Saturday, 15 April 2006
They went off horse riding this afternoon. Nice instructors. Good location. Nice steady horses but sadly in need of a damned good brushing and trimming. My old horseriding master would have had a fit. I was just stroking Caroline's mount and had a handful of hair every stroke.
This is amongst latest to be released arising from her new contract with Nikon cameras.
I think she looks superb. Makes a nonsense of all those drug awareness campaign shots that puport to show how drugs can ruin your health.
I rest my case.
Friday, 14 April 2006
Well, no actually. What I found was that I already knew what was being put up for my study. The lecturers would make reference to someone or others Principle and then go into what was, for me, meat and potatoes.
Thus, I have been pleased to discover this guy and his attitude to economic theory. Whilst his pronouncements are challenging, they make sense to me. And they are amusing.
If you find this approach interesting, there is much more available.
Thursday, 13 April 2006
The checkout person was an elderly man. He was obviously new to the job. Almost nothing he waved at the automatic price aperture was recognised. He would then turn the item around and wave it desperately at the ruby light. Eventually, he had to enter the product number manually. He was not a happy bunny and this made him a little surly. Two or three times, he held goods up and asked me if they were mine. Who else they might have as potential owner I cannot think.
When he got to the empty milk carton, he shook it and said, "This is empty". My nature is such that I could not resist replying, "Best dump it in your bin then". He did just that. No attempt to swipe the item into my billing. Bingo.
I was sorely tempted to have the goods on Asda. I did not want to confuse and possibly embarrass him in front of the next customer who had already shared raised eyebrows with me at the chap's performance. I told the people at the exit Help desk what had happened and paid there.
Wednesday, 12 April 2006
So – why am I so bored?
778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, in which Roland is killed
927 - The Saracens conquered and destroyed Taranto
1057 - King MacBeth of Scotland is killed during the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of King Malcolm III.
1309 - The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquartes on the island, and rename themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.
1534 - The Society of Jesus is founded by Ignatius of Loyola with Francis Xavier and other students
1549 - Jesuit priest Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549). (He’s a fast mover – the order was only formed 16 years before!)
1620 - The Mayflower departs Southampton, England.
1824 - Freed American slaves form Liberia.
1863 - The Satsuma war begins between the Satsuma clan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
1877 - Thomas Edison makes the first-ever recording - "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
1914 - The Panama Canal opens to traffic
1920 - Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw - Poles defeat the Red Army.
1945 - World War II: Victory over Japan Day - Japan surrenders.
1945 - World War II: Korean Liberation Day
1947 - India gains independence from the United Kingdom. Jawaharlal Nehru takes office as the first Prime Minister of India
1948 - The Republic of Korea is established south of 38th Parallel
1961 - Construction begins on the Berlin Wall,
1973 - Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends
1998 - Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, becoming the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles
1001 - King Duncan I of Scotland (d. 1040)
1717 - Blind Jack, English roadbuilder (d. 1810)
1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France (d. 1821)
1785 - Thomas De Quincey, English author (d. 1859)
1912 - Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)
1912 - Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003)
1917 - Jack Lynch, fourth President of Ireland (d. 1999)
1925 - Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist
1944 - Sylvie Vartan, French pop singer
1945 - Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Indian guru
1950 - Princess Anne of the United Kingdom
778 - Roland, Frankish commander (killed in battle)
1057 - King Macbeth I of Scotland
1935 - Wiley Post, American pilot (b. 1898)
1935 - Will Rogers, American humorist and actor (b. 1879)
1999 - Sir Hugh Casson, British architect and artist (b. 1910)
2005 - James Dougherty, first husband of Marilyn Monroe (leukemia)
Holidays and observances
Eastern Orthodoxy – Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the commemoration of the death of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
RC Saints – Feast day of the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Holy Day of Obligation. Public Holiday in: Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia and Spain.
Egypt – Flooding of the Nile Day
Hawaii – Toro Nagashi (Floating Lantern Ceremony) to commemorate the end of the second world war
India – Independence Day (from the United Kingdom, 1947)
Italy – "Ferragosto", remembrance of an ancient Roman holiday in honor of Augustus (Feriae Augusti)
Korea – Liberation Day
Soldiers And Reporters
By A Well-Known Traitor
November 29, 2005
Much email comes my way, from military folk both current and retired, assuring me that the press consists of leftist commy anti-American liberal tree-hugging cowardly backstabbers who probably like the French and would date Jane Fonda. It is an old song. Having spent decades covering the armed forces, I have seen much of the Pentagon and the press. Things are a tad more complex. A few thoughts:
The military, particularly the officer corps, wants not reporting but cheerleading. The very idea of an uncontrolled press is repugnant. Thus officers try to keep reporters away from enlisted men, who are less political and tend to say things that, while true, are not policy. Thus the edgy, wary hostility in the presence of reporters. The truth of what a reporter writes doesn’t matter to them, only whether it is “positive.”
The reasons for this sensitivity are in part practical, given that wars cannot long be fought without the support of the public. There are deeper reasons. First, there is the military’s stark with-us-or-against-us outlook. Second, the intense loyalty to the group that characterizes military men. Third, an authoritarian structure to which reporters seem an uncontrolled rabble. “Uncontrolled” is the key word.
The military believes that the press should be part of the team. Its job should be not to report but to support. “Are they Americans, or aren’t they?” To see what the command thinks the press should be, read a base newspaper. It will be a cross between a PR handout and a Weekly Reader.
Reporters do not see their job as cheerleading, this being the work of PR people, whom they despise. Correspondents by nature are not team players but salaried freelances who compete with, instead of cooperating with, their colleagues. Glory hounds, they want to break the big story themselves. Instead of being loyal to any group, they are suspicious of all groups. They do not respect authority. Frequently incompetent, they are pushy, demanding, and irritating. The military is afraid of them. You hate what you fear.
In short, they are everything the military detests. If they did their jobs perfectly, which neither they nor soldiers do, the military would still loathe them.
Further, soldiers with exceptions are insular, reporters greatly less so. Consider. A kid who goes to West Point lives for four years, in formative late adolescence, with relentless military indoctrination. This is not in all respects bad. It tends to produce a personally honest, public-spirited, responsible man who makes an admirable citizen. These same men can run a carrier battle group, as difficult and impressive a thing as I have ever seen done, and they can do it only because they obey, make sacrifices, and respect the group.
The young cadet then goes to Fort Hood, say, for three years in which he is almost exclusively in the company of other soldiers. Next, three years in an armored division in Germany (the rotations may have changed) during which he is again constantly with soldiers and, since GIs don’t learn languages, unable to communicate with Germans other than bartenders. The Army is his entire existence. By the time he is thirty he is deeply imbued with a bird-politics leftwing vs. rightwing view of things. He is by no means stupid—the academies get bright students—but he is simple-minded. He believes profoundly that one is either on the team or one is with the enemy.
Reporters aren’t on the team. They report what they see, or think they see. Many do not know what they are talking about, but the military detests even more those who do. In time of war, truthfulness makes them traitors. Soldiers often use the word, and they mean it. You are with us, or you are with the enemy.
The two groups live in sharply differing mental worlds. While reporters are more insular than they should be, they are much less so than the military. They see a broader slice of the world and rub shoulders with more kinds of people. The overseas correspondents see more wars than do soldiers. The result is a certain cosmopolitanism which, whether good or bad, is much at odds with the clarity of the military’s outlook.
For example, many in Washington who actually know how the press works (the military actually doesn’t) believe that the press supports the war in Iraq, has until recently given the White House a free ride, and has been adroitly controlled by the government. I agree. If newspapers had been against the war, they would have published countless photos of gut-shot soldiers who will never get a date, paraplegics doomed to a life on a slab, and more Abu Ghraib photos (which they have.) Soldiers don’t know this. In any event, anything but unqualified support is treason.
The military usually regards journalists as cowards. (“Coward” and “traitor” are their gravest pejoratives.) This is questionable. When the 2000th US soldier died in Iraq, I checked the site of Reporters Without Borders and found that 72 reporters had been killed there (with two more missing), or 3.6 percent of the military total. I don’t know how many troops have served in Iraq. Just now it is about 160,000. To be conservative, let’s call it 130,000 on average, making 347,100 for two and two-thirds years of war. By the equation 2,000/347,000 = 72/x, one finds that there would have to have been 12,500 reporters in Iraq to have equal rates of death between reporters and soldiers. Otherwise, the press is taking casualties at a higher rate than the military. The calculation is rough, but makes the point.
Further, reporters can leave any time they choose. The government forces soldiers to fight under penalty of long jail sentences and, in many times and places, death. If you dispute this, tell the troops that they can fly home tomorrow without punishment and see how many remain. They would not leave from cowardice, but from lack of a stake in the outcome. (Would you leave your children fatherless because you wanted democracy in Iraq?)
More than most professions, the military lives in a world defined by idealism. Being a dentist does not carry an ideology with it. Being a soldier does. The dedicated soldier thinks in terms of honor, valor, loyalty, sacrifice, and heroism, of righting wrong and defeating evil, of proving himself in combat, of glory and exaltation and defending the fatherland. The reporter sees the dead lying in the street, the flies crawling in shattered craniums, the bombed-out cities for year after year without change. He hears this described as progress. To him it is pure bullshit.
Maybe, maybe not. But it is how he thinks.
Journalists are not idealists. Cynical, weary of being lied to, having seen the fraud and self-interest that underlie, as they come to see it, almost everything, they regard the soldiery as a riverboat gambler might regard the Boy Scouts. The soldiery regard the press as a Boy Scout might regard a riverboat gambler. Different mental worlds.Ambiguity disturbs soldiers. Few of us can kill and die for ifs and maybes and on-the-one-hand. Thus every war is described in apocalyptic terms, whether Vietnam, Granada, Korea, or Iraq: We must defeat them there or we’ll have to fight them in California. Usually this is nonsense. Journalists may suggest as much. And so, again, they become traitors.
The moral ambiguity of war is especially painful. While military men as citizens are at least as moral as the rest of the population, as warriors they are not, and can’t be. Because of this conflict they therefore have to believe things about themselves that are not true. Consequently you may hear a soldier saying with perfectly sincerity that the US military goes to great lengths to avoid killing civilians. Furious accusation of treason arise when reporters point out that they are in fact killing civilians.
For example, while a case can be made that the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were militarily desirable, they cannot well be described as attempts to preserve civilians. The bombings of cities in WWII were intended to kill civilians, hundreds of thousands of them, to break morale. In war utility invariably trumps decency.
Reporters, being traitorous, will write of these things. After initial cheerleading while the war goes well, they will note that it isn’t going well any longer. Soldiers, who are being killed and mangled, come to hate them, seldom distinguishing between being against a war and being against the troops. After the hell of combat, who wants to hear that maybe it wasn’t really a good idea after all?
On and on it goes.
Squaddies are Different
I'm an ex-soldier, but I'm still a squaddie, a squaddie is not a role or position, its a state of mind. There are two basic people types, Squaddies and Non-Squaddies (aka Civies), many civies show signs of squaddidom, but unless you serve you can never truly be referred as a real squaddie.
So. There are certain things that really grip my shit about civies, the first is areas. Areas is the squaddie term for cleaning the localized area, picking up rubbish and the like (most often cigarette butts) but its ingrained into the squaddie psyche to clean up after themselves. So why the feck can't civies ?
I have lost count of the number of half drunk mugs of coffee and sweet wrappers laying NEXT to bins, not in them, NEXT to them. If there's a brew area (that's a kettle and tea/coffee making kit for the unenlightened) then why the feck can't they wipe up the inevitable spillage, or perhaps, here's an idea, clean the spoon ?
Sorry for sounding anal but its basic skills and drills people, catch on.
I managed to drive through the area I grew up in and past the exact same house. Fuck me it's changed. Not for the best either. Last time I was near was nine years ago.Now I know why the saying is "Never go back." Places I remembered as full of fun were full of shite. Strange how we grow, at one part of my life, it was the centre of the universe. Now it's just an open sewer.Sad that, still, at least I have my memories. So much was plotted and planned from here, so many discussions about what we would do in life. Strange how some came true and some were not even on the radar.Like what I do for a living now.Always feel sad when passing through for friendships that passed under the bridge. Was it their fault or mine? Did life just get in the way?
I’ve never managed to form any great attachment to Italy or Italians but it is sad to see what is happening there. No one deserves the ‘leadership’ they have. Even if the man Prodi is allowed to drop his bags and baggage in the seat of power, Berlusconi will still be there. Looking over his shoulder. Wrecking all his initiatives.
Tuesday, 11 April 2006
Western nations would do themselves and the Palestinians a great favor by cutting off cash aid and using the money to build decent infrastructure in Gaza.Western aid to the Palestinians is almost $900 million a year, hat tip LGF:
The United States has earmarked a total of $234 million in aid to the Palestinians for 2006 — none of it going directly to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. The European Union and its member nations earmark about $615 million in yearly aid.
Add the Mullah's cash-for-killers funding plus whatever other terror states kick in, and these folks are raking in well over $1 billion annually.Since Israel manages to run an advanced first world economy on the $700 million or so it gets from the US ($662 million in 2003), you'd expect Palestinian territories to be equally spiffy. Of course they are not:
The festering refugee camp of Khan Yunis, where the stench of sewage hangs over potholed dirt roads and concrete blockhouses crowded with 270,000 Palestinians, has long been fertile soil for radical groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Now there are growing indications it is also becoming a breeding ground for Al-Qaeda.
The donor nations, rather than give cash (difficult, since no bank wants Hamas as a customer), should provide humanitarian aid in kind, building them a decent water supply, sewage disposal, schools, roads and housing.Better drainage of the terrorist swamp would at least ensure that Palestinians seeking Darwin Awards by attacking Israel would not spread hepatitis when topped by the IDF. It might even encourage them to get a life.
| 1945: Allied nations celebrate |
Allied nations across the globe
| 1998: Dozens die in Omagh bombing |
At least 27 people are feared dead after a massive car bomb in the town of Omagh in Northern Ireland.
| 1965: Los Angeles riot toll keeps rising |
At least 28 people die and hundreds are injured after a weekend of rioting in Los Angeles.
| 1971: 'V-sign' costs rider victory |
Controversial horse rider Harvey Smith is stripped of his £2,000 winnings and a major show jumping title for allegedly making a rude gesture.
| 1985: Virgin voyage ends in disaster |
The speedboat Virgin Atlantic Challenger capsizes off the south-west of England scuppering Richard Branson's attempt at the fastest-ever Atlantic crossing.
1950: Princess gives birth to second child
The King's eldest daughter and heir to the throne,
Princess Elizabeth, gives birth to a daughter at Clarence
House in London.
Good game! Good game! Play it yourself on the BBC page
"Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with £86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every penny, of course!!!!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health,
happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed an exam.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the dying man who spends that last hour with his children.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time. And remember that time waits for no one. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present!!"
Monday, 10 April 2006
More than 70 officers currently serving in Britain's largest police force have criminal records, it emerged today.A total of 74 Metropolitan Police officers received either a criminal conviction or caution between 2000 and 2005 and were kept on by the force.
Now the vultures are gathering to feed on this information. All the usual suspects are l ining up to have their say - almost universally not in favour of this situation.
We heard about the ethnic mix and inclusion of gay and lesbian officers so that "the Service more closely reflects the community it serves". So, are there no people in the community who have offended and been dealt with?
And, these are 74 officers we know of. I would like attention to be paid to finding and dealing with the unidentified wrong-doers. There must be some. After all, as it's critics aver, the force has some wrong-uns amongst it's ranks. Reading the article, it is not as if we have Crime Barons and Mr Bigs doing the duty of constables. Looking at their leaders, some should be disposed of regardless of criminal proclivities.
Sunday, 9 April 2006
Bring on iron fistCommentApr 4, 2006
The prisons are full. The law-makers in Whitehall have decided the best way forward is to de-criminalise crime.
Under instructions being sent to all police forces, a range of 60 offences including some incidents of theft, assault, arson and burglary, can now be dealt with by a caution.
If we needed any proof that the lunatics have taken over the asylum, it comes in the "mitigating factors" police are being ordered to consider.
For example, a caution may be given in a theft "because of poverty or need"or if an assault is deemed to be impulsive rather than planned. This is a liar's charter.
The policy defies belief. These cautions are intended for first offences. The aim is to keep tens of thousands of offenders out of the courts and possibly out of the crime statistics.
But this state-sponsored leniency will be paid for in untold financial loss, terror and anguish among the victims of these fearless offenders.
The lesson of history is that the softer we are on crime, the more crime we get.
The most successful crime initiative in recent times was New York's "broken window" policy where the police and courts cracked down hard on minor cases of vandalism in order to nip criminality in the bud.
England is moving in the opposite direction, virtually ignoring some crimes and then wondering why our prisons are packed.
We demand tougher sentences, not soft options. And we are not alone.
The abduction and murder of a baby in Italy brought widespread calls at the weekend for the reintroduction of the death penalty there.
A majority of Britons, too, want a system where the punishment fits the crime.
All over Europe, bleeding-heart do-gooders are passing laws which make life safer for criminals and more dangerous for innocent, decent, law-abiding people.
Where are the politicians with the moral courage to say enough is enough?
The kid glove has failed. Bring on the iron fist.
Subject: Spring Time Round -UP
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 09:12:30 -0500
From: Dawna Henderson
The agenda for today's Round Up has changed
Because the assigned team failed to coordinate this month's Round Up - and we don't want to waste the time that has been allocated - everyone will be required to participate in henderson bas spring cleaning.
Beginning at 4pm, each of you will be responsible for cleaning your individual pod (just not moving stuff around) and making sure the area around your desk is neat & tidy. Once your area is perfectly clean and organized, you will each be required to participate in office cleaning. Tech and creative will be responsible for the kitchen which includes the fridge and above the sink cupboards. The PMs and AMs will be responsible for cleaning the down stairs coat closet and making sure every single screen & keyboard in the building is cleaned.
Once you are finished cleaning your pod and assigned areas, please come and find me as I would like to make sure the office is cleaned to my standards.
To this month's Round Up team instead of buying snacks and drinks for the group, you will be required to purchase the following cleaning supplies before 4pm today - paper towels, Fantastik, Pledge for electronics, J-cloths, and computer screen wipes (@ Grand & Toy). This is not an option.
If anyone has any problems with this, please be sure to thank this month's Round Up team. Do not come and whine to me.
Rules: This is not a joke.
1. all computers must be turned off from 4:00PM- 5:30PM
2. no calls are to be taken
3. attendance is mandatory
4. everyone's shred box must be emptied
5. no one can leave until the offices are clean
6. no smoke or coffee breaks
TheNiceAgency.comI like the fact that it was within a company called The Nice Agency. Came from a female manager. Not one to crow on sexist lines but might she be an example of what it is that forms The Glass Ceiling?
Hence I was pleased to see that misbehaving.net had noticed the same trend and was going to do something about it.
As Elisa wrote, i'm leading a panel at Blogher on blogging about sensitive topics and we're looking for potential panelists who are willing to talk candidly about the most sensitive of topics - depression, addiction, self-injury, eating disorders, illness, suicide attempts, infertility, etc. We're looking for people who've written about these topics and those who've tried to support loved ones. We want to talk about the values of writing about sensitive issues, the challenges of being read, the concerns about responding to someone's intense writings. Especially around issues self-injury, eating disorders and suicide attempts, we'd like to get into how writers feel when they are reported by concerned loved ones. We know that support happens. But we also know that that there are those who believe that bloggers and online community members can become enablers, or at the very least, get in over their heads. Rather than reaching out to people with a "So, you talk about suicide a lot, wanna talk on a panel?" type question, we wanted to throw it out more broadly and see who might be willing to talk. So, this is a call for speakers who would be willing to discuss their experiences handling the touchy topics online. And please note: we are open to only identifying you by a a pseudonym in conference materials. If you're interested, feel free to email me or Elisa.I'm going to look over shoulders on this one.