Archive for May, 2008
27 May 2008

At the Virginia Foxhound Show

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One highlight of the day on Sunday occurred late in the proceedings while I was sitting watching the English classes unfold. A Foxhound Club official approached me diffidently, and asked very politely, if I would be kind enough to oblige the Committee by making the award of the Cobbler Hunt Cup.

Of course, I realized some kind of mistake in identity was underway. So I laughed, and advised him that he was undoubtedly confusing me with someone else, as I was not actually a Master of Foxhounds, or anyone prominent in the foxhound breeding community at all.

Clearly, though, it had to have been my all around air of distinction, and my recognizable habit of command (what John Taintor Foote referred to as “the look of eagles”), along with my obvious close physical resemblance to the individual in the above picture that resulted in the gentleman’s perfectly natural confusion.

It did occur to me not long afterward that I could have simply played along, and when he introduced me with the wrong name and organizational affiliation, I could simply have corrected him, attributing to myself the mastership of an imaginary hound pack named for my Pennsylvania farm, and then people in Northern Virginia hunting circles would be laughing over the incident for weeks, but I expect that would have been going a little too far for a joke, and the chap they actually wanted might justifiably feel hard done by.

27 May 2008

Rationing Proposed For Britons

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Labour policies resulted in food rationing continuing in post-WWII Britain until 1954. Today’s Global Warming bugaboo may again offer renewed opportunities to both regulators and black marketeers, the Daily Mail reports.

Every adult should be forced to use a ‘carbon ration card’ when they pay for petrol, airline tickets or household energy, MPs say.

The influential Environmental Audit Committee says a personal carbon trading scheme is the best and fairest way of cutting Britain’s CO2 emissions without penalising the poor.

Under the scheme, everyone would be given an annual carbon allowance to use when buying oil, gas, electricity and flights.

Anyone who exceeds their entitlement would have to buy top-up credits from individuals who haven’t used up their allowance. The amount paid would be driven by market forces and the deal done through a specialist company.

MPs, led by Tory Tim Yeo, say the scheme could be more effective at cutting greenhouse gas emissions than green taxes.

But critics say the idea is costly, bureaucratic, intrusive and unworkable.

The Government says it supports the scheme in principle, but warns it is ‘ahead of its time’.

The idea of personal carbon trading is increasingly being promoted by environmentalists. In theory it could be used to cover all purchases – from petrol to food.

27 May 2008

“Nuclear Terrorism” Video Appears on Jihadist Web-Site

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AKI (Italy) reports the appearance on a jihadist web-site of an alarming video.

A new video called “Nuclear Terrorism” has been posted on the worldwide web calling for jihadists to use nuclear or chemical weapons to strike the west.

A simple jihadi propaganda video or a dangerous message to a sleeper cell in the west? That is the question raised by the video and no-one has yet claimed responsibility for it.

“Strike civilians in the west without mercy using weapons of mass destruction” is one of the calls made in the 39-minute video.

The question now being asked is whether the video is presenting a coded message or signalling an imminent terrorist attack.

Read the whole thing.

27 May 2008

Comments

I’m using a WordPress Plugin which has one little glitch. When you post a comment, instead of the intended “Thank you for commenting. Expect a delay before your comment appears.” message, it sends you a bunch of gibberish.

Otherwise, it works just fine.

What it does is: it parks all comments in Comment Purgatory, where they remain unseen, until I come along and eyeball them. If it is a legitimate Comment, and is not abusive or obscene, it will be approved and will appear. Spam gets deleted en masse.

When I get a chance, I’ll try downloading a new version, but I’m not sure this glitch was ever fixed.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day 2008

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WWII Victory Medal

Joseph Zincavage (1907-1998) Navy
William Zincavage (1914-1997) Marine Corps
Edward Zincavage (1917-2002) Marine Corps
Eleanor Zincavage Cichetti (1922-2003) Marine Corps

26 May 2008

Cat Appointed Stationmaster in Japan

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Tama, Stationmaster of Kinokawa, Japan

AFP:

In times of need, Japanese say they can even ask the cat for help. In this town in western Japan, people look to Tama, a nine-year-old cat working as master of an unmanned train station.

The tortoiseshell coloured creature, born and raised at Kishi Station on the provincial Kishigawa Line, wears a formal uniform cap of Wakayama Electric Railway and calmly watches passing passengers who greet her.

There are 10 train stations on the 14.3-kilometre (8.9-mile) line.

“Tama is the only stationmaster as we have to reduce personnel costs. You say you could ask for the cat’s help, but she is actually bringing luck to us,” Wakayama Electric spokeswoman Keiko Yamaki said.

The company feeds her in lieu of salary.

Tama was born from a stray cat brought to the station by a cleaner and kept by Toshiko Koyama, a local who runs a grocery store next door.

The station went unmanned in April 2006 as the line was losing money. But Tama stuck around.

She rose to national stardom in January 2007 as the railway company formally appointed her as “stationmaster”.

Her appointment had an immediately positive effect, boosting the number of passengers using the line in January by 17 percent from a year earlier.

For the year to March 2007, the number of passengers rose to 2.1 million, up 10 percent from the previous 12 months, according to Yamaki.

Happy with her successful job as stationmaster, the company promoted Tama to “super-stationmaster” in January this year, making her “the only female in a managerial position” in the company’s 36-strong workforce.

“She now holds the fifth highest position in the company,” Yamaki joked.

In reward for the promotion, Tama got a new “office”.

The stationmaster’s office, a renovated former ticket booth at the station, opened in April with the attendance of Kinokawa Mayor Shinji Nakamura and Wakayama Electric president Mitsunobu Kojima.

The office guarantees her some privacy.

“She declines to relieve herself when passengers are looking. We set the toilet where passengers can’t see,” Yamaki said.

Those who want to greet her must be careful so as not to miss her.

“She works nine to five and takes Sundays off,” Yamaki said.

Tama commutes with Koyama, the grocery store operator, from a shed next to the station. As Koyama tells her, “Ms Stationmaster, it’s time to work,” Tama comes along to the station, Yamaki said.

The stationmaster is set to appear in a French documentary film, being directed by Myriam Tonelotto, about wonder cats from around the world.

26 May 2008

What She Said!

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Fox News Contributor Liz Trotta tops Hillary.

Editor and Publisher:

Appearing on Fox News today, Liz Trotta, a former editor with the Washington Times and reporter the Chicago Tribune and Newsday, was asked by the host, Eric Shawn, about the Clinton controversy and the 2008 race. This led Trotta to refer to the Clinton misstep, in which she mentioned the RFK killing to show (the candidate later claimed) that previous campaigns, like the current one, went into June.

Trotta, according to video, replied, “And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, uh Obama. Well, both, if we could.” She laughed.

The host, Shawn, clearly understanding how far she had gone, quickly commented: “Talk about how you really feel.”

Then he continued: “But do you really think that–she didn’t mean that she thinks that he going to get assassinated, and she apologized–

Trotta: “Well, that’s beside the point, whether she meant it or not.”

Shawn: “And she’s just using it in a historical context?”

Trotta: “She’s tone deaf, because it’s a radioactive word. And the whole question of the first black man becoming a candidate for presidency of the United States has all kinds of overtones and all kinds of caveats that really have to be considered in this thing. And his security has been a real issue. He’s had bodyguards earlier than anybody else. Surely this woman had to know that that was a third rail to say ‘assassination.’ And it’s hard to argue for her on this, because it isn’t the first time she’s made this step.”

3:23 video

26 May 2008

“Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or Goodbye”

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ArabianBusiness.com boasts that Dubai is in the process of replacing London and New York as world capital of the financial industry.

Dubai is picking up the mantle of the financial capital of the world, as global banking sectors London and New York continue to fade on the back of the global credit crises.

The new mantra in New York and London is “Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or goodbye”, as job losses mount in both cities while opportunities in the east continue to rise.

Lehman Brothers on Tuesday became the latest investment bank moving one of its most senior positions to the UAE. Philip Lynch, the bank’s co-head of equities for Europe and the Middle East, will be relocating to Dubai after serving more than two decades in London.

The US investment bank, which has axed over 6,000 staff in the last nine months, said the move was aimed at serving the growing needs of clients in the Gulf region and the wider Middle East.

Lynch will find himself in good company. Barclays last month dispatched Roger Jenkins, one of London’s highest-paid bankers, to the emirate as chairman of investment banking and investment management.

Earlier in May Citigroup, which has so far cut 1,500 jobs because of the global credit crisis, announced it would send Alberto Verme, co-head of global investment banking from London to Dubai. …

The relocation of roles from London and New York to Dubai, and to a lesser extent Mumbai and Shanghai, reflects the reshaping of global opportunities for investment banks.

With a surge in oil revenue, rapidly rising infrastructure needs, and the emergence of sovereign wealth funds at the head of M&A activity, the Middle East and Asia have become crucial for global investment banks looking to remain profitable.

26 May 2008

They Rather Enjoyed It

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London Times:

A recent history, titled 1940-1945 Erotic Years: Vichy or the Misfortunes of Virtue by Patrick Buisson, argues that France’s surrender to Nazi Germany was more complete than is generally recognized.

A new book which suggests that the German occupation of France encouraged the sexual liberation of women has shocked a country still struggling to come to terms with its troubled history of collaboration with the Nazis. …

Buisson dedicates a chapter in his book to cinemas, which he describes as hotbeds of erotic activity, particularly when it was cold outside. “At a few francs they were cheaper than a hotel room,” he writes, “and, offering the double cover of darkness and anonymity, propitious for all sorts of outpourings.”

The French even had sex in the catacombs, the underground ossuary and warren of subterranean tunnels in Paris: war, Buisson argues, acted as an aphrodisiac, stimulating “the survival instinct”. He said in an interview: “People needed to prove that they were alive. They did so by making love.”

It has been claimed that prostitutes staged the first rebellion against the Nazis by refusing to service the invaders but Buisson called this a myth. The Germans, he claimed, were welcomed into the city’s best brothels, a third of which were reserved for officers. Another 100,000 women in Paris became “occasional prostitutes”, he said.

Elsewhere, members of the artistic elite drowned their sorrows in debauchery. Simone de Beauvoir, the writer, and Jean-Paul Sartre, the philosopher, were devotees of allnight parties fuelled by alcohol and lust.

“It was only in the course of those nights that I discovered the true meaning of the word party,” was how de Beauvoir put it. Sartre was no less enthusiastic: “Never were we as free as under the German occupation.”

De Beauvoir wrote about the “quite spontaneous friendliness” of the conquerors: she was as fascinated as any by the German “cult of the body” and their penchant for exercising in nothing but gym shorts.

“In the summer of 1940,” wrote Buisson, “France was transformed into one big naturist camp. The Germans seemed to have gathered on French territory only to celebrate an impressive festival of gymnastics.” The author said he did not want to make light of a tragic part of French history, but there was a need to correct the “mythical” image of the occupation. “In this horrible period, life continued,” he said.

“It is disturbing to know that while the Jews were being deported, the French were making love. But that is the truth.”

26 May 2008

MSM Studiously Ignores Obama Gaffes and Misstatements

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Early this month, Barack Obama said that, over 15 months, he’d campaigned… (thinking about it)… in all 57 states.

A week later, he confused Sioux Falls (South Dakota) with Sioux City (Iowa).

Last Friday, Obama continued his pattern of confusion, repeatedly referring to the name of the Florida city, Sunrise, he was visiting, as “Sunshine.”

Also, in Florida on the same Friday, while addressing the Cuban American National Foundation,

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples’ lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region. No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.

Hugo Chavez was, of course, elected president of Venezuela December 6, 1998, while William Jefferson Clinton was in the White House.

32:15 video (Chavez comment appears at 2:50)

Earlier in his Miami speech, Obama cast his own background (17th century WASP colonist plus politically-prominent Kenyan) as similar to that of Cuban refugees from Castro’s tyranny, his Kenyan father as a poor immigrant seeking the American Dream of Freedom and Opportunity.

0:33 in the video:

Miami’s promise of Liberty and opportunity has drawn generations of immigrants to these shores, sometimes with nothing more than the clothes on their back. And I was talking to Jorge
about his father, and the story… the immigrant story that he embodies, and his family embodies, and the extraordinary success… That is the story of America. It was the similar hope that drew my father across an ocean in search of the same promise.

Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. didn’t come to America seeking Liberty and Opportunity. He was sent to America as part of a program created by Kenyan Black Nationalist leader Tom Mboya
to obtain Western educations for future Kenyan government leaders and officials. After he attended the University of Hawaii, bigamously married Stanley Ann Dunham, abandoned her and his son and went to Harvard, he returned to Kenya with yet another American wife, where he took up an economist’s position in a government ministry.

Obama Senior had obviously never intended to work or settle in the United States, so he was hardly an immigrant “drawn across an ocean” by the Land of Opportunity. And Obama Sr. was hardly an admirer of Liberty, being a Marxist. His government career in Kenya stalled and he grew bitter, it is reported, after he published an incendiary paper taking the pro-Communist side against the Kenyatta government.

Compare the absence of coverage the MSM of all these errors and an impressive falsehood, with the microscopic and obsessive coverage of the public statements of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

H/t to Noel Sheppard and Charles Johnson.

24 May 2008

Tribute to the Confederate Cavalry

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Jean-Adolphe Beauce, Mosby Planning a Raid, 1868, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond

Civil War song: Join the Cavalry 2:43 video

24 May 2008

2008 Viginia Foxhound Show

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Blue Ridge Morpeth stallion hound

There won’t be much, if any, blogging tomorrow. I’ll be attending the hound show at Morven Park.

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