When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Thursday - March 21, 2013

Sir Francis Drake

Worth £500 at the time, it is now on the market for £1.25m, with a Lordship thrown in. Listed in the Domesday Book, the house in Sampford Sampfo Spiney, Devon, is thought to date back to 1028. In the 12th century it belonged to Gerard Ge de Spine to, Lord of Sampford, for whose family lived there for so long the parish was renamed Sampford Spiney, rather than just Sampford.
It was in 1581 – seven s years before the Spanish Armada A – that Drake became the owner. Included in the sale is the Lordship of Sampford for Spiney and 202 acres of land. The house has five bedrooms and three reception rooms.


In 1581 Sir Francis Drake won this gorgeous Dartmoor mansion in a £500 bet. Now, for £1.25m, it could be yours (and there’s even a Lordship thrown in)

· Sampford Manor on edge of Dartmoor thought to date back to 800s
· Was once historic seat of the Lord of Sampford, Gerard de Spineto
· His descendants had to give deeds to Drake after losing £500 wager
· Current owners bought the house as a derelict shell 25 years ago
· But have worked with English Heritage to rebuild and refurbish it

By Simon Tomlinson

‘Nobody can quite say exactly when the house was built. It was first recorded in 1028 but we think it could have been build as far back as the 800s.

‘It was certainly well-established by the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086 when people were bringing their tithes here.

‘It was rebuilt and extended in the early 17th century after it fell into his disrepair after Drake’s death.

‘Inside the house we have the biggest bread oven you’ll ever see, they would have baked bread here for the whole of the village.

‘When I arrived there were stories of judges robes being found under the staircase and the kitchen was called the courtroom. It would have been the civic centre of the parish.

Having some super serious and maddening problems with the browser I’m using, so good place to end anyway.
See link for more and some photos as well.

Trying Safari and think I’ll uninstall the damn thing.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/21/2013 at 07:03 AM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 20, 2013

Oh Swell, It’s a Dell

“PC news”

I looked and I looked, and all that DIY stuff is awesome, and I know what upgrade parts I’ll want someday, and I’m certain I can build one. BUT.

But for now I’m going with the OTB solution (Open The Box). I took everything everyone told me into consideration ... and even though I’ll probably never be able to use the full power of it, I went with the i7 3770/H77 machine. Not the 3770K chip or the Z77 chipset. The i5 builds were only $130 less, but that was with half the RAM and half the HD, and that HD was not even a SATA 6Gb/s interface either. And a crappier graphics card, or none. Not that mine came with any kind of wonder card, but it’s better than CPU mounted graphics, especially the ones on the lesser CPUS. I did find a decent i3 system for about half the price, but it was stripped and built with cheap parts. I had a big debate with myself about future-proofing, and I decided to err on the side of speedy this time.

This box has just about everything I could ever want built in or added on, right down to a 7 button laser mouse. 7? I’ve got 5 on this one, including the wheel. Don’t know what I’ll do with more.

So, someday ... a couple weeks ... and a new PC will arrive.

My network guy from bowling league wasn’t much help, but he did strongly advise me against Windows 8. That was my plan anyway; it’s got a very bad reputation. So I got 7 Pro, which gives me XP mode if I need it, and Dell threw in the W7P disks for $3. Windows 8 is a FAIL OS: all the vendors are discounting it $100 with new systems, PC industry blogs say that 8 has barely penetrated the market 2.5%, the same as Mac, and that one of Microsoft’s selling points for the Win 8 Pro version is that you can downgrade it. Downgrading is a selling point? Horry clap. Nobody wants this red-headed step child.

Now, to wait for SSD prices to drop. Mwahahahahaaa! (actually that gives me some time to pay this bugger off. Like, a whole year?)

A big shout out to all who gave good comment advice ... especially the link to, a place saturated in geek awesome.

Sure, I probably paid too much, although I got the machine for a bit less than the listed price. Enough less to cover most of the tax ... damn them, the internet should be free, not charging taxes for interstate commerce!! You bastards! But a kit machine doesn’t come with 24-7 in home tech support for a year either. Just in case, right?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/20/2013 at 06:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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and in this corner

Be nice to just once be able to see this in our country. Just think, a chance to batter libtards and nobody to call the cops. Gotta love it.
I don’t even know why this fight happened. Do I care?

A serious punch up in Parliament. But not here.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/20/2013 at 10:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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Hey Vern - Sunrise At The North Pole!


image image image image

Today is the Vernal Equinox, the first of two days of the year when the sun rises directly from the East. The Fall Equinox is the other one. In theory day and night are exactly equal today, but in truth perfectly equal day and night occurs 2 days prior. This is not because the Gregorian calendar we’ve all been using since 1582 is inaccurate, it’s because the Sun is really large, really close in astronomic terms, and because we have an atmosphere. If our favorite neighborhood star was 900 billion miles away and we lived on an airless rock, then night and day would be exactly exactly the same today.


Question: Why doesn’t the vernal equinox (equal night) on March 20 have the same number of hours for day and night?

Answer: Our former astronomer, George Greenstein, had this to say: “There are two reasons. First, light rays from the Sun are bent by the Earth’s atmosphere. (This is why the Sun appears squashed when it sets.) They are bent in such a way that we are actually able to see the Sun before it rises and after it sets. The second reason is that daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’”

Today the sun rises at the North Pole. And stays risen. For half a year. And then it sets, and stay set, for the next six months. Sucks to live at the North Pole, don’t it Santa?

But most importantly, Winter is over. Now, would someone please tell the Weather Channel? It’s still below freezing outside, with a partial coating of that white stuff. Go. Away.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/20/2013 at 10:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 19, 2013

Cross Cultural Beans

Ok, here is something I can handle. Simple filling food that tastes great and costs very little.

My wife makes this simple soup. It’s an Italian thing, a zuppa Toscanna, which means sausage and kale soup. It’s pretty good, goes together fast, and is not expensive. She makes hers really basic, without potatoes, without cream, and without bell peppers. It’s not much more than chicken broth with greens and sausages and a clove or two of garlic. Dead easy to make.

We’re in the early stages of cleaning out my MIL’s house now that we’re past the mourning. We brought home all her unopened food. Part of that haul was a whole collection of dried beans. Bags and bags worth. Kidney beans, white beans, navy beans, lentils. And red lentils. On the bag of red lentils is a simple recipe for lentils and rice, which is really easy to make and tastes pretty darn good. Seriously cheap eats, yet filling and wholesome. It has a vaguely Indian or Hispanic taste, and the level of spice is pretty mild.

Our grocery store sells the Premio brand of Chorizo sausages. These are not the chorizos your abuela used to make, rough cut and zippy. No, these are the special Foreign Foods For Frightened White People variety, smoothly ground and with just a hint of spice. But they do make a nice change from the typical Italian style sausages, and they cost the same. Which is not much. $2.39 for a pack of 8 I think.

We like Indian food. One of the greatest things to get in the Indian restaurants is this expensive little pot of highly seasoned buttery bean mush called Dahl Makhani. OMG, it’s soooo good. You dip a bit of the naan bread in it, and yum. Heaven! So rich, so aromatic, but not hot. It’s made from red lentils and lots of curry spices. Lots. And cream. We were out of cream last night.

So you see where this is going. We combined all three recipes, and cooked the soup down to a stew-like consistency. Added lots more spice, a bit of butter. And the result comes out like dahl, only with meat and greens added in. It’s a meal all by itself that feeds 6 or more for $7 or less. It also makes one helluva good side dish.

Take 6 or 7 chorizos and fry them up gently until they’re nearly done. Cut them into 3/8” slices, then quarter each slice.
Carefully clean a bunch of kale. Kale is a very textured green, so it needs lots of washing to get all the soil out. Split each leaf down the middle, and then chop them across the leaf into 1/2” wide slices. Kale does not shrivel up much when you boil it, so don’t make the pieces too large.
Make the Lentils and Rice recipe above, but use all chicken broth instead of the chicken broth and water mix called for. Or just toss in another 2 bullion cubes like I did.
Instead of a single 1lb bag of lentils, use 2. Use 2 baseball sized yellow onions as well. Add a Drew-generous grind of black pepper.
Put in twice as much fresh ginger, about 1 1/2” ground from a 1” thick piece. Put in four times as much cumin. We used the MIL’s curry powders, which were a bit old and of the yellow non-hot variety that are mostly tumeric. So put in a good 3-4 spoonsful. If you’re a curry junky you probably have some Garam Masala somewhere in your kitchen. A spoon or two of that wouldn’t hurt a bit.
Add the kale and the chorizos.
Cut about an inch from a stick of butter and put that in as well. A little more won’t hurt, but you don’t want too much. 1 1/2 inches at most.
I put in half a dozen shakes from the jar of pizza pepper flakes. We like hot and this gives it just a tiny bit of heat; 2 shakes would be fine for other folks. Real Indian ground Sanaam dried red peppers would work just as well.

Put the whole thing in a good sized pot and boil it, then on for a medium simmer for about half an hour. It’s done when the lentils get soft, but don’t cook it so long that they disintegrate. A lot of the liquid evaporates off; you want it to come out like stew, only a bit runny. Not liquid like soup. Don’t cook it so dry that it becomes paste.

And there you go. Toscanna Makhani, Mexican style. Three cultures in one pot of beans. And nobody will leave the table hungry, even if you use only 4 sausages. This is hearty, solid food. Dial back the spice amounts if you are averse, but the amounts called for in the lentils and rice recipe result in merely the barest hint of flavor. You want more, lots more, and no-name yellow curry powder is some really mild stuff. Don’t fear it. If you really must go mild, use less fresh ginger. That takes away most of the snap. Not that this dish has much snap IMO. But it has some. Use less cumin powder if you fresh grind your own; her cumin was of unknown age in a jar from the dollar store. My cumin, fresh whole seeds from Penzey’s, is at least 4 times stronger. The bullion cubes were not the low salt variety. My wife is a bit of a halophobe (doesn’t like salt) so there is no other added salt. You can always add some to yours at the table if you want.

A bowl of this, leftover from last night, and the one small remaining bit of the corned beef from St. Paddy’s Day is my lunch today. Yum.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/19/2013 at 09:28 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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PC Parts - Overwhelming!

Thanks for the great response to my PC post. I’m looking at motherboards, RAM, and other parts right now. It’s pretty overwhelming; there is simply so much to choose from.

And the evil little audiophile demon that lives in my head has been awakened and is starting to stamp his sharp little hooves and demand top-level stuff. Problem is, I don’t know what top-level stuff is. The ASUS boards are myraid; I’m assuming Form Factor ATX is a standard size motherboard that fits in a standard “mini tower” case. Fine by me; I don’t need a PC the size of a box of tissues. But gosh, the choices. I’m still thinking Ivy Bridge, so Intel i3 - i7, but I don’t know from Adam about z77 vs z77 Express etc. And here I was the other day, ready to plop down money for an i7/H77 system! And RAM? CRIVENS!! There is an infinite selection! Every “hot” system I saw for sale online from the PC companies came with 1600Mhz DDR3, but these boards run - or CAN run?? - 2400Mhz DDR3, 50% faster and just $50 more expensive. In the old, old days, faster RAM made a huge difference. Now? I have no idea.

I know I want a board with at least 1 SATA III port because that SSD route seems an awesome way to go, even if I don’t go there first thing. I think I want a built-in ethernet port, and a built-in WiFi thinger. Both, just in case. But sound boards are also built-in these days? Coolness, or crappola? And reasonable video cards? I’m beginning to feel ... well, not exactly OLD, but a bit on the Rip Van Winkle side: the last time I messed about with cards and slots was to put a Perstor card in my 286 machine ( a wonder-board that piggybacked the HD controller and tripled the capacity of my Seagate ST-4096 HD ), and in those days all this stuff was an ad-on, so you needed slots, more slots, and more slots. Now I’m seeing boards with just 2-4 slots, but with so much stuff built into the mobo itself, yeah, maybe that’s enough. But. More confusion! There are at least 3 kinds of PCI slot now! My current PC has 1, and it’s original PCI, no -E, Express, Zip, or whatever.

Ok. Calm down Drew. Walk away from the candy store; assume Christmas is over. The idea is to build a good machine and get out the door for $800, or close to it. For a running PC with OS. And that’s going to be a challenge, because so much of what is out there for the DIYer seems so much better than what Dell or Acer sells you; it’s not even in the same ballpark. Unless the human-observable performance difference between “bargain” and “white hot” are nearly indistinguishable for anything less than NASA-level number crunching. And, BIG DUH, I’d better grab my actual NEEDS by the sack and give them a squeeze, so that their screams drown out the drooling clamor of the WANTS. But I’m new to all this, so it’s hard. I’m in the candy store, and there are 128 different kinds of fancy organic licorice for sale, but yesterday the only stuff I was aware of was Twizzlers. Which is rubberized crap.  Ooh, look - Danish hilyatsprach, an extra strong licorice with 3% anise seed oil, 10% organic Italian licorice root, and no molasses! But with salt! Ooh, tasty!

The dangerous thing is that I have a natural eye for quality. I walk into ta jewelry store and look in the case, and automatically point to the best quality diamonds and emeralds, when I was actually shopping for garnets.

This is going to be very hard. Thanks. Really; I do enjoy a challenge.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE Intel 7 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z77 Express, 2400MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, CrossFireX Ready

Friday this was gibberish. Today I half understand it, although I have to Google up CrossFireX ... but I’m guessing it means a doubled GPU. Just guessing.

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO Intel 7 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z77, 2400MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, WiFi-N, SLI/CrossFireX

$25 difference between the two. Both are expensive. The later has the latest and greatest version of Wifi built-in. Cool. But SLI/CrossFireX? Similar thing, but I’m doing the big Scooby Doo “ma-roouh??” here. So much stuff to learn!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/19/2013 at 08:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Monday - March 18, 2013

PC #3 Advice Needed

The other day when I was having some computer problems, one commenter suggested that I just go buy a new machine; you can get a new computer for $200. That seemed like decent advice, so I went out looking. And opened a can of worms, and then dove in head first. Oops.

Yes, you can get a new PC for about that price. The bare bones, bottom end machine, no monitor, sometimes not even including a keyboard. And what you’d get is still far superior to the machine I’m using right now, a 733Mhz P3 that just celebrated it’s 14th anniversary. But I found out that it’s hardly worth it to spend that little unless you absolutely have to, when for just a bit more you can have ever so much more. $500 gets you a PC that was current 2 years ago, with the i3 or i5 CPU and 2Gb of RAM. $700 buys you a machine that’s just a couple hairs shy of the red hot cutting edge.

In my mind a computer costs $2000. That’s about what I paid for my first PC, a 12.5Mhz 80286 Dell with a 16” VGA monitor that I bought in the early winter of 1988. Hey, that was a hot machine in those days, and it came with a huge 12Mb hard drive and DOS 3.2. I got quite a number of years out of that one until a short appeared on the motherboard. In 1994 a new 33Mhz 80386 motherboard went it, and that ran just fine until my old job gave me this machine as a perk. Yup, they paid for most of it, and this machine cost just about $2000, 11 years after I bought the first one for the same price. In all the years since I’ve only added a bit of RAM to this one, replaced the OEM graphics card with another identical one for $40, and replaced the monitor twice. Now it runs a decent but not fancy HP2311 flat screen, but the original CPU and 27Gb HD are still chugging away. The OS has changed from Win 98 to Win 200 to Win XP Pro, and I’ve never had the slightest problem with any of them. It’s optimized to hell and back, but you can only do so much with old tech. I can’t even run the current version of Firefox; forget any kind of hi-res gaming or heavy computation.

So I went online and did research. IOPs. Core architecture. Chipsets. Ivy Bridge. Haswell. SATA III. Tri-D 3 dimensional transistors, 22nm architecture, i5, i7, 3rd Generation, DDR3, $500 graphics cards, Turbo Boost, the whole shebang. Impressive. And overwhelming. And this ... this thing out there that really upsets people, called Windows 8.

And what I found out, is that $700 will get you a new PC that is just one or two slight shades below cutting edge, and that $1000 will get you cutting edge, but as usual the sky is the limit if you want something both niche and extreme. A “gamer” machine. I don’t think I have much use for one of them, considering that my PC game of choice is probably Free Cell. It’s just not my thing. Not yet. And since my hindbrain thinks that a new computer costs two grand, $700 seems like a tremendous bargain, considering that it buys you (via Dell)

* an Intel i7 3770 CPU that runs at 3.4Ghz with 4 cores and all that multi-threading goodness, and can hit 3.9Ghz in Turbo Mode. Whatever that is.
* 8 Gb of 1600Mhz RAM
* a Terrabyte 7200rpm hard drive with 6Gb burst transmission speed
* Ivy Bridge architecture and the H77 chipset (aka Panther Piss or whatever it’s called) that comes with myriad SATA II and SATA III ports right on the motherboard
* a plethora of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
* a reasonable but mundane 1Gb graphics card but no monitor
* a built-in 10/100/1000 ethernet card (10 times faster than the 10/100 card in this machine)
* the latest Wifi with Bluetooth
* a full-on surround sound music card but no speakers
* a 460 watt power supply
* a new keyboard and a new mouse
* a new medium size tower case that will handle one (or two!) of the double slot wide 11.5” long super killer graphics cards should I ever want one.

and 64 bit Windows 8. Interestingly, getting the exact same machine with the older 64 bit Windows 7 costs $100 more. $200 more if I get the W7 Pro with the virtual XP environment built into it. Hmmm. Yeah, I might lose a few applications if I transfer stuff from old PC to new PC, but they’re ancient ones anyway. No big. Going with another company (HP) and spending another $100 on top of that can get me the 3770K and the hair better X77 chipset, in case I want to play Tweaker and diddle with the system clocks until I break something. Um, that may not be too smart. But it would be about 8% faster even if I didn’t mess about with it.

Either way, it’s quite impressive, since a white hot super dooper cutting edge gaming PC is nearly the exact same thing, except it has the i7 3770K CPU that runs 0.1 Ghz faster, 12 or 16 Gb of the same kind of RAM, when RAM chips costs about $40, and a 600 W power supply which generally costs about $40 more. The real difference is the $200-500 graphics card(s) thrown in, which will fit in this size case should I ever want them. So $700 is tremendous bang for the buck, and I could save $150 off of that by going with an older i5 CPU from 2 years ago, which isn’t really any slower but is less “extreme” for any future demands I might put on it. Compared to what I’m typing away at right now, today’s “cheap” $700 machine is about 40 times faster than mine, with 40 times the storage and 800 times as much RAM. Beyond night and day difference. Dead vs Alive might be more apt.

Yes, you can overclock the 3770K CPU and make it run 15% faster. But you’d better be smart about it, and you’d better put in a real killer thermal management system first. Liquid cooling and the radiator from a ‘92 Buick. And the X77 or J77 chips are a bit more potent and flexible than the “cheapo” H77 chips, but we’re not talking any kind of speed difference that a human could notice. Benchmark software can notice, and the better chips shave a second or two off some task here or there. They cost another $100 too.

One option I would consider for somewhere down the road would be one of those solid state hard drives, an SSD. The ones for the SATA III interface cost $125-250, and give you an eighth to a quarter gigabyte of additional storage on chips. No moving parts! And they are lightning fast and consume hardly any electricity. SSDs for SATA II cost $1200 for some reason, and they can only flow data at half the speed of the SATA III interface.

I am not planning on buying a new monitor any time soon. I just got this one 20 months ago and I expect it to last forever. It does 1080P and can support an HDMI or DVI cable, so it’s plenty good enough. But this whole Windows 8 “Metro” kerfluffle has sent me for a loop. I could use some advice: is it better to spend the extra $!00 and get Windows 7, which is admittedly a bit slower, or should I save the money, get Windows 8 (which is really designed to work with a touchscreen, turning your PC into an oversize tablet or iPad) and then use one of the work-around apps out there? Perhaps until I can save up to get a touch screen monitor, which are rather expensive for something of decent size?

Or, solution 3, which is to try and hang on until mid-summer, when the Haswell architecture comes out, as part of Intel’s never ending “tick tock” annual upgrade releases. And cross my fingers and wish upon a star that Microsoft codes in an Off switch for the dreaded Metro thingy. I don’t know if I can do that; this thing could go belly up at any time. And it has become terribly slow no matter what I do to it, so I’m doubting if I could find another 5 months worth of patience. If the $15 wireless adapter card had lasted, that was my original plan, but it up and died and now I have a big stupid data cable running across the whole house. Not a good thing. I can’t say if Haswell systems will cost more or less at that point, but they will cause the price of Ivy Bridge desktops to drop even further. And from what I read, the only real improvement is going to be to native graphics anyway, which don’t get used at all if you have a graphics card installed. I think.

And no, “buy a Mac” isn’t good advice, unless you can point me to a brand new one with the latest hot chips in it that goes for well under $800. Not refurbished. One that didn’t gently fall off the back of a truck in the middle of the night. Uh huh.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2013 at 01:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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…Kicked this Aussie’s @ss…

What did I ever do?

I just finished playing an Aussie on He has something against Americans. He accused me of…

1) murdering Viet Kong
2) raping Vietnamese women AND children.

Once I informed him I was too young to have been in ‘Nam, next I was raping and killing women and children in Iraq. Once I informed him I was too old by then, he switched gears… now I’m raping Native Americans!

Well, my wife and I are both Native Americans, and neither has ever accused the other of rape. Can’t rape the willing.

Just for the record, I kicked this Aussie’s ass on Game available upon request. Shame the game comments aren’t saved…


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/18/2013 at 12:06 AM   
Filed Under: • Editorials •  
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calendar   Sunday - March 17, 2013

Who is she?

This isn’t a trick like that last one I posted a few years ago. This is a legitimate 1930s movie starlet. Two questions:

A) Who is she?
B) What role is she best remembered for?


I’ll leave this up for a day or two, unless someone gets the right answer!


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/17/2013 at 06:03 PM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesEye-CandyHollywoodMOVIESTelevision •  
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eye candy sunday night



I don’t know. Do you care?


“Once, In Love , With Amy”


See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/17/2013 at 02:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

from each no matter what their means, to all who want some of it anyway

I have about a 100 things to get done today and this is one ovem.

While reading this I wondered if I could convince the govt. that I’m an asylum seeker from the USA.  Based on a program broadcast last night on BBC radio wherein the host had absolute proof that Nixon was a traitor and kept the war in Nam going so that he would win in 68 thus stealing the election from Humphrey, well.  They might believe the wife and I are needy of a million dollar home as this place is too small and too old.
Nah. Never work.
Wrong social group and color.

Gotta wonder though how people come here and manage to convince the authorities that living large at the txpyer expense is somehow a right. And not just a right but a very large and expensive one.

Mother of six demands she is rehoused in exclusive suburb after a cap on housing benefit forced her out of £2MILLION home ( roughly 3 million 23 thousand in dollars )

Stephanie Demouh was entitled to housing benefit because she was registered as a single mother
She lived in a four bedroom house in Belgravia, near Sloane Square, for about three years
Government housing cap resulted in Westminster Council moving family
Demouh says she needs to live in the exclusive area so her children can get to school
Westminster City Council says it will now investigate the case

By Tara Brady

A mother-of-six who was forced out of a £2million home in one of London’s most expensive areas after the government introduced a cap on housing benefit is demanding the council rehouse her in the same neighbourhood so her children can attend an elite school.

Stephanie Demouh, originally from Togo, in west Africa, was entitled to the handouts because she claimed she was a single mother.

She was allocated a four-bedroom house in Belgravia, near Sloane Square, where she has been living for about three years with her children.

It is not known how much exactly Ms Demouh’s rent was each month and whether it was all funded from the housing benefit she received which totalled £1,200 a week.

However, after the government housing benefit was capped at £400-a-week she was forced to move into temporary accommodation 10 miles away in Edgware by Westminster City Council on December 29. 

The mother, who is studying accountancy at Westminster University, wrote to councillors to complain and believes she should be rehoused by the council in the exclusive neighbourhood, where the average four-bedroom property is worth about £6million, so her four children can attend a top Church of England school.

She hopes her fifth child will start in September.

Ms Demouh says her children are now always tired because of the distance they have to travel on the bus to school.

She told The Sunday Times: ‘My children are suffering because they are overtired all the time.

‘I can’t change my place of study. If you have to attend a nine o’clock lecture, you can’t be at both places together.’

According to records single mum Demouh married in 2001 but she was the only adult living in the house with her children.

Companies House records shows that her husband owns an online clothes store called Ambro & Phany. She is listed as the company’s secretary.

Despite claiming to the council that she is a single mother, it is understood she owns 50 per cent of the shares of her husband’s company.

When asked if her husband contributes to the family’s living costs, she said ‘a lot’.

Ms Demouh has denied outright that she has been involved in any fraudulent activity.

A council spokesman confirmed the local authority will investigate the case and will look at Ms Demouh’s entire history with the council.

Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for housing said: ‘This investigation is ongoing, so we cannot comment on the specific details.

‘Westminster City Council are committed to ensuring that homes and taxpayers’ money are used to help only those in genuine need and will not tolerate people “playing the system” to their own benefit.

‘We will unhesitatingly take court action against those who make false claims to ensure that money only goes to those who genuinely need it.’

A crackdown on housing benefit has seen a massive fall in the number of families claiming over £30,000 a year, the Government say.

There has been a 75 per cent drop in the largest claims in three years, new figures show, after ministers pledged to cut the ballooning welfare budget.

Payments to tenants in the private rented sector were capped at £250 a week for a one-bedroom flat up to £400 for four bedrooms.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/17/2013 at 10:54 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsIllegal-Aliens and ImmigrationInflation and High Prices •  
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refused asylum in the USA. apparently the wrong racial group.

Silly white folks. I guess they could be forgiven for not knowing how things work.
Had they darkened their skin and spoken really bad ginglesh, they’d have been allowed in.

Maybe they can re-enter using the border with Mexico. That seems to work for millions of others. But they’ll need a really good tan of course.

White SA family refused asylum

Johannesburg - A white South African family has lost their court bid for asylum in the US, the Sunday Times reports.

The family, a couple with two children originally from Durban, claimed they were in danger in South Africa because another family member had been racist and his victims wanted revenge.

“This is not about black versus white. It’s about them being specific targets of retribution from victims of another person’s racism,” the family’s lawyer Errol Horwitz told the newspaper.

He said the family’s paternal grandfather had allegedly abused his employees at a construction company in South Africa.

His daughter-in-law testified in US courts that, as a result of his alleged racism, her dog was poisoned, human faeces thrown at their home, she was threatened, and her daughter was the victim of an attempted kidnapping.

However, this week, a request for a new appeal hearing was turned down by three judges of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Previously the court had ruled that since the grandfather had retired, there would be no credible threat against the family.

The family has spent 15 years involved in various court actions to try and gain asylum. Horwitz said the children were likely to gain US residency through other legal avenues.

However the parents were now “effectively undocumented migrants. The family is devastated by this decision.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/17/2013 at 08:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and ImmigrationUSA •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - March 15, 2013

Haute Couture For Spring

Look, Michelle got a new dress!


and pearls too!


No, I didn’t photochop nuthing, just cropped stuff a tiny bit.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2013 at 07:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The One •  
Comments (13) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

The FTS solution

After HOURS of trying every possible handshaking and security method, I gave up on the wireless adapter card. The modem and the router are working fine: I can surf the internet on the TV set, and I can browse with ease on her iPad. But on the PC, I can’t load any browser, MS Outlook, or update any software.

Why? Because after watching things very carefully, I noticed that the WiFi connection was only lasting about 12 seconds. Then it would shut down, then come right back on again. Sounds like a short circuit to me. So I pretty much figured that the $15 adapter card was kaput. Great. Now what? Well, the only reason I put in a wireless network in the first place was that only the bedrooms here have a phone socket, a power socket, and a cable socket near each other. And there’s no room for the computer desk and printer stand in the bedroom. So I had no choice. Well, this PC is on it’s last leg, having just turned 14 years old. Ancient. It will get replaced pretty soon, though I’m hoping it lasts until W8.2 and the next generation of Intel chip. So I said to heck with it, and put the 10 yr old 10/1000 3Com network card back in. Then I ran up to Walmart and got a 50’ Cat 5 data cable, which was just barely long enough to do the job. And it works just fine; I didn’t even have to re-install the software.

I’ll just walk the cable downstairs in the morning and take it up in the evening. Or whenever. I am NOT spending more money on this old PC.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2013 at 07:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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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:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

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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