Saturday, March 06, 2010

"Morning Papers" - It's Origins

The Rooster


The British Isles seem to have some very shadey characters.

The British military 'conveniently' lose grenades from British deployments in Belize. The British military vessels frequently avoid paying tarrifs by docking at unofficial docks to off load military supplies. The country authorities of Belize have no formal way of knowing what is coming into the country and where it is going.

While the sincere reality is that Belize City, bordered with Guatemala has experienced profound increases in violence facilitated by missing British weapons.

It seems all to clear to me that the country of Belize is being used as a port of entry to possible illegal arm sales to the drug cartels that have grown in precense in the region.

I believe there is a real possibility there are illegal arms sales to the drug cartels and their ferocity is receiving weapons from more than just across the USA border.

Why do I believe Lord Ashcroft has a hand in most of this?

It isn't as though he has something to hide afterall.


I am not convinced the drug violence in Mexico is due to the USA alone.

Northern Mexico cops protest after ambush kills 3March 06, 2010 18:27 EST
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) -- Police in northern Mexico say the want better weapons, equipment and life insurance as they continue to battle drug gangs.Officers in San Nicolas de los Garza, a suburb of Monterrey, protested outside police stations today just hours after three of their colleagues were shot to death in an ambush and a fourth was wounded.State police say the killings were apparently carried out by a drug gang.Officers say they lack high-powered weapons to match the firepower of drug gangs. But many members of municipal forces in the region have been accused of collusion with gangs.In June, the state prohibited municipal police from carrying personal cell phones, out of concerns they were using them to tip off traffickers about federal raids.And some municipal forces in the area have been stripped of their assault rifles, after incidents of local police confronting federal agents as they tried to arrest drug suspects.

Ashcroft confirms non-dom status

The ultimate source of the millions of pounds (click here) that Michael Ashcroft has poured into the Conservative party via a small company on the south coast of England remains as mysterious as ever tonight, despite a 15-month investigation by the Electoral Commission.
It is now accepted that the £5.1m donated to the Tories by Bearwood Corporate Services (BCS), a company controlled by Ashcroft, originated in
Belize, the Caribbean tax haven that he called his home for many years before pledging to end his life as a tax exile a decade ago....

The Port of Belize protocols have been violated by the British

Feb 4, 2010
BATSUB and Port of Belize discuss unloading of British vessel
On Wednesday night we reported that the Port of Belize and the Port Authority were at odds. That’s because the Port Authority allowed the unloading of a cargo ship at Old Belize. The cargo was the property of British Forces Belize and remains in the Belize Harbour tonight awaiting unloading because the Port of Belize went to court and got an injunction to stop the cargo from being discharged. The Port Authority claimed the charges were too high at the commercial port. Tonight it appears that some resolution is in sight as discussions are now taking place between BATSUB and the Port of Belize.

Feb 3, 2010
…And Port of Belize’s Luke Espat says it’s not a new problem (click here)
Principal shareholder at the Port of Belize Limited, Luke Espat, says his private company has been going through similar challenges with government for years now.
Luke Espat, Principal Shareholder, Port of Belize Limited
“This has been a continuous headache between us and the Port Authority of them flagrantly breaking the law, flagrantly disrespecting the rights of the Port of Belize. We have the exclusive authority to offload and handle cargo....

Luke Espat,“Well that is an easy one, we have treaties with the Americans but they respect the law. The law is clear, the tariffs governs, the Port of Belize charges for its services.

Grenade explosion blasts the south side of Belize City

The New Year is eleven days old and there are no deaths by bloodshed as yet. But there was a grenade explosion that rocked the morning quiet, and while it did not cause any injuries, this sixth blast did send a clear message of war and terror on the city’s south side plagued by gang violence. It is also the seventh explosive device to be traced to a missing batch of twenty-four from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize in Ladyville. Only last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with the gang leaders hoping to broker a truce, but the early morning blast may have shattered any hopes of calm. Today’s explosion has placed yet another mystery to solve in the hands of authorities. A News Five crew was at the scene immediately after the blast was heard and Marion Ali picked up that story....

“Such gross economic disparities have understandably exacerbated ethnic tensions

...The problem between Guatemala and Belize is more complicated than the border separating Iraq from Kuwait. Compared to each other, Guatemala is white, and Belize is black. Where decision making and history are concerned, the Guatemalan rulers and the Belizean upper classes are not “the same people” and do not have “the same aspirations.” This is because the Guatemalan oligarchy is neo-European and the Belizean top brass have different levels of African descent. Over the last twenty years or more, however, the oil companies which want to extract Belize’s oil revenues in the most peaceful and profitable manner, have sought in different ways to emphasize the similarities, the commonality of interests, between the long established ruling families and their friends in Guatemala, on the one hand, and the political/business elite which has emerged in Belize since independence in 1981, on the other....
Published: January 26, 2010
The authorities arrested former President Alfonso Portillo on Tuesday on an extradition warrant from the United States, ending his four days on the run. On Monday, federal prosecutors in New York unsealed an indictment charging that Mr. Portillo embezzled tens of millions of dollars during his presidency and laundered at least $6.5 million through American banks. Attorney General Amílcar Velásquez said Mr. Portillo was captured in the beach resort of Punta de Palma, near the border with Belize.

Exploiting Belize, its laws, its natural resources and its people

...Early this week,(click title to entry - thank you) PUP personality Vaughan Gill broke the news on the Vibes Radio morning show – news that Irish investors in BNE had gotten their first ‘significant and massive dividend’ and were ‘laughing all the way to the bank.’ The source was an article in the Irish based Belfast Telegraph, an article which claimed that some investors had received as much as US$750,000 as a return on their investment. The local media picked up the news, and as we go to press tonight, Belizeans are posing some very pertinent questions about this apparent ‘oil bonanza’ which has benefitted ‘hundreds’ of Irish investors but seems to have stopped far short of benefitting Belize and Belizeans....

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)SUSAN Morrice, a geologist, is part of a group of 70 Irish investors who stuck to their convictions that oil could be found in Belize.
Major oil companies had already drilled 50 dry wells in the central American state but Morrice managed to locate oil with her first attempt at exploration back in 2005.

Morrice established Belize Natural Energy with the backing of her husband, the Colorado oil executive Alex Cranberg, and more than 70 small investors from Ireland.
The people who backed the company are not traditional investors. They supported the venture because they wanted to see the development of the country.
Morrice's company was quick to turn the oil discovery into cash by sending 40,000 barrels on a barge to a refinery in Houston. This netted Belize Natural Energy some $2million.
One of their stated aims was to use part of the proceeds from their oil venture to support and promote social development in Belize. The company also said revenues would be used improve health, education and the environment.
(c) 2010 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Two years ago there were low crime rates in Belize City. Today there are grenades going off.

BELMOPAN, Belize, CMC – The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) says it is willing to work with the Belize government on a solution to deal with the escalating crime situation after another grenade exploded in the capital on Monday.
Law enforcement officials fear that a truce between rival gangs may have been broken after the grenade exploded on the south side of Belize City. It was the second grenade explosion within a month.
The first was responsible for the death of 14-year-old Rudolph Flowers and resulted in a meeting last week between Prime Minister Dean Barrow, his National Security Minister Carlos Perdomo, Police Commissioner Crispin Jeffries and rival gang leaders.
Jeffries said that the police have been looking at the use of grenades since 2008 when one person was killed in a similar incident.
The police commissioner told a news conference that a British model defensive grenade had been thrown at the home of a man on Monday.

Ashcroft's millions: from Belize tax haven to Tories via Southampton

Straight-talking Yorkshireman: Tory MP Eric Pickles spearheaded the campaign

Toby Helm, political editor

14 February 2010
The Conservative party chairman, Eric Pickles, has revealed his frustration over Lord Ashcroft's tax status, as pressure grows on the party to come clean over the peer's finances.
In an interview to be broadcast tomorrow, Pickles admits that he does not know the financial arrangements of the peer, who has funded the party's campaigns in dozens of marginal seats and is also a deputy party chairman.
Asked if Ashcroft was a "non-dom" – someone who pays UK tax only on their earnings in this country – Pickles says he is in the dark on the issue: "I'm not in a position to be able to tell you."
Pickles also hints that he is irritated by the secrecy surrounding Ashcroft and the constant media demands for clarity. "I do not know what his tax status is. If I did, I would certainly tell you," he says....

Infamous Bullingdon Club photo resurfaces to haunt Tories

...Since last March, apart from surfacing on the odd internet site, the photo has not appeared anywhere - until today.
The Tories would have good reason to keep the photo hidden. It hardly helps having two of its most prominent and recognisable members, both Old Etonians t'boot, shown in this snooty context. Moreover, party bosses are said to be fearful that Labour may use it for a campaign poster come the next election to highlight the background of Cameron and his team. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne was also a member of the club, though of a later vintage than Cameron and Johnson.
LAST UPDATED 12:00 PM, MAY 7, 2008

Timeline: Lord Ashcroft and the Tories

December 9 1999
Michael Ashcroft settles a legal action against The Times which publishes a front-page statement saying: "Mr Ashcroft has told The Times that he recognises the public concern about foreign funding of British politics, and that he intends to reorganise his affairs in order to return to live in Britain. The Times applauds this."

March 3, 2000
Conservatives are told that their nomination of Mr Ashcroft for a peerage has been rejected by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee for the second time March 23, 2000
After the blocking of his peerage, the Belize-based billionaire, makes a pledge to come back to Britain.

He writes to William Hague, the Conservative leader, making a “solemn and binding undertaking” that he would “take up permanent residence in the UK again before the end of this calendar year”.

April 1, 2000
Lord Ashcroft’s spokesman says the UK residency pledge was simply a personal undertaking and not a formal condition of the peerage. Is that the exact wording of what Lord A's spokesman said?

June 2001
Stood down as Treasurer of the Conservative Party

June 2003
Whitehall departments apologise and pay around £500,000 in costs to Lord Ashcroft after a High Court battle over a secret “dirt file” that was compiled by officials .

December, 2005
Named Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party by David Cameron, recently elected Tory leader

February 2009
It emerges that Lord Ashcroft’s wife has donated a quarter of a million pounds to the Conservatives while the Electoral Commission was carrying out an investigation into Bearwood Corporate Services, the company the peer usually used to make donations.

August 29, 2009
The Times reveals that Lord Ashcroft's wife was the biggest donor to David Cameron's campaign to be Conservative Party leader in 2005, giving £20,000 — twice as much as was officially recorded at the time . The error in the records was jointly made by the Conservatives and the Electoral Commission.

November 29, 2009
Zac Goldsmith, an advisor to Mr Cameron and Conservative candidate for Richmond Park & North Kingston, in southwest London, admits that he has been registered as a "non-dom".

January 29, 2010
Lord Ashcroft comes under pressure to reveal his tax status after the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, ruled that documents relating to his residency must be made public after a Freedom of Information request by Gordon Prentice, a Labour MP.

March 1, 2010
After long claiming his tax status was a private matter, Lord Ashcroft admits that he is a "non-dom".

In 1999 his trade were illegal passports

Ashcroft sold Belize passports for pounds 33,000 (click title to entry - thank you)
Fran Abrams
Wednesday, 21 July 1999
MICHAEL ASHCROFT, the controversial Tory party treasurer, sold Belize passports for pounds 33,000 each, The Independent can reveal. Holders had the right to "trouble-free travel" around the world without visas.
The passports were available quite legally until as recently as last month through a firm called BHI
Offshore Financial Services, a part of Mr Ashcroft's BHI Corporation. The firm also offered to sell offshore companies and trusts, which could make investors' money safe from tax authorities, creditors, former spouses and even disinherited children.
Mr Ashcroft, who is the Belize ambassador to the United Nations, sold the financial services arm of his company in June as part of a wider restructuring, a spokeswoman said yesterday. However, an earlier announcement omitted specifically to mention the sale of the financial services arm....

It's Saturday Night

"A Gringo in Belize" by Dennis Wolf

Well he came down on vacation, 'cause he liked the tropic sun
Margaritas and the music, made it all seem fun
He bought a piece of heaven on the Carribean seas
He's a happy little camper in Belize

He began to build a condo, but the labor cost was high
His partner stole his money, that left him high and dry
His land is still a mudhole, where you sink up to your knees
And he's just another gringo in Belize
He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
Seems to think that money grows on trees
He's a whiner, he's a loser, he's a pothead, he's a boozer,
He's just another gringo in Belize
Well he used to have a girlfriend that now he can't afford
Since one of his investments got busted at the border
He wasted all his money paying bribes and fines and fees
And he's just another gringo in Belize

Oh, he sold his motorcycle, somebody stole his boat
They ran it on the reef and now the damn thing just won't float
The only thing's that free is mud, mosquitoes and the breeze
And he's just another gringo in Belize

He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
Seems to think that money grows on trees
He's a whiner, he's a loser, he's a pothead, he's a boozer,
He's just another gringo in Belize

Now he'll drink a beer for breakfast, he'll chase it with rum punch
He's smoking up his dinner, he's a snorting up his lunch
He's been wasted on the mainland, now he's stoned out in the Cayes
And he's just another gringo in Belize

He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
Seems to think that money grows on trees
He's a whiner, he's a loser, he's a pothead, he's a boozer,
He's just another gringo in Belize
He's just another gringo in Belize

Sounds like a pretty good goddamned life to me

Reconciliation is Constitutional for Health Care Reform - it is fiscal issue and imperils the nation's populous

Kent Conrad could not be more "W"rong. The issue is urgent, necessary, involves the fiscal well being of Americans, the USA Treasury and the future of our nation. It is DEFINATELY a fiscal issue and it belongs in reconciliation. Nothing else to say, EXCEPT, 'get it done.'

NOW !!!!!

...While some have described reconciliation (click title to entry - thank you) -- a process that requires only a majority vote in the Senate to pass legislation that reduces the deficit -- as an obscure, rarely used procedure, the truth is that it has been used 22 times since 1980, with 16 of those times occurring when Republicans controlled the Senate. Republican efforts to block its use now for a "fixer" bill represent little more than a politically expedient attempt to kill health-care legislation....