BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Thursday - October 30, 2008

Halloween Fun

Hosting a zombie party for Halloween? This link shows you how to carve a watermelon so it looks like brains.
Zombie want Brains! Brains! Oh. Bah. Ma! Oh. Bah. Ma! Oh. Bah. Ma!

Here you go!



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/30/2008 at 07:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Campaign Finance

A little bit of perspective on campaign financing




George Will, writing in today’s Town Hall:

The Center for Responsive Politics calculates that by Election Day $2.4 billion will have been spent on presidential campaigns in the two-year election cycle that began January 2007, and another $2.9 billion will have been spent on 435 House and 35 Senate contests.

This $5.3 billion is a billion less than Americans will spend this year on potato chips.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/30/2008 at 07:50 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffPolitics •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 29, 2008

Twas the Night Before

Continuing the very recent tradition of posting bad poetry here at BMEWS, comes another email from Carol. Ain’t she the greatest?




‘Twas the night before elections

And all through the town

Tempers were flaring

Emotions all up and down!



I, in my bathrobe

With a cat in my lap

Had cut off the TV

No more political crap.


When all of a sudden

There arose such a noise

I peered out of my window

Saw Obama and his boys



They had come for my wallet

They wanted my pay

To give to the others

Who had not worked a day!



He snatched up my money

And quick as a wink

Jumped back on his bandwagon

As I gagged from the stink



He then rallied his henchmen

Who were pulling his cart

I could tell they were out

To tear my country apart!



‘ On Fannie, on Freddie,

On Biden and Ayers!

On Acorn, On Pelosi’

He screamed at the pairs!



They took off for his cause

And as he flew out of sight

I heard him laugh at the nation

Who wouldn’t stand up and fight!



So I leave you to think

On this one final note-

IF YOU DONT WANT SOCIALISM

GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!





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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2008 at 06:04 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffPolitics •  
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Dear Mr. Obama

A guest post by Carol, who sends me emails all the time. Thanks Carol.




Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008
From: “Dennis”
Subject: A MUST READ… PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE TRUTH

To Barack Hussein Obama,



The New York Times carried a story on Saturday, October 4, 2008, that proved you had a significantly closer relationship with Bill Ayers than what you previously admitted.  While the issue of your relationship is of concern,
the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

The Chicago Sun reported on May 8, 2008, that FBI records showed that you had a significantly closer relationship with To NY Rezko than what you previously admitted.  In the interview, you said that you only saw Mr.
Rezko a couple of times a year.  The FBI files showed that you saw him weekly.  While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

Your speech in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, about ‘race’ contradicted your statement to Anderson Cooper on March 14 when you said that you never heard Reverend Wright make his negative statements about white America.  While your attendance at Trinity Church for 20 years is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on March 14.

In your 1st debate with John McCain, you said that you never said that you would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea without ‘preparations’ at lower levels ... Joe Biden repeated your words in his debate with Sarah Palin ... While the video tape from your debate last February clearly shows that you answered ‘I would’ to the question of meeting with those leaders within 12 months without ‘any’ preconditions.  While your judgement about meeting with enemies of the USA without pre-conditions is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America in the debate with McCain.

On July 14, 2008, you said that you always knew that the surge would work while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you stated that the surge would not work.  While your judgement about military strategy as a potential commander-in-chief is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on July 14.

You now claim that your reason for voting against funding for the troops was because the bill did not include a time line for withdrawal, while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you voted against additional funding because you wanted our troops to be removed immediately ... Not in 16 months after the 2008 election as you now claim.  While your judgement about removing our troops unilaterally in 2007 is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about your previous position.

You claim to have a record of working with Republicans while the record shows that the only bill that you sponsored with a Republican was with Chuck Lugar ... And it failed.  The record shows that you vote 97% in concert with the Democrat party and that you have the most liberal voting record in the Senate.  You joined Republicans only 13% of the time in your votes and those 13% were only after agreement from the Democrat party.  While it is of concern that you fail to include conservatives in your actions and that you are such a liberal, the greater concern is that you distorted the truth.

In the primary debates of last February, 2008, you claimed to have talked with a ‘Captain’ of a platoon in Afghanistan ‘the other day’ when in fact you had a discussion in 2003 with a Lieutenant who had just been deployed to Afghanistan.  You lied in that debate.

In your debates last spring, you claimed to have been a ‘professor of Constitutional law’ when in fact you have never been a professor of Constitutional law.  In this last debate, you were careful to say that you ‘taught a law class’ and never mentioned being a ‘professor of Constitutional law.’ You lied last spring.

You and Joe Biden both claimed that John McCain voted against additional funding for our troops when the actual records show the opposite. You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted against funding for alternate energy sources 20 times when the record shows that John McCain specifically voted against funding for bio fuels, especially corn ... and he was right
....  corn is too expensive at producing ethanol, and using corn to make ethanol increased the price of corn from $2 a bushel to $6 a bushel for food.  You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted like both of you for a tax increase on those making as little as $42,000 per year while the voting record clearly shows that John McCain did not vote as you and Joe Biden. You lied to America .

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted with George W. Bush 90% of the time when you know that Democrats also vote 90% of the time with the President (including Joe Biden) because the vast majority of the votes are procedural.  You are one of the few who has not voted 90% of the time with the president because you have been missing from the Senate since the day you got elected. While your absence from your job in the Senate is of concern, the greater concern is that you spin the facts.

You did not take an active role in the rescue plan.  You claimed that the Senate did not need you while the real reason that you abstained was because of your close relationships with the executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide, and Acorn ... who all helped cause the financial problems of today ... and they all made major contributions to your campaign.  While your relationship with these executives and your protection of them for your
brief 3 years in the Senate (along with Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Chris Dodd) is of concern, the greater concern is that you are being deceitful.

You forgot to mention that you personally represented Tony Rezko and Acorn. Tony Rezko, an Arab and close friend to you, was convicted of fraud in Chicago real estate transactions that bilked millions of tax dollars from the Illinois government for renovation projects that you sponsored as a state senator ... and Acorn has been convicted of voter fraud, real estate sub prime loan intimidation, and illegal campaign contributions.  Tony Rezko has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to your political campaigns.  You personally used your political positions to steer money to both Tony Rezko and Acorn and you used Acorn to register thousands of phony voters for Democrats and you.  While your relationships with Rezko and Acorn are of concern, the greater concern is that you omitted important facts about your relationships with them to America.

During your campaign, you said: ‘typical white person.’ ‘They cling to their guns and religion.’ ‘They will say that I am black.’ You played the race card.  You tried to label any criticism about you as racist.  You divide America .

You claim that you will reduce taxes for 95% of America , but you forgot to tell America that those reductions are after you remove the Bush tax reductions.  You have requested close to $1 billion in earmarks and several million for Acorn.  Your social programs will cost America $1 trillion per year and you claim that a reduction in military spending ($100 billion for Iraq ) can pay for it.  While your economic plan of adding 30% to the size of our federal government is of concern, the greater concern is that you are deceiving America.

The drain to America ‘s economy by foreign supplied oil is $700 billion per year (5% of GDP) while the war in Iraq is $100 billion (less than 1% of GDP).  You voted against any increases to oil exploration for the last 3 years and any expansion of nuclear facilities.  Yet today, you say that you have always been for more oil and more nuclear.  You are lying to America.

Mr. Obama, you claimed that you ‘changed’ your mind about public financing for your campaign because of the money spent by Republican PACs in 2004.  The truth is that the Democrat PACs in 2004, 2006, and 2008 spent twice as much as the Republican PACs (especially George Soros and MoveOn.org).  You are lying to America.

Mr. Obama, you have done nothing to stop the actions of the teachers union and college professors in the USA. They eliminated religion from our history.  They teach pro gay agendas and discuss sex with students as young as first grade.  They bring their personal politics into the classrooms.  They disparage conservatives.  They brainwash our children.  They are in it for themselves ..... not America .  Are you reluctant to condemn their actions because teachers/professors and the NEA contribute 25% of all money donated to Democrats and none to Republicans?  You are deceiving America .

Oh, Mr. Obama, Teddy Roosevelt said about a hundred years ago that we Americans should first look at the character of our leaders before anything else.

Your character looks horrible.  While you make good speeches, motivating speeches, your character does not match your rhetoric.  You talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. 

1.  You lied to America.  You lied many times.  You distorted facts.  You parsed your answers like a lawyer.

2.  You distorted the record of John McCain in your words and in your advertisements.

3.  You had associations with some very bad people for your personal political gains and then lied about those associations.

4.  You divide America about race and about class.

Now let me compare your record of lies, distortions, race baiting, and associations to John McCain:  War hero.  Annapolis graduate with ‘Country first.’ Operational leadership experience like all 43 previously elected presidents of the USA as a Navy officer for 22 years.  26 years in the Senate.  Straight talk.  Maverick.  54% of the time participated on bills with Democrats.  Never asked for an earmark.  The only blemish on his record is his part in the Keating 5 debacle about 25 years ago.

Mr. Obama, at Harvard Law School, you learned that the end does not justify the means.  You learned that perjury, false witness, dishonesty, distortion of truth are never tolerated.  Yet, your dishonesty is overwhelming.  Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty that caused the impeachment and disbarment of Bill Clinton.  Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty of Scooter Libby. You should be ashamed.

Mr. Obama, it is time for us Americans to put aside our differences on political issues and vote against you because of your dishonest character.  It is time for all of us Americans to put aside our political issues and vote for America first.  It is time for America to vote for honesty.

Any people who vote for you after understanding that you are dishonest should be ashamed of themselves for making their personal political issues more important than character.  Would these same people vote for the anti-Christ if the anti-Christ promised them riches?  Would they make a golden calf while Moses was up the mountain?  Would they hire some one for a job if that someone lied in an interview?  Of course not.  So why do some of these people justify their votes for you even though they know you are dishonest?  Why do they excuse your dishonesty?  Because some of these people are frightened about the future, the economy, and their financial security .... and you are preying on their fears with empty promises ...  and because some (especially our young people) are consumed by your wonderful style and promises for ‘change’ like the Germans who voted for Adolf Hitler in 1932.  The greed/envy by Germans in 1932 kept them from recognizing Hitler for who he was.  They loved his style.  Greed and envy are keeping many Americans from recognizing you ... your style has camouflaged your dishonesty .... but many of us see you for who you really are ... and we will not stop exposing who you are every day, forever if it is necessary.

Mr. Obama, you are dishonest.  Anyone who votes for you is enabling dishonesty.

Mr.  Obama, America cannot trust that you will put America first in your decisions about the future.

Mr. Obama, you are not the ‘change’ that America deserves.  We cannot trust you.

Mr. Obama, You are not ready and not fit to be commander-in-chief.

Mr. Obama, John McCain does not have as much money as your campaign to refute all of your false statements.  And for whatever reasons, the mainstream media will not give adequate coverage or research about your lies, distortions, word parsing, bad associations, race baiting, lack of operational leadership experience, and generally dishonest character.  The media is diverting our attention from your relationships and ignoring the fact that you lied about those relationships.  The fact that you lied is much more important than the relationships themselves .... just like with Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon ... Monica Lewinski and Watergate were not nearly as bad as the fact that those men lied about the events ...  false witness ... perjury ...  your relationships and bad judgements are bad on their own .... but your lies are even worse.

Therefore, by copy of this memo, all who read this memo are asked to send it to everyone else in America before it is too late.  We need to do the job that the media will not do.  We need to expose your dishonesty so that every person in America understands who you really are before election day.

Mr. Obama, in a democracy, we get what we deserve.  And God help America if we deserve you.

Michael Master
McLean, Virginia


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2008 at 06:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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OOPSIE

Um, I just killed a couple member accoounts by accident.

Sorry, I was trying to do something else.

These members post stories here. Heck, they posted today I think! So, you know who you are ... but right now I DON’T !!

Please send me an email with your user name, screen name, email address and I will stick you back in ASAP with a default password you can change yourself.

Use my home email if you have it, or just send the info to my BMEWS inbox.




red face red face Sorrrrreeee.  red face red face


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/29/2008 at 04:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
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Barack Obama is the Busby Berkeley of modern America.  (All show and mirrors)

I felt BMEWS would want to see this and no comments from me. Well, maybe not.

Barack Obama is the Busby Berkeley of modern America

By Simon Heffer in New York
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 28/10/2008

One can find two kinds of voters in this great city in the week before the presidential election; those Democrats who can see no possibility of defeat for Barack Obama next Tuesday, and those who wake with a jolt at 4am imagining he has lost, and feeling in their bowels the fear that something might happen in the next few days to stop the saviour of the United States from fulfilling his mission. I have yet to find a Republican, despite this being the city that returned Rudy Giuliani twice as mayor. But then it is hard to find anyone in the city that gave Hillary Clinton a big victory in February in the New York state primary who will now not admit to being a dyed-in-the-wool Obamamaniac. The fat lady has yet to sing, but, as far as New Yorkers are concerned, the show is over already.

They may well be right. The McCain camp says that its private polls show the race is far closer than those published by media organisations: but then it would, wouldn’t it? There is much anecdotal evidence that, at the grass roots in states where John McCain is not now campaigning (and even in one or two where he is), the fight has more or less stopped. After a good convention eight weeks ago in St Paul, the Republicans have lost the initiative at every turn. They had a bad financial crisis. Neither Mr McCain nor his running-mate, Sarah Palin, was able to land a killer blow in the televised debates. Things have reached the pass where Mrs Palin is having to protest that the haute couture on which $150,000 was spent to enhance her glamour belongs not to her, but to the Republican National Committee: and that she will now revert to shopping in the factory outlets of Alaska. After one has paused to consider just who on the RNC will be wearing Mrs Palin’s clothes next, one realises just how much this pathetic squabble signals that the game is almost certainly up.

Visiting from Britain, one senses just how like the spring of 1997 it is. Obama supporters often bridle at comparisons with Tony Blair, though why they should mind being lumped with a man who won three elections handsomely, inflicted serious change (for better or worse) on the country he governed, and put his opponents off the map for at least a dozen years is beyond me. Perhaps they are sensitive to the triumph of Mr Obama’s image over his content, to the accusations that his media management, with its brutal threats to journalists who cut up rough, belies the image of integrity that they seek to disseminate, and to the unspoken difficulty that, when and if Mr Obama gets into the White House, the magnificence of his rhetoric and the vast extent of his oratorical skills will do little to help him tackle an economy in the tank and a precarious international situation.

However, the Obama camp need not worry about any of this, because it appears most of the electorate don’t. The voters’ decision appears to have been simple: that George W. Bush, when he becomes history in January, should for the time being take the Republican party with him. Mr McCain has been at pains to distance himself from Mr Bush since before he won the nomination, and has had the facts mostly on his side in doing so.

However, that has failed to penetrate the souls of many voters. Polls in states that returned Mr Bush in 2004 now show Mr Obama far in front. Mr McCain is even at risk of losing Virginia, which is a little like the Tory party being wiped out in Surrey. The evidence that American voters have had enough is becoming more abundant. Mr Obama can capitalise on a lethal cocktail of economic hardship and, among the more outward-looking of his fellow citizens, a deep and pervasive embarrassment at how America is now seen around the world.


(okay wait a minute. how many Americans do know and if they do, give a flip what foreigners who aren’t paying our bills think?)

There is, though, no euphoria about what most of America feels to be his imminent election. It is, rather, a sense of relief at their being about to be shot of a discredited administration and a dismal president. Again, it should remind us of 1997, when Mr Blair surged to power not so much on a national wave of faith in him, but because so many Conservatives stayed at home and declined to shore up his inadequate opponent, the incumbent.

Here, the incumbent party is run ragged, too. It is fashionable to blame Mrs Palin for this, but the truth is that she is by far the more impressive of the two candidates on her ticket. She speaks directly to her audience, has conviction and charisma and is not trying to be something she isn’t. Ever since the convention John McCain has pretended not to be John McCain, and it just hasn’t worked.

In the circumstances of such a poor campaign by the Republicans, Mr Obama has not been pressed to outline how he would govern. All that has mattered is that he is not what has come before, or like what has come before. In these past days there have been attempts by his opponents, and especially by conservatives, to paint him as a socialist because of his talk of “spreading the wealth”. His opponents are correct: he is, by the lights of all his rhetoric, an orthodox Leftist with an ill-formed notion of redistribution of income.

But it no longer matters. The mood here is to get the people who have run America for the past eight years out, and get in someone completely different. The time to discuss what, in their turn, they would do would come once they are there. This is far from ideal, for that is what election campaigns are supposed to be for. But in the unusual predicament of an America that feels weakened, embarrassed and angry, it has become nearly inevitable.

The last time the American economy was on the ropes to the extent it is now a whole industry of escapism grew up, and produced such gems as Gold Diggers of 1933. You might remember that the plot of that charming film was a millionaire putting on a musical that saved countless Broadway hoofers from the soup-kitchen during the Great Depression.

Barack Obama is the Busby Berkeley of modern America. He is ordained as the great choreographer who will spirit America out of its misery, using not his own millions but the billions of the taxpayer to put the country back on course. Having listened all year to his message of “change”, and being entirely unclear what it means, perhaps at last we have the answer. It is The Great Cause Of Cheering Us All Up.

The reverence with which Mr Obama is regarded by most of the American media, and by much of the American elite, is such that, when I see him on television, I look — so far in vain — for the stigmata on his hands. This feeling is entirely appropriate, for what America seems to be preparing to embark upon is the most massive act of faith. Not since 1960, and the election of Jack Kennedy, has so much disbelief been suspended by so many in such a massive cause. If it does indeed translate into an Obama victory on Tuesday, further prayer may well be in order. Not long after Gold Diggers of 1933, I seem to remember, came The Grapes of Wrath.

http://tinyurl.com/6ywjzh


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/29/2008 at 11:29 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsPoliticsRepublicans •  
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First October snow in London in 74 YEARS as Arctic blast sweeps across UK.

There’s a number of photos and the rest of the story at the link below.
I had posted earlier that the snow was first in five years.  I now stand corrected.
Whatever .... until Al Bore confirms that the snow fell and it’s really this cold, I’ll reserve judgment.

(I keep hearing that old song, But Baby It’s Cold Outside)

Actually, I just thought the photos would be nice to look at.


One dead, thousands without power and the first October snow in London in 74 YEARS as Arctic blast sweeps across UK

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:46 PM on 29th October 2008

One man was killed and thousands were left without power today after inches of snow fell across the country overnight.

Just two days after the end of British Summertime, the first snowfall of the year saw a lorry driver killed when his vehicle collided with another lorry on the M40 in Buckinghamshire.

Tonnes of lard being carried in one of the lorries was left strewn over all six lanes of the motorway causing long delays.

Thousands of homeowners were today without power after high voltage cables were brought down by the night’s snowfall.

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AN ENGLISH ROBIN. CUTE. HAVE EM IN BACK GARDEN AND FUN TO WATCH.  ENGLISH ROBINS MUCH SMALLER THEN ONES FOUND IN NO.AMERICA.

http://tinyurl.com/55tmam


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/29/2008 at 10:11 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherUK •  
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NEVER JUDGE A BATTLING BRIT BY THE COVER. THEY COME IN MANY FORMS, AND THEY WILL GET YA.

THIS BATTLING BRIT DIDN’T DO IT IN A SPITFIRE OR ON THE BATTLEFRONT WITH A RIFLE.
TOO OFTEN WE FORGET THAT THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF SERVING YOUR COUNTRY THAT CAN BE JUST AS LIFE THREATENING.

This woman’s life was spent doing a James Bond for real.  Can you imagine the stress?  I can’t see how there wouldn’t be. I guess she had nerves of steel.  If not that, then something else and whatever it was, she was extraordinary.

RIP and Thanks, Miss Julia Pirie.

Julia Pirie
MI5 agent who for two decades worked at the heart of the British Communist Party

Last Updated: 8:48PM GMT 28 Oct 2008

Julia Pirie, who has died aged 90, spent two decades as an MI5 agent at the heart of the Communist Party of Great Britain, most of it as personal assistant to the party’s general secretary.

A small, dumpy woman with the appearance of a confirmed and rather matronly spinster, Julia Pirie was the most unlikely of spies. But her unassuming demeanour masked a sharp intellect and the powers of observation essential for the task of a secret agent.

She was recruited to infiltrate the party at the beginning of the 1950s, at a time when many Britons still remembered the Soviet Union as a valued wartime ally and Communists retained considerable influence within the trades union movement.

Julia Pirie would pass over her regular reports and photocopied documents to her MI5 handlers during cricket matches at the Oval cricket ground, a procedure that left her with a lifelong love of the game.

She was told to resign from her party post in the 1970s, by which time, she said, the Communist Party had become a rather pathetic and increasingly irrelevant organisation. She went on to collect intelligence on the Provisional IRA during several missions in Europe.

Effortlessly adopting the cover of a harmless, elderly English spinster intent on sightseeing, Julia Pirie once travelled to Barcelona, renting a flat immediately below one occupied by IRA officials. The flat, rented by members of the Catalan terrorist group Terra Lliure, was being used by the IRA as a safe house and a temporary store for shipments of gold bullion supplied by the Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Julia Pirie’s inability to control the reverberation and echo coming from her own equipment led to some precarious and alarming moments. At one point her apartment was raided by the Barcelona police, putting the entire operation at risk. Julia Pirie was aware from monitoring their communications that the IRA terrorists were nervous of discovery, and the arrival of a number of armed police officers was unlikely to reassure them.

But she managed to persuade the police that she was simply an innocent English spinster, and calmly continued her monitoring operation until her MI5 handlers, alarmed at the latest turn of events, pulled her out for her own safety.

Elizabeth Mary Julia Pirie (known to her family as Elizabeth, but, later, as Julia to her colleagues in MI5) was born at Harbury, Warwickshire, on July 8 1918, the only daughter of Allen Grant Pirie and Elizabeth Mary Pirie. Her father, an advocate from Aberdeen, died in 1923 as a result of wounds received in France while serving in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Soon afterwards Elizabeth’s mother decided to return to Calcutta, where she had been born and brought up, taking her daughter with her.

Elizabeth was educated at the Loreto convent at Shillong, in a rural area of Assam, where she recalled tigers roaming around the school. On the outbreak of war in 1939 she returned to Britain, determined to join the war effort. She joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the women’s section of the British Army, and saw service as a driver of staff cars and ambulances in Shrewsbury before volunteering after D-Day for work in France and Germany.

She was among the first Allied soldiers to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and would later speak movingly about the effect this experience had on her.

After serving with the British Army on the Rhine, she left the Army and went to work as secretary and personal assistant to Kitty, Duchess of Atholl, who, as chairman of the British League for European Freedom, was an ardent campaigner against Soviet control of eastern Europe. It was during this time that Elizabeth Pirie joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, which had provided female agents for the Special Operations Executive working with the French Resistance.

She then worked for the International Maritime Organisation before being approached by MI5, possibly as a result of her links with FANY, and asked to infiltrate the Communist Party of Great Britain working as a typist. She worked for F4, the section within MI5 which monitored the Communist Party’s activities and its links with the trades union movement.

Given her position as personal assistant to the general secretary, John Gollan, it seems highly likely that one of Julia Pirie’s earliest coups was to provide information that allowed MI5 to obtain the entire secret membership of the party. Selected members of the party were told to keep their membership secret so that they could be used by the KGB or Soviet military intelligence (the GRU) in operations in Britain.

Peter Wright, a former senior MI5 officer, revealed in his book Spycatcher that in the late 1950s one of the F4 agent handlers obtained details of the location of the secret membership files from an agent inside the party. The files were stored in the Mayfair flat of a wealthy party member, and the property was put under blanket surveillance. When the owner’s wife rang him to say that she was going out for an hour, but would leave the key under the doormat, an MI5 officer swiftly went round to take an impression.

Armed with the key, MI5 simply waited until the occupants went away to the Lake District for the weekend, then let themselves in and copied the secret files, rendering the potential Soviet agents useless. This was Operation Party Piece, one of a number of operations against the Communist Party that led Wright to claim: “For five years we bugged and burgled our way across London at the state’s behest while pompous bowler-hatted civil servants pretended to look the other way.”

Wright also described how bugging the party’s King Street headquarters was made more difficult by the way in which the leadership constantly changed the location of key meetings, eventually moving them to a windowless basement room.

An agent inside the building tipped off F4 to the location of the room and said that an old coal chute led down to it from the pavement. The response was another MI5 coup, known as Operation Tie Pin. This took place on a Saturday night when no one was likely to be in the party headquarters. The entire staff of MI5’s “A” branch surveillance team, known as “the Watchers”, was carefully choreographed to play the part of drunken revellers walking past the building in different directions, disguising the noise as an MI5 technician surreptitiously placed a false door containing a bugging device over the chute to allow continued monitoring of the meetings.

As personal assistant to the general secretary, Julia Pirie would certainly have been aware of the change of location for the secret meetings and remains the most likely source of the MI5 tip-off.

But within the Communist Party she was completely trusted, accompanying the general secretary to regular meetings and conferences behind the Iron Curtain. The fact that she usually attempted to avoid these “dreary” visits to the Eastern Bloc only reinforced her cover.

Despite the “threat within” that the party was believed to be, Julia Pirie revealed to her handlers that Gollan had very little power and was entirely beholden to Moscow and the Communists within the trades unions.

The Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956 was the catalyst for a loss of party members that was to increase with the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968. Gollan responded to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia by saying: “We completely understand the concern of the Soviet Union about the security of the socialist campe_SLps we speak as true friends of the Soviet Union.” With membership plummeting, from 56,000 during the Second World War to 20,000 by 1978, Julia Pirie was pulled out.

After retiring from active operations in the 1990s, she lectured to groups of MI5 trainees and the police before indulging her love of travel, visiting Russia, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean and the United States.

She remained extremely generous with her time and her commitment to those she regarded as her close family, regularly keeping in touch with relatives of all ages.

Despite the intense pressure of working under cover for much of her life, she always retained her quiet sense of humour and warm laugh. She never lost her keen interest in sport, particularly cricket, and was an avid and skilled bridge player.

Until her death on September 2 Julia Pirie continued to receive her pension from the Communist Party, paid monthly into her account from a bank in Italy. She was unmarried.

http://tinyurl.com/5rje8k


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/29/2008 at 09:11 AM   
Filed Under: • PatriotismUKWar-Stories •  
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Vietnam to ban small-chested drivers.  (NO, It isn’t April first and this isn’t a joke. I think?)

I was trying to decide if I should do the serious post I had planned, after Drew’s spectacular post and really so upbeat.
How could I avoid being a killjoy with what I had. I couldn’t.  But then without really looking for this item, there it was in front of me.

My first thought was that it was a joke, and I didn’t get it.  But apparently this isn’t a gag.
Gee, and I wanted to think these folks were smarter then this.

Bet ya the average person is smarter but you can always trust bureaucrats to come up with bizarre stuff like this.

On the bright side, it would sure cut down their traffic congestion, and with everybody walking they might become the new best friends of the greens.

In Vietnam, the skinny and the petite can look forward to getting more exercise after proposed new regulations set a minimum chest size for licensed drivers.

By Thomas Bell, South East Asia Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:47AM GMT 29 Oct 2008

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Anyone with a chest under 28 inches will be banned from driving a motorbike - which make up 90 per cent of the traffic on the country’s chaotic roads.

Anyone who is too short, too thin or too sickly will also have to seek alternative transport. Ailments such as enlarged livers or sinusitis will rule out aspirant motorists.

“The new proposals are very funny, but many Vietnamese people could become the victim of this joke,” said Le Quang Minh, 31, a Hanoi stockbroker. “Many Vietnamese women have small chests. I have many friends who won’t meet these criteria.”

The average Vietnamese man is 5 feet, 4 inches (164 centimeters) tall and weighs 121 pounds (55 kilograms). The average Vietnamese woman is 5 feet, 1 inch (155 centimeters) tall and weighs 103 pounds (47 kilograms).

Vietnamese bloggers have been poking fun at the plan, envisioning traffic police with tape measures eagerly pulling over female drivers to measure their chests.

“From now on, padded bras will be best-sellers,” said Bo Cu Hung, a popular Ho Chi Minh City blogger.

“I’m not heavy enough, what am I going to do?” Le Thu Huong asked in a letter to Tuoi Tre newspaper. “And what about people whose chests are small? Most of them are too poor to afford breast implants!”

Vietnamese roads are among the most dangerous in the world but it is not clear why the ruling Communist Party believes banning small drivers will make them safer.

http://tinyurl.com/6pzfsy


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/29/2008 at 08:49 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - October 28, 2008

let there be light!

Hindus the world over are celebrating Diwali again right now. It’s a festival that celebrates the victory of the good over the evil. Good is symbolized by light and color, standing out against the evil darkness. It’s also a New Year’s Eve celebration, as their lunar calendar begins anew.image

I think it’s a very nice annual event, that reminds nearly a quarter of the world that things can be better.

Ok, diwali is actually a lot more complicated than my simple description*, and it has roots that reach waaay back in time and deep into their religion:

The story goes like this: Prince Rama, the rightful heir to his father’s throne, was banished to the forest for 14 years by his wicked stepmother. While there, Rama’s wife was kidnapped by the evil King Ravan of a neighboring land. A battle ensued and Rama rescued his wife, defeated Ravan and returned to his kingdom to reclaim his throne.

In celebration of Rama’s victory, people feasted and lit oil lamps in their homes. And that was the first Diwali, which is short for Deepawali or “row of lights” in Sanskrit. Today, the festival, which falls in late October or early November, is celebrated according to regional customs.

Most mark the day by worshipping Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity and Ganesh, the god of wisdom and good fortune; visiting loved ones and exchanging homemade traditional sweets. Also, following a half-hour prayer service, or puja after sunset, children light the diyas (the oil lamps) that have been placed around the house on each windowsill and on flat rooftops. Others may worship the goddess Kali instead of Lakshmi, set off fireworks and pass out small amounts of cash to everyone present at the celebration.

Diwali is observed nationally, the most widely celebrated festival on the Hindu calendar and an affair that reaffirms the bonds of family and close friends.



It’s a happy time for them, and makes for pretty pictures for the rest of us. And a little happy news is nice.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/28/2008 at 08:59 PM   
Filed Under: • InternationalReligion •  
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irresistible news article titles, round 1

Navy orders its sailors to plug leaks




Well, yeah, that seem like a pretty smart idea, right? smirk



THE Chief of Navy has written to sailors warning them that unauthorized leaks to the media are a betrayal of the “value set” of the Royal Australian Navy.

The extraordinary warning, issued by Vice Admiral Rus Crane, comes at a time of flagging morale in the navy, which is facing its greatest manpower crisis in a generation.

Admiral Crane’s letter was prompted by the leaking to The Australian last month of a navy minute written by a senior commander in which he told sailors to stop complaining about their conditions and display more leadership. The minute warned of “perilous” shortfalls in the number of naval engineers and was critical of the negative attitude of some sailors. In response, Admiral Crane issued a letter to sailors warning them not to leak information to the media. “Disaffected people who leak information to the media with the intent of damaging navy’s reputation fail our value set and work against our collective endeavour,” Admiral Crane said in the letter, which was also leaked to The Australian. He said strong leadership and a positive attitude were critical attributes for sailors in these difficult times.

Hey, you Down Under mariners: “Loose lips sink ships”, doncha know?

The Aussie Navy is having recruitment and retention problems, but with the economy a mess and jobs drying up, expects the numbers to improve soon.

In the past four years the navy has only achieved between 67 and 79 per cent of its recruitment targets due to tepid interest from generation Y recruits and also high separation levels.

New figures provided to The Australian show the situation remains dire, with the navy achieving only 53 per cent of its year-to-date enlistment targets for 2008-09 by September 30.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/28/2008 at 08:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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Now that’s good government foresight!

Tokyo residents urged to carry tissues and plastic bags always, just in case

A MAJOR earthquake in Tokyo would set off a crisis of “toilet refugees”, with a restroom shortage for nearly 820,000 people, a government study says.

An expert panel of the Government’s Central Disaster Prevention Council came to the conclusion this week while studying the potential impact of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the tremor-prone metropolis.

According to the study, some 817,000 people would find themselves without toilets two hours after such a big tremor, which would cut off 46 per cent of Tokyo’s water supply.

The wait to use a toilet would be 4½ hours in central Chiyoda ward, home to the headquarters of major companies, government buildings and the imperial palace.

“Besides food and water, shortage of toilets is one of the major issues in post-disaster situations,’’ said Itsuki Nakabayashi, head of the study panel.

The group is advising Tokyo residents always to carry pocket-sized tissues or plastic bags for emergency toilet use and urged companies to have portable toilets on standby.

The Japanese Government has warned that an earthquake with a magnitude of around seven could hit the capital in the coming decades, killing 11,000 people.





Horry Clap!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/28/2008 at 08:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffGovernment •  
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Pre-Halloween Fun

In the graveyard of Winchester Cathedral sits this headstone, famous the world over.

Heed well it’s message and beware: Miller Lite Kills!

Lucky Peiper; this is not very far from his house. Oh, and “Hants” doesn’t mean ghosts. It’s slang for Hampshire, that part of the country.




image



In Memory of

Thomas Thetcher

a Grenadier in the North Reg.

of Hants Militia, who died of a

violent Fever contracted by drinking

Small Beer when hot the 12th of May

1764. Aged 26 Years.



In grateful remembrance of whose universal

good will towards his Comrades, this Stone

is placed here at their expence, as a small

testimony of their regard and concern.



Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier,

Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,

Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall

And when ye’re hot drink Strong or none at all.



This memorial being decay’d was restor’d

by the Officers of the Garrison A.D. 1781.



An Honest Soldier never is forgot

Whether he die by Musket or by Pot.



The Stone was replaced by the North Hants Militia when disembodied at Winchester, on

26th April 1802, in consequence of the original Stone being destroyed.

And again replaced by The Royal Hampshire Regiment 1966.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/28/2008 at 07:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuff •  
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McCain Wins by 3 to 1 Margin!

Well, that’s how our military sees it anyway. You know, the ones actually out there at the cutting edge fighting the Global War On Terror. You remember that thing? It hasn’t been on the news much at all lately.

Anway, the Military Times released a poll. It shows how each service branch is feeling, and also gives us age, rank, reason, sex, service status, and race breakdowns. Across all categories except race McCain has a 3:1 to nearly 4:1 advantage. Except for the black folks. They’re voting almost 7:1 for Obama, because of their concerns for the economy. Yeah, the economy. That’s why. No other reason.



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PS, I’ll try and get some sharper images up. These are scaled to fit the screen, and that doesn’t always come out sharp.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/28/2008 at 12:40 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:
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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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