Chris Muir's Day By Day

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Nazi E-Boat To Be Restored

Story.

The E-boats were the equivalent of the British Motor Torpedo Boats and the US PT Boats. At one time the E-Boats were the fastest things afloat.

Here's a pic:



Very handsome. The torpedo tubes are built integral with the hull for a streamlined effect.

Look What Coco Brought Home!

Coco, a three-legged pit bull/labrador mix, brought home the body of a newborn baby she had dug up.

More here (includes video).

Personally I'd like to see some video of Coco's digging technique, since she has only one front leg.

Here's Coco:

UK: How WWII Heroes Die (Outrage Alert)

As an officer leading his men in Italy during WWII, John Platt received the Distinguished Service Order for bravery.

As a 101-year old retiree under Britain's National Health Service, Brigadier Platt was dying in the hospital after losing the ability to swallow food. His hearing aid was crushed by a clumsy worker, his false teeth were lost, and his soiled clothing lay stinking and unwashed in a nearby closet. Unhappy with this level of care, Brigadier Platt asked to go back to his nursing home. Rather than being transported in an ambulance, the dying Platt was bundled into a taxicab wearing another man's pajamas and a too-small pair of incontinence pants. He died a few days later.

A war hero shouldn't have to accept such an end.

Socialized medicine, folks. What you can expect from the Obama administration. As I've said before, watch what goes on in UK; what you see in UK today is what you can expect here in the US if the Democrats are given free rein.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flying Turquoise Rabbit Captured

In Walton-On-Thames, Surrey.

Of course, you can't talk of flying animals and not remember...



...If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.

Only Good For Signing Your Name?

The dying art of cursive writing.

I attended Catholic school in my middle school years, so learning proper cursive handwriting was required. I gave it up in high school, switching to block capital printing, which I have continued to this day with the refinement of making letter that would normally be capitalized 2x size for emphasis. Occasionally I try writing cursive, just to see if I still can; I succeed, if only slowly and laboriously.

How about I start a meme? Ok, here are the terms: If you read this and enjoy it, go to Windows Paint (or other image-processing program) and write the following sentence in cursive: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country 01234567890. Save it and post it yourself on your own blog.

Here's my effort:



Consider yourself tagged.

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Over-Achieving Scout

A Boy Scout from Long Island has earned all 121 merit badges that are offered by the Scouts.

An incredible record. Only 21 merit badges are required to make Eagle Scout.

Well done, young man.

Copyright To Popeye To Expire In UK

In UK, but not in the US, where copyright laws are a bit different. In the US Popeye will still be a copyrighted figure until 2024. And trademark laws are something else entirely.

Anyway, here's everyone's favorite sailor man:


Story.

And having been reminded of Popeye, I went searching for my favorite Popeye cartoon, Goonland. Here it is!



There's even a colorised version:

Necessity Knows No Law

A new Australian movie discusses the life of Irishman Alexander Pearce, who escaped from a prison off of Tasmania with some companions and resorted to cannibalism to survive.

See also The Custom of the Sea.

Wanted: 'Girl Friday' To Share Castaway Life With 'Robinson Crusoe'

On Australia's Restoration Island, where David Glasheen holds a 50-year-lease of 1/3 of the island (the other 2/3 is a national park).

David's 65, bearded and tanned, and according to himself, has an eye for the ladies.

Pic:



Good for you, David. You're living your dream. I envy you.

Old Warbird Part Of New National Monument

In 1942, a B-24 Liberator made an emergency landing on Atka Island in the Aleutians. All of the crew survived. The plane is still there after all these years, slowly deteriorating.

Its wreck site is part of a new national monument approved by President Bush: World War II Valor In The Pacific National Monument.

Other parts of the monument include areas of the Pearl Harbor battle, remnants of the Japanese occupation of the Aleutians, and the Tule Segregation center in California where Japanese-Americans were imprisoned.

"'I've Cut My Arm Off.' But He Could See That."

It must have been the arterial spray that clued him in.

A man slowly regains the use of his arm after severing it in a chainsaw accident and having it reattached surgically.

That's Contempt, All Right

A man in court for a minor traffic infraction was jailed for two days when he glared at the judge and spat on the floor.

"Bah, Humbug!" said the man, Daniel Malone by name, when the judge found him guilty of rolling through a stop signal.

Yes, he actually said Bah, humbug! It was Christmas, after all.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire

A man in Australia died after his wife set fire to his genitals.

Great Smoky Mountains Elk Herd Thriving

Story.

Something of a success story. Elk went extinct in the area a century ago, and were re-introduced into the park in 2001.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Realistic Than Christ-In-A-Taco

The face of Jack Frost in an icicle:

Some Do The Right Thing: Some Don't

A California family found $10,000 in a box of crackers.

Rather than keep it, they returned it to the store from which they purchased it; apparently an elderly woman had returned the box to the store, forgetting she had stored her savings in it, and the store mistakenly re-stocked the box rather than discard it.

The old woman got her savings back, but couldn't be bothered to reward the family that had returned the money, couldn't even be bothered to write a thank-you note.

So: +1 for the unselfish act by the family; -1 for the ingratitude of the old woman. Civilization doesn't advance, doesn't regress. Rather cheerless tale for the season, I guess.

Quote of the Day

They are quite a model community, for they respect their Queen and kill their unemployed.

- - Robert Baden-Powell, Scouting For Boys (speaking of honeybees).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Burning Coal At Home For Heating

New York Times story.

Mad Ogre burns the stuff at his home. Recommends it highly.

Exploding Methane and Pepys' Testicle

A new theory on the explosion that sunk the HMS London in the Thames River in 1685.

Apparently the sailors were crapping in the hold, which caused a buildup of methane gas. I shit you not.

Samuel Pepys heard the explosion and reported it in his diary:

“Though a bitter cold day, yet I rose, and though my pain and tenderness in my testicle remains a little, yet I do verily think that my pain yesterday was nothing else, and therefore I hope my disease of the stone may not return to me, but void itself in pissing, which God grant, but I will consult my physitian. This morning is brought me to the office the sad newes of “The London,” in which Sir J. Lawson’s men were all bringing her from Chatham to the Hope, and thence he was to go to sea in her; but a little a’this side the buoy of the Nower, she suddenly blew up.

I'd guess Pepys was suffering from a kidney stone, although he was a bit confused about where they come from.

Isn't That How Eskimoes Give Birth?

A woman gave birth standing up in a waiting room of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after no bed could be found for her.

Officials defended the new Eskimo Birthing Policy when inquiries were made Officials of the National Health Service apologized and said an investigation would begin.

Sorry about that.

Socialized medicine, folks. Obamacare.

Solution: Drink At Least Two Pints A Day

To continue on the theme of ambiguous headlines: "Single Pint of Beer A Day 'Poses Liver and Bowel Cancer Risk.'"

The B-team headline writers must be on duty after the holiday.

Ambiguous Headline Of The Day

"Wife Of Marine Improves After Hammer Beating."

Obviously you can take this in the fashion meant, which is that an injured woman's medical condition is improving after having been beaten.

Or...

...you can take it as a successful example of attitude adjustment. I didn't say that.

*snort*

Shipwrecked Yacht Sailor Rescued in Pacific

Found clinging to a rock, hoping not to be washed off.

I wonder why he wasn't able to deploy emergency gear? Or perhaps he did?

Cruise Ship Passenger Missing Off Cancun

Hmmm. I wonder if that is the ship that Frank James is taking a cruise on?

Can We Extend That Policy Just A Bit?

The town of Ferris, Texas, has given permission for its law enforcement officers to shoot stray dogs.

City manager David Chavez said the town had become a dumping ground for the unwanted pets.

The released animals breed, form packs and scavenge for food.


So do illegal aliens. I didn't say that.

*snort*

Guess this will feature prominently on Radley Balko's blog.

What Do You Give An Afghan Warlord With Everything?

Viagra, that's what.

Think about it: these guys have access to all the opium they can smoke, they have access to money from that opium, they typically have multiple wives, but after a certain age, a man needs a little help, and the Afghan warlords haven't had access to that help.

Until now.


Demand.



Supply.


Wonder if they'll trade Osama and Zawahiri for a lifetime supply of Pfizer Riser?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bad Santa: Murderer, Arsonist, Suicide

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo dressed as Santa Claus, opened fire on people at a party, killing three, then started a fire to hide evidence.

In another report, Pardo/Santa has apparently killed himself.


Ho ho ho.

Merry Christmas To My Readers

Best wishes for the holiday season, whatever you choose to call it.

To See This Weekend: Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood is on record as saying he won't make a last "Dirty Harry" movie, but you can squint your eyes a bit and see Harry in the protagonist of Eastwood's new movie, Gran Torino.

(review of the movie here.)

It's Eastwood at his Harry-like best: snarling, talking through tightly-clenched teeth, kicking ass unashamedly.

Want a pic? Take a look:



That's the man himself with an M1 Garand, and the movie title car in the background.

Update: apparently it's only showing in select theaters this weekend, and doesn't go to general release until January 9th.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Says No To The Luminaries

The homeowners' association to which our house belongs distributes luminaries every year for the members to put out on Christmas Eve, with fall-back on Christmas Day evening in case of rain.

Well, the forecast throughout the day has called for rain, which I mentioned to my sister; she scoffed, and went about assembling the luminary bags, leaving it for me to light them at 6:00 p.m., since she would be out with friends.

I open the door at 5:55, lighter and flashlight in hand, to discover...rain. And since my sister placed the luminaries already, they are at this moment getting rained on, and thus useless for both tonight and tomorrow night.

*chuckles softly*

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"The First Thing They'll Do Is Pee All Over You"

"Smells like eucalyptus, though, so it's not too bad."

The perils of traveling in Australia. The above is behavior exhibited by koalas, not Australians. When Australians piss on you, (I'm told), it smells like beer, not eucalyptus.

44 Years Later, An Arrest Is Made

Elizabeth Vono Wariner was brutally murdered in 1964. Her killer, who was not found, left bloody fingerprints at the crime scene.

Now, after California entered all fingerprints into a digital database, an arrest in Wariner's murder has been made.

Probably more cold cases such as this will be solved as information storage progresses. It's a good sign for progress and civilization.

Of Course You Realize This Means War

Disarmed subject of nanny-state government vows revenge after armed thugs beat him and his wife with impunity.

Impotence, thy name is British man.

UK: Man Jailed For Sex With Eleven-Year Old Girl

Story.

What's strange is that the incident apparently happened 20 years ago, and the man is only being arrested for it now.

What the Hell, anyway. He should have just kept his mouth shut, or said he was following the example of Muhammad, or something.

Maybe He Was Marking Territory, Or Something

A man, after arguing with his girlfriend, urinated on the family cat.

A 27-year-old woman called the police at 10:30 p.m. Friday after her 33-year-old boyfriend went in the bathroom and urinated on the cat, she told a deputy.

The deputy checked on the cat, which reportedly appeared to be fine. The man denied his girlfriend's allegation.

No charges were filed.


Ain't that a pisser?

I Hate It When That Happens

A Massachusetts man set his house afire while trying to melt snow with a blowtorch.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If You're A Bush-Hater...

...how about taking a few minutes to read this story. Maybe it will give you a new perspective about the relationship between President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and our military personnel serving in war.

Maybe you'll even feel a little bit embarrassed to hate the President as much as you have.

Patton Assassinated By CIA & KGB Working Together?

Premise of a new book.

These conspiracy theories are really getting out of hand.

WWII Plastic Models: The Nazis Are Winning!

Sales of German-themed WWII plastic models are outstripping sales of Allied models.

Much of the latter part of the article is rather apologetic in tone and at times defensive.

*laughs*

UK Guardian: Aurora Borealis Gallery

Ten lovely photographs.

Rota Naval Base In The News

The US Naval Base at Rota, Spain, is in the news:

The Navy base and hospital in Rota, Spain, will be the primary go-to location for servicemembers freed after being held as prisoners of war or hostages while carrying out missions in Africa, officials said.

Rota was selected as U.S. Africa Command’s primary reintegration location because of Spain’s geographical proximity to Africa, and because the base’s airfield and hospital are within a mile of each other.


My daughter Amber was born in that hospital, as a matter of fact. It's a nice base, and the local Spanish population is friendly. Only problem is property crime; as is the case everywhere else in Spain, most buildings end up with bars on the windows and multiple door locks to prevent break-ins. We personally were burglarized once, and stopped a second break-in on another occasion by coming home early.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not Much Of A Blogging Day

Personal stuff intruded, my apologies.

I've been on vacation for the last three weeks, but because of my mother's health concerns (broken hip, surgery, recovery) I haven't had much time to really enjoy it and I'm almost as stressed out as when I started vacation. Back to work tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jocasta On The Lam

A Scottish woman, reunited with the 18-year-old son she gave up for adoption as a baby, immediately began an affair with him and has fled the jurisdiction.

I wonder if Ma looks anything like Kay Parker?

I mean, I'm just curious. I mean, it's not like I'm advocating it, or anything...

*wonders if he should hit the "publish post" button*

Oh, what the hell.

SSVS (Sudden Sandwich Vapors Syndrome)

A UK woman had to have a heart pacemaker fitted after she began fainting when exposed to sandwiches.


Culprit.

Female Serial Killer At Large In Germany

She's been at large since 1993, and is known as "Europe's Most Prolific Female Serial Killer."

So I guess the next time a German asks why the US hasn't caught Osama bin Laden, we can simply point and say You're the one to talk, aren't you!

100 Cats Die In Fire

The fire was caused by mice chewing on electrical wires, so arson can't be ruled out.


Suspect.

Remove The Wings And You Have...

...the world's most expensive single-wide trailer.

Yes, now YOU can own a used space shuttle.


For Sale.

Who You Gonna Believe, The Stoats Or ManBearPig?

In UK, the fur of stoats (a kind of weasel) is turning white sooner than expected, thus forecasting a cold winter.

When asked about this, former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore (ManBearPig) scoffed, saying that stoats were just dumb animals and hadn't seen his movie, thus were misinformed about climate change.


Stoat, or Ermine (depends on use)



ManBearPig.

Ain't She Tired By Now?

Michelle Duggar is making a career of popping out kids. She just gave birth to her 18th child, all of them by her husband, Jim-Bob Duggar.

And, to top off this strange tale, all of the children have names beginning with the letter J. The kids are:

Joshua, 20; Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 17; Jessa, 16; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 12; Joy-Anna, 11; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 8; James, 7; Justin, 6; Jackson, 4; Johannah, 3; Jennifer, 1; Jordan-Grace, the newborn.

And yes, to complete the stereotype, they're Evangelical Christians from Arkansas.

Be fruitful and multiply, I guess.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Like A Chance To Own An M14 Rifle?

M14 Rifles are, of course, banned for sale to US Citizens because they are capable of fully automatic fire and are thus classified as "machine guns" under the 1934 National Firearms Act. However, if the rifles are modified to fire in a semiautomatic mode only, they do not fall under the Act. A petition is circulating asking that M14 rifles be so converted so that they can be sold to US Citizens by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, just as M1 Rifles and Carbines are.

If you wish to sign the petition, go here.

Like To Fly Into The Mt. St. Helens Crater?

Now's your chance, via the same magic that Google used in its Street View map technology. You can actually change the viewpoint in the video with mouse dragging.

At one point, you fly directly over the steaming dome at the center of the crater. Worth a shiver.

An Era Ends

The last statue of dictator Francisco Franco is removed from mainland Spain.

Reminds me of that scene from The Ten Commandments in which Seti (Maurice Evans) orders the removal of Moses' name from all the temples in Egypt in an attempt to whitewash history.

Gee, And This Only Happened In Alaska?

"Alaska officials exchanged racist emails about Barack Obama."

And since the "Alaska officials" aren't named, we're to assume it's probably Governor Sarah Palin, I suppose, or that this is somehow her fault for fostering a climate of intolerance, I suppose?

The MSM is still in the tank for Obama, and they're prepared to defend him against potential 2012 rivals. Amazing that "officials" in the other 49 states of the Union haven't been caught exchanging "racist emails," isn't it?

*shakes head in disgust*

It Sounds Like The Ideal...

...Coast Guard vessel.

Stars & Stripes article about the US Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Freedom. With a shallow-draft planing hull and jets instead of propellers, it's well suited to a shallow-water role. In the article, it was travelling down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk.

He Ain't Paid His Dues

Hilarious New York Times article about discontent at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra after guest conductor Gilbert E. Kaplan gave a less-than-stellar performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2.

It's worth reading the article in its entirety to appreciate the snobbish snarkery in all its glory. What it boils down to is that Kaplan isn't a professional musician but simply an amateur with a love for the Mahler piece, and the musicians are having a snit-fit. In blues terms, Kaplan ain't paid his dues so he has no right to play the blues.

Headline of the Day

"Gay father hunts for lesbian mother who vanished with son."

Gee, that little fella won't grow up with any gender identity issues, will he?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stay Off The Party Bus!

"CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — All events sponsored by a company known for its "Party Bus" that caters to U.S. personnel are off limits to Marine personnel, according to a Marine Corps Bases Japan bulletin posted Thursday."

Bwaa haaa haa!

One of those instances where the US Navy has to serve official notice to its personnel to stop availing themselves of easy opportunity for vice and debauchery. Why does it always seem like they are winking when they write something like this?

*snort*

It's Jeff Goldstein's Fault

The Dutch have chosen their annual Word of the Year.

It is swaffelen. What does it mean? Well...

The word, a loan from English, is not generally known and many wonder what it means. Stop reading here if you're allergic to genital references. "Swaffelen" is something only men can do. Apparently, it means 'to swing one's penis, making it bump against something, in order to stimulate either oneself or someone else.'

The word gained notoriety through a video posted on YouTube, in which a Dutch student got arrested for "swaffling" against the Taj Mahal in India.


And if you're a fan of Jeff Goldstein's blog Protein Wisdom, you know what that means: cock-slapping.

If You're A Man Used To Having It Your Way...

...how about announcing it to the world with Burger King perfume?

You know, most of us have seen stupid products come down the line before, and maybe you've heard someone say well, the idea was strong, but it failed in execution. This is one of those cases where even the idea was totally retarded, and you think to yourself, self, someone got paid money for that idea, and more money than you get paid on a regular basis, and someone making a hell of a lot of money thought it was a good idea.

Thus the current mess that the US finds itself in.


Eau de Whopper.

Barbie For Hitchcock Fans

Pick up The Birds Barbie for Christmas:



Not a joke or parody. You can order it on Amazon.

I think I'll wait for Psycho Shower Barbie, thanks.

Turning The Undrinkable Into The Irresistable

Scientists discover a way to accelerate the aging process in winemaking, turning young, undrinkable wine into mature wine ready for sipping.

Of course they'll probably discover in a year or so that the process is carcinogenic...

What Did Christmas Sound Like 100 Years Ago?

Voices come out of the past to remind us.

Old phonograph recordings of a UK family during the WWI years, coming together to celebrate Christmas.


Old Phonograph Wax Cylinders, Invented by Thomas Edison.


And the machine that turned them into digital recordings without destroying them:

UN Approves Anti-Piracy Measures

Story.

No, no hanging at yardarms is permitted. Damnit.

My First Blogchild!

Let me introduce you to Barco Sin Vela II, a US Marine who saw the error of his ways and joined the US Navy. He seems to have had a nice career in the Navy, and now is messing about in boats* in the state of Florida in a sort of Travis McGee existence.

We haven't really corresponded other than exchanging talk in my blog comments, but maybe that will change. Here's what appears to be a pic of the man himself, doing navigation the old-fashioned way:



Welcome to the blogsphere!

Update: forgot to explain the * above; it's a quote from a favorite book, The Wind In The Willows.

Interview: President Bush Has Saddam Hussein's Pistol

In an interview with the Pentagon Channel's Air Force Master Sgt. Rusty Barfield, President Bush answered questions about some of his favorite memories of being President.

You probably won't read much about this interview in the MSM, if at all. It's worth reading in full. Some highlights:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2008 – The day the Iraqi people voted for the first time in their history, and the day U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein were "great days," according to President George W. Bush. In fact, he said they were two of his greatest days in office.

Bush said "it was a great relief" when then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called to announce U.S. forces had captured Saddam.

"The idea of Saddam Hussein remaining alive while we're trying to help a young democracy grow and people are reconciling their differences would have been very difficult," he said. "A post-Saddam era would have been extremely complicated if he were in Syria popping off, or had escaped."

The president said four servicemembers came to the White House to give him a pistol they'd taken from Saddam when they pulled the fallen leader from his spider hole. The pistol now hangs in the Oval Office, he noted, and eventually will hang in a Bush Library at Southern Methodist University, a private university of 11,000 students near Dallas.

"I actually met the guys that pulled him out of the hole," Bush said. "That was a great day. I've had a lot of beautiful days in office, some not so happy. But my best days in office have come when certain milestones have been reached, and I love to share those milestones and those days with the people who actually made them happen."

Another great day, he noted, was the day Iraqis voted for the first time in their country's history.

"When the Iraqis went to vote, our troops from all branches … helped this young democracy take a huge step on the path to stability,” he said. “For me, I don't take that much satisfaction personally from it, [but] I take a lot of satisfaction as a team member. Our military is a fabulous team, and I am so honored to be the commander in chief.



President Bush With The Troops In Iraq

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Throw Shoes At The Restaurant Manager

Muslim staff of a restaurant in UK turn away a blind customer because of his unclean guide dog.

Gone But Not Forgotten: WWII Pilots In Himalayas

They flew what was called The Hump, taking supplies over the Himalayas as part of the war effort against Japan. Many of them crashed and were lost.

Now their remains are being searched out and returned to their families.

The US military doesn't forget its own, and will always try to bring its people home.

Please read this touching story.

Barnstormer Cowtipping

A vintage biplane has a humorous collision with a cow, becoming an internet hit:



Anyone can just walk over and push a cow over, young Jim. Takes skill to do it this way.

Is It Good Stuff, Or Is It Plonk?

An Australian doctor claims to have created the world's healthiest wine.

The way it's described makes it seem like Drāno for arteries, and two glasses a day are all that's necessary.

That's all very well, but will it be marketed to highbrows only, or will there be a Boone's Farm version for the hoi polloi, too?

Shoethrow Incident: Could Have Been Worse

As embarrassing as the recent shoethrow incident in Iraq was to President Bush, it could have been worse:

He could have gotten has ass kicked, like the former President of Taiwan.

Not Eaten By Crocs After All

A man survived for nine days in the Australian outback after his vehicle broke down during a fishing trip.

Although it appears that the man didn't have survival gear with him, he was able to improvise shelter by using the hood of his 4-wheel-drive vehicle for shade against the sun, using the seats as a bed, and catching fish with the gear he had brought with him, even managing to cook it.

He showed great wisdom in staying with his vehicle rather than trying to walk out, and although he might not have had a dedicated survival kit with him, he was able to improvise in the best tradition of pioneers, and apparently didn't panic. Nearly a textbook case on how to survive a disaster in the wilderness.

Well done!

I'd Walk A Mile For A Pint*

After a years-long battle with the European Union, Great Britain gets to keep its system of measurements rather than adapt to the metric system.


*paraphrase of old Camel Cigarettes TV ad from the 60's, "I'd walk a mile for a Camel."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Best Shoethrow Comment Evah

Link.

I can't believe none of of the Secret Service agents was willing to take a shoe for President Bush.

*snort*

Anyone Know What Happened To Oleg's Website?

I get a server error when I try to link to A Human Right.

Update: And The High Road.US appears to be down, also.

Update: back up. Don't know if the problem was at my end or theirs.

Doctor, Clean Your Stethoscope!

Chances are good that it's filthy.

*Margaret Hamilton voice* And your little rubber hammer, too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Civilization Advances, Sea Turtle Benefits

A loggerhead sea turtle washed up on a Cape Cod beach, suffering from hypothermia in the cold water. A hundred years ago no one would have cared, and the turtle would have died.

Now, because of the advance of civilization, the turtle is safe and being nursed back to health, hopefully to be returned to the sea for a long life of freedom.



It's a good story to hear at Christmastime, isn't it?

Press 1 To Vote Democrat, Press 2 To Vote Republican

The Baltic country of Estonia is going to allow voting via cell phone.

Supposedly security is not a concern.

*snort*

John Frum Returns!

Pacific Island natives will again receive presents from US military airplanes, in a ritual that started a tradition of alternative religion "cargo cults."

If you've never heard of cargo cults or John Frum, you can find more information here and here.

Manna from Heaven...

Pigeons: Not Just Flying Rats

In World War II, pigeons were part of the war effort.

A tale of homing pigeons and the military men who trained them, such as Richard Topus, who recently passed away at age 84.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blah Blog Day

Didn't see anything really worthy of blogging today, unfortunately; also I've been battling a cold, which is at the stage where it's turned into a nagging cough.

So, a couple hours of gaming, then bed. See you all tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apologies To The Late Col. Cooper

Roberta had an accident with a toaster.

Having dealt with toasters for years, it seemed to me that what is lacking is a set of simple rules for dealing with toasters, such as USMC Col. Jeff Cooper formulated for gun handling.

So I came up with:

1. A toaster is always ready to malfunction.

2. Never leave a toaster unattended.

3. Never place anything in a toaster that you aren't willing to see destroyed.

4. Keep your finger out of the toaster until the bread is finished toasting.

I've Never Had A Figgy Pudding

Haven't even had the version made with raisins.

I've lived a sheltered life.

For those interested, I found this recipe on the internet. It seems to have all the stuff in it that I like, e.g., figs, walnuts, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg. Apparently it comes out tasting rather like a spice cake.

memo to self: pick up Fig Newtons at grocery.

Gold Coin In Salvation Army Kettle: Tradition Since 1982

Story.

This is one of those eccentric US traditions (the Poe Toaster is another) that I just love to read about.

Nigella Lawson, Queen of the Wild Frontier

Cooking maven Nigella Lawson takes criticism after declaring she'd be happy to kill and eat a bear, and wear its fur.

The article features viewpoints from three women in the fashion industry, and one man who is the editor of a bear hunting magazine. Guess who's the only one who really sympathizes with Nigella?

Astronomy: Big Full Moon In Sky Tonight.

Story.

It was plenty bright here last night; if it's bigger and brighter tonight, it should be quite a spectacle.

Best time to see it is right after sunset, as it's rising over the horizon.

Homeowner Sprays Vandal Teens With Fox Urine...

...and is, of course, arrested.

100 years ago he'd have simply loaded some shotgun shells with rock salt and blasted the teens with that, and probably would only answer to the childrens' parents.

Times change.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"100 Things" Meme Memo

I will not be doing this meme.

That is all.

US Naval Institute Starts Blog

Story.

I used to read the Naval Institute's magazine Proceedings when I was active duty, even though it was oriented toward the officers corps. The Naval Institute also publishes Navy/military-themed books of high quality.

I'll follow the blog on RSS for a while and see what comes of it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

US Navy Admiral George S. Morrison, 1919-2008: R.I.P.

Admiral Morrison was famous mainly for being the father of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors.

In an incident that makes me grin every time I hear of it, Admiral Morrison sent his son down to the ship's barber for a Navy haircut after he showed up on the ship with...well...rock-star hair.

Cooking For Gunnies

If you're ex-military or a military wannabe, try visiting The Pentagon Channel and clicking on The Grill Sergeants. It's a military cooking show hosted by real military personnel and featuring a military jazz band. The show is similar to Emeril Lagasse's cooking show, same sort of over-the-top rhetoric from the host.

Personally I find the host a bit of a jive-ass, but de gustibus non est disputandum, as I always say.

Monday, December 08, 2008

We'll Just Ignore You, And You'll Go Away, All Right?

A couple of years ago when the Iranians captured a boat's crew of British sailors and humiliated them and the Royal Navy for several weeks, many wondered why there weren't any recriminations in the Navy after the incident.

Well, there weren't, officially, but the appropriate persons have retired or resigned after realizing that they had no further future in the Royal Navy.

Solves the problem quite capably, doesn't it? The Iranians don't get the satisfaction of saying that they were responsible for heads rolling, and the cost to the UK government in bad publicity was minimal after the initial incident. Very much in the tradition of Perfidious Albion.

Volcanoes And The "Champagne Effect"

A scientific theory that powerful earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions.

Makes sense to me. Volcanic eruptions are basically all about venting of gases from the mantle of the Earth through fissures and cracks in the crust, and earthquakes, which are basically the result of the various continental plates grinding together, can be compared to shaking a bottle of soda or doing 100 jumping jacks after drinking a quart of beer.

The gas has to escape somehow.

*laughs*

Forrest J. Ackerman, 1916-2008: R.I.P.

If you grew up in the 60's and 70's you knew who Forrest J. Ackerman was:



Publisher and editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Ackerman was the ur-fanboi of monster films. The Wikipedia entry is a good place to go for a snapshot of his long, eventful life.

Wonder if he'll be buried with Bela Lugosi's Dracula ring? Probably not.

Helen Mirren at 63

The woman has nothing to be ashamed of:



A lovely body for a sexagenarian.

Arrival

I'll call it a late b'day present to myself; Ek Pigsticker:





These were made in the mid-1980's, before Ek Knives was acquired by Blackjack Knives. The pattern is based on an old Case butcher's sticking knife, some of which were carried by our soldiers and Marines in WWII. Ek made a nice clean copy with plain wood grips (look like maple) and sandblasted stainless steel blade. It's a little smaller than I thought it would be, but it is in like-new condition and I have no complaints, since they aren't made anymore. $140 from eBay.

Learn Something New Every Day, December 8

There is a type of cheese called Stinking Bishop.

It became famous when the animated TV show Wallace & Gromit used it as a plot device.

I'm not a huge cheese fan myself, don't like bitter or sour-tasting cheeses. It's one of those things (wine is another) I feel that I should like, but basically don't.

And, how can you mention cheese and not link Monty Python?

There's No Protection In An Order Of Protection

An abuser on probation for assaulting his girlfriend, shot her in the head Thursday night after cutting the power to her parents' home where she lived, police and family say.

The victim had an Order of Protection (judicial restraining order) on the abuser on three different occasions.

Yet another example of the government failing to protect its most vulnerable citizens. If you're being abused and want protection, get your Order of Protection; also get a firearm of some kind; the one will protect your life, the other is good for wiping your ass or lighting a fire.

Store Owner 2, Robbers 0

VALE A Catawba County grocer took the law into his own hands when two people allegedly tried breaking into his store early Saturday morning.

About 3 a.m., two robbers broke into the Randy Willis Grocery in Vale. Willis was in the store at the time and shot both would-be robbers. One person died at the scene, another was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.

As of right now, Willis has not been charged with anything. The case will be presented to the Catawba County District Attorney.


I don't like that lead paragraph, it's written in a way that makes a judgment ("took the law into his own hands") that the store owner is at fault for defending himself and his property against armed robbers.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Broken Hip - - Redux Update

My mother was in surgery for two hours this morning. My sister and I were in the surgery waiting room when the surgeon made his appearance to give us news of the operation. He performed a total hip replacement, with a metal-and-plastic ball joint, and the upper part of the femur reinforced about 5 or so inches down. Apparently during the first surgery there was a hairline fracture of the femur too small to be seen by human eye or x-ray, and this was what was the cause of the new fracture. The reinforcement he performed on this occasion should prevent a recurrence (fingers crossed).

When I challenged him about letting her rest for a few days, he stood his ground like a man and explained why it was necessary that she be moved upright as soon as possible after the surgery: to prevent the possibility of pneumonia and death.

We finally got to see her about an hour and a half after the surgery. She was pretty doped up, feeling no pain, and rather crotchety. Frankly it's the first time I've seen her absolutely pain-free for the last few weeks.

So - - we shall see. Hopefully she'll be given enough time in hospital this time to allow a better bit of recovery.

Baltimore Preparing For Poe Bicentennial

Story.

Plays, readings by actors, a Poe "burial," and, hopefully, the annual appearance of the mysterious Poe Toaster.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gators Win SEC Title Over Alabama

Story.

31-20. I glanced at the game occasionally while playing Lord of the Rings Online. I'm happy for the Gators.

Navy 34-0 Over Army

Story.

I think that the yearly Army-Navy game is of more interest to the officers than it is to the enlisted people, or such was my impression during my four years in the Navy. Nonetheless, I'm happy that Navy is doing so well these recent years.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Broken Hip - - Redux

It's been three weeks since my mother broke her right hip and had surgery to correct it. For almost a week she was in hospital, since then she has been in a rehab care facility/nursing home.

For all of this time she has still been experiencing pain that made her grimace and even groan, but I trusted the doctors and nurses that were caring for her, even though I made sure to mention her pain to them.

Today she went back to her surgeon for x-rays and follow-up visit; the x-rays indicated that she had re-fractured the hip at some point. Since I don't recall seeing an x-ray performed before she was discharged from the hospital the first time, I'm going to presume that she's been in rehab all this time suffering with a broken hip.

I'm angry as hell at this point. I've done things the way the doctor wanted, getting her on her feet and making her active as soon as possible after the surgery, and I think that course of treatment is responsible for the renewed fracture. I'm going to ask that she be kept quiet after the new surgery (Oh, yes, there's another surgery required now) so that the bones can knit properly. Rehab can wait until my mother's hip is healed and her incision closed.

Did I say I'm angry as hell? I'm fucking pissed off.

At Least Bush Kept Us Safe

Peggy Noonan has a wonderful article about national security in the Wall Street Journal:

Back to the Christmas gathering. There was no grousing about John McCain, and considerable grousing about the Bush administration, but it was almost always followed by one sentence, and this is more or less what it was: "But he kept us safe." In the seven years since 9/11, there were no further attacks on American soil. This is an argument that's been around for a while but is newly re-emerging as the final argument for Mr. Bush: the one big thing he had to do after 9/11, the single thing he absolutely had to do, was keep it from happening again. And so far he has. It is unknown, and perhaps can't be known, whether this was fully due to the government's efforts, or the luck of the draw, or a combination of luck and effort. And it not only can't be fully known by the public, it can hardly be fully known by the players at all levels of government. They can't know, for instance, of a potential terrorist cell that didn't come together because of their efforts.

But the meme will likely linger. There's a rough justice with the American people. If a president presides over prosperity, whether he had anything to do with it or not, he gets the credit. If he has a recession, he gets the blame. The same with war, and terrorist attacks. We have not been attacked since 9/11. Someone—someones—did something right.

We received a reminder of the gravity of the situation this week, with the bipartisan congressional report saying the odds are high the world will see a biological or nuclear terror attack in the next five years. It said, "America's margin of safety is shrinking, not growing," and "the risk that radical Islamists—al Qaeda or Taliban—may gain access to nuclear material is real."

Why does Congress prepare such reports? To inform, and to win support for new plans. To show they are doing something. And to be able to say, in the event of calamity—forgive my cynicism—that they warned us. This hasn't been the first such report. It won't be the last. But it comes at a key moment for Mr. Obama, because it gives him a certain amount of cover to be serious about what needs to be done. What's at stake for him is two words. When Republicans say, in coming years, "At least Bush kept us safe," Democrats will not want tacked onto the end of that sentence, "unlike Obama."


That truly nails it. What we on the Right must make damned sure of is that we never, ever hope for such a calamity just to score political points off of Obama. The destruction of an American city isn't worth making political points over.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jimmy Carter Writing Another Book

It's called We Can Bring Peace to the Holy Land.

Unfortunately, the second half of the title is If The Jews Would Just Jump Into The Sea.

Outrage Over Burger King's "Whopper Virgins"

Burger King is under fire for a new advertising campaign featuring "burger virgins", impoverished villagers in remote parts of the world, taking part in Whopper versus Big Mac taste tests.

Political correctness run amok, as usual.

Volcano Blog: Karangetang, Jakarta, Indonesia

Story.

Apparently it's been erupting for a couple of days, but the news is only now filtering into the West.

Here's a pic from the Smithsonian's volcano website. (It's probably not an image of the current eruption).

Iodized Salt To Raise 3rd World IQ

Truly informative New York Times op/ed by Nicholas Kristof.

Summary: adding iodine to salt can raise average IQ by 15 points in 3rd world countries where iodine deficiency is a problem.

Read the whole thing, please.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ever Wanted Your Own WWII Fortification?

A WWII pillbox (fortified gun emplacement) sells for £55,000 in UK.

Pic:



Cleaned up it would make a nice little hermit's cell.

Lost Cliffside Indian City Found In Peru

Archaeologists have discovered a lost city carved into the Andes Mountains by the mysterious Chachapoya tribe.

The settlement covers some 12 acres and is perched on a mountainside in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province in the northern jungles of Peru's Amazon.

The buildings found on the Pachallama peak are in remarkably good condition, estimated to be over 1,000 years old and comprised of the traditional round stone houses built by the Chachapoya, the 'Cloud Forest People'.

The area is completely overgrown with the jungle now covering much of the settlement but explorers found the walls of the buildings and rock paintings on a cliff face.

The remote nature of the site appears to have protected the site from looters as archaeologists found ceramics and undisturbed burial sites.


Pic:



All I can say is WOW. How many people get to make a Hiram Bingham-quality archaeological discovery? And the fact is that there are still many unexplored regions of the world that such places could possibly be found.

It Once Was Lost And Now Is Found - - Inside A Fish

Inside an 8-pound largemouth bass, to be specific:

BUNA, Texas The one that didn't get away held an unlikely surprise for a Texas man. The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn.

"My first reaction was - you gotta be kidding," he said Wednesday.

The fisherman who discovered the tarnished ring inside his catch contacted Richardson on Nov. 28 in Buna, about 100 miles northeast of Houston, after tracking him down with help from the Internet.

Richardson, 41, said he lost the ring about two weeks after his 1987 graduation from Universal Technical Institute in Houston. His mom had bought it for about $200 and wasn't pleased when it went missing.


Don't you just love stories like this?

Russian Warship To Transit Panama Canal

via Drudge Report

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian warship will sail through the Panama Canal this week for the first time since World War II, the navy announced Wednesday, pushing ahead with a symbolic projection of Moscow's power in a traditional U.S. zone of influence.

The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko will arrive Friday at a former U.S. naval base in Panama's Pacific port of Balboa for a six-day visit after carrying out joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy in the Caribbean Sea, navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said in a telephone interview.


The "former U.S. naval base" was Rodman Naval Base, which I visited more than once during the early 80's, when the Panama Canal Zone was still U.S. Property. I spent a fair amount of time at the club there, but even more at nearby Howard Air Force Base, which was much larger and, typical of USAF bases, much nicer than Rodman.

I guess I'll have to tag this one as Hoodah Thunkit; who'd have thought a Russian destroyer would stop for a port visit at a former US Naval base in the Panama Canal zone?

World's Oldest Living Animal: A Tortoise

On the island of St. Helena, where he's been since the time of the Boer War.

Photographic proof:

Here is Jonathan the tortoise in 1900:



And a more recent shot:



And apparently Jonathan has a harem of female tortoises that he regularly services. Pretty spry for 176 years old!

Bush To Pardon Himself?

Some idiot named Martin Kettle, writing for the UK Guardian, apparently thinks so.

Really, you guys need to let go of the Bush Derangement Syndrome. If you guys got your wish, and President Bush was frog-marched in front of a kangaroo court to face "human rights violations" charges, I'm sure he'd stand mute and refuse to cooperate, and would win more and more sympathy from the American public the more that the Obama regime tried to persecute him.

Get over it, dumbasses. You won the election, now move on. And hope you can keep America as safe as President Bush has.

Volcano Blog: Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

Story.

The eruption is described as smaller than one from this past July, so I'd guess that it is a partial dome collapse that has caused the current activity. Still, the ejecta has set the deserted capital of Plymouth afire.

Not The Aryan Ideal

German soldiers in Afghanistan too fat to fight.

Well, I guess the selective German breeding program in which all their fittest and most capable warriors are killed in pointless wars has worked admirably, leaving only the least motivated soldiers with poor discipline over their appetites...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The New US Navy Working Uniform

Story.



I only have two reservations: I don't see the point of sailors wearing camoflage, especially ship-borne sailors; and I don't like the fact that the uniform de-emphasizes the Navy in favor of a sort of generic military look. I have to say it's a handsome camoflage pattern, though. The same uniform in a plain dark (Navy) blue would have been perfectly acceptable. I think that some of our Navy leaders have camoflage envy.

Heartwarming Story of the Day

A pet cat that went missing in Yellowstone National Park has been reunited with its family, after 4 months of surviving on its own.

Thank the kindness of strangers that the little cat is safe at home.

Message In A Bottle: New Jersey To North Carolina, 1969-2008

AP short story here.

Yahoo! has a good video report here.

39 years in a glass beer bottle. Amazing.

Starlings Swoop Over UK's Brighton Pier

A yearly tradition.


New York Times Gloats That NRA Is Broken

Story.

They sneer that the NRA's power is gone, and that legislators should have the courage to enact "common-sense" gun control measures.

I Won, Definitely

A boy scout pattern pocket knife made by Camillus:



I won't be certain until I receive it, but I think Camillus made these with carbon steel blade/tools. From the description this one is in new/like new condition, possibly blister-packed. Camillus, of course, went bankrupt a couple of years ago.

I Won, Sort Of

An idea of mine for an H-S Precision photoshop won a contest at Sebastian's place.

Congratulations to Tim, the guy who actually did the Photoshop work. He did a great job with the layout, probably much better than I would have. It will probably prove quite an embarrassment to H-S.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Magnificent Starscape

It's just after dusk here in NC, the sky clear and cold, with the wind blowing about 25MPH. To the southwest is a sliver of moon with two bright stars near it; they are Venus and Jupiter. If you read this within the next hour or so, get outside and take a look for yourself.

More here.

update: now, an hour later and full dark, the moon and the two planets are bright and adamantine in the sky. It's truly lovely and spectacular. Even my sister noticed it on her way home from work.

Good Essay On The British Character

via Hot Air News.

Written by Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal, the entire essay can be found here.

Some excerpts:

Theodore Dalrymple
The Quivering Upper Lip
The British character: from self-restraint to self-indulgence

When my mother arrived in England as a refugee from Nazi Germany, shortly before the outbreak of World War II, she found the people admirable, though not without the defects that corresponded to their virtues. By the time she died, two-thirds of a century later, she found them rude, dishonest, and charmless. They did not seem to her, moreover, to have any virtues to compensate for their unpleasant qualities. I occasionally asked her to think of some, but she couldn’t; and neither, frankly, could I.

What, exactly, were the qualities that my mother had so admired? Above all, there was the people’s manner. The British seemed to her self-contained, self-controlled, law-abiding yet tolerant of others no matter how eccentric, and with a deeply ironic view of life that encouraged them to laugh at themselves and to appreciate their own unimportance in the scheme of things. If Horace Walpole was right—that the world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel—the English were the most thoughtful people in the world. They were polite and considerate, not pushy or boastful; the self-confident took care not to humiliate the shy or timid; and even the most accomplished was aware that his achievements were a drop in the ocean of possibility, and might have been much greater if he had tried harder or been more talented.

Many remarked upon the gentleness of British behavior in public. Homicidal violence and street robberies were vanishingly rare. But it wasn’t only in the absence of crime that the gentleness made itself felt. British pastimes were peaceful and reflective: gardening and the keeping of pigeons, for example. Vast sporting crowds would gather in such good order that sporting events resembled church meetings, as both George Orwell and anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer (writing in 1955) noted.

Newsreels of the time reinforce the point. The faces of people in sports crowds did not contort in hatred, snarling and screaming, but were peaceful and good-humored, if a little pinched and obviously impoverished. The crowds were almost self-regulating; as late as the early sixties, the British read with incredulity reports that, on the Continent, wire barriers, police baton charges, and tear gas were often necessary to control crowds. Incidents of crowd misbehavior in Britain were so unusual that when one did happen, it caused a sensation.

The English must have been the only people in the world for whom a typical response to someone who accidentally stepped on one’s toes was to apologize oneself. British behavior when ill or injured was stoic. Aurelle recounts in Les silences du Colonel Bramble seeing an officer he knew on a stretcher, obviously near death from a terrible abdominal injury. The officer says to him: “Please say good-bye to the colonel for me and ask him to write home that I didn’t suffer too much. I hope this is not too much trouble for you. Thanks very much indeed.” Tony Mayer, too, says of the English that when they were ill they usually apologized: “I’m sorry to bother you, Doctor.”

Gradually, but overwhelmingly, the culture and character of British restraint have changed into the exact opposite. Extravagance of gesture, vehemence of expression, vainglorious boastfulness, self-exposure, and absence of inhibition are what we tend to admire now—and the old modesty is scorned. It is as if the population became convinced of Blake’s fatuous dictum that it is better to strangle a baby in the cradle than to let a desire remain unacted upon.

Certainly, many Britons under the age of 30 or even 40 now embrace a kind of sub-psychotherapeutic theory that desires, if not unleashed, will fester within and eventually manifest themselves in dangerous ways. To control oneself for the sake of the social order, let alone for dignity or decorum (a word that would either mean nothing to the British these days, or provoke peals of laughter), is thus both personally and socially harmful.

I have spoken with young British people who regularly drink themselves into oblivion, passing first through a prolonged phase of public nuisance. To a man (and woman), they believe that by doing so, they are getting rid of inhibitions that might otherwise do them psychological and even physical harm. The same belief seems universal among those who spend hours at soccer games screaming abuse and making threatening gestures (whose meaning many would put into practice, were those events not policed in military fashion).

Lack of self-control is just as character-forming as self-control: but it forms a different, and much worse and shallower, character. Further, once self-control becomes neither second nature nor a desired goal, but rather a vice to avoid at all costs, there is no plumbing the depths to which people will sink. The little town where I now live when in England transforms by night. By day, it is delightful; I live in a Queen Anne house that abuts a charming Elizabethan cottage near church grounds that look as if they materialized from an Anthony Trollope novel. By night, however, the average age of the person on the street drops from 60 to 20, with few older people venturing out. Charm and delight vanish. Not long ago, the neighborhood awoke to the sound of a young man nearly kicked to death by other young men, all of whom had spilled forth from a pub at 2 am. The driver of a local car service, who does only prearranged pickups, tells me that it is now normal (in the statistical sense) for young women to emerge from the bars and try to entice him to drive them home by baring their breasts, even pushing them against his windows if for some reason he has to stop in town.

I laughed when hearing this, but in essence it is not funny. The driver was talking not about an isolated transgressor of customs but about a whole manner of cultural comportment. By no means coincidentally, the young British find themselves hated, feared, and despised throughout Europe, wherever they gather to have what they call “a good time.” They turn entire Greek, Spanish, and Turkish resorts into B-movie Sodoms and Gomorrahs. They cover sidewalks with vomit, rape one another, and indulge in casual drunken violence. In one Greek resort, 12 young British women were arrested recently after indulging in “an outdoor oral sex competition.”

Two things are worth noting about this shift in national character: it is not the first such shift in British history; and the change is not entirely spontaneous or the result of impersonal social forces.

Before the English and British became known for self-restraint and an ironic detachment from life, they had a reputation for high emotionalism and an inability to control their passions. The German poet Heinrich Heine, among others, detested them as violent and vulgar. It was only during the reign of William IV—“Silly Billy,” the king before Victoria—that they transformed into something approaching the restrained people whom I encountered as a child and sometimes as a doctor. The main difference between the vulgar people whom Heine detested and the people loathed and feared throughout Europe (and beyond) today is that the earlier Britons often possessed talent and genius, and in some sense stood in the forefront of human endeavor; we cannot say that of the British now.

But the second point is also important. The moralization of the British in the first third of the nineteenth century—their transformation from a people lacking self-control into exemplars of restraint—was the product of intellectual and legislative activity. So, too, was the reverse movement.


I think that's quite long enough, as excerpts go, and as far as I'll go in stretching Fair Use. Read the whole thing. Dalrymple suggests that legislation is the answer, but I think it's only part of the answer; other parts include assimilating the staggering number of immigrants that now make up a substantial part of the population of UK, and moving away from multiculturalism toward a British monoculture.