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calendar   Thursday - May 07, 2009

INDIA SAYS USA BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE BY PAKISTAN.

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In an article I think yesterday, a headline read as follows.

AMERICA IS BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE, SAYS INDIA.

The article is written by the Telegraph correspondent in New Delhi who is Dean Nelson.

Sorry, no link as usual from Telegraph and Google doesn’t turn up the headline either. Odd that.

Anyway, the Indian govt. believes Pakistan is “taking the United States for a ride” in its war against militants.

India says that despite military operations, Pakistan has no will to challenge terror groups because it needs them to carry out terrorist attacks in India.

These two peoples just do not get along well and haven’t for as long as I can remember.

Now then, in the same paper from the same date I do believe, there was this.


When Pakistan goes to war, it gives no quarter to anyone.

Pakistan’s army uses maximum firepower and overwhelming force against any enemy, says David Blair.

By David Blair
Last Updated: 8:29AM BST 06 May 2009

The people of the Swat Valley are voting with their feet. The prospect of a military offensive against Taliban fighters in their home area of Pakistan has already led thousands to gather everything they own and flee.

Far from seeing the imminent arrival of their army as a welcome liberation from the Taliban’s medieval repression, ordinary Pakistanis are getting out of the way as quickly as possible. They know from bitter experience that Pakistan’s army uses maximum firepower and overwhelming force against any enemy, heedless of the destruction this inflicts.

This, after all, is an army designed and trained to fight a high-intensity war against India. When it comes to the delicate business of counter-insurgency campaigning, Pakistan’s army has little expertise. If the past is any guide, it will tackle the Taliban guerrillas of Swat in the same way as it would fight an Indian armoured division – with heavy artillery, air strikes and general destruction.

The people of Bajaur, a nearby tribal area, know the devastating consequences of this brand of warfare. Tens of thousands were forced to abandon their homes when Pakistan’s army launched an offensive last year, with some choosing to flee into neighbouring Afghanistan.

When refugees seek safety in Afghanistan, of all places, the desperation and terror they leave behind can only be imagined.

For the entire article see >> PAKISTAN AT WAR


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/07/2009 at 01:31 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
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What’s everyone complaining about on BMEWS? According to this report, USA is soothed. ??

Soothed?  Why?
Just thought this item which I’m way behind in posting, was worth sharing with other folks who are not so convinced.

Even if I read about stuff at home reported here, or go to an American source directly, I don’t guess that can measure up to being at home and seeing things for myself. 

I know this will hand you all a laugh. Hmm, maybe not. Judgment reserved.


America is soothed by no-drama Obama

The president’s cautious, mollifying approach is winning ever more support
by, Andrew Sullivan, The Times.

As I sat watching President Barack Obama’s 100 days press conference I realised, after only a few minutes, I was bored. What a wonderful feeling. It’s not something I have experienced for many years when contemplating the government of the United States. Every time I began to feel twitches of irritation or anxiety or engagement, the president soothed them away with a flow of reasoned and unemotional responses. The one network that decided not to run the press conference beat the president in the ratings with a drama. That said a lot. Obama is no drama.

That seems to me to be the upshot of his first 100 days. It is far too soon to know if his strategy of easing the banks out of their toxic assets will work, if his recasting of America’s image abroad will result in real changes for the better, if his decision to expose the torture policies of the past without aggressively seeking accountability will hold up over time.

It’s too soon to know if he will secure healthcare reform in this Congress, or if he can get his carbon trading bill and immigration reform passed. Events, dear reader, events have yet to have their say. But there does seem to be a palpable shift in the underlying shape of American politics three months in. Almost all of it is in Obama’s direction.

Don’t know if I like the sound of, “seeking accountability.” In fact, I don’t like that at all.  That’s a cave in to the far left for sure if he does. And I have read that he’s waffled on that issue.  Also, this carbon trading thing looks like a move towards the European way of thinking.  Do I have that right?
To be honest, I haven’t read any real details with regard to the carbon subject, except someone (joking? don’t know) said Gore would be pleased. Huh?  That most definitely would worry me.  Frankly, reading this edited version (see entire article HERE ) I don’t find much to be encouraged about if this fellow has even part of it right.  I just see a gradual swing further to the left, and more PC and strangling rules and regs the left love so much.  And trust me on this, I see enough of that here. 

The polling tells you something important. His approval ratings have actually gone up since he took office. Take away the party labels and, in the latest Gallup poll, Obama is winning the support of 90% of liberals with 7% against but, much more significantly, he is winning self-described “moderates” by a massive 73% to 19%. Even conservatives are split on him — with 42% approving and 53% disapproving; 41% of weekly church-goers approved of him just before the election — and now that number has risen to 57%. That’s a direct hit at the core Republican appeal.

In the critical battle for image and comfort, Obama has trounced his opponents without aggressively attacking them. And they have done themselves in, to a large extent, by prematurely attacking him. Few events revealed this as starkly as the veteran Republican senator Arlen Specter’s decision last week to become a Democrat.  Specter, facing rejection , jumped before he was pushed overboard.

Specter has long been a genuine maverick, with a deep legal mind and quirky temperament. But he’s also an opportunist and a realist.

Obama has been in moving the US out of the Bush era, especially among the young. A clear majority now favours immigration reform that includes some version of amnesty for illegal immigrants already in America. A huge majority of even Republican voters — 64% — now favours regulation of greenhouse gases. For the first time in any national poll, ABC News last week found supporters of marriage rights for gay couples outnumbered opponents. Even on a question such as marijuana decriminalisation, the public is now close to evenly split: 52% against to 46% in favour. These are seismic shifts from only a few years ago.

Black Americans are, predictably, monolithic in their support for the first black president. More significantly, Hispanics have emerged as an unexpected Obama strength. He has an 85% approval rate in that demographic, which, if it holds for his party, all but guarantees further Republican collapse in the southwest and west. A recent survey of voter participation in the 2008 election reveals the significance of this huge gap: some 22% of all voters were black, Hispanic or Asian last year, compared with 13% 20 years earlier. Karl Rove and George Bush knew this and adopted plans to win over black and Hispanic voters. But they failed — and Obama rubbed it in.

Every now and again conservative writers let their frustration show. Last week Byron York, the respected conservative reporter, penned an atypically sloppy sentence: “Obama’s sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.” What he meant was: than they actually are among whites alone. And he’s right about that. If today’s America were racially that of 1958, Obama would have only about a 60% approval rating rather than a whopping 68%. The biggest factor? The Latino factor. Wonder why Obama spent so much time in Trinidad hobnobbing with Latin and South American leaders two weeks ago? He knows the new face of the country he is now leading.

Will this endure? I cannot know. Obama is riding his honeymoon and his big picture ratings are not outside historical norms. Racial and generational dynamics have propelled him further upward and may be distorting the overall picture. But first impressions matter; and the calm and confidence Obama has displayed in testing times strike me as real achievements. He got lucky as well. Shooting three pirates in the head on the high seas is more good fortune than Jimmy Carter ever had. But there is also a stylistic conservatism in a still small-c conservative country that should not be underestimated.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/07/2009 at 11:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEditorialsObama, The One •  
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A throwback to decent taste

Pepsi Tries Making Soda Without High Fructose Corn Syrup, First Time in 25 years





Surprise! It actually tastes like soda. Hell, it even smells like soda. My brother-in-law had some of this around Easter, but it wasn’t labeled “Throwback”. I think he just had some of the special run Passover soda that you can find once a year. That stuff is made with cane sugar. If you’re smart, have the cash, and a cool place to store it, you’ll stock up on that for the whole year. Coke does the same thing. But maybe now you won’t have to.

I picked up a pack of the “new” Pepsi Throwback and one of the new Mountain Dew Throwback. Both are made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. And both taste far better than any other soda the company has sold in years. Neither one is overly fizzy. And here I was thinking that my middle aged taste buds had finally just given out, after too many visits to the Thai restaurants or whatever. No, it wasn’t me. It was the product. High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS, tastes like limp shit. It dulls all the other flavors. Really, it does. And the crap is in almost everything we eat.

I’m not really a Pepsi person. Never was. But I’ve given up on Coke. Of any flavor, color, or derivative. It just sucks. Every time I have some, a little taste bud memory in the back of my brain compares it to the 10 ounce ice cold can of Coke I got from a vendor on the beach of some Caribbean island in 1982. And there is just no comparison. Memory wins, always.

Don’t get your soda hopes up too much though. Pepsi’s new Throwback line still isn’t made with cane sugar. It’s made with beet sugar. In theory, sucrose is sucrose, so both should taste the same. But I bet they don’t really. But even beet sugar is one HUGE step in the right direction. Try some, you’ll see. It beats HFCS by a mile.

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Per Beverage Industry magazine, the names will be Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback:

In the middle of April, PBV [Pepsi Bottling Ventures] also will begin distributing Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, which features those brands formulated with sugar.

This is a big deal since mainstream soft drinks in the United States are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Typically, the only way to get soda from the “big guys” with real sugar is to import it (i.e., Mexican Coke) or wait till Passover (Kosher Coke, Kosher Pepsi).

Pepsi has been experimenting elsewhere with sugar-sweetened drinks. We reported last February about two such entries… Pepsi Raw in the UK and Mexico’s Pepsi Retro. It’s nice to see some of this finally coming to the States.

Enjoy Pepsi as it was meant to be made — with sugar — with Pepsi Throwback. Featuring an old-school Pepsi logo instead of the modern smiling circle that adorns current cans, the drink will be sweetened with sugar, instead of the ultra-nasty High Fructose Corn Syrup, giving you that true cola taste without the need to import. For those with more extreme tastes, Mountain Dew Throwback will also be available, retro logo intact.

And for all us nationalists, that beet sugar comes from Wyoming. I appreciate that.

But why not cane sugar? What the hey, Mexican soda is made with cane sugar. English soda is made with cane sugar. Heck, even Chinese soda is made with cane sugar. Why not American soda? Because of politics. Because of price supports for the corn farmers. Because of some nasty legislation that’s a bit older than I am, making it nearly impossible to import cane sugar into the USA at a decent price. It’s a load of crap, all of it. But it’s been going on since before I was born, so nobody knows any different. Except that the rest of the world pays less than half what we do for sugar. Hey Obama, you want to clean up government? Here’s a good place to start. CAFTA, NAFTA, free trade, opportunity for all our little island neighbors, the whole thingy. It’s time to end the Stamp Act Sugar Act.

Now if I could just get one of the big soda companies to market a proper ginger beer. Never had one? It’s ginger ale with about 10 times as much ginger. And it’s what your bottle of golden rum wants to dance with, over ice.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/07/2009 at 02:25 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Sneaky fargin bastiges

Gas Prices Sneak Right Back Up Again



Last week, NJ gas was $1.79. By the weekend it was $1.89. Monday $1.95. Wednesday $2.05. WTF people, WTF? PS - This isn’t news either. Not a peep.


And no, I’m not buying into the annual yadda-yadda about switching over from this blend to that blend, or the heating oil, or whatever. We went through this whole damn roller coaster last year. And we suffered through $4 a gallon gas last summer. And heard all about our bleeding need for alternative energy sources, how we need solar, and wind power, and let’s spend billions subsidizing corn to make ethanol and who cares if the rest of the world starves, and the big screaming need for more refineries, more nuke plants, and a bigger better power grid. And that huge uprising over the Drill Here, Drill Now thing, and ANWAR, and all the rest.

And another year has gone by. How many new nuclear reactors have been built? How many new refineries? How many new oil wells have been sunk, either up north or off the coasts? How’s that horizontal drilling going in the Bekkan oil shales?

The unhappy truth is that NOTHING has been done. Not a single shovel full of dirt has been turned, nor a foot of copper wire hung, nor a drill bit turned. As usual, as always, we get the big noise, followed by the big zero. All it took was one of these oil companies to tow a drill rig out of the harbor and the price of crude dropped like a stone. And we never heard another word about energy independence again. And we won’t, until the next time gas gets too expensive. But I haven’t forgotten.

I haven’t forgotten that somewhere back in September or October I paid $1.35 a gallon to fill my tank. And then prices started to go up again, even though the price of crude until mid-January; crude prices now are the same as they were in late November. When gas cost $1.69.

We’re being played. I swear it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/07/2009 at 02:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Wednesday - May 06, 2009

A Box With Four Sides

Pakistan pounds Taliban; fighters pour into Swat

Fighting escalates between Pakistan forces and Taliban in northwest corner of the country

MINGORA, Pakistan – Helicopter gunships and mortar teams pounded militant strongholds Wednesday, killing dozens outside emerald mines, the military said, as Taliban reinforcements poured down from their mountain hide-outs and seized homes and government buildings.

The army began taking the fight to militants entrenched in both the Swat Valley and in Buner, just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital, as Pakistan’s leader prepared to hear demands from President Barack Obama for forceful action from a struggling ally.

The latest actions will please Washington, which is urging Pakistan to crack down on militants blamed for rising violence at home and in Afghanistan.

Since fighting broke out Tuesday, thousands of men, women and children have fled Swat’s main town of Mingora and surrounding districts, fearing an imminent major military operation. The government said it believes refugees could reach 500,000.




Gosh, I hope our bold and decisive President Obama did his homework on this one. Because, with the aid of a bit of diplomacy, and the “failed” Divide and Conquer strategery that Chimpy McBushHitlerburton left on the global Risk™ board, the opportunity is here, RIGHT NOW, to smash the Taliban pretty much forever. Or at least to set them back severely for a good number of years. It’s war, and it’s time to win it. It should not be hard to get some cooperation out of China and India, as the Talis are a threat to them in this area as well.


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Game Over, Towelie-Ban



US /NATO / Coalition forces in blue. Chinese forces in red. Indian forces in green. Pakistani forces in black. And they’re the ones doing the work. Everybody else just mobilizes at the borders, and makes sure none of the uglies gets across. Or maybe all the neighboring armies come over for a visit, a few miles across the border. Just for a while, Ok? Ok, everybody agrees to take in some refugees for a bit. But strip search them first. And shoot everybody who crosses the border with a weapon.

The Taliban is surrounded. Now finish the game.

If I were commander in Afghanistan, I’d start a secondary push from the other end of the country, to resweep the Talis across to the northeast. Just to clean things up a little more. Isn’t that what the Afghanistan Surge is all about?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/06/2009 at 04:58 PM   
Filed Under: • War On Terror •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

Alaska Steps Up

House Approves Alaska Firearms Freedom Act

Kelly’s HB 186 Strips Federal Gun Regulations for Alaskan-Made Products




Ok, I’m a couple weeks behind on this one. But it’s good to know that Alaska has joined the same movement that Texas and Montana started. Whether these laws will work or not remains to be seen, but I love it that some states are pushing back against the federal government and their utterly out of control interpretation of the Interstate Commerce clause. Reign them in. Decrease the size and power of the federal government back to 1911 levels.

Take Back The Right



(Juneau) - The Alaska State House today passed House Bill (HB) 186, or the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, sponsored the bill, which exempts firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition manufactured and retained in Alaska from restrictive federal firearm control laws.
Ak St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature MajorityHouse Bill 186 frees the State of Alaska from restrictive federal firearm regulation and allows us to take responsible regulation into our own hands.

HB 186 passed the House floor by a vote of 32 to 7.

“House Bill 186 frees the State of Alaska from restrictive federal firearm regulation and allows us to take responsible regulation into our own hands,” Kelly said. “Collectively, the Interstate Commerce Clause and U.S. Code 18 USC 922 are used by the federal government to regulate firearms. The Alaska Firearms Freedom Act exempts that intrusion and makes Alaskans responsible for firearms that stay in Alaska and have ‘Made in Alaska’ stamped on the firearms.”

If the federal government charges an Alaskan gun manufacturer under federal law, HB 186 permits Alaska’s Attorney General to defend.

“Outdoorsmen, hunters and all Alaskans defending and feeding their families and protecting their property benefit from the passage of this bill,” Kelly said.

HB 186 now moves to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.

The United States Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate Interstate Commerce between the states and 18 USC 922 makes it unlawful for any person not licensed as a manufacturer or dealer in firearms to engage in the business of manufacturing or dealing in firearms. Collectively, the Interstate Commerce Clause and 18 USC 922 are used by the federal goverenment as a means to regulate firearms.

The Alaska Firearms Freedom Act addresses this by exempting firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition manufactured and retained in the state from all federal firearm control laws including registration, as firearms that meet these criteria shouldn’t be regulated by the federal government because they have not traveled in interstate commerce. Firearms exempt from this Act must have the words “Made in Alaska” clearly stamped on a central metallic part such as the receiver or frame. CSHB 186(FIN) also requires the Attorney General of Alaska to defend a citizen of this State who is prosecuted by the federal government under their authority to regulate interstate commerce for violating federal law regarding the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of a firearm, firearm accessorty, or ammunition manufactured and retained in this state.

I wonder what happens if a citizen of Alaska takes such a gun out of state? Is this bill, and the ones like it, just a paper tiger? Because if it was me running a gun factory in Fairbanks, I’d make DAMN SURE I also had all the proper federal permits and licenses. Just in case. Besides, Alaska doesn’t have the population to make my industrialistic dreams come true. I’d have to sell my stuff in the other states too.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/06/2009 at 04:43 PM   
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IS SAVAGE BEING SAVAGED AS BRIT BAN TAKES HOLD.

Good day BMEWS ... off all day yesterday but happy to be back with blood and gore but lets not talk about politics right now.

Or maybe this is. Anyway I found the item below on the site of a paper that has a liberal bent. And Mr. White sure doesn’t read like a conservative. But no matter.  I may post some of his comments and hope not too many of you will blow your collective tops.  I usually avoid lib. writing cause I hate getting all sorts of upset.

BTW ... I just discovered according to Mr. White, that Rush is a “shock jock.” When did that happened?  I’ve listened to him in the past and wasn’t shocked by anything he ever said.  But for the moment, this is all about Michael Savage. 
Believe it of not, I haven’t heard Savage since once in 2004 just before moving here. I read one or two things he’d written but that was it.
I do understand and have heard even conservatives say he was way over the top in how he expressed himself. But I’d never heard that he was capable of inciting violence or something akin to that.  But as I say, I have not had much exposure to him and so can’t comment one way or another.
I’m certain some of you might though.

I went to YT tho and caught a bit of his, if not belief then the possibility of, the Swine Flu thing being a possible terrorist attack using people as carriers.
He asks if you can rule it out.  But hey ... ok. Sure. In a world where anything is possible I suppose so. But it beggers belief.
So anyway .. MS is banned in Britain.  He now says he is gonna sue.  ?? 

The poll below is at least an hour old as I had to break away for that length of time.


Should US shock jock Michael Savage be banned from Britain?

38.6% Yes
61.4% No
Poll closes in 2 days
Votes are counted every 60 seconds


US talkshow host to sue Jacqui Smith over ban from Britain

Michael Savage, America’s third most popular talk radio host, is planning to sue Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, after he was banned from Britain alongside Islamic preachers and terrorists because his views may incite violence.

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Last Updated: 9:30AM BST 06 May 2009

MORE SAVAGE

The Home Office said Mr Savage, 67, who was born Michael Weiner, might “provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence”.

Mr Savage has said that Muslims “need deportation” and would do well to “take your religion and shove it up your behind” because “I’m sick of you”.

He once encouraged his listeners to burn Mexican flags to counter a pro-immigration group that had burned American flags and in 2007 said he hoped that students fasting in favour of immigration reform would starve to death.

Is it just me?  Am I alone?  What’s wrong with what he says above re. muslim removal and Mexican flags?  And I see nothing at all inappropriate suggesting or expressing the wish that those “students” starve to death.  But they’d never dare so why the worry?


U.S. shock-jock Michael Savage to sue ‘lunatic’ Jacqui Smith for banning him from Britain

By JAMES SLACK and NICOLA BODEN
Last updated at 12:27 PM on 06th May 2009

An American ‘shock jock’ DJ has vowed to sue the Government after being included on a list of Britain’s ‘least wanted’.

Talk-show presenter Mike Savage branded Jacqui Smith a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘witch’ after being named alongside hate preachers and a member of Hamas.

He is furious at being put on the list of 22 hardliners banned from entering the UK because the Home Office claims they have fostered extremism or hatred.

PLEASE SEE THIS LINK

Catch the link above for the Daily Mail with a slew of interesting photos on the subject and descriptions.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/06/2009 at 09:17 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffUK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 05, 2009

Long Lost Soldiers Buried Three Times

Closure for Australia, but no rest yet for the long dead




In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.



WWI Fromelles mystery starts to unfold today


Fromelles France, 10 miles west of Lille. July 19, 1916, late afternoon.

Since early morning the guns had raged. Thousands and thousands of shells, falling on the German troops occupying the “sugar loaf”, a salient in the northern part of the Western Front. Huddled in the mud in rough trenches, an entire army of Australian troops, fresh off the ships that had brought them halfway around the world, sat waiting. A few hundred yards away a similar horde of young British soldiers did the same. Surely after 11 solid hours of bombardment there couldn’t be much left of the enemy. This should be a walk in the park. No worries mate. Right? After all, this is just a diversionary raid, to make the Jerrys think that the big push down at Somme is a full scale attack along the whole line. Besides, we’re only supposed to go half a kilometer forward. Easy!

The guns fell silent. Up and down the trench lines the whistles blew. This was the signal. This was the moment. Over the top!

And so over they went. The very first Australian troops to fight in the war. Straight out of boot camp. Straight off the ships. Straight into the Maxim guns.

And there they died, in seconds. Row after row after row after row after row. The shelling had not been effective, serving merely to alert the Germans that an attack was imminent and giving them all day to get prepared. And prepared they were. Twice the Allied forces attacked, but were unable to hold the ground they captured. The fighting raged on into the night, but in the darkness the Germans sprung their counterattack. By dawn they had pushed spikes of troops into the Aussie lines, and filled those narrow gaps with more machine guns. And somewhere in that spike of men, soldiers from the 6th Bavarian Reserve Regiment, was this young corporal. Named Adolf. But that’s another story for another day. The Allies began their retreat, through a murderous crossfire. Few made it back alive, fewer even made it unwounded.

In the end, more than 5500 AIF troops had fallen, along with about 1550 British. German casualties were very light, with only perhaps 140 troops taken prisoner. And the lines in the mud remained unmoved. In that single 24 hour skirmish Australia lost more soldiers than it did in the entire Boer War, Korean War, and Vietnam War combined. In just a day. In all of Australian history, this was and still is the single largest wartime tragedy they have ever suffered.

Once the battle was over, the Germans did the honorable thing and buried the dead. But there were so many bodies they had to build a narrow gauge railway to haul them away. And they had to dig deep in the soggy clay - 17 feet down - to find some stable soil for the task. But it was done. And the war went on. And the graves were soon forgotten.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.



Eventually the war was over. Generations came and went, farming the land, growing peace over this little corner of hell. Few survived the battle, few remembered the event. But some did. Enough to raise a memorial nearby. But the burial site was lost.

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While most of the world has forgotten, World War I is still a sensitive issue with Australia. As a good colony, they answered the call, and in a huge way. Their losses were enormous, and I gather they still feel the sting of the realization that their men were just thrown into the meat grinder in battle after battle. By war’s end 165,000 Australian troops had disappeared, unidentified casualties whose whereabouts were known only to God. That’s more than half of their 271,000 losses. Australia sent nearly 417,000 off to this war, more than 38% of their entire eligible male population. And they suffered a 65% casualty rate, higher than any other nation involved. They’ve a right to be sensitive.

In 2004 some of the lost mass graves were found by Lambis Englezos, an Australian historian. In 2007 Glasgow University did a sonographic survey which revealed the size of the burials, and turned up a few Australian artifacts. In 2008 arrangements were made for a reinternment, and some excavation was done that proved the scope of the burial. And now today the digging begins in earnest. There is hope that some of the soldiers can be identified through either DNA or uniform patches, but it’s a slim hope. Even the children of these men are almost all dead by now, and the Germans were pretty diligent at removing personal effects and sending them back via Geneva. But these men, lost in combat, lost in time, found again, buried and dug up three times now, will have a remembered and visible resting place at last. And the Land Down Under will have a bit of closure, finally.

The mystery surrounding the identity of 400 Australian and British World War I soldiers found in a mass grave in France could finally start unraveling as work begins on recovering their remains.

A team of 30 archaeologists is due to start a massive excavation of the grave site in northern France today so the soldiers’ skeletal remains can be reburied will full honours in a new military cemetery next year.

The project has raised hopes that dozens of Australian and British families will finally know what happened to their soldier ancestors who disappeared during the notorious Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Australian forces suffered 5533 casualties during the 24-hour battle - the country’s heaviest military casualty rate ever recorded - while Britain recorded 1547 soldiers killed, wounded or missing.

Some BBC news video can be viewed here, with links to 2 other clips.

Australian, British and French dignitaries gathered in the village of Fromelles for a ceremony marking the launch of the project, which is expected to conclude in just over a year.

“Today marks the beginning of the journey to afford many of those killed at Fromelles with a fitting and dignified final place of rest,” said Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, Vice Chairman of Australia’s Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is charged with overseeing the excavation.
...
Australia has since commissioned the construction of the nation’s first war cemetery in more than 50 years near the site and dispatched a team of archeologists to exhume and attempt to identify the remains.

“This site is part of our national story,” said Warren Snowdon, Australian Minister for Defence Science and Personnel. “It filled a gap in our history.”
...
“It was over 90 years ago, but the wounds still run deep,” he said.

The discovery of the Fromelles site coincides with a burgeoning popular interest in Australian history, Snowdon, the Australian minister, added.

“In Australia, it’s got a lot of public support and drive,” he said of the Fromelles excavation. “It really is part of our national history, of who we are.”





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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/05/2009 at 02:07 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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how did I miss this one?

I am a big reader. Love to read. I go through at least one, usually two books a week. I have lots of authors I enjoy, across several genre, from the silly to the serious. And I’ve been a big Nelson De Mille fan for years. But somehow I’d managed to miss his opus The Gold Coast. And I even gave a copy away, unread!!!, as a gift. Well, I’ve corrected that lapse. And now I think I have to wait a few days and read the whole book over again.

The Gold Coast has been described as Gatsby meets The Godfather, and in many ways it is. But it’s more than that. TGC is one of those books you finish reading, and you realize that the book is much bigger than just the story. It’s an allegory. It’s symbolic. Holds a mirror up to life. Etc, etc, and yadda yadda. But there is a deeper current in there, and I think another trip through the pages might turn it up. Or maybe it’s just a story about churlish and snobby WASPs screwing up their lives in a mid-life crisis.

It wasn’t particularly predictable, although I knew what the redhead was going to do almost from the beginning. But the end of that caught me by surprise.

I had to suffer through Gatsby in High School English. And I hated it. Maybe I should pay that one another visit too. I don’t think Gatsby is something that can be appreciated by a 17 year old.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/05/2009 at 01:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - May 04, 2009

Bullet Points

Ammo Shortage: Shelves Empty But Factories Busy

image Gun shops across the country are reporting a run on ammunition, a phenomenon apparently driven by fear that the Obama administration will increase taxes on bullets or enact new gun-control measures.

“In the last two months it’s gotten very, very difficult to find ammunition,” says Richard Taylor, manager of The Firing Line, a gun shop and shooting range in the Denver, Colorado, suburbs.

“There are a lot of rumors floating around that the present government would like to increase taxes on ammunition. I think [there is] just a lot of panicked buying going on.”

image “People are buying cases or whatever they can get their hands on and putting it away, absolutely,” he says. “The only way that this shortage can have to do with it is that people are buying and hoarding.”
...
Jim Minardi, a gun dealer in Lakewood, Colorado, says only a few people are actually hoarding. But they are buying up so much ammo that there isn’t much left on the shelves.

“The minority of our customers are stockpiling ammunition,” Minardi says. “The majority are standard shooters buying what they can.”

image Each year U.S. ammo manufacturers make about 8 billion rounds, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. Current production data won’t be in until late May, but the foundation expects the numbers to be way up.

“In order to keep up with demand for ammunition, manufacturers are working at full capacity, 24-7,” says Ted Novin, an NSSF spokesman. “Currently demand for ammunition is outpacing supply.”

Novin says he believes the reason is clear. “The increase in demand for firearms and ammunition is largely attributable to gun owner concerns regarding the current political climate,” says Novin, referring to the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress.

“Many of the lawmakers in power have a long history of supporting legislation that violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” Novin adds. “Gun owners recognize this and are reacting accordingly.”

image A message from Steve Hornady, president of Hornady Ammunition, on the company’s Web site reads:

“Here at Hornady Manufacturing we are breaking our own production records in an attempt to keep up with customer demand. We have added extra shifts, machinery and we are also in the process of expanding our manufacturing plant.”
...
Winchester Ammunition posted a similar statement:

“Winchester Ammunition, like other ammunition manufacturers, has seen the demand for our products increase significantly since last fall. To meet that increased demand, our operations are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

image Andrew Arulanandam, communications director of the National Rifle Association, says the “unprecedented ammo shortages are widespread, and they affect small and large retailers.”

“We have heard from members across the country in cities and in small towns from California to Maine,” Arulanandam says. “There is a fear that Congress or the new administration will push for a firearm or an ammunition ban, or for a significant increase in excise taxes on firearms and ammunition. We hear this from hunters, target shooters and even from first-time gun owners who fear that there will be an effort to incrementally curtail and eventually dismantle this freedom.”

Let’s see ... 8 billion rounds a year, and there hasn’t been much ammo available since September, and now it’s May. Call it 8 months ... 8/12 = 2/3, 2/3 of 8 billion is 5.33 billion ... Egad. And there’s no way to even begin to estimate the increased production numbers ... but I’ll take a tiny little guess ...

Americans have purchased and stockpiled more than 6 BILLION rounds of ammunition in the last 8 months.

Molon Labe you commie sons of bitches! I don’t think anybody is going to pay one freekin bit of attention to any of your gun control laws or ammo regulation laws if you should be so stupid as to actually pass any.

PS: My bet is that at least 80% of the people buying guns and stockpiling ammo are Conservatives. Maybe 90%.




And in other, related firearms news ...

image Ruger sales up 55%. Company declares HUGE stock dividend. Profits nearly DOUBLE.

Gross profit rose to $19.5 million from $10.7 million in the corresponding period last year. Operating income surged to $9.4 million from $2.3 million in the same period last year.
Backlog rose to 458,900 units and $136.3 million at the end of the recent quarter from 175,900 units and $47.8 million at the end of the corresponding period last year.

image Olin 1Q profits up 25%; due to Winchester ammo sales spike:

“Winchester achieved the highest level of quarterly earnings in its history, reflecting the continuation of the stronger than normal demand that began in the fourth quarter of 2008,” said Joseph Rupp, chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement.

image NY state assembly continues to try and push for microstamping gun law. Because “no killer has a right to hide behind a blank shell casing.” Too bad they don’t realize that, if passed, this law could be defeated with a plastic sandwich bag and a bit of duct tape. Or the firing pins could be filed down a bit. Or that such a law could add hundreds of dollars to the price of new guns, and with several hundred million old guns already out there, it will do exactly diddly squat to prevent crime or help track down guns used in crime. And it will cost the taxpayers more billions. Stupid left wing monkeys.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/04/2009 at 07:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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Berlusconi demands an apology AFTER wife says she’s had it and wants divorce.

Now this guy I want ya to know and I believe you already do, is Italy’s top guy. He’s their president, their leader, they’re jealous.

Oh before I forget.

UPDATE May 4th.

Mrs. Berlusconi has today filed for divorce and could get half his 4 BILLION dollar fortune. Hey, they’ve been married 19 years.  If he was gonna mess around, the least he could have done was be considerate enough not to embarrass his wife so publicly for so long. 
Hot blooded Latins.  Hmmm. Wonder if the guys extend that excuse to their women?


‘Shameless’ Silvio Berlusconi buys 18-year-old model a gold necklace for her birthday and calls himself ‘her little daddy teacher’

By Nick Pisa
Last updated at 11:49 PM on 29th April 2009

You would think that Silvio Berlusconi’s wife would be thrilled that her busy husband found time to attend an 18th birthday party.
Well she wasn’t - because the party was for someone else’s pretty young daughter.

Mr Berlusconi’s long-suffering wife, Veronica Lario, lashed out after his appearance was gleefully reported in the Italian press.
She said in an email to Italy’s national news agency ANSA: ‘That really surprised me because he has never come to the 18th birthday parties of any of our children despite being invited.’

image

Veronia criticised Berlusconi in an email to an Italian press agency.
The Italian prime minister, 72, has three grown-up children with Mrs Lario - Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi - and two from a previous marriage.
But he also sees himself as ‘little daddy’ to blonde teenager Noemi Letizia, the daughter of a business associate.
He was the surprise guest of honour at her recent 18th party in Naples, and gave her a necklace and signed photograph of himself.

Yesterday Miss Letizia was interviewed by several Italian newspapers and said: ‘It was a lovely surprise to see the man I call Papi (daddy) at my party.
‘I call him Papi but of course he is second to my father. He gave me a lovely necklace as a present.’

Mr Berlusconi said he wanted ‘youthful new faces’ as candidates for June’s European elections.
He named four targets, none of whom has any political experience: soap actress Camilla Ferranti, 30; TV star Eleonora Gaggioli, 29; ex-Big Brother contestant Angela Sozio, 31; and former Miss Italy candidate Barbera Matera, 28.

In her email Mrs Lario said: ‘Someone wrote that all this is to sustain the enjoyment of the Emperor.
‘I agree with this - what has emerged is shameful trash, all in the name of power.

‘I want it to be made clear that my children and I are victims of this situation and do not agree with it, we have to put up with it and suffer with it.
‘Fortunately for some time now we have had women in politics and business - in the past we had (Margaret) Thatcher and now we have (Angela) Merkel - that is to say women can be involved in politics.

‘Women today are and can be beautiful and the fact that there are beautiful women in politics is not a merit or a demerit.’
It is the second time that she has made a public statement on her husband’s antics.

Two years ago she demanded - and got - a public apology after he told one actress he would wed her if he wasn’t already married and then told another he would run away with her.

image
Berlusconi babe: Eleonora Gaggioli has been lined up as a prospective candidate for the European elections

Berlusconi demands an apology from his wife as he admits: Our marriage is over
By NICK PISA
Last updated at 4:55 PM on 04th May 2009

Silvio Berlusconi has no plans to seek a reconciliation with his wife and has demanded an apology from the former actress for comments she made.

The Italian prime minister’s wife Veronica said over the weekend she planned to file for divorce, days after publicly criticising Berlusconi’s selection of pretty young women to run in European elections.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/04/2009 at 03:36 PM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesEye-CandyFinance and Investing •  
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WHY THE HECK DO COUNTRIES AND STATES NEED POET LAUREATES? WHAT’S THE POINT?

Hey, ya have to make allowances for us barbarians. I don’t understand this stuff and if you do for heaven sake explain it to me so I can quit looking silly here.  I never understand what these folks are saying and I strongly suspect not even other poets do. But many pretend to follow the bouncing ball
wherever it goes so they can can feel superior. Or if not that, then at least “in the know.” And to pay them almost $10,000 a year? Come on. That’s taxpayer money.  Alright. It’s arty stuff.
But I buy NONE of it.

I am not posting the entire article and in fact darn little of it but here’s a link to it all. If you really care and some may. To each his own but I don’t think the taxpayer should have to fund some artists ego.  ART STUFF

Carol Ann Duffy: The original good line girl
Feisty, nosy and tough, the new laureate is a bisexual single mother who promises to be a ‘poet of the family’

From The Sunday Times
Daisy Goodwin

When Carol Ann Duffy rang on Monday to say she was going to be the new laureate, I was thrilled, not just at the success of a friend but because she is my favourite living poet. The week brought a flurry of press reports about her “dithering”. Anxious, I called her as she was getting out of a taxi. “Dithering!” she said, laughing. “I’ve just been to the hairdressers! Of course I’m taking the job.”

She is passionate about education and the importance of teaching poetry in schools and says listening to a poet at an impressiona-ble age can permanently transform the contour of a child’s imagination. I suspect one of the reasons she has taken on the laureateship is so that she can kick up a serious fuss about the teaching of poetry in schools.

She should know. “Last summer an invigilator called Mrs Schofield peeped over a GCSE candidate’s shoulder and read my poem

Education for Leisure, which contained the lines, ‘Today I am going to kill something. Anything. / I have had enough of being ignored and today / I am going to play God.’ And because she didn’t understand it, and took it literally, she complained to the examining body.” Carol Ann didn’t get mad; she got even, and has written a poem, Mrs Schofield’s GCSE, about the numerous stabbings in Shakespeare.

OK .. Here’s the wonderfully arty-farty hugely intellectual deep gobbly-gook.


The banned poem

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets . . .

. . .There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
he cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
the pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

From Education for Leisure

Had enough?  OK ... how about this?

I’m not the first or the last
to stand on a hillock
watching the man she married
prove to the world
he’s a total, absolute,utter grade A pillock.

What’s so poetic about that? And is it worth £5,000 a year?
Why does the country need that?  Except for her salary, who gains anything?
Besides, I thought times were supposed to be tough right now and there was supposed to be some govt. belt tightening. Oh right.
Only those who must pay for poets must tighten their collective belts else where’s the money gonna come from?


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/04/2009 at 02:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

OUT OF AFRICA?


OUT OF AFRICA?

It appears that the very wealthy professional liberal Madonna, who it is rumored might also be a singer, is having a bit of a problem adopting another black child from Malawi.  Either Madonna just likes the idea of matching bookends, or maybe she feels that the boy she has already adopted might like company growing up in a white world with another kid of his own race.

Apparently, the Material Girl has an mo of pretty much getting what she wants, when she wants it. Except perhaps a stable marriage. Whatever.

It must be some sort of a rush to have her money and be in a position to indulge your shop til you drop fantasies by shopping for people and buying a couple of children.  However, there is a fly in the ointment and poor Madonna may have a problem with latest acquisition.

Seems the father of the little girl, whose name is Mercy, has filed for custody, arguing that the pop star “ lacks the morals to bring up his child. A court has already denied the 50-year-old Madonna the chance to adopt Mercy.  As well, the people there are a bit miffed that after taking one kid she’s back for another, and accuse her of thinking she can just walk in with all her money and buy their kids.  There is a bit of a class and race thing going on, and I guess many of the folks who cannot rub two pennies together very well are a bit envious.  Others praised her for giving a small boy a chance of a good life in the West. Like there are no dark skinned children already in the West who could benefit from her magnificence.

The father of Mercy is critical of Madonna’s appearances “almost naked on stage.” He said:
“I don’t want my daughter to grow up like that. Women who respect themselves, cultured women, do not go about half naked.”

While he may have a point to make it hasn’t been reported just why his daughter was not in his custody to begin with, given that the mother died in childbirth.

I guess we will have to stay tuned to this one just to see if the aging pop star will win her fight to have the present ruling overturned on appeal. 
I have a gut feeling that it is not little Mercy, she’s that concerned about.  It is all about winning and getting her way. She does not like to be thwarted.

That’s what I think and unless someone can offer something else, I’m stickin to that.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/04/2009 at 12:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Celebrities •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

The Times Headline reads: Democrat joker Al Franken to hand Obama control of Senate.

AND THAT REALLY DOES FRIGHTEN ME BIG TIME. PLEASE ...PLEASE!
Won’t someone rid us of his presence?

Democrat joker Al Franken to hand Obama control of Senate

Sarah Baxter
The Times

A COMEDIAN who had a walk-on part in the Rutles film spoof of the Beatles is poised to deliver a 60-seat super-majority to the Democrats in the Senate as President Barack Obama consolidates his grip on the levers of power.

Al Franken, 57, a satirist turned Democrat politician, is expected to be proclaimed the winner of the protracted race for the US Senate in Minnesota, in time to give Obama a free hand to appoint a Supreme Court replacement for retiring Justice David Souter without fear of Republican blocking tactics.

If Franken wins, Obama will hold an unassailable majority after Senator Arlen Specter’s sudden defection from the Republicans to the Democrats last week. A 60-seat majority would deprive the Republicans of the ability to scupper appointments and legislation by filibustering.

Norman Coleman, the Republican former senator, last week asked the Minnesota supreme court to count an extra 1,359 ballots, but his own side has all but conceded that Franken will win. “Most of us think that is going to happen,” said Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman.

Hillary Clinton, Obama’s surprise choice for secretary of state, has been mooted as a wild card appointment to the Supreme Court, but she would have to abandon any remaining presidential ambitions – an unlikely prospect.

Franken, a former presenter on Air America, the left-wing radio station, has been uncharacteristically quiet during the six-month recount. He holds a 312-vote lead over Coleman out of a total of nearly 3m.

Tad Devine, a Democrat consultant and friend of Franken, warned that his party’s softly-softly tactics would not continue indefinitely.

“Our side has not kicked into gear yet,” he said. “There has been a deliberate strategy not to make a big deal of the recount but if it drags on into the summer, we could raise the stakes and force the race to a conclusion.”

Franken’s vote will be needed not just for the Supreme Court appointment but also for healthcare reform, earmarked for the autumn. It is ironic for a comedian to wield so much power, Devine noted, “but Franken is certainly comfortable with irony”.


Al’s gags

Franken’s quips include:

“When the president [Bush] said he was against nation-building, I didn’t realise he meant our nation.”

“Why don’t we focus on what Afghan women can do? They can cook, bear children and pray. As I recall, that was fine for our grandmothers.”

“I’m interested in politics for all the wrong reasons – I’m interested in the entertainment value of it.”

Even an enemy can often be amusing.  But being very scary is something else again. And this guy does frighten.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/04/2009 at 11:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsScary Stuff •  
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