Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Wednesday - December 31, 2008




It’s been fun and rewarding and maddening but always insightful and thought provoking.

Many thanks to all those who’ve remained throughout this past year, and welcome to any new folks on the scene. 

The election was a sad affair for us in ‘08 and because misery loves company so much, I’m really happy all you other folks were here to share the angst.

You’re a terrific bunch of people, no kidding. 

Fireworks will be starting in about an hour but unlike last year when it was very cold, this week has been FROZEN. The frost has frost and I for one will wrap up in an extra blanket and curl up with HTML Made Easy.  HAHA. ROTFLMAO!

Cheers again and again thanks to all at BMEWS.  Have a SAFE NIGHT ppl.  And oh yeah ....



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/31/2008 at 04:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
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The last Nazi E-boat, which took part in an infamous raid during the Second World War.

Always fascinated by things of this nature and of course anything to do with history never fails to capture my interest.

I hadn’t studied much with regard to these boats. Shame on me.  Some interesting technology. I hadn’t ever read about the raid this article refers to.  Seems to be a whole lot I don’t know. 

BTW ... what makes this raid “infamous” is beyond me.  It was war time, it did the job it was design for, there wasn’t any war crime involved. So why infamous?

I’ll wait for Drew to send me the book.

Nazi E-boat saved by military enthusiast
The last Nazi E-boat, which took part in an infamous raid during the Second World War, has been saved by a British military enthusiast.
Last Updated: 3:11PM GMT 31 Dec 2008


Schnellboot-130, once the fastest vessel in the world, helped attack an Allied convoy off Slapton Sands, in Devon, in a battle in which nearly 1,000 Allied soldiers were killed.

On the night of April 27, 1944, the boat was one of nine German vessels patrolling the English Channel when they stumbled upon Operation Tiger, which was the rehearsal for the D-Day landings.

The convoy launched a raid and killed 946 Allied soldiers. Allied chiefs initially covered up the loss, keen to avoid the enemy becoming aware of what it had achieved or getting wind of any planned invasion of Europe.

After the war the Schnellboot was seized by the British and used to land spies behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War but was then left in a dockyard and eventually began to disintegrate.

Enthusiast Kevin Wheatcroft has now come to the rescue of the vessel.

Mr Wheatcroft, whose family owns the Donington Grand Prix museum, in Leicestershire, paid just £1 for the hulk but will now spend around £3 million restoring it.

He recently acquired the salvage rights on three sunken Schnellboots off the Danish coast and plans to bring up original parts to help the restoration.

The project will take up to five years after which it is hoped the vessel will become a floating museum and visitor attraction.

Mr Wheatcroft said: “I’ve always been fascinated with Schnellboots and she is one of the most famous.

“The intention is to return her to her original state and into a moving museum.”

He added: “Over the years I have collected a lot of parts including engines, gun platforms, a complete radio and bridge equipment.

“I have acquired salvage rights on three Schnellboot wrecks off the Danish coast. They were sunk after the war in 1948 and 1949, so are not war graves.

“I hope to be able to get an armoured bridge, torpedo tubes and mine racks from the sunken ships.

S-130 was recently lifted from the water and a building will now be put up around her while the work is carried out a few miles along the coast from Slapton Sands.

The Schnellboots were small, fast and effective – and had been devised as a result of the Versailles restrictions set at the close of the First World War.

With the Germans banned from building large warships they embarked on an ingenious naval development programme, resulting in the Schnellboots.

The allies called them E-boats – the “E” standing for enemy.

They were propelled by three powerful Mercedes diesel engines and could travel at 55 knots, faster than any other naval vessel.

The boats had a wedge on the stern that prevented the bow from rising as it accelerated so the guns fired more accurately. That technology is today used on US destroyers.

Wyn Davies, a naval architect and maritime historian, said: “She is the last survivor of a hugely important class of warship that gave our coastal forces quite a headache.

“They introduced several new features, the most useful of which was the use of diesel engines to power them.

“This ended the need for stocking inflammable petrol on board.

“These craft formed the basis for post war development of similar vessels for most Nato navies.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/31/2008 at 10:29 AM   
Filed Under: • War-Stories •  
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Ambulancemen arrested for ‘ignoring a dying disabled man because he wasn’t worth saving’.

I saw this yesterday and decided not to post it then in light of other things happening at the time.  And also due to the time constraints on me.
However, due to the nature of the previous rant and post I did this morning, well, I couldn’t see the point of ignoring it.
Makes you wonder doesn’t it, what made these folks think they had a life and death right to decide on the poor guy.  What sort of ppl are these?  How do they get hired to begin with?

Sign of the times I guess. 

Ambulancemen arrested for ‘ignoring a dying disabled man because he wasn’t worth saving’

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:18 PM on 31st December 2008

Two ambulancemen have been arrested for allegedly ignoring a dying man.

They were detained after police were given a tape recording of them in the patient’s house in which they were said to have discussed not bothering to try to revive him.

The ambulance crew had been sent to Barry Baker’s home after he dialled 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack.
The crew from Brighton Ambulance station (pictured) were sent to Barry Baker’s home after he called 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack

The crew from Brighton Ambulance station (pictured) were sent to Barry Baker’s home after he called 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack

Ambulance controllers kept Mr Baker talking on the phone as they ordered the paramedic and ambulance technician to use their blue lights to get to him as quickly as possible.

But 59-year-old Mr Baker, who was disabled and lived alone, collapsed unconscious while talking on the phone, leaving the line open to the control centre as he lay on the floor.

Minutes later astonished dispatch centre staff heard their crew enter the house, apparently making disparaging comments about the state of the home.

A police source, who asked not to be named, said the ambulancemen were then heard over the phone discussing Mr Baker and allegedly saying ‘words to the effect that he was not worth saving’.

A police spokesman confirmed the arrests and added: ‘The men, aged 35 and 44 and from the Brighton area, have been arrested and questioned following the death of a man in Brighton. They were detained on suspicion of wilfully neglecting to perform a duty in public office, contrary to Common Law. They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.’

Mr Baker, who used sticks to walk after having hip replacement operations, made a 999 call in the early hours of November 29.

He told the controller he had severe chest pains and the ambulance crew from Brighton was immediately sent to his home.

The police source said that despite Mr Baker collapsing, the controller was able to hear everything because the phone line remained open.

‘What they heard after their ambulance crew arrived frankly astonished them,’ said the source. ‘They are apparently heard to comment on seeing Mr Baker and saying-that it was not worth bothering to try to carry out resuscitation to try to save him.

‘They then are heard discussing what to tell ambulance control and allegedly decide to say that he was already dead when they arrived.

‘The controllers were so shocked by what seemed to be their colleagues’ lack of care for their patient that they immediately contacted senior managers and the police were called in.’

Police were called to Mr Baker’s home and made arrangements for his body to be removed.

South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust said both men had been suspended from duty.

A spokesman said: ‘We are giving the police our full co- operation and are not in a position to comment further.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/31/2008 at 09:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-MedicineOutrageousUK •  
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Second World War hero aged 101, sent home to die by a hospital in a taxi wearing a diaper.


Without going into a song and dance about my routine here every morning, let me just say that there are a few things I must do before booting this machine and going to BMEWS.

The first thing of course, even before coffee is to pull the morning paper through our letter box in the front door, turn on an extra heater in the room I’m in and do a scan of the paper before actually settling down to read it all.  Sometimes there are two papers.

Well, scanning the paper today I came across this story and was just floored by what I’d read.  So I immediately booted because I want this story shared before I get bogged down with other things.

This was just one hospital out of hundreds and hundreds that I am sure would not have acted this way.  But then I have to wonder.  Is that really true?
Given the state of thinking in today’s world, who is to say with certainty that the same might not apply somewhere else.  The USA as well?

This really is so totally outrageous it needs a category all to itself.
Where’s the common decency? Where’s the humanity? The common sense?

If there were no other way to transport this poor old man who once served his country well, and even had he never been in the army, never mind.
Is this any way to treat an old man?

People who know me well enough also know that of all the folks I have ever disliked in my life, I have never disliked anyone so much as I do the MIL, and with many a valid reason.  However, as much as I loath her, even I would not condone treating the miserable old bag in this manner.  Even I know better and flinch at the idea of this sort of callas behavior on the part of people who are supposed to be “care givers.”

If there were NO OTHER way of sending this dying old man home, could they not have spared just one person to accompany him so he wasn’t alone?
Couldn’t someone have reached a family member?

Oh good.  They said “sorry.” In a pigs ass!  They’re only sorry because of bad publicity and how long will that last?

Saying “sorry” seems to be the password for everything in this screwed up world.  Thugs arrested for god awful crimes only need to say sorry to get a lighter jail term if they get that at all.  “Sorry.” Who really believes that? 

This story bothers me a lot.  Maybe I’m not as cold blooded as I thought I was. Or maybe I see myself in the same situation some day in the future.

For the first time in my life I’m seriously beginning to wonder if just maybe we really need MORE, not less religion in our lives.  Perhaps if Christian charity
or compassion were at work here in this Christian country, someone would have known this was not right on any level.  And you need not be religious to see how terribly wrong this was.  But perhaps if the staff at this hospital had a bit of old time religious feeling and charity, they would have acted otherwise.

I feel very bad for the victim here, and I see him as exactly that.  A victim not just of the hospital, but of a Godless culture as well.  He deserved better at the end of his life.  Much better.


Dying World War Two hero ‘stripped of human dignity’ by hospital care, family say
A decorated Second World War hero aged 101 was sent home to die by a hospital in a taxi wearing a nappy and a set of ill fitting pyjamas, clutching a bag of soiled clothing.

By John Bingham
Last Updated: 8:17PM GMT 30 Dec 2008

Brigadier John Platt recieved the DSO bravery. The family of Brigadier John Platt, who won the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership in one of the fiercest battles of the Italian campaign, told how he was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital, unable to feed himself.

They said he was in a confused state and incontinent, after a stay which left him “degraded and humiliated”.

During his five-day spell in a mixed-sex observation ward, his hearing aid was crushed, his false teeth went missing and soiled pyjamas were piled up unwashed in a locker by his bedside, they said.

Knowing he was dying after losing the ability to swallow food, he asked to go home. But no ambulance was available so he was sent in a taxi on an hour-long journey to the care home where he died a few days later.

When his family later complained about the hygiene issues around the soiled pyjamas, the hospital wrote back to say that it was unfortunate that he had been “unable to avail himself” of its laundry service.

It has since apologised to Brig Platt’s family for the “unacceptable” nature of his discharge in a taxi in late 2006 and vowed to learn lessons from his ordeal.

His case came to light as Nial Dickson, chief executive of the health thinktank the King’s Fund, warned of a deterioration of compassion from under-pressure staff in NHS hospitals.

Brig Platt’s daughter-in-law, Amanda, said that his case highlighted a “shocking and disgraceful” lack of care.

“All that he had at the end of his 101 years was his dignity and they took that away from him,” she said.

In May 1944 Brig Platt, then a Lieutenant Colonel, personally led the men of the 2nd Battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry, in the heroic assault across the River Gargliano.

He was wounded twice during the operation and later received the DSO for his bravery. In later life he wrote books about military history and hunting.

“It wasn’t the fact that he was my father-in-law and a dear old soldier, it was the complete lack of respect for a dying person, for a human being, that I thought was so terrible,” said Mrs Platt.

“They packed him off without so much as a by your leave in the back of a non-medical car taxi, sitting bolt upright with somebody else’s pyjamas on and a nappy so tight that he could hardly breathe and two cotton blankets on his shoulders.

“They had lost his false teeth which were brand new, I never saw my father-in-law without his false teeth ... and somebody had stood on his deaf aid, which was crushed.”

But she said that what angered the family most was the soiled clothing.

“I just can’t believe that any hospital would keep excrement-covered clothing in a locker for five days ... I got the impression that this lack of attention must be endemic because it was so lightly treated.”

In a statement, the hospital said: “Clearly some aspects of Brigadier Platt’s discharge from hospital in 2006 were unacceptable and the trust apologises for any distress that this caused the patient and his family.

“In apologising, the trust also acknowledges the concerns raised about some of Brigadier Platt’s personal effects.”


“I just can’t believe that any hospital would keep excrement-covered clothing in a locker”

Well I can because something close to that happened here. 
Back in 2005 the wife’s mother fell, broke hip and had other serious ailments and was carted off to the hospital.

When my wife paid a visit she was given what appeared to be a transparent, pink plastic bag containing her mothers soiled nighties. These were meant to be taken home and washed and then brought back to the hospital. 

Well, that pink plastic looking bag was in FACT, made of soap and was dissoluble in water.  But we weren’t aware of that at the time. That bag contained more then a nightie that needed washing. You can guess what.

After that experience we asked that the hospital laundry do her soiled garments.

Here’s the kicker.  Sure, the hospital can do the laundry. But you have to know ahead of time that, you should ask if they will.  See, you might take for granted that they will.  They won’t volunteer the info.  And nobody told us that the bag would dissolve in water.  We may have been lucky in that.

Thankfully, we never put that soap-bag in our washer. It was done outside in a bucket.  Foolishly perhaps, we hadn’t expected the extra ingredients that bag contained.  But we kind of suspected.  It wasn’t until we opened the bag that we found it all.  It did however confirm my belief that the old lady was full of it.

Finally, wife has just informed me that the hospital in question here has had a number of problems in the past.  This hosp. trust is one of the worst in the country, so she tells me.

While not exactly in the very same league as this article, I did once witness in an American hospital in Riverside, Ca., the same sort of gross indifference and callousness towards an elderly patient in my room when I was recovering from back surgery. And that was over 20 years ago.

I am leaving this posted here for awhile.  I want people to see this. Lots of people. PLEASE pass this one on.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/31/2008 at 04:07 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsHealth-MedicineHeroesMedicalOutrageousUK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 30, 2008

A Miracle

A guest post by Rancino ...

In a few short days, an African-American man will move from his private residence into a much larger and infinitely more expensive one owned not by him but by the taxpayers.  A vast lawn, a perimeter fence and many well-trained security specialists will insulate him from the rest of us, but the mere fact that this man will be residing in this house should make us all stop and count our blessings - because it proves that we live in a nation where anything is possible.

Many believed this day would never come.  Most of us hoped and prayed that it would, but few of us actually believed we would live to see it.  Racism is an ugly thing in all of its forms, and there is little doubt that if this man had moved into this house fifteen years ago, there would have been a great outcry - possibly even rioting in the streets.

Today, we can all be both grateful and proud that no such mayhem will take place when this man takes up residency in this house.

This man moving into this house at this time in our nation’s history is much more than a simple change of addresses for him - it is proof of a change in our attitude as a nation.  It is an amends of sorts - the righting of a great wrong.  It is a symbol of our growth, and of our willingness to “judge a man, not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character”.

There can be little doubt now that the vast majority of us truly believe that this man has earned both his place in history and his new address.  His time in this house will not be easy - it will be fraught with danger and he will face many challenges.  I am sure there will be many times when he asks himself how in the world he ended up here and, like all who have gone before him, the experience will age him greatly.

But I, for one, will not waste an ounce of worry for his sake - because in every way a man can, he asked for this.  His whole life for the past fifteen years appears to have been inexorably leading this man toward this house.  It is highly probable that in the past, despite all of his actions, racism would have kept this man out of this house.  Today, I thank the lord above that I am an American and that I live in a nation where wrongs are righted, where justice matters, and where truly anything is possible.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/30/2008 at 10:45 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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This kid will be a millionaire by the time he hits 30

Boy Scout Earns All 121 Merit Badges

A Long Island teenager has earned all 121 merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America. It’s an accomplishment the local arm of the organization calls “an almost unheard-of feat.”

Oceanside resident Shawn Goldsmith earned his final badge — for bugling — in time for his 18th birthday in November. He far surpassed the 21 badges required to achieve the elite rank of Eagle Scout.image

He says he took about five years to earn his first 62 badges and then nearly doubled that number in a matter of months. He did it with the encouragement of his grandmother, who died shortly before he reached his goal.

The Binghamton University freshman was awarded his final badges on Dec. 19. He says he hopes to become a businessman and politician.

Wow. That’s mighty impressive. When I was a kid in Cub Scouts, I earned every badge available to the Webelos. I think there were 14 at the time. Then I dragged Tom G. along with me so I wouldn’t be the only kid who earned the Arrow of Light Badge. The scoutmaster had to drag the AOL totem pole out of the basement and dust it off, as they hadn’t awarded one in 20 years. I was considered a pushy overachiever. Young Mr. Goldsmith took the much tougher path in Boy Scouts, and outdid my meager achievement by nearly a 9 to 1 ratio. Horry Clap! He’s enrolled at my old alma matta, so if the weather doesn’t get to him I’m sure the business school there will turn out a super shark in record time. Congrats to this young man for a most remarkable achievement.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/30/2008 at 10:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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This is the Hamas McKinney supports

via LGF

Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seems to have noticed. On Tuesday, Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Shari’a criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, it legalizes crucifixion.

Hamas’s endorsement of nailing enemies of Islam to crosses came at the same time it renewed its jihad. Here, too, Hamas wanted to make sure that Christians didn’t feel neglected as its fighters launched missiles at Jewish day care centers and schools. So on Wednesday, Hamas lobbed a mortar shell at the Erez crossing point into Israel just as a group of Gazan Christians were standing on line waiting to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas.

While Hamas joyously renewed its jihad against Jews and Christians, its overlords in Iran also basked in jihadist triumphalism. The source of Teheran’s sense of ascendancy this week was Britain’s Channel 4 network’s decision to request that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad give a special Christmas Day address to the British people. Ahmadinejad’s speech was supposed to be a response to Queen Elizabeth II’s traditional Christmas Day address to her subjects. That is, Channel 4 presented his message as a reasonable counterpoint to the Christmas greetings of the head of the Church of England.

Channel 4 justified its move by proclaiming that it was providing a public service. As a spokesman told The Jerusalem Post, “We’re offering [Ahmadinejad] the chance to speak for himself, which people in the West don’t often get the chance to see.”

Channel 4 should be flogged. Much more in the article at the link, so go read. The author shows very well how the “realist” fantasy Obrainless is about to partake in is pretty stupid. Shari’a law in palestine. With legalized crucifixion. Probably for such heinous islamic crimes such as being female, or scraping your ass clean with 2 rocks instead of the required 3. Subhuman barbarians. Yeah Obama, open a dialogue with these creeps. Without preconditions. Naive much, our new halfrican ruler?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/30/2008 at 06:03 PM   
Filed Under: • RoPMAWar On Terror •  
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Israeli Navy rams Gaza-bound aid boat, forcing it to dock in Lebanon. ( They shouldda sunk it! )

UPDATE: Lunatic ex-Congressman Cynthia Mckinney was on board the ship at the time of the incident!

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, standing beside a damaged yacht in the Lebanese seaport of Tyre, Tuesday accused the Israeli navy of ramming the vessel to halt the delivery of medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip.

“Our mission was a peaceful mission,” McKinney told CNN. The recent Green Party candidate for U.S. president and frequent center of controversy is the most prominent political figure to join the relief voyages sponsored by the Free Gaza Movement.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Tuesday that U.S. diplomats had issued no protests to Israeli authorities. “When you enter a zone of conflict, then you have to realize that it’s very, very dangerous,” the spokesman told reporters.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, one of the 16-member mission, Caoimhe Butterfly offered a conflicting version. The Israeli gunboats “gave us no warning” and “rammed us three times,” she said.

Damnation. Israel could have done us all an enormous favor.

The jerks should consider themselves lucky they weren’t fired on.  I’m much disappointed that the Israelis didn’t blow the bastards out of the water.

On the tired side, it’s late so pulling the plug on my puter till the morning.

Cheers All.

By Michael Theodoulou
Last updated at 6:26 PM on 30th December 2008

The British skipper of a boat carrying medical supplies and peace activists to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade told today how his vessel was rammed by an Israeli gunboat.

Denis Healey spoke of ‘panic stations’ on the Gibraltar-flagged Dignity after the pre-dawn collision in international waters.

Two Israeli gunboats had been shadowing the 20-meter motor yacht for half-an-hour, ‘shining powerful search-lights at us, blinding us,’ Healey said.


Then, without provocation or any warning we were rammed. It was a blow to the front port side. It wiped out the wheel house and took away some of the upper deck.’

Healey, a 53-year-old Cyprus-based marine engineer from Portsmouth, said the Israeli Navy had made no radio contact before the collision nor fired any warning shots.

‘They told us to turn back to Cyprus. They claimed we were involved in terrorist activity,’ he said.

He managed to guide the limping Dignity into the Lebanese port Tyre.

‘Initially, we took in quite a bit of water but managed to stem the flow once we got the pumps working.’

There were no casualties among the 15 passengers and crew, among them four Britons, including Dr David Halpin, an orthopaedic surgeon who had volunteered his help to Gazan hospitals and clinics.

Israeli officials portrayed the collision as an accident and insisted the patrol boats had radioed the Dignity to turn back before the collision occurred.

They accused the international activists on the boat of ‘being intent on creating a media incident’.

Karl Penhaul, a Briton correspondent for CNN on the Dignity, said suggestions it was a mere collision ‘doesn’t square with what we saw here at sea’.

The US-based Free Gaza Movement, which operates the Dignity, said it was intercepted 90 miles from Gaza in international waters and accused Israel of an act of ‘piracy’.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said that ‘the UK is internationally responsible’ for the Dignity because it is registered in Gibraltar.

He said: ‘We advised all British nationals on the boat to Gaza that it would be reckless and dangerous at this time. At the same time, we told the Israeli government that we take the safety of our nationals seriously and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.’



Posted by peiper   United States  on 12/30/2008 at 02:07 PM   
Filed Under: • InternationalIsraelPaleswineStoopid-People •  
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Council disregard objections of 3,000 residents to traveller site as ‘they are racist’.

This is a small example of the BS people are FORCED to put up with here in the socialist paradise.
This reasonable group of comments that were solicited by the council to begin with, are “racist” because the pc district council didn’t like the question or the comments from .... oh. Nobody really important.  Just the folks who pay the taxes is all. Just the people who were living peacefully in their neighborhoods.  Small potatoes what?

For those at BMEWS who might not know, “Travelers” is the oh so pc title now given to Gypsies. And let me tell ya, these folks ARE organized. They move their campers,trailers, diggers and trash onto public ground, they do it on weekends before anyone can do anything, council offices are closed, they immediately enroll their kids in local schools first thing which then make it even harder to evict them, they install electric, septic tanks, and whatever else is needed to live on a site.
Once installed, it can take forever to get rid of them legally as things slooooowly move through the courts.  And I haven’t covered it all by any means.

So then, object to the noise and the filth and question what their presence does to your property value, not to mention crime, and it’s automatic. You’re a racist.
BTW ... I don’t even pretend to understand the racist tag since “Travelers” are mostly white and very,very many come over from Ireland. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you.  They have lawyers these folks do.  Lots of em.


By Dan Newling
Last updated at 8:14 AM on 30th December 2008

When residents were asked to provide feedback on council plans to build traveller camps on their doorstep they dutifully responded.

More than 3,000 homeowners filled in forms outlining their views, many raising concerns over a possible increase in noise, traffic, rubbish and a detrimental effect on property prices.

However, such objections were not appreciated by Mid-Bedfordshire District Council, which partially or fully rejected nearly nine in ten of the replies for including comments ‘of a racist nature’.

(and btw, things of a racist nature can be ANYTHING they (council) deem it to be)

Weeks after asking for residents’ views earlier this year, the council posted an article on its website entitled ‘Racist Comments Not Welcome’.

It claimed the council’s ‘duty of community leadership’ meant it had to crack down on the use of racial stereotypes, and revealed that while 400 responses would be considered, 3,100 were in some way racist and would be rejected.

The council even sent letters to objectors telling them their views had been deemed offensive and would not be taken account of.

Retired company secretary Lucy Clarke from Stotfold - one of the six small towns and villages mooted as sites for the 25 traveller families - was astounded to receive her letter.

Mrs Clarke, a grandmother of three, said: ‘As far as I am aware I objected to the camp for entirely reasonable grounds. And yet I then get this letter from the council.

‘They even accused me of incitement to racial hatred. It’s ridiculous - like putting me on a par with Abu Hamza.’

She added: ‘I am not racist, but I am concerned about what one of these camps could do to our town.’

Even the local town council could not avoid falling foul of the censors.

Brian Collier, chairman of Stotfold council said: ‘We wrote a detailed response in which we summarised locals’ concerns.

‘There is another gipsy site not far from here that has a well-known crime problem.

‘As part of our response we echoed people’s worries that the same may happen here.

‘We were totally shocked when we then received a letter from the district council saying that was racist. There are lots of people here who have had the same treatment.’

The district council’s attitude has been criticised by local campaigners, politicians and civil liberties groups.

Tory communities spokesman Eric Pickles said yesterday: ‘I hope that they write a letter of apology to everyone they have accused of being racist. Otherwise, people simply aren’t going to feel able to object to these camps without the fear of being branded racist.’

When contacted by the Daily Mail, a spokesman for Mid-Bedfordshire council admitted that it had been ‘somewhat overzealous’.

He said: ‘We were worried that many of the letters contained racist slurs and objectionable comments that we felt could not be published under current race relations legislation.

‘We had no intention of offending those who took the time to respond to the consultation and certainly were not trying to label residents as racist.

‘Only a small proportion (around 5 per cent) of the comments were actually discounted in their entirety. The remainder were taken into consideration, either in whole or in part.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/30/2008 at 01:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Jack Booted ThugsNanny StateUK •  
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Life on Easy Street with the compliments of the Brit Taxpayer who grow money on trees in gardens.



Ray and Tracey Ramond have been branded Britain’s biggest beneficiaries from state handouts.

The couple and their nine children hit the headlines three years ago when it emerged they received £39,000-a-year in benefits.

Ray and Tracey Ramond with their nine children

The payments amounted to more than £750 a week, but the Ramonds said they still struggled to pay their rent, despite receiving housing benefit.

Mr and Mrs Ramond were living in a three-bedroom house in Newcastle upon Tyne with their children Cherlynne, 13, Stacey, 12, Chantelle, 11, Nicky, ten, Susan, nine, Courtney, seven, Leigh, four, Tia, three, and 11-month-old Chardonnay.

Mrs Ramond, then 36, said she could not work because she was a full-time carer for Stacey, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and her husband was off work with depression.

She said: ‘It’s hard for us making ends meet, it really is. I try to cook healthy food for the kids and keep them looking presentable and the money just goes on food and clothes. Our two older children only want the best trainers because they’re at school and don’t want to get picked on so what can we do?’

In an average week, Mrs Ramond said she spent £250 on food, £100 on clothes and nappies, £55 on gas and electricity and £150 paying off catalogue bills and a loan.

The rest went on cigarettes, mobile phone bills and pocket money for the children.

In all, the family received housing benefit, child benefit, child tax credit, carer’s allowance and incapacity benefit.

The Ramonds were last night unavailable for comment.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/30/2008 at 12:44 PM   
Filed Under: • MiscellaneousOutrageousUK •  
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Hard to believe this fellow isn’t a pro.  What a shot.  Still, I’ve heard from professional photographers who claim that pure luck is like 90 percent of a shot.
But I never believed it myself.  For example, Vilmar says he isn’t a professional. OK, perhaps because he didn’t want to sell stuff. Fact is though, he takes some smashing photos and his composition is spot on.  None of his stuff looks like ‘luck’ to me.  It looks like professional quality. 
So this picture really has me impressed.  But is also almost looks computer generated. 
The photo in the hard copy edition is a bit better.  I thought all the black (on my screen) above the shark’s head looked like molten lava.

I don’t ever wanna be close enough to one of these to take any kind of photo.

Lemon shark ‘grins’ into camera in award-winning photo
A remarkable photograph of a lemon shark which appears to be grinning for the camera has won an international competition.

Last Updated: 2:47PM GMT 29 Dec 2008
Bruce Yates’ smiling shark picture that has just won an award at the prestigious 2008 NATURE’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY - WINDLAND SMITH RICE INTERNATIONAL AWARDS.
Bruce yates used a ‘fisheye’ lense to take the picture. Photo: Bruce Yates / Barcroft Media

The close-up of the shark’s face was selected from more than 20,000 photos as winner of the Oceans division of the Nature’s Best Photography 2008 Windland Smith Rice Awards.

American amateur photographer Bruce Yates 54, from Medina, Seattle, snapped the creature on a 15mm ‘fisheye’ lens in July last year in the Bahamas.

He said: “My wife and I were on a “liveaboard” boat trip to see and dive with sharks in the northwest part of the Bahamas, in an expansive area many miles from land with relatively shallow water (5-20 metres deep).

“The shark was roughly 8 feet long and only a few inches from my camera.

“Although this particular photo makes it look like the shark is smiling, it is really just closing its mouth after trying to grab a bit of fish.”

He said: “The camera happened to catch a moment in which its mouth - not quite closed - resembles a grin.

“It is an expression that I have never seen on a shark before, and I doubt I could get that shot again if I tried for the rest of my life!”

The lemon shark - Latin name Negaprion brevirostris - inhabits coastal inshore waters from New Jersey to Southern Brazil, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and along Senegal and the Ivory Coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic.

Despite their large teeth, they represent a small threat to humans with only 10 unprovoked attacks recorded and no fatalities.

A large print of the image will be on show at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC until May 2009.

“As an amateur photographer, you can imagine how shocked I was when one of my photos was not only recognised, but actually won! It is still hard for me to believe.

“And it just goes to show that you don’t have to be an ‘expert’ or professional photographer to take good photos.”




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/30/2008 at 05:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Well what do ya make of this BMEWS?

Without comment from meself and H/T to Lynne with thanks.

For Good Self-Control, Try Getting Religious About It


Published: December 29, 2008

If I’m serious about keeping my New Year’s resolutions in 2009, should I add another one? Should the to-do list include, “Start going to church”?

Further Reading
“Religion, self-control, and self-regulation: Associations, explanations, and implications” (PDF) McCullough, M. E.; Willoughby, B. L. B. Psychological Bulletin, 2009.
Leading us not into temptation: Momentary allurements elicit overriding goal activation. Fishbach, A.; Friedman, R. S.; Kruglanski, A.W. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2003.

This is an awkward question for a heathen to contemplate, but I felt obliged to raise it with Michael McCullough after reading his report in the upcoming issue of the Psychological Bulletin. He and a fellow psychologist at the University of Miami, Brian Willoughby, have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control.

This sounded to me uncomfortably similar to the conclusion of the nuns who taught me in grade school, but Dr. McCullough has no evangelical motives. He confesses to not being much of a devotee himself. “When it comes to religion,” he said, “professionally, I’m a fan, but personally, I don’t get down on the field much.”

His professional interest arose from a desire to understand why religion evolved and why it seems to help so many people. Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier.

These results have been ascribed to the rules imposed on believers and to the social support they receive from fellow worshipers, but these external factors didn’t account for all the benefits. In the new paper, the Miami psychologists surveyed the literature to test the proposition that religion gives people internal strength.

“We simply asked if there was good evidence that people who are more religious have more self-control,” Dr. McCullough. “For a long time it wasn’t cool for social scientists to study religion, but some researchers were quietly chugging along for decades. When you add it all up, it turns out there are remarkably consistent findings that religiosity correlates with higher self-control.”

As early as the 1920s, researchers found that students who spent more time in Sunday school did better at laboratory tests measuring their self-discipline. Subsequent studies showed that religiously devout children were rated relatively low in impulsiveness by both parents and teachers, and that religiosity repeatedly correlated with higher self-control among adults. Devout people were found to be more likely than others to wear seat belts, go to the dentist and take vitamins.

But which came first, the religious devotion or the self-control? It takes self-discipline to sit through Sunday school or services at a temple or mosque, so people who start out with low self-control are presumably less likely to keep attending. But even after taking that self-selection bias into account, Dr. McCullough said there is still reason to believe that religion has a strong influence.

“Brain-scan studies have shown that when people pray or meditate, there’s a lot of activity in two parts of brain that are important for self-regulation and control of attention and emotion,” he said. “The rituals that religions have been encouraging for thousands of years seem to be a kind of anaerobic workout for self-control.”

In a study published by the University of Maryland in 2003, students who were subliminally exposed to religious words (like God, prayer or bible) were slower to recognize words associated with temptations (like drugs or premarital sex). Conversely, when they were primed with the temptation words, they were quicker to recognize the religious words.

“It looks as if people come to associate religion with tamping down these temptations,” Dr. McCullough said. “When temptations cross their minds in daily life, they quickly use religion to dispel them from their minds.”

In one personality study, strongly religious people were compared with people who subscribed to more general spiritual notions, like the idea that their lives were “directed by a spiritual force greater than any human being” or that they felt “a spiritual connection to other people.” The religious people scored relatively high in conscientiousness and self-control, whereas the spiritual people tended to score relatively low.

“Thinking about the oneness of humanity and the unity of nature doesn’t seem to be related to self-control,” Dr. McCullough said. “The self-control effect seems to come from being engaged in religious institutions and behaviors.”

Does this mean that nonbelievers like me should start going to church? Even if you don’t believe in a supernatural god, you could try improving your self-control by at least going along with the rituals of organized religion.

But that probably wouldn’t work either, Dr. McCullough told me, because personality studies have identified a difference between true believers and others who attend services for extrinsic reasons, like wanting to impress people or make social connections. The intrinsically religious people have higher self-control, but the extrinsically religious do not.

So what’s a heathen to do in 2009? Dr. McCullough’s advice is to try replicating some of the religious mechanisms that seem to improve self-control, like private meditation or public involvement with an organization that has strong ideals.

Religious people, he said, are self-controlled not simply because they fear God’s wrath, but because they’ve absorbed the ideals of their religion into their own system of values, and have thereby given their personal goals an aura of sacredness. He suggested that nonbelievers try a secular version of that strategy.

“People can have sacred values that aren’t religious values,” he said. “Self-reliance might be a sacred value to you that’s relevant to saving money. Concern for others might be a sacred value that’s relevant to taking time to do volunteer work. You can spend time thinking about what values are sacred to you and making New Year’s resolutions that are consistent with them.”

Of course, it requires some self-control to carry out that exercise — and maybe more effort than it takes to go to church.

“Sacred values come prefabricated for religious believers,” Dr. McCullough said. “The belief that God has preferences for how you behave and the goals you set for yourself has to be the granddaddy of all psychological devices for encouraging people to follow through with their goals. That may help to explain why belief in God has been so persistent through the ages.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/30/2008 at 05:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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CAPTIONS, ANYONE?  They just HAD to sign the road this way. Not that anyone pays any attention.

Hey, what’s the speed limit here?



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/30/2008 at 04:24 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffUK •  
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calendar   Monday - December 29, 2008

It’s not too late ladies

Ladies, did you find yourself out of ideas for your conservative man this Christmas? Has he got all the socks, ties, and power tools he’ll ever need? A closest bursting with firearms? Well, don’t despair. Don’t write this holiday off just yet with a “I’ll try harder next year”. All you really need ... is a present you’ll both enjoy!

Say it with me

“Kazuo Kawasaki 704 C.34 SP-51”

That’s Kah-Zoo-Oh Kah-Wah-Sah-Key Seven-Oh-Four See-Thirty-Four Ess-Pee-Fifty-One.

The bangs, the bun, the outfits I leave up to you. A few minutes on YouTube and you’ll have the accent down pat. Uh oh, momma wants a fresh reindeer steak, you betcha!



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/29/2008 at 04:29 PM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesRepublicansSex •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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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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