John Wayne~The Life & Legend

John Wayne, who made 162 feature films, was one of the 20th century’s biggest Hollywood stars. Here are 10 things we learned about the Oscar-winning actor from an impressive new biography by Scott Eyman. Martin Chilton-The Telegraph Culture Editor john_wayne_life_legend

He cheated at chess; John Wayne was actually very good at chess (film director and experienced player Josef von Sternberg “was livid” when beaten by Wayne) and the actor had a chessboard permanently set up on his 136ft boat, The Wild Goose. Wayne once said of fellow actor Rock Hudson: “Who the hell cares if he’s queer? The man plays great chess.” Wayne repeatedly cheated when playing chess against Robert Mitchum (Wayne had huge hands and would carefully slide a piece into a different position as he made a separate move) and Mitchum eventually plucked up the courage to tell him he was cheating. Wayne replied “I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set ‘em up, we’ll play again.”
He loved literature; Wayne liked the novels of Agatha Christie but his two favourite books were written by Arthur Conan Doyle and both are historical novels – The White Company (1891) and Sir Nigel (1906) – both set during the Hundred Years’ War. Wayne was also a fan of Charles Dickens and if the actor agreed to a business deal, he would always say “Barkis is willing!”, a phrase used by Mr Barkis when he tells David Copperfield that he is ready to marry Peggotty.JohnWaynesummary_2874969b
Just call him MMM or Duke but never Marion: Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison (on May 26, 1907) and earned the lifelong nickname Duke, after Big Duke, the family dog. Big Duke, an Airedale, would chase fire engines, and the firemen christened Wayne Liitle Duke, which was shortened to Duke. Wayne said: “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me. I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one if his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.”
John Ford called him a “poached egg:” Ford’s four Academy Awards for Best Director (1935, 1940, 1941, 1952) are a record but he missed out in 1939 for Stagecoach. His behaviour on set angered Wayne, who said of the director “I was so f–king mad I wanted to kill him”. Ford kept baiting Wayne during filming, yelling at one point: “Don’t you know how to walk? You’re as clumsy as a hippo. And stop slurring your dialogue and show some expression. You look like a poached egg.” Privately Ford said of Wayne at the time: “He’ll be the biggest star ever”.stagecoach 12Wayne was once a sports journalist: Wayne was born in Iowa but went to the Glendale Union High School in California, where he played for the football team. Although he was seen as sporty, he also did well academically. He was part of the high school debating team and president of its Latin Society. He graduated with an average score of 94/100. He was also a member of its newspaper staff and wrote sports reports under byline ‘M.M.M’.

Wayne was a strange political beast; John Wayne was known for his right-wing views (he was scathing about actress Jane Fonda’s anti-Vietnam war pronouncements) and was a fervent supporter of President Richard Nixon, insisting in 1971 that “Nixon is too great a man to be mixed up in anything like Watergate.” But Wayne also liked debating politics with the actor Paul Newman, who would send him political essays written by progressive liberal thinkers.John Wayne Smoking

He was a deeply superstitious man; Among the many things (normally wives) that made a volatile Wayne fly off the handle was the act of anyone leaving a hat on top of a bed. Also, no one in his family was ever allowed to pass salt directly to Wayne, it had to be placed on the table instead and then he would reach for it. He was not superstitious about his smoking, though, getting through five packets of cigarettes a day, something that brought him first a persistent hacking cough and later lung cancer.

Don’t wet on his blue suede shoes; When he first met Michael Caine, Wayne gave him some friendly thespian advice. “Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too f—— much”. He then baffled the Brit by adding “and never wear suede shoes”. When Caine asked “Why?”, Wayne replied: “Because one day a guy in the next stall recognised me and turned towards me and said ‘John Wayne you’re my favourite actor! And p—-d all over my suede shoes. So don’t wear them when you’re famous, kid.”

He was in awe of Churchill; Wayne would often tell friends how highly he thought of Winston Churchill and had a complete set of the British Prime Minister’s prose on his bookself.
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Wayne was a gracious winner; When he won his Best Actor Oscar for playing Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (1969), Wayne whispered in presenter Barbra Streisand’s ear “beginner’s luck”. Wayne later spent the night drinking with Richard Burton (who had been nominated for playing King Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days), having knocked on the Welshman’s door, thrust the Oscar statue at him and shouted: “You should have this, not me.”jima_2874943kMore Here Of Interest in the Washington Times Book Review: ‘John Wayne: Life and Legend.’  

Well it looks like another book order is going into Amazon. “The hell it is!”    Yours Aye.

Publish And Be Damned

The Ministry of Defence tries to block book on Helmand that it commissioned – because of claims it contains secrets published on Wikileaks.article-2600411-1CF5EE5000000578-732_308x468

The Ministry of Defence has pulled support for a highly critical book on the war in Afghanistan claiming the author used ‘classified materials’ previously published by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Dr Mike Martin, who resigned as a Captain in the Territorial Army as a result of the row, spent the past six years researching his book: An Intimate War – An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict 1978-2012. However, the book has been praised by former Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, who said: ‘I sincerely wish it had been available to me when I was ISAF commander in Afghanistan’. 

The MOD commissioned Dr Martin (below) who was one of the only soldiers in the British Army to speak the local Helmand dialect Pushtu fluently, to write the book. The conflict in Afghanistan has so far claimed the lives of 448 British personnel. However officials expressed concerns about some of the information contained in the book which they believed had come from secret US diplomatic cables leaked by whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Officials wrote to Dr Martin in March saying that the book could not be published as it contained ‘classified materials.    article-2600411-1CF6620E00000578-253_638x428Dr Martin conducted 150 interviews in Pushtu with locals asking about their experiences. A spokesperson for the publishers said: ‘It demonstrates how outsiders have most often misunderstood the ongoing struggle in Helmand and how, in doing so, they have exacerbated the conflict, perpetuated it and made it more violent—precisely the opposite of what was intended when their interventions were launched.’ Dr Martin served for almost two years in Helmand with the British army and has written several important papers on the conflict.

General Richards (below) served as Commander of International Forces in Afghanistan between 2006-7 and was Chief of the Defence Staff between 2010-13. He wrote a glowing review for the book. ‘An Intimate War is, quite simply, the  book on Helmand. I sincerely wish it had been available to me when I was ISAF Commander in Afghanistan. Military, diplomatic and development professionals involved in Afghanistan, and elsewhere for that matter, read this and take note.’Richards

Speaking to The Times, Dr Martin said his Army career ended because of the book: ‘I have been forced to resign. ‘I was employed as a constructive critic and I strongly believe that the Army needs reform.’ He continued: ‘This meant that we often made the conflict worse, rather than better: this was ususally as a result of the Helmandis manipulating our ignorance.’ Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science in Yale said the book was very important. ‘The proverbial complexity of civil wars is typically discounted as irrelevant or misinterpreted through orientalising.’ Mike Martin begs to differ: in this rich and fascinating account of thirty-five years of war in the Afghan province of Helmand, he explains how and why the private and local logics of the conflict interact with, and often subvert, the public, national, and international narratives.  ‘He exposes the failure of Western bureaucratic institutions to grasp this reality and dissects both the causes and consequences of their failure. This outstanding book is a must-read for those interested in understanding contemporary conflict.’

Publisher Michael Dwyer said he had taken legal advice and intended publishing the book claiming that any intelligence material used was already in the public domain. The book is due to be launched at the Royal United Services Institute this evening. 

I smell a fermenting rats nest that sits within a dark dank corridor of the Ministry of Defence! There are those within the ‘top brass’ who would not wish to hear of their shortcomings, lest lawsuits and demotion follow. We have ‘lions on the ground led by lions,’ while the cowardly brass donkeys sit and bray in the MOD building of Whitehall! Publish and be damned …            Yours Aye.

Rev Al Sharpton was a ‘Mafia informer’

Baptist minister who is said to have been targeted by the FBI because of his extensive contacts in the music and sports industry…Al-Sharpton_2875459bThe Rev Al Sharpton, the radical civil rights leader who is now a close ally of President Obama, was a Federal Bureau of Investigation informer who helped to jail a number of Mafia bosses, it has been claimed. An investigation by the Smoking Gun: website claims that the 69-year-old television host and White House regular was “turned” by the FBI after being implicated in a drug deal. The website said that he agreed to wear a wire tap during conversations with Mob bosses, including leading members of the Genovese crime family, the largest and most feared Mafia outfit in the United States.mobster-drawing2

A Baptist minister who is said to have been targeted by the FBI because of his extensive contacts in the music and sports industry, as well as the New York underworld, Mr Sharpton has always denied being a “snitch.” He has said that his only contact with the police was to gather information in order to help drive out drug dealing in the black communities he worked in. But the Smoking Gun website claimed that interviews with a number of detectives on a joint FBI and police task force called the Genovese squad revealed that Mr Sharpton was a valued informer who delivered at least 10 taped conversations that led to the jailing of a number of mobsters.

It also produced internal documents showing that the recordings were used to help gain court approval for further secret taping at gang members’ homes and other places they associated. Asked why he cooperated with the police, who in public he frequently lambasted, one unnamed former member of the squad said: “He thought he didn’t have a choice,” after being taped by an agent pretending to be a drug dealer apparently agreeing to buy cocaine. Starting in the mid-1980s with the codename CI-7 – for Covert Investigator number seven - he is said to have operated as a police spy for about four years.obama-sharptonIn one lengthy memo, the agents discussed how Mr Sharpton’s identity could be concealed from the court in order to protect him from Mafia reprisals. The FBI are also said to have provided him with a briefcase containing a secret camera, with which to record members of four of the five New York crime families he is said to have been familiar with. Those said to have been bugged include organised crime associates Dominick “Baldy Dom” Canterino, music industry supremo Morris Levy, and Federico “Fritzy” Giovanelli. He also allegedly passed on information about Don King, the boxing promoter.

A prominent supporter of and fundraiser for President Obama, Mr Sharpton was on the dias on the steps of the US Capitol building when he was sworn in last year. He also attended a private 50th birthday party at the White House for the President’s wife, Michelle. In his 2013 book “The Rejected Stone,” Mr Sharpton denied being an informer, saying that he was once “set up by the government,” whose agents later leaked “false information” that “could have gotten me killed.” Questioned about the allegations this week, he denied being “flipped” by federal agents. Asked about the secret recording he added: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.”images

How long before the race card is whipped out of his stuffed wallet? GALATIONS 7. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life”

Forget the ‘eternal life’ bit – it looks like there are some chickens about to come home to roost!    Yours Aye 

Turning once necessary evil into good

From battlefield to buttonhole: the poppies made of brass firing fuzes from WWI artillery shells.     ‘Turning once necessary evil into good’poppy-shells_2874008b

Brass firing fuzes destined to be used on artillery shells on the Western Front are to be turned into commemorative “poppies” by the Royal British Legion to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War Almost a century after the guns fell silent on the Western Front, the dull brass fuzes are being returned to Britain in a remarkable act of remembrance to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Thousands of brass fuse caps, which were designed to be primed to detonate artillery shells – either as deadly air-burst – or upon impact with enemy targets, lie scattered along the 450-mile former front line. Now the once-deadly objects are finding a peaceful new lease of life − as commemorative “poppies”, struck by the Royal British Legion.DOC_595040

The conical 1lb fuses, once produced in their millions by munitions workers in Britain before being shipped to France and Belgium, are being melted down in a furnace in the Midlands at more than 1,000 degrees centigrade. The molten brass is poured into elaborate clay moulds in a painstaking procedure known as the “lost wax” process. When the metal has cooled the moulds are broken open to reveal the crisp, ornate, golden-coloured poppies that are handcrafted into cufflinks and lapel pins.

Each one is polished, before being engraved by the Assay Office with the dates 1914-1918 and presented in velvet-lined wooden boxes with a certificate of authenticity. The Royal British Legion will put the mementos on sale in June in time for the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war on August 4, 1914. It hopes that many of its 350,000 members, as well as thousands of members of the public, will buy the poppies to raise money for its work supporting serving and former Servicemen and women. “I stumbled across the idea when researching a book into historic artefacts still visible on the Somme and in Belgium,” said Christopher Bennett, who founded TMB Art Metal, a London firm which specialises in creating jewellery and works of art from the parts of cars, trains and aircraft. TMB was formed in 2005 following the excavation of a Battle of Britain Hurricane fighter which crashed into Buckingham Palace Road in 1940. Parts of the aircraft were made into limited edition sculptures.images

Brian Gray, the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop buyer, said: “These poppies really are special. For us they are a direct link right back to the battlefields. It feels like reaching out and touching history. What is most remarkable is that these objects were created for war but are now being turned into an act of remembrance that will help the Legion and its dependants. It’s turning once necessary evil into good.” The design for the lapel pins and cufflinks, which are 1.5cm across and weigh 5g each, is based on a poppy sent back from no-man’s land in 1915.

article-1226153-07224C51000005DC-391_224x372It was preserved by Private Len Smith (right), who kept an illustrated diary documenting his exploits during the First World War, which was published in 2009 under the title Drawing Fire. The flower was sandwiched between the pages of the book and preserved. Pte Smith’s descendants agreed that it should be used as the basis for the Royal British Legion project, and a delicate master sculpture was handcrafted by York-based artist Stephen Allen.

article-1226153-07224C2D000005DC-375_224x372All profits from the sale of the poppies will go to the Royal British Legion. Mr Bennett has agreed to recover only the costs incurred in producing the objects. He plans to follow-up the initial design with special editions marking each year of the conflict. “Considering that they are made of 100-year-old corroded detritus that has lain undisturbed on battlefields for so long, the transformation into beautiful poppies − looking for all the world like 18ct gold − is astonishing,” said Mr Bennett. “It has been an immense privilege to produce them and to work with the Royal British Legion.”

The poppies go on sale at the beginning of June through the Royal British Legion’s website

I am primed and ready to purchase such a brass Poppy, not only to support The British Legion, but to wear one proudly at the appropriate time of the year in remembrance of those who gave their all… For those inclined I would also thoroughly recommend ‘Drawing Fire’ by Private Len Smith; his sense of humour prevails throughout his well-kept journal that also contains detailed military drawings.             Yours Aye.

‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay’

article-2598962-1CE8D46A00000578-65_634x366Gruesome new U.S. advertising campaign uses shocking car crash scene to warn against the dangers of texting while driving. A shockingly, gruesome new ad campaign has been launched to show the potentially fatal danger of distracted driving. Using the slogan ‘U Drive. U Text. U Pay’, the $8.5million, government campaign will run across the U.S. from April 7 – 15. It will feature on TV, radio and in digital advertisements. article-2598962-1CE8D59F00000578-109_634x349The ad shows a teenage girl at the wheel of a car using her phone and chatting to friends before suddenly a truck appears out of nowhere, smashes into the side of the vehicle and causes catastrophic damage. More Here and a video clip  Gruesome new ad campaign uses shocking car crash scene to warn against the dangers of texting while driving

In My Humble Opinion: The more shocking the better! In fact a gruesome collection of the ‘end user aftermath’ of photographs and film clips ‘as used as in evidence by the Police and Coroners office’ should be enforced viewing upon novice drivers as part of the pre-driver training exam. It’s bad enough when those texting suffer the consequence of their stupidity, but taking out innocents through their actions ruins generations of family lives.      Yours Aye. 

Army medic to the rescue

article-2598697-1CE6931A00000578-232_634x735Army medic rescues military sniffer dog who was due to be put to sleep after developing PTSD from its time searching for Taliban weapons in Afghanistan. A female soldier who befriended a heroic bomb-hunting dog in Afghanistan tracked down her canine comrade and gave him a new home after he became too timid to serve on the front lines. Angie McDonnell, 40, a reservist who served in war-torn Helmand province as a medic, became ‘best friends’ with four-year-old Vidar while the two were based at Camp Bastion.article-2598697-1CE6940E00000578-453_634x444

 But after they had served together, her four-legged friend – a Belgian Malinois – developed symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder and started to lose his sight – which left him at risk of being put down. More Here: Army medic rescues military sniffer dog who was due to be euthanised after developing PTSD

Two heroes who justly deserve each other. BZ Angie McDonnell and Vidar… Yours Aye.

Grown-ups LARPing around

arab_bazaar_cairoI may well have previously mentioned  several times or so at least that I have been around the bazaars numerous times whilst on military adventures for Queen and Country. And when the occasion has required it *“I’ve landed me-self with a Gatlin’ gun to talk to them ‘eathen kings.” 1939552_10151988566290920_180951723_n

For just over 23-years I operated and survived in minus hideous temperatures in the Arctic; Operationally patrolled secondary jungle for weeks on end, surviving on bush tucker and tracking skills;Beau Geste

Spent more time in the desert than ‘Beau Geste; And jumped from perfectly serviced aircraft on to land, and into sea. To cap it all ‘as a true Royal Marine,’ – I’ve been part of RM Detachments on Her Majesties Ships of the ‘grey-funnel-line’ thrice. Salt water runs through my veins, and sand from a multitude of foreign beach landings sits in my boots to this day… 

ROYAL NAVY TO TEST TASK FORCE ON HUGE NATO EXERCISESeven medals, three war wounds, and a slight hint of psychological damage on the eve of a full moon – with more scars than the Grand Canyon… Fair to say I have seen life from every angle, and from every dirty corner of the world. But; what I saw today Ladies & Gentlemen, is something ‘I-aint-ever-in-all-my-life-seen-afore!’ 

Allow me to elucidate the circumstances and set the scene that could have been taken from a hazy day in Sodom or Gomorrah. Instead it happened right in front of me as I sat in my favourite spot on the North Yorkshire Moors, overlooking a small clearing within ancient woodland that is fed by a babbling brook…

Having perambulated the route to my small sanctuary I settled down against the tree trunk of an ever green, happy in the fact that my retreat could not be seen or overlooked by anyone due to its remoteness.  Extracting my flask of tea and cold bacon sandwiches from my bergan, I contemplated my return route as I gently poured steaming brown nectar into my old tin mug. Pondering on the two options available I considered ‘the long way,’ which is easier on the heart and lungs but time-consuming. Alternatively, ‘the short passage’ over hill and dale forces the same vital organs to work like a blacksmiths leather bellow’s on overtime, which takes two hours off the clock. I opted for the later as I was without canine company, and my body required a good blow out to get rid of a few accumulated cobwebs.     ‘The short passage – up and over’ Click to enlarge…Short passage route homeJust as I took my first slurp of tea I heard voices in the far distance, it was followed by ‘persons unknown’ cursing as they crashed through the undergrowth of bramble and wild rose. I then heard two people calling out to each other - two male voices, who appeared to be lost - until they appeared in the clearing slightly below me one on either side of the babbling brook that is around eight feet wide, and two or three feet deep. My jaw dropped when I saw them both; it was the most unbelievable sight, so much so that I almost dropped my bacon sandwich from my vice like grip. Fortunately I carry a stout blackthorn staff on my little adventures that is more than capable of cracking a skull if required, though its use is for far more moderate means such as leaning against when I run out of puff, or poking dead things to make sure they are dead (if that makes sense?) bible_guardianangel_warriorangel_20130307Here before me were two grown men dressed up in what I can only describe as ‘fantasy apparel!’ Each wore a pair of dark leather leggings, with a type of ornate steel and interwoven leather breast-plate, adorned by an assassins long hooded cloak. They each had a long staff, and a small waistband dagger, one had a sheathed sword, and the other carried an obscenely large war hammer. They both wore black thick-soled ‘Doc Martin’ boots, as well as blue streaked lines on their faces that glistened from the heat of the day. Obviously the in vogue ‘de rigueur’ accessory had to be matching finger-less leather gloves adorned with chain mail? After much goading from each other one of the blokes attempted to cross the algae covered boulders that sit within the brook, of which the inevitable happened; in he went up to his knees, but even more remarkable was his dropped war hammer floated on the slow running water-it was a plastic war hammer (as were all of their ‘weapons’ and breast plates?) They eventually stood in the clearing and started posing menacingly for photographs using a small camera they had set up on a fallen tree, all snapped using an infra-red remote control. ‘Grrrr – Growl’

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By this stage I was more than bemused as they were referring to each other as ‘Storm Dragon’ and ‘Gallactor!’ They even went through the motions of fighting each other in a slow-motion-type-of-way as the camera blinked and flashed? Enough was enough as I had finished my snack and curiosity got the better of me, it was time to ‘pee on their fantasy bonfire.’ As I stood up and broke cover I bellowed (a good seven on the Richter scale“STOPPPPPP!”  Which they both did, after almost jumping out of their skin – in fact Storm Dragon almost dropped his war hammer and took flight. I honestly couldn’t contain myself as I walked towards them both “What in Gawds name are you both doing dressed up like that?” They both looked quite sheepish as Storm Dragon replied LARPing - it’s fantasy role play.” – “Never heard of it mate” I replied looking quite befuddled trying to grasp the ridiculousness of the situation before me. 

Having recovered their camera we all returned to my little sanctuary (I didn’t wish to be seen consorting with nutters in the open glade) they also had flasks and sandwiches in a nifty little home-made canvas back pack, and as we sipped tea they explained ‘LARPing.’ Their ‘Live Action Role Play’ was that of a mixture of mediaeval-modern-fantasy-steampunk, of which they hoped to gather more individuals through a website they were putting together – hence the photographs. Phillip (Storm Hammer) worked in a bank, and Steven (Gallactor) was a civil servant; they were both in their early 30′s with no girl friends to speak of (can’t imagine why?) I sat and listened bemused as they spoke of their fantasy world, and how they hoped to bring in new members to establish a group that could travel to LARP festivals around the UK and Europe – and perhaps even attend a convention in America.undead_retinue

To avoid any possible invitation I clearly stated that I would rather sit and chew the feet off my legs, rather than join in such a group – but each to their own, “besides I have dogs that need my attention 24/7.” – “People bring along their dogs, as well as cats” replied Steven – who went on to inform me that such canines wear plastic battle armour. Our conversation ended on a high note, and as we bid our farewells I mentioned that the little clearing before us was ‘very’ popular with families and walkers (actually that is far from the truth, I selfishly wished to keep my little haven ‘LARP group free.’) As it happened I needn’t have worried as they had blundered across it by chance and the bramble, wild rose thicket, and babbling brook appeared to deter any possible return.iz-redy-4-larping-cute-dog-loldogs-300x218

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I yomped along the route back home via the short passage. The hideous memory of Storm Dragon and Gallactor playing out their fantasies even took away the rasping burning pain of the steep climb. I also had a cracking idea for Nipper ‘Red-Fang’ and his next Christmas fancy dress outfit, which would also double up as protection when ratting in the fields.  Yours Aye… *“Soldier an’ Sailor Too”

It’s not what you know-it’s who you know

article-0-1CD6974C00000578-590_634x621‘Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden DEFENDS the judge who only gave a du Pont heir probation after admitting to sexually assaulting his three-year-old daughter.’

Delaware Attorney General Biden (right) has defended the judge who decided to let an heir to the du Pont family agree to a plea deal after being charged with sexually abusing his young daughter. Biden, the Vice President’s son who is in his second term as Delaware Attorney General, wrote a letter supportingJudge Jan Jurden Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden and her decision to allowRobert H. Richards IV Robert H. Richards IV to admit to fourth degree rape and register as a sex offender but not serve any time. Her decision prompted outrage after she supported the move by writing that the heir, (right) who just turned 48 yesterday, ‘would not fare well in prison.’ More Here: Delaware Attorney General DEFENDS judge who only gave ‘du Pont’ heir probation after admitting to sexually assaulting his three-year-old daughter… 

Having read several different reporting sources on this story; it absolutely infuriates me that the Judge as well as the ‘quarter’ wit son of Joe Biden are allowed to keep their position within the legal system. The fact that she stated Richards ”would not fare well in prison” shows that she is not fit for office. Upon admitting his guilt this sorry specimen of a man should have been taken out and shot.       Yours Aye.

“Now lets get this right”

article-2596639-1CD2168700000578-513_634x394Senator quizzes confused-looking official before being told he was at the WRONG hearing. An Indiana senator began questioning a Treasury official at a hearing on Thursday before realizing he was at the wrong committee meeting.  Senator Dan Coats, who was supposed to be at a veterans affairs meeting, only realized his mistake when an aide passed him a note.  The 70-year-old senator took the mistake in good humor as he admitted he was in the wrong place, causing the room to erupt into laughter.article-2596639-1CD2167F00000578-214_634x413 More Here With a Video Clip  A confused Senator speaking at the WRONG hearing

In all seriousness; there has to be a cut-off time for people in public office, even though they hold a wealth of experience (good or bad). We have our fair share of ‘elders’ in the House of Lords as well as in Parliament; who spend most of their time slouched in a sleeping position supposedly listening to debates, the result of which can have an impact on society.          Yours Aye.

A hearty ‘thank you’ America…

Absolutely bloody dipping marvellous! Problem of biscuits being too big to be fully submerged into a cup of tea is finally solved… with the ‘Little Dipper’ mug.article-2596914-1CD3499800000578-54_306x423

This must surely be the ultimate tea break accessory for those with a penchant for tea and biscuits – a ‘dipper’ mug designed to perfectly accommodate and dunk a biscuit. Craig Kaplan, a 3D printing enthusiast, designed the Little Dipper to solve the problem of biscuits being too big to be fully submerged. 

Originally marketed in America for kids who want to dunk biscuits in a small amount of milk before bed, they could also become a hit with tea lovers in Britain. MORE HERE: Dipping marvellous! 

It has to be said I am a man of routine, and my morning ‘stand-easy’ break (09:50 hrs-10:30 hrs) is always a pot of tea with one or two McVitie’s digestive biscuits, accompanied by the TIMES newspaper. As a consequence my mid afternoon ‘four-o-clockers’ break (16:00 hrs) follows the same ritual discipline. My pet hate being a dunked digestive that flops and plops back into my china cup. Thank you Craig Kaplan, and thank you America for inventing the ‘dipper mug,’ though the colour duck egg blue shown is not to my taste. May I suggest one in white with a side profile of Sir Winston Churchill on both sides, which will fit in with my present bone china service. Forever Grateful… Yours Aye.

The Hell of Recycling the Recycling…

article-2595966-1CCA2EF700000578-106_964x635Think your television is recycled when you get rid of it? This is where it is likely to end up… dumping grounds such as this one, dubbed the world’s biggest e-waste site. Once a fertile wetland, this scarred corner of Ghana is now dominated by black plumes of smoke and the acrid smell of burning plastic after becoming the world’s largest e-waste dumping ground, littered with unwanted televisions and electronic devices from across the globe. While most people would expect their electrical goods to be recycled properly, the toxic chemicals inside can make it expensive to do so, making illegal dumping a lucrative business. article-2595966-1CCA2F2200000578-228_964x639Traders from across Europe, the U.S., China and India have therefore reportedly been sending containers of ‘Development Aid’ or ‘Second-Hand Products’ to Tema Harbour, the contents of which end up being dumped 20 miles east in Agbogbloshie. More Here: The recycle of Hell: How TVs and PCs disposed of ‘greenly’ in the West end up world’s biggest e-waste site The great recycling con… 

Global warming and recycling are just two of the scams run by ‘caring’ governments, who in turn charge the taxpaying public through the nose for doing so. The UN’s ‘Agenda 21′ as well as the European Union’s ‘Waste Framework Directive’ provides jobs for the political boys, who sit as ‘consultant advisors’ on their family organised recycling companies that exists throughout the international circuit. Organised ‘legal-ish’ corruption on a scale too large to imagine; and I guarantee that the great majority of those reading this are not aware of its existence, because we all trust those running our governments. RIGHT or WRONG     Delete as appropriate.            Yours Aye.

Recycling con: Millions of tons end up in landfill as officials admit recycling success is exaggerated. Daily Mail

The great recycling myth. The Spectator

The EU Waste Framework Directive

The U.N.’s Agenda 21 (Explained by ‘End Adagenda21.com’)

The French are truly revolting…

François Hollande sparks anger in France after appointing his unelected former girlfriend a senior minister in his government…François Hollande  The unelected ex-girlfriend of French president François Hollande was today made a senior minister in his government. Ségolène Royal’s appointment as Ecology and Energy Minster as part of a panicked reshuffle caused widespread astonishment and anger. Not only has the 60-year-old been widely rejected by the French people at recent elections, but she is a leading lady in the Hollande soap opera surrounding his personal life.

Ségolène Royal

A poll in a Parisian newspaper just before today’s announcement showed more than 70 per cent of French people were against Mlle Royal returning to power. M Hollande was barely allowed to speak to Mlle Royal, the mother of his four children, while he was living with his previous girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler. The two women detested each other, but M Hollande effectively sacked Mlle Trierweiler in January after his secret affair with an actress was exposed. This paved the way for Mlle Royal’s appointment today, as part of a desperate attempt to change the fortunes of a failing administration. More of the French Farce Here:  François Hollande sparks anger in France after appointing his unelected former girlfriend a senior minister churchill_socialism_quote_posters

The French Revolution did not directly produce the 19th century ideologies known as socialism or communism. But the Revolution did provide an intellectual and social environment in which these ideologies, and their spokesmen, could flourish. The intelligent peasant simply donned the cast off clothes of Royalty, and assumed their empty position on the throne. The rest is tragic history that keeps repeating itself.   Yours Aye.

Immigration enforcement in America has collapsed

Feds intercepted 722,000 illegal immigrants last year but charged just 27 PER CENT – and let 68,000 convicted criminals go.article-2593690-1C9F024200000578-420_638x449

*The Department of Homeland Security is letting illegal immigrants go in record numbers, including those already convicted of serious crimes *A man accused of raping a child in his own family was released, apparently because of a policy of ‘discretion’ when suspects are child caregivers

*Another man facing vehicular homicide charges walked away because Chicago’s county jail officials refused to let the feds interview him *According to a new report, just 195,000 out of 722,000 illegal immigrants encountered by ICE were charged with immigration violations in 2013

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‘The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that immigration enforcement in America has collapsed,’ says Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions

The Department of Homeland Security released so-called ‘criminal aliens’ – people living in the U.S. illegally who have been convicted of crimes – at a record pace in 2013. Internal DHS documents obtained by the right-leaning Center for Immigration Studies show that last year the agency’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division encountered 722,000 potentially deportable illegal immigrants, but charged just 195,000 with immigration violations. homelandAnd 68,000 of those who were released back in to the U.S. population already had criminal convictions that would warrant their expulsion from the country. But President Barack Obama’s preferred policy has favored ‘prosecutorial discretion,’ giving ICE broad authority to pick and choose which aliens to keep and which to cut loose. ice

More Here: Feds intercepted 722,000 illegal immigrants last year but charged just 27 PER CENT – and let 68,000 convicted criminals go ICE boys playing with their big toys…

This is a nightmare we incurred through our last lying socialist government. The more illegal immigrants they allowed in, the more potential voters they could eventually add to their list; especially in the long term through children born on British soil.  Not long now good people of America… Normality will be resumed.          Yours Aye.

Dark days ahead in Socialist France

France’s government resigns en masse (but President Hollande is hanging on by his broken fingernails) as failing socialist policies are blamed for the elections rout.article-2593556-1CB9713800000578-837_306x477

France’s socialist Prime Minister resigned along with his entire government yesterday following a meltdown in local elections. Jean-Marc Ayrault (below) admitted that a huge swing to the Right, including to the extremist National Front, was down to him and his Left-wing government. And last night socialist President Francois Hollande (right) whose rule has become synonymous with a 75 per cent top rate of income tax – admitted to mistakes and said his priority was now to cut taxes. The government’s resignation is a huge blow to the president, who was elected to a five-year term in 2012 but whose first two years in power have seen him become the most unpopular head of state in recent history. And it is an embarrassment for the British labour party leader Ed Miliband, who has lauded the Paris government for its economic policies and its refusal to follow the British Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity measures.

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While Britain’s economy is on the road to recovery, unemployment in France is at record levels and growth is sluggish. In a TV address to the nation last night President Hollande spoke of a ‘moral crisis’, adding: ‘It’s legitimate after what happened to change things.’ He said boosting the economy was now the priority and added: ‘It is essential for our country to produce more, to produce better, to produce French.’ He also pledged to lower taxes and said France would have to persuade EU partners to take into account its efforts to boost the economy when examining its commitments to Brussels. Mr Hollande also confirmed a plan to cut 50billion €uros in government spending. On a day of high drama in Paris, Mr Ayrault said: ‘There is no getting away from it – this vote is a defeat for the government. I take my part of the blame.’ All 38 of his ministerial colleagues also quit ahead of a government reshuffle.

Manuel Valls

Hollande replaced Mr Ayrault with Manuel Valls (right) the tough-talking interior minister – the French version of home secretary – who is fiercely anti-immigration. The president said Mr Valls would lead a ‘combative government’. Mr Valls, 51, who was born in Spain, caused outrage in his own party last year when he said Roma gypsies ‘did not want to integrate and should be deported.’ He is the most popular socialist among conservatives. He wants, for example, to rethink the 35-hour working week, a socialist initiative. More than 150 town halls swung from the socialists to opposition parties in the weekend’s local elections. article-2593556-1CB4392600000578-451_306x467The far-Right National Front enjoyed unprecedented success – taking control of 11 key constituencies, and up to 1,200 municipal seats. Most gains were in areas of high unemployment and immigration.

‘This has been a huge victory for us,’ said National Front leader Marine Le Pen (left) who believes her party will do even better in the EU elections. She claimed Mr Valls was a ‘dangerous’ politician with ‘no respect for public freedoms’. The conservative UMP opposition also did well, winning towns which have been in socialist hands for decades. The only good news for the socialists was the election of Anne Hidalgo as first woman mayor of Paris. She pledged to turn the capital into a truly global city to rival London.images

Well, there we have it; the grand socialist French government has proven that true Socialism eventually falls flat on its face, after it has spent the money from the coffers of the previous government. Mark my words when I say “Dark days lie ahead in France, and they will eventually spread throughout every socialist country within Europe.” And if Barry O is looking in… Perhaps you would like to leave a comment stating I am wrong… It’s a French revolution: approximately 400,000 French people now dwell in London; thanks to the French governments insane 75% tax laws Which goes to prove that capitalism knocks socialism into a cocked hat…      Yours Aye.

Rush order for 432 vestal virgins

A British Coldstream Guards sniper killed six Taliban fighters with a single shot, when his round triggered the explosive vest worn by his target.01A_TALIBANSNIPER DO NOT OPENWith a Taliban fighter looming in his sights half a mile away, the British sniper knew a clean shot would take down his enemy. What he could not have known was that the single round he fired would account for five more insurgents. The record-breaking shot was fired by a Coldstream Guards marksman on one of the last missions to be carried out by British troops in Afghanistan. UK forces are preparing to leave their last frontline base in Helmand as part of their withdrawal from Afghanistan. The sniper, a lance corporal who cannot be named for security reasons, was on a mission to intercept a suspected suicide bomber. Commanders feared the insurgent was planning to blow himself up at either a UK base, an Afghan security checkpoint or a civilian target such as a school or government building. Some 335 soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force and 90 Afghan troops were deployed on the operation on December 14 last year. As they moved to tackle the suicide bomber, they ran into fire from a group of 20 Taliban.harrison2

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Slack, commanding officer of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers, who was overseeing the operation at Kakaran, said: ‘The guy wearing the vest was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming over a ditch. ‘He had a winter shawl which rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun. ‘He was moving to a firing position when the sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said: “I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber.” The rest of them were killed in the blast.’     L11 5A3 

The sniper also killed a Taliban machine gunner from a staggering 4,400ft with the first shot of his tour of duty. It is believed he was using a British-built L115A3 Long Range Rifle the Army’s most powerful sniper weapon. Lt Col Slack said: ‘He has had a great tour of duty.’

Surveillance for the operation was carried out by troops based at Sterga 2, an isolated observation post built on high ground overlooking the Helmand River.

Proving the point yet again that the sniper is still the most cost-effective way of  killing the enemy; as it works out his ‘expended’ £2- sniper round split six ways equals 33.3 pennies for each dead Taliban.

The ‘Coldstreamer’ in question has saved the british tax-paying public a fortune; because it’s not very often you can get a ’round’ in for six people anywhere for less than £18- ;-) Yours Aye… 

A ‘dud,’ dude, or a mate…

According to Stephen Emerson of the SCOTSMAN newspaper, the word ‘dude’ can trace its roots back to Ayrshire, Scotland in the 1800′s.2203368453

THE world ‘dude’ is so ingrained in the global consciousness that it transcends cultural boundaries with the same ease that it slopes off the tongue. Thanks to its widespread use in blockbuster film and TV shows its positive meaning – as a man or woman of character – is known, appreciated and understood around the world. In fact, it could be argued, referring to someone as a dude is up there with the handshake when it comes to universally understood interactions.

What comes as a surprise, however, is that its roots can be traced to the Scottish word ‘duddies’. ‘Duddies’ refer to ragged or tattered clothes and originated from Ayrshire. How the word evolved from a negative word to a positive is unclear but immigration and cultural changes will have played their part. It should be noted that ‘duds’, which also originated from the word ‘duddies’, is a popular term for clothes and no longer carries any negative connotations. The first use of the word ‘dude’ in print came in 1876 when Putnam’s Magazine used it to mock how a woman was dressed as a “dud” (pronounced ‘dude’ in a Scottish accent).  No introductions required below, from the film ‘The Big Lebowski95824143 From the 1880s onwards it was used by rural dwellers in the US to refer to their visiting smartly dressed city counterparts. Dude was also used to describe the 19th century American pioneers who helped the country expand westwards. In the 1960s, dude had been adopted by the surfing community where the phrase “dudette”, to refer to a woman, also appeared. By the 1970s it had slipped in mainstream American slang and with the help of Hollywood quickly spread around the globe. The “Day of the Dude” is held each year on March 6 to mark the anniversary of the 1998 release of cult film The Big Lebowski. Fans use the day to celebrate the philosophy of the movie’s protagonist, played by Jeff Bridges. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski’s philosophy of easy living.

Personally I have never heard anyone referred to as a ‘dude’ or a ‘dudette,’ on this side of the pond, and that covers all areas of the United Kingdom. Though the term ‘Duds’ has always been used when referring to a pair of trousers. Our preference for the term ‘Mate’ comes from the original language as used by the Royal Navy going back to the 1400′s, when the word was taken from the rated rank of ‘First Mate.’ And there in a nutshell is how it is ‘mate.’      Yours Aye.