...............December 2014.............

◄◄NOVEMBER

 
 
   

 

   

Global Surveillance

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Revelations

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The Synchrocyclotron

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The Scam

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-Ned & Fatbloke- in 2113

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Peter Hitchens

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December 6th report from dpa.international (Deutsch Press Agency):

Botched US Rescue Attempt Kills American Journalist and South African Teacher in Yemen

A US journalist and a South African national held hostage by al-Qaeda militants died Saturday in a rescue attempt in Yemen, US officials and negotiators said....

The predawn raid was the second attempt in two months to rescue Somers [the journalist], who was abducted by al-Qaeda in September 2013....

Somers was badly wounded when commandos reached him, The New York Times reported, quoting an unnamed US official.

By the time Somers was flown to a US naval ship in the region, he had died from his injuries, the official said.

Meanwhile, Gift of Givers, a humanitarian group that had negotiated for Korkie's freedom, said he had been due to be released Sunday.

And from 'The Guardian':

Korkie and US photojournalist, Luke Somers, were in the same room and were apparently killed by their captors when a US special forces squad was within 100 metres of their mountain compound.

Local people said 11 people had died, including a woman and a 10-year-old child. The US said five militants had died, while others escaped.

Sooliman [Gift of Givers head] declined to criticise the US intervention, however... The timing was unfortunate, he continued.

South Africa said it did not want to assign blame for Korkie’s death. “This is no time for finger pointing,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Nelson Kgwete.

Note the key word 'apparently' in The Guardian's first paragraph AND the curious detail in the dpa report that Somers was only wounded.

But what does all this tell us? Quite apart from the inevitably sycophantic SA and Yemeni govts (and toady charity head), just refer back to a little item I wrote in October 2010 on the murder of Linda Norgrove by rescuers in Afghanistan during yet another 'botched' mission - in that instance, against the Taliban.

How often do these 'rescue' missions succeed? Has ANY? In both cited instances here the killing, it was reported elsewhere, would have been a first by their captors in the circumstances.

And how come such vast expense and effort - large and well-resourced teams (and the risks involved for them) - are suddenly lavished on 'rescuing' these relatively unimportant individuals: 'aid agency worker' Norgrove and 'photojournalist' Somers?

MIGHT NOT NORGROVE and SOMERS HAVE POSSESSED INFORMATION THAT WASHINGTON WAS DETERMINED TO KEEP FROM THE PUBLIC?

It's well known that reporters were deliberately targeted by US and UK Special Forces during the Iraq invasion for what they were unearthing as much as for asking awkward questions. Likewise in any military operation...

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December 7th - BBC report apparently intended to justify NSA global surveillance

I'm more inclined to watch Aljazeera or RT for the 'other side' of a story, free from western (though not eastern) bias, yet I was a bit surprised to see an item on the almost adjacent BBC News channel of how the NSA (the US National Security Agency - where Ed Snowden worked) had been handed $Xbillion after 9/11 because it had failed to prevent the attacks... and had in fact - surprise, surprise - disabled certain key procedures only days prior to the attacks. The rationale being, as we all now know thanks to Ed Snowden, that the attacks 'justified' huge funding for setting-up the 'surveillance state' (or 'surveillance planet').

I suppose only an establishment agency like the BBC would be so naive and shortsighted as to expect more than a handful of us 'gullible' public to lap-up this twisted propaganda. Do they really expect us to believe that Washington wasn't complicit in the 9/11 attacks (if only in turning a blind-eye) as a pretext to justify two major invasions costing $trillions PLUS a huge budget increase for the NSA to establish the kind of universal surveillance any security organisation would regard as the ultimate?

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Revelations

A few days ago it was announced that according to a US Senate Committee the CIA under orders from Washington has for quite a few years been torturing people. Even more astounding, this was openly confessed to be true yesterday (11th Dec) by arch-Fascist Dick Cheney. Is anyone surprised? I guess one might be a bit surprsied at what a dolt Cheney is - though what kind of an IQ does a mass murderer have? Clearly a protégé of Kissinger with Vietnam and napalm, for instance, way back in the '60s. And Guatemala in the '50s , as comprehensively described in Gore Vidal's 'Palimpsest', to name but two historic examples. All this demonstrates the philosophy behind the US military economy formed in the late 1940s by Dulles and other sympathisers with Nazi Germany.

But can such monumental revelations as the Senate has now released be spontaneous? What could have pressured them to come clean - and why now? Though 'clean' is overstating it, since we all know that the horrors they're actually guilty of far exceed what's been revealed.

For example, back in the first 'Gulf War' of the early '90s the UK military ordered its teenage soldiers (no-one older would do it) to bulldoze - bury alive - thousands of Iraqi conscripts in their desert trenches; and early in the Afghanistan war US soldiers packed lorries with captives, sealing them in then driving them into the 40ºC desert until the captives were dead. And we all know about Abu Grahib.... it's what we don't yet know that should concern prosecutors.

So what's next? The so called 'Extraordinary Rendition' - the UK govt (and others) facilitating or complicit in torture? Yet another indictment against Blair and his cronies. Why are they not already being prosecuted?

Above all, though, in my reckoning, will be the revelations of how the destabilisation of Syria and Ukraine (and other countries) is down to the CIA and MI6 acting under orders from Washington and Westminster. There have been numerous reports from several countries (ie, Venezuela for one, where efforts have so far failed - presumably the population is more intelligent or better-informed), and from Syria, Ukraine and Libya, of how in the early days of the upheavals foreign agents - CIA/MI6 - arrived with extensive funds and dished out 'utopian' anti-govt propaganda, targeting young people especially who they recruited and armed, thereby establishing gangs and setting-up an effective rebellion that threatened any who opposed, disrupted local services, established larger brigades to destabilise and eventually overthrow their governments.

The propaganda may well have contained a few truths - there are some pretty bad regimes (mostly created &/or kept in place by the US/UK using so-called 'foreign aid' to fund the supply of arms). But those ultimately behind these upheavals: multi-trillionaire Corporate America (and toady Corporate UK), so they can eventually take control of and exploit huge additional markets and rake-in $multi-trillions year after year indefinitely... those driving these upheavals will not lose their homes, nor their money nor their power. The burden, as ever, falls to the US and UK public - the poor above all via cuts in services and benefits, while the horror and suffering is forced onto the hapless indigenous populations.

So millions of people flee Syria, or live in vast tent-cities in squalor and enormous suffering... scarcely to mention the cost born by charity campaigns and governments in their attempt to 'civilise' this insane situation.... and all down to Big Corp and their govt stooges: - POLITICIANS.... AND THEN THOSE WHO REPRESENT THESE BILLIONAIRES HAVE THE GALL TO APPEAL FOR MONEY FROM US IMPOVERISHED PUBLIC TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF THEIR GREED AND TREACHERY!

It's like the bankers gambling all our dough, then via 'their' govt stooges, making us public fork-out to pay it over again via cuts/austerity, while they who caused the problem pay themselves £million bonuses, and the rest.

The entire set-up (at least in the west) is about as crooked and brutal as anyone could make it. As long as psychopaths like Dick Cheney and Tony Blair are allowed to wrangle their way to the top, like Hitler did before them, then the horrors will continue. I've lost the link, but yesterday I glimpsed a report stating that ISIS was a deliberate creation of the US/Israel to maintain destabilisation of the middle east. Deliberate or not, it was certainly their creation.

What other revelations can we expect, I wonder? What about fracking and Climate Change, and the pathetic non-committal on curbing CO2 emissions.... With the kind of gangsters and spivs running most of the west these days, we can certainly look forward to more and worse of just about everything - unless you're loaded.

The incredible fact is that nothing ever gets done in response to these huge crimes. It's like those cops who kill black people with impunity - and even if charged are acquitted - politicians too cause death, destruction and vast financial swindles with complete impunity. How is it that NO-ONE answers for these monumental crimes?

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The Synchrocyclotron

I recently perchance unearthed some long-forgotten diaries - all the small variety, the first four (1971 - 74) being the original 6d Woolworths ones, and the rest just slightly smarter-looking. There are 21 in all, so most years are missing, or more likely never existed. None of them give room for more than a dozen microscopic words each day, but that's enough for what I've ever needed from a diary.... and anyhow, most days remain blank.

Flipping through, I pause and reflect on what some little entry I made all those years ago means. The first, 1971, has in the Fri 25th June space 'Going to Ray's, Culham'.

From that brief note a whole episode returns to me - of the time several of us visited the Atomic Research Labs at Harwell... near Abingdon where a friend I haven't seen in over 40-years was at college. A colleague of his was the son of a guy who worked at the research plant, and he organised a tour for four (or maybe five?) of us. I remember several things from that visit: first an enormous van de Graaff generator.

OED:
van de Graaff generator// n. Physics: a machine devised to generate electrostatic charge by means of a vertical endless belt collecting charge from a voltage source and transferring it to a large insulated metal dome, where a high voltage is produced.
[named after R. J. van de Graaff, US physicist d. 1967]

This was at the time the largest in the world and was housed in a huge blue-painted chamber maybe 20 or 30 metres high which in shape resembled an inverted drip - domed wide top, narrow base. Remarkably, a couple of years later, working as a lab technician, I met one of the guys who built this monster and he showed me a copy of the plans and associated drawings.

But the other thing I recall, apart from the usual long curved underground concrete corridor housing a wave/particle-guide surrounded by serried rows of bulky electromagnets stretching way into the distance, plus the usual mass of cables, box-junctions and various accoutrements, pipes and so on, was a device called a synchrocyclotron.

OED:
synchrocyclotron // n. Physics:
a cyclotron able to achieve higher energies by decreasing the frequency of the accelerating electric field as the particles increase in energy and mass.

This was in a concrete room of its own at one end of the accelerator and was about 5-metres across, I guess. All these areas were entered via bulky iron doors with red radiation-warning lights over, some of which flashed, some were continually 'on' and some 'off'. The accelerator corridor was 'off', while the light for the synchrocyclotron room was flashing. Even so, the guy showing us around, carrying a small Geiger counter, took us in there. While leaning over to view the inner workings of this circular device, our guide, glancing at the counter, suddenly announced: "Yikes! Everybody out! Pronto!" And out we sharply went. He had been unaware that the 'tron had been operated only the day before and retained a dangerous level of radiation - hence the flashing light, which he'd inappropriately ignored.

Maybe that explains why my brain works differently to nearly eveyone elses? Not sure about the others - apart from Ray I'm unable to recall who they were.

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'The Scam' Intro:

To realise the full effect of the following story one must assume it was originally written in German.

There are five key characters: four German (two of whom are entirely fictitious, one of which is the narrator), and one English who is utterly real (me), and who doesn’t appear until near the end of the story.

Everything the narrator describes is invented by me in an attempt to explain how what I (the English guy) witnessed came about, including subsequent developments such as the claim letter below received more than 6-months after the incident:

Date of letter
10 December 2014

Incident date
2 June 2014

Dear Mr. C
We write with reference to the above dated incident.

Our foreign agents, Coris, have now received details of the third party's claim.

They are looking to claim for vehicle damage repairs amounting to €1170.20 (£924.68 approx) and loss of use days amounting to €100.00 (£78.99 approx).

We have been provided with supporting documents of their repairs as evidence including images. The images provided show that there is damage to the third party's vehicle although the damge is minimal there is damage to the rear bumper. The third party's vehicle was inspected by an independent engineer.

We are currently making further enquires regarding the loss of use as it is clear that the vehicle was roadworthy and serviceable.

Please be advised that in some cases there may not be any visible damage at the scene of the incident but there could be underlying damage. Furthermore, a lot of repair costs comprises of the labour cost which is the garages charge for repairing the vehicle.

As this evidence is independent, if it were presented in court a judge would be of the view that the damage was sustained in this accident and we would have to deal with the third party's claim in full.

Due to this evidence we feel we have no choice but to settle these costs in order to avoid court proceedings being made against us.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us. If we do not hear from you in the next 7 days we will presume you would be happy with us settling these costs on your behalf.

Yours sincerely

Chloe Francis

Chloe Francis

Fault Claims Consultant SJC team

The Scam

My name is Johan. I’m a big guy, and am quite strong. I have bulging muscles and good reactions. I used to be a wrestler. But my heart wasn’t in it. I gave it all up several years back in favour of the quiet life. I was only 35, but the truth is I’m a bit of an idler; always have been. This means I’ve learned to live close to the breadline. Last year, though, I hit on an idea that, for the first time in my life, has begun to provide a steady income. And not only for me, but a couple of friends too, without whom, it should be said, the idea would never have come to fruition.

It began one bleak evening two years ago. I’d been indoors most of the day due to continual heavy rain. Then, around teatime, the sky cleared. So, as much for the exercise as a change of scenery, I wandered out into the clear cool air. Most refreshing it was too. But I’d only gone about 100 metres when I ran into Hans. Hans, I should say, was more an acquaintance than friend, but we were on good terms. He owned the local garage and was a fine mechanic. At least, he always serviced and fixed my car OK. He was on his way to the local Kneipe… pub, and suggested I join him. I thought a litre or two of good German bier would go down very well after a long day at home.

So we went in and sat there in the almost deserted bar-room, sipping our biers, with Hans checking his watch every few minutes. ‘I’m expecting Rita anytime.’ He said.

‘It’s a small village,’ I replied, ‘But I don’t think I know Rita.’

‘Oh, you’ll recognise her.’ He said grinning.

According to local gossip, a few months earlier Hans’s wife had run off with a Mercedes dealer from Dresden. I guessed he was making up for lost time. After a few minutes, in walked Rita. It was true, I knew her from somewhere. She came over and sat beside Hans opposite me. After making introductions Hans got up and went to the bar.

‘Hans said I’d recognise you,’ I said, ‘and he was right, but I can’t place you. Do you work in a shop?’

She gave a broad smile, ‘Actually, I’m the village verkehrspolizist… traffic cop.’

‘Ah.’ I twigged immediately, ‘I remember now… out of uniform, out of context.’

She laughed, ‘I’ve seen you about too.’ She said, ‘You enjoy a walk by the river, I know that much.’

‘True enough.’ I said, ‘I suppose it’s part of the job to notice what people do as well as remember faces.’

‘To an extent.’ said Rita, shrugging, ‘Maybe my natural curiosity is why I chose the job. But I’m no detective, at least not yet.’

Hans returned with a drink for Rita. ‘Anything interesting to report?’ he asked her.

‘Only on the hand-brake tests.’ She said, ‘Finally ended today…. Do you know,’ she added, ‘handbrakes are nearly always applied only partially, rarely fully. Only when essential, such as on a steep slope, do people bother to apply them fully.’

Hans raised his eyebrows, ‘The issue gave me a few extra customers.’ he said, ‘Shame your department can’t cook-up a few more projects like that.’

‘Most were in good order, though.’ said Rita, ‘It was just that they weren’t fully applied.’

‘Why should they be?’ I said, ‘I mean, on level ground.’

‘They shouldn’t necessarily,’ she said, ‘But they should be firm enough to prevent easy movement, like even a gentle push.’

‘But if another car hits one with brakes full on.’ I said, ‘then the damage will be worse.’

‘That may be true,’ said Rita, ‘but you won’t get knock-on damage to other vehicles.’

‘Vehicle damage is my bread ‘n butter.’ Said Hans, frowning.

We all laughed at that.

After a while I decided to leave them to enjoy one another’s company alone, so said cheerio and wandered out. I took a long walk around the village, thinking about what we’d been discussing. After a while, distracted by the strong wind, which howled in the trees and blew twigs everywhere, I forgot the issue and went home.

The next day, though, on my way to do a bit of shopping, I went past Hans’s garage – as I often did. Unusually, that morning, there was Hans out on the forecourt gazing reflectively at a nearly-new BMW.

‘Hi.’ I called, going over. ‘Very smart.’

‘Look at that,’ he said, pointing at the back. He indicated just above the lowest part of the body where could be seen a small shallow dent. It was hardly visible. It resembled what one might expect from pushing a finger lightly onto a piece of dough or plasticine.

‘What about it?’ I replied, ‘Hardly something to get excited about.’

‘Only €1000.’ He said.

‘What, for that?’ I said, ‘Incredible.’

Hans nodded, ‘It’s the going rate.’

‘But who’d waste €1000 on repairing such an insignificant blemish?’ I said, ‘No-one will even see it?’

‘Insurance job.’ He said, ‘So has to be fixed, regardless. Can’t go above €1500 though, otherwise the assessor would want to see it. Anything less, they don’t bother.’

‘Crazy.’ I said.

‘Not for my business.’ He said, ‘I reckon half my income is from fixing minor bumps like that, things that wouldn’t get fixed if an insurance outfit wasn’t coughing-up.’

I laughed, ‘Now I know why premiums are so high.’

‘It’s the system.’ He said, ‘Luckily for me… though to be honest I could do with a few more like this. Business is slow these days.’

I said, ‘What does it actually cost you to correct something like that?’

‘Oh, only a few euros, maybe 20 or 30 at most.’

‘Incredible!’ I repeated, ‘Wish I could fiddle a bit of money as easy as that.’

‘Well,’ he said, ‘That’s the trade. I guess most trades have their perks.’

‘True,’ I said, ‘The building trade for one.’

Hans nodded, ‘Anyhow, I’d better get on.’

‘Nice meeting Rita yesterday,’ I said, turning to go, ‘see ya.’

He waved, and I continued to the shops.

Once back home I started thinking about the handbrake issue again, and the BMW with its minuscule dent. My house backs onto a small municipal car park, just off the main road. From my kitchen window I can watch cars parking there. The parking area is just a row of about a dozen spaces either side of a central driveway – Reib igerpl. One side is on a very slight incline, and when the cars stop there they usually move a little towards the driveway before the driver applies the handbrake or park mechanism. Then I suddenly had an idea…. a not particularly commendable one, I should say, but it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

I put away the shopping then went out again to find Rita. After nearly half-an-hour I spotted her through the window of a real-estate office sipping tea, with several cars parked illegally outside. I waited a while, looking in nearby shop windows, and eventually she emerged, walked straight past the illegally parked cars, and towards me, smiling. ‘Hi Rita.’ I said.

‘How are you?’ she replied, stopping.

Then I told her how I’d seen Hans that morning, about the dent in the BMW, the car park near my house, and finally my unprincipled idea.

She looked shocked at first, then she frowned and said, ‘What you suggest is highly irregular, reprehensible even.’ She thought for a moment, then said, ’Nevertheless, money is tight these days and your idea sounds interesting. I’ll mention it to Hans, but don’t imagine anything will come of it. I’ll go and see him now.’ And off she walked.

Obviously she thought I was well out-of order, which I guess I was. I just shrugged and went back home, weighing the risks of the idea as I walked.

A couple of hours later Rita was at my door. She came in and we watched the parking from my kitchen window. ‘Hans says it’s a great idea,’ she said, as we watched, ‘And I do too now, having considered it. He said to start straight away, but to choose the cars carefully, according to nationality and where they park. If those are right, then swoop, he said.’

‘OK,’ I said, ‘But won’t you need a real cop as witness or anything?’

‘I’ve seen to that.’ she replied, ‘I’ve just called Klaus, an old friend from college. He covers this area. He’s based in Dresden, and has been driving cop cars for as long as I’ve been here. That’s about six years. As you know, they always sting a victim with a €25 on-the-spot fine at an incident, plus I’ve agreed a percentage of whatever we make from any scam.’

‘I’ve been thinking,’ I said, ‘what about the risks? We could all get banged-up, and you’d lose your job into the bargain.’

‘I discussed everything with Hans.’ said Rita, ‘We have it all worked out. And we covered just about every possibility of anything going wrong. It seems like the proverbial “perfect-crime”.’

‘Is there really such a thing?’ I said,

‘What could go wrong?’ she said, ‘First, the chances of two cars being insured with the same outfit is negligible, so long as we only go for foreign drivers. Which means they’ll never correlate any particular claim with the same cause or the same location or even being paid to the same claimant. And foreign drivers are unlikely to argue, especially if they don’t speak German. I’ll pretend I can’t speak another language, and act all official and strict to scare them a bit. Besides all of which, they’ll consider the situation so trivial as to not be worth causing hassle about, probably not even bothering to take photos. They’ll just see it as an unlucky €25 on-the-spot fine and nothing more, and will just want to move on. If they even suspect anything it will only be us looking to make our entirely legitimate €25. But 6-months later we sting their insurance outfit with a big repair bill.’

‘And I guess our victim will just lose a bit of no-claim discount.’ I said, ‘So what’s the procedure?’

‘First I’ll make the flat side of the parking area less inviting with some grit and a few scraps of litter.’ Rita began, ‘then, as you first suggested, when you see a suitable car move onto the sloping side, you walk out there and watch the driver till you’re sure they’re well out of sight, then drive your wagon into the opposite space. When it’s all clear, and if the handbrake isn’t on too firmly, you push the car across the driveway so it touches yours. Simple.’

‘And if the steering’s awry?’

‘Just park your wagon so it’ll roll into it.’ She said, ‘You should be able to judge that pretty easily. And if you call me when you first go outside, I’ll be there by the time the cars are touching.’

‘OK.’ I said, nodding.

There was nothing for a couple of days. Then a big grey English car stopped and reversed into a space on the incline. As arranged, I called Rita then went down there. It was a dry and pleasant but overcast day, neither warm nor cool. As soon as the guy was gone, I moved my car into place. Next I tried pushing the grey car. The guy had put the handbrake on quite firmly, and at first it wouldn’t budge. Then to my releif I was just able to move it very slowly, though it was hard going and I wondered if I’d be able to get it all the way. Eventually, though, it was there, touching my wagon. Whew! That was tough work. Then Rita appeared.

She’d been watching from the side of the houses. With her little notebook in one hand, and mobile in the other, she was calling Klaus. ‘You scarper now,’ she said to me, ‘Just keep away and we’ll talk later… hang on,’ she added, now looking at the front of the car, ‘They’re not quite touching. That’s crucial. If they’re not actually touching then there’s no offence.’

So in a final effort, I pushed the car again till Rita was happy, kicking a small stone behind one of the wheels so it wouldn't roll back. Then I went over and sat on a wall about 20-metres away. A few minutes later the driver returns and looks astonished as he hurriedly approaches.

‘That’s my car.’ He says.

Rita moves between him and the car, telling him in German not to touch it. He seems confused. It's obvious he doesn’t know German. He keeps trying to get to his car, and Rita keeps moving between him and his car, declaring ‘Offence, offence! I call assistance.’ In bad English, as she calls Klaus on her mobile.

The English guy, looking past Rita into the car, points in at the window. He mimes the pulling of a handbrake. ‘The handbrake’s on!’ he cries, ‘How did it move?’

Rita shakes her head, pretending not to understand, ‘Ten minutes.’ She says in English with a strong German accent, splaying her fingers to show the number of minutes before assistance should arrive.

Finally, the cop car turns up. Klaus, with his female assistant, emerge, and smiling broadly Klaus walks over to the English guy with his hand out. He shakes hands with the English guy, smiling broadly and bowing, almost obsequiously, and is extraordinarily friendly.

His companion also shakes hands with the English guy. It's more like a sociable business meeting than a potential traffic offence. Klaus goes and gazes at the point where the cars are touching. He bends over to look closely. Shaking his head, he returns to the English guy, removes his note pad and writes something. Then in German he asks the Englishman some questions, all the while being extremely friendly and cheerful.

Clearly, the English guy hasn’t a clue what was being said. Then Klaus indicates for the English guy to get in his car and move it back. The English guy points out that the handbrake was on, but Klaus just shrugsgs and pretends it isn't important, or as if he doesn’t understand. Klaus keeps sweeping his arm to show he wants the English guy to reverse back to where he was originally parked.

That done, the English guy shows Klaus various documents, and Klaus mentions - in clear English - €25. Everything else he says in German. Without delay, the English guy presents €25 even before Klaus actually requests it. Klaus tries to show the English guy a section in a book he has to prove the fine is legitimate. But the English guy isn’t concerned. He just wants to give Klaus the money, which after another attempt to explain, Klaus finally accepts.

While Klaus fills in his paperwork, the English guy goes and makes a closer inspection of the back of my wagon. He stares very hard, and declares that he can’t see where his car had been touching it. Of course, there is no blemish. Even so, he takes a photo.

Neither Klaus nor Rita will look. They keep well clear of my wagon and pretend not to understand the English guy's requests for them to examine it.

Altogether, the process lasts more than an hour. Finally, Klaus walks quickly over to my wagon and shoves a note under the windscreen wiper, then goes and shakes hands again all cheerful and friendly with the English guy - as if he was an old friend - then he and his assistant get into the cop car and drive away. Rita, by then, has already wandered off.

The English guy, still looking confused, stands there by my wagon for maybe ten minutes as if wondering what to do next or waiting for the owner to turn up. After a while he sighs, climbs into his car and leaves.

I go over to see if I can see where the car touched mine. Nothing. Not the slightest mark, not even the dirt is disturbed. Rita now returns from behind the houses and says, ’That was an easy €300 or so each, don’t you think?’

‘What?’ I say, ‘How much?’

‘We don’t get it for maybe 6-months.’ She says, ‘Perhaps longer. But it’ll materialise eventually, according to Hans. He'll assess repairs, then you submit a claim, and the cash will roll in. Somewhere around €1200 maximum between us.’

‘Incredible,’ I say.

* * * * *

And it’s true. I don’t do it often, maybe six or seven cars a month like that, and eventually the money rolls in, just as Rita said it would.

Some months I make a cool €2000. Not bad for pushing a car several metres occasionally, even if it is against a partially applied handbrake. But when you've got muscles like mine, what's the problem?

So long suckers!

From the little German village of Königstein:

The car-park (railway and river top of frame):

 

POSTSRIPT

In the UK, not only would the cops be uninterested in such a situation as occurred here, regardless of whether there had been damage, but would have instructed me to move on or they'd book me for obstruction.

At the time, I - the English guy - was aware of being the victim of a set-up, but what could I do? I've never experienced this kind of run-in with the cops before, either in the UK or abroad. Had I been where English is spoken, I'd have attempted to argue/discuss the issue. Of course, if an identical situation happened again where English isn't spoken, I'd somehow get around Rita (the traffic cop) as soon as possible and enter my car, on either side. Then I could release the handbrake and, pushing on the ground with one foot, inch the car back a fraction, if only to inspect where they'd supposedly made contact.

As it was, unable to speak the language, and above all being unaware of how cops operate there in Germany, I had no idea whether I might get arrested or charged for failing to obey a police officer (which to this day I'm not sure if she was). So in my ignorance I played along.

When Klaus (the cop car driver) mentioned €25, I understood what the whole issue was about - or thought I did. Obviously now, I didn't know the half of it. I thought: give them their €25 and they'll be happy. Which they more or less were... except I was puzzled why Klaus should put a note under the screen-wiper of the other vehicle. Now, of course, with this recent claim, that's clear enough.

Although the cars looked like they were touching, they may as well not have been. It was, as I say, impossible to see where they'd made contact. The soft rubber surround to my number-plate, which stands slightly proud, was the point of contact - if indeed there was contact - and it wasn't in the slightest deformed or marked. As for the other vehicle, it was just a smooth stretch of bodywork without a blemish, not a scratch or dent or anything.

My story 'The Scam' might seem a bit fanciful and unlikely, and there may well be some other explanation for how the set-up was organised, but there can be no other explanation for what I witnessed and experienced there than that the police - assuming they actually were police - are guilty of attempted insurance fraud. Nothing could be more self evident.

If my insurers pay the claim, which means I lose no-claim discount, I'll send the details to:

IFB – Insurance Fraud Bureau

REPORT INSURANCE FRAUD: 0800 422 0421

....because if they pay, that will constitute actual insurance fraud.

My motives here have nothing to do with good citizenship or high morals, but are purely because I got swindled out of €25, was delayed by about an hour, and will have to fork out maybe another £50 for my next insurance bill. Plus, ultimately, everyone else who has to buy insurance will have to pay a little bit more too to cover such bogus claims.

Since any 'evidence' to support the claim would have to be fabricated, hopefully the company will take note and refuse to cough-up. How far the crooks are likely to persue the claim will depend on their confidence in being able to see it through. But what kind of claim is submitted more than 6-months after an incident? Who would wait that long?

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Peter Hitchens

This is interesting...

Back in April 2013 I wrote an article 'Over the Years' where I compared those two notoriously polemical commentator-brothers: Christopher and Peter Hitchens.

Today I received a tweet from journalist/writer Neil Clark containing a link to a poignant and accurate, if also simplistic, article Peter Hitchens had written in that well-subscribed rag: 'The Mail'.

The article struck me as so relevant to what I touched on last month in my little item 'Poppy Cock', that I thought it worthy of a re-tweet. (Maybe too I should reflect on my derogatory comments in that April 2013 article - though the facts haven't changed... perhaps Hitchens's views have?)

As alluded to in 'Poppy Cock', the situation western politicians are creating and building-on right NOW are beginning to resemble the circumstances that led to WW2. Peter Hitchens notices this happening in areas I failed to mention - hence the position is potentially even more problematic than my article implied.

Just as Blair and Bush and their advisors/cronies were either ignorant of history or more likely, with their huge arsenal of modern weapons together with stupendous hubris, considered themselves inviolable, invincible... such was their arrogance and blind idiocy... linked, of course (as ever), to the power of the arms and oil industries... it is now those who control Washington and Westminster and even Brussels who are leading us to a far more lethal cliff-edge. I say 'those who control...' since unlike Blair, for instance, the individuals at the helm these days seem to be dancing to some unseen back-room puppet-master's tune more than ever before. Even John Pilger has leapt once again onto the prophesy bandwagon with yet another ominous scenario (ie, his prospective film 'The Coming War' - click on the video interview), which like the others, builds like an approaching storm - though unlike the others involves nuclear weapons.

I'm not old enough to be a doom-monger, and whatever prophetic scenario transpires from all these issues playing together - from Hitchens, Pilger and others plus my own observations - I expect to see them through well before I peg out. But there's no doubt - as I, and most independent commentators and observers, see it - that the politicians who make decisions 'in-our-name' or 'on-our-behalf' are actually following the orders of BIG CORP (as Hitchens suggests with Ukraine), which is a kind of machine, or monster. It reminds me of the monster in that brilliant classic Sci-Fi film 'Forbidden Planet' (which was actually based on Shakespeare's 'The Tempest').

I think the public sense this insanity at last - with people like Owen Jones and Russell Brand in the headlines (if only so the Establishment can ridicule him - yet end-up looking stupid and vile themselves, appropriately), and now Peter Hitchens in 'The Mail', scarcely to mention the outstanding quality productions on channels 133 and 135 (Al Jazeera and RT 'Russia Today' respectively).

But will the public's recognition of this growing madness change anything? Is it actually insignificant, or too late? And despite its essentially gormless nature - as is standard for machine/monster creations - won't BIG CORP react like any brainless monster... ie, with immense, formidable FORCE... to any attempts to thwart its inevitable path to total planetary Fascism, or worse?

The one danger, though, that no-one's mentioned (except a few protestors at a recent 'summit') and that will probably end-up swamping any insane squabbling or invading or massacring or land-stealing or even nuclear attacks - in the same way a meteor swamped the dinosaurs - is Climate Change. But that probably will be after my time.... at least so far as it affects me (unless I get blown away in a hurricane).

Only yesterday (22nd Dec) RT carried a half-hour discussion between four commentators who spelled out precisely what I, and presumably many other people, had deduced for themselves - and which was in complete opposition to establishment media propaganda.

The consensus on RT, and what seems to me pretty obvious, was that the US had somehow persuaded the EU (under the pretext of supporting 'democracy' in Ukraine) to create a barrier between itself and Russia. Both the EU and Russia are suffering from the resulting sanctions. So, predictably, Russia turns east and south... to Turkey, India and China.

Who loses from this? The EU in the long run will be by far the biggest loser. Ukraine's Fascist govt the EU supports will not survive as the US intends.... come to think of it, although BIG CORP is losing vast markets here, their gamble must surely be on creating the basis for a monumental world war: west v east: Russia & China versus US & Europe - which ties in neatly with Pilger's scenario. I can't think of anything more insane or devastating - as one would associate with BIG CORP: ie, world wars, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.... etc., for details see 'Blum'.

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