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calendar   Tuesday - January 03, 2012

weather or not

Damn, what happened? I was just starting to get used to this “winter” where it was 45-55° every day. It was like winter in the UK, which is usually pretty mild. Now suddenly it’s coldaz’ell out there! BRRRR!!!

Farg this, I want Peiper’s climate.

Thanks for nothing, Al Gore.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/03/2012 at 03:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Brits get permission from Brussels to language test docs and nurses. whose country is this anyway?

Well golly gee folks. Sorry about the mistakes and mishaps and the deaths due to doctors who don’t speak the language.  We’ve learned something we never knew before.  Ya think we should maybe tighten up the requirements starting with language skills?  Ooooh. Now that’s a splendid idea.  BUT FIRST …
Britain must follow the rules that most others ignore and get permission from the powers that leach in Brussels.  Once their permission is given, Britain will be given the “right” to test doctors and nurses.  Jeesh.

oh btw.  The doctor that brought this all to a head is described as German. He is NOT.
I don’t care what his bought papers may say. He is not and will never be German.
Which in no way excuses the system that allowed him to flourish at the expense of patients. 

Here’s the entire article unedited.  Last year and the year before, this issue was all over the news. 
This is what a multi-culture and diverse one world produces.  Actually, it all started in 2008. But hey, the Brits got permission and that’s what counts. Right?


Doctors from the EU to face language tests following landmark ruling

By SOPHIE BORLAND

Britain has won the right to test foreign doctors and nurses on their ability to speak English following a landmark ruling from Brussels.
There is mounting concern that patients are being put in danger by a ban that prevents watchdogs from checking the language skills of European doctors and nurses.

This was triggered by the death of 70-year-old David Gray in 2008 at the hands of an incompetent German GP.
Dr Daniel Ubani gave him a lethal overdose of morphine on his first shift. Ubani had been allowed to cover an out of hours shift despite having a poor grasp of English and unacceptable medical standards.

At present neither the General Medical Council, the doctors’ regulator, nor the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the equivalent body for nurses, is allowed to carry out language tests on workers flying in from the continent as it is deemed to infringe the EU’s ‘freedom of movement’ laws.

But proposals from the European Commission yesterday paved the way for such checks to be carried out. For the first time the EC said that the ‘checking of language knowledge’ can be carried out for the ‘protection of patients’.

In addition, EU member states will have a duty to alert other countries when a doctor or nurse is struck off so they cannot simply move abroad and carry on working. The proposals will have to be agreed by all EU members before they are made into law and even then it may take several years for the GMC and the NMC to bring in the tests.

Nonetheless, the ruling has been hailed as a major step forward by leading healthcare workers and the relatives of patients who have died as a result of the current lax regime.

The GP son of Mr Gray, Stuart Gray, said: ‘If the GMC is going to be able to check the language of doctors at registration that is a major step forward for the safety of patients.

But what we push for next is for them all to undergo checks on their clinical competence. My father was killed by a doctor who was found to be clinically incompetent.’
Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: ‘The ability to communicate clearly with patients is an essential part of good nursing care.’

Earlier this year Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced new rules that would ensure hospitals had a ‘duty’ to language test EU doctors.
But at the time there was concern that not all trusts would do this – and the rules did not include any provision for nurses.

The current EU legislation bans national tests carried out by the GMC or NMC but it does not prohibit hospitals or primary care trusts performing checks on individuals before employing them.

Under Mr Lansley’s plan, each hospital would employ a ‘responsible officer’ whose job would be to ensure all foreign doctors were tested on English before being allowed to work.

Under these new proposals the GMC and the NMC will be allowed to carry out national tests before doctors and nurses can even be registered. Unless they are registered they cannot even apply for a job.

There are thought to be thousands of European doctors and nurses working in hospitals and surgeries who have never been given language checks.
Figures show that there are some 21,000 doctors on the GMC register who gained their qualifications in EU countries.
Although the Government has urged hospitals and primary care trusts to carry out their own checks on staff before employing them in the absence of a national test, many do not.

DAILY MAIL


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/03/2012 at 07:41 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-MedicineUK •  
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someone wants to ban Muslim call to prayer on the basis of noise pollution. fatwah to follow?

H/T The Jerusalem Post

It isn’t so much that I’m making fun of someone’s religion.  ok. Maybe just a little. But for some time now I have found it rather odd, that more hasn’t been heard of about this problem.  Here and there a few times over the last year or so but nothing really outstanding that I’ve been aware of.

I’d think it might be very hard to live in an environment where these calls are made by ppl who sound as if they have a belly ache.  And then amplify it.
If people are really serious about their faith, wouldn’t an alarm clock work as well?  Or perhaps not.  Whatever, I’d sure hate to have to listen to this stuff at four in the morning. 

I guess a fatwah will be in the offering soon against Mrs Michaeli and any who agree with her. Cos muzzie rights always trump the rights of others.


Silencing the Muezzin

By ARIEH O’SULLIVAN / THE MEDIA LINE

Michaeli wants to ban Muslim call to prayer on the basis of noise pollution.

Before the dawn rolls in from the east, Muslim worshipers have already been summoned to prayer by the muezzin’s call. Echoing off the stone walls of houses and apartments in Jerusalem, the summons is heard in Muslim, Christian and Jewish neighborhoods alike.

Not everyone likes it, particularly not at four in the morning. A move by Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli to have speakers removed from mosques aims to tone down this age-old, sacred call to prayer.

Michaeli, who drafted the bill, says it’s not singling out Muslims but rather going after noise pollution.

“We respect the freedom of religion, the freedom of thinking, the freedom of staying in the place they want to stay, but at the same time we need to respect the people who want to sleep at four o’clock in the morning,” Michaeli told The Media Line.

A mother of eight, Michaeli, 36, says she’s particularly concerned for the children who are wakened by the call. “This noise pollution disturbs them.”
Embraced by some as a long overdue measure and dismissed by others as everything from racist to superfluous, Michaeli’s bill has highlighted the complexities involved in coexisting in the Jewish state with a large Muslim minority in towns and cities that are becoming increasingly mixed.

Cities like Jaffa, Acre, Nazareth, Ramle, Lod and Jerusalem with their sizeable Arab neighborhoods are particularly affected by the call, known as the adhan, which is recited five times a day. Michaeli toured these cities recently, garnering support from some of the mayors and a large chunk of the Jewish population who she says are losing tolerance for the wail.

“I hear the call to prayer at night and it bothers me and the kids. They have raised the idea about lowering the volume of the speakers but nothing has ever been done. It continues,” says Motti Gabai, a resident of Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood whose house borders the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. 

Michaeli says attempts in the past to get the muezzin to lower the volume have failed. She bemoans the failure by officials to enforce existing noise pollution codes, saying police have complained they don’t have adequate meters for determining noise level. Michaeli proposes using new, less intrusive, electronic forms of summoning the devout to prayer such as internet alarms and personalized radio broadcasts.

Reactions to Michaeli’s bill have been vocal and thousands of Israeli Arabs have protested in the streets against it.

The bill is not against their religion. I know that they have to pray five times a day and I respect that. Let them pray but not at a [noise] level that disturbs others,” Michaeli says.

“In Israel there is no limit on the number of speakers that can be placed on a mosque and the speakers are directed in all directions,” Michaeli says.

UNEDITED VERSION


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/03/2012 at 04:05 AM   
Filed Under: • Israelmuslims •  
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calendar   Monday - January 02, 2012

A post without riposteI

Darth Vader Is Dead

Well, not Darth exactly. Just the guy who put on his mask and did all his sword fighting. And who happened to be the best cut and thrust choreographer in Hollywood history.

WWII Vet, British Olympian, Foremost Fencing Choreographer Robert Anderson, 89

Great Britain Olympic fencer and movie sword master Bob Anderson died in New York on Monday aged 89.

He took part in the 1952 Olympics and the 1950 and 1953 World Championships. Anderson later wore Darth Vader’s black helmet to fight lightsaber battles in two of the first three Star Wars films.

Anderson, who worked with actors from Errol Flynn to Antonio Banderas during five decades as a sword master, fight director and stunt performer, died early New Year’s Day at an English hospital, the British Academy of Fencing said Monday.
...
Anderson, who has died at age 89, donned Darth Vader’s black helmet and fought light saber battles in two of the three original “Star Wars” films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”
...
The scenes worked beautifully, although Anderson, then nearing 60, was several inches shorter than Prowse.

Few knew of Anderson’s role until Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, said in a 1983 interview that “Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader’s fighting.”

Robert James Gilbert Anderson was born in Hampshire, southern England, in 1922, and was drawn to fencing from an early age.

“I never took up the sword,” he said in an interview for the 2009 documentary “Reclaiming the Blade.” “I think the sword took me up.”

Anderson joined the Royal Marines before World War II, teaching fencing aboard warships and winning several combined services titles in the sport. He served in the Mediterranean during the war, later trained as a fencing coach and represented Britain at the 1952 Olympics and the 1950 and 1953 world championships. In the 1950s, Anderson became coach of Britain’s national fencing team, a post he held until the late 1970s. He later served as technical director of the Canadian Fencing Association. His first film work was staging fights and coaching Flynn on swashbuckler “The Master of Ballantrae” in 1952.

He went on to become one of the industry’s most sought after stunt performers, fight choreographers and sword masters, working on movies including the James Bond adventures “From Russia With Love” and “Die Another Day”; fantasy “The Princess Bride”; Banderas action romps “The Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro”; and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. [ Drew: not to mention all the “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Highlander” (film and TV versions), and that Lindsay Lohan magnum opus “The Parent Trap” ]

Fencing academy president Philip Bruce said Anderson was “truly one of our greatest fencing masters and a world-class film fight director and choreographer.”

Fencers and others who play seriously with swords will sit through yet another viewing of The Princess Bride just to watch the sword fights, especially the one between Inigo Montoya and the mysterious Man In Black (aka the Dread Pirate Roberts), even though it was obviously played for laughs. It really is one of the best ever filmed. Bob Anderson will be missed. Prime, seconde, septime, and octave (the defensive parries*) will never be quite the same.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/02/2012 at 09:11 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesHollywoodUK •  
Comments (4) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

when eu rules apply to others but not the eu.

It’s very hard to avoid. In fact it isn’t possible.  If you don’t hear about it on panel discussions on the radio, it’s in the papers. If not there then you’ll overhear folks commenting on it and with much worry.
I’m talking about the economy. Not the USA, the one here where I am. The UK.

Things are not going as well as hoped and the powers that be are trying, they say, to improve things.  Meanwhile the Brit citizen is being warned about cuts in public spending, further worries about the aging population and how to care for the elderly and create jobs for those who want and need them.  There’s been a warning to expect prison riots due to overcrowding and “rights” seen as abused.

Of course the EU makes it’s voice heard on subjects pertaining to the UK. Like a prisoner’s right to vote. And immigration and the cost to the economy, especially with illegal immigration and the difficulty in deporting the criminals among that group.
Well, with all that in mind I guess the UK taxpayer was proud to be informed that those cheap Germans and French are trailing the Brits in monies being thrown away on foreign aid.  OH … almost forgot.

Members of Parliament are getting a raise.  Well of course they are. No belt tightening among the mighty.  It’s an automatic raise as I understand it, to avoid having to vote on a raise. Now I say again, I could have misunderstood what I’d heard, but that’s what it sounded like to me.
But never mind.  The fact that Germany and France are spending less then the UK was disclosed in an EU report on the subject.
There are a number of things that cost more here because while most European states ignore the rules, and while French farmers are reaping the protective benefits of paying no attention to them, the Brits play exactly by the rules and so find themselves on the short end of things.  And speaking of rules and regs, all this leads me to a story with a bit of bitter humor in it.

You may recall the story about the EU rule I posted with regard to water. Yeah. Water. The EU passed another new law, with regard to water being advertised as a source to combat dehydration.  Water companies must not mislead the public and claim any benefits for drinking water.  This is what the modern world has come to now.  A bunch of fat cats with nothing special to do, sit around and look for things to pass new rules and regs on.
Well, here’s an update of sorts. The EU has been caught breaking their own ruling of the benefits of water. Hey, you couldn’t make this up.  The Marx Bros. would have had a field day with this one.  Take a look.

EU breaks its own ruling on water hydration claims

EU officials could be prosecuted after falling foul of their own ruling that banned claims that drinking water could prevent dehydration.

By Donna Bowater

The EU was widely derided last month for the bizarre decision to prohibit drinks companies from claiming drinking water could help avoid dehydration.
Manufacturers face two years in jail for breaching the edict that was due to come into force this month after being passed in November.
But the EU could now be investigated after it emerged its Milk Programme was found to promote the health benefits of drinking water.
The literature for the scheme, which encourages children to drink more milk, said: “You may not have known, but a large part of milk is actually water. So, if you regularly drink milk, you can stay hydrated at the same time.
“When people do not get enough water, a condition called ‘dehydration’, they can become tired, irritable and have a hard time concentrating.

Drinking milk can help put the necessary water back into the body, while providing carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients to give you energy.”
A British MEP has called on the Procureur-General in Brussels to act on the blunder.
In his complaint, Paul Nuttall, Ukip member for North West England, said it was a “disgraceful breach of EU law by the European Commission.”
He added: “These people think that they can lay down the law that they have created no matter how absurd and threaten individuals and businesses with criminal sanctions.
“In this case, though, It appears that the EU just doesn’t know its backside from its elbow.”

Denouncing the ruling last month, Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.
“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”
It also emerged earlier this month that the European Food Safety Authority had rules against claims that prunes had a laxative effect.
An EU spokesman said: “We have not been contacted by the prosecutor as yet, however, as we may be within a due legal process, we cannot comment in case it prejudices future proceedings.”
The Procureur-General’s office would not comment on the complaint but said it would be treated like any other.

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/02/2012 at 10:58 AM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peons •  
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OBIT, RIP Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh, and thanks for the laugh

Back but not ready for full time.

Woke to the pleasant whinny of horses today instead of a cough which has left me pretty well tired and rough.

For those who don’t know, we live on the very edge of horse country.  Most of the time we never hear anything.  There’s a horse vet at the end of our road, enjoy seeing the offspring when we can.  Hard to do with large hedges surrounding the place.

This area was once upon a time the major center of horse racing and breeding in the UK.  There are still a couple of large ranches down the road that I believe breed. Owned by Arabs of course.  Who else can afford them?  Took a walk down there some time ago in time to watch the colts who were being watched by their mums all with racing names.  I need to make an effort to go back this spring. It’s not like it’s far away.  Anyway,

This damn cold bug really got to me in more ways then one.  Having had a flu shot months ago, I thought I was clear with no worries. Ha.  I even missed the Christmas dinner we’ve been going to at a friends house. First time missed in seven years.

So then, having had a chance to do more then the normal amount of reading over the last week or two, I came across this and but for illness would have posted it sooner.
It’s a military obit and probably the only laugh I got last week.  Now what could possibly be funny about an obituary?

Take a look and all the rest is at the link.  There is something very Macdonald Fraser about that prank below.


Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh

Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh, who has died aged 91, was an inveterate escaper while imprisoned in Colditz for most of the war

One prank in which he took part was to climb to the top of the castle and replace the swastika with the Union Jack. Some excitable Germans soldiers thought that the British had somehow taken over the castle and opened fire. Others, believing that they were under attack, retaliated. It was remarkable, Storie-Pugh commented, that no one was hurt.

Storie-Pugh, a lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (QORWKR), went to France with the British Expeditionary Force. During the withdrawal to Dunkirk, he was in command of a post covering a roadblock near Doullens, north of Amiens, when it was attacked by an armoured column.
He was armed with an anti-tank rifle and disabled two tanks. The post fought so stubbornly that the enemy chose to pull back and bypass the position. Storie-Pugh was badly wounded and his courage and leadership in what was an important delaying action was recognised by the award of an MC.
His family then received a telegram to say that he had been killed in action; in fact he had been wounded, taken prisoner, and was in a German military hospital.

He escaped from there but was caught and imprisoned in Oflag IX at Spangenberg Castle, central Germany. One evening, after roll call, he hid in a drain and, taking advantage of a rumpus created by his comrades, emerged and ran to an incinerator in the shadow of which he manage to escape a searchlight beam.
He cut through the perimeter wire and, together with a small group of fugitives, dropped into the river Fulda and got clear. A child saw their escape, however, and the alarm was soon raised. Two of the party were captured at once but Storie-Pugh was chased for several miles before being caught after breaking an ankle in attempting to board a moving train. On the way back to Spangenberg he was slashed in the face by a bayonet brutal treatment which continued on his arrival at the castle.

He wrote to his father in a code which the decoding department never succeeded in cracking. Maps and money concealed in items like gramophone records were sent to them by the War Office.

OBIT


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/02/2012 at 08:23 AM   
Filed Under: • OBITITUARIESUK •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 01, 2012

New Year’s Day Demotivators!

It has been sometime since we had a demotivator post. Allow me to be the first in 2012.

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Has to be very close to my all-time favorite movie. Shame that’s not an actual quote.

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Should be two of your New Year’s Resolutions: Take your meds! And eat more bacon!
(I might put in to quit playing with your food.)

Speaking of bacon!
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Finally, I want to leave you with this warning…
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Samwise, is this the the 12 foot spider you were looking for?


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/01/2012 at 05:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffMotorvators •  
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Some New Year’s Eye Candy

I don’t usually do this, ‘tis peiper’s thing. Drew gave it a good shot, but I think I may have better.

The pics are below the fold, not for nudity, per se, just suggestiveness.

Throughout this post I keep hearing ZZ Top singing ‘She’s Got Legs’ playing in my mind.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/01/2012 at 05:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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Another Reason New Jersey Sucks

"One of these things is not like the other ...” but all of them have something in common.

Spending a little time on the PC playing my wife’s favorite game, Let’s look at real estate.

Here are a few links to three stupendous, gigantic, homes in Greenwood Indiana, a very tony suburb of Indianapolis. Palacettes? McMansions? Call them what you will, I wouldn’t mind living in any of them.

http://www.homes.com/listing/146672855/1875_Dockside_Drive_GREENWOOD_IN_46143
http://www.homes.com/listing/153018054/4690_Waters_Edge_Wa_GREENWOOD_IN_46143
http://www.homes.com/listing/150875754/1188_Old_Eagle_Way_GREENWOOD_IN_46143

Lovely places, all of them; each home is at least 5600 square feet on at least half an acre, and most of them have every possible amenity and luxury feature built in. Nice.


Here is a condominium a couple miles from us, in the nice little town of High Bridge New Jersey.

http://www.weichert.com/40684422/?countyid=33675&ptypeid=28%2c21&maxpr=180&minbr=1&minba=1&exc=adc

There is nothing wrong with this place, nor with the condo park that it is in. I’ve been there before. They have a bit of extra parking out front, and a very small bit of grass (25 feet?) out back where a long concrete wall rises straight up 12 feet or so to carry the road behind the park. The units are around 1000 square feet, perhaps a little less. So the whole “park” is nothing more than a couple dozen units built into a little cutout between the roads, right off of downtown. Thankfully, High Bridge isn’t that busy or big of a town, so the traffic noise shouldn’t be too bad.



It should be noted that, in a healthy real estate market, if the above linked luxury homes were built in any of the nicer parts of New Jersey, they would all be in the 1.5-2.5 million dollar bracket. At least.

So, what does these McMansions in Indiana have in common with a decent but somewhat cramped condo in New Jersey? They all pay pretty much the same thing in property taxes. Actually, if you roll in the condo association fee (which is half that of other condos around here) and consider that another kind of tax, the place in NJ suffers from a much greater burden. Sure, sure, you can point to million dollar apartments in New York City that pay $20,000 in taxes per year, but are hardly better than slums. Different world; apples and oranges. All the homes linked to here are in nice suburban towns, with a moderate but not terrible commute to the nearby urban centers. My point is that NJ is being bled dry with property taxes, and this is destroying the upper-lower and lower-middle classes. $150K for a place to live isn’t too bad if you have a steady job. But the tax bite eats up a full third of your mortgage payment, making the place pretty much unaffordable.

There is no possible way that the tax burden here will be reduced either. Perhaps not ever. Too much government, too much waste, too many people with their hands out for generations.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/01/2012 at 11:27 AM   
Filed Under: • Economics •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Welcome To 2012

Happy New Year to everyone!

May the economy and the nation recover as quickly as your hangover.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/01/2012 at 10:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
Comments (2) 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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