BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Wednesday - July 26, 2006

Blogs Of War

Today’s reading assignment is below. Read it all or get down and give me twenty, maggot!

imageimageCry Bias, and Let Slip the Blogs of War
By MIKE SPECTOR
(WALL STREET JOURNAL) - July 26, 2006

J.P. Borda (pictured at right) started a Web log during his 2004 National Guard deployment in Afghanistan to keep in touch with his family. But when he got home, he decided it was the mainstream media that was out of touch with the war. “You hear so much about what’s going wrong,” he says. “It gets hard to hear after a while when there’s so much good going on.”

Mr. Borda, a specialist, read other soldiers’ blogs and found he wasn’t alone. Hundreds of other troops and veterans were blogging world-wide, and many focused on a common enemy: journalists.

The 31-year-old software analyst, who now lives in Dallas, wanted to make it easier for people to read soldiers’ accounts. So he started a Web site, Milblogging.com1, to organize as many blogs as possible by country, military branch and subject matter. Today, the site links to more than 1,400 military blogs world-wide and was recently purchased for an undisclosed amount by Military.com, a Web site catering to soldiers that is owned by Monster Worldwide Inc.

Now, Mr. Borda finds himself at the center of a growing blogging movement. Military bloggers, or “milbloggers” as they call themselves, contend that they are uniquely qualified to comment on events in armed conflicts. Many milbloggers also argue that the mainstream media tends to overplay negative stories and play down positive military developments. For many of these blogs, says Mr. Borda, “the sole purpose is to counteract the media.”

There have always been at least some soldiers who have wanted to go to battle against Big Media. Some in the military blamed coverage of the Vietnam War for turning American public opinion against it. What’s changed? The Internet now allows frustrated soldiers and veterans to voice their opinions and be heard instantly and globally.

The backlash takes many forms. Some bloggers point out what they see as inaccuracies and post lengthy critiques of current reporting. Others post their own stories. Some simply sling arrows.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 04:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Love At First Sight

STOP RIGHT THERE!


Go watch this video NOW!


Then come back here and report ... if you’ve stopped rolling around on the floor laughing.


(Hint: Fred Phelps’ evil minions encounter a reporter who falls in love with one of the male demonstrators. The reporter is male. Enough said?)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 02:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Amerika the Gay

For me to say anything would be redundant.

Amerika the Gay

Our precious kids in the new world of sexual fascism

Linda Harvey

(The following is excerpted from a speech given to the Illinois Family Institute)

What were you like at age thirteen? At age eleven? At age seven?

Every one of us should stop for a second and remember. Put yourself, if you can, in your own shoes at the tender ages of 7, 11, and 13. What was your perception of the world? Of your future? Of right and wrong?

Then, if you can, imagine this. At age thirteen, you are told to make a decision that will dramatically change the entire course of your life. You are not advised to wait, but you are urged to rush forward. You are told by those whom you trust to start down a road that is blaringly adult. It’s a road that has grave health risks, but the grown-ups don’t tell you about this. It’s a road that may horrify your parents, but the whisperers say, “Go ahead-- your parents don’t understand.” It’s a road that has been rejected and condemned by most cultures and most civilizations since the dawn of creation, but these adults beckon you on, oblivious to the disaster that awaits you.

Walking this road will very likely shorten or cripple your life, and it’s one that will guarantee you will never parent a child produced by you and the person you love.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 01:58 PM   
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The end of Christianity in Iraq

I was astounded to learn there are even Christians in Iraq.

The end of Christianity in Iraq

It is doubtful that George W. Bush will be remembered as the American President who brought Jeffersonian Democracy to the Middle East. But it appears that at least one historic achievement is well within his grasp. It is quite likely that “W” will succeed where the Arab Caliphate, the Mongol Empire, the Ottoman Empire, British colonialism, and decades of Ba’athist misrule all failed. When “W” finally saunters off the world stage, the Assyrian Christian community in Iraq will probably be gone as well.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 01:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Unsinkable

They have already tried to sink her twice ... and failed. First, the terrorists tried on September 11, 2001 when they flew two passenger planes into her and brought her down. She rose from the ashes and started coming together again at Northrop-Grumman shipyards in Avondale, Louisiana. Then on August 29, 2005 they tried to sink her again when Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore and swept over the shipyards with 125 mph winds.

“She” is LPD-21, the USS New York. This is the newest ship in the San Antonio class of amphibious assault ships (USS Santonio - LPD-17, shown below). The USS New York has already survived two monstrous attacks and hasn’t even sailed yet. Don’t worry, though. In just about a year from now she will. My preference would have been to build a monster, 1000-foot-long battleship with 50 inch guns all around and six-foot thick armor plating, nukular propulsion and a crew with an attitude. I’ll settle for this one though. May she continue to be unsinkable ....

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NEW YORK Apr 3, 2006 (AP) — With a year to go before it even touches the water, the Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS New York has already made history twice. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center, and it survived Hurricane Katrina.

That combination of disasters gives the ship a unique standing among the 500 or so Avondale, La., shipyard workers building it, said Tony Quaglino, a crane superintendent who postponed retirement to have a hand in the New York’s construction.

“I think Katrina made us more aware of the tragedy in New York,” said the 66-year-old Quaglino. “One was manmade, one was natural, but they’re both a common bond.”

USS New York is about 45 percent complete and should be ready for launch in mid-2007. Katrina disrupted construction when it pounded the Gulf Coast last summer, but the 684-foot vessel escaped serious damage, and workers were back at the yard near New Orleans two weeks after the storm.

The ship was an impetus for many of the yard’s thousands of workers to return to the job, even though hundreds lost their homes, Quaglino and others said.

Northrop Grumman employed 6,500 at Avondale before Katrina. Today, roughly 5,500 are back on the job, working on the New York and three other vessels. More than 200 employees who lost their homes to Katrina are living at the shipyard, some on a Navy barge and others in bunk-style housing.

“Their dedication and devotion to duty has been, to say the least, epic,” Philip Teel, a vice president for Northrop Grumman Corp. and head of its ship systems division, told a Navy League dinner audience in New York on March 22.

“It sounds trite, but I saw it in their eyes,” Teel said in a separate interview. “These are very patriotic people, and the fact that the ship has steel from the trade center is a source of great pride. They view it as something incredibly special. They’re building it for the nation.”

USS New York is the fifth in a new class of warship designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 12:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Egypt Sits This One Out

When your team plays their team four times and your record is 0-4, you might want to consider playing in a less difficult league. Egypt has apparently decided to move down to Division III for this season, according to Coach Mubarak. Somebody grab that beer man. There’s a game in progress in Lebanon ....

Egypt Won’t Go To War With Israel
(JERUSALEM POST) - July 26, 2006 11:39

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak declared Wednesday at a press conference that his country did not plan on going to war with Israel, regardless of the latest conflict with Lebanon.

“The Military of Egypt’s purpose is solely to protect the country, and does not have any other objective,” said Mubarak after pressures on his government to intervene


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 09:40 AM   
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Never Happen

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Cameron Cardow - The Ottawa Citizen


“Religion of Peace”? Who are you kidding?

Hezbollah: Israeli Onslaught A Surprise
July 25, 2006 11:44pm EDT

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react with an all-out offensive after the capture of two soldiers, the first acknowledgment by the group that it had miscalculated the consequences of the raid two weeks ago. Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of the Hezbollah’s political arm, also told The Associated Press in an interview that the Shiite militant group will not lay down arms.

In separate remarks early Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah defiantly vowed his fighters would begin firing rockets deeper into Israel, beyond the northern port of Haifa. “The truth is — let me say this clearly — we didn’t even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us,” said Komati.

He said Hezbollah had expected “the usual, limited response” from Israel after the two soldiers were seized by guerrillas on Israel’s side of the border on July 12. In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon, seizing Hezbollah officials and briefly targeting specific strongholds in southern Lebanon.

Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges. In a speech broadcast on Hezbollah’s al-Manar television, Nasrallah urged his people to be patient, apparently counting on growing international anger at the Israeli offensive in which hundreds of Lebanese have died.

“Our steadfastness will change the regional and international reality around us. The enemy won’t have a lot of time, no matter what cover the American administration is providing it,” Nasrallah said. He said the group would enter a new stage in the fighting, vowing “our attacks will not remain limited to Haifa.” In the last two weeks, Hezbollah has rained hundreds of rockets on northern Israel, reaching targets farther south than in any previous attacks. The group has repeatedly hit the city of Haifa, the third largest in Israel.

Komati said Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers from a military area, but charged that Israelis had taken Hezbollah leaders from their homes at night. “The response is unjustified,” Komati said. He claimed the Israeli offensive was planned in advance, and Israel was only “waiting for the right time” to carry it out, a claim repeated by Nasrallah.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/26/2006 at 01:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 25, 2006

Pounding Sand

Tough Noogies, Kofi! Git yer impotent parasites outta there. Israel has had enough of your crap. Call us back in a few weeks after Hezbullah has been reduceed to smoldering ruins. That is all ...

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the strike on a clearly marked U.N. border outpost was “apparently deliberate” and demanded Israel investigate. A bomb dropped by an Israel warplane scored a direct hit on the post in the town of Khiyam, near the eastern sector of the border, U.N. officials said.

The victims were from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, U.N. and Lebanese military officials said. It was not immediately known which two were confirmed dead.

Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., called Annan’s reaction “deplorable.” He said the observers were caught in crossfire between Hezbollah and Israel. If Israel is found to be responsible for the deaths, it was not deliberate, he said.

“To level this accusation that it was deliberate is just outrageous and shocking and I hope he will apologize,” Ayalon told CNN.

- More horsefeathers at CNN ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 08:52 PM   
Filed Under: • United-Nations •  
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Welcome to the Jungle

Mission: Ecuador

I, along with 43 other adults and High-School youth (including my daughter) landed in Quito, Ecuador at 11:00 at night.  We had started our day at 5:00 that morning by packing the vans and truck to get all of our gear from our little berg to Ronald Regan (PBUH) International airport.

We would be staying the night at the Alliance Academy, a missionary boarding school started in 1929.  We are working with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, so they are coordinating all of our logistics.  Believe me, getting 44 people and their gear around in a third-world nation is a logistics challenge.

After a night’s fitful rest (sleeping at high-altitude is another interesting challenge), we got up and boarded our bus for a six-hour trip to the Amazon Jungle.  Because of the size of our group, we will split into four groups of 10-12 and will be working in four different villages:  Santa Rosa, Dos Rios, Archidona and Pano.  My group will be in Pano.  Our job is twofold:
1. Help build a new home for a retired pastor
2. Work with the local children and youth in a number of ways:
a. Playing
b. Teaching English
c. Evangelism
d. General personal care (washing hair, clipping nails, etc)

We are one of a number of groups coming to Ecuador this summer, but we are the only ones willing to go to the jungle region.  This presents a great opportunity for us to build relationships with the people in the villages we will serve in.

The pastor’s old house is where we stay; girls on the second floor, guys in the attic. 
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No screens. One light bulb per floor.  Did I mention we were in the Amazon Jungle and there were no screens?  In truth, there were very few bugs.  We sprayed with Deet pretty frequently, and only got bitten by “chiggers” on our legs as we walked through the high grass to the lavatories.

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We were a team of three adults (myself, a nurse and a mom) and 9 high-school youth (2 guys, 7 girls), all pretty young.  No one really expected much from our team since they were so young, but the kids didn’t hear that part of the story.

When we arrived, the house had a poured floor, front and rear wall and a roof.

imageimage





Those kids sifted sand, mixed mortar, moved block, carted rocks and generally did anything the masons on site needed so they didn’t have to stop.  After 10 days, we were painting the inside and outside, and I would guess the old guy moved in within a week or two.

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It may not look like much to our standards, but it was 1,000 times better than where he is living now.



Every afternoon, the kids from the village would come by, knowing there were “gringos” here, especially the girls, who would just love to play with them, teach them American games and songs, and generally have a good time with them.

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We also go to eat a sample of the local fare:
Fried Bananna Chips
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Fish (from the river next door)
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And who could resist fried grubs?
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We ended our stay back in the capitol city of Quito for about 5 days, visiting a couple of orphanages, handing out fruit to people who pick through the garbage at the dump and doing a bit of sightseeing.

I loved Ecuador, especially the jungle.  The people of Pano were open with their generosity and more than willing to put up with this gringo’s poor attempt at their language.  My daughter found her life’s calling in working with children in a mission context.  Our family would like to return to this little slice of paradise soon, maybe next year if it can be worked out.  Thanks for indulging me this brief side road from the political and social news of the day.  Carry on.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 03:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Personal •  
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Through The Looking Glass

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“Bonneville Salt Flats”
All that is left of a once huge system of fresh-water lakes in the American West


imageimageLake Bonneville

Lake Bonneville was a prehistoric pluvial lake that covered much of North America’s Great Basin region. Most of the territory it covered was in present-day Utah, though parts of the lake extended into present-day Idaho and Nevada.

Like most, if not all of the ice age pluvial lakes of the American West, Lake Bonneville was a result of the combination of lower temperatures, decreased evaporation, and higher precipitation that then prevailed in the region, perhaps due to a more southerly jet stream than today’s. The lake was probably not a singular entity either; geologic evidence suggests that it may have evaporated and reformed as many as 28 times in the last 3 million years.

About 14,500 years ago, the lake level fell catastrophically as Lake Bonneville overflowed near Red Rock Pass, Idaho and washed away a natural dam formed by opposing overlapping alluvial fans. The lake level fell some 105 m (~350 ft.) to what is now the next lower bench (the “Provo level") in a flood that geologists estimate to have lasted up to a year. It is estimated that this breach released 1,000 cubic miles of water in the first few weeks. The Provo level is the most easily recognized shoreline feature throughout the valley (Utah Valley?) and is distinguished by thick accumulations of tufa that formed near shore during the 500 years that the lake was at this level.

About 14,000 years ago, the lake started to drop again due to changing climate conditions, and by 12,000 years ago, the lake reached a level even lower than that of the modern day Great Salt Lake. A slight transgression or rise in lake level occurred about 10,900 to 10,300 years ago and formed the Gilbert shoreline. The Gilbert shoreline is the least conspicuous of the major shorelines but evidence of it remains at Antelope Island and in large coastal features, such as the Fingerpoint Spit near the Hogup Mountains.

(Source: Wikipedia)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 03:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyHistory •  
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It’s a Great Day!

Hello fellow bat-hunters,

I am back from my super-secret trip to South America and will have a report as soon as I can compile the photos and text in an understandable and meaningful way.  But beside that, it is a great day because Bill Whittle has posted the first chapter of his new online effort called “An American Civilization.  This chapter is entitled The Web of Trust.  Go read it, then report back.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 12:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Philosophy •  
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ABA: Bush violating Constitution

The American Bar Association seems to have its panties in a wad over Pres. Bush’s signing statements. Signing statements are the President’s misgivings over a bill. Apparently there were 600 signing statements before GWB. GWB has something like 800 of them. To quote a Clinton-era flack, “Stroke of the pen, law of the land, pretty cool.” He was referring to Clinton’s Executive orders, but signing statements could be considered as an Executive Order.

ABA: Bush violating Constitution
Bar association president says signing statements erode democracy

Monday, July 24, 2006; Posted: 11:05 a.m. EDT (15:05 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP)—President Bush’s penchant for writing exceptions to laws he has just signed violates the Constitution, an American Bar Association task force says in a report highly critical of the practice.

The ABA group, which includes a one-time FBI director and former federal appeals court judge, said the president has overstepped his authority in attaching challenges to hundreds of new laws.

The attachments, known as bill-signing statements, say Bush reserves a right to revise, interpret or disregard measures on national security and constitutional grounds.

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 12:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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More from Iraq

My source in Iraq sent this in on Sunday and I just got to it. My apologies. He starts off with a personal statement:

From the FLAPJAWMAN:

Before anyone reads this, here are my comments… For starters, I DO NOT CONDONE TORTURE, NOR DOES THE U.S. ARMY.  If ANYONE disagrees with that last statement, then you are definitely part of the twilight zonian moon bats.  I defy anyone to show me any official regulations that require Interrogations in the Army to use torture!  If holding two bottles of water is an outrageous form of toture, then where is the outcry over the likes of Hizb’Allah hanging people on meat hooks and chopping them up alive?  OH I FORGOT-those evil doers can do no wrong....

Back to the below article.  It is becoming increasingly clear that many want the US to fail in its War on Terror and against these Religious Fanatics.  It is quite odd that those who are so much foaming at the mouth about the U.S. and supposed autrocities would be the first who would get their heads lopped off under the “Utopia” they are so eager to pursue…

Notice how, when there is a lot of good news coming out about the Middle East and the isolation of Terrorists the media has to bring up a criminal act that the Army had ALREADY BEEN INVESTIGATING SIX MONTHS BEFORE IT BROKE IN THE NEWS AND HAD BROUGHT ALL RESPONSIBLE - to INCLUDE THE LEADERSHIP: up to and INCLUDING a Brigidier General (She was booted from the Army in disgrace- a pretty big punishment if you ask me- but she promptly tried to pander to the media in a number of TV appearances)- to JUSTICE… WHERE are the Hizb’Allah Courts Marshall for their Autrocity Perpertrators?  HUH? HUH?

Then again, only read the below article if you can stomache it… I can’t possible look at it again....

FLAPJAWMAN

It’s obvious that Flappy is upset over the below article. Let’s see what we have…

Iraq prisoner abuse ‘was routine’

The torture of prisoners in US custody in Iraq was authorised and routine even after the Abu Ghraib scandal came to light, a US-based rights group says.
Soldiers’ accounts show that detainees routinely faced severe beatings, sleep deprivation and other abuses for much of 2003-2005, Human Rights Watch says.

Soldiers who tried to complain about the abuse were rebuffed or ignored.

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 11:22 AM   
Filed Under: • IraqOutrageous •  
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Slow day in Iraq

Must be a slow day in Iraq since my source over there is sending jokes. Thought I share them with you.

these have many many uses to be incorproated into your am/pm briefings.-MEDICAL EXAMS

1. A man comes into the ER and yells, “My wife’s going to have her baby in the cab!” I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady’s dress, and began to take off her underwear.  Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs ---and I was in the wrong one.

Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Antonio, TX.

2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall. “Big breaths,” I instructed. “Yes, they used to be,” replied the patient.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA

3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a “massive internal fart.”

Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg

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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/25/2006 at 10:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffMedical •  
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

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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