BMEWS
 
When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Sunday - August 31, 2008

Why should we be wedded to the ideal of marriage?  Is marriage outdated ?

If you go the link you’ll need to scroll down a short way to catch this. There are other things by this writer and some interesting comments.

I thought I’d post this here to see what our readers think about this.  Maybe she’s correct but perhaps only for some ppl.

My marriage truth to tell is a joke and has been for ... gee ... I never remember how long.  Ah, wife reminds me married 38 yrs in July. I was too frightened to ask exactly what day in July. We’ve been together for 40 years and I can’t imagine anyone else putting up with me and the career moves I’ve had.  Now when I say our marriage is a joke, I should explain that’s how our mornings start and our days end.  No matter what’s happened during the day, even if we’ve had a disagreement of some kind, the day ends with some wacky silly gag or practical joke.  My wife is somewhat better at practical jokes then I am.

We’ve been thru some very ruff patches it’s true.  Was a time when we weren’t sure it would last a lifetime.  I recall once when we gave some thought to living in seperate places BUT .... at the time we thought by seperate places it should be adjoining apts. or houses.  Nothin’ came of that happy to say.

OK, I’ve had my say.  Now over to you.

Why should we be wedded to the ideal of marriage?
By Melissa Kite
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 31/08/2008

Now that record numbers of pensioners are divorcing, we should really try to be honest about what is happening to that fine old institution, marriage.

We need to be rigorously truthful with ourselves about why 13,678 people over 60 were divorced in 2007, up from 12,636 the previous year and from 9,052 in 1997. We also need to be realistic about why marriage rates are at the lowest level since records began in 1862.

It is painful to let go of dreams. But the simple and unappealing fact is that marriage was a useful institution when women had no possessions of their own and men needed sons and heirs to pass theirs on to.

It was invented as a commercial solution and has now outlived its commercial usefulness. People still fall in love, want to live under the same roof and raise children. But when they fall out of love, they don’t feel they should prolong the arrangement.

Politicians offering tax breaks to keep us together miss the point that couples now marry and break up in the pursuit of happiness. They will stay together for love, but not money.

And when even empty nesters think it is better to embark on an adventure in their sixties rather than stay in a stale relationship, we should accept what is screaming out at us.

Marriage as a lifetime contract is dying. We need to get over our obsession with preserving it at all costs and move on to pastures new.

http://tinyurl.com/6jd3xl


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 03:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffDaily LifeLove-Marriage •  
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Barack Obama had it all…and then it changed.  (should he lose, will he have been Palined?)

Many of the comments that follow this editorial can cause RCOB syndrome.  I haven’t a problem with ppl who have questions or even valid (as they see it) criticism.  But some folks get down right idiotic with off the wall foul remarks.  As though it adds to anything.  Some ppl clearly are just born that way I guess,

Barack Obama had it all...and then it changed
By Anne Applebaum
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 31/08/2008

Change has come to American politics. And no, I don’t mean “change” of the sort that was written on the placards that Barack Obama supporters waved during his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic convention last Thursday night, though perhaps that will come too.

Republican nominee John McCain’s surprise vice-presidential pick, about which more in a moment, is certainly new and different.

But the change I’m talking about right now is technical, not political, and it involves video clips being passed around from person to person.

Last week’s convention, The New York Times rightly declared, is the first in which “people are passing on enormous amounts of information to friends, who are in turn passing it to more friends, mostly by way of YouTube”, in far larger numbers than ever before.

For the first time, absolutely the best way to watch this convention was not on CNN, not on CSPAN, but on its own website.

At http://www.demconvention.com, all the action was live, high-definition, and without superfluous commentary of any kind. And if you missed a live speech, it was easy enough to watch the clips over a leisurely coffee in the morning.

What this means, though, is that more emphasis than ever was placed not on the Democratic party as a whole, but on a handful of the party’s stars: Barack and Michelle, Hillary and Bill, Joe Biden.

One or two other famous names also appeared on the podium (Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Al Gore) and all of the party leadership were there too.

But if you were watching only the video clips, either because you clicked on the website or someone sent them to you on your iPhone, you never saw them at all.

Thus did the major speakers craft and shape the event, at least for those watching it from afar, to a new degree. The drama of the Clintons - would they endorse Obama? And if so, were they sincere? - dominated the first two days.

The drama of Obama - could he make a speech as overwhelming as the one he made at the last Democratic convention, in 2004? - dominated the rest.

As it happens, the Democrats are blessed, in this election year, with an unusually gifted group of speakers. Hillary did seem stiff and rehearsed, as she always does, but Bill Clinton - though he can’t possibly have been happy about giving it - made a superb speech, deliberately noting that he, too, was once called “inexperienced”.

Michelle Obama managed to be both powerful and maternal, not an easy task. And Obama himself, though producing a more workmanlike, less soaring speech than in 2004, managed to condemn Bush without sounding too pessimistic, creating some excellent video clips along the way: “America, we are better than these last eight years!”

To put it mildly, the Republicans have a tough act to follow.

Above all, they now have a problem with their main speakers, starting with tomorrow night’s: President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

For if the central drama of the Democratic convention was one of reconciliation, the central drama of the Republican convention is one of separation: how can McCain possibly distance himself from the Bush administration without offending much of his party?

Because Bush is profoundly unpopular, video clips of him endorsing John McCain could - particularly when repeated over and over again on the laptops and iPhones of the nation - sink McCain’s chances forever.

On the other hand, anything McCain says that appears too sceptical or too negative about his party’s legacy - and in particular anything he says that appears dismissive of the religious Right or the conservative movement, which provide the party’s most faithful votes - could doom him as well.

But the candidate himself could be a problem too. In person, John McCain is warm and eloquent, one of those rare politicians who actually appears to be listening to people. He is unpretentious, and approachable, the very opposite of “aloof”, the adjective that often sticks to Obama.

Unfortunately, those qualities do not translate well into large arenas and aren’t necessarily visible on camera. He’s never been great at reading speeches aloud, and seems uncomfortable with teleprompters.

Hence part of the logic of his vice-presidential pick: Sarah Palin - corruption-fighting Governor of Alaska, anti-abortion mother of five, Miss Alaska runner-up, wife of an Eskimo fisherman, former basketball star (known as “Sarah Barracuda” to her teammates) - solves a number of problems at once.

Obviously, she solves the immediate problem of the convention: though her short comments on Friday gave no hint of great oratorical powers, it is safe to assume that the clips of the first Republican on a national ticket with double-pierced ears will begin circling the nation the minute she stops talking.

Perhaps, just perhaps, she solves McCain’s other problem too: if nothing else, she is a definite break with the past, and a definite reinforcement of McCain’s old “maverick” image.

She isn’t like anyone in the Bush administration, isn’t an over-familiar face, doesn’t much resemble any of the mainstream Republican leaders at all. She could make his campaign - or break it, of course, if she’s a disaster, as many already fear she will be.

At the very least, her appointment, which came as a total surprise, makes a fitting end to what has been both the most high-tech, as well as the most unpredictable, American primary season in memory.

“Change” has not become the mantra of this campaign for nothing.

http://tinyurl.com/5p7agv


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 03:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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JUST FOR FUN …………. CAPTIONS ANYONE?

From this morning’s Sunday Telegraph

image

http://tinyurl.com/myqtl


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 02:49 PM   
Filed Under: • PoliticsRepublicansUK •  
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Hundreds of terrorists have been killed by the SAS waging a “secret war”

I don’t know about you folks but .... I’m not certain the paper should have published this story.  But once it’s out and picked up by others as it will be, I guess there isn’t anything wrong about my posting it here.  Thing I do not understand is why the Brit military allowed it and since they did , who am I to question them?  I have to believe they know what they’re doing.  I hope they do.  Anyway, these guys are no pussy cats and it is heartening to read that there exists a camaraderie between our Delta Force and the SAS.  So much so that the SAS raised $20,000 for American widows and orphans.  I hadn’t read about that anywhere in the past.

I have to say however, I hate the very idea that things have come down, as they have, to the need for lawyers that need consulting before ops.
Hey ... have military lawyers ever been fragged?  Just askin is all.

SAS kills hundreds of terrorists in ‘secret war’ against al-Qaeda in IraqHundreds of terrorists have been killed by the SAS waging a “secret war” against al-Qaeda in Iraq,
The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:50PM BST 31 Aug 2008

The SAS had played a key part in defeating a network of car bombers in Baghdad that had brought devastation to the capital Photo: AFP/GETTY More than 3,500 insurgents have been “taken off the streets of Baghdad” by the elite British force in a series of audacious “Black Ops” over the past two years.

It is understood that while the majority of the terrorists were captured, several hundred, who were mainly members of the organisation known as “al-Qa’eda in Iraq” have been killed by the SAS.

The SAS is part of a highly secretive unit called “Task Force Black” which also includes Delta Force, the US equivalent of the SAS.

The prime targets have been those intent on joining the wave of suicide car bombers that claimed around 3,000 lives a month in Baghdad at the height of the terrorist campaign in 2006.

Using intelligence gleaned from spies and informers, Task Force Black has nearly broken the back of the terrorist network and reduced bombings in Baghdad from about 150 a month to just two.

But the success of the covert mission came at a price – six members of the SAS were killed and more than 30 were injured. Delta Force has suffered in the region of 20 per cent casualties.

A senior British officer told The Sunday Telegraph: “We took over 3,500 terrorists off the streets of Baghdad in around 18 months.
“You could say it was a very successful period. But the butcher’s bill was high. The attrition rate is equivalent to that experienced by the SAS during the Malayan insurgency 50 years ago.

“The relationship between the SAS and Delta Force is very close,” he added. “If anything, the attrition rate in Delta Force is higher.

Two years ago the SAS made a donation to Delta Force’s ‘widows and orphans’ fund of £10,000.”

Senior sources denied that the SAS was taking part in “extra-judicial killings” and added that any incident which appeared to be in breach of the British Army’s rules of engagement would be investigated internally by the unit and by the Royal Military Police if any wrongdoing was suspected.

The source said: “There is no shoot-to-kill policy in Iraq,

(I strongly hope he’s lying!!)
but there are only a few ways of stopping a suicide bomber. A British lawyer is present during the planning stages of every operation and our troops operate under British rules, not American rules.”

The SAS began to concentrate almost exclusively on reducing the car bomb threat in Iraq at the same time that the US military launched its so-called “surge”, which saw an additional 30,000 American troops move into the most dangerous areas of Baghdad, in early 2007.

Gen David Petraeus, the head of the US forces in Iraq, who is due to leave his post shortly, has praised the courage of the SAS.

He said: “They have helped immensely in Baghdad … they have done a phenomenal job.”

In one incident, SAS troops rented a pink pick-up truck, removed their body armour to blend in with locals, and drove through the traffic to catch a key target.

“It was brilliant, actually,” Gen Petraeus said. “They have exceptional initiative, exceptional skill, exceptional courage and, I think, exceptional savvy. I can’t say enough about how impressive they are in thinking on their feet.”

http://tinyurl.com/6x52uj


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 02:02 PM   
Filed Under: • UKWar On TerrorWar-Stories •  
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The ‘consensus’ on climate change is a catastrophe in itself .

The ‘consensus’ on climate change is a catastrophe in itself
By Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 31/08/2008

As the estimated cost of measures proposed by politicians to “combat global warming” soars ever higher – such as the International Energy Council’s $45 trillion – “fighting climate change” has become the single most expensive item on the world’s political agenda.

As Senators Obama and McCain vie with the leaders of the European Union to promise 50, 60, even 80 per cent cuts in “carbon emissions”, it is clear that to realise even half their imaginary targets would necessitate a dramatic change in how we all live, and a drastic reduction in living standards.

All this makes it rather important to know just why our politicians have come to believe that global warming is the most serious challenge confronting mankind, and just how reliable is the evidence for the theory on which their policies are based.

By far the most influential player in putting climate change at the top of the global agenda has been the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up in 1988, not least on the initiative of the Thatcher government. (This was why the first chairman of its scientific working group was Sir John Houghton, then the head of the UK’s Meteorological Office.)

Through a succession of reports and international conferences, it was the IPCC which led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, soon to have an even more ambitious successor, to be agreed in Copenhagen next year.

The common view of the IPCC is that it consists of 2,500 of the world’s leading scientists who, after carefully weighing all the evidence, have arrived at a “consensus” that world temperatures are rising disastrously, and that the only plausible cause has been rising levels of CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases.

In fact, as has become ever more apparent over the past 20 years –not least thanks to the evidence of a succession of scientists who have participated in the IPCC itself – the reality of this curious body could scarcely be more different.

It is not so much a scientific as a political organisation. Its brief has never been to look dispassionately at all the evidence for man-made global warming: it has always taken this as an accepted fact.

Indeed only a comparatively small part of its reports are concerned with the science of climate change at all. The greater part must start by accepting the official line, and are concerned only with assessing the impact of warming and what should be done about it.

In reality the IPCC’s agenda has always been tightly controlled by the small group of officials at its head. As one recent study has shown, of the 53 contributors to the key Chapter 9 of the latest report dealing with the basic science (most of them British and American, and 10 of them associated with the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office), 37 belong to a closely related network of academics who are all active promoters of the official warming thesis.

It is on the projections of their computer models that all the IPCC’s predictions of future warming are based.

The final step in the process is that, before each report is published, a “Summary for Policymakers” is drafted by those at the top of the IPCC, to which governments can make input.

It is this which makes headlines in the media, and which all too frequently eliminates the more carefully qualified findings of contributors to the report itself.

The idea that the IPCC represents any kind of genuine scientific “consensus” is a complete fiction. A

gain and again there have been examples of how evidence has been manipulated to promote the official line, the most glaring instance being the notorious “hockey stick”.

Initially the advocates of global warming had one huge problem. Evidence from all over the world indicated that the earth was hotter 1,000 years ago than it is today.

This was so generally accepted that the first two IPCC reports included a graph, based on work by Sir John Houghton himself, showing that temperatures were higher in what is known as the Mediaeval Warming period than they were in the 1990s.

The trouble was that this blew a mighty hole in the thesis that warming was caused only by recent man-made CO2.

Then in 1999 an obscure young US physicist, Michael Mann, came up with a new graph like nothing seen before.

Instead of the familiar rises and falls in temperature over the past 1,000 years, the line ran virtually flat, only curving up dramatically at the end in a hockey-stick shape to show recent decades as easily the hottest on record.

This was just what the IPCC wanted, The Mediaeval Warming had simply been wiped from the record.

When its next report came along in 2001, Mann’s graph was given top billing, appearing right at the top of page one of the Summary for Policymakers and five more times in the report proper.

But then two Canadian computer analysts, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, got to work on how Mann had arrived at his graph.

When, with great difficulty, they eventually persuaded Mann to hand over his data, it turned out he had built into his programme an algorithm which would produce a hockey stick shape whatever data were fed into it.

Even numbers from the phonebook would come out looking like a hockey stick.

By the time of its latest report, last year, the IPCC had an even greater problem. Far from continuing to rise in line with rising CO2, as its computer models predicted they should, global temperatures since the abnormally hot year of 1998 had flattened out at a lower level and were even falling – a trend confirmed by Nasa’s satellite readings over the past 18 months.

So pronounced has this been that even scientists supporting the warmist thesis now concede that, due to changes in ocean currents, we can expect a decade or more of “cooling”, before the “underlying warming trend” reappears.

The point is that none of this was predicted by the computer models on which the IPCC relies.

Among the ever-growing mountain of informed criticism of the IPCC’s methods, a detailed study by an Australian analyst John McLean (to find it, Google “Prejudiced authors, prejudiced findings") shows just how incestuously linked are most of the core group of academics whose models underpin everything the IPCC wishes us to believe about global warming.

The significance of the past year is not just that the vaunted “consensus” on the forces driving our climate has been blown apart as never before, but that a new “counter-consensus” has been emerging among thousands of scientists across the world, given expression in last March’s Manhattan Declaration by the so-called Non-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.

This wholly repudiates the IPCC process, showing how its computer models are hopelessly biased, based on unreliable data and programmed to ignore many of the genuine drivers of climate change, from variations in solar activity to those cyclical shifts in ocean currents.

As it was put by Roger Cohen, a senior US physicist formerly involved with the IPCC process, who long accepted its orthodoxy: “I was appalled at how flimsy the case is. I was also appalled at the behaviour of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it.

“In particular I am referring to the arrogance, the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defence of bogus science; and the politicisation of the IPCC process and the science process itself.”

Yet it is at just this moment, when the IPCC’s house of cards is crumbling, that the politicians of the Western world are using it to propose steps that can only damage our way of life beyond recognition.

It really is time for that “counter-consensus” to be taken seriously.

http://tinyurl.com/5mpspl


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 01:15 PM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentUK •  
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THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT SARAH PALIN.

H/T CMBLAKE for the link. 

Till the wife heard about her on BBC radio, we weren’t aware of the lady.  Not anymore.  I also think I might be in love again.
Like Doc Jeff, I may not be in agreement 100%, but I agree more then not agree and anyway, she really does appear to have the right stuff.
I’ve been trying to devour info on the lady last 24 hours and must say folks, I am damn happy she’s on our side cause she is a WMD all by herself.
This is one very smart woman and my flagging interest in the process has been restored quite a bit I must say. 
I agree as well on a Palin/McCain ticket.  How about Palin/and anyone else?

The facts are pouring in - literally.  At last count, there are more than 3200 Little Known Facts in the random “Little Known Facts About Sarah Palin Generator.  There are nearly as many hashtags.

Sarah Palin begins every day with a moment of silence for the political enemies buried in her yard.

Sarah Palin always beats the point spread.

Sarah Palin once bit the head off a live Osprey snatched from the air as it tried to fly off with a fish she caught.

Sarah Palin uses French Canadians as bait to catch giant king salmon.

When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

Sarah Palin plays Whack-a-Mole with her forehead, and always gets a perfect score.

Sarah Palin knows who was on the grassy knoll.

Sarah Palin’s finishing move in the VP debate will be pulling Biden’s still beating heart from his chest & taking a bite.

Sarah Palin isn’t allowed to wield the gavel at the convention because they’re afraid she’ll use it to kill liberals.

Sarah Palin once won a competitive eating contest by devouring three live caribou.

Sarah Palin once carved a perfect likeness of the Mona Lisa in a block of ice using only her teeth.

Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

Sarah Palin pick retroactively makes the theme of #DNC08 “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”

Sarah Palin doesn’t need a gun to hunt. She has been known to throw a bullet through an adult bull elk.

http://www.palinfacts.com/


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2008 at 12:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 30, 2008

Are All Marine Scientists Moonbats?

Get a load of this bit of silly. Some scientists find a new species of giant clam up in the north end of the Red Sea. There aren’t very many of them ... perhaps that’s why they haven’t been found until now? So right away they spin up a theory ... no, not global warming, not yet ... but that the clams were over fished by early man when they first go the hell out of Africa all those thousands of years ago. Yup, the only reason they can figure that the clams aren’t wall to wall under the sea is because evil humans ate them all once upon a time. Funny though, if most of these wonder clams were eaten up then, then why haven’t they made a comeback since? They’ve had 125,000 years to do it. Even clams must be able to breed better than that.

Oh, clam up already!



image



Giant clams two feet long might have helped feed prehistoric humans as they first migrated out of Africa, new research reveals. The species, Tridacna costata, once accounted for more than 80 percent of giant clams in the Red Sea, researcher now say.

Really? 80%? How do they know? If the sediment is littered with these things, wouldn’t they have been discovered before? And if people caught them, wouldn’t they have taken the damn things OUT of the water onto shore to have their chowder? So wouldn’t there be giants middens lying around? If so, then once again, what took you so long to discover this species?

Today, these mollusks, the first new living species of giant clam found in two decades, represent less than 1 percent of giant clams living there.

This novel clam, whose shell has a distinctive scalloped edge, was discovered while scientists were attempting to develop a breeding program for another giant clam species, Tridacna maxima, which is prized in the aquarium trade. The new species appears to live only in the shallowest waters, which makes it particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

Oh here it comes!

“These are all strong indications that T. costata may be the earliest example of marine overexploitation,” said researcher Claudio Richter, a marine ecologist at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Fossil evidence that the researchers uncovered suggests the stocks of these giant clams began crashing some 125,000 years ago, during the last interval between glacial periods. During that time, scientists think modern humans first emerged out of Africa, Richter said.

These mollusks could have played a key role in feeding people during that crucial era, serving as a prime target due to their large size, the scientists added. Indeed, competition for these clams and other valuable sea resources “may have been an important driver for human expansion,” Richter told LiveScience.

“and other valuable sea resources” means anything you can catch or that turns up on the beach. Like about 100 billion other fish, squid, and lobsters. No, let’s assume that the local cavemen Oogh and Uugh would ignore those, and go after a clam that weighs 100 pounds and needs a jackhammer to open. Riiiight.

Underwater surveys carried out in the Gulf of Aqaba (north of the Red Sea, between the Sinai Peninsula and Arabian mainland) and northern Red Sea revealed this long-overlooked clam must be considered critically endangered. Only six out of 1,000 live specimens the scientists observed belonged to the new species. This mollusk could be the earliest victim of human degradation of coral reefs in this region, the researchers added.

Natural selection? Survival of the fittest? Adapting to changing conditions? Don’t know what any of that means! If we find some critter, and there aren’t zillions of them, then there is one and only one reason for it: evil human degradations!! Either that, or this bunch of researchers needs an new influx of grant money, so this is just a bid to get some fiscal attention.

Once upon a time you could trust scientists. Now they’ll say anything for money. And it looks like the moonbats have taken over there too.



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 05:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesNature •  
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Mugabe pays off foreign athletes?

W.T.F.?

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Friday handed the country’s only Olympic medalist in Beijing a $100,000 cash reward for her performance at the games.
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Swimmer Kirsty Coventry smashed the world record to win gold in the women’s 200 meters backstroke. She also captured three silver medals.

Mugabe handed the U.S-based swimmer the cash at a ceremony in Harare carried live on state television.

“Our national spirit must exude joy and pleasure and say you have done well, daughter of Zimbabwe. We are proud of you, we wish you well. She’s our golden girl ... take care of her,” he said at the ceremony.

The U.S. dollars, scarce in a country struggling with an economic crisis marked by a severe shortage of foreign currency, were carried in a briefcase by Zimbabwe’s central bank governor.

Other members of Zimbabwe’s Olympic team received between $2,000 and $10,000 each.

No truth to the rumor that Coventry then had to flee the country before her lands were stolen, her farmhouse burned down, and before she was raped and mutilated as punishment for being white.

What we have here is really just a sponsorship, but it certainly points out a big hole in the Olympic rules. I think you should have to be a citizen of the country you are competing for, for at least 10 years prior to your Olympics. Otherwise you’re just a carpetbagger, and the entire concept of national representation goes out the window. Especially when you get a bag of money on national TV that represents half the host nation’s cash assets.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 04:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Sports •  
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A Bowling Pout

It’s the economy, stupid?




I signed up to be league secretary for my Saturday league this year. There were problems last year, and the person who did the job wasn’t really up to it. So I spoke up and got myself elected. I spent a bit of time figuring out a method of doing the job, and I’ve got it wired tight. I picked up the best software package and learned it, put together a log book that’s ultra organized, made contact lists, did a lot of personal networking, revamped the bylaws, etc. I’m good to go and I think I’ve foreseen almost every problem that could come up. Except one. And that’s the one that’s going to kill us.

This is not a large league, or a big prize money league. It’s a small group who bowl more for the fun of it than to win the big bucks. Three seasons ago there were 16 teams. Two seasons ago we had 12 teams. Last year we had 9 teams with several vacancies. This year it looked like we were going to have 8 teams. That’s a tiny league. Any smaller and it gets boring because you bowl the same team time after time after time. I went through the phone list again this week, calling everybody to let them know the start date and so forth. And found out that 7 or 8 members won’t be coming back. That’s 2 full teams worth. So now we’re down to 6 teams, maybe less. So I’ve made a big investment of time, effort, and money for a league in it’s death throes. Great.

I think I have to talk with the league president and the bowling alley manager. If we lose even 2 more members then this league is going to have to merge with some other league. Mergers are risky things; you often lose 20% of your members. But when it’s only 5 teams, what real difference does it make?

Most of the people who said they weren’t coming back said the cost was the reason. This league has been the least expensive one at the alley. It’s $15 per person per week for 35 weeks, less than the cost of dinner out at even a plain restaurant. That’s over $1000 per year for a couple. Many leagues are $17 - $20. I guess a lot of people are on highly limited budgets, and the high price of gas and food has eaten up whatever spare cash they might have had.

Oh, gas remains at $3.33.9 at that one Valero station I posted about the other week. Since it’s on the way to the bowling alley, that’s where we are filling up. Every penny counts ... and if the panic button pushing Chicken Littles on the TV news get their dire fantasies to come true, Hurricane Gustav will drive the cost of gas up to $5 per gallon. Which will probably just kill this league dead in it’s tracks. Great.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 03:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Obama has left the US election wide open.  A Brit reports from the USA.


Barack Obama has left the US election wide open
By Simon Heffer
Last Updated: 1:01pm BST 29/08/2008Page 1 of 2

At different times over the last few days in Denver I have wondered whether, instead of watching a crucial meeting of the main opposition party of the world’s leading power, I had wandered in on a soap opera, a poor Hollywood film, or a dire reality TV show. It is still hard to decide. Indeed, after Barack Obama’s rally in front of 85,000 people on Thursday it might also have been classed as an extended rock concert. No-one can dispute that the finale was a spectacle: but, as such, it symbolised a triumph of style over substance that had been apparent during every session of the convention during the week and, indeed, in the whole 19 months of the Obama presidential campaign. This said a lot about Sen Obama’s abilities, or those of his speechwriters and spin doctors, to play an already compliant audience like the proverbial violin. It said little or nothing about his fitness to govern, or to attract the support of the so-far non-compliant.

The event in the Broncos’ stadium was certainly an apotheosis of display, theatre and at times unrestrained and self-indulgent emotion. It seemed to have only a passing connection with politics. Mr Obama’s speech was a masterpiece of manipulation: it added precious few clues about how he would restore the fortunes of a country that is very much not at ease with itself. Worse, in an uncertain world, it offered little evidence of why he is equipped to deal with some of the lethal challenges that could at any time confront America. The candidate’s combination of old-fashioned oratorical skill, film-star looks, and determination to put his personality and “story” at the front of his approach to politics certainly seems to appeal to his party: but it is entirely shallow, and typical of the American left’s confusion, or conflation, of stature with celebrity.

As the near hysteria in the stadium suggested, this hardly mattered to the Democratic faithful. All week at their convention they have sat and listened to one pile of flannel after another about “change”, which can mean whatever it wants to the person who utters the word and to anyone hearing it. The real question is whether America’s tens of millions of undecided voters will have been swayed by anything they might have seen, heard or read from Denver this week. It seems, it must be said, pretty unlikely.As Mr Obama came out to speak on Thursday night a poll gave him a sudden six-point lead over his Republican rival, John McCain. This “convention bounce” is a long-recognised phenomenon of election politics in America; Sen McCain may well get his own this time next week. If so, it would suggest that the last eight weeks of the campaign will settle it, rather than anything that might happen at either convention. The three televised debates between the two candidates could be crucial in this regard, not least because Mr Obama will find it hard to come through even one of them without giving his electorate a clear idea of his policies.

image

The city of Denver had an unequivocally good convention. While the Democratic party exhibited its usual organisational chaos – at times people had to queue in 90 degree heat for 90 minutes to get through security – the rest of Denver worked brilliantly. In contrast to some towns that host our own party conferences, where businesses like to be as disobliging as possible to visiting delegates and media, the people of Denver couldn’t have been more helpful and welcoming. The city apparently made $200m out of the event, and frankly it deserved every cent. Americans are paranoid about their image abroad, but when it comes to service they still lead the world.

The most disgusting aspect of the last week’s events was the spectacle of the Clintons making elaborate speeches of admiration about Candidate Obama, a man they were both abusing and attacking a matter of a few weeks ago. The cameras filmed Bill saying “that was smart” as Mr Obama, during his surprise appearance after Joe Biden’s speech on Wednesday night, heaped praise on the Clintons. The truce is plainly shaky, and exists only to try to prevent Bill and Hillary taking any blame for an Obama defeat – which is essential if Hillary is to run again in 2012. Meanwhile, the Democratic establishment appears rapidly to have airbrushed from history the notion that Mrs Clinton ever was a candidate. At the request of a colleague I combed Denver for some Hillary campaign memorabilia: but I couldn’t find so much as a little badge, let alone a pair of the legendary nutcrackers.

lots more here. => http://tinyurl.com/594egu


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2008 at 03:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEditorialsPolitics •  
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Obama makes history but doubts remain .  And the euro-peons are in love with him.

All things considered, if the europukes love him he’s wrong for America!  Period.

This is the editorial comment in this morning’s Telegraph.
Some of the comments by ppl who think they know us (USA) because they’ve read Mao’s little red book or Marx can stick it. They really get to me. I shouldn’t read that far down.  see link and scroll for comments.

The editorial spells out just why our presidential election is so important to ppl on this side of the world.  I grudgingly understand and concede their reasoning may be valid.  But it still bothers me that foreigners are working (on both sides) for ppl running for our highest office.

Obama makes history but doubts remain
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 30/08/2008

For all that it was a foregone conclusion; for all the flowery rhetoric and talk of “change”; and despite the extravagant stage management, the nomination of the first African-American to be a candidate for the White House was a moment of historical significance. Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency, dismissed as fanciful just 18 months ago, is heavy with symbolism. He launched his campaign in Springfield, Illinois, the capital of the state he represents in the Senate and the home town of Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s most revered figures. His speech accepting the Democratic nomination was delivered exactly 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech before the Lincoln Memorial, following a civil rights march through Washington. This coincidence was a demonstration of how far America has come since 1963; it also raised the question of whether it has come far enough to elect a black man to the White House. Like it or not, that will be an issue in the weeks leading to polling day in November.

So, too, in view of John McCain’s surprise - and potentially shrewd - choice of Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, to be his Republican running mate, will the other issue that came to the fore in the Democratic race: the prospect of a woman president. At 72, Mr McCain will be the oldest candidate ever to run for the White House, so there is a heightened chance that his vice-president might succeed him while in office. The choice of Mrs Palin, a hard-working mother of five, might appeal to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, who will never be reconciled to the upstart who supposedly stole her presidency.

At the Democratic convention in Denver, the Clintons were unequivocal in their public support for Mr Obama, whatever their private disappointment and misgivings. It was Mr Obama’s task in his keynote address to reach beyond the party and explain what an Obama presidency would look like. To be frank, we are no clearer. His delivery was mercifully shorn of much of the blowhard oratory to which he easily succumbs. But the staging was excessively glitzy, reminiscent of the hubristic rally at Sheffield in 1992 which helped to cook Neil Kinnock’s goose: it may play well with the party faithful but, to us on this side of the Atlantic at least, is simply cringe-making.

Mr Obama does not need to persuade the British of his suitability for office, since we do not have a vote. However, we have a powerful interest in the diplomatic, economic and moral acumen of the occupant of the White House. We have seen in the past year how America’s debt crisis has helped engineer a recession here, so we need to be clear that Mr Obama’s economic policies will not make matters worse and he has given welcome signals, especially on the tax front. Over the past month, the world has become more dangerous, with the Russian invasion of Georgia reminding us all that geo-political instability did not end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. How would Mr Obama, with no foreign policy experience and untested in times of trouble, cope with an international crisis? He addressed this in his speech, pointing out that Roosevelt and Kennedy showed there was nothing inherently weak in Democratic presidencies. These are risky comparisons to make.

Mr McCain, who will formally accept his party’s nomination at the Republican convention in Minneapolis next week, has portrayed his adversary as lacking experience, gravitas or any of the qualities needed in an uncertain world. In truth, we are as much in the dark about Mr McCain. Unquestionably, the selection of the two candidates has been a riveting spectacle. But we need to know a lot more about both of them between now and November 4.

http://tinyurl.com/6zsx55


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2008 at 02:51 PM   
Filed Under: • InternationalPolitics •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

OKOK, I promise I’ll get to the more serious stuff in a minute. But first ….

Oh my ... Ain’t she pretty.  That isn’t a question.
Only 16.  Wish her well and hope it won’t spoil her as this kind of thing so often does.

It’s great a Brit girl won in the face of all the awful teen news here in the UK about girl crime and girl gangs etc.


British girl wins Miss Teen World
A British schoolgirl has beaten 25 young hopefuls to become Miss Teen World.
By Vikki Miller
Last Updated: 10:48AM BST 30 Aug 2008

image

Amy Jackson, 16, was crowned in Houston, Texas on Saturday.

She has now returned home to Knowsley, Liverpool to celebrate with friends and family.

She said: “I really thought I had not made the final five, but then I went on to take the title. I was completely shocked and so happy.”

Miss Jackson beat competitors from Korea, Mexico and Russia to win. As part of the entry, she was marked on her stage presence and her answers in an interview.

The teenager received her GCSE results while at the competition in the US, and found out she had achieved nine passes, five of which were As.

She is now considering going to live in Texas for a year to promote the competition. After that, she plans to start her A-levels and then go on to university to study law.

Miss Jackson reached the final in Texas after winning Miss Teen Liverpool and Miss Teen Great Britain competitions.

Her father, BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Alan Jackson said: “The contestants were asked to talk about their home town. She mentioned Liverpool FC, Capital of Culture, the Mersey – there is no shortage of things to say about Liverpool.”

Her 18 prizes include a modelling contract in the US, a wardrobe of clothes, a year’s supply of top cosmetics and shoes and a £10,000 scholarship.

http://tinyurl.com/5pntxs


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2008 at 02:42 PM   
Filed Under: • AwardsEye-CandyUK •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Greatness, Borrowed From Rachel Lucas’ commenters

A couple of outstanding Demotivators I found over at Rachel Lucas‘s post on Sarah Palin.

The base, it is energized! Like the EverReady bunny on steroids!




If all goes according to Karl Rove’s soooper sekrit plan, then Tina Fey is going to get her old job on SNL back in a few months:


image

created by commenter 14 Karat




image

created by commenter Crusader




I don’t know these folks, I’m just recognizing good work. Each picture is also a link back to their originals at ImageShack. So I’m not stealing anything, just givin out props. M’kay?



How do you make one of these things? Well, first you go here, then you upload a picture, add some text, save it to Flickr or ImageShack, then use the link data (copy then paste) that they provide.

BUT! This is the link text they provide:

Free Image Hosting at <a href=http://www.ImageShack.us” />

QuickPost Quickpost this image to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

Lots of junk mail comes with it, right? It looks that way, although this was a “try it out with our images” test, not a “real” one. So what if the “real” ones have this dross too? Then what you want to do is to trim the link text of everything after the first < / a > to get rid of most of the ads:

Free Image Hosting at <a href=http://www.ImageShack.us” />

(to the html fluent, what they give you is a text string that has an image reference inside a hyperlink, followed by another image reference inside a hyperlink, with some text after that. Edit out the 2nd image ref and hyperlink.)

Because I know BMEWS readers can create cool stuff like these whenever they want, too. Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, know what I mean, eh what?


avatar

Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 03:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffPolitics •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Palin for VP

Alaska Governor Palin to be McCain’s VP Choice




Ok, now all the speculation is over. Let’s find out who this woman is and what she stands for. Then let’s see if she can deliver the goods on the campaign trail.


image



Republican White House hopeful John McCain on Friday named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, U.S. media reported.  Fox and CNN said that campaign sources confirmed the surprise choice of Palin, 44, just minutes away from the start of a rally here where the Republican will make the official announcement.  The choice of Palin was seen as a bold effort by McCain to attract disgruntled Democratic and independent supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton, who was defeated by Barack Obama in the race to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Palin, a telegenic conservative, has led the oil-producing northwestern US state since December 2006 and was the first woman and youngest person to hold that state’s top job.  Known as an anticorruption crusader, Palin studied journalism and is on the conservative wing of her party. A married mother of five, she is an opponent of abortion rights, a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and supporter of a pipeline to move natural gas across her sprawling state.

Palin is also an avid hunter, angler and reportedly enjoys tucking into a moose-burger.image

If McCain were elected in the November 4 presidential election, the choice of Palin as a running mate would make her the first woman vice president in the United States.

Palin, 44, who’s in her first term as governor, is a pioneering figure in Alaska, the first woman and the youngest person to hold the state’s top political job.

She catapulted to the post with a strong reputation as a political outsider, forged during her stint in local politics. She was mayor and a council member of the small town of Wasilla and was chairman of the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska’s oil and gas resources, in 2003 and 2004.

Palin made her name in part by backing tough ethical standards for politicians. During the first legislative session after her election, her administration passed a state ethics law overhaul.

Palin has focused on energy and natural resources policy during her short stint in office, and she is known for her support of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, a position opposed by McCain but supported by many grass-roots Republicans.

Palin started Alaska’s Petroleum Systems Integrity Office, an oversight and maintenance agency for the state’s oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure. She created the Climate Change Subcabinet that would forge a climate change strategy, according to the biography.

Palin chairs the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate panel “that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment,” the biography says.

imageThe governor’s biography says Palin’s other priorities have been ”education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.”

The biography touts her other achievements as governor as the investment of $5 billion in state savings, overhaul of educational funding and implementation of a program to help low-income elderly Alaskans. Born in Idaho, she is a longtime Alaskan and a Protestant.

Her husband is Todd Palin, an oil production operator on Alaska’s North Slope. They have five children, including a son who enlisted in the Army last year.

Congressional Quarterly notes Sarah Palin’s other past occupations, including commercial fishing company owner, outdoor recreational equipment company owner and sports reporter.

John McCain will introduce Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate at an event here at noon Friday.  Palin is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. She is the state’s first female governor, the mother of five — and at 44 is its youngest chief executive.

She grew up in Wasilla, just outside of Anchorage, and played on the Wasilla state championship girls’ basketball team. She was crowned Miss Wasilla in 1984 and was a runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant.

Palin studied journalism and political science at the University of Idaho and graduated in 1987. She eloped with her high school boyfriend, Todd Palin, in 1988 to save money on an expensive wedding. She helped out in her husband’s family commercial fishing business and appeared occasionally as a television sportscaster.

Palin won a seat on the Wasilla City Council in 1992 as a new face and a new voice, and by opposing tax increases. Four years later she was elected mayor at 32 by knocking off a three-term incumbent. At the end of her second term, party leaders encouraged her to enter the 2002 race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Against veteran legislators with far more experience, Palin finished second by fewer than 2,000 votes, making a name for herself in statewide politics. She was elected Alaska’s youngest and first woman governor in 2006.

Sarah and Todd Palin have five children: boys Track, 19, and Trig, 4 months, and daughters Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. Track Palin joined the Army last September and will deploy to Iraq on Sept. 11. Palin had kept her pregnancy with Trig a secret as she worked in the governor’s mansion, confirming only weeks before the birth that she was going to have a son who she knew would have Down syndrome. She returned to work in April three days after giving birth.

So she’s an intelligent, photogenic go-getter, pro-2A, anti-abortion, in favor of lower taxes, who successfully made ethical reforms for government while being in favor of energy independence achieved with green means. Not part of the entrenched Old Boys Network, plus has a son in the military. Actually makes an effort to improve things for the poor and elderly. Supports businesses large and small, and actually has experience doing hard physical work. Doesn’t sound like she’s an elitist at all. Plus she’s married to a somewhat hunky he-man oil worker and has a nice looking family. Looks to me like she pushes a whole lot of the right buttons on both sides of the aisle. Almost sounds like the GOP ticket is on backwards, doesn’t it?

Oh, and Rush made the call ... way back in February.

UPDATE:
Here’s a list of links of the things Sarah Palin stands for and has accomplished. Response time is rather slow ... I think the Alaska Governor’s Office server is a bit overwhelmed right now.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/29/2008 at 02:38 PM   
Filed Under: • PoliticsRepublicans •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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