the number twelve or its variations in their titles include
  • 12
  • 12.01
  • 12 Angry Men (1957 and 1997)
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Ocean’s Twelve
  • 12 Monkeys
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • 12 Rounds
  • Twelve

The Dirty Dozen

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  • Television
  • The number twelve plays a significant role in the television franchise Battlestar Galactica. The characters come from the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and worship the twelve lords of Kobol. In the re-imagined series, there are also twelve models of the humanoid version of Cylons.
  • Twelve Angry Men, the original 1954 live performance on the anthology television series Studio One.
  • ‘Number 12 Looks Just Like You’ is an episode of the television show The Twilight Zone.
  • Schoolhouse Rock! portrayed an alien child using base-twelve arithmetic in the short ‘Little Twelvetoes’.
  • 12 Oz Mouse was an animated television show on Adult Swim.

Battlestar Galactica

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In transport

  • Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior
  • The Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior, more commonly known as the Lockheed 12 or L-12, is an eight-seat, six-passenger all-metal twin-engine transport aircraft of the late 1930s designed for use by small airlines, companies, and wealthy private individuals.
  • A scaled-down version of the Lockheed Model 10 Electra, the Lockheed 12 was not popular as an airliner but was widely used as a corporate and government transport. Several were also used for testing new aviation technologies.
  • Aviator Milo Burcham flew a Lockheed 12A in the 1937 Bendix Trophy Race from Burbank, California to Cleveland, Ohio. This 12A had been modified with extra fuel tanks in the cabin, allowing it to save time by making the entire 2,043-mile (3,288 km) trip non-stop. The 12A came in fifth at an average speed of 184 mph (296 km/h); this was an impressive performance, since the first and fourth-place winners were both privately owned Seversky P-35 fighters.
  • Another Lockheed 12A, owned by Republic Oil Company and named The Texan, was modified by aviator Jimmie Mattern for a round-the-world flight attempt. Mattern filled the 12A’s cabin with fuel tanks and removed the cabin windows and door; the crew would enter the aircraft via a cockpit hatch. The aircraft was denied a U.S. permit for the flight following the Earhart incident (she had been flying a Lockheed 10 Electra), however it was pressed into action September 1937 in a long range search effort for Sigizmund Levanevsky who crashed somewhere between the North pole and Barrow, Alaska. “The Texan” was outfitted as a luxury transport afterward, and lost in a hangar fire in January 1938.

Lockheed_12A_Electra_Junior

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  • Hispano-Suiza J12
  • The Hispano-Suiza J12 was a luxury automobile made by Hispano-Suiza from 1931 to 1938. It replaced the Hispano-Suiza H6. The J12 was powered by a V12 engine with pushrod-operated overhead valves.
  • Hispano-Suiza suspended automobile production in 1938 to concentrate on the manufacture of aircraft engines.

Hispano Suiza J12 Sport Torpedo 1933

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  • Renault 12
  • The Renault 12 is a family car produced by French automaker Renault between 1969 and 1980. Available as a saloon (Berline) and estate (Break), it was also produced under license in many countries across the globe into the early 21st century.
  • In its first few years the 12 received praise from the European press for its spacious, comfortable interior, its styling, its performance and its low fuel consumption. However it fared worse in the North American press: in a test of the 1974 model, Road & Track was critical of the engine’s “obtrusive” noise, and called the heavy, non-power steering “a serious design flaw”. They also gave it “very poor marks” for the ventilation system.
  • Renault 12 production and sales ended in western Europe in 1980, but the model continued to be produced and sold by Renault affiliates elsewhere. The last R12 was produced in 1999 in Turkey, whilst Romanian automaker Dacia continued producing the R12-based 1310 sedan and estate until 2004 and the R12-based Dacia Pick-Up until December 2006.
  • In terms of sales the Renault 12 was a successful car, selling 2.5 million units.

Renault R12TL

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  • McLaren M12
  • The McLaren M12 was an open-cockpit racing car developed by Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1969, solely for the purpose of selling to customers in the Can-Am series.
  • The M12 combined elements from two of McLaren’s previous efforts, the M6 series and the M8 series.
  • One of the more notable owners of an M12 was Chaparral Cars, who used the McLaren in the early 1969 Can-Am season while their own model’s development had been delayed.

1969 McLaren M12

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  • BMW E12
  • The BMW E12 BMW 5-Series was made between 1972 and 1981. The E12 was the first series to bear the 5 Series name: the ‘5’ denoting BMW’s fifth ‘New Class’ platform. Designed as a replacement for the popular BMW New Class mid-size sedan, the E12 5-Series models were smaller than the large BMW E3 sedan but larger than the two-door 2002 models.
  • The E12 was replaced by the BMW E28 5 Series in 1981, although production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

BMW_5_Series_e12_v_sst

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  • Volkswagen W12 Coupe
  • The Volkswagen W12 Coupe (also known as the Volkswagen Nardò, with reference to the Nardò Ring vehicle test track, near to the Italian city of Nardò) was a concept car created by Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 1997.
  • The car is portrayed in games such as Heat Online, Gran Turismo, and the Test Drive series.
  • This car also featured in an April Fools joke as the new Volkswagen 2015 LeVanto.

Volkswagen_W12_Syncro_Concept_Goodwood

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  • Vector M12
  • The Vector M12 was a vehicle designed by parent company Megatech LTD the Vector Motors Corporation, and was the first vehicle produced after the hostile takeover of the company from Jerry Wiegert by the Indonesian company Megatech.
  • The vehicle was a rebodied Lamborghini Diablo with a chopper gun fiberglass body set on a lengthened Diablo chassis. It was a loose copy of the Vector AWX-3, which was not released due to the Megatech hostile takeover.
  • The M12 was able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h) and was produced from 1995 to 1999, when production was halted, partly due to slow sales of the cars and alleged mismanagement of the company.
  • The average price of the vehicle was $184,000 (USD). Today you can purchase a M12 normally for $65,000 to an astounding $189,000 paid by a purchaser of a purple M12 at Barrett Jackson for a record sale price.

Vector M12

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  • Noble M12       
  • The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seat model, originally planned both as a coupe and as a convertible.
  • All M12s have been powered by modified bi-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engines. The M12 has a full steel roll cage, steel frame, and G.R.P. (fibreglass) composite clam shell body parts.
  • These famed “Ferrari killers” are extremely lightweight and stiff. Although looking to be track derived, the M12 performs very well on both road and track, with surprisingly good ride quality, but a rigid feel. This is achieved by having no anti-roll bars on the car. This allows the suspension to be stiff yet comfortable.

Noble-M12-GTO-3_5

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  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  • The Ferrari F12 berlinetta (also unofficially referred to as the F12 Berlinetta or the F12) is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer produced by Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. The F12 Berlinetta, introduced to the public at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, replaces the Ferrari 599 series grand tourers.
  • The F12berlinetta was named “The Supercar of the Year 2012” by car magazine Top Gear.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

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  • Spyker E12 Zagato
  • Spyker Cars shareholder and CEO, Victor Muller hinted at a Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera rival with an eight-cylinder (the E8) or a twelve-cylinder (the E12) engine, but due to problems getting the D8 into production, the idea was ignored until recently when Muller has said he “believes now could be the time to resurrect the saloon.”
  • Muller believes it will take about four years from time E8/E12 is revealed to the time it starts production. In March 2011, Muller stated that the production version of the Spyker E8/E12 will use a twelve-cylinder instead of the proposed eight-cylinder engine.

Spyker C12 Zagato

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  • V12 engine
  • A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft.
  • Since each cylinder bank is essentially a straight-6, this configuration has perfect primary and secondary balance no matter which V angle is used and therefore needs no balance shafts. A V12 with two banks of six cylinders angled at 60°, 120° or 180° (with the latter configuration usually referred to as a flat-12) from each other has even firing with power pulses delivered twice as often per revolution as a straight-6.
  • This allows for great refinement in a luxury car. In a racing car, the rotating parts can be made much lighter and thus more responsive, since there is no need to use counterweights on the crankshaft as is needed in a 90° V8 and less need for the inertial mass in a flywheel to smooth out the power delivery. In a large displacement, heavy-duty engine, a V12 can run slower than smaller engines, prolonging engine life.

V12 engine

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  • W12 engine
  • A W12 engine is a twelve cylinder piston internal combustion engine in a W configuration.
  • W12 engines are manufactured in two distinct configurations. One configuration uses four rows of three cylinders merged into two ‘cylinder banks’ (two narrow-angle VR6 engine blocks), coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Volkswagen Group W12. Another uses three banks of four cylinders coupled to a common crankshaft – as in the Napier Lion.

W12-LionEngine

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Other stuff

  • There are twelve basic hues in the color wheel; 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue), 3 secondary colors (orange, green & purple) and 6 tertiary colors (names for these vary, but are intermediates between the primaries and secondaries).
  • There are 12 ounces in a troy pound (used for precious metals)
  • There are 12 signs of the zodiac.
  • In English, twelve is the number of greatest magnitude that has just one syllable.
  • There are normally twelve pairs of ribs in the human body.
  • The Twelve Tables or Lex Duodecim Tabularum, more informally simply Duodecim Tabulae was the ancient legislation underlying Roman law.
  • In the United States, twelve people are appointed to sit on a jury for felony trials in all but four states, and in federal and Washington, D.C. courts. The number of jurors gave the title to the play (and subsequent films) Twelve Angry Men.
  • There are 12 inches in a foot.
  • Twelve shillings made up one British pound in pre decimal currency.
  • There are 12 face cards in a normal card deck.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has 12 steps, 12 traditions and 12 concepts for world service.
  • Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.
  • The Western zodiac has twelve signs, as does the Chinese zodiac.
  • The Chinese use a 12 year cycle for time-reckoning called Earthly Branches.
  • There are twenty-four hours in a day, the hours being numbered from one to twelve for both the ante meridiem (a.m.) half of the day and the post meridiem (p.m.) half of the day. The basic units of time (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours) can all perfectly divide by twelve.

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