Sarah Palin is the “other” whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Saturday - April 04, 2009


Oh how the world become more and more a stranger to me. And sillier and sillier.
I could never post this one on April first.

There is a HUGE super market here called TESCO. I suppose the American equivalent would be Ralphs or Kroger.  Whoever is the biggest back home, Tesco is bigger. And Tesco while often a shade too PC and maybe silly too, as tho PC isn’t, well.  Don’t know what to say.

Management has decided based on someone’s word from the field, that sheepdogs cause stress to sheep. They need to be trained to be “more considerate to the sheep.”

Damn good idea except I don’t believe anyone has yet managed to open much less think of writing a course in Sheep Sensitivity that Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie and Rover and Spot might attend.

Tesco tells farm to stop using sheepdogs because they ‘stress’ the flock

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:45 PM on 04th April 2009

Sheepdogs herding a flock may be a familiar farmyard scene, but it could soon be confined to the past if bosses at Tesco have their way.

The supermarket chain has told its major supplier of lamb to stop using dogs, which it claims cause stress to the animals.

It means shepherds at the farm may need to use methods such as beating the ground with sticks and waving their arms to control the flock.


Outraged staff at Silver Fern Farms in Fairton, New Zealand may now have to get rid of up to 60 dogs to comply with the orders, meaning several of the animals will be destroyed.

Shepherd Mick Pethram told the Telegraph newspaper: ‘New Zealand sheep are used to dogs, they know dogs.

‘There’s more stress in a human herding and manhandling them, waving their arms and beating sticks. Dogs are part of a sheep’s life. This is absolute baloney.’

He continued: ‘We’ll be desperately trying to sell them, but most of us will end up putting down three or four each.

‘These are good dogs. Taking away our dogs is like taking a hammer away from a builder; we can’t do our job without them.’

In New Zealand, abattoirs are attached to farms and dogs are usually used to herd the sheep before slaughter.

Buyers for Tesco visited Silver Ferns Farm, which is one of the chain’s biggest suppliers of lamb, earlier this year and were said to be upset at the dogs ‘running riot’.

A spokesperson for the store said: ‘ We don’t have a problem with sheepdogs, but we need to make sure they treat the sheep in a considerate manner, so they don’t stress the sheep out.’

Scientists have found evidence that causing stress to animals before slaughter can cause the meat to become pale and watery.

However a spokesperson for the National Farmers Union said there was no evidence that sheepdogs caused animals to feel stressed.

story source


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2009 at 09:10 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsUK •  
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Fireman who beat up pregnant girlfriend escapes jail after judge praises his work . HUH?

This is another one of those posts that just have to be shared for the sheer lunacy of it.
This one ranks right up there with the judge in Netherlands a few years ago, who ruled that a bank robbers gun was a legitimate business expense and so reduce the amount of his fine by the cost of the gun he used to rob the bank.

This fellow’s girl friend is carrying his offspring. Twins. He beats her up, kicks her, chokes her, but the judge thinks his job is so important that he shouldn’t serve time.
Great.  Wish I knew that kind of thinking was a pass jail ticket.  I could have become a firefighter (assuming I could pass muster and that’s open to doubt) and then gone out and beat the crap out of some left wing wanker working for the Brit equiv. of the aclu.

It’s beyond my ability to understand how a guy could be so abusive to a woman and especially to one who is pregnant.

A fireman who beat up his pregnant girlfriend has been spared a prison sentence by a judge because of his “valuable and important” job.

By Richard Savill
Last Updated: 6:51PM BST 03 Apr 2009

Jaime Nobbs, 33, attacked Karen Roofe, 41, a primary school head teacher, on three separate occasions and subjected her to a campaign of harassment. 

On one occasion he threw Miss Roofe, who was carrying his unborn twins, to the floor, kicked her, pulled her hair, tried to throttle her, and left her with nine-inch bruises.

During the attack, which started after she threw a glass of beer at him, Nobbs repeatedly shouted “Say sorry to the master”.

In another incident, after the relationship ended, he broke into the house and lay under her bed. She later discovered him and threw him out.

The decision not to jail him was criticised by a domestic violence charity, which said a position of responsibility should be seen as an aggravating factor not mitigation.

A spokesman for the Cambridge branch of Women’s Aid, who said: “Suffering violence at the hands of your partner is a deeply damaging experience.

“This experience is not lessened by the occupation of your abuser. It is my opinion that a man’s high social standing should be seen as an aggravating factor in a case, not a mitigating factor. Violence against women is an epidemic in our society.”

Nobbs, of Peterborough, pleaded guilty to three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of harassment at Cambridge Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 100 hours unpaid work in the community, ordered to attend an integrated domestic abuse programme, and pay £500 costs.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth told him he was spared an immediate prison sentence because of the valuable work he did as a member of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

He said: “You have performed a valuable and important part in the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service which has enormous importance and benefit. It is largely for that reason I am not sending you to prison today.”

The court heard Nobbs and Miss Roofe, who are no longer a couple, met in August 2003 and moved in together soon afterwards.

In 2006 Miss Roofe fell pregnant but by 2007 the relationship had begun to deteriorate into increasingly frequent arguments.

Nadia Silver, prosecuting, described three assaults on January 21, May 18 and November 24 2007.

She said of the third assault: “He grabbed her by her throat, choking her for 15 seconds. Miss Roofe felt she was going to black out. The following morning her mother could see red marks on her daughter’s neck.”

Thomas Brown said in mitigation that Nobbs was of good character but his behaviour had gone beyond what was acceptable. “He is not a bad man who habitually behaves like this,” he added.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “An internal investigation has now begun. A member of staff has been suspended while this investigation is on-going.”


Not habitually a bad man?  Oh, only on three occasions.  I bet for the party on the receiving end those three times sure felt “habitual.” I can’t help but wonder if it were say the judge’s daughter or niece or some kin, would three times have been enough? Or would he had found a way to nail and jail the guy after once. 


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2009 at 07:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeLove-MarriageNews-BriefsUK •  
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Barack Obama: ‘arrogant US has been dismissive’ to allies, makes apology for Bush years.

Oh boy ...
Now wait a minute. He did also say that Euro-peons misjudged us and blamed America for everything wrong in the world when in fact we have done much good.
BUT ... according to the morning paper in front of me ...
Well here.  Read it for yourself.

Barack Obama: ‘arrogant US has been dismissive’ to allies
President Barack Obama has offered an apology for the Bush era, declaring that America had “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” towards its allies.

By Toby Harnden in Strasbourg
Last Updated: 8:37PM BST 03 Apr 2009

President Obama said the US had “failed to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world”.

His speech in Strasbourg went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country’s action while standing on foreign soil.

But he sought to use the mea culpa as leverage to alter European views of America and secure more troops for the war in Afghanistan.

He declared that there had to be a fundamental shift on both sides of the Atlantic. “America is changing but it cannot be America alone that changes,” he said.

Addressing a crowd of some 2,000 mainly students from France and Germany, Mr Obama said: “In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.

“Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

He then balanced this striking admission with a tough message to Europeans that blaming America was foolish.

“But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognising the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what is bad.

“On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.”

Earlier, Mr Obama had thrown down the gauntlet to his European counterparts, saying: “We want strong allies. We are not looking to be patrons of Europe. We are looking to be partners of Europe.”

Mr Obama lauded France as America’s “oldest ally, our first ally” and hailed Mr. Sarkozy’s “initiative, imagination, creativity.” Returning the compliment, Mr Sarkozy spoke of a new White House occupant who wanted to “change the world” and was not concerned only with narrow American self interest.

But behind Mr Obama’s charm was a tough message that Europe needed to do more, particularly in Afghanistan where the US is sending 21,000 more troops.

“It is probably more likely that al Qaeda would be able to launch a serious terrorist attack on Europe than on the United States because of proximity,” Mr Obama said.

“We would like to see Europe have much more robust capabilities. That’s not something we discourage.”

Mr Obama said that Nato would remain the bedrock of American foreign policy but made clear he believed it should not be a one-way street.

“Nato is the most successful alliance in modern history. And the basic premise of Nato was that Europe’s security was the United States’ security and vice versa.”

Mr Sarkozy praised Mr Obama for pledging to close the Guantanamo Bay prison: “Guantanamo was not in keeping with US values”, adding that using “terrorist methods” was not a way to defeat terrorism.

The American president responded: “I made the decision to close Guantanamo because I don’t think it makes America safer.”

WTF!  Just why the ‘F’ should Sarko care about Guantanamo? Why is that the business of the French or any other fuckin foreigner?
Oh and France is in such great shape too. uh Huh.  And BO thinks closing the place makes American safer.  Has anyone heard any reason why that should be so?  I haven’t but then I do miss a lot.

Mr Obama took the opportunity to warn North Korea that it should abandon its “provocative” plans to launch a long-range rocket. He said he had made clear the reclusive Stalinist state should “stop the launch” or the US would “take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it can’t threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity”.

Well ok I can understand that and very soon now BO will kiss ass and apologize to No.Korea and all will be well in the world. Bah!


This was not a bad speech but decide for yourselves.

I still miss Ronnie! Am waiting for Palin.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2009 at 03:39 AM   
Filed Under: • InternationalNews-BriefsObama, The One •  
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A Debatable View

Affluent Villagers Chase Away Google Photo Car

You can find your house on Google Earth. You can zoom in pretty well, but not right down to the ground. And the images aren’t real time. Yet!

Microsoft has a similar thing online. You can do “bird’s eye view” and change the angle low enough to almost look into people’s windows.

Not to be outdone, Google’s online Map has Street View, which puts you right down on the ground and let’s you spin around and zoom in on things close enough to almost read a car’s license plates.

And now that a large part of the urban areas of the USA are mapped out, the Google camera crews are moving to Europe. As their add page puts it:

I moved from Amsterdam to London last year and even though I’ve enjoyed getting to know London, I can’t help feeling a bit homesick sometimes. Which is why I’m really excited that today we’re launching Street View for both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom; now I can take a trip down memory lane and explore my new home, even if it’s raining. Starting today you’ll be able to view 360º street level imagery for Amsterdam, London, Rotterdam, Manchester, Liverpool and several other cities in these countries—25 cities in all!

Now whenever I feel like going back to the Netherlands I can use Street View to admire the beautiful canals in Amsterdam:
...or visit my old university in Rotterdam:
...or even take a look at the bike I left behind:

... and they include the pictures to prove it.

Is this proper? Should this be done? Is it an invasion of your privacy? Well, this is all coming to the UK too, and some folks don’t like it.

Gang of villagers chase away Google car

Google’s ambitious plan to offer a 3-D street level view of communities across three continents hit a snag when angry residents of a UK village blocked the search engine’s camera car from photographing their homes.

Fearing the appearance of their well appointed properties on the Web site would attract criminals scouting for burglary targets, villagers in Broughton, north of London, summoned the police after spotting the car.

“I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane,” resident Paul Jacobs told The Times of London.

“My immediate reaction was anger: How dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.

“This is an affluent area. We’ve already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”

A Google spokesman, quoted by the UK Press Association, said: “Embarking on new projects, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, and Street View has been no exception.

“We know that some people are uncomfortable with images of their houses or cars being included in the product, which is why we provide an easy way to request removal of imagery. Most imagery requests are processed within hours.”

The spokesman added: “We take privacy very seriously, and we were careful to ensure that all images in our Street View service abide by UK law.”

Yeah, sure they do. And it’s just so easy contacting ... a search engine. How the hell do you talk to a webpage? Oh sure, you can fill out a CGI form. And hope somebody reads it eventually.

But back to the story of “Pegman" in the UK… pull up the map ... move the pegman about, over to ... there. Hit zoom ...


Looks like Google needs to adjust their “automatic blurring software” a little bit

... hey, while we’re here, let’s pan the camera around. This is cool! Ah, I figured out how to “walk” down the street. Neat!! What’s that, further down the lane? Looks like a crowd of protesters! Zoom in ... look, it’s Peiper, holding the pitchfork, and Mrs. Peiper with her burning torch! Nice sweater mum! So glad to see them properly arrayed for storming the castle, to kill the dread Googlestein monster.


But, all jocularity aside ... has this gone too far?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/04/2009 at 12:20 AM   
Filed Under: • High Tech •  
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calendar   Friday - April 03, 2009

A Short Interlude

Art & Music & Patriotism

Hey, at last some Performance Art I can appreciate!

h/t to Doc, via his buddy Jim T in Texas. Good pick Jim.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/03/2009 at 11:23 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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A different kind of eye candy

World’s Oldest Skyscrapers Rise 8 Stories From The Desert Floor

and they’re made of mud

If not for the mail I get from Peiper’s Place, what I call Letters From Littleton, I would never have known about this. But he sent me the clippings, and the Royal Mail actually didn’t deliver the envelope back to him for once, so I’ll pass them on. Kewl!

Shibam Yemen, the “Manhattan of the Desert”

Most people think of skyscrapers as inventions of the post-industrial world, characteristic of tightly-packed urban environments. Density in cities is, of course, nothing new. Surprisingly, neither is the art of constructing tall buildings, as evidenced by the city of Shibam.

Shibam, Yemen has been continuously occupied for over two millennia. This remote desert city boasts buildings of mud brick that reach up to fourteen stories in height, many dating back hundreds of years (and parts of which date back thousands).

Since becoming a World Heritage city over 20 years ago, the area has largely catered (for better or worse) to tourists. However, this has at least helped preserve both the buildings and aspects of the regional culture that might otherwise have been lost.

Shibam’s structures are built of load-bearing materials, as opposed to modern frame-and-cladding techniques (the building blocks of contemporary skyscrapers). As such, the bases of the buildings are up to four feet thick.



And I gather it’s pretty sturdy mud, unlike that poorly made mud from that city in Iran that got hit with the earthquake the other year. (That would be the city of Bam!, perhaps the worst named place on earth. Why not just challenge the Gods, why don’t ya?)

[news brief] October 28, 2008.  Shibam, a UNESCO world heritage site with towering 16th century mud brick buildings, also known as the “the Manhattan of the desert”, has survived a devastating flooding that hit southeastern Yemen destroying hundreds of mud houses and leaving dozens of people dead or missing.


Shibam is certainly one of the most architecturally outstanding places in the world. This dense walled maze of five hundred mud-brick skyscrapers seems to grow right out of the Yemeni desert. Many of its buildings date back to the 1500s—the city is as impressive from a distance as it is inside the city walls.

Shibam was declared a Wold Heritage city in 1982. World Heritage status has transformed Shibam in many ways. 95 percent of the shops in town are geared to tourists. There’s one on every corner. Yemen is a country with little tourist infrastructure and one of the lowest tourist arrival rates in Asia. Shibam is a surprise, the only place in Yemen where I frequently ran across white faces other than mine.

Since I come from a World Heritage city that has seen its historic core slowly turn into a theme park, I am a bit wary of certain effects caused by tourism. However, I would say that tourism has been kind to Shibam. UNESCO investments not only led to the restoration of skyscrapers and the preservation of traditional building techniques, but improvements in sewage and fresh water systems, storm drains, electricity and telephone cables, etc.

More importantly, it seems that somebody understood that a well-restored skyscraper is meaningless without its inhabitants. The city still feels real, despite the number of tourist shops. Whereas Quebec City has seen most residential buildings in its historic core turn into hotels, B&B’s, and summer homes for wealthy Americans, Shibam is still inhabited by its residents. There are no hotels within the walled city, perhaps because of a ban instigated by urban planners with enough foresight to understand the effects of tourism.


Rising from the valley floor like a mirage, the 450-year-old mud brick towers of Shibam in Yemen are the world’s first skyscrapers – dubbed the Manhattan of the Desert.

The 500 tower houses, made from mud mixed with chaff and hay, have withstood 113F (45C) heat, floods and, last Sunday, an explosion caused by suspected Islamic militants that killed four South Korean tourists and their local guide.

Inside the walled fortress, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the streets are eerily quiet in spite of the 7,000 residents.  Families pass silently from building to building high up along connecting corridors – built to protect early inhabitants from attacks by Bedouin nomads.

The mud walls of the tower houses – five to eight storeys and up to 130ft high – are thickest at the bottom for stability. By law, any rebuilding must follow the shape of the original structure.

The arched window frames are made from the leafless nabaq tree and some towers are whitewashed with lime to slow down erosion by heat and rain – the crumbled house to the left shows why this is needed. The city’s design serves as a giant air-conditioning unit, creating maximum shade. Each building is usually used by one family. Food and cattle are kept on the ground and first floors.

The second storey upwards is a living area, with kitchens and entrances to the corridors on the fourth floor.


So, pretty cool. Ancient mud skyscrapers, still occupied and kept up after centuries. Tough enough to withstand at least a bit of rain now and again. And the place stays naturally cool, even in the brutally hot desert of Yemen. Natural air conditioning from walls 4 feet thick, and your own spot of shade from the skyscraper next door. Of course, they haven’t yet invented windows, or screens, and possibly not running water, but some of the pictures out on the net show that at least some of the buildings have enough electricity to run a light bulb or two at night. This would be a great tourist attraction if it was a safe place to go to. [This other “tourist attraction” is probably not on the list of Things to see in Shibam”. Too bad for them!]



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/03/2009 at 08:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyFun-StuffRoPMA •  
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Mayhem in Binghamton

Shooting Rampage Leaves at least 13 dead at local Civic Association


Two people were taken from the American Civic Association with their hands cuffed behind their back. At least four people were shot and dozens of others were being held hostage by a gunman in the Binghamton building.

At least five people have been taken to Wilson Regional Medical Center in Johnson City, one in critical condition, two listed as serious. Another person was taken to Lourdes Hospital in Johnson City.

Both hospitals postponed all elective surgeries and called in extra personnel to staff their emergency rooms.

According to police reports, more than 40 hostages were in the building — 15 in a closet and 26 in the boiler room. Sharp shooters from the Binghamton SWAT team were poised outside the building at 131 Front Street. The Endicott police bomb squad is also at the scene.

Scanner reports just before 1:30 p.m. indicate that police were asking 26 people in the Civic Association to lie on the floor with the hands above their heads.

One woman who worked as a secretary reportedly was shot in the stomach.

Family members of the hostages and victims were being told to gather at 232 Main St. in Binghamton, while more ambulance crews were on standby.

Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan said the shooter has a high-powered rifle.

The suspect was described as an Asian male in his 20s, between 5-feet 8-inches and 6 feet tall, wearing a bright green nylon jacket and dark-rimmed glasses.
Broome Community College Assistant Professor Tuong Hung Nguyen was asked to work with police to communicate with the shooter. Nguyen is fluent in Vietnamese.

Police shut down Main, North and Oak streets to respond to the incident, as well as Front Street at Gerard Avenue. The Memorial Bridge is also shut down, and police are taping off the corner of Front and North.

Police are requesting that mobile phone use be restricted to emergency responders only as they respond to the situation.

The White House has called Ryan, city officials said.

The American Civic Association helps immigrants and refugees with immigration and personal counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification and translators. It also intervenes with emergencies, including fighting, hunger and homelessness, according to information from the association’s website.

The ACA had citizenship classes scheduled for today.

Redeemer Lutheran Church at 72 Main St. in Binghamton will hold a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. tonight for those affected by the shooting.

I have no idea what this is all about. I used to live in Binghamton, just a mile or two away from this shooting on the east side of the city. Binghamton has a large Vietnamese refugee population, along with a good number of other ethnic groups, and usually nobody has any sort of problem in that regard.

The TV news people say this is a continuing hostage situation, 13 dead, 26 wounded, with hundreds of police on the scene, SWAT teams, helicopters, etc.

You may recall earlier posts here about drug busts, muslim parades in that town, or how there is an islamic training camp a few miles down the river in Hancock NY. I do not know if those issues are a factor in this story. It may be just another madman with a gun.

UPDATE? TV news is saying there may be multiple gunmen. That’s just rumor at this point. Another rumor says “lone gunman has taken his own life”. It looks like the situation is pretty much over at this point; “all [emergency] vehicles have been released from the scene”. There will be a press conference at 4:30.

ACTUAL UPDATE Shooter identified as Jiverly Wong [pronounced “Voong"] [or is it Voong, pronounced “Wong”? TV is confused], age 41, from Johnson City. Johnson City is the next town over, butting up against the northwest side of Binghamton and the northeast side of Vestal.

TV news is reporting that Broome County law enforcement is saying death toll could rise to 15 or more; any number of the wounded taken to the local hospitals are in critical condition.

UPDATE Economic motivation???

Police did not mention a motive. U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton, said the gunman had recently been let go from IBM in Johnson City. He said it was not clear of the gunman’s connection to the center. IBM couldn’t immediately confirm that.

At the junction of the Susquehanna and the Chenango rivers, the Binghamton area was the home to Endicott-Johnson shoe company and the birthplace of IBM, which between them employed tens of thousands of workers before the shoe company closed a decade ago and IBM downsized in recent years.

[Downsized? They sure did. And they have been, for 15 years or more now. I remember huge layoffs, just before I graduated from the technical school at the state university there. That used to be a passport to a lifelong career with Big Blue, and was reason enough to spend years there learning and enduring the awful winter weather. Not any more!  {IBM was born in Endicott, the next town over}]


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/03/2009 at 12:53 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeTerrorists •  
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School forced to apologise after teacher gives 11-year-old pupils a lesson in swearing.

Should this be filed under human interest or just plain dumb?

Well, betcha most kids these days have heard it by that age. Wouldn’t you think?
But teaching it in school too?  Not so sure about that.  In the history of the world has it ever been necessary to teach swearing in a school?

I keep reading about failing students. So this is how one class time is used? No wonder they’re failing. But they all get high marks in ......

School forced to apologise after teacher gives 11-year-old pupils a lesson in swearing

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:15 PM on 03rd April 2009

A school was under fire today after children as young as 11 were encouraged to shout obscenities during a lesson - in SWEARING.

Foul words including c*** and f*** were written on a blackboard before their meaning was explained to 30 Year 7 pupils in graphic detail by a teacher.

Officials at St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, say the lesson was part of a sex and relationship education programme designed to ‘dispel’ the myths of swear words.

But furious parents say they were not informed about the content of the one-hour class and say their children were left ‘deeply upset’ by the experience.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: ‘This is a total disgrace. We send our children to school in good faith to gain an education - not qualifications in swear words.

‘Most of the children in that class had no idea what these words meant and have now been forced to grow up faster than their parents would like.

‘But what really angers me is that the parents were not asked for consent and the children were even told not to tell their parents that it took place.

‘They have not even issued a formal apology. This is an absolute outrage and I believe heads should roll for this.’

During the class, children aged 11 and 12 were asked to shout out all the swear words they could think of which could be used as slang for sex and the names of body parts.

Some pupils claim they were told by the teacher NOT to tell their parents about the details of the lesson.

It is also believed that one teacher was so outraged by the content of the class she refused to teach it.

Richard Clutterbuck, deputy headteacher at the school, defended the lesson - claiming it was following governors’ policy.

He said: ‘The school has a programme of sex and relationship education in accordance with the governors’ policy on sex and relationship education.

‘Part of the delivery of the programme is to ensure that the students use the correct terms when referring to the biological aspects of the programme and to dispel any use of slang terms.

‘With hindsight, the delivery of this particular lesson should not have focussed upon the slang terms and I must apologise for any distress caused.

‘We have taken the parental concerns very seriously and we have altered the delivery of the programme accordingly.

‘The sex and relationship programme has been delivered for many years in accordance with the governors’ policy on sex and relationship education and is well received by the students and parents.’

A spokesman for Wiltshire County Council said it was the responsibility of governors to decide the specifics of personal, social and health education lessons.

He said: ‘Government guidance makes it clear that sex and relationship education classes should allow children to learn, in age-appropriate ways throughout their school career, about how they are growing and changing, both physically and emotionally.

‘Schools aim to equip children as they grow up with the knowledge and skills to manage their lives and their relationships in healthy and responsible ways.

‘Part of this is exploring the correct and incorrect language to describe aspects of sex and relationships, and parts of the body.’

The Department for Children, Schools and Families reiterated the fact that governors determined the contents of sex education lessons within a school.

However, a spokesman added that the content should be age-appropriate.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/03/2009 at 12:41 PM   
Filed Under: • EducationUK •  
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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/03/2009 at 12:26 PM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesHumorInternationalPolitics •  
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Speech regulation is no laughing matter. Mark Steyn at his usual brilliant self. A Must Read.

When posting anything by this guy there just plain ain’t nothin’ for me to add.

Another brilliant commentary from one of our favorites. It’s all true folks. Pay attention.

H/T to Adams at the,

by Mark Steyn

Did you hear the one about the queer, the Muzzie and the pre-op tranny?

No? Well, you’re unlikely to anytime soon. The British government, fresh from recent proscriptions on religious and racial “hatred”, is pushing ahead with legislation that will criminalize homophobic jokes.

I’ve been trying to recall the last time I heard a homophobic joke in a public forum. You have to go back a ways. At Vegas, Dean Martin used to have a bit of business where he’d refill his tumbler and ask Frank, “How do you make a fruit cordial?” And Sinatra would go, “I dunno. How do you make a fruit cordial?” And Dino would say, “Be nice to him.”

But these days, no matter how cordial you are, it’s never enough. On the BBC comedy show “Little Britain”, a weekly glimpse of the hellhole of Hogarthian depravity that is the United Kingdom, there is a recurring character whose catchphrase is that he’s “the only gay in the village” - a Welsh village, I believe, so his claim would seem to be statistically improbable, if you’ll forgive a bit of Welshophobia - or is it Cymruphobia? Or Cymruhomophobia? Anyway, he doesn’t actually have any gay sex and he gets inordinately jealous if some real live practicing gay comes passing through and threatens his unique status. But one could argue that his determination to be “the only gay in the village” testifies to the social cachet homosexuality now enjoys. On the other hand, one could argue something else entirely. On the other other hand, once you’ve attracted the attention of Constable Plod and his crack humorological investigative unit, you’re probably best to cop a plea and settle for misdemeanor hatemongering and three points on your license.

Down the leftie end of Fleet Street, various columnists, justifying their support for the legislation, or at least its goals, have tutted their disapproval of gay stereotyping in comedy. Limp wrists. Camp walks. Judy Garland references. I write as the token heterosexual Judy Garland fan (please, no tittering) on the Maclean’s payroll, and as a chap who’s sung with Liza Minnelli on TV (oh, okay, titter mercilessly, but no guffawing), yet I confess to some misgivings about the state demanding upon pain of a seven-year jail sentence that the citizenry pretend there’s nothing the red-blooded knuckle-dragging English soccer yobbo likes better than listening to Judy singing “The Man That Got Away” before he nuts you in the head, knees you in the bollocks and tosses you through a chip-shop window.

To its credit, the House of Lords inserted a so-called “free speech” amendment to the bill, but the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has decided to repeal that, announcing that there are “no circumstances” in which the right to free speech can “justify homophobic behavior”.

And why stop there? Representatives of the transgendered and the disabled were also invited by the government to grab a piece of the joke-police action. Interestingly enough, last week Barack Obama became the first US president to do a retard gag on national TV. Referring to his bowling score (129) during an appearance on “The Tonight Show”, the Kibbitzer-in-Chief cracked that “it was like the Special Olympics.” Ha-ha! What a wag that Obama is when he unplugs the teleprompter and kicks loose a little. How do you make a fruit cordial? Appoint him your GLBT Outreach Coordinator.

If my past experience of Mr Obama’s notoriously touchy courtiers is anything to go by, it’s undoubtedly racist to suggest that the President is disablist. Likewise, Gloria Steinem and other feminists argued that Bill Clinton’s support for abortion entitled him to go around dropping his pants to any female subordinates who tickled his fancy (I paraphrase, but not much). But, that said, I do wonder how things might have gone had Obama essayed the same jest on a BBC talk show. Robin Page, the chairman of Britain’s Countryside Restoration Trust and a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, spoke at a rally opposing the government’s anti-hunting laws at a Gloucestershire country fair in 2002.

“If you are a black vegetarian Muslim asylum-seeking one-legged lesbian lorry driver,” he began, “I want the same rights as you.” A jocular reference to various approved identity groups by a member of an unfashionable one (country folk). Mr Page was subsequently arrested and, upon declining to answer questions without the presence of counsel, thrown in a cell. Don’t worry. He eventually cleared his name - after five years.

Her Majesty’s Constabulary: The joke police - in every sense.

That’s the problem. Even if you think it’s a good idea for the state to regulate speech, the only troops available to do it are blundering coppers and hack bureaucrats. Last year, as readers may recall, I had the curious experience of having the “tone” of my jokes examined in a Vancouver courthouse by the geniuses of the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal. Hitherto, such forensic dissection has been limited to the more obscure literary critics. But not anymore. Following their week-long deconstruction of Steyn’s “tone”, the BCHRT announced that for its next show trial it would be turning to the “tone” of Guy Earle, a stand-up comic whose late-night putdowns of some lesbian hecklers were allegedly homophobic.

Maybe it would be easier just to ban all jokes, except for official government-licensed rib-ticklers.

Who was that lady I saw you with last night?

That was no lady, that was my Gloucestershire Comedy Court probation officer.


Who’s there?


Hugh who?

Human Rights Tribunal Joke Investigative Unit. Come out with your hands in the air, not fluttering around your hips as if it’s Carmen Miranda night at the Gay Stereotype Lounge.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To take part in a demonstration against poultrophobic humour.

How do you make a fruit cordial?

Be nice to him. Or else.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/03/2009 at 11:28 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsJack Booted ThugsUK •  
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Colonel “Rosy” du Toit, one of South Africa’s outstanding wartime fighter pilots dies age 90.

Caught my eye first thing this morning. Am wondering if by any chance there’s any connection to KIM du TOIT.  ??
Kim is originally from SA and so I thought, maybe?

Regardless, this fellow had quite a combat record, even winning the American DFC.  Distinguished Flying Cross.

RIP Colonel.

Colonel “Rosy” du Toit, who has died aged 90, was one of South Africa’s outstanding wartime fighter pilots and leaders; he fought in Abyssinia, the North African desert and in Italy, ending the war with his Spitfire Wing in Austria.

In October 1943, with the Allied armies becoming established in southern Italy, du Toit was appointed deputy leader of No 7 (SAAF) Wing. His three squadrons of RAF and SAAF Spitfires were engaged in ground-attack operations in support of Montgomery’s Eighth Army in Italy and the partisans in Yugoslavia.

During November that year du Toit led his squadrons on an audacious attack against an enemy landing ground in Yugoslavia. Four enemy aircraft were destroyed, others were damaged, and enemy gun positions were eliminated. He was awarded an immediate Bar to an earlier DFC, the citation commending him for his “gallant leadership, great skill and courage”.

Du Toit continued to lead the Wing throughout the harsh winter, strafing and bombing enemy gun emplacements and motor transports as General Montgomery attacked the Gustav Line. In July 1944, at the age of 26, he was promoted to colonel and took command of No 8 (SAAF) Wing, with four Spitfire squadrons.

The Germans had withdrawn north of Rome to the Gothic Line, and the Allies launched a major operation to attack their lines of communication. Flying in support of the US Fifth Army, du Toit led his Spitfires in strafing road and rail targets and dive-bombing bridges to cut off the enemy’s supplies.

On April 9 1945 the Allies launched their final offensive, and 8 (SAAF) Wing was in the forefront of the attacks. By the time of the German capitulation on May 2, du Toit and his squadrons were close to the Austrian border, and a few weeks later they moved to Modendorf, where they became the first South African unit to be stationed in pre-war German-occupied territory. Du Toit was awarded an American DFC and appointed CBE, a rare distinction for such a young officer.

The son of a headmaster, Stephanus Francois du Toit was born on January 28 1919 at Groot Marico, Western Transvaal, and educated at Helpmekaar School, Johannesburg. Whilst studying Engineering at Witwatersrand University in 1937, he enrolled as a pupil pilot with the Transvaal air training scheme, then transferred to the South African Military College at Roberts Heights, where he trained as a pilot. It was at this time that he acquired his nickname “Rosy” – he always kept his uniform immaculate and carried with him at all times a yellow duster (a rosy), to give a final polish to his buttons and leather webbing.

Du Toit was commissioned into the South African Air Force on September 6 1939, the day South Africa declared war on Germany. He joined No 41 Squadron, flying the Hartebeest biplane aircraft, initially on coastal patrols but then in direct support of South African ground forces throughout the little-known campaigns against Italy’s East African empire.

During an operational flight near the Kenyan border, the engine of du Toit’s aircraft failed and he made a forced landing in a remote area. He set fire to his aircraft and spent the next few days walking through the bush, evading the local tribesmen who were intent on relieving him of his rifle. As the ground forces advanced into Abyssinia and Eritrea, du Toit flew many sorties, strafing and bombing enemy positions. In August 1941 he landed behind enemy lines to pick up a fellow pilot who had been shot down.

During the major offensive against Gondar, du Toit’s aircraft was hit by ground fire and set alight. He managed to clear the area before making a crash-landing on a road before returning on foot with the assistance of Ethiopian patriots. During the intense fighting over the next two months, he had to make two more emergency landings after his aircraft had been set on fire. The Italian forces surrendered at the end of November, and the East African campaign was over. Du Toit was mentioned in despatches.

The squadron moved to North Africa to become part of the Desert Air Force in the campaigns against the Axis forces. In July 1942 he joined No 4 (SAAF) Squadron, flying the Kittyhawk fighter bomber, and in September was promoted to major to command the squadron. Du Toit led from the front, and for the next 12 months he was in constant action.

During the fierce fighting around Alam el Halfa in September 1942 he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109. In October he led his squadron to a notable victory when it intercepted a large force of Stuka dive-bombers with a heavy fighter escort. Two-thirds of the Stukas were shot down, one by du Toit. In a later attack against an enemy landing ground, his squadron destroyed enemy transports, and du Toit silenced two anti-tank posts with his cannons.

During an assault on the enemy airfield at Gambut on November 11 du Toit shot down a Bf 109 before being engaged in a 30-minute running battle with five enemy fighters. When they ran out of ammunition, he escaped and landed with his aircraft out of fuel and sporting several bullet holes.

As the Eighth Army advanced, he and his squadron moved forward in the desert providing support. He once attacked a tank and saw it topple off a cliff. On April 22 1943 he provided top cover for other squadrons from his Wing as they shot down 24 giant Messerschmitt Me 323s into the sea as they made a last desperate effort to resupply Rommel’s army with fuel. He described it as “terrific carnage, as the aircraft crashed and burst into flames. It was as if the sea was on fire.”

In June 1943 du Toit was awarded a DFC and rested.

Du Toit resigned from the SAAF in 1950, having become disillusioned with the new National Government’s restructuring of the armed forces, which he felt disadvantaged the country’s minorities. He worked in the sugar industry until 1962, when he established a farm near Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia. Over the next 16 years he developed a first-class cattle farm, but in 1973, concerned about the deteriorating political situation, he decided to emigrate to the United States.

Initially he worked as a ranch hand in New Mexico, but soon rose to become general manager of a 60-hectare ranch. In 1983 he returned to South Africa, where he pursued his passion for climbing and walking in the Western Cape.

Rosy du Toit died on February 13. He married his first wife, Jean, an American army nurse, in 1946. She died in 1964, and his second marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his third wife, Doreen, whom he married in 1984.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/03/2009 at 03:27 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 02, 2009

Revealed: The horrific moment the Taliban flog girl, 17, in chilling ‘punishment’ regime.

And this is exactly what these sub-humans want for us in the west people.

There are a couple more pix but grainy.

By Debra Killalea
Last updated at 7:24 PM on 02nd April 2009

This is the chilling moment a 17-year-old Pakistani girl is punished in a horrific flogging by Taliban militants for being seen with a man who is not her husband.

The girl, who received 37 lashes at the hands of her brother and Taliban forces, has sent shockwaves throughout the once stable Swat Valley region.

The mobile phone footage shows the girl pinned down by two men while a third whips her as she begs for mercy.

‘Please stop it,’ the girl begs as the men, one of whom is believed to be her brother, continue their sickening act.


But some claim the commander ordered the flogging to get revenge after the girl refused to accept a marriage proposal.

Pashtun documentary maker Samar Minallah, who lived in Swat for two years in the late 1990s, handed the footage to the media.

The footage has sparked alarm across Pakistan and the west, which fears the Taliban is seeking to extend its influence across the region.

The girl in the video, named as Chaand, was punished in Matta in the Swat Valley.

She did not receive a trial and was punished according to the suspicious of one neighbour.

Ms Minallah said the incident had taken place within the last 10 days, following the signing of a peace deal between the provincial government and militants which saw them gain control of the valley’s judicial system.

She said the video is being circulated because the Taliban wanted people to see it.

‘They want to give the message that this is taking place after the peace deal because this is something they ideologically believe in,’ she said.

Journalists and human rights workers have confirmed the video was recent, but could not say exactly when it was taken.

Human rights officials also claim that the Taliban have committed many atrocities since the peace deal was signed with officials settling disputes ‘according to their whims.’

Mingora, the largest city in Swat district, has been under a mixture of traditional and Islamic law since the peace deal was signed on February 15.

Although the Taliban do not control the courts, they continue to carry out punishments in some regional areas.

The punishment is not the first to be dished out since the peace deal was signed with some sources claiming women have been whipped for harmless activities such as shopping.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/02/2009 at 03:24 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeJack Booted ThugsOppressionOutrageousReligionRoPMATerrorists •  
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Here’s the headline and it may not be 100% accurate.

Father-of-two beaten to death by gang after police ignore six 999 calls from victim and neighbours

That’s what’s in the paper online. But the cops got there too late and maybe could have been earlier. You read this and make up your own mind.

Here’s a couple of totally worthless young thugs who do a thing like this while other young men are serving their country in the most difficult circumstances.  And lets be honest here.  Anyone actually believe that LIFE really means that?

Father-of-two beaten to death by gang after police ignore six 999 calls from victim and neighbours

By Jaya Narain
Last updated at 4:40 PM on 02nd April 2009

A father-of-two was beaten to death by a gang of drunken thugs just minutes after police told him they were too busy to help.

James Straiton, 59, and his neighbours dialled 999 six times after being threatened in their own homes by the gang.

But police operators said the force was experiencing a ‘high volume’ of calls and suggested they call a non-emergency number.

Tragedy struck when Mr Straiton, a taxi driver, decided to leave his flat and chase the thugs away himself.

Once outside in the street he was repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on in an horrific and frenzied attack.

Two men, one 6ft 4in tall, jumped and stamped on his head leaving Mr Straiton unconscious on the ground with horrendous head injuries.

The father-of-two suffered a brain haemorrhage, damaged neck vertebrae, fractures to his face, arm, and three broken ribs.

He was found by police lying in a pool of blood and rushed to hospital before being transferred to a specialist neurology unit where he died two weeks later.

Today Joshua Spruce and 6ft 4in Nigel Goolding, both 20 of Northwich, wept when they were convicted of murder at Chester Crown Court.

Paul Blower, also 20, who was also at the scene but did not take part in the attack was acquitted.

The court was told a high-level inquiry had been launched into the police handing of the 999 calls on the night of the murder.

His brother, Edward Straiton, said: ‘I went to see him in hospital where he was so bad that I didn’t even recognise him initially.

‘He had never been an aggressive man. I had never known him to be in a fight, he was just always laughing and joking.’

In a statement his family said: ‘As a family we feel that this incident could have been avoided and is a sad indictment of the society we now live in whereby young men seem to think that it is perfectly acceptable to behave in this way after going for a night out, drinking too much, sometimes taking drugs, and ending the evening by beating someone unrecognisable.

‘Their selfish disregard for others has not only ruined our lives but also has far reaching effects on all the families involved in this pointless act of violence.’

The court heard the incident had happened on July 26 last year when the yobs walked home after attending a 40th birthday party in the Winnington Recreation Club, near Northwich in Cheshire.

They had each drunk between five and eight pints of beer and were staggering home making a lot of noise.

Mr Straiton, who lived alone, opened his window to ask them to be quiet but they rushed towards his window and began banging on it and hurling abuse.

Mr Straiton and neighbours then made six calls to Cheshire Police appealing for officers to come down and help.

One woman called 999 twice, the first at 1.11am telling the operator ‘Something quite nasty is going off.’

In another call she was audibly tearful as she said there was a disturbance adding: ‘I’m too frightened to look out the window. They’re trying to get into his flat or get him to come outside.’

Mr Straiton - known as Jock - then made two 999 calls saying the men had climbed over a fence into the apartment complex and telling the operator he felt threatened.


So the bastards cried? Oh boo-hoo. Feeling sorry for themselves although I’ve no idea why. They’ll get out of jail at a youngish age.  All their needs seen to and meals etc. Scum is what they are and the system here sucks.
Please go to the link for photos and the rest of the article.
BTW ... here’s what one Brit had to say in the comments section.  Interesting.

This is a despicable crime. How many more people have to die before we are allowed access to guns so that we can defend ourselves against violent thugs like these, especially when it’s clear that the police are no longer up to the job.

It stuns me that more and more people are dying from violent assaults and yet there are still individuals out there who believe that we should denied the means to protect ourselves in the best way possible.

They also seem to feel that leaving us defenceless is actually the best way of keeping us safe - how exactly does that work ?

Every person has the inalienable right to self-defence and nobody, and I mean nobody, has the right to take that away.

- Graham Showell, West Midlands, England, 2/4/2009 17:12


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/02/2009 at 02:30 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDaily LifeOutrageousUK •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  


Well now ....

There hasn’t been any update to that story and I doubt there will be.
BUT ... I want to bring this to everyones attention because it irks me.

The knothead priggish head teacher spoke of images and standards and the idea that kids had to be protected from seeing a teacher on a website posing in an alluring way.  What an ass. As though kids are looking for that very mild non-porn negligee poses. Wait, they probably are but so what?
Any of you guys old enough to recall looking at The Natl. Geographic? uh huh.  Ruined us all, didn’t it?

Like they don’t watch TV and see a lot more.  Kids today see far more and hear more then anyone at this site at that age. I may not think that’s always a good thing but that’s the world today.

So then ... take a look at this very public image and tell me.  Is there any chance that some 11 to 16 year old just might see this?

Especially as these two are well known celebs.


And please don’t forget the kiss on stage between Madonna and Britney Spears some time back.  How many kids saw that?
About a million or more? 

I happen to see this today on the Daily Mail website and so it got me thinking about that PE/Dance teacher.  Yeah, a real danger to the kiddies morals.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/02/2009 at 01:50 PM   
Filed Under: • CelebritiesStoopid-PeopleUK •  
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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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