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calendar   Wednesday - August 26, 2009

Nightmare for Obama and the Democratic Party.  I’ll drink to that.

From The Times
August 25, 2009
Nightmare for Obama and the Democratic Party

Tim Reid: Analysis

There is a perverse twist every time evidence emerges of abuses inflicted on terrorist suspects under the Bush Administration. It turns into a political nightmare for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

The last thing that Mr Obama wants is politically charged investigations into alleged torture and not only because they will pose a significant distraction from getting his health reform through Congress. Every time that torture becomes part of the national debate, the Democrats lose.

In April Mr Obama decided to release Bush-era “torture memos” that appeared to justify the use of harsh interrogation techniques by the CIA after the attacks of September 11, 2001. That move came after Mr Obama’s declaration that such techniques would be banned.

Suddenly Dick Cheney was everywhere, making almost daily appearances castigating Mr Obama for releasing the memos and for banning techniques that the former Vice-President claimed had saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Senior CIA officials — including Leon Panetta, Mr Obama’s new head of the agency — decried the President’s decison. Republicans claimed that he was going soft on terrorists. Mr Cheney implied that by banning harsh interrogation techniques Mr Obama was inviting another terrorist attack on US soil.

Mr Cheney knows that on the subject of torture a significant number of Americans are with him, not Mr Obama. According to a recent poll most Americans believe it is justified to gain security information.

Prosecuting former officials for abuse might appear the morally correct thing to do — but politically, for Mr Obama, it will cause only trouble.

AND THEN THERE IS THIS FROM MR. REID.

Now personally, I don’t give a darn if our CIA threatened terrorists children. Good. 
And every time I read or hear pee-ons critical of our position on this subject, I think good. Screw em. Let em be upset. I don’t care about their ‘good’ opinion of us, as I know it is won ONLY by pandering to euro left.  Oh and btw .... when the hell is someone gonna arm themselves and take out the aclu?  Isn’t it way past due?
If our side ever takes up suicide bombing as a pastime, that is one group that should figure high on the hit parade list.


CIA ‘threatened September 11 suspect’s children’

Tim Reid in Washington

The Obama Administration will launch criminal investigations into brutal Bush-era terror interrogations, after a report last night revealed that operatives threatened to kill the children of a key September 11 suspect and told another that his mother would be sexually assaulted in front of him.

The report, which also said that detainees suffered mock executions and death threats, convinced Eric Holder, President Obama’s Attorney-General, to appoint the veteran federal prosecutor John Durham to investigate CIA abuse of terror suspects.

The 2004 report, which has been suppressed for five years but was released after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lays out in detail the abuse of suspects between 2002 and 2004 at secret CIA “black site” prisons.

Its contents, and the decision by Mr Holder to explore prosecutions, will reignite the partisan debate on Capitol Hill over the issue of torture. Mr Obama has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward rather than get bogged down in investigations of Bush-era abuses.

According to the report, written by the CIA’s former inspector general, John Helgerson, one CIA interrogator told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks that “We’re going to kill your children” if there was another terror strike on US soil. Another interrogator allegedly tried to convince Abd al-Nashiri, who allegedly devised the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, that his mother would be sexually assaulted in front of him, a claim that the operative has denied.

THE REST IS HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/26/2009 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Terrorists •  
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AMERICA, YOU DAMN WELL BETTER GET YOUR BUTT IN GEAR AND READY FOR THESE ASSWIPES.

RCOB. Again.

Some of you just have to recall me banging on as much as a year ago, saying things that happen here will spread to the USA, and that what saved us (it’s only temporary ) is our size.
It’s the idea that theses foreign mother!*%!+=s will come to the states and do EXACTLY what this group is trying on.

If Americans want to argue amongst ourselves that’s our business. What we don’t need is a foreign based group (and god alone knows we already have enuff of those) coming to America to preach their fucked up green agenda to us.

Just be warned folks these bastards are on the way to add to the argument.
I really hate these bastards.  It’s like a fire that never goes out.

Just so ya know. I’ve censored myself. But you can guess more then likely, what I’d like to do if I have my way with regard to these intrusive ppl.


Today nagging the British, tomorrow the world: Green quango launches campaign to preach abroad

By James Chapman
Last updated at 2:10 AM on 26th August 2009

A green quango funded by the British taxpayer has caused outrage by launching an international campaign to preach about the need to curb emissions.

Despite growing pressure for public spending cuts in the UK, the Carbon Trust is expanding its empire to establish a presence in the U.S. and China.

The Daily Mail has learned that the organisation, which received almost £100million in taxpayer funding last year, is trying to recruit a Head of Carbon Trust U.S.A.

Critics expressed astonishment that the trust was attempting to influence the democratic debate in the U.S.

Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group, branded it an ‘extremely questionable’ use of British taxpayers’ money.

The trust was created as an independent, but taxpayer-funded, company by the British Government to encourage firms to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

But this summer, it created a new arm - Carbon Trust International Ltd - to ‘further its international objectives’.

The organisation has signed agreements with a Chinese national investment corporation and the state of Florida.

Its American boss will be expected to work at establishing organisations across the U.S. to engage in green lobbying.

But Mr Sinclair said: ‘It is shocking that an organisation funded by British taxpayers is trying to expand into new territories as if it is a multinational company.’

Iain Murray, an energy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a U.S. think-tank, said: ‘ Americans are extremely sceptical about the cost to America of emissions reduction. I suspect they will be even more annoyed if their representatives listen to the British Government rather than to them.’

But Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: ‘They are barking up the wrong tree.

‘We do not lobby governments wherever they are in the world, we help business reduce carbon emissions now and in the future.

‘Our work overseas is funded by overseas companies and governments and our support for this represents 1 per cent of our UK budget.’

SOURCE

Meanwhile, this is what the Daily Mail has to say on the subject in an editorial this morning.


The £100million-a-year empire of the green quango

By Daily Mail Comment


Spending cuts are the last thing on the mind of Tom Delay, £223,000-a-year chief executive of a green quango funded by British taxpayers.

While the rest of us tighten our belts, he’s expanding his £100million-a-year Carbon Trust empire to establish a presence in the U.S. and China.

‘Our work overseas has one sole purpose - to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy,’ he says.

What conceivable business is it of ours to subsidise preaching to the Americans and Chinese?

At an estimated £100billion a year, Britain’s 700,000 quangocrats cost more than enough as it is, without spreading their tentacles around the globe.

This week, Gordon Brown is under pressure to draw up a list of ‘compassionate cuts’, to fall where they will cause least pain.

He should start with the Carbon Trust.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/26/2009 at 06:53 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherEnvironmentEUro-peonsUK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 25, 2009

LOCKERBIE BOMBER … Most Brits aren’t happy about it either

I really don’t think this was meant to be pro American. Just not too sure of this toonist based on some other things I’ve seen by him.
Generally though, he is pretty good at what he does. But no matter. This is still okay. 

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The monkey above is supposed to be Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister.

But this is even better.

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This has caused a lot of very bad press here, mostly against MacAskill.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/25/2009 at 04:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffMiscellaneous •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Neat-o Space Stuff, Part 1

NASA Test Launches Inflatable Heat Shield: PASS!





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Up it goes, in a Brandt 9 rocket



Aug. 19, 2009—After years of false starts, engineers have successfully tested an innovative technology to cushion a spacecraft’s descent back to Earth or to land it on another planetary body using an inflatable heat shield.

During a demonstration flight Monday, a silicon-coated heat shield was launched into space, released from its rocket and inflated to its full 10-foot diameter in less than 90 seconds.

The point of the flight, which took place from Wallops Islands, Va., was to test the system’s inflation mechanisms and determine if the shield would survive the fiery re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere.

“Inflatables have been proposed for decades, but the materials weren’t there back then,” NASA’s Neil Cheatwood, lead scientist for NASA’s Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment, told Discovery News.

Spacecraft returning to Earth or flying through any planet’s atmosphere need protection from the intense heat generated due to friction with particles in the atmosphere.

The space shuttle has heat-resistant tiles and carbon coatings to protect it during re-entry, where temperatures can reach 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But the shuttle’s heat shield is extremely fragile, as NASA learned from the 2003 Columbia disaster, and it requires time-consuming maintenance and repairs.

While engineers are happy to have finally tested an inflatable shield in orbit, much work remains before the technology is ready for operational missions.

In addition to making bigger shields needed to support heavier cargo, engineers are investigating lighter-weight, heat-resistant materials.

The shield tested this week was a sandwich of fabrics wrapped inside Nextel, an open-weave ceramic fiber that resembles white burlap.

Beneath the Nextel were three layers of Kapton film and a silicon-coated bladder that could hold air. The shield was inflated with nitrogen.

Ha! And here I was, thinking Nextel was a cell phone company. It’s actually fireproof cloth, made out of clay. Clay cloth? WTF??



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a prototype inflatable heat shield



Altogether, it’s a pretty cool thing. But will a full size version work just as well?

Oh, if all, or even parts, of that launch vehicle look familiar, it’s because they are. The Black Brandt rocket has been around since ... forever. 1961. We buy them from Canada. And they work. And NASA has been into rocket recycling almost as long. The booster stage is borrowed from the retired naval Terrier missile. But Brandts have also used the older Nike missile booster stage. Or the Taurus booster. Or maybe a few boxes of Estes"D" engines. Whatever is handy, NASA can screw it onto the Brandt and away it goes, with a better than 98% success rate decade after decade. Which is pretty cool.

Most model rocketeers have built a copy of the Black Brandt at one time or another, whether it was just a big fat rocket, or a serious attempt at competitive scale modeling. Because the Black Brandt even looks like a model rocket, no matter what booster engine you hook up to it. They should paint happy smiley faces on the thing. It’s the Labrador Retriever of missiles. Lovable, reliable, easy going. It doesn’t have that military look, even though it has a military version. It just isn’t fearsome looking. You want fearsome looking, here ya go. If looks could kill. Though retired now (except in South Korea) the Nike Hercules was the “evil black rifle” of it’s day, a giant stiletto of death riding on a pillar of fire, rabidly straining against the leash of gravity, eager to take it’s nuclear payload up into the stratosphere at amazing velocities to take out entire air wings of Soviet bombers. And that’s exactly what it looked like. High speed instant large scale death. Darn shame we got rid of most of them. Sure, the Sprint that replaced them was faster although shorter ranged. But it looked like an ice cream cone, m’kay? Not scary. That’s a missile spec the Defense Industry gave up on ages ago.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/25/2009 at 03:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Neat-o Space Stuff, Part 2

South Korea launches first space rocket, FINALLY


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South Korea launched its first rocket Tuesday, just months after rival North Korea’s launch drew international anger, but space officials said the satellite it carried failed to enter its intended orbit.

A Science Ministry statement called the launch a “partial success,” as the satellite separated from the rocket normally before entering a different orbit.

The launch could boost South Korea’s space ambitions, but the North warned it would keep a close eye on the international response. There was no immediate comment from North Korea.

The two-stage Naro rocket — delayed several times since July due to technical glitches — lifted off Tuesday from South Korea’s space center on Oenaro Island, about 290 miles (465 kilometers) south of Seoul, about 5 p.m. (0800 GMT, 4 a.m. EDT).

It was South Korea’s first launch of a rocket from its own territory. Since 1992, it has launched 11 satellites, all on foreign-made rockets sent from overseas sites.

The rocket, built with Russian help, was carrying a domestically built satellite aimed at observing the atmosphere and oceans.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said though the satellite failed to enter its planned orbit, it was a “half success.”

Naturally the NorKs were all pissy and cagey, since their rocket was a sham attempt to test a ballistic missile. And they sucked at it too. Whereas our allies in South Korea put their satellite right up into orbit, although not quite the orbit they wanted. And I bet the satellite is working just fine. Heck, it’s probably made by LG. Everything else there seems to be, other than the cars and trucks!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/25/2009 at 03:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Space •  
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IF OBAMA WERE TO RESIGN, CAN YOU SEE THE VP AS PRES. BUT EVEN WORSE .. PELOSI?

H/T Warning Signs

Another good editorial from Alan Caruba at Warning Signs.

If you had purchased a stock in January of this year that had lost as much of its value as Barack Obama, you would be desperate to sell it by now. The problem is, the only buyers would be the mainstream media and their stock has been falling too.

I cannot think of a single President in our 233 year history that was so disliked by so many Americans in so short a time. His polling numbers drop daily and he is poised to make history by losing the confidence and support vital to the ability to lead, let alone to administer the federal government.

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It is his judgment that is the issue and, concurrent with that, his actions. If anyone would have predicted that he would impose so much debt on the nation in so short a time they would have been called mad. Barely seven months into his administration the estimated national deficit will be reset at nine trillion dollars between now and 2019.

The federal government now owns General Motors after advancing $60 billion to avoid bankruptcy and then standing by as it went into bankruptcy. We own a huge insurance company, AIG. The recent “Cash for Clunkers” program swiftly ran out of cash and may end up bankrupting participating auto dealers. It has already severely impacted the sale of used cars, a major part of the auto market.

Under Obama, an ever-increasing shadow government of “czars” has been established; people who are presumably not encumbered by the laws that govern appointed Cabinet secretaries. Most have not been vetted, nor approved by Congress and too many have unsavory backgrounds and beliefs.

The current attempt to take over one-sixth of the nation’s economy by socializing the healthcare system is being resisted by millions of Americans, some of whom are showing up at town hall meetings and creating “tea parties” to air their grievances. As many as a million will likely fill the streets of Washington to protest on September 12.

With the exception of liberalism’s “true believers”, some 28 percent of whom will always think Obama is doing a great job, people are wondering if there is some way to remove him from holding the office for the remainder of his term, doing even more damage.

Can a President resign? Yes, Richard Nixon did; the first in the history of the nation, undone by his own paranoia and over-zealous White House henchmen. That scenario is beginning to loom large in the minds of Americans when they give thought to those “czars” and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the man who never wants to “waste” a crisis.

Americans want to clean house. Congressmen returning from a stormy recess are going to assess the value of supporting the President, the Senate Majority Leader, or the Speaker of the House. The Democrats have near total political power in Congress, but there is a limit to party loyalty and it’s called getting re-elected.

Congress has tried the “bread and circuses” approach to calming the masses. It hasn’t worked. It has tried demonizing protesters as “un-American”. It hasn’t worked. It is running out of options and those that remain include internment camps.

America has demonstrated the ability to right itself after making bad decisions such as Prohibition and previous poor leadership. It is being put to the test again by Barack Obama.

It’s time to resign, Mr. President.

WARNING SIGNS


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/25/2009 at 02:34 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffObama, The One •  
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A Moving Experince, part something or other

I Am The Boxman



I am busy putting my life into cardboard boxes and schlepping it across town.

Horry Clap, where did all this stuff come from? It’s taken me 6 cardboard boxes just to pack up my books. And I’m not done yet. Yesterday I started pulling some stuff out of the back of the garage. There’s a full size futon sofa in there that I forgot I even owned. And tube driven stereo gear. And skis!! Skis? I haven’t gone skiing since 1990. I own a bicycle - I’d forgotten. And so on. All these dusty miracles coming to light.

No worries. Just box it all up and move it. It’s more important to just go now and get it done. We can spend the fall sitting around going through boxes and throwing stuff away. When real people actually do something rash and plan a move, they have “lots” of “extra” time to sort through everything, throw away the extra junk, give it all a good cleaning, and carefully pack it for the movers to move.

Movers? What are those? Sort? I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Carefully? Huh, what? Everything I own is just going in the car, 4 miles across town, and out again. I don’t really need careful, as long as lack of it doesn’t mean “brutal”. Gentle is good enough.

With luck I get the power turned on today. So right now I have to zip over there with a couple boxes and a flashlight, so I can find the breaker box and make sure the mains are off. That’s what the power company wants me to do.

So off I go again.

I hope I can find my bowling balls tonight, as it’s the finals for summer league. And I’ve got to find time to get a haircut too.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/25/2009 at 11:25 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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TAXED FOR HAVING NO DOUBLE GLAZING? TAXED IF YOU DO!  That’s so more MPs can take longer vacations.

The first part of this will read quite familiar to BMEWS regulars.  However, it’s an excerpted update and a close look at the whole thing will make you appreciate more, what you folks at home in the USA have. Not purr-fect to be sure but nowhere near as fracked up and tax mad as this place.  I find it hard to describe (without four letter words but will try) just how frustrating this place is. 

While the govt. tells the ppl how dire things are financially, they somehow ALWAYS manage to find money to waste in many ways.  Not least of which are the junkets made by pols on, “fact finding tours.” Then there’s the kazillions spent on immigrants both legal and otherwise and the money for the newest racial group to these shores, gypsies/travelers and god only knows what else they spend our money on.

Take a look at this and be thankful Americans.  At least there you have referendums and often can decide on things that have a bearing on you and your family.
You’ll still grumble and bitch about things but even so, you really can often get things done that folks here can’t even imagine.
California’s prop 13 is one example that comes to mind and I know there are others.

When I came here with my wife back in 2004, one of the first things I asked ppl was, how can the Brits afford to live here?
Since 2004, it’s only gotten worse.  And to be very honest, I don’t really think it will get any better under the Tories (Conservatives) when they win power in the next election.  If they win.  The pox dear friends will be upon the taxpayer’s house.  The MPs have theirs all paid for by the people being poxed.

Secret Labour tax on having a patio: Millions of homes assessed for charge which hammers middle classes

By Simon Walters

Shocking new details of a stealth tax of up to £600 for householders with views of any kind, patios, conservatories and even a nearby bus stop are revealed.

Millions of homes have already been secretly assessed by Labour in preparation for council tax hikes expected to target the middle class after the Election.
Homes have been given ‘value significant codes’ which will make virtually every desirable feature taxable.
Although not every home has been assessed, so far nearly 100,000 householders face being penalised simply for having a scenic view from their windows.

Even those who have a mere glimpse of a river, hill or park - or any other pleasing outlook - stand to pay more under a special category for ‘partial scenic views’.

People with garages, conservatories and patios - and even parking spaces - are also in the firing line.
While the list is by no means complete, the figures indicate the chilling detail with which the inspectors are examining Britain’s homes.
The documents also reveal the sheer pettiness of the new rules. Balconies are divided into those up to three square metres, three to five square metres and so on. The ‘Conservatories’ category even covers lean-tos and differentiates between single and double-glazed.

The 115,610 with double-glazed conservatories will be hit harder than the 43,821 with single glazing.

SOURCE

“The 115,610 with double-glazed conservatories will be hit harder than the 43,821 with single glazing.”
Oh yeah?  Well, seems someone has had a change of heart. A bold headline in yesterday’s paper had this to say.

“TAXED FOR HAVING NO DOUBLE GLAZING”

Home owners failing green targets to pay more Council Tax
Home owners who fail to introduce green measures could be forced to pay more Council Tax.

By Myra Butterworth, Personal Finance Correspondent

Under the new proposals, the Government would increase Council Tax and Stamp Duty for millions of homes that are not energy efficient.

It could also mean families are unable to sell their home unless they spend tens of thousands of pounds on getting their properties insulated and double-glazed.

The measures are widely expected to come into force this autumn.

Politicians and housing experts attacked the measures saying it was yet another stealth tax, but this time dressed up as an environmentally-friendly initiative.

Grant Shapps, shadow housing minister, said: “The Government seems intent on giving green taxes a bad name. Rather than penalizing families who happen to live in homes which are harder to insulate they should introduce genuine help for people to reduce the carbon footprint of their property.

“Ministers now seem to believe that any problem can be fixed by simply extracting more tax from hard-pressed families, when what is really required is genuine innovation to green up the nation’s homes.”

Since last October, all homes put on the market for sale or rent have had to have an energy performance certificate, which rate the energy efficiency of a property, giving a rank form A to G.

The energy performance certificates include a report recommending improvements to save money and carbon.

It is understood that Government advisers The Energy Savings Trust wants it to becomes illegal from 2015 to put a home up for sale, which has a rating lower than band E.

An example of a Band F property would be a three-bedroom Victorian terrace property with solid brick walls (no insulation). It would have no double glazing, a standard gas firing boiler with room thermostat, a hot water jacket and energy saving light bulbs.

Measures needed for the property to be pushed up into band D would include installing a condensing boiler, insulating solid walls and double glazing.

A home’s energy ratings is contained in the controversial Home Information Packs, which home sellers must have in place before they begin to market a property. The packs cost £300 on average, but can go up to £500 depending on the provider.

Katie Tucker, of mortgage brokers Mortgageforce, said: “HIPS are an absolute waste of money. It was always known that the packs were of no other use except to help boost government revenues. Now they are using the EPC as a way of boost council tax.”

The Energy Savings Trust said high energy prices means it is more important than ever to have an efficient home. It suggested loft insulation could save a household £155 a year on energy bills, while cavity wall insulation could save around £120 a year.

SOURCE

Let me say a word about insulation inside these very old brick walls in our house.  Built in the days before planet saving came into vogue (1924), the windows are ALL original complete with BADLY rusted frames which we clean and paint every year. Or almost. The council some three years ago offered free between the wall insulation for older houses and so we took up the offer.  A crew came out and putting very small holes in the outside walls, blew in some sort of fiber or maybe it was foam. I don’t recall which.  But they filled in the spaces. They also went up into the attic and blew stuff in there as well.  (Now I think about it, I wonder if that’s when my cough started. ??)
Fast forward .... wasn’t too long before we found the walls inside the house very damn at the bottom and running up from the floor about 10 or 12 inches on the walls.  Not in every room but worse in one or two then say the one I am in now.  What isn’t wet is damp, and it DOES NOT DRY OUT! And there’s nothing we can do that we are aware of. 
So, we’ll be taxed I guess because we have a rather large back garden (yard) on a fairly quiet street 2 miles outside Winchester, in an area that is regarded as a wealthy community. Ppl do pay a premium to come to this village and it isn’t even the top of the list. But its close. And I guess we’ll also be taxed due to single glaze windows.
It isn’t economically feasible to spend THOUSANDS on double glazed new windows for a house that will be sold and torn down in a couple of years.

Stay Tuned


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/25/2009 at 09:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeGovernmentTaxesUK •  
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Vegan prisoners win right to ‘cruelty free’ products in jail.  More pandering to the bleeding hearts

I read this today and started with every four letter word plus derivatives I could dream up.
This is one of many reasons folks do not believe for a minute that prisons are working. Or for that matter the criminal justice system. Sure, works fine for the gremlins.  They even pander now for “Pagan” prisoners.  Imagine that.


Vegan prisoners have won the right to order ethically-sourced food, toiletries and cosmetics in jail.


By Nick Allen
The Telegraph

They will be allowed to buy in products including nuts, seeds, dried fruits, vegan chocolate bars, soap, shampoo, deodorant, sunscreen, lipstick and facial scrubs after prison chiefs agreed to allow them to place mail order requests to two “eco-outlets”.
Vegans refuse to eat any food, wear any clothes or use any product which involves the use of animals in any way. They don’t wear wool and leather, don’t consume dairy products and will not use toiletries or cosmetics that contain animal products or that have been tested on animals.
Some of the strictest vegans avoid all products with even a remote connection to animal exploitation, including sugar processed with animal bones and camera film that contains gelatin.

There are an estimated 800 in the prison population at any one time and they currently struggle to obtain products they find acceptable, with most jail canteen food and even prison-issue boots excluded.
After a 15-year-campaign by the Vegan Prisoners Support Group (VPSG) the Prison Service has now allowed them to order ethical food and toiletries by mail order if there are none in their prison shop.
Orders will be supplied by the High Street health store Holland & Barrett, which sells a wide variety of nuts and seeds, and the eco-friendly outlet Honesty Cosmetics.

It is the latest in a series of rulings to protect the rights of inmates from minority groups. In May pagan convicts were allowed to keep twigs in their cells to use as wands.
After securing access to food and toiletries for vegan prisoners the VPSG is now negotiating for them to be supplied with “vegan shoes”, which are made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials instead of animal hides.

It insisted that vegans needed to be able to order in food because they could not otherwise get enough iodine from a prison diet. A lack of iodine can slow the thyroid. Most people get iodine from fish and vegetarians get it from milk.
A spokesman for the VPSG insisted it was “critical” for the health of vegans that they have access to suitable food.

He said: “Vegan prisoners have had very limited access to vegan products through prison shops. Our recommendations were for basic vegan hygiene and bodycare products like a vegan soap bar, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant and toothpaste.

“In addition we recommended a vegan chocolate bar, sweet and savoury vegan biscuit, a protein source such as Nuttolene or braised tofu, vegan spread, cheese alternative, soya yoghurt, flavoured soya drink and fortified soya milk.”

But a source at HMP Exeter said: “These guys are crooks. They are in prison to serve time. We can’t be running around making sure they have the right sun cream or that they have the one brazil nut or selection of walnuts to make sure they get enough vitamins.
“They gave up any rights to have principals when they robbed the old lady, burgled a house, smuggled cocaine or beat someone up.”

THE TELEGRAPH


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/25/2009 at 08:31 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeUKweird stuff •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - August 24, 2009

kind of icky

Hurry, you only have 20 minutes left to bid!!

Spent Eternity on top of Marilyn Monroe




Here is you BIG CHANCE!



Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe.  This crypt in the famous Westwood Cemetary in West Los Angeles currently occupied above Marilyn Monroe is being vacated so as to make room for a new resident. “Spending Eternity next to Marilyn Monroe is too sweet to pass up”, recently quoted by Hugh Heffner, who has reserved his place in eternity next to her.  The lucky bidder will be deeded a piece of real estate that he or she will make their last address. And below you will be Marilyn Monroe.  In fact the person occupying the address right now is looking face down on her. 



So, you can stay there all eternity, until your plot gets sold out from underneath you again? And then where do you go?

The whole thing sounds kind of icky to me.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/24/2009 at 05:34 PM   
Filed Under: • weird stuff •  
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And so it begins

I’m taking a short break from hauling clothes and stuff over to the new condo apartment. At least it isn’t quite as hot and muggy as it was yesterday.

Here’s one of those signs and portents maybe. At least it shows one place the government is willing to make some cuts. A kind of “put granny on the ice floe” kind of cut, because it’s mostly the seniors who are collecting Social Security.



Social Security Payments to Shrink for First Time in a Generation



Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise.

The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won’t be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn’t happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

By law, Social Security benefits cannot go down. Nevertheless, monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to go up slightly.

“I will promise you, they count on that COLA,” said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who now heads the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “To some people, it might not be a big deal. But to seniors, especially with their health care costs, it is a big deal.”

Cost of living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year, largely because energy prices are below 2008 levels.

Advocates say older people still face higher prices because they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care, where costs rise faster than inflation. Many also have suffered from declining home values and shrinking stock portfolios just as they are relying on those assets for income.

“For many elderly, they don’t feel that inflation is low because their expenses are still going up,” said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. “Anyone who has savings and investments has seen some serious losses.”




Gosh, this administration sure is making a heck of an impression on all the older folks, aren’t they? With the Death Panel parts of the health care takeover bill, and now this. I wonder what Teh One’s popularity rating would be if a survey of actual voters over 55 who are not on government handouts was taken? Maybe he’d score a One there too? LOL



Ok, breaks over. Back to hauling stuff.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/24/2009 at 03:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The One •  
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THE ROBOT

I just happen to find this over at Vilmar’s place, So I stole it.

H/T VILMAR


A guy goes into a bar and there is a robot bartender.

The robot says, “What will you have?”

The guy says “Martini.”

The robot brings back the best martini ever and says to the man,

“What’s your IQ?”

The guy says, “168.”

The robot then proceeds to talk about physics, space exploration and medical technology.

The guy leaves, but he is curious, so he goes back into the bar.

The robot bartender says, “What will you have?”

The guy says, “Martini”.

Again, the robot makes a great martini, gives it to the man and says, “What’s your IQ?”

The guy says, “100.”

The robot then starts to talk about Nascar, Budweiser and John Deere tractors.

The guy leaves, but finds it very interesting, so he thinks he will try it one more time.

He goes back into the bar.

The robot says, “What will you have?”

The guy says, “Martini”, and the robot brings him another great martini.

The robot then says, “What’s your IQ?”

The guy says, “Uh, about 50.”

The robot leans in real close and says, “So… you people still happy you voted for Obama?”

And THAT about sums it up….


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/24/2009 at 02:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

How Churchill was bullied into D-Day - Excerpt, one of several chapters.

I haven’t been posting all the other chapters but thought it interesting to post this and let you all know that at the link, you will find all the other chapters that have been published so far.  For those interested in history, this is all quite fascinating.

I’ve long had a problem btw, with the Brit thinking that was so prevalent at the time, that the US should have entered the war sooner.
Why?  America had some problems of its own at the time.  If we were inward thinking, there was damn good reason for it.  Most Americans really just wanted to get on with their own lives and leave Europe alone to fight its own wars.  The general population I much doubt could see the threat Nazi Germany presented. We knew they were the bad guys but things were so remote in those days, you can’t blame them. Well, you can but I don’t.
There seemed to be a greater threat from Communism, if anything.  Many ppl didn’t even have electricity or a phone in their home in some parts of the country.  It may be hard for some to imagine, but I have one dear friend in TN. who is old enough to remember no indoor plumbing or telephone and only a battery operated radio and no electric.  That may not have been typical of most of America but it sure as heck was the norm for many.
We had no reason to join in a European war in ‘39 or ‘40.

If I have a problem with the attitude on that subject, I also have a serious problem with FDRs attitude with regard to the Empire.
I don’t see why it should have concerned him nor do I think it was any of his business.  Whatever the perceived evils of empire there are, not to say there were none, without the influence and civil service and education, the justice system (such as it was, not perfect but ...) bridges, water systems etc.  The Brits raised the standard of living for many millions and even if it was in their own best interest, the fact still remains that in the end, people were better off with the Brits then they were before. And many millions were surely better off under Brit rule then French, Belgium or German.

I didn’t mean to launch a defense of 19th century empire. Only saying that I understand it and that it wasn’t any of FDRs business.  Especially in light of the fact that in a sense, we (America) had one too.  And when it came to minorities, our outlook was none too kind either.

Next month sees the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in 1939. It was a conflict that Britain could not have won without one man - Winston Churchill.
To mark the occasion the Mail is publishing a major two-week series by Max Hastings.
Last week Britain’s greatest war historian daily revealed and illuminated the extraordinary man behind the myth - his strengths ... and his weaknesses.
Today, in part seven, he reveals that Churchill was left humiliated by the behind-the-scenes political manoeuvrings that led to D-Day ...

MAX HASTINGS: How Churchill was bullied into D-Day - his most triumphant achievement - by the Americans

By Max Hastings
Last updated at 2:20 PM on 24th August 2009

The spring of 1944 found Churchill, in public at least, in typically rousing mood. ‘The Germans will suffer very heavy casualties when our band of brothers gets among them,’ he wrote to United States President Franklin Roosevelt, quoting Shakespeare’s Henry V.

He was referring to their quickly advancing plans for Operation Overlord, the long-awaited Allied assault on the beaches of enemy-occupied France.

But, privately, he was deeply unhappy about the entire project and not best pleased that, as he saw it, he was being railroaded into it by the Americans.

Ever since the U.S. entered the war, he had been under pressure to invade France, to launch the much-vaunted Second Front and ease the pressure on the Soviet forces fighting Hitler on the other side of Europe.

The Americans seemed oblivious to the scale of the task, and, to the man in the street there, it looked as if the British and their ‘fat-headed PM’ - as one New Yorker put it - were plain yellow, ducking the fight.

It was galling but he was no longer vital to victory

One of Churchill’s great achievements was to resist for two years the demands for what he rightly considered would be a premature - and catastrophic - assault on the continental mainland, fiercely contested and possibly ending in a humiliating bloodbath.

His task was made harder by the clamour from the British public for him to act. Even his friends turned on him.

Despite being one of Churchill’s closest cronies and a former minister in his government, the maverick press baron Lord Beaverbrook launched a ‘Second Front now!’ campaign in his newspapers.

Churchill deflected U.S. pressure by persuading Roosevelt - over the heads of the U.S. generals - that the best way to start the fight-back against the Nazis was with U.S. landings in North Africa.

Then, after throwing the Germans out of North Africa, the joint Allied armies would make their way across the Mediterranean to Sicily and Italy, entering Europe through the back door, as Churchill had always intended.

In this, his strategic judgment proved superior to the Americans. France in 1943 would have been a much harder nut to crack. The British Prime Minister had been proved right - so far.

But the suspicious American generals, while committing their troops to the Mediterranean theatre, had never given up on their preferred strategy of a landing in northern France.

In summit meetings with Roosevelt, Churchill found himself signing up to the idea while believing that in the end he could make sure it never happened.

But the uncomfortable reality was that he was no longer in charge of events. He had been Britain’s deliverer back in 1940 and 1941 - but by the end of 1943 he was not vital to victory. Much as it galled many Britons, it was America who was now in the driving seat.

For all Churchill’s vaunting of the special relationship between Britain and America, it was a partnership beset by disagreements that were as much philosophical as military.

The key to understanding it is to strip aside the rhetoric of the two leaders and acknowledge that it rested, as relations between states always do, upon perceptions of national interest.

As for the individual personalities involved, there was some genuine sentiment on Churchill’s side, but none on Roosevelt’s.

The U.S. President had always viewed himself as the senior partner. He paid scant attention to British claims that for years before the U.S. joined the war Britain had played the nobler part, pouring forth blood and enduring bombardment in a lone struggle for freedom.

He paid only lip service to the collective gratitude owed by the democracies to Britain for single-handedly standing up to Hitler.

Churchill liked to assert that, far from owing a huge cash debt to the U.S. when the war was over, Britain should be recognised as a creditor for its lone defence of freedom in 1940-41. This was never plausible.

Polls showed that most Americans - 70 per cent - were implacable in their belief that at the end of the war the British should repay the billions they had received from the U.S. in Lend-Lease supplies. They stuck to the notion that Britain was a wealthy nation. They failed to grasp the extent of her financial exhaustion.

In fact, Roosevelt felt scant sympathy for his transatlantic ally. He had visited Britain several times as a young man, but never revealed much liking for the country.

He perceived hypocrisy in its pretensions as a bastion of democracy and freedom while it sustained a huge empire of subject peoples in Africa and Asia and denied them democratic representation.

Americans were overwhelmingly hostile to Britain for refusing to countenance self-government for India.

‘You’re the top/You’re Mahatma Gandhi!’ wrote Cole Porter euphorically, reflecting the huge enthusiasm of his countrymen for the guru of the Indian independence movement.

Such sentiment was wormwood to Churchill. At the best of times he had little patience with the Indian people, his view unchanged since he served among them as a cavalry subaltern in the 1890s.

He opposed, for instance, granting Indian officers disciplinary powers over British other ranks. He expostulated against ‘the humiliation of being ordered about by a brown man’.

He was disgusted by the holier-than-thou attitude of Americans on the matter. He
deemed it rank cant for a nation that had itself colonised a continent, dispossessing and largely exterminating its indigenous population, and which still practised racial segregation, to harangue others about the treatment of native peoples.

But Roosevelt’s belief was that the day of empire was done. He co-operated with Churchill’s nation in order to defeat Hitler. Thereafter, he proposed to reshape the world in accordance with American concepts of morality.

Despite his acquaintance with foreign parts having been confined to gilded European holidays with his millionaire father, he had a boundless appetite to alter the world. He regarded the future without fear.

Churchill, by contrast, was full of apprehension about the threats a new world posed to Britain’s greatness. It was from these two very different perspectives that the Allies continued uneasily to conduct their joint affairs.

For his part, Churchill continued to duck and weave, sustaining the fiction that an Overlord operation in the spring of 1944 was an option rather than an absolute commitment. He pressed for the thrust up through Italy to remain as the Allies’ immediate priority

They should seize the moment in the Mediterranean, he argued to Roosevelt, rather than stake everything on a highly dangerous and speculative cross-Channel attack.

But Churchill was wrong about this. Italy was a difficult battlefield, easy to defend, difficult to advance in. If efforts had been concentrated there, D-Day would have been delayed until 1945.

It was American resolution alone that ensured the operational timetable for D-Day was maintained, while the Prime Minister expended political capital in a struggle with Washington that he was not only bound to lose, but which he deserved to lose.

HERE FOR THE REST OF THIS CHAPTER

The link above will also give you all the other chapters in the book published on line so far. They will continue all week.

More from Max Hastings…

* MAX HASTINGS: Churchill’s hunger to take the fight to Hitler made him send thousands of heroes to needless death 21/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: After a series of military defeats even Churchill started to fear that our Army was simply too yellow to fight 21/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: Privately Churchill called them ‘bloody Yankees’ - but with a lover’s ardour he fawned, flattered and flirted to woo the U.S. 19/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: Only one man instinctively knew what battered Britain needed to lift spirits 19/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: Churchill was brutally rude, capricious and petulant. Even his wife feared he was being corrupted by power 18/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: A gloriously flawed hero: How Winston Churchill saved this nation from the brink of extinction 16/08/09
* MAX HASTINGS: Churchill, the flawed giant who saved our nation - and our world 14/08/09


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/24/2009 at 12:24 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryUKWar-Stories •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

FOUND AT LAST.  THE POSSIBLE ORIGINS OF HIP-HOP

image

some fancy footwork?

image

OK, SO IF YOU INSIST ON FINDING THE STORY THAT RUNS WITH THIS, GO HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/24/2009 at 07:39 AM   
Filed Under: • AfricaAnimalsArt-PhotographyHealth and SafetyNature •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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