BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Monday - June 25, 2012

europe is toast … and the left in america is leading us down the same road

I had no idea I would be making a post of a comment made here at BMEWS by our friend below.  I thought I was working on something else when I checked comments this morning.

It’s very interesting how we all differ in our expression on a subject we are all agreed on.
Anyway, NJY has really said it well and in fewer words then I often use.  Wish I had that knack but since I don’t, no worry.
I’ll borrow his.

Europe is screwed. It’s gonna be an Islamic paradise before the middle of the century.

That’s because the Europeans allowed it. Many believe they are being “multicultural” heroes. The rest haven’t the time or courage to oppose the tide.

The Europeans who opposed the Islamic culture were afraid of the naive idiots who pushed the Political Correct agenda.

America is going down the same road, albeit a little slower. Actually, I see the need to allow the legalization of the Mexican “illegals”. At least they’re not Muslim and will help dilute the raghead tsunami which is currently ghettoising many major U.S. Cities.

Just wait. It’s gonna get worse and I only hope the Muslims behead the Liberal, Socialist butt lickers first so I can watch and get some serious Schadenfreude before it’s my turn.

Posted by New Jersey Yankee


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/25/2012 at 05:06 AM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsDIVERSITY BSInternationalmuslimsOBITITUARIES •  
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calendar   Sunday - June 17, 2012

obit …. an extraordinary woman

An extraordinary woman during an extraordinary time with an extraordinarily odd name.
But nothing at all odd about this former true blue Brit eye candy of another age. And can I add heroine as well? She wan’t alone in that of course. There were many other ladies who risked life and limb for their cause.

She flew Spitfires, Mustangs, and Wellingtons to the front line.

Maureen Dunlop de Popp (RIP)

Maureen Dunlop de Popp, who has died aged 91, was one of a pioneering group of women pilots who flew the latest fighter and bomber aircraft with the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). She achieved national fame as a cover girl when a Picture Post photographer captured her alighting from a Barracuda aircraft.

Maureen Dunlop’s arrival in England from her home in Argentina coincided with a huge increase in aircraft production which led to an urgent need to expand the almost exclusively male ATA – irreverently dubbed “Ancient and Tired Airmen”. Already a qualified pilot, she joined in April 1942, one of a small pool of women ATA pilots, and rose to be a first officer.

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It was the task of the ATA pilots to deliver aircraft from factories and maintenance units to front line squadrons. Only during early-morning briefing did pilots discover what type of aircraft they would be flying and to which airfield they would go. The organisation had its own airborne taxi service, piloted by fellow ATA pilots, to deliver or collect those detailed to ferry an aircraft.

Initially Maureen Dunlop flew with No 6 Ferry Pool at Ratcliffe near Leicester, but later moved to Hamble near Southampton, which was an all-female pool. It was there that she delivered many Spitfires to squadrons. On one occasion, just after she had taken off, the cockpit canopy blew off – she made a successful landing. On another, the engine of her Argus aircraft failed and she was forced to land in a field where she discovered that a piston had shattered.

With all ATA pilots flying the same aircraft and facing the same risks, Sir Stafford Cripps arranged that the female pilots should receive equal pay with their male colleagues and this small group of women rightly considered themselves as pioneers of sex equality. Many, including Maureen Dunlop, wished that they could have flown in combat, but this was considered a step too far and was forbidden.

“I thought it was the only fair thing,” she remarked. “Why should only men be killed?”

She was one of 164 female pilots and, during her three years with the ATA, she flew 38 different types of aircraft, among them the Spitfire, Mustang, Typhoon and the Wellington bomber. However, when asked which her favourite was, she immediately responded: “The Mosquito”.

The ATA had been founded in September 1939 by Gerard d’Erlanger, an air-minded merchant banker and director of British Airways. But, with the end of the war, it was disbanded overnight. Its 600 pilots had delivered 308,567 aircraft and many felt that they were “The Forgotten Pilots”. Maureen Dunlop was one of the few female pilots to secure a flying job when she left the ATA.

The second daughter of an Australian who managed 250,000 hectares of sheep farms in Patagonia, Argentina, Maureen Adel Chase Dunlop was born on October 26 1920 in Quilmes, near Buenos Aires. She held dual British and Argentine nationalities and, though she was educated at an English school in Buenos Aires for a short time, she received most of her education from a governess.

Growing up surrounded by animals, she became an expert horsewoman and would often gallop alongside trains and wave to their drivers as they crossed the vast spaces of Patagonia.

During a holiday in England in 1936 she took flying lessons and then, when she returned to Argentina, backdated her year of birth in order that she could legally continue her flight training. During the First World War, her father had travelled to England to join the Army, and with the outbreak of the Second, Maureen saw no reason why she should not follow his example. She travelled to England with her sister, who would work for the BBC.
After the war, Maureen Dunlop qualified as a flying instructor at RAF Luton before returning to Argentina, where she worked as a commercial pilot. She instructed and flew for the Argentine Air Force, as well as having a partnership in an air taxi company, continuing to fly actively until 1969.
Her other great love was horses and she was fascinated by Arab ponies. After the war, she bought her first Arab and later built up a large breeding operation known as Milla Lauquen Stud.

Maureen Dunlop de Popp, born October 26 1920, died May 29 2012

A BIT MORE HERE


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Posted by peiper   United States  on 06/17/2012 at 05:17 AM   
Filed Under: • OBITITUARIESUK •  
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calendar   Monday - May 07, 2012

OBIT …. WW2 POSTER GIRL MARGIE STEWART … AN AMERICAN

The Telegraph is very well known for it’s obituaries, and although the focus is quite naturally on the homeland, they are still international in scope.
They have covered Americans I never heard of, including this lady. I am tardy in posting it for which I am sorry. But better late then not at all.
For one brief speck in time here on the net, her story is told briefly to a generation that is being introduced for the first time.

Margie Stewart an American. RIP

Margie Stewart, who has died aged 92, was the official US Army poster girl during the Second World War, with millions of her pin-up photos distributed to American GIs around the world.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, she “dutifully” accepted the US government’s invitation, posing for the Hollywood portrait photographer George Hurrell, who shot pictures for three posters, each of which bore the legend: “Please get there and back. Be careful what you say or write.”

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More posters were printed bearing Margie Stewart’s girl-next-door image than those of the Hollywood sirens Ann Sheridan and Betty Grable combined, an estimated 94 million circulating between 1943 and 1945.

The wartime First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, tried unsuccessfully to get them scrapped on the ground that Stewart’s wholesome image might make soldiers feel homesick. But despite Mrs Roosevelt’s best endeavours, GIs asked for more and wanted to know who the pretty girl was. Nine more posters were ordered showing Margie Stewart, pen in hand, writing letters urging American servicemen to buy war bonds and to save money to buy homes after the war.

In all, a dozen different posters featuring Margie Stewart were produced, each version carrying an encouraging message to servicemen in the US forces overseas.

By the end of 1943 she had become one of the most familiar faces in America, mobbed by soldiers on leave as well as by their wives, who approved of Margie Stewart’s wholesome, unerotic image (unlike those of Hollywood stars such as Betty Grable with her “Million Dollar Legs”; Ann Sheridan, the “Oomph girl”; the cantilevered Jane Russell; and the “peek-a-boo girl” Veronica Lake).

On a visit to London in June 1945, “Uncle Sam’s Poster Girl” — as The Daily Telegraph dubbed her — caused gridlock at Hyde Park Corner, traffic backing up Park Lane and into Oxford Street as crowds tried to catch a glimpse of her. During her stay she became a regular with the bandleader Artie Shaw at Rainbow Corner, the American Red Cross Club near Piccadilly Circus, entertaining US servicemen.

Margery Stewart was born on December 14 1919 at Wabash, Indiana. After a year studying at Indiana University, where she was elected Freshman Princess, she became a photographic model at a department store in Chicago. In 1941 she moved to Los Angeles and modelled at another store on Wilshire Boulevard. When RKO signed her to a contract in 1942, she made 20 films in short order.

Her career began with a series of small parts in Here We Go Again, The Falcon Strikes Back, Gildersleeve’s Bad Day (all 1942), and Bombardier (1943) with Pat O’Brien, Randolph Scott and Eddie Albert. Other film roles included Mexican Spitfire’s Blessed Event (1943), with Lupe Velez; Gildersleeve’s Ghost; the Frank Sinatra musical Step Lively; Road to Victory, with Cary Grant; and Music in Manhattan (all 1944), with Anne Shirley and Dennis Day.

But she never became a star. “My agent in Hollywood once asked an RKO casting director why he wasn’t giving me better parts,” she recalled. “He was honest in his response: ‘Every time I look out she’s talking to a grip, an electrician or a group of extras. That doesn’t look like a star to me.’ The truth was I never wanted to be a star. I still wanted to be me.”

When her contract with RKO was cancelled, Margie Stewart embarked on a European tour in June 1945, entertaining US troops in England, France, Belgium and Germany.

In later life Margie Stewart worked in the music industry and produced shows at the Hollywood Bowl featuring The Beatles, Barbra Streisand and The Beach Boys.

Margie Stewart married, in July 1945, Jerry Johnson, with whom she had a son.

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Margie Stewart, born December 14 1919, died April 26 2012


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/07/2012 at 10:23 AM   
Filed Under: • OBITITUARIESUSA •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 29, 2012

evil makes its own rules and calls it ‘honor’

Here but not really up to much last few days.

Came across this a week ago, should have posted earlier but better late then .....

This is an obit that appeared in the Telegraph.
If one picture is worth a thousand words to describe the demented low life that caused this, then I shouldn’t even have to post the obit itself.

I can’t recall where I saw this quote but it sure applies here and I believe throughout the islamic world. And not just there either. But this sort of thing is endemic to them. 

EVIL DOES NOT OBEY THE RULE OF LAW.  EVIL MAKES ITS OWN RULES.

FAKHRA YOUNUS

Fakhra Younus, who has committed suicide aged 33, gave a face to the thousands of Pakistani women who are disfigured as a result of acid attacks, typically carried out by husbands who accuse their wives of dishonouring them; her attacker has not been brought to justice.

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That photo may look pretty bad but there’s worse that wasn’t included in the on line version.  For the sub human life forms that think there is ‘honor’ in this kind of thing, it’s just business as usual.

Hers wasn’t a nice story to begin with.  It should never have happened and in a more civilized culture, it wouldn’t.

Born to a heroin-addicted mother on Napier Road in Karachi’s red-light district, probably in 1978, Fakhra Younus was 18 and working as a “dancing girl” (a euphemism for a prostitute) when she met Bilil Khar, a former Member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab and son of a former Punjab governor, Ghulam Mustafa Khar. The Khar family owns vast swathes of farmland in the province and is a major political force in Pakistan. A cousin of Bilal’s is Pakistan’s current Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar. When he met Fakhra, Bilal Khar had already been married and divorced three times and was married at the time to a fourth wife with whom he had two children, facts of which Fakhra was unaware.

The two married after six months, but, by her account, from the very start her husband subjected her to a sustained campaign of sexual, physical and verbal abuse that lasted three years before she eventually escaped and moved back to live with her mother. But her peace did not last long.

On the afternoon of May 14 2000 she was disturbed by an intruder. She later said she had been asleep in her drawing room when she heard a man’s voice telling her: “Fakhra ... Fakhra wake up!” “I jerked as he held me by my hair and opened my mouth. Because I resisted he couldn’t get me to swallow. But then he threw something on me. At first I thought it was a joke. I did not understand what had happened to me. Then he left, so I ran after him. My house was on the second floor and by the time I got to the first floor, I realised I could not see.”

Feeling her clothes melting to her body, she collapsed on the floor, screaming. By the time the acid had done its work the hair had been burned off her head; her lips had fused together; her left ear was obliterated; she had been blinded in one eye; and her breasts had melted to the bone. She could breathe only with extreme difficulty. When her four-year-old son, Nauman, first visited her in a crowded public hospital, where she remained for the next three months, he ran away crying.

Fakhra’s family sought to prosecute Khar for attempted murder and the case came to court in 2003. Although four witnesses testified to seeing him enter Fakhra’s home on the day of the attack, all later retracted their statements. They had complained of receiving death threats, but the judge in the case took no notice and in December 2003 he dismissed the charges. Khar continued to protest his innocence, claiming the perpetrator was a pimp with whom his wife had been having an affair.

After her release from hospital Fakhra Younus found that she had become a liability to her family, for whom she had once been a source of income. She and her son were subsequently taken in by Tehmina Durrani, a stepmother of Bilal’s and a women’s rights activist who had chronicled “the Khars’ way of treating women” in her book My Feudal Lord, in which she described the abuse meted out to her by her ex-husband, Ghulam Mustafa Khar.

In 2001, after some difficulty (the government, concerned about Pakistan’s image abroad, dragged its heels over issuing a passport), Tehmina Durrani helped Fakhra to move to Rome where, over the next 11 years, she underwent 39 major operations. By the 38th operation, in 2011, she could move her mouth and one eye, and her face, though still badly disfigured, had regained some of its shape. By this time she had learned Italian and co-written a memoir, Il Volto Cancellato (“The Erased Face”), which brought in some income to add to a monthly disability allowance from the Italian government.

But the operations exacted a heavy psychological toll, and she was said to be depressed by the impossibility of returning to Pakistan, where friends were worried that her life would be in danger.

On March 17 Fakhra Younus climbed to the sixth-floor balcony of her apartment building in Rome and jumped. In a suicide note she gave her reason as “the silence of law on the atrocities and insensitivity of Pakistani rulers”.

News of her death arrived in Pakistan as the country was celebrating its first Oscar — awarded to the Karachi film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for Saving Face, a documentary focusing on victims of acid attacks. As Fakhra’s coffin arrived for burial, protesters were demanding that the case against Bilal Khar be reopened.

But Khar continued to deny that he bore any responsibility for his wife’s death: “My hands are clean,” he told interviewers. Fakhra Younus is survived by her son, who is in the care of an Italian family.

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/29/2012 at 03:14 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeJustice - LACK OFmuslimsOBITITUARIES •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 24, 2012

taps for Capt. John Robson. One hell of a brave battling Brit.  rip

While I’m sure there were very brave soldiers in all armies, I’m living here and here is where my concern is.
But there’s something else. Now perhaps I’m all wet on this. I am after all married to a Brit, so it should go without saying I am very pro Brit.  I’ve read a bit of their military history, and the derring-do as exemplified by this crazily brave and outstanding soldier is repeated again and again by the men and women in service to this country.  It’s a damn crying shame these lions have been betrayed and the Great Britain they fought for is now only Britain.

RIP Captain John Robson

Captain John Robson, who has died aged 88, was awarded an MC in Italy in 1945 and subsequently had a successful career in industry.

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On April 26 1945, Robson, then a lieutenant serving with the 12th Royal Lancers, was patrolling in an armoured car near Lendinara, northern Italy, with orders to carry out a reconnaissance on the approaches to the river Adige. He was in close country, there were enemy pockets of resistance everywhere, and he and his troop corporal decided that they must cover the last part on foot.
As they got near to the river, their way was barred by a strong German fighting patrol. Robson was short of time because the Engineers were in urgent need of his report. He and his comrade were unsupported and heavily outnumbered. If it came to a confrontation, they stood every chance of being killed or captured — but they immediately opened fire with their Tommy guns and charged the enemy.
In the short, fierce fight that followed, they killed four and made prisoners of another eight. They then went on to the river and, after getting back to the cars, were able to radio the vital information required. Robson was awarded an Immediate MC. The citation added: “This is only one of several occasions when he has shown outstanding qualities of determination and fighting spirit.”
John Edward Robson was born in London on April 8 1923. He was educated at Haileybury, where there were compulsory cold baths every morning and the loos – there were about 20 of them in rows facing each other – were in a roofless building that was known as White City.
In 1941 Robson went up to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences but left in the summer of 1942 and, after completing a short course at Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the 27th Lancers. He was posted to the 12th Lancers and, having joined the regiment in Algiers in October 1943, landed in Naples the following April.
As they approached Venice, in the last days of the Italian campaign, Robson and a New Zealand company commander were told to secure the Hotel Danieli. The order came from General Freyberg, who had spent his honeymoon there. Robson commandeered a gondola and, as he wrote in his memoirs, “we were shot at by the fascists from the palazzos along the sides as we were punted down the Grand Canal”.

obit source, telegraph


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/24/2012 at 11:44 AM   
Filed Under: • OBITITUARIESUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 12, 2012

obit. His name was Gevork Vartanyan,a Soviet spy, and worthy of our time to read his obit.

Here’s an obit about a derring-do sort of guy who worked for the other side.
He had quite a story.  A Soviet, actually once attended Brit spy school.  Helped to foul up a Nazi plot against Stalin,FDR and Churchill at their Tehran meeting.
It makes for some interesting reading and just cos he was on the other side didn’t make him less brave or deserving of attention.

Gevork Vartanyan
Most of Vartanyan’s work remains secret to this day.
February 17 1924, died January 10 2012

Gevork Vartanyan, who has died aged 87, worked for Soviet intelligence for more than half a century and played an important part in thwarting a Nazi plot to assassinate Churchill, Stalin and President Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference in 1943.

The three Allied leaders convened at Tehran in November that year to discuss strategy, the principal item on the agenda being the opening of a second front in Western Europe. The Abwehr, Germany’s military intelligence service, had learnt of the time and place of the conference the previous month, having deciphered the American naval code, and the operation to assassinate the Allied leaders, code-named Long Jump, was put in the hands of one of their most trusted agents, Otto Skorzeny.

The operation was betrayed, however, when a Soviet intelligence officer, Nikolai Kuznetsov, posing as a German Oberleutnant called Paul Siebert, forged a friendship with an SS Sturmbannführer, Ulrich von Ortel. One evening von Ortel got drunk with Kuznetsov and boasted about Long Jump, revealing that special teams were being trained for the task in Copenhagen.

Security at the conference was principally the responsibility of the Soviets. Under the Russian-Persian Treaty of Friendship of 1921, the Soviet Union had sent troops into northern Persia in August 1941 to curb the operations of German agents. Britain, meanwhile, had deployed troops in the south to guarantee the flow of British-American lend-lease supplies to the USSR from the Persian Gulf.

The Conference itself (code-named Eureka) was held in the Soviet Embassy. One of the buildings in the compound was converted for use as a residence for President Roosevelt, since the American mission was in the suburbs and not considered secure. A tunnel was constructed between the Soviet embassy and the British embassy across the street. The area was heavily guarded.

Vartanyan later recalled: “Tehran at that time was flooded with refugees from war-ravaged Europe. For the most part, these were wealthy people trying to escape the risks of the war. There were about 20,000 Germans in Iran, and Nazi agents were hiding among them. They were aided by the pre-war patronage extended to the Germans by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who openly sympathised with Hitler. The German field station in [Persia], headed by Franz Meyer, was very powerful.”

In 1940-41 Vartanyan’s team of seven intelligence officers (who called themselves “the light cavalry” because they travelled about the city mainly by bicycle) had identified more than 400 Nazi agents, all of whom had been arrested by Soviet troops. Meyer was eventually discovered working as a gravedigger at an Armenian cemetery and arrested by the British.

In their efforts to foil the assassination plot, Vartanyan’s group located six Nazi radio operators shortly before the conference opened on November 28 1943. The German assassins had been dropped by parachute near the town of Qom, 40 miles from Tehran: “We followed them to Tehran, where the Nazi field station had readied a villa for their stay. They were travelling by camel, and were loaded with weapons. While we were watching the group, we established that th ey had contacted Berlin by radio, and recorded their communication.

“When we decrypted these radio messages, we learnt that the Germans were preparing to land a second group of subversives for a terrorist act — the assassination or abduction of the ‘Big Three’. The second group was supposed to be led by Skorzeny himself . ”

During the Tehran Conference, Stalin observed Roosevelt passing a handwritten note to Churchill, and instructed his head of intelligence in Persia, Ivan Ivanovich Agayants, to get hold of a copy. He succeeded. It read: “Sir, your fly is open.”

TELEGRAPH OBIT VARTANYAN for the full obit.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/12/2012 at 12:03 PM   
Filed Under: • OBITITUARIES •  
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calendar   Monday - January 02, 2012

OBIT, RIP Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh, and thanks for the laugh

Back but not ready for full time.

Woke to the pleasant whinny of horses today instead of a cough which has left me pretty well tired and rough.

For those who don’t know, we live on the very edge of horse country.  Most of the time we never hear anything.  There’s a horse vet at the end of our road, enjoy seeing the offspring when we can.  Hard to do with large hedges surrounding the place.

This area was once upon a time the major center of horse racing and breeding in the UK.  There are still a couple of large ranches down the road that I believe breed. Owned by Arabs of course.  Who else can afford them?  Took a walk down there some time ago in time to watch the colts who were being watched by their mums all with racing names.  I need to make an effort to go back this spring. It’s not like it’s far away.  Anyway,

This damn cold bug really got to me in more ways then one.  Having had a flu shot months ago, I thought I was clear with no worries. Ha.  I even missed the Christmas dinner we’ve been going to at a friends house. First time missed in seven years.

So then, having had a chance to do more then the normal amount of reading over the last week or two, I came across this and but for illness would have posted it sooner.
It’s a military obit and probably the only laugh I got last week.  Now what could possibly be funny about an obituary?

Take a look and all the rest is at the link.  There is something very Macdonald Fraser about that prank below.


Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh

Colonel Peter Storie-Pugh, who has died aged 91, was an inveterate escaper while imprisoned in Colditz for most of the war

One prank in which he took part was to climb to the top of the castle and replace the swastika with the Union Jack. Some excitable Germans soldiers thought that the British had somehow taken over the castle and opened fire. Others, believing that they were under attack, retaliated. It was remarkable, Storie-Pugh commented, that no one was hurt.

Storie-Pugh, a lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (QORWKR), went to France with the British Expeditionary Force. During the withdrawal to Dunkirk, he was in command of a post covering a roadblock near Doullens, north of Amiens, when it was attacked by an armoured column.
He was armed with an anti-tank rifle and disabled two tanks. The post fought so stubbornly that the enemy chose to pull back and bypass the position. Storie-Pugh was badly wounded and his courage and leadership in what was an important delaying action was recognised by the award of an MC.
His family then received a telegram to say that he had been killed in action; in fact he had been wounded, taken prisoner, and was in a German military hospital.

He escaped from there but was caught and imprisoned in Oflag IX at Spangenberg Castle, central Germany. One evening, after roll call, he hid in a drain and, taking advantage of a rumpus created by his comrades, emerged and ran to an incinerator in the shadow of which he manage to escape a searchlight beam.
He cut through the perimeter wire and, together with a small group of fugitives, dropped into the river Fulda and got clear. A child saw their escape, however, and the alarm was soon raised. Two of the party were captured at once but Storie-Pugh was chased for several miles before being caught after breaking an ankle in attempting to board a moving train. On the way back to Spangenberg he was slashed in the face by a bayonet brutal treatment which continued on his arrival at the castle.

He wrote to his father in a code which the decoding department never succeeded in cracking. Maps and money concealed in items like gramophone records were sent to them by the War Office.

OBIT


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/02/2012 at 08:23 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - June 15, 2011

American derring do. RIP Major Gen. John Alison. USAF

His war time deeds read like an action movie.

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN ALISON (RIP)

Major General John Alison, who has died aged 98, was an American fighter “ace” and one of his country’s most decorated pilots; he later fought behind enemy lines with the Chindits and is recognised as the father of US Air Force special operations.

A combat veteran with seven enemy aircraft to his credit, Alison was appointed at the end of 1943 to join his friend, Lt Col Philip Cochran, to form the 1st Air Commando Group, a secret and highly innovative flying unit.

Alison’s composite wing of fighters, bombers, transports, gliders, and helicopters was assembled to support Major General Orde Wingate, the unorthodox British commander of the Chindits long-range penetration force, who planned to land a force of 9,000 men almost 200 miles behind Japanese lines in Burma.

Alison trained his air transport and glider-towing force in preparation for this mission, codenamed Operation Thursday, and the assault took place on the night of March 5 1944. Men and mules were carried in Waco gliders towed in pairs behind C-47 transport aircraft. Alison had only flown a glider on two previous occasions, and never at night, but was determined to participate in the landing of Wingate’s force.

He piloted one of the gliders in the first wave, taking 15 men of the assault team. After casting off from the tug aircraft, he brought his glider down safely on the rough “Broadway” landing ground before grabbing his rifle and a sack of grenades and leaping out to join battle with the enemy.

After three weeks in the jungle he was recalled. To get back he flew a damaged C-47 transport aircraft from a jungle airstrip, despite never having flown the type before. On arriving over his destination airfield he had to ask for instructions on how to lower the undercarriage and landing flaps. For his services in support of Operation Thursday, King George VI awarded Alison the DSO.

Alison was immediately summoned to Washington to report to General “Hap” Arnold, Chief of the USAAF, and General Eisenhower, to debrief them on the success of the air commandos; he was then instructed to form four more groups. In the event, only two were formed, and Alison was sent to command the 3rd Air Commando Group in the Pacific, where he participated in the landing on the Philippines and in the air operations at Okinawa.

John Richardson Alison was born in Micanopy, Florida, on November 21 1912. He graduated from the University of Florida with an Engineering degree and joined the US Army Air Corps in 1936.

Before the United States entered the Second World War he served as assistant military attaché in England and helped RAF pilots convert to the P-40 Kittyhawk fighter provided under the Lend-Lease scheme. Not content with a training role, he soon became involved in operational tasks when he recognised that the RAF had much to teach him and his colleagues. In October 1941 he travelled to Moscow to train Russian pilots to fly the aircraft provided under the sensitive US-Soviet Lend-Lease programme. After ten months his repeated requests for a transfer to a fighting unit bore fruit.

In June 1942 he reported to the China-Burma-India (CBI) theatre to join Major General Claire Chennault’s 14th Air Force as the deputy commander of the newly formed 75th Fighter Squadron. On July 30 1942, operating from Hengyang in China, he was credited with the first night kills in the theatre. For his experimental night interception work, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In early 1943 he demonstrated his aggressiveness when he took off during an attack on his own airfield.

He engaged three Zero fighters and probably shot one down. He then vectored arriving reinforcements to the battle, after which he made a stern attack on another enemy fighter at close range, shooting it down. His aircraft was damaged and he was forced to make an emergency landing in a river bed. His gallantry and fighting spirit earned him the Silver Star. Ending his tour as commander of the 75th Fighter Squadron, Alison left as an ace with seven confirmed victories and several further probable kills.

After a brief spell in the USA, Alison travelled to Burma in late 1943 to take up his post with No 1 Air Commando.

read it all here


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/15/2011 at 08:34 AM   
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calendar   Friday - May 06, 2011

an obit but … a bit unusual. take a look.

An unusual obituary cos parts reads funny. Actually, a sort of Inspector Clouseau without meaning to be.

Colonel Albert Bachmann (RIP)

Colonel Albert Bachmann, who has died aged 81, was Switzerland’s best-known and most paranoid spymaster, in a country that traditionally has no enemies and refrains from foreign entanglements.
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Mustachioed, pipe-smoking and blessed with an ability to wreak havoc within his own organisation, Bachmann’s resemblance to Inspector Clouseau was striking; by the time his plots and schemes were uncovered by an astonished commission of inquiry, he had reduced the Swiss military intelligence agency, in which he had mysteriously managed to rise to a senior role, to a state bordering on chaos, not to mention bankruptcy. So catastrophic was his impact that, when he was finally unmasked, many assumed he must be a double agent. He was not.

His most controversial, some would say delusional, acts occurred between 1976 and 1979, when he took charge of top-secret operations for Switzerland’s military intelligence force, the Untergruppe Nachrichtendienst der Armee (UNA). Though Bachmann had flirted with communism in his student days, he was by then a fanatical Cold Warrior, and brought the zeal of the convert to the fight against the Soviet Union.

His first significant move was to buy a country estate in Ireland for use by a Swiss government-in-exile in the event of a Soviet invasion. His second bold step was Projekt-26 (P-26), the creation of a clandestine army of Swiss guerrillas trained in weaponry, bombing and assassination techniques to repel the dreaded Soviet attack.
The problem was that neither the Irish venture nor the secret anti-Soviet army had been officially authorised, and were the fruits of what Bachmann called his “initiative”. Others would come to call it insubordination or even fantasy.

But neither plan stalled Bachmann’s rise. Indeed, his intelligence career was curtailed only after a top-level investigation into an operation he sanctioned in 1979 that deeply embarrassed Switzerland and Austria — friendly neighbours with the same neutral status and few if any military secrets to hide from one another.

In November that year, Austrian troops on manoeuvres in the city of St Pölten tapped on the window of a parked car at 2.30am and were surprised to find inside not a courting couple but a Swiss management consultant called Kurt Schilling.
Schilling, an expert time-and-motion man but an inept spy, was sitting in the front seat with binoculars, map and notepad, staring into the darkness. He had been ordered there, he was happy to recount, by Bachmann, his case officer.
When Schilling asked the soldiers for particulars about their positions, they marched him straight to the state police. His arrest on charges of spying for information freely available to Swiss and other foreign observers at the manoeuvres was portrayed in the press as worthy of a comic opera.

At his subsequent trial for espionage, it emerged that Schilling had been seeking to establish how long Austria could hold out in the event of a Soviet invasion. Taking account of the botched execution of his mission, the court leniently sentenced him to a suspended five-month term and deportation back to Switzerland.

The press mocked Schilling as “the spy who came in from the Emmenthaler”, after Switzerland’s famous cheese. But it was Bachmann’s career that never recovered. In the wake of the Schilling debacle, it became clear that Bachmann and his department were out of control. His boss was forced to resign, and Bachmann himself – exposed as a loose cannon, unchecked and unregulated – was consigned to early retirement.

read more here


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/06/2011 at 11:28 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - April 26, 2011

OBIT …. RIP, CELIA LIPTON

An obit but I’m doing it just a bit differently because I started reading about her.

A Brit, a lifetime (almost) in America and one of the world’s richest women.  Very well known among show biz ppl, but to be honest I never heard of her. Bet few if any of you did either.

I’m splitting this page up between part of her obit from Saturday .... and a review from 2009 that appeared in the Mail. The obit comes from the Telegraph.

CELIA LIPTON RIP

Celia Lipton, who died on March 11 aged 87, was a child star, known as the “British Judy Garland”, who went on to become a Forces sweetheart in the Second World War; later she gave up a successful stage career to marry the American inventor and industrialist Victor Farris and became the acknowledged ‘Queen of Palm Beach society’.

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Like any society hostess and former actress Celia Lipton was always vague about her age and was furious when a magazine obtained a copy of her birth certificate, showing that Celia May Lipton was born on Christmas Day 1923, at 73 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh. Her father was an English violinist, Sidney John Lipton — as Sydney Lipton he would become one of Britain’s top bandleaders; her mother was May Johnston Parker, a dancer, singer and noted Scottish beauty.

When Celia was eight, her father formed his own band and took it to the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, where he was to remain for 35 years. Enthralled by watching the singers and chorus girls at the hotel putting on their make-up and diamonds to go on stage, Celia determined to go into showbusiness. Her chance came when, aged about 10, she spotted an advertisement asking for a Judy Garland sound-alike to play the lead in a BBC radio production of Babes In the Wood. Determined to get the part, she perfected Garland’s lisp and breathy singing style. When her parents refused to let her audition, she set off on her own and secured the part.

She went on to record more radio plays and albums and, aged only 15, appeared at the London Palladium. “My father was leading the orchestra,” she recalled. “He didn’t tell the audience who I was, he just said: ‘There’s a little girl coming out, her name is Celia.’ I sang I’m Just In Between. It didn’t faze me. Everyone cheered, and then my father said: ‘That was my daughter.’ It was thrilling.”

When the Second World War broke out, her father joined up as a private and was away from the family for seven years. As a result Celia became the family breadwinner. She sang to 2,000 troops at the Albert Hall, to severely disfigured men at the burns unit in East Grinstead, to the forces on the European front and at RAF hangars across the country, becoming known for Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner and You’ve Got Your Own Life To Live. With her mother as chaperone she toured Britain.

Her greatest triumphs, though, were her appearances as Peter Pan at the Scala Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, in 1943 and 1944 (the “best ever seen in a London theatre” according to one critic), and in Lionel Monckton’s 1944 revival of the light opera, The Quaker Girl, when she stepped in for Jessie Matthews at the last moment and received a dozen curtain calls on opening night at the Coliseum.

In 1952 Celia Lipton moved to New York, where she joined the all-star revue, John Murray Anderson’s Almanac (1953-54) at the Imperial Theatre, Broadway, and appeared as Esmeralda to Robert Ellenstein’s Quasimodo in a television version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1954).

While in New York, she met Victor Farris. “I was returning some books to a friend and there was a man up on a ladder fixing a fan – my future husband,” she recalled. At first she thought he was a plumber and then, maybe, a member of the Mafia. In fact he owned 17 companies, was the inventor of the paper milk carton, the paper clip and the Farris Safety and Relief Valve, still used in shipping, oil and chemical industries. He was also a millionaire many times over. The couple wed in 1956, with Celia giving up showbusiness to devote herself to married life in New Jersey and, later, Florida.

Although the marriage was not without its difficulties — her relationship with her husband was sometimes volatile - it was a happy one. 

Celia suffered ten miscarriages and gave birth prematurely to two babies who both died within a week — At their sumptuous mansion in Palm Beach, once owned by the Vanderbilts, Celia became a leading society hostess.

When Victor Farris died of a heart attack in 1985, closely followed by her parents, Celia’s life altered dramatically again. Her husband had left her his £100 million fortune (an amount she more than doubled through shrewd investments over subsequent years), and she embarked on a new phase of her life as a philanthropist and charity fundraiser. “There are a lot of silly, socially competitive, frivolous women in this town who gossip, go out to lunch every day and dinner every night and that’s it,” she observed. “I’m delighted that I know what hard work is and proud of my Scottish mother and the good Scottish common sense she taught me.”

A convert to Catholicism, she raised large sums for the Salvation Army, the American Heart Association and cancer research charities. At a time when the disease was taboo she was one of the first big private benefactors of Aids research. Other beneficiaries included the National Trust for Scotland, the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, the American Red Cross, the Prince’s Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh Trust.

In addition she became Executive Producer of the American Cinema Awards in Hollywood (which raises funds for actors who have fallen on hard times); sang before the Queen at the 50th anniversary of VE Day in Hyde Park, made a brief screen comeback with Burt Reynolds in BL Stryker (1989-1990), and released a series of her own, self-financed, CDs. In 2008, she published her autobiography My Three Lives.

more of obit at the TELEGRAPH


Queen of Palm Beach: How Celia Lipton Farris became one of the richest women in the world

By MICHAEL THORNTON
Last updated at 9:35 AM on 22nd January 2009

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On a summer night in 1955, an attractive young British actress, finding the lift out of order in a Manhattan apartment building, arrived panting at her friend’s front door on the top floor. It was like a scene straight out of the Hollywood classic, How To Marry A Millionaire.

She remembers: ‘I was breathing heavily and almost banged straight into a ladder standing right outside.

‘Looking up, I saw a man with black curly hair and the most expressive, brooding brown eyes that seemed to momentarily flash a sign of recognition, while he stood on top of the ladder.

‘He was in the midst of repairing the skylight, and, noting his rolled up shirtsleeves and open shirt, I thought to myself, “What a good-looking plumber“‘.

But to her surprise, the ‘good-looking plumber’ followed her into her friend’s apartment, and was introduced as Victor Farris, a name that meant nothing to Celia Lipton, the 31-year-old West End musical star, singer, actress and daughter of Mayfair’s celebrated Grosvenor House Hotel bandleader, Sydney Lipton.

After hesitantly accepting his offer to drive her home, in ‘the most awful-looking pale blue Cadillac I’d ever seen - it bore the scars, dents and scrapes of endless battles for limited parking space on Manhattan’s streets’ - he took her for coffee.

They sat at a table facing the men’s room. ‘Every time a man came out, Victor pretended he was knocking them off with a machine gun. He had me in convulsions. Our one cup of coffee seemed to last for hours, with much laughter. We both found a new camaraderie.’

By the time Farris, divorced and 12 years her senior, dropped her off at her apartment, she was convinced he was a Mafia Don.

The story of their 29 turbulent, volatile, but deeply happy years together is engagingly told by Celia Lipton Farris, now one of the richest women in the world, in her new autobiography, My Three Lives.

It has to rank as one of the most extraordinary books that has ever come my way.

Lavishly produced in coffee-table format, in almost blinding Technicolor, its 344 pages feature no fewer than 408 photographs, 232 of them of herself.

We have Celia with the Queen, with Prince Philip, with the Prince of Wales, with Princess Diana, with Prince Edward, with Rose Kennedy (the mother of JFK), with Clint Eastwood, with Bob Hope, with a decidedly icy-looking Bette Davis - of whom Farris says: ‘I had the distinct impression that she was wishing I wasn’t with her on stage at all,’ - and of a legion of lesser luminaries who make up the candyfloss world of Palm Beach society.

The New York Post has described the book as ‘an ego trip that counts’. Others might describe it as an ego trip in which you count the pictures.

Yet nowhere in this strange book will you find the date on which its author was born, a matter she declines to countenance, claiming that in America, ‘if you are over 40, you are dead’.

The reality is that on Christmas Day, Celia Lipton Farris was 85, a fact that readers of her book will find impossible to believe after studying the hundreds of photographs in which she appears gleaming, glowing, dressed to the nines, magnificently coiffured and loaded down with jewels that look as if they might have come from the collection of Marie Antoinette.

Celia May Lipton, in fact, was born on December 25, 1923, in Edinburgh, the only child of an English violinist, Sidney John Lipton - as Sydney Lipton he would become one of Britain’s top bandleaders - and of a noted Scottish beauty, May Johnston Parker.

When Celia was eight, her father formed his own band and took it to London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, where he was to remain for 35 years.

Every week, millions of radio listeners tuned in to hear the words: ‘You are listening to Sydney Lipton’s Orchestra broadcasting from the Silver Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel.’

In 1939, at the age of 15, she made her debut at the London Palladium with her father’s orchestra.

At 17, she was back at the Palladium in the revue, Apple Sauce, and four months later, she won her first raves in the West End revue, Get A Load Of This, in which, dressed by the royal couturier Norman Hartnell, she stopped the show every night, singing You’re In My Arms (And A Million Miles Away).

At 20, she played the title role in Peter Pan. The turning-point for Celia came in 1944, when superstar Jessie Matthews walked out of the leading role in the West End revival of The Quaker Girl.

The brightest of new stars

Lipton stepped in at only ten days’ notice, and when the production reached the West End, she took 16 curtain calls and one critic hailed her as ‘the brightest of new stars’.

On the French Riviera, she rubbed shoulders with the young Prince Philip of Greece, before his marriage. ‘He said he’d like to give me a lift to the casino in Cannes,’ she said.

Although it is clear that their 29-year marriage was not always easy, her account of it, and of Farris’s death in 1985, when she fought desperately to get the paramedics to their Palm Beach mansion, is the one section where her book blazes vividly into authentic literary life.

‘I walked out of the hospital, got into my car, put my head on the steering wheel and sobbed. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I started the car and drove into the bleak, dark night across the Intracoastal Bridge, back to Palm Beach. That five-minute drive home seemed like 500 miles.’

Farris left her a fortune in excess of £100 million. By shrewd investment, she has doubled it, making her one of the wealthiest women on the planet. In widowhood, she started to display her formidable organising abilities.

She became Executive Producer of the American Cinema Awards in Hollywood,

Her philanthropy has become legendary. She has funded two hospital wings in her husband’s name, has worked devotedly for Aids sufferers, spearheaded a Salvation Army appeal that raised $10 million, and has given huge sums to numerous causes, sometimes with money raised from exhibitions of her own brilliantly coloured impressionist oil paintings.

The American Cancer Society has named a lifetime achievement award after her in honour of her 30 years of charitable work.

Is Farris’s book the story of ‘an incredible woman who has led an inspiring life’, as one of its more gushing reviews insists?

Sadly, it could have been, had it not been written with one eye on the calendar, and the other on her socialite neighbours.

Despite that, one feels this is one genuine gutsy dame who doesn’t need a cardboard title from some venerable order of which most people have never even heard.

Nor does she need to fib about her age or assume a status she does not possess merely to impress the rich bitches of Palm Beach.

If her book proves anything at all, it is that Celia Lipton Farris is a real-life heroine who has built her own pedestal.

DAILY MAIL source. All the rest of article is here.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/26/2011 at 09:17 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - April 10, 2011

a pearl among the swine … rip mike campbell

A tribute to a brave and unknown man.

I don’t generally post the entire obit but there are times of exception. This is one.

The farm is derelict now of course, but it’s the white guy who’s at fault.

I’m wondering just when the UN will start bombing this part of the world to protect real civilians.  Not the white ones of course. They invite trouble by insisting on holding on to what is theirs.  How dare they?

Mike Campbell RIP

Mike Campbell, who died on April 6 aged 78, of injuries sustained during torture by Zanu-PF militants in 2008, was a white Zimbabwean farmer who dared to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s “land redistribution” policy in the courts — and won.

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Mike Campbell and son-in-law with some of their workers

A documentary film about the case and its tragic aftermath, Mugabe and the White African (2010), made by the British film-makers Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson during clandestine visits to Zimbabwe, brought the plight of white Zimbabwean farmers and their farm workers to world attention, winning numerous awards.

Michael Campbell was born on a farm at Klerksdorp, South Africa, in 1932 into a family which had farmed in Africa since 1713. After leaving school he served in the South African Army and was involved in the early 1970s in the bush war between Rhodesia’s white rulers and black independence fighters.

He decided to move to Rhodesia in 1974, attracted by its excellent hunting and fishing. He bought Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district and, after the country became independent as Zimbabwe in 1980, purchased a neighbouring farm.

Together with his son-in-law, Ben Freeth, he worked hard to make it profitable, planting mangoes, citrus trees, maize, tobacco and sunflowers, establishing a herd of Mashona/Sussex cattle and dedicating a large area to a wildlife reserve, complete with herds of giraffe, impala and other animals. Their Biri River Safari Lodge became a popular tourist destination.

Campbell was described as a model employer, and by the end of the 1990s Mount Carmel farm was the largest mango producer in Zimbabwe, helping to generate much-needed export earnings. The farm sustained the livelihoods of more than 500 people, and in 1999 it was legally transferred into a family company by a “certificate of no interest” from the Mugabe government.

In 2000, however, after losing a referendum called to approve a new constitution that would entrench his power, Mugabe began encouraging the violent invasion of the country’s white-owned commercial farms, presenting the policy as a “redistribution” of land to the poor and as a triumph over greedy white imperialists.

In reality the policy, spearheaded by a ragbag army of armed thugs — the so-called “war veterans” — was a ruse to cement Mugabe’s hold on power through the distribution of patronage. It thus became a scramble for the plum, mainly (though not exclusively) white-owned, estates among the country’s elite, most of whose members had little interest in farming. Beneficiaries have included Mugabe’s relatives, along with generals, judges, provincial administrators, ministers and MPs — and even MPs’ girlfriends.

The consequences have been disastrous. Zimbabwe was once one of the most agriculturally rich countries in Africa; now more Zimbabweans rely on international food aid than in famine-struck Ethiopia.

The “war vets” arrived at Mount Carmel farm in 2000. “About 20 or 30 turned up and I gave them a shed to live in because I told them I don’t want you chopping my trees to build your huts,” Campbell recalled. After a year with Campbell refusing to leave, they moved off on to adjoining land owned by his son Bruce. From there they made regular forays to Mount Carmel. The safari lodge was burned down, wildlife was poached or slaughtered and cattle stolen.

After getting no redress from the Zimbabwean courts, Campbell made legal history in 2007 when he decided to challenge Mugabe’s land seizures in the region’s highest court, the inter-governmental Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal which sits in Namibia. The following March an additional 77 white farmers joined the case.

In November 2008 the tribunal condemned the seizures as “racist” and theft on a grand scale. The farmers could keep their land, it ruled, because the redistribution programme was discriminatory and was not being implemented according to the rule of law.

But before the judgment, on June 29 2008, just two days after the Zimbabwean presidential run-off election, Campbell, his wife and his son-in-law were abducted and taken to a remote militia camp where they were tortured for nine hours. Campbell sustained severe head injuries, broken ribs and damage to his lower limbs caused by “falanga” (a method of torture which involves beating the soles of the feet).

His wife Angela was forced to sign a piece of paper promising the family would not continue their court battle. Then they were driven off again and dumped on the roadside, from where they were rushed to hospital.

Despite their injuries, the Campbells refused to throw in the towel — though Mike Campbell was so badly battered he could not attend the tribunal’s final hearing. Ben Freeth, whose skull was fractured, attended in a wheelchair, his head swathed in bandages.

The ruling, when it came, was a Pyrrhic victory. Constant attacks on their farm workers, theft of farm equipment and the destruction of crops drove Campbell and Freeth to return to the tribunal in 2009 to obtain a contempt order against the government. Although President Mugabe had signed the treaty establishing the tribunal, he has dismissed its findings in the white farmers’ case as “nonsense”. A government document distributed soon after the ruling promised that the evictions would continue.

Campbell, a gruff, dignified man who described himself as a white African, remained phlegmatic in the face of danger. In one memorable scene in Mugabe and the White African, the Campbells are seen enjoying a sundowner in their farmhouse when news comes through that an armed militia gang has been spotted by farm staff. As he lifts his whisky glass to his lips, Mike tells his wife there is no point getting excited. “I’ll go out there when I have finished my drink.”

In April 2009 the Campbells and Freeths were driven from Mount Carmel Farm by a rampaging mob led by Nathan Shamuyarira, an octogenarian member of Mugabe’s politburo. The farmhouse was subsequently burned to the ground, along with the homes of 60 workers and a small linen factory set up by Mrs Freeth to provide employment for the farmers’ wives. The Campbells, aged 76 and 68, decamped, penniless, to what they hoped would be temporary accommodation in Harare.

In the documentary, Peter Chamada, the son of Nathan Shamuyarira, is seen arriving on Campbell’s farm in his shiny new luxury Toyota Prado, taking photographs on an expensive mobile phone. “This land is now my home,” he declares into the camera. “The government has taken it from you people to redistribute to the poor black majority. This land belongs to the black peasants.”

Campbell clung to the hope that he might recover his land, and last month — with an elderly black farmer Luke Tembani, who had also been dispossessed — he lodged an application with the SADC Tribunal for an order that would ensure the Tribunal would continue to function, after the SADC heads of state decided last year to suspend its operations pending a review of its role. This move was widely seen as a response to the tribunal’s ruling in Campbell’s case and thus a show of support for Mugabe by governments in the region.

Mike Campbell is survived by his wife, Angela, and by their son and two daughters.

His farm, meanwhile, is derelict, the land reverting to African bush.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/10/2011 at 04:30 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - March 23, 2011

obit …. harry houdini’s last assistant. dorothy young, 103. rip

Saw this late tonight and knew I had to post.
It’s a bit of show biz history passing. 

An interesting tie to New Jersey too.

DOROTHY YOUNG, age 103. (RIP)

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During her year with the “World-Famous Self-Liberator”, she played the role of the scantily-clad “Radio Girl of 1950”, a 1920s impression of what radio would be like several decades later.

In the autumn of 1925, in what turned out to be his last American tour (he died a year later), Houdini would start his act with a large mock wireless set which he opened front, back and top, exposing the internal mechanism to show that there was nothing there before closing it again. A voice would then announce: “Miss Dorothy Young doing the Charleston” — which was her cue to pop one foot out of the radio followed by the other one.

“I kicked my feet together and jumped up and did a curtsy,” she recalled. “And then Houdini would take me by the waist and lift me down, and I would go into a Charleston.”

Houdini’s finale was his famous Chinese Water Torture Cell, which he had performed in England to great acclaim. Clad in bathing trunks, his feet padlocked into mahogany stocks, he would be lowered upside-down into a glass-fronted tank filled with water. A curtain would then be drawn across the tank. Although Dorothy Young knew how he escaped, she never revealed his secret.

After Houdini’s death in 1926 she and Gilbert Kiamie, the playboy son of a silk lingerie magnate, came to international prominence as a dance act called Dorothy and Gilbert featuring their own Latin dance, the “rumbalero”. The couple subsequently married. Occasionally working as a model (her legs were once passed off as those of Gloria Swanson), Dorothy Young also danced in many early films, including the Fred Astaire musical comedy Flying Down to Rio (1933). Later she published a novel inspired by her career, Dancing on a Dime, which was filmed by Paramount Studios in 1940.

Dorothy Young was born on May 3 1907 at Otisville, New York, the daughter of a Methodist minister. While studying at Beaver College, Pennsylvania, she saw Anna Pavlova perform and determined to become a ballet dancer.

While visiting New York with her parents aged 17 she saw an advertisement in the stage paper Variety for a vaudeville dancer to join a Broadway show, followed by a tour of the United States. When she arrived for the audition, she sat at the back, too shy to step forward.

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But she was spotted by Houdini and his manager, who asked her to dance the Charleston; she signed a year’s contract and was sworn to secrecy about the mysteries of Houdini’s act. She then had to persuade her parents that joining the great illusionist was a suitable career move.

Houdini’s wife, Bess, fitted her for a silk stage costume. In the show the two women performed a stately minuet before the great man made his entrance and introduced the “Radio Girl”. In another illusion, The Slave Girl, Houdini would tie Dorothy Young from throat to ankles to a pole, before causing a curtain to fall to the floor. She would then emerge in a beautiful butterfly costume en pointe and dance a ballet number. When Houdini first introduced the “Radio Girl” illusion at Hartford, Connecticut, in September 1925, Dorothy Young remembered meeting the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, who patted her approvingly on the head. The show transferred to Broadway before touring several major cities.

During the Second World War, having trained as an engineer and in personnel management, Dorothy Young was assigned to a factory making shock absorbers for the US military.

After Gilbert Kiamie became her second husband and inherited a fortune, Dorothy Young was a generous benefactor to Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, endowing it with a $13 million arts centre.

She had a son with her first husband, Robert Perkins, who died 13 years after their marriage. Gilbert Kiamie died in 1992.

-30-

Telegraph Obits


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/23/2011 at 04:11 PM   
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calendar   Monday - January 24, 2011

RIP, Joe Gores … chance are you never heard of this guy … well, read this American story

Not that I need to go looking for obits of people both famous and not so.
Can only do so many and so I land on the ones with a bit of a story or military derring do from the past.

The Joe Gores story is interesting as to his background.  He must have been a ‘wild and crazy guy.’ Imagine taking a girl on your first date to an auto repossession. Of a car owned by a guy named, Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno. 

I’m almost tempted to think I might have run this obit for that alone. But no.

My wife got the Telegraph before I did today and went through all of it as she always does.  But not often does she draw my attention to an obit.  Well actually, it wasn’t the obit itself but a very small bit within it.  I thought perhaps she misquoted or misunderstood something cos it seemed so dumb, so unreasonable and so bizarre.
But then … No. Not at all. Once you realize that after all, this bit of moonbattyness took place in LaLa Land, among arty types and most likely of left wing sympathies, well.  Do I have to say more?

Take a look.

Joe Gores (RIP)

Joe Gores, the crime-writer who died on January 12 aged 79, was best-known as the heir to the legacy of Dashiell Hammett.

Like Hammett, Gores initially worked as a private detective before becoming a full-time writer. His 1975 novel, Hammett, made into a film by Wim Wenders, draws on his own experiences in its portrayal of the struggling pulp writer solving a crime involving an old friend from his detective agency days. Gores would return to Hammett’s own work with his 2009 novel Spade And Archer, a sort of “prequel” to The Maltese Falcon, written with the permission of Hammett’s daughter, which captures with remarkable fidelity the tone of the master’s own stories.

Gores was adept at almost all forms of detective fiction. He served a long apprenticeship, once admitting to papering his bathroom walls with publishers’ rejection slips, before selling his first short story to Manhunt, one of the last of the so-called “pulp” magazines, in 1957.

It was at this time he began 12 years with a San Francisco detective firm specialising in skip tracing (finding missing persons) and repossession. He was hired only after succeeding in a dummy assignment – spending two days tracking down a suspect long-since dead. Eventually, that experience would be turned into a short story, as would many of his investigations. He once compared writers and detectives, saying each “digs around in people’s garbage”.

His own writing breakthrough came when Time Of Predators (1969) won the best first-novel Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America, and he won best short story at the same time. His next book, Dead Skip (1972) would be the first of seven about “Daniel Kearney Associates”, a detective agency based on the one where he worked. After a second “DKA” novel, he wrote Interface (1974), a classic of crime fiction, whose relentlessly cruel hard-boiled tone is inverted by a brilliant final twist.

Born Joseph Nicholas Gores at Rochester, Minnesota, on Christmas Day 1931, Gores originally wanted to be a comic strip artist. After taking a degree in English Literature from Notre Dame University in 1953, he moved to San Francisco, supporting himself as a labourer, logger, motel clerk, and lorry driver while enrolled at Stanford University.

Initially he was denied a master’s degree in Creative Writing because his stories “read as if they were written to be sold”. Then he was refused a master’s in Literature because the novels covered in his thesis (by Hammett and Raymond Chandler), were “not literature”. In 1961 he finally received an MA, writing his thesis on the literature of the South Seas. By then, however, his best writing was to be found in the field reports he composed for his detective agency, which were so good that they “made clients want to pay their fees”.

After the success of Hammett, Gores also wrote screenplays for television detective shows, among them Remington Steele, Magnum P.I., TJ Hooker, BL Stryker, and Mike Hammer. He won his third Edgar for a script for Kojak, making him only the third writer to take the award in three separate categories. One of the other two writers thus honoured was his friend Donald Westlake; Gores and Westlake inserted each other’s series characters into books, and Gores’s DKA novel 32 Cadillacs (1992) contained a chapter shared with Westlake’s Drowned Hopes, but told from different points of view. 32 Cadillacs and Come Morning (1986) were both nominated for best-novel Edgars.

Gores is survived by his second wife Dori, whom he took with him on their first date to repossess a Cadillac owned by the mobster Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno.

TELEGRAPH OBITS


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/24/2011 at 10:26 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - January 19, 2011

no big deal really. just a little thing called national sovereignty….

It’s really just a small thing called “SOVERIGNTY.”
Ran across this today and couldn’t help but wonder who is running the show in the USA. I say that because I have read that (to the joy of europeeons) America is soon to banish the 100 year old light bulb. They did it here first.  You folks won’t recall it but a couple of years ago I wondered about the postal change in the USA.
Had I still been living in CA of course, it wouldn’t have registered. But I was here and so when the USA changed some 8 months after the Brits, who followed EU directives, well.  I said then that I thought it seemed like a one world thing. No rocket science at all. It was just there.

So naturally I read this and while it only concerns this country, for now, it kind of got me back on that old fashioned ‘S’ word whose time I think may be somewhat limited. At least it looks so from where I am here.

Keep your powder dry at home guys.

Petrol prices: Rural drivers must wait for cut

Cuts in fuel duty for motorists in rural areas are set to be delayed because the European Union has not granted permission for the policy.
Coalition ministers have said they want to look at targeted cuts in duty for drivers in remote parts of Britain.
Average fuel prices approaching £1.32 for a litre of petrol have put the Coalition under intense pressure to act.
Fuel prices in rural areas can be even higher, with some petrol stations in northern Scotland charging as much as £1.40 per litre.
Ministers hope to extend the duty cut to more rural areas, but that would require the approval of the European Commission, which enforces European competition law.
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TELEGRAPH and COMMENTS

stuart64

Its an illusion to assume that the UK government in Westminster actually runs the country, the various pokitical parties who have been in power in the UK since the end of
WW 2 have sold the country its assets and peoples aspirations down the drain to the EU, damn these politicians the whole lot of em.

harrier61

See how much sovereignty the UK has? A cut in fuel prices would benefit individuals, families, businesses and the UK as a whole.

But the sovereign British government has to wait until Brussels gives permission.

Let’s draw an analogy. You are at sea in a dinghy. It has sprung a large leak.

You have a choice. You can:
(a) hammer a plug into the leak; or
(b) wait until you get instructions from several hundred miles away.

It’s difficult to justify reductions in fuel prices in one area at the expense of other areas. The fact is that the Treasury must recognise that the country and its people are more important then the Treasury budget. Importantly, a reduction in taxation on fuel could reduce prices and costs across the board.

How is this difficult to understand?

What’s the problem?  It’s only sovereignty. What’s in a word?  And while we’re at it, have a look at this.

EU ‘seeking powers’ to vet British budget

The EU is seeking new “budgetary surveillance” powers to vet the British budget before it is presented to parliament, according to government officials.

The government fears that an EU power grab this spring will set legally binding rules allowing Brussels to set “the most primary elements of national budgetary frameworks”.
An EU directive setting out a “European fiscal framework” and the rules for EU “budgetary surveillance” is expected as early as March ahead of a summit on economic governance in June.
The Daily Telegraph understands that the “really big step” will regulate how and when the Treasury forecasts growth and impose “numerical fiscal rules” on all Whitehall departments.
The measures, according to British officials, will aim for “tighter budget co-ordination and direction from the centre” in Brussels and could endanger Britain’s “fiscal independence”.
While Britain as a non-euro zone member cannot be fined for breaching spending targets set in Brussels it will be legally bound by “budgetary procedures governing all stages of the budget process” which be set out in the EU directive.

SOURCE

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/19/2011 at 02:21 PM   
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