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Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Monday - August 31, 2009

Moving Hell: An unmoving experience

This is the news story you didn’t wake up to today. It didn’t happen, but it could have. Easily. With just a phone call. But it can’t happen now. Phew.



Possible Terrorist Cell Uncovered In New Jersey

Right wing militant, wife, and family arrested. Enormous arsenal seized.

Secret ammunition factory later discovered.

Police were called to the scene Saturday in Alphadale NJ to quell a minor domestic disturbance that turned out to have enormous repercussions. Arrested for Illegal Trespass were Andrew [name redacted], his wife [name redacted], mother and brother [names redacted]. They were caught red-handed attempting to illegally occupy an empty condominium. Illegal Trespass is a 4th degree felony in New Jersey, not a misdemeanor.

A search of the premises turned up a large arsenal of firearms and a massive horde of ammunition. That’s when the county Sheriff’s Department, the State Police, and the FBI were called in.

“This is a disaster narrowly avoided”, says NJ State Attorney General Ima Bigshot, “these vagrants were armed and dangerous. Barricaded behind dozens of boxes full of stuff and piles of furniture, they could have held off the police for days. God knows how many officers would have fallen in the line of duty if things had gone bad.”

Approached for comment, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine said “This is yet another example of why we need stricter gun control in our state. Time and again I’ve told you how the NRA is a front for these crazy right wing militias, and this looks like yet another. This guy had enough guns and ammunition to shoot up not just one grade school, but dozens, maybe hundreds. Nobody needs that many weapons, and nobody needs that much ammunition. So today I’m introducing legislation for a new bill that will extend the recent One Gun A Month law. This one will be called One Gun Per Person, and that’s exactly what it will be about. One firearm is all anyone needs, and no more than 50 rounds of ammunition. Anything more than that is a danger to society and a unbearable threat to public safety.”

In addition to the felony trespass charge, Mr. [redacted] was charged with 18 counts of weapons possession, 18 counts of firearms possession while in commission of a felony, 4 counts of unregistered handgun possession while in commission of a felony, and 3872 counts of possession of hollow point bullets while in commission of a felony. His wife and family were all charged as accessories on each of these charges, and all remain in county jail under $2,000,000 bail each. Hearings are scheduled for Wednesday.

A warrant served on the suspect’s previous address, where they were also squatting – living without a lease – turned up an ammunition factory capable of churning out nearly 1000 live rounds per hour, thousands of bullets, primers, and bullet cases, and over 40 pounds of gun powder. Many weapons parts were also found, some of which may have been used to convert some of the weapons to illegal fully automatic assault rifles. ATF has called in experts to study this frightening and deadly cache; more charges may be filed at a later date.

A further search of the suspect’s computer showed that he ran a radical right wing anti-government blog, visited by upwards of 1000 like minded individuals a day. Evidence of dozens of anti-government articles written by the suspect were found, along with many comments calling for direct and possibly violent action against the White House and members of various state and local government agencies. Quick work by the FBI showed his membership in many kinds of online firearms forums, including those that specialize in sharing the secrets of custom made high powered ammunition using cop killer bullets.

Approached for comment, one former neighbor who asked to remain unnamed said “He was always such a quiet guy. He spent most of his time indoors at his computer when he wasn’t working, and he was always there for us if we needed anything. Who would have thought all this was going on right under our noses? I’m just shocked. I really don’t know what else to say.”

A joint taskforce has been formed between the ATF and the FBI to track down and investigate every member of this radical blog and all the members of these violent forums.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg.”, stated ATF special agent in charge Lyon Asshat, “This opens a whole can of worms. We hope to be able to track down and bring charges against this whole enormous distributed organization. This could be the case we needed to crack these groups, this underground Al Qaeda in America like bunch.” Agent Asshat is intending to run for Attorney General next year.

“When all is said and done, this suspect is looking at 20 years in jail and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ordinarily this whole situation could have been written off as a misunderstanding with no charges filed. Under lesser circumstances the firearms charges would have been plea bargained down to loss of possession and 18 months in jail, with time off for good behavior. But in this case we’re not going to give an inch. This kind of criminal behavior can not be allowed to go unpunished or watered down. We are bringing the full force and weight of the government to bear, and will steadfastly push for the maximum fines and sentences. To do anything less would be to put law abiding Americans at risk.”




So, how was your weekend? This could have been mine.


Let’s press the Rewind button for a bit, back things up and get the whole story out.

First of all, I do not own a single firearm that was not legally purchased through a legitimate firearms dealer. I do not own any handguns that are not registered with one state or another. I am fully compliant with all local, state, and federal laws regarding my firearms and my reloading equipment, even though a couple of those laws conflict with other state laws. Yes, I have some gun parts in a box somewhere. Old springs and bolts and firing pins. None of which can be used to make machine guns, but why let the facts get in the way? This is New Jersey, where the innocent are presumed guilty, and are even more guilty if they have a firearm, proper paperwork be damned. The laws say that specifically! This kind of crap happens all the time, and it’s Grade A Political Hay for the vultures in Trenton to feed on. Two guns and a couple boxes of ammo is “a deadly cache of firearms”. Anything more than that is “a lethal, frightening arsenal”. And if you have more ammo than 4 strong men can carry ... it’s Game Over in the press. And you will be lucky if you aren’t the National Story of the Day.



Let’s press that Rewind button a little bit more, and get the full back story.

My wife works for an eye doctor. He runs a good size practice, with two offices. He’s making money by the cartload. So you think that would mean he’s pretty smart, with lots of common sense, a shrewd mind, and a strong moral and ethical sense. And you would be so wrong your head would spin.

Doctor Stupid (names changed to protect the stupid) is a “dawg”. A “playa”. His current wife, #2, was once one of his patients. Then she was an employee. Then he was getting a divorce, and now she’s wife #2, living in the big fancy house with the children they have, and all the fine life that goes with it. But I guess that got boring. A few years ago he started up a “thang” with another patient, 20 years his junior. And then she was an employee. And then a special employee who could do no wrong, was beyond reproach, who could come and go whenever she wanted. Uh. Huh. And they carried on right in front of the rest of the staff, month after month. And my wife and the others had to work extra hard, since Miss Thang didn’t really do much other than bat her eyes and giggle and rub her fake tits on him. Oh, but he was so in love. He was saving her from her terrible life. He was Mr. White Knight, rescuing this poor damsel in distress. My lady readers will understand the situation instantly. She was a total drama queen who used what she had to get what she wanted and lorded it over all the other women in the office. Several of whom found it so offensive that they quit. And the affair went on and on. He bought her things, charged to the business, all the time. Brought her lunch every day. Not a week went by when Miss Thang didn’t have some BS emergency that required her to leave early, take a day off, etc. And everybody else got stuck with the work. But oh, this was the real thing finally. He’d found The One to spend the rest of his life with. Her daughter needs a job? Ok, hire her as a junior receptionist, but go easy on her and give her whatever days off she wants at a moment’s notice. And it only got worse. The dramas never ceased. They only got worse. “Oh no, Miss Thang had a big fight with her abusive fiancee! He kicked her out of the house, accusing her of cheating on him! [well yeah, duh, it’s true!] Everybody has to help move her out this weekend. We’re saving her life. I know it’s been hard on all of you, but we have to do this for her. She needs us! Even her family has abandoned her, they can’t stand her success, they can’t stand that she’s making something of herself. Well I’m just so proud of what she’s accomplished. We’ll be her family now.”

And a week later, when Miss Thang went right back to the other guy, that was Ok too. “Oh, she can’t bear to be estranged from her family. They’re all she has.” Truly, not only is love blind, but amazingly stupid as well. Because another month or so later, another “fight” with the “terrible boyfriend” and she was moving out again. Into an upscale apartment for her and her teenage daughter. Which everyone was lead to believe that Dr. Stupid had rented for her. Prepaid. For a full year. And then he furnished. With brand new stuff, all of good quality. A 50” flat screen TV. Couches, chairs, a nice dining room set. Pots and pans. Food. Linens. Cases of “their” wine. Several thousand dollars worth of new clothes. Even a few dozen plants, garden hoses, sprinklers, kiki torches, and a full set of patio furniture for outside, along with a pretty darned nice full sized gas grill. Yup, Dr. Stupid set her up, his kept woman, in the lap of luxury. Or if not the actual lap, then at least the knees. Call it a heck of a big step up from the trailer park. Call it about $15,000 or more worth of clothes and stuff. And a $1500 per month condo. Rent free. So he had his perfect woman in a perfect place, and she was safe, and fully rescued and life saved, and everything was just ultra-wonderful. For a bit over a month. And then, rumor has it, to brighten up her day, one Friday at work he told her he was getting a divorce, so they could be married.

And she ran. On the spot. Gone. Quit her job and took her daughter too. Buh bye!

And her and the “mean and abusive” “ex” ran out that night and got a moving van, and cleaned out the entire apartment. They took every stitch of clothing, every last piece of furniture, even the gas grill. And they were gone. Poof. “Don’t you, or anybody who works here, ever contact me again or I’ll see you in court!!”

And she got away with it. Because, let’s face it, she’s got him by the short and curlies. But good. Sexual harassment lawsuit much? Oh, poor single woman, trying to raise her child, forced into a sexual relationship against her will just to make ends meet. You know that storyline. And underneath it all, unspoken, would be the race card. Because Dr. Stupid likes them white. There isn’t a jury in the country that wouldn’t buy her story, even though it’s a total lie. Because “man eating cougar” isn’t yet a crime. She flirted and fucked herself into a Sugar Daddy, a no work job, a whole houseful of furniture, and a luxury apartment where she lived rent free. And that was all fine and dandy by her, until he wanted to make it official. And then the game was up, and the long con was over. So much for Women’s Lib and Equal Rights. She used the power of the pussy to shut down his big brain so he could only think with his little one. Damn near destroyed his practice. Lost him half of his experienced employees. Nearly lost him the other half. Lost him lots of patients too. And he did it all eagerly, making himself her willing slave, eager as a new puppy to cater to her every last whim.



So Miss Thang was gone by this previous Tuesday. And it seemed that Dr. Stupid was stuck with this nice big condo. The office rumor was that he had signed the lease, and prepaid the rent for an entire year. And he knew my wife and I were looking for a new place to live, looking to buy one of these condos. And that our lease was up soon, and everyone knows that closing on a home takes time, months sometimes, so come move in here. You can stay as long as you want, and just pay me the same rent you’re paying now.

And it seemed like a great deal to us. With Miss Thang out of the picture, maybe Dr. Stupid had come to his senses. And since we were supposed to make the rent check out to the name of the eye care practice, it was easy to assume that he had taken the lease in the company’s name. Corporate housing. That kind of thing happens all the time. “Read the lease honey” I told my wife “make sure that a sublet or short term tenancy is allowed.” The next day she tells me that Dr. Stupid told her that there wasn’t anything in the lease that specifically denied subletting. And so we decided to take the offer and move.

I spent 8 days packing up this place and taking boxes over there. At the height of the 3 weeks that is what we’re getting for summer this summer. I had my family come down with a truck twice, to help. We were more than halfway moved in Saturday afternoon. And as we’re coming back with the third truckload of stuff of the day, I go to unlock the door and see a realtor’s lockbox on the doorknob. The kind that holds a key when a house is on the market. What the hell? “Honey, you’d better call Dr. Stupid right the heck now, and find out what’s going on!!”

I had hardly uttered those words when this guy comes up the sidewalk, looking all pissed off. “Who are you?” he demanded, “What are you doing here?” So I introduced myself, and said we were the new tenants in this condo.

“Oh yeah? Says who?”

Well, we’re renting it from the eye care practice, corporate housing, it’s a sublet from Dr. Stupid. And by the way, who are you?

“I’m D. Owner. I own this condominium. And Dr. Stupid doesn’t have a lease here. And no right to sublet. I should have you arrested for illegal trespass.”

Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit.

So we did some instant diplomatic sweet talking. Told him how we were lead to believe this and that, how Dr. Stupid held the lease, how he’d prepaid the rent for an entire year, how we work for the business that has this place as corporate housing, we’re only here short term, looking to buy a place in the area ... etc. He whips out his phone and calls Dr. Stupid and reads him the riot act. We had to turn over the keys to him immediately. And all our stuff is now locked inside this place, and we have no way to get to it. And there’s a closet full of guns and ammo in the back bedroom. I’d made a special trip over the night before, after dark, delivering all of them. In the dark. Because you don’t move a gun collection in plain sight these days if you’re smart, whether it’s legal or not.

And we’d just told our old landlord that we were leaving. Sorry for the short notice, but we came across a deal that was too good to pass up. So we won’t be wanting a new lease (the old one expires tomorrow) but we may need to stay an extra week to get everything moved out and cleaned up. Oh shit oh shit oh shit, now we’re going to be homeless. Our current landlord had sent me a pro-rated price list for extra time: stay one extra week, this much money. Two weeks, this much. One month, full rent. So my wife raced a check down to the post office in the pouring rain. And we’re locked out of the new place. Meanwhile, D. Owner, who is a lawyer (it figures, right?) is on the phone to his lawyer. He calls us back in a little while, and says he understands how we’re the ones caught in the middle of this mess and it’s no fault of his or ours. He’s apologizing, we’re apologizing, everybody’s trying to make nice-nice. He says we can come back and start taking our stuff, as long as he’s there to unlock the door. But we can’t have the key, lock up when you’re done and call me, and if you can’t get it all done tonight then call me tomorrow and you can have Sunday.

And that’s exactly what we did. We raced back over there, met him, made even more effusive apologies, and blamed the whole thing on Dr. Stupid. And I guess that worked.

After D. Owner drove away ... in near panic mode I filled up a car and part of a pickup truck with my firearms and ammo, and got the hell out of Dodge ASAP. First thing. I think we moved another load or two that evening, but I’m so damn exhausted I can’t remember.

Sunday we did it again. All day long. We called up D. Owner and got him to come over and open the place, and sweet talked him some more. And he told us the real story: that the lease was in Miss Thang’s name, that his background and credit check on her had come up rather shaky, and the only reason he signed the lease was because Dr. Stupid signed on as her financial backer. He supplied 6 months rent and the security. He was not even a co-signer, just the financial guarantor. Son of a bitch. And we’re still not sure if it was a one year lease or a six month lease, and since Miss Thang had lived there 6 weeks, there may have been only 4 1/2 months left. So his “stay there as long as you need” rings rather hollow. Come the end of the year we would have been in for a really nasty surprise perhaps. “But you guys seem really decent,” D.Owner tells us, “and I’m very relieved you’re cooperating and trying to do the right thing. But I’ve got this place listed through the local realtor, so if you want to rent it you can go through them. But you’ll still have to move all your stuff out anyway. Sorry, but it’s business, and that’s how it has to be.

We must have made 8 or 10 trips, carload and truckload. Didn’t even stop for lunch. My wife got hold of sensitive, life saving Dr. Stupid, and demanded he get his worthless no count ass the fuck up there and help us move. And he did, finally, for a few hours, which was nice. But while he was helping us, she got his version of the story from him. He was just trying to help D. Owner out of the jamb of not having a tenant! Why, when Miss Thang stripped the place and skedaddled, he’d called him, and asked him not to do anything until they talked, . But D. Owner never called him back, so he just went ahead and did what seemed right!

We had to be polite and understanding to him, because my wife still works for the man. And jobs is hard to come by. But I wanted to sock him a good one, so badly. What a jerk. Dr. Stupid still has no idea how badly he has been played. How much he’s been used. He still feels sorry for her. Why, all this is because the poor little Thang can’t handle stress, and when she has to make a decision she doesn’t know what to do so she just runs away! Jerk? No, he’s a turbo jerk. Zero to Moron in 2.6 seconds.

And now we are all moved back in. Back in the old place. Buried under a sea of boxes. All the furniture is in the garage. I think there’s one chair in the house to sit in right now. And while I am sore all over, and pretty well exhausted, no charges are going to filed against us. And they could have been. Heck, if it was my condo I might have called the police first thing. He certainly could have called them second thing, when D. Owner went poking through all our stuff after he’d first thrown us out, and moved the boxes I had blocking the closet and found what was inside. A lot of people would have. Guns = Crazy People + PANIC!!!! + Call 911. That’s how it is. At which point I could have been in a huge ugly world of life destroying hurt. Because what I wrote in the above fake “news report” is exactly how the world works these days. Especially New Jersey. It does not matter that every single charge would turn out to be specious. Heck, I’d even beat the trespass charge, since I had the keys and the electricity had been started there in my name. But it would take years to settle, cost tens of thousands of dollars I don’t have, and the best that I could hope for would be to lose an entire lifetime’s gun collection and to have my name utterly blackened in the press. Heck, copping a plea to 18 months in jail would almost be my best option. Don’t you doubt that for a second.

And it really could have been worse. We are not in any legal entanglements. We are not out any great amount of money, except for the cash I spent buying a big bunch of cardboard boxes and some tape. And we have this place again, at least for now. My wife has to talk to our landlord tonight and she’d better work it out.

Watch what happens ... in 4 months we wind up buying the place we’re in right now. The same place where we’ve been living for a decade. And no moving at all will be required. But if Miss Thang comes back into Dr. Stupid’s life and gets her job back, and All Is Forgiven? Then my wife will quit on the spot. And so will everyone else. And I’m pretty sure they’ve all told him that too. I hope he listens.

Son of a bitch.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/31/2009 at 03:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
Comments (10) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

It’s about 4:27pm here in the UK.  In a matter of hours, Germany will invade Poland. It’s 1939.

The anniversary of the war that slaughtered untold millions will begin in approx. 13 hours.
Once again I have some entries from the diary of Count Ciano, who was Mussolini’s Foreign Minister and his son-in-law.

Count Ciano was executed on the orders of the Duce, after Ciano voted against Mussolini and the war in the council. He was killed in 1943.

AUGUST 30, 1939

image

My first thought today is the memory of my father.  He would have been sixty three years old if an unfair death had not stopped the beating of his great heart.  May God welcome him and may his generous soul be always near me.

The situation has again grown worse.  The British answer does not close the door to future negociations, but it does not give, nor could it give, the Germans all they ask for.  News reaches us of general mobilization in Warsaw, and it is not the kind of news to calm our nerves. I continue and multiply my contacts with the English.

Our population is more and more openly anti-German and against the war.

AUGUST 31, 1939

An ugly awakening. I am cabled at nine informing me the situation is desperate and that unless something new comes up there will be war in a few hours.  I go quickly to the Palazzo Venezia.  We must find a new solution.  In agreement with The Duce I telephone Halifax to tell him the Duce can intervene with Hitler only if he can bring a big prize:  Danzig.  Empty handed he can do nothing.  On his part, Lord Halifax asks me to bring pressure on Berlin, so that certain procedural difficulties may be overcome and direct contacts established between Germany and Poland.

Halifax sends word that our proposal regarding Danzig cannot be adopted.  The sky is becoming darker and darker.

I receive Francois-Poncet. The conversation is without purpose and, therefore, vague and indefinate.  The wish for peace is repeated on both sides.  He seeks to learn what our attitude will be, but I make no reply.  He is romantic, sad, nostalgic.  I should also add that he is sincere.

I see the Duce again. As a last resort, let us propose to France and Great Britain a conference on September 5, for the purpose of reviewing those clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which disturb European life.  I warmly support the proposal, if for no other reason than because it will widen the distance between us and Hitler, who wants no conferences and has said so many times. 

From Berlin there arrives the German communique summarizing all that has happened in the last few days, including the proposals made to Poland.  These are very moderate, but there is something obscure in the whole German attitude.  The proposals are set forth, but at the same time it is stated that they are no longer open to discussion. 
Hitler’s program as it was announced to me at the Berghof is being applied point by point.
The Duce thinks negotiation is still possible.  I do not, for I see in the communique a clarion call to war.
At midnight we are informed that newspapers are being distributed free in Berlin with the headline,
“Poland Refuses!  Attack About to Begin.”

(in fact, it does. at 5:25am, Sept. 1st.1939)

some further reading from Time, December 25, 1939

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 02:12 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Blunders and the law and reporting to the EU … USA doesn’t have to. Yet.

Just a short article cut out of the paper the other day.  There isn’t even a writers credit.
It’s just another one of those things that cause you to wonder ..  Is anyone using any common sense anymore? Dumb question of course coz the answer is ... don’t be stupid. Course not.

People selling violent films and pornography to children will escape prosecution after a govt. department discovered that a 1984 law had not been properly enacted.

The Crown Prosecution Service has been told to drop all cases relating to offences under the Video Recordings Act, which sought to prevent violent video games and porn being sold to children, and to ensure that the most explicit adult films could only be sold in licensed sex shops.

The error came about because the government of the day was unfamiliar with a newly passed EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE REQUIRING THEM TO NOTIFY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE LEGISLATION.

Those who breach the VRA for the next three months will be immune to prosecution, those previously convicted for offences under the act will not be able to appeal their case.

OK so, what does that mean.  Way I read it, the govt. here has to inform the eu about laws and rules passed here.  Is that right?  Or am I misreading this.  And there’s a free pass for the next three months for someone selling bad stuff to kids. ??

And then there is this bit under elf ‘n’ safety.

It has been decreed that if hounds are on show and allowed to be handled by children, there must be wet wipes present so the little ones can decontaminate themselves after touching the dogs.  Hey .. it’s in their rule book.
Any of you people grow up with dogs when you were little?  Hmmm. I see we’re all still here.
So there was this outdoor show ya see, and this being England some heavy rain surprised nobody. And being England, some folks were ready for it.
But Health and Safety officers were on the job doing their bit for, well, elf ‘n’ safety.
So anyway, it rained and officers went to the stall of a man selling outdoor cloths.  He’d put down some straw to soak up the puddles and give people something to stand on.  The officers told him he couldn’t do that. When asked why not, they said:
“It’s a hazard and may catch fire.” Not too surprisingly he lost his cool some and took out a box of matches and said:
“£1,000 to anybody who manages to set fire to that straw.” The officers left .

Can’t make that stuff up.
Just another day in a nanny state.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 01:17 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsDaily LifeNanny StateOdd-Strange •  
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How things are done in european democracy. Keep voting till powers get their desired result.

The Irish have already voted but the power groups didn’t like the result. So I guess it’s back to the voting booth.
I hope the Irish won’t allow themselves to be pushed into anything. Cause they might regret it mightily down the road. We’ll see.
Stay Tuned.

The Irish government’s ‘Yes to Lisbon’ glove-puppets
Mary Ellen Synon
31 August 2009 11:12 AM

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In six weeks’ time, the Irish government will force the Irish people to vote a second time on the Lisbon Treaty. It is bad enough that any government would try to overturn the resounding No vote the Irish gave last year, but this government is in a particularly awkward position to try to do so: never in the history of independent Ireland has any government been as unpopular, indeed, as reviled, as the present Fianna Fail-Green coalition led by Brian Cowen.

Twelve years of Fianna Fail coalitions have left Ireland with the worst recession in the European Union—indeed, the economy is so bad that it actually meets the economic definition of a depression—so the voters are seething with anger against the Ministers.  It appears some public relations focus group has told Mr Cowen and his colleagues what should have been obvious anyway: that if this much-hated government tries to lead the campaign for a Yes vote next month, they are likely to increase the No vote.

So instead the government has been choreographing a series of announcements by prominent Irish businessmen to come out and announce they will be supporting a Yes vote. In effect, the government are using chief executives as their political glove-puppets, saying what the ministers would say if they weren’t afraid to come out of their bunkers and face the Irish public.

The problem with that is, so far the only business leaders who have agreed to pay big money towards the Lisbon Yes campaign are men who clearly have a vested interest in sucking up the the European Commission.

For example, on August 20th, Jim O’Hara, the chief executive of Intel in Ireland—the company is a big employer, but one which has recently laid off hundreds of workers—announced his company will spend hundreds of thousands of euros to campaign for a Yes vote. He said he has the support of ‘the wider Intel corporation’ in this campaign.

Too right he does. Intel is a global corporation which is now appealing a €1.06 billion (£935m) fine imposed in May by the European Commission for anti-competitive practices. The money is frozen in a blocked bank account, pending an appeal by the company in the European Court of First Instance. The executives at Intel won’t ever touch any of that billion-plus again unless their appeal succeeds - or unless they can negotiate a lower fine with the Commission.

Then there is Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair. Last week he called a press conference to announce the airline will spend €500,000 on campaigning for a Yes vote. Which you could call a kind of protection payment to the goodwill of the Commission: the routes and pricing for O’Leary’s airline are at the mercy of the unelected, unsackable eurocrats in Brussels.

THE REST IS HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 12:00 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsJack Booted Thugs •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Almost 50 thousand dollars just to drop one word, and that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Gotta wonder what makes ppl get up to really stupid stuff like this and it isn’t funny!

In an update in another newspaper this morning, the sum for stupid spending is actually £170,000 of taxpayer money on just this one thing.
The thing being, dropping a word from documents or changing logos and like items.
Why do they need to be changed when they’re working.

In this particular case, it really is the very height of stupid. They’re removing ONE name from a govt. department.  And what word is being deleted?

DEPARTMENT.

I have this photo inside my head of a group of bored looking and vacant people, trying to think of things to do. Ideas to change something, anything.
Just for the sake of change and justifying their jobs.  Which they should not be in to begin with.
But hey ...  The taxpayer is always RIPE!  Don’t believe it?  Here.  Take a look at some of the dumb assed things that just HAD to be changed. NOT!

And this is a govt. telling ppl to save. Warning everyone of hard times. Yeah. Hard times for who?  Not the ppl who spend the money in govt.


£25,000 bill as Government drops single word from department name

By Miles Goslett
Daily Mail

The Government has spent nearly £25,000 of taxpayers’ money removing one word from the name of a Whitehall department.

In a ‘rebranding project’, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been renamed Communities and Local Government (CLG).

The change involved producing a new logo for the department’s website and headed paper. In a parliamentary answer, a Minister explained that the name change was deemed necessary to ‘emphasise the mission of the department’.

Freedom of Information documents reveal that the rebranding cost £24,765.
The Government has spent nearly £25,000 of taxpayers’ money removing one word from the name of a Whitehall department

The Government has spent nearly £25,000 of taxpayers’ money removing one word from the name of a Whitehall department

The move was described as ‘farcical’ last night by a Conservative spokesman.

The DCLG was established in May 2006, after the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, under John Prescott, was abolished following a string of revelations about his private life.

But within months the decision was taken to refine the department’s name from DCLG to CLG on letterheads and its website ‘for ease of branding’. A spokesman for the CLG, which has been headed by John Denham since June, refused to name the person responsible for implementing the change.

The Government has spent millions on other rebranding exercises since 1997.

Mr Prescott spent £645 of public money on a new brass plaque for his office, replacing a sign saying Office of the Deputy Prime Minister with one which read Deputy Prime Minister’s Office.

He was given the sign as a memento when he left his office in June 2007.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was renamed twice between 2005 and 2007 at a cost of £250,000.

Earlier this year, Lord Mandelson decided to change its name for a third time to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS). The Government refused to reveal how much it cost to create the new department, or to rebrand it.

Caroline Spelman, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: ‘This is a Whitehall farce at taxpayers’ expense.

Taxes have gone through the roof under Labour and examples like these show how the public’s money is squandered on Ministerial vanity projects and a corrosive culture of spin.’

A CLG spokesman said: ‘Given the scale of the restructuring and the department’s new policy agenda, a more fundamental overhaul of our corporate identity was deemed necessary.

Since October 2006, therefore, the department has been branded as Communities and Local Government in all of our corporate communications and contact with the public and outside bodies.’

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 09:17 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeOutrageousStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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Here we are on the eve of the war to start on Sept.1st, and in 2009, British Lion Muzzled

I read Europe News almost every day and found this by Robert Spencer.

While I’ve been ranting over the past year or so about the loss of Brit sovereignty to Brussels, I almost forgot tho I don’t know how, about this other threat.

In addition to the sovereignty issue and the points Mr. Spencer raises, based on the things I have seen and read here, the political correctness as advanced by the all inclusive diversity/multi-culture liberal left who seem all powerful in this place, have ruined it.  Personally, I see no way out because while there are many who also see it, there seem to be damn few who will do anything to change it.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, according to Spencer, there are still jihad camps there. Can that be true?  And Americans are putting up with it?

British Lion Muzzled

By Robert Spencer

British Lion Muzzled Britain is sinking fast, and in too many ways its government is its people’s worst enemy.

Jihadists struck London on July 7, 2005 and Glasgow on June 29, 2007, and many still operate in Britain—but how bad is it now? To begin finding out, I spent the last week in London, visiting mosques and discussing the situation with locals.

What I saw wasn’t shocking, but quite depressing.

I went to London to work on a documentary on the Islamization of Europe with operatives from the Christian Action Network, which last year produced the shocking documentary Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S. For that film, CAN’s Jason Campbell visited many of the Jamaat ul-Fuqra terror compounds which dot the rural American landscape, generally to the consternation of the locals and in the face of the indifference or impotence of law enforcement authorities.

Last week, Jason and I walked around inside some of the most notorious mosques in Britain. One by one, we visited them. The North London Central Mosque, aka the Finsbury Park Mosque, the old haunt of the one-eyed, hook-handed jihadi Abu Hamza, who now faces extradition to the U.S. for his role in terror plotting. The expansive and prosperous Islamic Cultural Centre on Baker Street. The likewise large (and rapidly expanding) East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, and the Stockwell Green Muslim Centre, where teenagers are recruited for jihad. There Jason and I both felt a distinct level of menace as we passed through the place.

We also went by the Masjid-e-Ilyas near the site of the 2012 Olympics, where Muslims want to build the largest mosque in Europe, capable of holding 70,000 people. But there we were not allowed in.

Unrecognized inside the mosques we were able to enter, I was warmly received as a potential convert and laden with books and pamphlets explaining the wonders of Islam—including, courtesy the Finsbury Park Mosque, a copy of the Koran with illuminating commentary: “The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight,” we’re told, “is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam.”

Feel better? Don’t. “Rather, its purpose is to put an end to the suzerainty of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over people. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the True Faith; unbelievers who do not follow this True Faith should live in a state of subordination.” So much for liberty and justice for all.

The current state of Britain came most clearly into focus, however, not when we visited the mosques, but when we tried to have dinner. I had an illuminating dinner with a group including the notable British author and freedom fighter Douglas Murray that turned out to offer a bracing introduction to British dhimmitude: the dinner had to be moved at the last minute since the proprietors of the George Restaurant in the aptly-named Isle of Dogs district of London didn’t like us discussing jihad and Islamization on the premises. This was despite the fact that the dinner had been planned to be on-camera and had been cleared with the George in advance.

In fact, when I returned to the George the next night with the producers of the film, we were not allowed entry because the previous night we had been discussing jihad and Islamic supremacism.

Were the proprietors of the George Restaurant hard-line Leftists who viewed jihadists as their allies in the struggle against American imperialism? Or were they frightened by the prospect of the local Muslims, who live in that area in considerable numbers, exacting revenge against the place for daring to host a meeting of the Resistance?

Most likely they were afraid of their own government, which frowns upon those who question the wisdom or viability of the multicultural paradise they are intent upon creating. For when we finally tried to assemble in another place a roundtable of concerned British citizens to discuss the problem of the Islamization of Britain, one by one the British participants dropped out. If they appeared on camera, we were told, the government could and probably would threaten their livelihood.

If the British government makes the stakes too high for its own people to speak publicly against the policies that have brought into Britain thousands of people intent upon destroying the British state and imposing Islamic law, then all is nearly lost.

It’s no wonder that British citizens are turning to noxious racist parties like the BNP: the elites have abandoned them. This is a time for the British people to summon untapped resources of courage, and for the British government to recover its vision. Otherwise all will be lost, and soon.

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 08:03 AM   
Filed Under: • InternationalRoPMAUK •  
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A THREAT TO THE USA?  Read and decide for yourself.

Once again H/T to Alan at Warning Signs.
I did not post here the entire editorial as it is long. I have edited for space but otherwise made NO changes.

I suggest you follow the link provided and perhaps bookmark Warning Signs.

A Russian Warns Americans Against a Communist Takeover

By Alan Caruba

There is considerable irony involved when a Russian warns Americans against what is taking place before their eyes as President Obama seeks to transform and ultimately acquire dictatorial powers by a series of steps that are both bold and obvious.

In April, Stanislav Mishin’s post on his blog, Mat Rodina, was published in Pravda. The title was “American capitalism gone with a whimper.”

You can read the commentary at
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0.

Having lived under Communist rule in the former Soviet Russia, Mishin and his fellow Russians were literally freed by the fall of that regime that began with the overthrow of the Czar in 1917 by the Bolsheviks. What followed was an experiment in Communism that killed millions of Russians as a succession of dictators, starting with Lenin, sought to impose an economic and political system that simply does not work.

Mishin enumerated the ways the path to the present effort to destroy capitalism and our political system has been laid in America.

“First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics.” There are few that would argue that the American education system is not controlled by the National Education Association, a union, and the American Federation of Teachers, a union. Both have long supported the Democrat Party. Virtually every way one can measure the system reveals its failure to educate the millions passing through government schools.

“The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama,” says Mishin. I would argue that the threat Obama poses to the U.S. Constitution and to our economy is indisputable. “His spending and money printing has been (a) record setting,” all pointing to an America that “will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.” The former preceded the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s and the latter’s money is worthless.

What better way to destroy America than to destroy the value of the U.S. dollar, the standard against which all other currencies are set? If you want to know why Obama has instituted the spending of billions in just over a half year’s time and imposed a $9 trillion deficit on the nation, you need look no further for an explanation.

Nor did it escape Mishin’s notice, having lived in a nation in which all industry was under the control of a central government, that under Obama the government now owns General Motors and that the President demanded and got the resignation of the company’s former president. Every other CEO in America got the message. No where in the Constitution will you find permission for public money to be spent in this fashion.

The ironies and the threat to our nation continue. “Prime Minister Putin…warned Obama…not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster.”

In brief, here’s the case for free market capitalism as opposed to government-run enterprises and interference.

The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. It took 234 years to get it right. It is broke.

Social Security was established in 1935. It has had 74 years to get it right. It is broke. Cost of living increases to recipients will not be enacted for the next two years. It is broke.

Fannie Mae, an intrusion into the housing and mortgage market place was established in 1938. There have been 71 years to get it right. It is broke and it was a major contributing factor in the failure of the mortgage lending system and the present failures of banks across the nation. Likewise, Freddie Mac was established in 1970. After 39 years to get it right, it is broke.

The “war on poverty” set in motion in 1964 was a classic “redistribution of money” as a transfer to “the poor.” Now the nation is, for all intents and purposes, broke.

Medicare and Medicaid were established 1965. After 44 years, both are broke.

The Obama administration is allegedly seeking to “reform” both by rationing medical services to the elderly while expanding the systems to require all Americans to involuntarily purchase insurance. Universal healthcare requires more doctors. Until tort reform is enacted and until doctors can be free to practice in a free market, there will be fewer and fewer doctors.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/31/2009 at 07:45 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffEditorials •  
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calendar   Sunday - August 30, 2009

If we hadn’t fought World War 2, would we still have a British Empire?

Can’t wait for Turtler to dig into this.

I’m not certain Peter Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens brother) is serious. But then again.  On a second reading I began to wonder. Maybe he is.

Just so you folks in the states understand.  Papers here have been running stuff on the war as we approach the 70th anniversary of WW2.
Be interesting to see if on Sept. 1st or at least on the third, if any of em reproduce the original front pages from that time.

Read all of it.  Then get back to us.

Last post for the evening. Late, tired, gone.
Cheers.


If we hadn’t fought World War 2, would we still have a British Empire?

By PETER HITCHENS
Last updated at 6:59 PM on 30th August 2009

Stop the film. We’ve seen it so many times before: the toothy, simpering features of Neville Chamberlain and his bit of paper, an unbalanced Hitler waving his arms about and shouting, the German troops pouring across the Polish border, columns of smoke over Warsaw, more columns of smoke over Dunkirk, German troops marching through Paris, the Battle of Britain, flames across London, a dogged Churchill poking through the ruins, El Alamein, the turning point, our ‘Finest Hour’, Spitfires soaring over Kent. And so on, until triumphant victory six years and tens of thousands of lives later.

The story is all wrong. If it were as good and as right as that, and if we won it, how come we look back on the Second World War from conditions we might normally associate with defeat and occupation?

We are a second-rate power, rapidly slipping into third-rate status. We have a weak currency and shrunken armed forces, deployed as auxiliaries in wars that are not in our interest, and we are largely governed from abroad.

Our Parliament is a bought and paid-for puppet chamber. Our culture and customs have been debauched and our younger generations corrupted, as subject populations are, with drink, drugs and promiscuity.

We are compelled, like an occupied people, to use foreign measures to buy butter or meat, and our history is largely forgotten or deliberately distorted in the schools to suit anti-British dogma. Those schools are unable to educate most of our children up to the levels of our main rivals, so ensuring that we provide no challenge to them. Our country has been Balkanised into provinces and regions.

Our language is invaded by foreign words and expressions. Our food and most of our consumer goods are imported, along with our TV programmes and films.

The remaining veterans of the supposedly glorious struggle, far from being gratefully honoured, often live in pinched poverty, scared of feral youths, or die neglected in squalid hospitals in a country many of them no longer recognise as their own.

Yet 70 years ago, as the Germans moved to their start-lines on the Polish border, we were the world’s greatest empire. Half the globe used our currency, we controlled vast resources and owned enormous foreign investments. We fed ourselves, dug our own coal, made our own steel, controlled our own fisheries and built our own ships, trains, cars and aircraft.

We possessed an enormous Navy, a modern Air Force and, at the same time, the most advanced welfare state in the world. We were competently administered by a small but efficient civil service. Parliament was a genuine national chamber and the Monarch a truly revered head of state. We were modestly but fiercely proud of our traditions, history and literature.

Our only rival for global power was a jealous America, to whose lofty attacks on our Empire we justly responded by pointing at their cruel segregation across the South.

We had then, as we have now, no substantial interests in Poland, the Czech lands, the Balkans or - come to that - France, Belgium or the Netherlands. Much of the Continent, not just Germany and Italy, lay under the rule of various kinds of despot or dictator, none worse than the unhinged and heavily armed regime of Josef Stalin in Moscow, with his empire of torture chambers and concentration camps. In Spain, a savage military had just defeated an equally intolerant and merciless Communist-backed coalition.

Many of us might have regretted these sad conditions, but we did not really think it was any of our concern how they ran their affairs.

What is more, we had been badly burned the last time we had involved ourselves in a Continental quarrel.

We had gained little and lost much to defend France, our historic enemy, against Germany. In a strange paradox, we had gone to war mainly to save our naval supremacy from a German threat - and ended it by conceding that supremacy to the United States, our ally.

Most of us were far from enthusiastic about the Versailles Treaty, which was the main reason for the new threat of war, and felt Germany had been treated with needless and counterproductive harshness.

We had stayed out of the two great and decisive conflicts of the late 19th Century: the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, and come to no harm as a result.

Rewind the film a little. Imagine we had been hard realists instead of sentimental romantics. If we had found a way, as we so very nearly did, to divide Hitler and Mussolini, so avoiding a threat to our Mediterranean sea-routes and bases. Imagine that we had chosen splendid isolation instead of active intervention over the quarrels of Eastern and Central Europe. It is not as if we saved the Czechs or the Poles from their various enemies by getting involved. And if we were really trying to save the borders of the Versailles Treaty, we made a pretty poor job of it.

Now the great floods of war and cold war have receded, what do we see?

Under the 1985 Schengen Treaty, the borders of continental Europe have ceased to exist, from Calais all the way to Bucharest. Schengen has cancelled Versailles after all, and a giant reunited Germany dominates Europe all the way from Londonderry to the Balkans. Beyond the German sphere of influence, an authoritarian Russia takes over. What was it we went to war for again, exactly?

If we had stayed out, think what might - and might not - have happened. Would France have risked war with Hitler if we had sat on our hands? In that case would there ever have been a war in Western Europe at all?

Might Poland have handed over Danzig and its corridor? Would Germany then have been interested in a pact with Stalin? Or would Stalin - whose aggression against Finland is now forgotten - have started a war with Germany years earlier, perhaps beginning by invading Finland and then by seizing the Baltic republics?

However such a war ended, we would have been untainted by support for either side, and strong enough to maintain our independence in whatever sort of Europe resulted.

What about the Holocaust? There seems to be a common belief that we went to war to save the Jews of Europe. This is not true. We went to war to save Poland, and then didn’t do so. After Dunkirk, we lost control of the war, ceding it first to the USSR and then to America, and had little say in its eventual aims.

When, in 1942, the Germans began their ‘Final Solution’, reliable reports of the outrage were disbelieved or sat on. Later, when the information was beyond doubt, we turned down the opportunity to bomb the railway lines that led to Auschwitz. It is certainly hard to argue that the fate of Europe’s Jews would or could have been any worse than it was if we had stayed out of the war.

So the ripples spread. No Blitzkrieg, no occupation of France or the Low Countries, no war in North Africa. But quite possibly a long war between the two worst tyrants in the world, far away from us, and giving us the chance to strengthen and modernise our armed forces in case it spread.

No desperate expenditure of our last remaining resources to pay for war, no handover of British gold reserves to the United States, no Lend Lease, and no irresistible US pressure to pay for it by handing over bases to the US Navy, or abandoning our empire.

And then no war with Japan either, since the three European powers in Asia - Britain, France and the Netherlands - would all have been in a position to defend themselves - as they were not in 1941, being either conquered or busy elsewhere. Japan might have concentrated on fighting Russia - taking advantage of Stalin’s war with Hitler - and maintained its forces in China, possibly preventing the rise to power of Mao and the communists.

Britain’s greatest military defeat in modern history - at Singapore in 1942 - would never have taken place.

Probably there would have been no Pearl Harbour either, and America, like us, would have remained above the battle. In which case it would never have built the huge armies and air forces it created after 1941, the foundation of the modern US economy. The atom bomb might well have not yet been invented.

In that case, too, the independence movements of India and Burma, both hugely strengthened by our defeat at Singapore, would have been far less ambitious and would have settled for much less. Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian pro-independence leader who won the support of Japan, would have been eclipsed by Gandhi and Nehru, who sought dominion status rather than full independence.

In that case, no partition of India, no Pakistan. And that would mean no scuttle from Palestine, no state of Israel, a Middle East quite different from what we see now. The Suez episode would never have happened.

South Africa might have stayed under the dominance of General Smuts and his United Party, so no Apartheid, which was the creation of the anti-British Nationalists. The rest of Africa, unswept by ‘winds of change’ would probably have remained under largely European rule. No Robert Mugabe. No Idi Amin. No Bokassa.

At home, our cities would have been unbombed and undamaged, depriving greedy developers of the excuse to destroy them completely. Our welfare state and public health services, already extensive but not centralised, would have continued to grow. Nationalisation, already applied to electricity supply and the national airline, would still almost certainly have extended to the coal industry and the railways, but not much further.

Imagine: no European Union, probably no Nato, no United Nations, no courts of Human Rights, no Starbucks, no McDonald’s, no kilograms, no mass migration, no terrorism. Who knows? Certainly no ‘Special Relationship’. One great change of direction can have so many effects, a fair number of them completely unpredictable.

The great undercurrent of conflict throughout the 20th Century was between Britain and the United States, with America determined to break into Britain’s protected markets, push Britain out of the Pacific and supplant British naval power with its own.

Perhaps by now the great Anglo-American war, so many times predicted and so many times averted since the uneasy peace signed between the two countries in Ghent on Christmas Eve 1814, might actually have broken out. More likely, the two nations, too closely related to want war, would have reached a settlement, but one far more advantageous to Britain than the current arrangements.

Perhaps it is because of Iraq and Afghanistan, but many of us are learning to separate our respect for the valour and stoicism of our armed forces from admiration for the politicians who so grievously mislead them.

The great cult of Churchill-worship, with which I and millions of others grew up, has been most gravely damaged by the tawdry attempts of George W. Bush and Anthony Blair to dress their wars in Churchillian clothing. Of course, they look ridiculous, like children who have raided a dressing-up box.

But they have also made me - and I suspect millions more - wonder if the ‘Good War’ was really as good as we have long believed.

HITCHENS


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2009 at 07:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffHistoryUK •  
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JUST SOME WEEKEND EYE CANDY

Her name is Jenny, she’s an ‘A’ student in maths and is 18.

Now then, I realize my taste isn’t yours necessarily but let me tell you why she’s my choice as the ultimate in eye candy viewing.

Her figure is not perfect by today’s somewhat warped standards.  By which I mean, she doesn’t look drugged or gaunt.  In fact, she may be a tad overweight. But to my eyes, she perfect.

Her hair.  Isn’t blow dried or whatever the heck the term is. Oh good grief. She might have a strand outta place even.

Makeup. There doesn’t look to be any. And she’s still beautiful, even fully clothed. 

Cloths.  OK, She could have done better but hey.  Overall, in my eyes the young lady is a ten. 

image


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2009 at 06:53 PM   
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CLARKSON ON HEALTH CARE … CANADA

The health care debate has really caught fire lately. First comparisons started to be made with UK’s NHS and the care in the USA.  That isn’t entirely fair btw, coz while nobody argues that NHS here is perfect, quite naturally many Brits who are quite happy with their system couldn’t understand why they were being used as the example to be avoided. So an argument of sorts got started back and forth and now Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times writes about his experience in Canada, with health care there.  Of course, he’s writing about one part of Canada where the system is probably far different then in other parts.
And what he writes here doesn’t look too good.  Of course Clarkson being Clarkson, those familiar with him know he says lots of things and manages to get lots of folks angry with him.  Which of course he much enjoys.

I would greatly appreciate anyone from Canada seeing this would comment on what he has to say.

You may recall only a month ago there was a video posted here at BMEWS on the topic, and it did not paint a pretty picture of Canadian care.
So I sent a copy to the wife’s cousin who lives there, and also a close friend from Canada who has moved back there.
Both told me that there can be waits but said they didn’t recognize the problem as being quite so stark, at least in their area, as the video portrayed.
Which reminds me.

For many days now there have been horror stories about failed health care here in the UK. And I do not doubt what’s been written.  Even I have had an issue or two but NOTHING at all like the descriptions the papers are reporting on. At least not in the Winchester area. Now that’s just me personally.  There might be many out there who have had serious problem.  But I fear that Americans might be getting only one snapshot on which to base an opinion, if you read Brit newspaper reports. But then, you know, if it bleeds it leads.

What’s the Canadian word for ‘lousy care’?

Jeremy Clarkson
The Sunday Times
August 30, 2009

While I was away, there was a big debate about how Barack Obama might sort out America’s healthcare system, which, say the critics, is chronically awful and fantastically unfair.

image

It’s also bonkers. I was once denied treatment at a Detroit hospital because the receptionist’s computer refused to acknowledge that the United Kingdom existed. Even though I had a wad of cash, and a wallet full of credit cards, she was prepared to let me explode all over her desk because her stupid software only recognised addresses in the United States.

Some say America should follow Canada’s lead, where private care is effectively banned. But having experienced their procedures while on holiday in Quebec, I really don’t think that’s a good idea at all.

A friend’s 13-year-old son tripped while climbing off a speedboat and ripped his leg open. Things started well. The ambulance arrived promptly, the wound was bandaged and off he went in a big, exciting van.

Now, we are all used to a bit of a wait at the hospital. God knows, I’ve spent enough time in accident and emergency at Oxford’s John Radcliffe over the years, sitting with my sobbing children in a room full of people with swords in their eyes and their feet on back to front. But nothing can prepare you for the yawning chasm of time that passes in Canada before the healthcare system actually does any healthcare.

It didn’t seem desperately busy. One woman had lost her face somehow — probably a bear attack — and one kid appeared to have taken rather too much ecstasy, but there were no more than a dozen people in the waiting room. And no one was gouting arterial blood all over the walls.

After a couple of hours, I asked the receptionist how long it might be before a doctor came. In a Wal-Mart, it’s quite quaint to be served by a fat, gum-chewing teenager who claims not to understand what you’re saying, but in a hospital it’s annoying. Resisting the temptation to explain that the Marquis de Montcalm lost and that it’s time to get over it, I went back to the boy’s cubicle, which he was sharing with a young Muslim couple.

A doctor came in and said to them: “You’ve had a miscarriage,” and then turned to go. Understandably, the poor girl was very upset and asked if the doctor was sure.

“Look, we’ve done a scan and there’s nothing in there,” she said, in perhaps the worst example of a bedside manner I’ve ever seen.

“Is anyone coming to look at my son?” asked my friend politely. “Quoi?” said the haughty doctor, who had suddenly forgotten how to speak English. “Je ne comprends pas.” And with that, she was gone.

At midnight, a young man who had been brought up on a diet of American music, American movies and very obviously American food, arrived to say, in French, that the doctors were changing shift and a new one would be along as soon as possible.

By then, it was one in the morning and my legs were becoming weary. This is because the hospital had no chairs for relatives and friends. It’s not a lack of funds, plainly. Because they had enough money to paint a yellow line on the road nine yards from the front door, beyond which you were able to smoke.

And they also had the cash to employ an army of people to slam the door in your face if you poked your head into the inner sanctum to ask how much longer the wait might be. Sixteen hours is apparently the norm. Unless you want a scan. Then it’s 22 months.

At about 1.30am a doctor arrived. Boy, he was a piece of work. He couldn’t have been more rude if I’d been General Wolfe. He removed the bandages like they were the packaging on a disposable razor, looked at the wound, which was horrific, and said to my friend: “Is it cash or credit card?”

This seemed odd in a country with no private care, but it turns out they charge non-Canadians precisely what they would charge the government if the patient were Céline Dion. The bill was C$300 (about £170).

The doctor vanished, but he hadn’t bothered to reapply the boy’s bandages, which meant the little lad was left with nothing to look at except his own thigh bone. An hour later, the painkillers arrived.

What the doctor was doing in between was going to a desk and sitting down. I watched him do it. He would go into a cubicle, be rude, cause the patient a bit of pain and then sit down again on the hospital’s only chair.

Seven hours after the accident, in a country widely touted to be the safest and best in the world, he applied 16 stitches that couldn’t have been less neat if he’d done them on a battlefield, with twigs. And then the anaesthetist arrived to wake the boy up. In French. This didn’t work, so she went away to sit on the doctor’s chair because he was in another cubicle bring rude and causing pain to someone else.

Now, I appreciate that any doctor who ends up working the night shift at a provincial hospital in Nowheresville is unlikely to be at the top of his game, and you can’t judge a country’s healthcare on his piss-poor performance. And nor should all of Canada be judged on Quebec, which is full of idealistic, language-Nazi lunatics.

But I can say this. If private treatment had been allowed, my friend would have paid for it. He would have received better service and in doing so, allowed Dr Useless to get to the woman with no face or ecstasy boy more quickly. Though I suspect he would have used our absence to spend more time sitting down.

The other thing I can say is that Britain’s National Health Service is a monster that we can barely afford. But in all the times I’ve ever used the big, flawed giant, no one has ever pretended to be French, no one has spent more time swiping my credit card than ordering painkillers and there are many chairs.

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2009 at 05:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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HEALTH CARE.  UK vs USA.  UK free, even for those who CAN PAY. How nice.

I hadn’t intended to get into the health care thing at this point in the evening but I noticed some comments on the subject here and then there was this from the Mail this morning.

I think you will find it interesting because the reporter had been living in the states and works for the BBC.  I’m pretty sure you’ll see a flaw or two but what’s amazing really is, he doesn’t.

I do think there’s a real problem back home, nobody will say with certainty that our health care is perfect.  And much of his criticism with regard to ins. companies is I believe valid, as I know from personal experience. 
He seems to have a problem with the profit motive as if it’s somehow immoral.  He had the money, as one commenter points out in the comments section of The Mail, to have a nice vacation and then comes home to the UK and immediately wants his medical freebees for his son. I guess he’s entitled and if that’s so, and it appears to be the case, well.  Can’t argue with the guy.
But here ... you read it and give us your take.


NHS vs USA: The great healthcare face-off as seen by the BBC’s former man in Washington

By JUSTIN WEBB

We can prick Sam’s fingers for free. This, for me, is the true glory of the NHS. For the parents of a child with a life-threatening auto-immune disease - type 1 diabetes - the relentlessness of the task of keeping his blood sugar under control can be overwhelming. Doubly so when - on top of everything else - stony-faced pharmacists are telling you that you have used your allocation of test strips.
But that, until we left America to return to the UK this summer, was normal life.
‘I am not doing this for fun,’ I felt like yelling. ‘We got through a box of strips last night because we couldn’t get him under control. He is not bleeding on your precious strips for the hell of it.’

Sam himself, as a nine-year-old student of drama, used to be amused by our adult tantrums at American pharmacy counters.
But for us it was no joke. We had good insurance, which in theory guaranteed us any healthcare we needed with no questions asked. So the initial hospital bills when Sam was diagnosed - thousands of dollars’ worth - were eventually paid.

But there’s small print. And in the small print there are annual limits on expenditure and constant payments that the ill person needs to make before any service is provided. If you need a weekly supply of drugs and kit, as Sam does, you have what amounts to a constant battle to get it.
So we were in combat with the organisation that, in theory, was looking after our son’s health. The view of the insurance company was that Sam was a nuisance. A perfectly healthy little fellow, who cost them no more than the odd flu shot, suddenly became a major expense. And, as in any other business, expenses are to be minimised.

So when our eight years in America came to an end this summer, our final holiday in California had to begin with a call to the insurance company. May we please - pretty please - have extra supplies of the insulin that keeps Sam alive and the testing paraphernalia that goes with it?
We were going to be on the road for a few weeks and then return to the UK. All right, came the answer, after a morning on the phone. But we were made to feel really rather lucky. ‘Just this once’, was the unspoken warning.

California was stunning. Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles: there is no finer place on Earth. So when we flew from San Francisco to start our new life in South London, we were not exactly throwing our hats in the air.
Until the news about the test strips. For despite reports this week that the NHS is so underfunded that women are giving birth in hospital corridors, the situation is not all grim.
Presenting ourselves at the local NHS GP clinic we signed on and explained Sam’s condition. Not an eyebrow was raised. Prescriptions were written there and then.
‘Have what you need.’ Those were the words the doctor used. I will remember them for ever. We can prick Sam’s fingers as often as we deem it to be necessary. We are free of the tyranny of the insurance company.

And this is not profligacy, either - better control of diabetes (any type of diabetes) reduces the complications that maim and cost huge sums to treat - so the NHS, by encouraging Sam to test his blood often, is doing him and future taxpayers a favour.
Rule Britannia. And yet ... There is another side to the American healthcare system that any fair-minded assessment must include. Mine certainly should because Sam benefits from it every day.

AN AMERICAN HEALTH BENEFIT

Boon: Sam Webb kayaking this summer while wearing his insulin pump, only available in the U.S.
There is a company based in New England that makes his life a million times more enjoyable than it would otherwise be. The company makes a special kind of insulin pump that has no tubes. Sam forgets it is there. In California he went kayaking with it on.
Guys, as the Americans would say, this company is not a charity. It is run for profit. In fact, I saw it tipped recently as a smart move for investors playing the markets.
In other words, the same profit motive that is such an upsetting part of the insurance industry (those bloody test strips) leads to innovation that, in the UK, just does not exist.
I rang the boss of the company and asked him about the chance of a UK launch. Zero. No money to be made here.
The NHS spends its money on test strips and basic care. Fancy American pumps are out. In fact, pumps of any kind are out for many British children. Injections are cheaper.
So to spell it out: the British system provides the basic care and does it with no fuss and no cost to the hard-pressed family. Having a child with type 1 diabetes will make you sadder, perhaps wiser, but it will not make you poorer. And, medically, Sam is as well looked after here as he would be in any fancy American hospital.

But American technology and zest for lifestyle improvements in the area of diabetes, as in every other area of human endeavour (a zest born out of zest for profit), add something to Sam’s life. That something is denied to those who depend wholly on the NHS.
So the argument goes on and as a family who have lived with both systems we can only say that we are grateful to the doctors and nurses on both sides of the Atlantic who devote their efforts to making Sam - and hundreds of thousands of other children with type 1 diabetes - healthier and happier than they could otherwise be.

When I went to the White House earlier this year for Barack Obama’s first interview with a British broadcaster, we talked while the cameras were being set up. Not about the Middle East, which was the big topic of the moment, or the world economy, or even the whereabouts of the bust of Winston Churchill that used to sit in the Oval Office.

We talked instead about type 1 diabetes. Mr Obama has friends whose children suffer from it. He was knowledgeable and sympathetic. He wrote a note to Sam and to his sisters, Martha and Clara. ‘Dream big dreams,’ he wrote.
His dream for America’s health service is that it resembles the NHS when it comes to fairness. Test strips for all who need them.
But he claims as well that the best of the American system - the innovation and the choices available to well-insured Americans - will not be put in jeopardy.
Is that a realistic dream? This is the question at the heart of America’s debate.

MAIL on SUNDAY

Here are just a couple of Sunday Mail replies.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2009 at 04:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Weekend from hell

I am no longer moving.

Right now I am unmoving.

We were conned I think.

There will be a very detailed post in a day or so.

right now I am so angry I could chew nails and spit rivets.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2009 at 12:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Soldiers banned from training with live rounds.  Sorry state of modern military …

Millions for asylum seekers, welfare frauds , immigrants and the 2012 olympics, but damn little for defence by comparison.
What a sorry state.  But hey BMEWS ... this is NOT the first time in Brit military history that ammo has seen this restriction.
The Royal Navy in the days of iron men and wooden ships didn’t always use live rounds as they had a powder problem.
And so they had a restriction on practise gunnery.

Not so our American navy .... apparently we had enough for our smaller navy and PRACTISE WE DID!

Soldiers are being told they cannot train with live ammunition unless they are due to go to Afghanistan, according to reports.

Ian Johnston
Published: 12:18AM BST 30 Aug 2009

Ministry of Defence cutbacks mean that troops are being issue with blank rounds, which cost about 10p, instead of live rounds which cost about 30p. The MoD said the “ever-improving quality” of computer simulation had also reduced the need for live fire training.
Sources told The Sunday Times that the ban would affect everyone in the Territorial Army and also some regular Army units.

An officer told the newspaper: “We’ve been told we cannot fire live rounds unless we are going to Afghanistan. How on earth is a professional soldier supposed to be able to keep up with his skills like that?  “It is absolutely wretched. It is a total farce.”

Troops must pass a yearly test showing they can properly maintain their weapons and shoot with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, who was an officer in the infantry, said cutting back on live firing could have serious consequences.
“The idea that our front line reserves should not be able to use live rounds is quite extraordinary,” he said.

“We can’t have a popgun army. The next thing you know we’ll be reduced to Dad’s Army-style training, shouting ‘bang bang.’”
The Ministry of Defence said: “The top priority is to train those about to deploy to Afghanistan, but the training of others continues.
“The ever-improving quality of simulation technologies has reduced the need to rely on live-fire exercises, although they still play an important role.”

TELEGRAPH

ok, I am NO kind of expert on weapons and such but still do not understand how puter simulation can be a good enough sub. for real thing.
Anyone ,,, explain it to me.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/30/2009 at 07:11 AM   
Filed Under: • UK •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - August 29, 2009

WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL and good night.

image

My last for this evening. As long as I’m stuck in antiquity.  Been a very long day.
I took this about 3 yrs ago in winter.

Here’s a link for those interested.

WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL TOUR


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/29/2009 at 06:53 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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