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Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Monday - May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Well, peiper, I promised not to post anything like my Valentine’s Day post. This one is serious.

I remember well all the controversy when the Vietnam Memorial was designed and built. It was called an insult to our vets. A black gash in the ground, I remember reading.

Actually, it’s turned out to be brilliant.  The Vietnam Memorial has become the American version of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. So this Memorial Day, I’d like to present Reviewing the Troops by Jack E. Dawson.

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And now, allow me to quote from Jack E. Dawson’s explanation:

At first glance, you see George Washington saluting the troops of past and present wars.  Every man and woman who has served our country to preserve freedom is to be honored.  A few are pictured to represent them all.  From left to right the soldiers represent a Vietnam Veteran, a Korean War Nurse, a soldier in Iraq/Afghanistan, a Persian Gulf Veteran, a living Vietnam Veteran, a Continental soldier, a Union Civil War soldier, a World War I Veteran, a Confederate Civil War soldier, a Vietnamese woman and baby, a World War II Veteran.  As a court would review the evidence and reach a verdict, these troops are being honored for their service to our country.  (Notice the word HONOR in the sidewalk.) On further inspection we find the real key to this painting.  It is the Lord (in the upper right corner) who is truly “reviewing the troops”.  We are to be counted as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. He is reviewing our lives.  The ultimate question is do I recognize and trust him?  The little girl is leaving a note at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall.  What do you think she is writing?

I’ve no idea what the little girl is writing. I hope she hasn’t recently lost a father, mother, or older brother or sister. I hope she’s leaving a note for the great-grandfather who died in Korea, or an uncle who fell in ‘Nam. Or maybe she’s not had to face such losses. Maybe she’s just doing what I hope we all do today–remember and give thanks for those who’ve died for us.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/28/2012 at 04:30 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesPatriotism •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 27, 2012

Nap, or not to nap?

I recently met up with a young lady who turns out to be a sister, via adoption. Yes, it was on Facebook. Anyway, her question was ‘To nap, or not to nap?’

Well, any vets here on BMEWS will tell you: nap. Here’s my reply;

As a Navy vet: Nap. You never know how long you’ll have to work/stay awake. I remember one time a piece of gear was ‘out of spec’. Guess who got the job? Me. That particular piece of gear had to be working for the ship to get underway. I kept telling the Chief Engineer: “This needs to be replaced.” He told me: “We can’t replace anything until we get back to San Diego. Make it work.” Those were my orders. After 48 hours straight of ‘tweaking’, ‘retesting’, ‘re-tweaking’, ‘re-testing’, I finally had a documented result that was (barely) in ‘spec’. I sent that off to the Chief Engineer, he forwarded it to the Captain. Captain’s orders came back: ‘Commence reactor start-up. We will be underway in two hours.’ Could I then take a break and get some sleep? NO! It was my turn on watch. I was the start-up Reactor Operator in #2 engine room. So, Rebekah, nap every chance you get. You never know when an emergency might keep you awake. Any vets will know what I mean.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/27/2012 at 07:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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WOW, A HOME TO DIE FOR?  A MUST SEE!

That works out to 18 million some 700 thousand DOLLARS.  I would LOVE to have this place. I read here that these pix are older and it’s been updated. What the heck was wrong with what these photos show?  Perfection. Awesome.

OK, everyone empty your bank accounts and forward to me so I can buy it and no you can’t visit. I like privacy. LOL
Seriously. If I were a zillionaire or even a billionaire, I wouldn’t think 2wice.  Take a look at the all the photos at the link.

It’s in our county, and we have a Beaulieu house not far away with a large auto museum. I wonder how far this place is.
If you showed any interest in buying this place, most likely and with good reason, it would not be shown until your financial health and credit was established. I see ads all the time for houses in the range of 500 to 800 hundred thousand and the wording that says shown on approved credit.


Extraordinary Hampshire roundhouse with its own lake and a ramp to its first floor garage can be yours… for just £12m

1960s property designed by architect Seymour Harris was given the nickname Hollywood on the Beaulieu

By KERRY MCQUEENEY

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It was designed so that its owner could drive his Aston Martin up a ramp and straight into his own first-floor parking bay and turning circle.

Now this bizarre roundhouse - which comes complete with its own lake, 10-acre garden and private 18-metre pontoon on the Bealieu river in Hampshire - can be yours… for just £12million.

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the lair of a James Bond villain, the property was the home of architect Seymour Harris who, after designing it, lived there for six years.

When the roundhouse was unveiled in 1962, its appearance stunned surrounding neighbours who were used to a more conventional architecture. It was given the nickname of Hollywood on the Beaulieu.

Harris’s widow Joan told the Guardian in 2009: ‘I am afraid most of the neighbours thought it dreadful, since they were accustomed to a more prosaic style.

HOUSE SOURCE AND INSIDE VIEWS


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/27/2012 at 09:47 AM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureUK •  
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I love living in the US – I just don’t love its legal system…

Was not my plan to be here today. Hands more then full but darn it, couldn’t let this bit of dumb go by without sharing it.

What a schmuck.

Just what I like to read, not.  Some foreigner living in the USA, breaks the law and bitches about how unfair it is over there and how lucky people are here in the UK and friendly Bobbies.  Wonder what she’d make of the KGB officials at LAX.

The dumb ass ignores a court summons and is outraged by the injustice of it all.  Not, mind you, that there is always justice even in the states. Screw ups happen too often to be comfortable with. She says she didn’t so much ignore as, she forgot about it.  Which to my way of thinking says she just didn’t take the law as applied in the USA, too seriously.  She will now.

She happens to be the niece (for whatever advantage that is) of the wife of Prince Charles. So maybe she mistakenly believed that UK justice supersedes that of the country she is now living in. Which might make her doubly dumb. And take note please of the story headline. I don’t know if she wrote it or it was done by someone at the paper. But it’s wrong!  Her ordeal was one of her own stupid making and was about ignoring a court order.

I went from the Royal Wedding to a prison cell in Los Angeles: Camilla’s neice tells of terrifying ordeal at the hands of US justice - over minor driving offence

Emma Parker Bowles was ‘outraged’ she had to spend a night in a U.S. jail
Police locked her up for a minor driving violation she had failed to attend court for

By EMMA PARKER BOWLES

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I am lying on a hard bunk in a prison cell. There is a sinister wailing sound coming from the cell to my left.

Despite wrapping myself in the measly blanket like the Turin Shroud, I am freezing. Apparently, they keep it icy cold in jail so that germs don’t spread and I am wearing only a T-shirt, jeans and my Converse trainers – minus the laces, which they confiscated when they ‘processed me’.

What is a nice girl like me doing in a place like this? I went to the Royal Wedding for goodness’ sake.

‘Facebook is like jail. You sit around a lot and waste time, write on walls and get poked by people you don’t know,’ someone has scrawled on the wall. I hoped that was written by a man.

At the moment, I am in my ‘house’ alone but I could get a ‘cellie’ or cellmate in the morning. Oh yes, I am now down with the jailhouse slang.

So how did I get here? Let’s rewind a few hours. I am happily chuffing along Santa Monica Boulevard, singing along to my iPod, when I hear the dreaded sound of a police siren.

I had been travelling at 20mph, so I was not worried. The policeman (cute) appears at my window. Licence and registration: the usual drill. He saunters off back to his car to run my driver’s licence through his computer. I am in a rush, so I am feeling irritated. Eventually, he strolls back to my window.

Officer Handsome invites me to sit in the back of his police cruiser. Clearly, he has me confused with someone else. He then wanders off, muttering into his shoulder walkie-talkie thing.

One of his cop buddies arrives and they chat for a while, staring at me. He saunters back. ‘Step out the car, Madam.’ Finally, I am on my way.

Umm, perhaps not. ‘Turn round and face the car. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law . . . ’ he says as he snaps handcuffs around my wrists.

I’m outraged. What am I being taken into custody for? Apparently, there is a $40,000 (about £26,000) warrant out for my arrest. I was pulled over because my registration had expired and the warrant was issued because I forgot to go to court for a traffic violation.

It seems excessive for a traffic violation. During the ride to the police station, I go from furious (‘I want your badge number. I am going to sue everyone’) to panicked (‘Am I going to have a criminal record?’) to crying because I am frightened they are going to make me bend over and cough.

The cop says I will be in front of the judge tomorrow and then I’ll be able to go home.

We drive into the back area of the jail, where I am marched in and ‘processed’. This includes an extremely intimate pat-down by a cross female officer.

I don’t know how Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton look pretty in their mugshots; I look like serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Whereas they can afford to bail themselves out immediately, I don’t have a spare $5,000 (about £3,200).

It is then I am told that there is no court the next day because of budget cuts. So I will be held until Friday morning, 48 hours away.

I have one phone call but it can only be to a landline number. How many landline numbers do you know? I can call my mum, but waking her in the middle of the night from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department would not look good.

I spend one long, lonely, soul-cold night curled up on a thin mattress with no pillow. I cry myself to sleep and at some point am woken by a scary-looking man in an orange jumpsuit (on ‘work release’ from jail) who brings me a plastic bag with some bread, peanut butter and an apple.

Hours later, a very nice female officer tells me there is court after all, handcuffs me again and escorts me to the big yellow jailhouse bus, which is stuffed with people from county jail (real criminals).

It is just like you see in films. There is even rap music playing, and there is a cage situation at the back with all of the male prisoners, who shout lewd remarks.

The next eight hours are spent in a shared cell underneath the courthouse. Even worse than people using the loo – plonked in the corner in a tiny, windowless cell – (I daren’t gag in case I get beaten up) is feeling so cold.

Remembering that you lose a high percentage of body heat from your head, I am so desperate I wrap mine up in loo roll, like a mummy, with a small slit for my eyes. Another prisoner I’ve become friendly with does the same, except for some reason she only leaves a slit for her mouth. We both laugh our heads off for the next five minutes, rolling around on the concrete bench. A moment of light relief.

Finally, eight hours later, I get to speak to the public defender. When she looks at my charge sheet, she seems surprised that I have been locked up. And, after another hour handcuffed in the corner of the courtroom, so does the judge. He dismisses the charges and I don’t even have to pay court costs because of ‘time served’.

I am escorted back into a cell in the basement and endure another long wait until I am ‘processed out’ and given a plastic bag with my personal items. My new friend is going back to the county jail because she really is a criminal.

‘I am going to laugh if I see you back here again,’ is a female officer’s parting shot before I am released from the bowels of the courthouse into the evening sunshine. Charming.

Next time you are pulled over for a minor traffic violation, thank your lucky stars you live in Britain.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the US – I just don’t love its legal system.

Even though I can now look back on the experience and laugh, I have definitely been traumatised by it. Nowadays, if I even see a police car, I feel as if I am going to have a panic attack. It makes me long for British bobbies.

SOURCE

“It makes me long for British bobbies.”

Well sweet cakes, there’s a remedy for that.  Move back here.
See how easy that is? 


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/27/2012 at 08:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-People •  
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calendar   Saturday - May 26, 2012

saturday eye candy

Not certain about tomorrow posting yet. Much to do here and not enough time. 
So ... I’ll say good evening all and hope your long weekend will be a safe one.
Will leave with an eye candy favorite and of course for you art lovers, something below the fold.

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See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/26/2012 at 02:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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Barack Obama is facing his Jimmy Carter moment

This will be of interest to some of us, and I am posting with no comments on the subject.
That’s because I can not think of anything to say or add to this.


Barack Obama is facing his Jimmy Carter moment

As Mitt Romney closes the gap, it is 1980 all over again for the man in the Oval Office.

By Tim Stanley
Saturday Telegraph

Until recently, Barack Obama’s re-election was regarded as inevitable – in the same way that summer follows spring, or a monsoon follows a hosepipe ban. The president’s poll lead over Mitt Romney was strong, while the Republican’s character was assassinated by a primary fight that permanently spoiled the reputation of his party. To court the GOP’s conservative base, Romney was forced to adopt positions on abortion, contraception, health care and welfare that are thought to be unpopular among moderate swing voters. Obama, by contrast, is the man who killed bin Laden and toppled Gaddafi. A choice between Obama the moderate statesman and Romney the craven conservative is surely no contest at all.

But in the last two weeks, things have changed. Obama’s re-election is no longer guaranteed; some pollsters think it is unlikely. Day by day, the odds are improving that Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States.

What changed? For a start, voters are getting gloomier about the economy. Joblessness remains high and debt is out of control. According to one poll released this week, only 33 per cent of Americans expect the economy to improve in the coming months and only 43 per cent approve of the way that the president has handled it. Voters think Obama has made the debt situation and health care worse. The man who conducted the poll – Democrat Peter Hart – concluded that “Obama’s chances for re-election… are no better than 50-50.”

The president has tried to distract from America’s economic misery by playing up the so-called culture war. Earlier in the year he decided that he would force Catholic employers to provide contraception to their employees through their insurance plans, and he followed that swipe at social traditionalism by endorsing gay marriage.

This embrace of Sixties liberalism has backfired.

While contraception and gay marriage often receive popular support in national polls, Americans are far more conservative in the voting booth. Thirty-two states have voted on gay marriage and all 32 have voted to outlaw it – even liberal California. Nor has the culture war rallied his party’s base. In presidential primaries held on Tuesday, 39 per cent of Arkansas Democrats and 42 per cent of Kentuckian Democrats rejected Obama’s re-nomination. In West Virginia, 41 per cent of the state’s Democrats voted for an imprisoned criminal rather than the president.
The result is that pollsters find Obama and Romney edging towards one another. Rasmussen puts Obama only one point ahead; Gallup calls it a tie. With Romney doing better than the president in key swing states North Carolina and Florida, Gallup has publicly stated that Obama now has a higher chance of losing rather than winning.

But it isn’t just Obama’s flaws that are making this race interesting. Mitt Romney might not be the most charismatic candidate, but that’s a hidden strength in an election that’s all about competence and getting back to the basics of what once made America work so well. This week, the pro-Obama journalist Andrew Sullivan wrote that with his wealth, good looks and apple-pie conservatism, Romney is like “a focus-group tested model president from 1965”. Sullivan obviously doesn’t realise how popular the TV show Mad Men is. Who wouldn’t warm to a candidate that represents an age marked by low unemployment, stable families and a laissez-faire attitude towards drinking at work?

In fact, the grey Mr Romney is repeating the same formula that won him the governorship of Massachusetts, an ordinarily Democrat state, in 2002. He pulled that off by motivating large numbers of Republicans to vote for him, breaking into the working-class vote and keeping turnout among Democrats fairly low. The unique genius of Romney was his ability to say very conservative things but in a manner that convinced many centrists that he didn’t really mean them. That’s happening again in 2012, as polls indicate that far more Americans think Obama is too Left-wing than believe Romney is too Right-wing.

Of course, Romney has his weaknesses. But they are fewer than Obama’s, whose charisma disguises a multitude of problems so great that it’s hard to imagine him overcoming them. Gallup makes the following observation: “Comparing today’s economic and political ratings with those from previous years when presidents sought re-election reveals that today’s climate is more similar to years when incumbents lost than when they won.” I would go one step further: Obama’s situation is actually worse than that of some of the incumbents who have lost in the past.

In 1980, Democratic president Jimmy Carter faced an uphill struggle for re-election. Yet, despite an index of inflation and unemployment far higher than Obama’s, he was actually doing slightly better in the polls. In March of that year, Carter led his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, by around 25 per cent. By May, Gallup gave him a lead of 49 to 41 per cent – higher than Obama’s today. Carter’s advantage evaporated in the months that followed, but he regained ground in October and by the last week he was running even.

None the less, Carter eventually suffered a landslide defeat. The scale of his humiliation was hidden by the fact that people were unwilling to commit themselves to the conservative Ronald Reagan until the very last minute. It was only when they went into the polling booth and weighed up all the hurt and humiliation of the past four years that they cast their vote against the president. It looks like Barack Obama will be the Jimmy Carter of 2012.

STANLEY/TELEGRAPH


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/26/2012 at 12:33 PM   
Filed Under: • USA •  
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crime and no punishment that means anything

Well, looks like there really is only one side to this coin and it’s called soft justice.
Awhile ago I ranted on about the lack of justice and black girl gangs getting away scott free. Yadda,yadda,
Then I ran across two stories one of which is sickening. Both are pretty damn bad but I just can’t get my head around an adult who batters a baby, breaks bones, doesn’t do squat for two days before taking babe to hosp., and a judge that says since it was a first offense ..... lets be kind to the perps.
Who btw happen to be white folks. Scummy, bottom of the barrel trailer trash honky types. I really wish there was an ‘N’ word for white ppl.
What kind of mother breaks a child’s arm and legs? What kind of judge lets them off just cos it’s the first time? What kind of looney tune system allows that?

Not posting the whole story in either of these. See the links for that.

Mother and partner who broke toddler’s leg, arms and foot are spared jail because horrific beating was their first offence

· Child had a broken leg for at least two days before it was taken to hospital
· Emma Cartwright, 27, also slapped a baby while her partner Neil Gleaves, also 27, violently shook it
· Couple convicted of child cruelty but spared jail by Recorder Simon Ward
By SUZANNAH HILLS

A couple who beat a toddler so severely it was left with two broken arms, a broken right leg and a broken left foot have been spared jail because it was their first offence.
Emma Cartwright and partner Neil Gleaves, both 27, then left the child’s broken leg untreated for ‘at least two days’ before taking the toddler to hospital. 
Cartwright was also convicted of slapping a baby in the face before Gleaves violently shook it.
The couple were convicted of child cruelty and neglect at Stoke Crown Court on Thursday but walked free after a judge heard it was their first offence and Gleaves was ‘hardworking’.
Instead, the couple from Wolstanton, Staffordshire, were given a 36 week prison sentence suspended for two years with a supervision order.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2149935/Mother-partner-broke-toddlers-leg-arms-foot-spared-jail-horrific-beating-offence.html

Recorders

Main article: Recorder (judge)
A Recorder is a part-time circuit judge, usually a practising barrister or solicitor. Recorders are addressed in court in the same way as circuit judges (as ‘Your Honour’). There is no formal abbreviation for the position and recorders are referred to as ‘Mr/Mrs Recorder Smith’ (as opposed to circuit judges, who can be referred to as ‘HHJ Smith’ in judgments, law reports or other legal documents).
Formerly, Recorders could only be drawn from barristers of at least 10 years’ standing.[9] However, in 2004, calls for increased diversity among the judiciary were recognised and the qualification period was changed[5][6] so that, as of 21 July 2008, a potential Circuit Judge must satisfy the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis.[7]
The senior circuit judge in a metropolitan area will often be given the honorary title of the Recorder of the city – e.g. the Recorder of Manchester. Despite still being circuit judges, these recorders are addressed in court as ‘Your Lordship/Ladyship’ as if they were High Court judges.

From ...  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judiciary_of_England_and_Wales

I would hardly describe this bit of female yob as pretty but I guess that a matter of taste. Judging by these pix I’d say more evil looking then pretty looking. But that just me.  What she did could have cause a death. Her victim will not be the very same woman she was before Blondezilla’s attack. 

Accounts manager who left woman fighting for her life after nightclub glass attack walks free as judge describes her as a ‘decent young woman’

By CHRIS HANLON

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An accounts manager who left a student fighting for her life after smashing a wine glass into her neck walked free after a judge described her as a ‘decent young woman’.

Pretty blonde Claire Stephens, 23, attacked Rachel Spikula after the pair knocked into each other on the dance floor at Club 49 in London’s West End.
The American national was rushed to hospital in a passing ambulance after suffering a severed artery in the assault in the early hours of June 11, 2011.

Prosecutor Gavin Ludlow-Thompson said the victim would have been in serious danger had she not been treated so quickly.
‘Suggestions have been made that if the ambulance had not been there and the immediate treatment not been available this victim might very well have lost her life,’ he said.

But Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith spared Stephens from a jail term after hearing she was a ‘decent, hardworking, young woman.’
Handing her a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, he said: ‘Nothing suggests that you have ever been violent before - indeed it would appear to be the very opposite, this was completely out of character.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2149452/Claire-Stephens-walks-free-nightclub-glass-attack-left-woman-fighting-life.html


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/26/2012 at 11:27 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDaily LifeJudges-Courts-LawyersJustice - LACK OF •  
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Already full of everything he knows!

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/26/2012 at 11:02 AM   
Filed Under: • HumorObama, The One •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

same movie, same plot, same species with different cast.

Well here we are again. Same story but another cast and coincidentally members of the same sub species. Verminous scum.

You can bet your boots that had the attack been against the overprotected minority insects, the ladies who in this case are the victims, would have landed in jail.
But just as bad, what we have here is yet another idiot judge.  Some of you may recall another case some months ago when a girl gang (same low life species) were allowed to go free because the poor dears were drunk when they beat up someone.
Well here we are again. I believe it’s a different judge but the result is the same.  So I take it that provided you’re a member of a favored racial group, getting drunk and beating the crap out of someone is ok cos being blotto is a mitigating factor. Unless of course you’re white in which case it’s the crime of the century and racially motivated.  Not that there aren’t too many drunken white yobs about these days. Sadly, there are.

Woman attacked by girls who ‘rained fists’ and wiped pizza in her face slams court for letting thugs go free

Kalee Powell and Precious Gordon attacked their victims ‘like a pack’

By ANTHONY BOND

A legal secretary savagely assaulted by a girl gang during the Royal Wedding celebrations today slammed a decision to let her attackers walk free from court.

Daniela Holischeck, 41, was left with a bloodied face after being battered by ‘raining fists’ following a street party to mark Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage in April last year.

Kalee Powell, 18, and Precious Gordon, 19, along with a 17-year-old who cannot be named, attacked her and fellow legal secretary Birgit Habersetzer ‘like a pack’ after spending the day boozing.

Gordon admitted affray and assaulting Ms Holischeck and Ms Harbersetzer, while Powell was convicted of affray for her part in the attack on Ms Holischeck after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Both were given community orders and told to pay a total of £300 compensation to their victims.

After the sentencing, Ms Holischeck, who worked for a City law firm, said she had been denied justice and was still haunted by the attack near her home in Kensal Rise.

Ms Holischeck said: ‘It’ll probably be a bit of street cleaning for a year and won’t hurt them. But I will remember this for the rest of my life.

‘I’ve decided to move away from the area to the home counties. I’m trying to forget. I haven’t been allowed to do that until now.’

Ms Holischeck, who worked for City law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, was left a bloodied mess and had pizza smeared in her hair during the beating.

She spent the night in A&E after the attack and had to take a fortnight off from work.

Judge Stephen Kramer QC said Ms Holischeck and her flatmate had been caught up in ‘an ugly incident in which mindless, drunken and unlawful violence was used’.

‘It must have been a shock and thoroughly frightening for the two women who were victims,’ he added.

This part just has to have a space all its own. The judge continued with:

‘I am satisfied what you both did you did that night because you were fuelled by alcohol, having gone to a street party and drunk alcohol celebrating the Royal Wedding.

Oh heck. That’s okay then.  See, when it’s explained properly, it all becomes clear as **** mud.
Now then, as for celebrating a royal wedding. Take a good look at these two beauties.  Do they look like anyone who’d care about the monarchy or their weddings?  They were simply doing something that’s second nature to them.  It’s in the DNA ya know.  And thanks to their birthrate, the times-a-comin when they’ll be fully in charge along with muzzies-gypos-travellers and all the other, friends of the liberals.

MORE TO READ HERE. PLEASE DO.

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/26/2012 at 09:08 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeCULTURE IN DECLINEDaily LifeJudges-Courts-LawyersJustice - LACK OF •  
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calendar   Friday - May 25, 2012

I’m not worthy

I feel the need to respond to some emails and Facebook posts I’ve been getting.

Monday is Memorial Day. I’ve been getting thanks for being a veteran. From friends and family.

But being a veteran is not what Memorial Day is about. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor those who died in service. I also include those who survived, but lost arms, legs, etc. I bet all of us know someone that fits either description.

Yes, I’m a veteran. I served six years in the Navy. We practiced daily. The worst things I remember was getting relieved of the mid-watch, crashing in my bunk, and 45 minutes later the Captain runs a drill: “Battle-stations. All hands man their battle-stations.” And that was about as close to combat as I ever got. Oh sure, my cruiser used to chase Soviet subs around… just for practice. This was especially fun if I were on Throttles: “Ahead Flank”, “Ahead 2/3rds”, “All Stop”, “Got ‘im! Ahead Full”. Yes, a Throttleman’s job could be fun.

So, this Memorial Day, please don’t dilute the meaning by thanking vets like me. Remember those who gave limb, or life.

(If you do want to thank vets like me, who may be heroes if only because we were there and deterred our enemies: Veteran’s Day is Sunday, November 11th this year.)


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/25/2012 at 02:41 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesMilitary •  
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On The Edge Of A Milestone African-American Achievement

Dragons In Space

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the dragon capsule, photographed from the International Space Station



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule approached the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday after sailing through a practice rendezvous the day before.

The unmanned SpaceX Dragon was on track most of the morning to deliver a half-ton of supplies and become the first commercial vessel to visit the space station. But as the capsule drew within 100 feet, flight controllers commanded it to retreat.

The capsule backed off to 230 feet as the SpaceX company worked to resolve a problem with the on-board tracking sensors. Stray reflections from the Japanese part of the space station were interfering with the Dragon’s laser-based sensors, officials said. SpaceX mission controllers quickly fixed the trouble and resumed the docking operation.

On Thursday, the capsule came within 1½ miles of the space station in a practice fly-by. It returned to the neighborhood early Friday so Kuipers and U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit could capture it with a robot arm. First, the capsule went through a series of stop-and-go demonstrations to prove it was under good operating control.

NASA ordered extra checks of the Dragon’s imagers as the capsule drew ever closer to the space station, putting the entire operation slightly behind schedule. Given that the Dragon is a brand new type of vehicle and this is a test flight, the space agency said it wanted to proceed cautiously.
...
This is the first time a private company has launched a vessel to the space station, an achievement previously reserved for a small, elite group of government agencies.
...
The California-based SpaceX — officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — is one of several companies vying for the chance to launch Americans from their homeland. That ability ended with NASA’s final shuttle flight last summer. To get to the space station, NASA astronauts must go through Russia, an expensive and embarrassing situation for the U.S. after a half-century of orbital self-sufficiency.

SpaceX’s billionaire maestro, Elon Musk, who helped create PayPal, said he can have astronauts riding his Dragon capsules to orbit in three or four years. His Falcon 9 rockets lift off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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right back atcha! The International Space Station, photographed by the dragon capsule



latest live blogging updates -

FRIDAY MORNING - Final Approach, Dragon Grapple

Around 2:00 AM Pacific/5:00 AM Eastern NASA will decide if Dragon is GO to move into the approach ellipsoid 1.4 kilometers around the space station. If Dragon is GO, after approximately one hour Dragon will move to a location 250 meters directly below the station. Dragon will then perform a series of maneuvers to show systems are operating as expected. If NASA is satisfied with the results of these many tests, Dragon will be allowed to perform the final approach to the space station.

Sometime around 6:00 AM Pacific/9:00 AM Eastern, astronauts on the space station will grapple Dragon with the space station’s robotic arm and the spacecraft will attach to the station.

Bayou Rocketry Blog has been following the Falcon 9/Dragon story since the beginning, and has some of the story of uber-geek Elon Musk:

It was bad SA television that gave Elon Musk part of his mysterious edge. As a 10-year-old he read whole volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica after emptying the family bookshelves — anything to avoid another episode of ChiPs or Die Man van Intersek.

Avoiding sports and bullies just as keenly, he sat alone in his boy cave at home in Pretoria, reading Jules Verne and playing Space Invaders. Now, 29 years later, Musk is still playing video games alone into the late hours of the night.

These days it is in a basement man cave in a leased mansion in Bel Air, California, where Musk, who sold his online payment system PayPal for R11bn in 2002, is plotting the future of the human race.

Sixteen months ago, the SA expat accomplished something only ever achieved by the governments of the US, Russia and China. He sent a spacecraft into orbit and then recovered it.

This Monday, he plans to change space flight forever, becoming the first entrepreneur to dock his own orbiter, Dragon, with the International Space Station.

And it literally is his spacecraft. Beyond founding his private SpaceX company in 2002, Musk likes to remind people that he is also the self-taught “chief designer” of the Falcon launch rockets and their Dragon capsules.

CrunchBase provides more info about Musk:

Elon Musk (born June 28,1971) is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies. He is chairman/CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity.

Musk was born and grew up in South Africa, the son of a South African engineer and a Canadian-born mother who has worked as a New York City dietitian and modeled for fun. His father inspired his love of technology and Musk bought his first computer at age 10 and taught himself how to program; by the age of 12 he sold his first commercial software, a space game called Blaster.

He immigrated to Canada in June 1989 at age 17. He left Canada in 1992 after getting a scholarship to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed on another year to finish a second bachelor’s degree in physics. Musk then considered three areas he wanted to get into that were “important problems,” as he said later. “One was the Internet, one was clean energy, and one was space.

In 1995, Musk moved to California to enroll in a graduate program in high energy physics at Stanford, in which he stayed exactly two days before dropping out to start Zip2, which provided online content publishing software for news organizations. In 1999, Compaq’s AltaVista division acquired Zip2 for US$307 million in cash and US$34 million in stock options.

Genius, entrepreneur, billionaire, super geek, Silicon Valley legend, and maybe even the real Iron Man. Perhaps the greatest success story to come out of Africa in the 21st century, if not the 20th as well. A genuine African-American success story, one of almost literally stellar magnitude. You would think he’d be an inspiration to everyone, everywhere, and a real hero within the community.








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Elon Musk and one of his privately owned rocket ships


Oh. OH. Um, never mind.

UPDATE: GOTCHA!

Earlier this morning, the SpaceX Dragon capsule was successfully captured by the International Space Station Expedition 31 crew, making SpaceX the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the ISS. The station’s robotic arm captured the Dragon at 9:56 a.m. ET after a journey that took three days, six hours, 11 minutes, and 23 seconds.

Dragon was later securely bolted to the Harmony module of the ISS at 12:02 p.m. ET.

Michael Suffredini, manager of the ISS program office, said he has talked many times about historic events and “this rates right at the top.”

“Having a contractor, relatively independent of NASA, design on its own a spacecraft that [they] tested and flew ... has been remarkable,” Suffredini said. “The spacecraft performed nearly flawlessly.”

Holly Ridings, NASA’s lead flight director for the SpaceX demo flight, added that it was a “really great day in space.”


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/25/2012 at 08:52 AM   
Filed Under: • AdventureAfricaSpaceSuccess Stories •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - May 24, 2012

An Almost Pefect Picture

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Flames erupt into the sky from a skiff floating adrift in the Indian Ocean, a powerful demonstration of the Royal Navy’s might as it fights the scourge of Somali piracy.

The boat was blown out of the water by a Merlin helicopter, flown from HMS Westminster, which strafed the vessel, setting fire to fuel tanks.

The pirate crew fled to another vessel before the attack, but were among 12 arrested without a fight by boarding teams from the frigate shortly after.


Like I said, almost pefect.

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Don’t Mess With Texas

May 23 (Reuters) - The Maersk Texas, a multi-purpose dry cargo ship, was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman but guards repelled the attack, Maersk Line Ltd, a unit of Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk , said on Wednesday.

The Maersk Texas, a U.S.-flagged 19,592 deadweight tonnes (dwt) vessel, 148 metres (486 feet) long, came under attacked by pirates in skiffs at noon on Wednesday while transiting the Gulf of Oman, northeast of Fujairah, Maersk Line Ltd said.

Despite warnings, the pirates continued to approach the vessel and then fired upon it, after which a security team returned fire in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard rules of engagement, Maersk Line Ltd said.

“All hands onboard are safe and unharmed, and the vessel is proceeding on its voyage,” Maersk Line Ltd said.

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Latest News: Somali Pirates 0 for 4 this last 2 weeks

23.05.2012: 1300 UTC: Posn: 12:45N – 043:18E, Bab El Mandeb Straits, Red Sea.
Pirates in three skiffs approached a bulk carrier underway. Master raised alarm, informed UKMTO and alerted the armed security team onboard. Weapons sighted on the skiffs when they closed to 300 metres from the ship. The armed security team fired warning shots resulting in the pirates aborted the attempted attack and moved away.

23.05.2012: 0900 UTC: Posn: 25:29.6N – 057:16.8E Around 28nm WSW of Bandar-e-Jask, Iran, (Off Somalia).
D/O onboard a general cargo ship underway noticed a group of 10 skiffs at a distance of 2nm from the ship on the stbd side. The forward skiff broke off from the group and approached the ship at a speed of 20-25 knots. Master and security team informed. Alarm raised, fire hoses and SSAS activated. UKMTO and navies informed. The ship increased speed and commenced manoeuvring away from the skiffs. As the skiffs closed to 500meters the armed security team fired warning shots. The skiffs ignored the warning shots and continued to approach aggressively and weapons were sighted on the skiffs. As the skiffs closed to 300meters the security team once again fired at the skiffs and it was noticed that the skiffs returned fire towards the ship. Eleven additional skiffs were sighted on the port side advancing towards the ship. As the security team fired warning shots these skiffs stopped and moved away. The skiffs on the stbd side continued to chase the ship and then after around 12 minutes from the initial approach the skiffs moved away towards a large dhow in the vicinity. No damages and no injuries to crew.

18.05.2012: 2000 LT: Posn: 25:20.9N – 057:34.6E (Around 25nm South of Ra’s-e Jask, Iran), Off Somalia.
Three skiffs chased a crude tanker underway and approached close to the stern. Alarm sounded, authorities and nearby warship contacted. Later the skiffs aborted the boarding and moved away.

12.05.2012: 1140 UTC: Posn: 13:52N-042:52E, Red Sea.
About 12 pirates chased and closed in to 0.2nm from a LPG Tanker underway. Master enforced anti piracy measures and increased speed. The onboard security team displayed their weapons and the boats then moved away. All crew and vessel are safe.

You saw that second report? 21 skiffs acting as a wolf pack to attack a merchant vessel. I can’t see how this is “off Somalia” since it’s 6 feet from Persia. And I didn’t notice a word in there about the vaunted Iranian Navy rescuing anyone or fighting off the pirates. But you can see in these reports that ship security has progressed from the barbed wire and fire hoses of a couple years back to teams of armed mercenaries aboard, and they start shooting when the skiffs close to half a kilometer. Pity they don’t hit more often ... or perhaps that bit doesn’t get reported.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/24/2012 at 09:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

He ain’t Austin Powers, M’kay?

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link

another link

and another link



The truth will out, though it take 100 years. Well, it was out 4 years ago if you wanted to see it, and nearly 4 years later it’s even easier to see. If you take the blinders off that is, which is very hard for many people to do.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/24/2012 at 08:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The One •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Oh Nikki You’re So Fine

An Ode To My Hero



The Oatmeal pens a paean to Nikola Tesla, as only The Oatmeal can. And along the way gives little Thomas Alva E. several righteous smacks for the scuzzmeister that he was.  Liar, thief, animal torturer, perhaps even guilty of murder by indifferent negligence. New Jersey’s finest!

Read, enjoy, and realize that historical revisionism is nothing new. Don’t miss the fine green print that’s hard to see.

Why Nikola Tesla Was The Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived

Ever heard of RADAR?
AKA that awesome technology that lets us detect objects like cruise missiles and latte-sipping SUV-driving imbeciles who do 85 in a 45
An English Scientist by the the name of Robert A. Watson-Watt was credited with the invention of radar in 1935.
Can you guess who came up with the idea in 1917?
18 years before Watson-Watt
NIKOLA TESLA
He pitched it to the US Navy at the beginning of World War I when the world was getting its butthole forcibly imploded by German U-boats.

Unfortunately,
Thomas Edison was head of R&D for the Navy at the time and he managed to convince them that it had no practical application in war.
NICE JOB, EDISON! You bloated, misguided ass.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/24/2012 at 08:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHumor •  
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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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