BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is the only woman who can make Tony Romo WIN a playoff.

calendar   Tuesday - September 27, 2011

Aargh Matey, Thar Be Tray-zure

No Barnacles On This Binnacle

Recovery Contract Awarded For WWII Freighter S.S. Gairsoppa

cargo includes 219 tons of silver worth $210 million / £155 million



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Gairsoppa’s brass compass stand (aka the binnacle) still shines, 3 miles beneath the waves



When the SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat 70 years ago, it took its huge silver cargo to a watery grave. US divers are working to recover what may be the biggest shipwreck haul ever, valued at some $210 million.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration on Monday confirmed the identity and location of the Gairsoppa, and cited official documents indicating the British ship was carrying some 219 tons of silver when it sank in 1941 in the North Atlantic some 300 miles (490 kilometers) off the Irish coast.

Valued then at 600,000 pounds, the silver today is worth about $210 million, which would make it history’s largest recovery of precious metals lost at sea, Odyssey said.

“We’ve accomplished the first phase of this project—the location and identification of the target shipwreck—and now we’re hard at work planning for the recovery phase,” Odyssey senior project manager Andrew Craig said in a statement.

“Given the orientation and condition of the shipwreck, we are extremely confident that our planned salvage operation will be well suited for the recovery of this silver cargo.”

Recovery is expected to begin next spring.

After a competitive tender process the British government awarded Odyssey an exclusive salvage contract for the cargo, and under the agreement Odyssey will retain 80 percent of the silver bullion salvaged from the wreck.

The 412-foot (125-meter) Gairsoppa had been sailing from India back to Britain in February 1941 bearing a cargo of silver, pig iron and tea, and was in a convoy of ships when a storm hit. Running low on fuel, the Gairsoppa broke off from the convoy and set a course for Galway, Ireland.

It never made it, succumbing to a German torpedo in the contested waters of the North Atlantic. Of the 85 people on board, only one survived.

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The Gairsoppa was laid down in 1919 and was a 5200 ton steamer for the British India Steam Navigation Company. When it was torpedoed, it caught fire and sank in 20 minutes, which allowed all the surviving crew to escape in lifeboats. Unfortunately rough seas claimed 2 of the 3 boats, and most of the 31 on the 3rd boat died from exposure before they reached land. To add insult to injury, that lifeboat was wrecked in the surf, drowning all but 1 crew member.

The boat in charge of the second officer set sail with eight Europeans and 23 Lascars aboard, but after seven days most had died of exposure and only four Europeans and two Lascars were still alive when the boat reached land on 1 March. Sadly, it capsized in the swell and surf of Caerthillian Cove on The Lizard, Cornwall and all occupants drowned except the second officer, who was rescued unconscious by a coastguard.

The wreck was found very close to where the U-Boat logs said it was sunk.

another source article with lots of pictures


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/27/2011 at 03:39 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobilesWar-Stories •  
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golly, he can’t be serious??

We’re in the era of Herman Cain, people, not Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, the stultifying Travis Smiley, or that man who has put a generation of Harvard and Princeton students into perpetual narcoleptic sleep — Dr. Cornel West.

And while we’re at it, all other caucuses based on race, religion, creed, or national origin should be put out to pasture along with it. Such groupings are so reactionary and self-destructive they make your eyes roll back in your head, collide with each other, and shoot out again like pinballs, destroying half your brain from the cerebellum to the medulla oblongata in the process. They divide us and help no one. They have no justification any more, if they ever did.

Racism is dead. Or as dead as it’s ever going to be.

Yes, I understand these things happen. I cringed when Bernard Madoff, a fellow Jew, was accused and then convicted of heinous crimes. But I shouldn’t have. And Obama — no criminal — is light years from Madoff.

The time has come to get beyond such identifications. Not only are they specious, they reinforce stereotypes that too often become self-fulfilling prophecies. They define us in ways we cannot even understand, let alone easily escape from. They warp our unconscious.

In that way, affirmative action may have hurt more people than it helped, lowering that most crucial of all “liberal” pieties, self-esteem. In any case, like the Black Caucus itself, it is outdated now.

Roger L. Simon in PajamasMedia

Good comments there too ... more than 20 of them before somebody brings in Hitler. Most of them would agree that you can join any group you want, but our taxes shouldn’t go to support it. And eventually a few of them bring up the obvious - notions that were obvious to most of us 25 years ago in college when we saw the Student Unions break into Black Student Union, Jewish Student Union, Women’s Student Union, et al, but never a White Student Union or a Men’s Student Union:

* I’d like to see what would happen if a Congressional White Caucus were formed. And for that matter, White Mayors, White Police Officers, White Entertainment TV, Miss White America, and so on. Can you imagine? Probably not. And that indeed proves a very frightening reality.
September 27, 2011 - 3:51 am Link to this Comment | Reply

* Ya think they’d allow a Straight White Guy Day Parade (“guy” is not gender specific) in ANY city in the US?

* The reactions amongst liberals would be awesome to watch and most likely so hypocritical as to point out their own failings so intensely that they would become a laughing stock. I’d love to see someone do it.

Oh, so you want to actually SEE? Ok, check today’s headlines for RACIST BAKE SALE, where a group of college Republicans is pulling out the hoary old chestnut - in use for 40 years now - of a fund raising bake sale that has pro-diversity pricing (minorities and special people pay less). RAAAAACISST!!!  This old canard works every year, without fail. The left never sees how stupid it makes them look, and they never get wise to the fact it’s been done so many times before.

An open plaza at the University of California Berkeley will be an epicenter Tuesday in the debate over affirmative action and college admissions.

On one side, Berkeley College Republicans will host their “Increase Diversity Bake Sale”—a satirical event that will charge customers different prices based on race and gender.

...

At Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, officials shut down a similar bake sale on campus. Officials at The College of William and Mary in Virginia cut off a cookie sale, saying they were “shocked and appalled.”

The University of California, Irvine, shut down a bake sale on campus, saying it was discriminatory. And a bake sale at Southern Methodist University in Texas was shut down after 45 minutes because of what officials called an “unsafe environment,” according to local reports.

Do you really want to get beyond race? Me too. Let’s not only stop collecting racial data at all levels of government, academia, and business, let’s throw away all the data that they have, and remove those columns from the database tables. Do the same for gender as well. And toss out every last law of any kind that mentions race or gender. Because it’s abhorrent that such things are even at the level of awareness, much less that they have any kind of legal merit. That way there will be no more discrimination based on either, and all of us will be equal as we should be. Of course, that means an end to every last “boot strap” Affirmative Action program, every last Hate Crime law, and every last Minority Incentive program everywhere. True equal rights. Oh, and we’d have to send all the race hustlers to some desert island somewhere in the remote southern oceans. Chatham Island ought to do it, 500 miles east of New Zealand. I’m sure the Maoris will welcome them. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/27/2011 at 12:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Racism and race relations •  
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calendar   Monday - September 26, 2011

And To Each Their Proper Place

Wonkette is now blogging for the UK Guardian.

Ana Marie Cox is a political journalist who has written about Washington and national politics for a variety of outlets, including Playboy, GQ, Time, the New York Times and the Washington Post. She was the founding editor of the blog Wonkette and the author of the satirical novel Dog Days. She lives in Austin, Texas

My own politics inform but don’t determine my analysis; I consider myself pretty equal-opportunity in terms of pointing out ridiculousness or cruelty or error. In the interest of transparency, however, I’m always happy to share my opinion on what I think policies SHOULD be – it’s just usually so far removed from reality that it’s beside the point. I’m a cautious socialist with a libertarian streak, albeit a very thin one.

I could not agree less with her political views if I tried, but a) she is one of the very few bloggers who has made the big jump to professional journalism (ie the kind that comes with a paycheck you can live on) regardless of how she got there (sex blogging), and
b) I think she’s one of the cuter natural redheads out there,

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and c) I hope this means that she will no longer be writing for those other 5 media outlets. England can have her, and her left-wing views. And she’ll draw a paycheck and have exactly zero impact on things over here. Which suits me just fine. No link provided; if you really need to read her stuff, Google it up.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2011 at 06:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffUK •  
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Sounds Familiar

“debased political debate”

A Must-Read article as the Euro and the EU begin to go belly up

The Great Euro Swindle



Study of the public discourse at the height of the euro debate shows how often pro-euro propagandists isolated their critics by labelling them cranks. Here’s just one example, taken from the Observer columnist Andrew Rawnsley’s column on 31 January 1999: ‘On the pro-euro side, a grand coalition of business, the unions and the substantial, sane, front rank political figures. On the other side, a menagerie of has-beens, never-have-beens and loony tunes.’

This is not to say that the BBC was consciously biased. It was simply that the high-minded attitudes of many BBC reporters and producers meshed only too well with the pressure groups. But this bias went very deep indeed. As Rod Liddle, then editor of the Radio 4’s Today programme, said: ‘The whole ethos of the BBC and all the staff was that Eurosceptics were xenophobes and there was an end to it. The euro would come up at a meeting and everybody would just burst out laughing about the Eurosceptics.’ Liddle recalls one meeting with a very senior figure at the BBC to deal with Eurosceptic complaints of bias. ‘Rod, the thing you have to understand is that these people are mad. They are mad.’

In truth the Eurosceptics were only too sane. Politicians like Margaret Thatcher, John Redwood, David Owen, William Hague and Bill Cash were mocked — often very cruelly — at the time. But they grasped with stunning clarity the problems the euro would bring. They deserve full credit for their courage and foresight today, and our gratitude too.

My goodness, that does have a bit of a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it? A long trusted media source goes utterly biased, and a public debate over a questionable activity turns into a bout of vicious rhetoric from the left. Anyone who was not in favor of the Euro was “a nutter” or a “xenophobic little Englisher”. Um, except that they were right all along, as the present situation has ultimately shown. But the voices against jumping off the bridge were silenced by media bias and ad-hominem attacks.

Now, where have we heard this before? (Drew turns on TV news and sees the same thing happening over every single issue.) Can’t place it myself, but I’m certain I’ve been exposed to it before.

h/t to the Sweasel


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2011 at 05:49 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peonsUK •  
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Fails the sniff test

Lots and lots of coverage around the blogosphere of NYPD Chief Ray Kelly’s statement on 60 Minutes that his cops could “take down” an airliner if necessary ...

NEW YORK — The chief of the New York Police Department says city police could take down a plane if needed.

Commissioner Ray Kelly tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” that after the Sept. 11 attacks, he decided the city couldn’t rely on the federal government alone. He set about creating the NYPD’s own counter-terrorism unit. He says the department is prepared for multiple scenarios and could even take down a plane.

Tonight’s edition of 60 Minutes featured a segment on one of the world’s most sophisticated anti-terrorism units--the New York City Police Department. Over the past decade, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly (and the city) have spent $3 billion on measures designed to prevent or mitigate future attacks.
...
Pelley: Are you satisfied that you’ve dealt with threats from aircraft, even light planes, model planes, that kind of thing?

Kelly: Well, it’s something that’s on our radar screen. I mean in an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane.

Pelley: Do you mean to say that the NYPD has the means to take down an aircraft?

Kelly: Yes, I prefer not to get into the details but obviously this would be in a very extreme situation.

Pelley: You have the equipment and the training.

Kelly: Yes.

Speculation on this statement has run the gamut from it’s pure BS to they have either Avenger missile launchers (packs of Stingers mounted on Humvees) or else MANPADS (shoulder launched Stingers). Another blog says all of that is nonsense, because what they have is Barrett .50 rifles, and will shoot down the airliners from helicopters.

I say phooey to the whole thing. [Insert my standard rant about the over-militarization of the police here]

So the practical answer must be that the air defense tool involved is a bigger missile. Something on the order of a AIM-120 or greater, either in the air version (AMRAAM) or the ground version (SLAMRAAM). Perhaps go even larger, with the leftover old Hawk missiles gathering dust in warehouses, or some Patriot batteries. Not only do these kinds of missiles have much greater range (30 - 50 miles or more) they pack much more bang, having about the same explosive and fragmentation power as a 120mm to 155mm artillery shell ... which is plenty (50 - 80lbs). So the pieces will be much smaller, and they’ll fall much further away. Somewhere out past the end of Long Island, or 20 miles off the New Jersey shore would be just about right.

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And all of this leads back to the question of the day, just what the EFF kind of police departments have we built in this country? Hardware of this magnitude has NEVER been in civilian hands before. Nor has launch authority. If Commissioner Kelly isn’t lying out his sphincter, and he does have such equipment AND the authority to deploy it ... then we have a cop with warlord like powers. If so, someone has made a huge mistake.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for air defenses around our cities. It makes sense. Heck, they used to be there; once upon a time (up to 1972) nearly two dozen anti-aircraft missile bases surrounded New York City, including one within the confines of the city proper, not 2 miles from the Bronx Zoo. Armed with nukes!  But these were all under the control of the Army, not the mayor of the city or his top cop. Has the chain of command been thrown out the window and flushed down the toilet? It would seem it must have been. I can see no other possible way that Kelly’s statement can possibly be true. What’s next for the NYPD, their own nuclear submarines? Private air craft carries? A battalion or two of tanks? His own little air force of AT-6s armed with air to air missiles? Too damn much power IMO. We have an excellent military. Defending the nation against our enemies is their job. Let them do it, and keep the plod out of it.

Besides, as I’ve said, the place to make an interception is long before the bits and pieces left afterwards can crash down on your head. That means that the threat has to be determined and validated, and the interception decision made, long before it gets near Commissioner Kelly and his blue crewed AA batteries. Which means that the local Air Force bases will have plenty of time to sortie every jet fighter they have on nearly suicidal intercept missions. So if it REALLY comes down to it, by the time the cops are shooting at jet airliners, it’s already too damn late. Might as well stand on the roof and throw rocks or shoot off bottle rockets. In other words, giving the NYPD anti-aircraft weaponry and launch authority is yet another waste of millions of dollars, and another “let no crisis go to waste” usurpation of power.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2011 at 03:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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One Dot Blashphemy

Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error



ABBOTTABAD PAKISTAN: It may have been a mere misplaced dot that led to accusations of blasphemy against a Christian eighth-grader, whose miniscule error led to her expulsion from school and uproar amongst local religious leaders.

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.

Spelling out her punishment

On Thursday, Faryal’s Urdu teacher was collecting the answer sheets from her students when she noticed the apparently offensive word on her pupil’s sheet. The teacher, Fareeda Bibi, reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her. Her punishment, however, did not end here. When Faryal’s class fellows learnt of the alleged blasphemy, the teacher brought the principal’s notice to the matter, who further informed the school management.

In the meanwhile, the news spread throughout the colony. The next day, male students of the POF colony school as well as certain religious elements took out a rally, demanding the registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her expulsion from the area.

Pretty twisted, eh? Spell a single word wrong on a test and get beaten for it, then get charged with blasphemy, then have the whole town rise up and demand that your entire family get thrown out of the district. So much for tolerance and compassion. Another example of the harsh insanity of pisslam, where their god is so weak that he needs constant protection and can’t take the least amount of criticism, difference of opinion, or even a minuscule spelling error.



I saw this at Weasel Zippers and followed the link to the source, then found that bit of news at a couple of other sources. While I have to agree that this is an over the top reaction worthy of a bunch of rapid lunatics, there is a bit of a media twist going on here. The truth does not justify the reaction, but it does explain some of it ... and I seem to be the only one who has made the attempt to find it.

This was not just any old test in Urdu, the language of Pakistan. Urdu is spoken like Hindu, but written like Arabic I gather. This was what was called a “na’at test”, a special kind of language exam where a special class of poem is deconstructed and analyzed. The same kind of nonsense you had to suffer through in Freshman English.  Ok, fine, it’s a poetry exam. So what? Well, a “na’at” is a special kind of poem, one that is written specifically to praise Mohammed. I have no idea if they all follow the same form, like haiku or iambic pentameter, but the entire category of na’at shareef (exalted poetry) exists for no other purpose. Words of praise for their prophet.

La’nat, on the other hand, is something akin to a witch’s spell. It’s a kind of a prayer to Allah asking for pain, suffering, damnation, or a removal of holy grace from your enemy It’s their conceptual “God damn”, but they REALLY mean it when they say it.

I’d fault the phonetic Arabic writing system for this one, that allows one small dot - a stress point or an accent symbol I think - to change a piety into a holy curse. It’s like writing an ‘N’ where you wanted to write an ‘M’, in a language where ‘Migger’ is a great and glorious accolade. And thus improperly identifying such a piety AS a curse would be quite insulting. If you were an intolerant crazy just looking to be insulted that is. The kind of rebellious nasty thing that an already socially outcast teenager might do out of spite, or that sense of “ooh, look how subtly ironic I am, and they’re all too stupid to notice or appreciate it” that seems to be a worldwide affliction of youth. A real teacher would have known the student, and known what her intent was, and dealt with it.

So that explains that. What any sane teacher would have done at most is to give the kid an F, maybe a bit of detention, and then forget about it. That is, after meeting with the girl and asking her what a na’at and a la’nat are. Heck, if the kid doesn’t know the difference, then it’s the teacher’s fault, yes? But I can’t see her not knowing at least what a na’at is; WTH, they were having an exam on it. Maybe they hadn’t covered la’ats yet, and this could in truth be a simple spelling error. In which case you explain how that one dot is the blasting cap that explodes a major faux pas, and then you forget about it. You don’t rat out the girl to the rest of the class, then to the principal, then to the “religious authorities”, then press criminal charges, then hound the single parent family out of town. That’s what insane people do.

Personally, if Allah can’t handle a bit of insult, then he isn’t much of a god in my opinion. And if people go insane in their reaction to something as small as this, then they are showing just how weak and doubt filled their own faith is, aren’t they? And just how hateful and intolerant they are of everyone, which shows that 75 generations of being good little muslims hasn’t done diddly to elevate them above savagery.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/26/2011 at 08:05 AM   
Filed Under: • RoPMA •  
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calendar   Sunday - September 25, 2011

Oh Hella Yeah I’m Stealing This


big_us_flag  big_israel_flag

via Moonbattery via Wild Bill for America.



I hope none of you wasted a minute listening to Abbas at the UN the other day blathering on about statehood for the paleo-swine-ians ... or the spew from that miniature ranting lunatic from Iran ...

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Conversely, I hope every one of you stopped what you were doing to listen to “Uncle Benjy” Netanyahu’s address that same august [cough cough] body. If history remembers that talk, they should call it the Place of Darkness speech, for that is what the UN is, and he called them out for it. In detail. Full transcript at the link, video at YouTube but with comments full of hate.

Compare Wild Bill’s bit of history with Netanyahu’s words

You know why we’re called “Jews”? Because we come from Judea.  In my office in Jerusalem, there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That’s my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin — Binyamin — the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Samaria 4,000 years ago, and there’s been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/25/2011 at 10:25 AM   
Filed Under: • Israel •  
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racist reporting

Obama tells blacks to ‘stop complainin’ and fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a fiery summons to an important voting bloc, President Barack Obama told blacks on Saturday to quit crying and complaining and “put on your marching shoes” to follow him into battle for jobs and opportunity.

And though he didn’t say it directly, for a second term, too.

Obama’s speech to the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus was his answer to increasingly vocal griping from black leaders that he’s been giving away too much in talks with Republicans—and not doing enough to fight black unemployment, which is nearly double the national average at 16.7 percent.

“It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all,” Obama told an audience of some 3,000 in a darkened Washington convention center.

Uh huh. Very funny. Yup, put 3,000 black people in a convention center and it will be considerably darkened, yes it will. Raaaaaacist!!!

He acknowledged blacks have suffered mightily because of the recession, and are frustrated that the downturn is taking so long to reverse. “So many people are still hurting. So many people are barely hanging on,” he said, then added: “And so many people in this city are fighting us every step of the way.”

But Obama said blacks know all too well from the civil rights struggle that the fight for what is right is never easy.

“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Bedroom slippers? Bedroom slippers? Is that a reference to that old comfortable shoes routine? Yes’m, yes it be. Horry Clap, raaaaaaacist metaphors straight from the President! That must have been his white half talking.

Obama said the package of payroll tax cuts, business tax breaks and infrastructure spending will benefit 100,000 black-owned businesses and 20 million African-American workers. Republicans have indicated they’re open to some of the tax measures—but oppose his means of paying for it: hiking taxes on top income-earners and big business.

Oh pure genius, that is. Pay for the jobs bill by taxing the very businesses that are going to be doing the hiring. That’ll work leave a mark.

PS - Last time I heard there were less than 39 million black people in the USA. If half of them are either too young or too old to work, which is reasonable, that leaves a couple million less than 20. Any time race comes up, I’m always hearing how 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 black men are in jail ... given that males are about half the population ... that’s about 2 million. So the theoretical maximum black population available for work is perhaps 16 million. Given their supposed unemployment rate that’s double the rate the rest of us have, that makes 3.2 million black people out of work. Obama’s plan is said to benefit 20 million black workers, even though about 13 million of them already have jobs and there aren’t even 20 million of them available. Go figure. Obama’s jobs plan will be a direct benefit to far more than every single one of them. MORE THAN Every. Single. One. Including all of the executives, upper managers, business owners, and the millions who already work for the various levels of government. Maybe all those extra millions of black workers live in those extra 7 states Obama believes we have. Or maybe his plan, like his math, is a wee bit flawed??

And I’m just so darn impressed our post racial president needs to pander to his color buddies and crank up the patois, just like Hillary “Know what I’m saying?” Clinton. Because it’s not about race you know. Which is why the Congressional Black Caucus is going to disband itself, right? And the pollsters and the government are going to stop even keeping racial statistics? E Pluribus Unum, content of your character not the color of your skin and all that jazz, right?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/25/2011 at 08:36 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Next Time For Sure

Saudi king allows women to vote in local elections

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said women in the conservative Islamic kingdom will have the right to join the advisory Shura Council as full members and participate in future municipal elections, meeting a key goal of liberal activists.

“Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama (clerics) and others… to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from the next term,” he said in a speech delivered to the Shura Council.

“Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote,” he added.

Activists in the country have long called for greater rights for women, who are barred from travelling, working or having medical operations without the permission of a male relative and are forbidden from driving.

Those changes will come after municipal elections this Thursday, for which women have been barred from voting or standing office.

Yeah right. And the word of their absolute monarch makes the decree effective ... next time. Gosh. Color me unimpressed.

Of course, should those women go to the polls by themselves, or without a supervisory male relative, or drive a car to get there, or vote how they want instead of how they’re told, they’ll be arrested, beaten, raped, and probably executed ... or just killed by their own relatives.

I wonder if they’ll have special female ballots that will only count 1/4th as much as the men’s ballots? That wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Another load of shiite from the religion of piss.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/25/2011 at 08:26 AM   
Filed Under: • RoPMA •  
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calendar   Saturday - September 24, 2011

Another unenforced law

Here’s a link to a story I saw in the MD paper I just linked to for the stink bug post.


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Ospreys are raptors, fish hunting birds that live along the coast. For many years their numbers have been in steep decline, placing them on the Endangered Species list for most of my lifetime. In the past two decades they have started making a comeback up and and down the Atlantic coast, and are seen by many people as a bellwether of environmental pollution levels.  Their decline was a strong factor in the whole DDT ban thing. Although ospreys are off of the ES list now, it is still a significant federal offense - a $15,000 fine minimum - to hunt, disturb, trap., poison, or molest these birds or their nests.

40 years of human assistance has also helped these birds get their population back up to somewhere near it ought to be. People get together up and down the coast to build nest platforms for them and sometimes even set aside low impact “osprey zone” areas. Ospreys do not live here all year; they fly to South America for the winter. Once outside the USA they are no longer protected.



There has been a pair of breeding ospreys out at the end of a pier in Anne Arundel County for more than half a decade now, watched over and written about by author Janie Suss.

The female osprey, Olive, was recently shot. Dead. On purpose. By two boys with BB guns. For shits and giggles. The male got away, but this year’s clutch of eggs was lost. Caught in the act by the author, the boys - who knew about ospreys and even knew these two birds by name - confessed. She called the police and had them arrested. Last week all 5 charges against the youths were dropped.

Read more about it here, or break the news softly to your children if you are one of the many parents who has read Oscar and Olive Osprey to your children.

As the osprey head south this year, we say goodbye forever to one special bird: Olive Osprey.

Like many of her species, she was shot. Not over Cuba or the Dominican Republic, where fish farmers consider osprey birds of prey. Olive was shot as she sat on her eggs in her nest in Southern Anne Arundel County, where she had been welcomed and had gained celebrity.

Her killers were neighborhood boys.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 prohibits such killings, and imposes a maximum penalty of $15,000 and 6 months in jail for each offense, even though they are misdemeanors ... and such penalties have been handed out in the recent past.

Ok, maybe you can’t fine children thousands of dollars for birdicide or put them on the chain gang, but they shouldn’t have walked off scott-free. Fine the parents perhaps? Something. Why bother to have laws if they aren’t going to be enforced? Heck, the EPA agents are armed. What on earth for, if not for things like this?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/24/2011 at 02:44 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCrimeEnvironment •  
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Bugger Off

Prayers Answered: NJ Stink Bug Plague Greatly Diminished



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For the Praying Mantis, Stink Bugs are a tasty treat



This time last year New Jersey was almost crusted in stink bugs. The evil little Asian Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has snuck into the USA on a shipping container opened up in Allentown PA, and they were “reeking” havoc across eastern PA and western NJ. People were sweeping bagsful of the little terrors with brooms, they were in and on everything, and the fruit and vegetable crops took a beating.

Stink bugs hibernate. When things finally warmed up this Spring, I was cleaning piles of them out of the ceiling fixtures at my offices every week. Here we go again, right, another year of bug plague.

WRONG. There have hardly been any stink bugs around all Summer. I don’t think we’ve had more than two in the house since April, and last year we were getting half a dozen in a day, regardless of any precautions we took or poisons we laid down.  This year nature has provided us a weapon against this ChiCom offensive, and we have Praying Mantises (Manti??) everywhere. Big ones, very well fed.

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I snapped the above picture just a little while ago. It’s crappy, but that’s because the Mantis is only a 4” bug and I had to set the camera on maximum zoom to get the shot. But other folks have made the same connection, and quite a number of people have captured really good footage. Funny though, I haven’t heard a word about this on the news, and we were getting daily reports on the Big Bad Bug Threat last year. (Gosh, I wonder whatever happened to the bed bug issue in New York City? Not a word there either)

Then she asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer to; “If the praying mantises that are also on my rose bushes are insect eaters, will they eat the stink bugs?

“Well now, I don’t know”, I said. “Stink bugs are pretty stinky and nasty creatures, I can’t imagine the mantids would eat them but I’m not really sure.”

Later that afternoon, I received an e-mail from a longtime listener to “In the Garden with Andre Viette” that had an attached photo of (drum roll please) a praying mantis chowing down on a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug!

Whoa, what an amazing shot and what a coincidence that he caught it on “film” and happened to e-mail it to us the day I got this question!

Thanks to Nicholas R. of Copper Hill Images for these incredible photos! And thanks for clearing up the mystery of whether they eat stink bugs.

So it seems that praying mantises do find these nasty bugs rather palatable!

You can find several little videos of mantises eating stink bugs on YouTube, along with similar vids of bats and spiders chowing down on same. Just goes to show you how little the “experts” really know: last year at this time we were told that the Brown Marmorated Bastard had no natural predators in the USA, and it’s revolting aroma would protect it from most animals. B. S. They forgot to take into account that Nature is flexible, and to animals that eat bugs for a living, stink bugs are the olives on the smorgasbord of life.

Now the plague has shifted south to Maryland ...

Stinkbugs have been most severe from Prince George’s County to upper Baltimore County. So far, southern counties like Calvert and St. Mary’s have been largely spared. Next year will be different.

An entomologist at the University of Maryland warns that we can expect a plague of Biblical proportions in years to come. Next year, they’re anticipated to spread statewide, causing damage three times more severe.

A number of research projects are under way investigating natural predators of the stinkbug and the use against them of safe pesticides with short residual properties. Until then, swat them, stomp them or drown them in soapy water.

Dear Maryland: Get yourself as many Praying Mantis egg cases as you can, get some bats, and let the Wolf Spiders do their thing. And keep spraying.

The bug sellers don’t think that Mantises are that great a solution, but there has not been any widespread residential spraying going on here. Yes, it was a bad winter, but as I said there were tons of stinkers in the early Spring. Now there are none. And with all the rain, things have been growing like mad here, so you can’t say that there hasn’t been any food for them. What else can it be?

Um, could it be Satan poison? The EPA approved an emergency measure around the end of June that allowed farmers in this area to use just two sprayings per year of Dinotefuran, an insecticide used in Asia, and also allowed the use of the botanically derived poisons Pyrethrin and Azadiractin.

WASHINGTON –On June 24, 2011, EPA approved, for emergency use, the insecticide dinotefuran (trade names Venom and Scorpion) on tree fruit to help manage populations of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive insect that has caused extensive yield losses in tree fruit production in the mid-Atlantic region. The approval, known as an emergency exemption, applies to Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey. Under the exemption, producers of stone fruit (such as peaches, plums and cherries) and pome fruit (including apples and pears) are allowed to manage the brown marmorated stink bug with two applications of dinotefuran by ground equipment per season.

“EPA is very concerned about the impact of stink bugs on agricultural production and will continue to monitor the problem and provide growers safe and effective tools to help manage this pest,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We are committed to continuing to work closely with the agricultural community to address this very serious problem.”

Under the emergency exemption provision of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, states can petition EPA for the use of an unregistered pesticide on a temporary basis if it will help alleviate an emergency pest problem. Before approval, EPA must be able to support the use from a health and safety standpoint. EPA has assessed the risks of the exemption involving dinotefuran and has made a safety finding for the use. Dinotefuran is already approved for use on leafy vegetables.

Also, on June 21, 2011 EPA approved an additional use for an insecticide that may help manage stink bugs in organic production systems. The new product contains azadirachtin and pyrethrins, which are derived from botanical ingredients. This product is now approved for use on many crops where stink bug management is needed, and it can be used by organic farmers.

Dinotefuran is also a bee killer, and with the decline in honeybees lately it should be very carefully used. Azadiractin is a larval growth inhibitor map from the seeds of the Indian evergreen Neem tree, and pyrethrin is a straight up poison made from chrysanthemums.

But there aren’t really many farms near here. And yet the stink bugs are gone. I credit the manti.

image

mmm mmm mmm!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/24/2011 at 01:30 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Chicken Little Exhales

Giant Satellite Crashes Into Pacific



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World doesn’t end, no film at 11



NASA’s dead six-ton satellite fell to Earth early Saturday morning, starting its fiery death plunge somewhere over the vast Pacific Ocean.

Details were still sketchy, but the U.S. Air Force’s Joint Space Operations Center and NASA say that the bus-sized satellite first penetrated Earth’s atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. That doesn’t necessarily mean it all fell into the sea—although most of it is believed to have burned up.

NASA’s calculations had predicted that the former climate research satellite would fall over a 500-mile swath.

The two government agencies say the 35-foot satellite fell sometime between 11:23 p.m. EDT and 1:09 a.m. EDT. NASA said it didn’t know the precise time or location yet

Some 26 pieces of the satellite—representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal—were expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will be the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the post-Apollo 75-ton Skylab space station and the more than 10-ton Pegasus 2 satellite, both in 1979.
...
Some 26 pieces of the UARS satellite—representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal—are expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms).

Earthlings can take comfort in the fact that no one has ever been hurt by falling space junk—to anyone’s knowledge—and there has been no serious property damage. NASA put the chances that somebody somewhere on Earth would get hurt at 1-in-3,200. But any one person’s odds of being struck were estimated at 1-in-22 trillion, given there are 7 billion people on the planet.
...
In any case, finders definitely aren’t keepers. Any surviving wreckage belongs to NASA, and it is against the law to keep or sell even the smallest piece. There are no toxic chemicals on board, but sharp edges could be dangerous, so the space agency is warning the public to keep hands off and call police.

Really? Against the law to keep space debris? WTF? I can’t imagine a stronger definition of throwing something away than shooting it into orbit. Another bloody unconstitutional law IMO. Ok, while it’s in orbit and they can control it, it’s theirs. Fine. But when it’s dead it’s trash. A billion dollars worth of recycling, and the biggest ticket for littering that ever was.

Anyway, the Big Scare is over now, so the MSM will have to move on and find something else to try and frighten everyone with that turns out to be utterly mundane.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/24/2011 at 08:45 AM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefs •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - September 23, 2011

Can I introduce you please To a lump of Cheddar Cheese





Love this!

Being a Yank, I’d never heard it or knew it existed until just now. It’s utterly simple and stupid and completely excellent. It doesn’t hardly even have real lyrics until the second verse. Fabulous. Turn it up!

It’s fighting music but without the bagpipes.

Less than one guess as to what I’m cooking for dinner.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/23/2011 at 04:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningFun-StuffSports •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

All That Is Old Is New Again

I have Doc Jeff to thank in part for this one. Thanks for the link Doc!
Ever since TinEye and Google Image Search came on the scene, it’s been pretty much impossible to do a WhatsIt. No matter what picture I put up, unless it’s one I photograph myself, you can find it in a second. Grrr.  But if you’d like to play along and can resist the temptation to use an image search tool, here’s a really neat thing.


WhatsIt #19


image

a green one


It’s a hexagon pyramid of glass that measures about 4” across. This one is green, but most of them were clear. The pyramid could have 4, 6, 8, or more sides, but 6 was fairly common. Some of them were as small as 2” across, but almost none of them was larger than 6” across because that would make the pyramid too tall.

As a very small child, I stood on several of these without injury. Heck, I probably jumped up and down on them, since I was that kind of boy.

These have been around ever since mankind had the ability to make fairly clear glass and understood it’s properties. Some of the later ones are not pyramids at all but fluted, which utilizes the same property but in a different way. Some of them also had a rim around the edge, but most didn’t. Wiki thinks they’ve only been around since the 1840s, but Wiki is wrong about lots of things. I think they might date back almost to Roman times.


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a late model fluted one with a rimmed edge



They make dandy paperweights. They make decent palm maces; if ever there was a small blunt object to use as a weapon, here it is. They probably also excel at juicing oranges and grapefruit. None of these is what the things were designed to do.

Have at it. And then check below the fold for the answer, and for Doc’s link to a modern zero-cost implementation that is about as “green” a solution to an age old problem as can be found.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/23/2011 at 11:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHistoryScience-Technology •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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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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