Monday, 31 August 2009

Let the Shop Ahava-thon begin!!

As I mentioned yesterday - Code Pink and its coalition of whackos including JBIG, BIG and the PSC are targeting Ahava locations worldwide on September 19th.

Here in London they are planning to 'gather' outside the Ahava store and smear themselves in mud (much like they did earlier this summer in Paris) to signify that "Ahava is a dirty business."
This is part of Code Pink's "Stolen Beauty" campaign to shut down Ahava. They have already successfully pressured OXFAM (what a joke that is) into dropping Kristin Davis as a spokeswoman because she endorses Ahava products.

While the nutjobs at Code Pink are scouting Ahava stores for security and employees (as recommended on Code Pink's Stolen Beauty website) SquareMileWife is firing up the credit cards and getting ready to shop. I am unilaterally declaring September 12-19 the Shop Ahava-thon! I will be posting updates on this as the dates approach - and I will be hiliting my favourite Ahava products.

You can find out where to buy Ahava products on their website. There are a number of spas that use Ahava products - if you are having trouble finding one near you let me know and I will see what I can do.

A big thank you to Scaramouche and Blazing Cat Fur for helping to spread the word.

Shop Ahava!

Hey remember that place called the Balkans...

When Kosovo declared its independence, Western politicians (including George W. Bush) lined up sans pompoms to cheerlead this new self-determining entity. Clueless people worldwide thought perhaps this was the final step to securing peace in the Balkans, and breathed a sigh of relief before pushing the Balkans out of their collective minds for good. A few writers warned that all was not as the MSM and politicians were letting on, but their ideas were largely dismissed.

While the West has been busy with Afghanistan, Iraq, Credit-Default Swaps, derivatives, President Obama, H1N1, Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy, the Balkans have been simmering. Kosovo is getting antsy. Last week, Kosovo's president and prime minister walked out of European Union talks. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, a hotbed for organized crime, are unhappy over an agreement with EULEX (EU police) to share information with Serbian law enforcement officials. Determined to show the EU just how unhappy they are, the Kosovo Hackers Group broke into the EULEX website last week and left this message:

You cannot sell our country back to Serbia. We, Kosovo's youth, are tired of all the lies. EULEX signs agreement to destroy the future of Kosovo.

Earlier in August a Serbian couple was shot to death in the jurisdiction of Kosovo Police, adding to tensions in the region. Serbian politician Boran Bogdanovic spoke out about the police investigation - arguing that numerous crimes committed against Serbs under the jurisdiction of the Kosovo Police Service remain unsolved.

Elsewhere in the Balkans tension are mounting; the economy is suffering, crime is rising, ethnic and religious friction continues. In July a large fight in Mostar between Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and a group of Wahhabis left one man dead. Bosnia's Islamic Community said the incident was "motivated by growing “Islamophobia” orchestrated by some politicians and the media." Apparently Muslims killing Muslims is now Islamophobic. Will we have to start calling Bosniaks self-hating Muslims?

Taking the rhetoric up a notch, Bosnia's Social Democratic Party issued a press statement this weekend accusing the ruling parties of trying to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina "to the verge of a new war."

Maybe the world should be paying a little more attention to the Balkans. Then again, considering how royally the West messed things up 10 years ago maybe they should just stay out. You can't fix a problem if you don't understand it.




Politico: Democrats will see heavy losses in 2010

Some of the most prominent and respected handicappers can now envision an election in which Democrats suffer double-digit losses in the House — not enough to provide the 40 seats necessary to return the GOP to power but enough to put them within striking distance.

Read it all here.

So the Democrats are in trouble. Having their own constituents removed by armed security guards at town-hall meetings is probably not going to win any votes.

So far groups opposing the White House's policies have shown commitment and resilience, despite relentess and vicious attacks from media outlets and Democrats (and no, I do not think criticism is the same as attacking). The momentum they have built needs to be maintained in order for change to become reality. Batten down the hatches, it is going to get nasty.

UK Prisons serve better food than the NHS

Prison just isn't what it used to be.

"If you are in prison then the diet you get is extremely good in terms of nutritional content," he went on. ... The food that is provided is actually better than most civilians have." This is according to Professor John Edwards who studied food given to inmantes and NHS patients.

Maybe the government should start putting criminals in NHS hospitals and sick people in prisons........?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Putting my money where my mouth is....

On September 19th various groups (including Code Pink) are going to be targeting Ahava stores across the globe.

Some examples of what these protesters might be doing, as recommended by Code Pink:

Disrupting - Holding Banners, Doing Chants, Wearing Mud & Bikinis
Leafletting - handing out information to consumers, employees, etc.
Sticker-ing Products - Labeling products as made from occupied territories (be careful not to get caught) You can print on regular mailing labels “MADE BY ISRAELI PROFITEERS IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE”
Removing Products from Shelves - Placing items in carts or baskets and moving off shelves. Place in carts with leaflets. Or attempt to purchase and then "suddenly realize" that the products are made in occupied Palestine and refuse to buy.
Get creative!


We are going to fight back....and look good doing it.

Stay tuned for further details. Have your cash and credit cards ready.

Disconnect: The United Church and its Members

The United Church in Canada just doesn't seem to "get it," but neither do its members. I have many friends and family members who have attended the United Church for decades - and they would be surprised to learn (as I also wrote a few weeks ago) that:

The United Church "presented background material just a few weeks ago questioning whether Jewish MPs were genuinely Canadian and arguing that Jewish groups had bribed politicians with free vacations in Israel." -Michael Coren via Kathy Shaidle

When a church stops teaching theology and moves on to trendy, feel-good topics, the faith of its members is no longer being challenged. It is easy to sit in your pew and wonder if you are going to have chicken or beef for lunch when nothing important is being said from the pulpit. Those who want to be challenged spiritually will leave, and those who remain can easily disconnect from what is going on beyond the pulpit and in the upper echelon's of the Church. People who disconnect will continue to attend, unaware of what is going on behind the scenes until they read something like Michael Coren's column which examines the current and sorry state of the United Church.

Will it spur anyone into action? I truly hope so, but I doubt it.

Surprise, surprise: Nelson Mandela supports release of Lockerbie Bomber

In the letter to the Scottish Government Professor Jake Gerwel, the chairperson of the Mandela Foundation, said: "Mr Mandela sincerely appreciates the decision to release Mr al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds." -UKPA

If this shocks you I recommend that you start reading up on Nelson Mandela.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Obama's new "Pay Czar"

Kenneth Feinberg raked in US$5.76 million last year, according to Canada's Financial Post:

A one-time chief of staff to Senator Edward Kennedy, who died Tuesday, Mr. Feinberg is also active politically, making more than US$300,000 in campaign contributions since 1990, mostly to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The recipients include Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
He also serves on the boards of a series of non-profits, including the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Human Rights First, the Washington National Opera, and RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
He spreads his own banking across three institutions -- Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co's Wachovia, and Swiss bank UBS.


Very interesting indeed.

It's Official: Americans getting the heck out of London

According to this Bloomberg article the number of Americans in the UK has decreased by 4% over the past year.

Britain is raising tax rates (up to 50% now for those making more than 150KGBP/annum), the pound is weakening, the job market is shrinking, and maintaining a certain standard of living here requires far more money than back in the USA.

The economic picture is also gloomier in Britain. The U.K. economy shrank 5.6 percent in the year through June, compared with 3.9 percent in the U.S. London’s financial industry lost 29,371 jobs, or 8.3 percent of the total, last year, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research. - Bloomberg

People who are tired of paying high taxes and having a lower quality of life are ditching the UK to head back to the States - and expats from other countries are leaving as well. Things here are not looking so hot - politicians elsewhere looking to stifle the economy by raising taxes should take note.



Saturday Morning Deliciousness.....


This pancake recipe is a slightly altered version of the one that appears in Anne Lindsay's Light Kitchen cookbook, which I highly recommend.

Banana Blender Pancakes

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup low-fat milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 banana

Dump everything in the blender and mix it up.
Cook the pancakes (you know dump on the pan, wait till it bubbles then flip).

I like to serve these topped with peanut butter and maple syrup.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Friday night shopping....

Ah the weekend is here, and in London it is a bank holiday weekend. Hurray! I will still be posting though.

For any ladies who are heading out shopping this is the product I love at the moment:

Biotherm Exfoliating Scrub. It is awesome. I use it 1-3 times a week depending on the season. If you live in London you can get it at House of Fraser, Selfridge's and some locations of John Lewis.

For my male readers: I don't recommend buying face scrub for the lady in your life unless you get her something else to go along with it. Buying a lady exfoliant is kind of like getting her a case of SlimFast.

Smart women like to have fun and look good.

Censorship in Germany: Multicultural Center removes panels showing Grand Mufti's role in the Holocaust

Hmmmmmm I wonder what would prompt them to do that?

Piening [Berlins' commissioner for integration and migration] told the large daily Tagesspiegel that, "We need, in a community like Neukölln, a differentiated presentation of the involvement of the Arabic world in the Second World War."
...
Zehden [spokeswoman for the Berlin Jewish community] termed his statement "an appeasement attempt" to ignore the fact that "there was no official resistance from the Arabic world against the persecution of Jews" during the Shoah.
...
Read the full story in the Jerusalem Post.
Heinz Buschkowsky, the district mayor in Neukölln, where the exhibit was originally planned, wrote, it is a sign of "anticipatory obedience to avoid probable protests. I do not consider this position to be good."

An uncensored version of the exhibit is now being shown at another gallery.

Is Panetta preparing to exit?

Kimberly Strassel takes a close look at CIA Director Leon Panetta, via Rusty at The Jawa Report.

Like Rusty I was not excited about Mr. Panetta's appointment as director, and was pleasantly surprised when he seemed to push back at some of the efforts to completley demoralize the CIA and render them ineffective. But how much can Panetta push back before he is shoved off a cliff or forced to jump?

FSA Backpedals After Turner Calls for "Tobin Tax"

"FSA Chairman Adair Turner proposed a “Tobin Tax” on banking deals in a Prospect magazine interview. This would redistribute bank profits to the poor and to “public goods” like fighting climate change." -Bloomberg

A culture of entitlement has so permeated our society that a body regulating the financial sector, supposedly the bastion of capitalism, is calling for taxation à la Robin Hood. "Redistributing bank profits" is not the job of the FSA or the government, nor is it the FSA's job to decide that bank profits should be used to fight climate change.

War on Want's executive director called on Gordon Brown to implement Turner's recommendation as an urgent measure to "generate billions for developing countries." Time to cancel your donations to that charity.

Turner's ideas are dangerous for London - imagine how quickly banks and investment firms would be scurrying out of the Square Mile if this tax was put in place. There would be significantly less wealth for Turner and his green cronies to redistribute.

The FSA is already backing away from Turner's statements. "This is a personal view that is not one that reflects any policy developments in the FSA."
Counting down to Turner's resignation.....3.....2.......

The Democrats have been "infiltrated"...

Last night Pat Caddell (former senior advisor to President Carter), Michelle Malkin (author of NY Times Bestseller 'Culture of Corruption'), and Glenn Beck discussed the increasing radicalization of the Democratic Party. Mr. Caddell stated his view that the Democrats seem to have been "infiltrated by forces" who believe in the need to "win at all costs." A very interesting and important discussion indeed.

If you are a Republican you should watch this clip. If you vote with the direction of the wind you should watch this clip. If you are a concerned Democrat you need to watch this clip.

Via HotAir:

Thursday, 27 August 2009

"The natural world around us is the product of both God and evolution"

So says Noah's Ark Farm Zoo in South West England, but this view is not good enough for the British Humanist Association who wants tourists boards to stop promoting the zoo farm.
Yes, according to the BHA the big bad Noah's Ark Farm Zoo "threatens the public understanding of the natural world." Really BHA? Because I think it threatens your understanding of the natural world.

British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums director Miranda Stevenson said: ''I find it extraordinary that an organisation that I thought promotes free thinking appears to want censorship.''

Miranda Stevenson might be suprised but I am not.
In 2009 free thinking can cost you alot.

"The War on Terror Is Over"

So writes Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal.

"To supervise future interrogations, the administration is creating something called a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group. Interrogation techniques will be limited to those in the Army Field Manual or that are "noncoercive," which suggests more constrained than a big-city police department. Authority is being moved from the CIA to the FBI. This means that the class of person who blows up skyscrapers, American embassies or the USS Cole would spend less time under a bare light bulb than a domestic robbery suspect."

Welcome to the new American Justice. Your enemies could not be happier.

"Individually, some of this may be arguable. In toto, it's a death sentence for an effective war on terror. It makes what's left of the war—telephone wiretaps or monitoring money transfers—vulnerable to a steady stream of congressional and legal objection. That lets the Obama administration evade political responsibility by letting others wind down the war on terror.
The message of Scotland's release and the Holder decision is that the will born in the wake of 9/11 is waning. The war on terror is being downgraded to not much more than tough talk."

Americans who love America: pay close attention to what is going on around you and get ready to vote in 2010.

Nightmare in Toronto General Hospital

Some of you may read this story and find it hard to believe, but I assure you it is not. Fortunately I have never had a bad experience with Canadian health care (aside from one stupid doctor I don't count). I have always been the "lucky one" and had fabulous nurses and doctors whenever medical attention was needed. And that is the problem - getting great health care in Canada should not mean you are lucky.

Several years ago my grandma also had serious complications after major surgery. My grandpa drove her to the ER early in the morning where she spent several hours waiting for a triage nurse to look at her. Thank God that as she was sitting there the doctor who performed her surgery happened to be entering the hospital to start his shift, saw my grandma, knew something was terribly wrong, reamed out one of the nurses, grabbed my grandma in her wheel chair and whisked her away to start incubating her (yes that is how bad she was). I honestly do not know if my grandma would still be alive today were it not for this doctor.

There are many amazing, hard-working health care professionals in Canada, but they don't seem to be in the ER. The truth is that ERs across Canada, particularly in urban areas have become a disgrace and since tax dollars keep rolling in to fund the hospitals there is no incentive to fix them.

Read the story. It's not fiction.

What do you have to do to get the death penalty these days?

Letalvis Cobbins was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the brutal and gruesome torture slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. As the parents say in the video below, the prosecution did not fail these victims - the jury did. Yesterday during the sentencing hearing Cobbins' relatives testified - and there were many crocodile tears - they "care" so much for Letalvis they did not even bother to wait around to hear what his sentence would be. In fact, most of them testified that despite a terrible childhood they managed to finish school and "make something" of themselves - something Cobbins could have done but instead he chose to carjack, rape and torture innocent people. Disgusting.




No witnesses were able to speak on Channon's behalf before she died. No family members were given the opportunity to help save her life. No mercy or compassion was shown to her. Instead after 24 hours of torture this beautiful girl who loved her family, her faith, her school and her friends, was hogtied, wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed into a trash can where she was left to die.

"She was a very loyal and loving friend, she loved her friends and would do anything for them. If they were sad or hurting she would be there to help them through, whatever they were needing she would take care of them and they would take care of her. She loved her brother Chase, she was so proud of him. She loved watching him play baseball.....they had a very special bond, almost like twins. They were only 17 months apart and only a year apart in school. ....When he went away to college they would talk on the phone all the time and every weekend that she could she would go visit him. She knew that he would always be there to watch out for her. She was daddy's little girl and mama's little peanut. We were so proud of her. She was a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul. She had so much love to give. She was compassionate and she loved life, and she would never hurt a soul. She would light up a room with her smile when she walked in the door. ....She was looking forward to graduating, she would have graduated in December of 2007.....She loved to go shopping, camping, four-wheeling, she loved the beach she loved going to the lake, she loved to golf and most of all she loved hanging out with her friends. ... Just like any young woman she would dream about her wedding. She had the song picked out for the dance with her daddy and for the dance with her husband. Now he will never get to walk her down the aisle, I will never be a mother of the bride and we will never get to go shopping for that perfect dress. She wanted four children, she wanted the first one to be a boy so the other three would have a big brother to watch over them the way Chase watched over her. ... I miss her. She was such a beautiful young woman, with a beautiful smile, gorgeous eyes. I miss her laugh. I still expect her to walk through the door. I pick up the phone to call her only to remember she can't answer the phone. ... She wasn't perfect, none of us are. But she made us all better for knowing her. I miss her and I love her."
-excerpt from Deena Christian's victim impact statement

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

"Make sure you bring your bats and don't bring your kids"

Reportedly one of the prematch messages send between hooligans before last nights match between Millwall and West Ham.

Britain is getting beat up everywhere these days - the NHS's dirty laundry is being aired across the Atlantic, London is under heavy scrutiny after Scotland released the Lockerbie bomber, football hooligans are attacking police and stabbing each other outside matches, and the Tories are comparing the streets of Britain to scenes from The Wire.

Often when Brits want to illustrate how bad something is they throw out the phrase "it's like America," and this is when you can expect to hear the most passionate responses - because there is nothing that makes Brits angrier than being compared to Americans. Unfortunately many are so blinded by their passionate distaste for America that they are unable to take an honest look at what is really going on in this country. While comparing an entire country to The Wire (set in Baltimore) may be a bit dramatic it is an image that people can identify with and I do believe that it has merit. My job puts me in contact with young people in the city of London, often kids from terrible homes who have no respect for authority, for their peers, or for themselves. Heroin addicts, dealers, thugs, thieves, violent men - kids in the city are dealing with these things, and sometimes are participating in them, not unlike scenes from The Wire.

When a politician compares Britain to an American city as portrayed on tv people go wild - they write letters, their are dozens of articles covering the statements, it is being talked about on newstalk shows; people are up in arms. Broken Britain is the phrase thrown around on all sides of the political spectrum - yet few here seem willing to have an honest discussion about the serious problems this country is facing, and there are many.

They say the first step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Sadly not enough people here are willing to do that - and by the time they do it will be too late, if it isn't already.

Surprise: UN soooooo excited about special prosecutor probe of CIA

"The next step would involve criminal liability."

I bet they can't wait.

Greenies set up Climate Camp in Greenwich Park.

Yawn.

Sarkozy names "Pay Czar"

As mentioned yesterday, Sarkozy is on a mission to limit pay for French traders. The WSJ has more on Michel Camdessus, the man appointed to "supervise the wages of France's best-paid traders."

It is true that some traders receive obscene bonuses - but the idea that the government can control how much money people make should be setting off little alarm bells in your head.

First they went after the traders....

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Hooliganism lives....

This is why visiting fans have their own heavily guarded section at all football matches in the UK and why you will find dozens of police on foot or horseback outside any major football stadium on match day.

It is not just a game here.

"It is possible to change the rules of financial capitalism"

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will refuse business to banks who do not follow his guidelines on bonuses and compensations. He also plans on bringing his gospel of good capitalism to Pittsburgh where he hopes to get the whole G20 to embrace his plan.

"Sarkozy also said he wants the G-20 to consider capping the total amount paid out by banks in bonuses and to consider setting limits on the size of individual bonuses."

Note to Sarkozy: When you tell companies how much they can pay their employees you are not 'changing the rules' of capitalism - you are taking a hammer to it.

Update: Liver patient left hospital for a pint!

Sometimes I don't know why I even try to give people the benefit of doubt. After writing this earlier today, I am even more convinced that this kid has no right to a liver transplant and if he does get one it is truly a case of mercy.

Sky reports:
Still in his slippers, holding the needle of a drip in his hand and wearing his hospital name band, Garath Anderson tried to order a pint at the bar.
The 19 year old, who doctors say could have just two weeks to live, was recently transferred from Ulster Hospital near Belfast to a specialist liver unit at Kings College Hospital in London.
His father, Brian Anderson, is planning to launch a judicial review to try to overturn NHS
guidelines which mean his son has to be alcohol free for six months before he can get a liver transplant.
Staff at the Old Moat Inn opposite the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald revealed that last week they refused Garath's order, alerted the hospital and took him back.


Tell me again how it's not possible that your kid is an alcoholic...

Obama hides out in Martha's Vineyard while Eric Holder starts CIA "witch hunt"

I don't even know where to begin on this one.

Dick Cheney via/HotAir: President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.

The Obama administration seems intent on demonizing Americans and the men and women of various agencies who put their lives on the line to protect them. America the Great is quickly becoming America the Weak. This will not go unnoticed by her enemies.




Canada does not need another election....

Seriously. How long until Michael Ignatieff moves back to the States?

The Whole Foods Boycott goes round and round...

Andrew Breitbart has written an interesting little piece on WholeFoodspalooza and the hyposcrisy of the left (I seem to be writing that phrase alot these days). If you don't know, John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods, wrote an op-ed slamming Obama's planned health care reforms and now he is the boogeyman and there is a massive boycott of Whole Foods.

Breitbart writes:
The Democratic leadership - and its friends in the mainstream media - seem determined to brand opposition to the president's legislative agenda as illegitimate, even racist in origin. Individuals and grass-roots organizations are helping the statists' cause by advocating boycotts and other means of stifling dissent.
The strategy is clear: Intimidate people from speaking up or from attending public protests by telegraphing that anyone can be made a demon for standing up and exercising basic, constitutional rights.
To call these people hypocrites would be a grave insult to those who fail to live up to their own standards. Liberalism has never been about establishing a universal standard. Liberalism is simply intellectual cover for those wanting to gain political power and increase the size of the state.


He ends the piece by saying in order to stand up to these "liberals" people should be going to the tea parties, health-care debates and shopping at Whole Foods. And this is where we differ.

The CEO of Whole Foods may be against socialist medicine, but Whole Foods is not the bastion of goodness that some people are now making it out to be. [Note: I do sometimes buy things at Whole Foods - used to shop there regularly but not anymore. Even though I love the store here because it reminds me of home, I now only go there to buy stuff I cannot get anywhere else in the UK.]

Think for a minute about the Whole Foods message and the people who would be drawn to it. Do you think your local Whole Foods would be frequented by people returning from a Tea Party, or from a Stop the War rally?

Aside from all the global warming is man made, organic is better broohaha that it peddles - Whole Foods carries the products of certain Palestinian companies that support terrorism. Debbie Schlussel has written extensively about this here and here.

Here in London, the Whole Foods flagship store is near the Israeli Embassy. During Operation Cast Lead I watched thousands of Jew hating protestors gather in front of the embassy, burning flags, carrying signs that said "Israeli Savages shoud be CAGED" and pretending to eat Palestinian babies while dressed up like a religious Jew. When people needed a break from their tiresome protesting guess where they went to eat: Whole Foods. (Some went to Starbucks too, before they smashed the store to pieces.) Sure, Whole Foods had extra security in place and would not allow protesters to bring their signage with them, but they trickled in with their keffiyehs and went upstairs to eat and discuss the evil Jews. I saw one employee use their breaktime to throw on their own keffiyeh, head outside and join the anti Israel masses, then come back in to finish their shift. I watched staff members exchange fist bumps with other protestors and encourage them to go out and continue protesting. Let me be clear, I am not saying Whole Foods should refuse entry or employment to people based on their political beliefs - what I am saying is I do not go to a grocery store to listen to its staff members encourage anti-semitic activity.

Let me close with this - before you make a beeline for Whole Foods because the CEO supports private health care make sure you have the Whole Picture.
Make an informed decision.

Kid ruins his liver drinking, now dad battles to save his life

I keep going back and forth on this one. Gareth Anderson, a 19 year old in the UK went on a binge drinking weekend with friends and destroyed his liver. In order to survive, Gareth needs to receive a liver transplant and soon - however British transplant rules say that you have to be "alocohol-free" for 6 months prior to the transplant. On one hand this young man is only 19, he did not commit any crime (that I know of), the damage he has done is to himself, and death is a pretty serious consequence for a weekend of drinking. On the other hand - he is 19 and it is not rocket science to know that binge drinking can ruin your liver and kill you. He is legally an adult. The transplant rules are in place for a reason - to stop alcoholics from abusing the system.

Yesterday at the gym I watched Gareth's dad being interviewd on the news. It made my opinion swing more against the transplant than for it. Of course it was very sad to see a father, who is doing anything and everything he can to save his son's life. I would not expect any less. However, one of his main arguments was that there is no way his son can be an alcoholic because he is only 19 and has only been drinking since he was 16. Um sorry sir but three years is plenty of time to become an alcoholic, and appearing to be in denial is not a way to get the public on your side.

Alcoholism is a very serious problem in the UK - ask any expat here and they will tell you how truly shocking it is to see people passed out at the bars or on the street in the middle of the day, until you realize it is common. What kind of message are we sending to young people in the land of no consequences if we give this guy a new liver after he recklessly destroyed his own perfectly good one?

Gareth Anderson does not deserve a new liver. Still, I struggle with the idea that the UK can release a mass murdering terrorist on compassionate grounds, but cannot give a life saving operation to a non criminal teenager. Under the regulations Gareth Anderson is not entitled to a transplant. He does not have the right to one, particularly if he is taking a liver that could be going to someone else who played no role in their own illness. However, it is difficult ot brush aside the life of a 19 year old boy, even a foolish one. The truth is that although he does not have the right to a transplant, giving Gareth Anderson a new chance at life would be a genuine act of mercy and compassion.

Monday, 24 August 2009

But who will protect stupid people from themselves?

Laura Glasser writes: "The Obama administration has proposed creating a new federal unit called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a regulator that would write rules to protect consumers from dangerous financial products. The CFPA would focus solely on protecting consumers from risky products and unscrupulous practices in the financial industry by scrutinizing institutions to make sure they’re obeying and punish those that don’t."

Again I ask - who will protect consumers from themselves??? I spent roughly ten years working in finance, and for part of that time I worked as a Credit Analyst. I spent hours pouring over people's credit history and approving or denying their requests. Many of these people had no understanding of the most basic aspects of consumer credit, and yet here they were asking for credit to buy things they could not afford. Of course there is plenty of blame to go around in the current situation - but when a certain administration passed regulations seemingly based on the belief that owning a home is a human right - it forced banks to help John and Jane Doe buy a home they could not afford. Now the current administration is upset that the Big Bad Banks gave loans to the Doe's which, as it turns out, they could not afford.

Ms. Glasser points out that there are four oversight agencies already covering this area. It makes you wonder if there is a competition in Washington to see who can create the most red tape.

Maybe this CFPA could have agents posted at all transaction points, where they can give consumers the yay or nay on their purchases. I hear the government already has people at yard sales.

Square Mile Alert: Update on draft OTC Derivatives Markets Act of 2009

Bloomberg reports that Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC wants Congress to give the bill a little more of this and a little less of that. He is asking that "the bill ... get rid of exemptions for small derivatives dealers, repeal parts of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act, and impose requirements to set aside money to back up trades." Apparently Timothy Geithner already told regulatory bigwigs to "stop campaigning" for changes but Gensler still put forward his ideas in a letter.

Get ready for massive changes my friends:
"The derivatives legislation asks Congress to impose higher capital and margin requirements, move most derivatives to regulated exchanges and clearinghouses and impose supervision over all dealers."
If OTC products are moved to regulated exchanges they're not so OTC anymore are they? Hmmm what to call them...

It also includes a provision to “better protect” small municipalities and “unsophisticated investors” by limiting their eligibility to trade derivatives."
He is right about this - unsophisticated investors should not be dealing in OTC and derivatives products, but why does local government need the bigger government to tell them that? Sheep.

Finally - for those of you in the SquareMile or OTC world: check out this link which discusses Gensler's difference of opinion on regulations for FX swaps/forwards and clearing/trading requirements.

Wow.

That is all I can say about this naughty man.

But Libya promised it would be low key.....

Really? Is that the best MacAskill could come up with? And you're telling me the Scottish authorities believed the promise to be true?

Another jewelry grab in London....

"We knew something was wrong when the motorbikes left the road and drove up on to the pavement." Uh, no kidding.

"There were six big guys with helmets and one smashed the door...All you could hear was the din of broken glass. They came in and took almost everything. There was a huge panic."

John Bolton slams Clinton, Obama and Scotland over Megrahi's release Plus: Boycott the UK?

"So what happened? The state department said on Friday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked "for weeks and months" to persuade Britain not to release the murderer. Both Washington and London all but begged Gaddafi not to hold public celebrations on Megrahi's arrival in Tripoli. Yet Britain, the other half of the "special relationship", ignored Clinton's efforts, as did Libya, which only recently resumed full diplomatic relations with America.
This is effective US diplomacy? This is one of the tangible benefits of Obamamania? The purported "decision" by Scotland (under whose laws America, Britain and Libya agreed Megrahi would be tried) was almost surely taken at the behest of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Government. Even worse, Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, and Lord Trefgarne, president of the Libyan-British Business Council, have both essentially confirmed that Megrahi's release was intended to facilitate enhanced commercial relationships between Britain and Libya. Gaddafi said the release "will be positively reflected for sure in all areas of co-operation between the two countries". Is there any doubt of his meaning?
Cabinet protestations to the contrary are increasingly hollow, as inconvenient new evidence, such as Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis's letter to Scotland's justice secretary, demonstrates. For sure, there was no "deal" between Brown and Gaddafi or their underlings, no signed contract, no express quid pro quo between Megrahi's release and business for Britain. In reality, of course, that is not the way it's done. All denials of such an explicit transaction are probably "the truth", but not the whole truth. Sequencing the release and the subsequent contracts was designed to enhance official deniability, but the linkage is palpable to all concerned."

Read it all in The Telegraph.

Pretty sure this is not how Hillary Clinton wanted her time as Secretary of State to pan out.
Is this truly the Administration of Irrelevancy?

Boycott Scotland? It might sound good but if you are in for a boycott you need to think bigger. If Americans wants to boycott it needs to be UK wide. London had just as much, if not more, to do with Megrahi's release than Scotland.

Prince Andrew has made three official visits to Libya in the past three years, plus two private visits. And yes, he has met with Colonel Gaddafi more than once. I'm sure you will all be relieved to know that Prince Andrew is "considering dropping his plans to visit Libya next month."

I can't believe a few weeks ago I put 30GBP into the royal coffers by going on a tour of Buckingham Palace. Where can I get my money back???

Americans who are serious about a boycott will not just focus on Scotland - it will be a UK wide boycott. That means cancel your flights to Heathrow, hotels in Knightsbridge, shopping sprees on Oxford Street and buying Walker's Shortbread (even though it is delicious!).
If it is worth doing you should do it right - and then write to UK officials and tourism boards to let them know you're doing it.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Boo. Hoo.

A blind grandmother is getting deported from Canada. So sad. Well, actually it is sad that this elderly woman who is blind will be removed from her family and forced to return to Poland, or face arrest. But guess what? She has been living illegally in Canada for ELEVEN years. And how did this happen? Well, she came to visit her kids and never left. Grandma claims that an immigration "specialist" told her to claim asylum. Shocker: she was not granted asylum. Frankly I think that shows at least some part of Canada's immigration system is working.

OK maybe grandma does not speak English, maybe grandma is not overly independent, maybe grandma is not aware of how immigration laws work. I don't care. Grandma was only 58 years old when she made her illegal voyage to Canada - doesn't sound so pitiful now does it? Grandma has kids who should have been looking after this stuff for her. People are saying this should not have happened and they are right. She should not have moved here illegally. She should not have stayed here illegally. Her kids should have looked after this for her.

Spare me the bleeding hearts. You've had eleven years to get this figured out.

Protesters in Caracas who do not want schools to "indoctrinate their children to socialism"

face tear gas, rubber bullets and water canons.

Does anyone care what Chavez is doing down in Venezuela? I do.

FBI Director Robert Mueller writes scathing letter to Scottish Justice Secretary

"Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world who now believe that regardless of the quality of the investigation, the conviction by jury after the defendant is given all due process, and sentence appropriate to the crime, the terrorist will be freed by one man's exercise of ''compassion".

Read it all.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Marching in Caracas

Today a march to protest Venezuela's "Law of Education" is scheduled to take place in Caracas. A counter-march, run by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is also scheduled. I wrote about the "Law of Education" last week - it is a highly controversial law giving the government massive amounts of control over all levels of education in Venezuela.

Earlier protests against this bill ended with journalists being attacked, and the Latin American Herald Tribune reported that several university students were targeted by Chavez thugs on Wednesday (the 19th). The LAHT also noted the government has made it clear that refusing to follow the new legislation will be seen as criminal act.

Minister of the Interior and Justice Tarek El Aissami noted that "Metropolitan Police agents will be responsible for the security of the demonstrators."

Hmmmmmm. We'll see what happens.
Beware of government intrusions my friends.

Travel Alert: Air Canada introduces iPhone appy

Quick note for my fellow frequent flyers: Air Canada is rolling out an application that allows you to get flight info and boarding passes on iPhone AND iPod touch. It is the first North American carrier to do so. Hurray Air Canada. OK that's it.

Saturday Morning Deliciousness....



When I was a kid, my dad and I used to ride our bikes into town and buy these ice cream sandwiches called Snack and a Half. Not sure if they still sell them anywhere? They were soooooo good. Oatmeal cookies with ice cream in the middle and dipped in chocolate. Well I have recreated them from scratch - and they are so good on a summer day.


Oatmeal Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Step One: Whip up this Martha Stewart recipe for Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies. The cookies are great on their own, but if I am using them for ice cream sandwiches I usually leave out the pecans.

Step Two: Once you have cooked and cooled the cookies, layer them with your favourite ice cream. I prefer vanilla or chocolate for these sandwiches.

Step Three: Roll the edges of your sandwich in a topping of choice (sprinkles or chocolate chips or chopped nuts, etc).

Step Four: Stick them on a sheet of parchment paper and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so.

Step Five: Enjoy!

Drug Cartels Sending "Agents" to Infiltrate US Law Enforcement

Scott Stewart and Fred Burton from STRATFOR have written a very interesting article about the benefits and risks of using confidential informants in the battle against drug cartels. The article also discusses the high level of sophistication these groups have when it comes to gathering intelligence.

"With the money to buy foreign expertise and equipment, the Mexican cartels have been able to set up counterintelligence branches that can administer polygraph examinations, signals intelligence branches that can intercept the authorities’ communications and even elaborate (and well-funded) units designed to identify and bribe vulnerable public officials. The Mexican cartels also assign people to infiltrate law-enforcement agencies by applying for jobs. According to a report released last week, in a 10-month period, four applicants for U.S. border law enforcement positions were found through background checks and polygraph examinations to be infiltrators from drug-trafficking organizations. It is important to remember that these four were only those who were caught, and not all agencies submit applicants to the same scrutiny, so the scope of the problem is likely much larger."

It is very interesting. STRATFOR is a subscription service but you can get one free article from them by entering your email address. Read the entire article here.

Friday, 21 August 2009

18 Year Old Gets 3 Months for Facebook death threats

Very interesting.

"Houghton, of Malvern in Worcestershire, had two previous convictions relating to her vendetta against Miss Moore. In 2005 she was convicted of assaulting her as she walked home from school and was subsequently expelled."

They called her a bully. I was thinking of another word...

In Memory of Channon Christian

Channon Christian was a young American girl whose life ended needlessly and far too soon. Unfortunately, her death, and the death of her boyfriend, have received little national media attention. There are some who have manipulated the story surrounding this case and turned it into a circus, and I will not be embracing any of that discourse on this site. I wanted to post something about the horrific nature of this crime and those who perpetrated it, but frankly after reading over the trial transcripts and statements of the defendants this week I am too sickened to do so.

Instead, I want to give the spotlight to Channon - a beautiful young woman who I never had the honour of knowing, but whose story touched my heart. She will not be forgotten.

Cross-border travel drops after passport rules enforced

The Globe and Mail reports that same day trips between the US and Canada dropped 26% in June. Ouch.

Come on people, get your passport already and get back in the travel-saddle!!

"Disappeared faster than Adam Brody post OC"

If you have not heard of Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian who currently does his thing on PJTV, you should check him out. In his most recent video, a funny line about Adam Brody still has me smiling. This victory dance may be premature, but it is nice to know that there are young, funny, conservative comedians out there.

And for some Friday fun....here is Seth Cohen trying to "disappear"

Update: Islamic Awakening Suspended

Thank you to everyone who acted on this. A big thank you to the Jawa Report, and to the MPs who were calling for it to be closed.

Update: Islamic Awakening has been up and down and up again. Not really sure what has been going on, other than that a number of newspapers had been reporting it, MPs were talking about it and supposedly a complaint was filed with the Home Office. The site is now running again but it is no longer hosted by RapidSwitch.

Why did the Justice Department let the Black Panthers off the hook?

John Fund examines this clear case of voter intimidation in his column at the Wall Street Journal.

There is video evidence of Black Panther members standing outside a polling station on election day, wearing paramilitary gear and holding a nighstick/club. Yet somehow, Eric Holder (Mr. AmericaisaNationofCowards) and his crew at the Justice Department have made the charges disappear.

"There was outrage over the decision among Congressional Republicans, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division—especially after it was learned one of the defendants who walked was Jerry Jackson, a member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee and a credentialed poll watcher for the Democratic Party last Election Day. "

I think we know who the real cowards are.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Reality star/murder suspect flees to Canada on foot...

But TMZ reports he may be heading to Honduras.

Um, maybe this guy should pick up a map somewhere.

Call To Action: Stop online terror sympathizers

I do not often post jihad related stuff, simply because I think there are many others who already do a great job. However, today I am making an exception.

Islamic Awakening Forum is a chat forum full of jihad supporters and terrorist sympathizers. On this forum threads praise suicide bombers, praise mother's who raise their children to be martyrs, threaten to execute a Professor who insulted the prohet, praise the killing of British troops, praise pro Al Qaeda groups, and boast that they have tried to harrass the family of a captive US soldier.
These are just a few examples of the vile material posted on the site.

Over at the Jawa Report, Howie has posted a full list of contact details for the company which provides web hosting services for this site: Rapid Switch. Rapid Switch is owned by Iomart, based in Glasgow.

Melt the phones. Fire off the emails.
Shut. Them. Down.

Revolting: Lockerbie bomber released

Lockerbie bomber released on compassionate grounds.

So let's review: terrorists live freely in the UK, but even if you blow up 270 people, get found guilty for doing it and sentenced to life in prison there is no need to worry - you can still receive a get out of jail free card.

Hillary Clinton spoke out against this - and it is a blow to US credibility and influence.

Euroweenie style justice.

Send out the alert: The United Kingdom does not punish terrorists.

Just keep telling yourself the NHS is awesome....

So awesome that 45,000 NHS staff call in sick every day.

Shocker: Binge boozing causes liver cancer rates to triple

That's right, in the past 30 years liver cancer rates have tripled in the UK because Brits just cannot put down the bottle, or in most cases the extra large can.

Can someone please get me out of here?

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Oh my, Lehman Bros the movie??

One day they were there, the next day they were gone....and drowning their sorrows in the Slug and Lettuce. I wonder if the movie will show that part?

Sultan Knish on the raging health care debate...

"And what goes for the media, goes double for the Obama Administration, who's commitment to style over substance, and image over reality, blinded it to the fact that many of those mainstream Americans who did vote for Obama, were giving him a chance, rather than an open ended mandate. With ObamaCare, Barry trotted out a high flying media campaign and did what he's always done, put on a show. But the show never went on as scheduled because ordinary Americans, including those who voted for him, had actual questions they wanted answered."

A very interesting read. Food for thought.

So Michelle Obama was seen wearing shorts...

while visiting the Grand Canyon with her kids and President Obama.

I have seen her in some bad fashion choices, but I don't think this is one of them. Seriously, is this the highest level of debate some people are capable of having?

*yawn*

Moving on to more important things....

Good News: Almost one million young adults standing around doing nothing in Britain

"The number of Neets - young people not in education, employment or training - has risen to a record 959,000."

No surprise here my friend. They are just waiting to start collecting benefits.

All hail the nanny state...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Hypocrisy Alert: The Left and BoycottBeckorama

Living overseas, I do not get to watch Glenn Beck live on the air. In fact, the last time I was living in a country where I could watch Beck on television he was still on CNN/Headline News. I still see clips of his show on the internet – and I was not really surprised when I started reading headlines saying he called President Obama “racist.” As expected, the left and much of the MSM have gone completely haywire over this. There are boycotts, counter boycotts – it is dramarama central.

Glenn Beck has quite a bit of freedom on the air – and he chose to use it. The great thing about America is that if people do not like what he says they can write letters and boycott, just as many Americans did several months ago when David Letterman made sexual jokes about Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter. And guess what? People who support Glenn Beck can boycott the companies who have pulled their advertising from Beck’s show in a counter boycott. That is the beauty of a free country.

What bothers me about this whole situation is the hypocritical outrage directed at Beck because of his comments. How dare someone call the beloved president racist? Funny how the tide has turned.

Here are just two examples of what a certain MSNBC pundit said about Bush:




Of course, it was alright to say Bush was un American, had no sense of decency, that he was engaging in “melodramatic fearmongering,” that the actions of a “ceaseless line of terrorists” could not measure up to his wrongs, and that “the threat this generation of Americans needs to take seriously is you (Bush).”

If you click here, you can visit Zombie’s collection of photos from leftist rallies comparing Bush to Hitler and the Nazis.

Free speech for me, but not for thee.

The group leading the campaign against Beck – Color of Change – was founded by Van Jones who, Newbusters reports, is part of the Obama administration. Coincidence? I think not.

Kathy Shaidle reports on the “success” of the boycott so far, and the counterboycott is well underway.

Would I have called President Obama a racist on national television? Probably not.
Do I support Glenn Beck? Absolutely.

Exit question: How much attention is BoycottBeckorama diverting from the health care debate and is this part of the plan?

Give them coca and they will make cocaine...

Antonio Regaldo of the Wall Street Journal reports cocaine production in Bolivia is up nearly 65% after president Morales eases growing restrictions. Hmmmm....surprised??

Monday, 17 August 2009

Disgrace: Stop the War names the dead at London cenotaph


For some time now Stop the War has been advertising on their website that as soon as the 200th British soldier was killed in Afghanistan they would start holding naming of the dead ceremonies at memorials across Britain. You know, almost as if they were just waiting for the 200th soldier to die so they could get back in front of the cameras....

Sadly over the past week the death toll of British soldiers in Afghanistan has surpassed 200. In fact it is now at 204. May they rest in peace.


What a disgrace it was today for me to watch Tony Benn (President of Britain's Stop the War) and a few (literally) supporters use this sad milestone to slander British troops and to shed some "tears" for those who gave their life for their country. And they did it all on the steps of the very memorial that is meant to honour those who fight for freedom.
Please do not be fooled - I have attended many events organized by StW and what they care about is pushing their anti capitalist, anti freedom, anti semitic, anti American, anti Western agenda. Using the Cenotaph as a pulpit from which to promote their agenda is revolting and a slap in the face to the men and women who have died defending Britain.






Tony Benn lights up his pipe and poses for reporters on the steps of the Cenotaph in London.


Wearing a t-shirt accusing British forces of torture, this man would read off the names of dead British soldiers.


It was a small group - reporters seemed to outnumber those with StW.


Note the t-shirt the woman is wearing which reads "die letzte schlacht gewinnen wir" - "We Will Win the Final Battle." This song has become a communist revolutionary anthem; its lyrics state that homeownership should be abolished and encourage the fight against police and capitalism.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm. No surprise here.


Birds of a feather flock together. One of the two guys I saw selling the Socialist Worker on the steps of the Cenotaph, chatting up a woman wearing a t-shirt supporting the overthrow of capitalism. All in the name of 'honouring' British soldiers. Right.


The readers left a bouquet of lilies and small purple teddy bear at the Cenotaph. I am not fooled.


The cenotaph at Whitehall. May the 204 men and women who have lost their lives serving in Afghanistan rest in peace.

The Guardian thinks America is launching stealth war against UK

It's on. The Guardian's assault on America continues.

"First they knock our NHS, then they mess with our film posters; truly, there are days when it's hard not to believe that America hasn't launched a stealth war against us, and that by this time next year we'll have become a fully air-conditioned outcrop of the American Empire, with Cheetos on tap and Meat Loaf on the stereo."

Stop buying this newspaper.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

If you still need a reason to stop reading The Guardian...

This should do it.

"Critics say that Republican politicians have let loose a wave of anger tied to the healthcare debate. Fuelled by racial issues and the economic crisis, it may be impossible to control."

Yes there are some right wing fanatics in the States - but that is not who this article is talking about.

Lie. Lie. Lie. And it is only going to get worse.

Sunday afternoon stroll...


If you are new to London, or just visiting, I highly recommend you take some time to explore the area of Belsize Park, Hampstead Heath in North London. A beautiful area with a large North American community, Belsize Park and Hampstead Heath have many wonderful restaurants and shops - as well as miles of nature trails.
Recommended walking route: If you have some time, take the Northern Line to Belsize Park station. When you exit the station turn to your right, and you can follow this road straight along past rows of shops and into Hampstead.
While in the area stop by the Belsize Village Delicatessen, where you can get lots of tasty treats from home (like marshmallows, peanut butter and maple syrup) and fabulous cheese.
Looking for something to eat? Try popular ice cream parlour, Slice of Ice. Or for something a bit heartier, enjoy a steak dinner at Gaucho.
For things to do check out Kenwood House, the Pergola, and the seemingly endless walking and cycling trails that surround the area.
Enjoy!


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Increase in arms being smuggled into Iran....

STRATFOR is reporting an increase in arms being smuggled into Iran.

Hmmmm.........keep your eye on this one.

The Law of Education: Venezuela adopts bill giving Chavez more control

The Miami Herald reports:
The bill appears to open up education to political interference by the government. Among other provisions, it enshrines ``Bolivarian doctrine'' as the basis of education and gives a major role in education to the so-called ``communal councils,'' which are community assemblies mostly dominated by the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Fantastic.

Saturday morning deliciousness....


Before you start reading about all the world's woes, take a break and make something yummy like this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie. You can use a little less sugar and a little more strawberries with this recipe and everything will still come out tasting fantastic. Enjoy!

Friday, 14 August 2009

"We love the NHS" campaign makes me feel sick

Guess what Americans: Britain hates you. Not the way Canadians "hate" Americans and have a few laughs at their expense, I am talking about a genuine belief that the USA represents all that is wrong with the world and that Americans are truly evil people. Now that some Americans are pointing out the flaws in Britain's health care system - it is the perfect excuse for all Britons to vent their deep hatred of the evil USA.

Yes Americans - you have hit a nerve. You see, on any regular news day you would find stories complaining about the NHS (which is a nightmare) printed in many British newspapers, but now that stupid Americans have pointed it out, it is suddenly the best health care system in the world. Everyone is rushing to tweet how great the NHS is. The Brits just can't handle that a country full of people so intellectually inferior to them would dare to question the quality of care at the NHS.

Make no mistake - this sudden outpouring of support for the NHS has almost nothing to do with the health care system in Britain - but it has everything to do with an irrational hatred of Americans.

Visit the website of any major British newspaper, read the comments relating to this story and you will see what I mean.

End of summer reading list...

The end of summer is rapidly approaching, but you still have a few weeks left to catch up on some long overdue reading. I highly recommend picking up the following books before you head to the beach:

Shakedown, by Ezra Levant, examines in detail Canada's Human Rights Commission. This book is not just for Canadians - if you love and value free speech you need to read this book. Levant examines the structure of this system, how the process works (and he knows having been put through the wringer himself) and details some incredibly bizarre cases that leave you shaking your head.

The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence, examines events in Africa over the past fifty years. In its 700+ pages this book delves into every corner of the continent and provides valuable insight into the Africa of today. Martin Meredith's narrative is easy to follow and this books makes you think (it might also leave you feeling a little depressed). He carefully details recent events, and looks at the role humanitarian groups play in helping and hindering progress in Africa.

Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad, written by former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton who people love or hate. Whatever your politics, this book is a very interesting read. Bolton reviews his time at the UN (outlining its inefficacy) and provides an inside look at key events during the George W. Bush presidency. Although I found some parts of the book a bit dry, it is definitely worth reading and I highly recommend it.

If you need some mindless entertainment I recommend The Negotiator by Christian author Dee Henderson. It is a clean, fun read.

Enjoy!

Hey Americans - go flag yourself



Friday fun with Steven Crowder.

Square Mile Alert: Obama sends OTC proposal to Congress

President Obama sends OTC proposal to Congress, which comes back from recess on September 8th. Get ready for major changes. Keep your eye on this one.

Apparently it is possible to get a new face without going under the knife.

Thieves in jewelry heist received latex makeovers in Covent Garden studio.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Why bother educating women when people are just going to ask you what your husband thinks anyway?

Alright I'm pretty tired of the endless loop being shown of Hillary Clinton's "my husband is not...". It was definitely not her finest moment - although for some reason I find it pretty funny. I actually feel bad for her *waiting for the email to start pouring in about that one* because sometimes, on a much smaller scale, I can relate to her sentiment. This whole snappysnap incident reminded me of her Tammy Wynette comment back in the day when she still wore hairbands - she just makes herself look, um, bad. Her outburst drowned out anything important she might have had to say.

Well I stopped feeling bad when I read this quote from an interview she gave yesterday:
if you educate a man, you educate a man. If you educate a woman, you educate a family.

Apparently everything we learn from our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, is not important. I guess in Clinton's world the men are so busy pursuing other things they don't have time to teach anyone anything.

Yeah women are great, but I know some pretty awesome men too.

Note to Hillary's stylist: Please cut out the lavender pantsuits and ask Madame Secretary to sit up straight.

Yale too scared to print cartoons.

Mark Steyn comments:

"What all these stories — from this disgusting act to the no-donuts-at-Ramadan "recommendations" now common at European businesses — have in common is acceptance of the same general principle: that the most extreme interpretation of Islamic "law" now applies to Muslim and non-Muslim alike"

This is one trip I won't be taking...

Why does it not surprise me that Code Pink recommends and endorses this trip?

"It has become even more important for Americans to educate themselves, and provide a counter balance to the United States' demonization of the country and people," um, yeah, ok.

My favourite part:
"Because of the current circumstances, meetings with government officials, NGOs and some religious minorities are restricted [....] Nonetheless, we feel that citizen diplomacy in countries with which the US maintains a stance of isolation, is the first step to breaking the walls and barriers"

Yes, I'm sure a bunch of anti-war nutjobs visiting Iran will change everything and stop this, this and this from happening.

Just because it is free does not mean it is good

Do not believe all the lies being told about Britain's national health care system, the NHS. I don't mean the stories that "American conservatives" are telling, although some of them may contain factual errors and should be verified. If someone tells you Britain's health care system is good they are probably saying so for one of three reasons:

1. They have never had to use it.
2. They have only ever used the British health care system and thus have nothing to compare it to.
3. They immigrated to Britain from Third World countries and their standard of 'good' health care is a bit different than what North Americans would expect.

My own experience with health care in Canada, the United States, and Britain has led me to believe that Britain has by far the worst health care system of the three. Most expats (from any Western country) in London will tell you to avoid the NHS at all cost unless: you want to bring your own bedding and pillows to the hospital when you go into labour, you want to be told that North American doctors are always doing things wrong, you want to risk infection in unclean hospitals, you want to be misdiagnosed time and time again, or you want to have to pretend that you have OD'd to get an ambulance to take you to the hospital.

There are good doctors in the UK, I have one and I pay 450GBP for a physical.
Wherever you stand on the health care debate know this:
Just because you can go to the doctor for free does not mean you are receiving good health care.

And they wonder why the pews are empty at the United Church...

As its numbers continue to decline you would think that someone within the United Church would ask themselves 'what can we do to get more people through the door on Sundays?' Instead, they are asking themselves what they can do about that evil Zionist entity Israel and the Jooooooos.

Maybe I am wrong (highly unlikely), but I thought most people attend church to learn about spiritual things, not to be told which fruit to avoid because it is grown by the evil Jews. Even if I am wrong about that, the United Church of Canada is way behind the ball. There is already another religious group way ahead of them when it comes to demonizing Israel, and I doubt they can catch up - although it looks like they might try.

If you are a member of the United Church of Canada, send a polite letter to your clergy and let them know what you think about this. Hmmmmmm is it time to reconsider what your tithes and offerings are supporting?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

He "repeatedly hurled her against the window..."

Man dies trying to drag his girlfriend, after throwing her through the window of Banana Republic.

Karma.

Of all the children's programming shown in the Palestinian territories...

CNN chooses to feature this one. Well at least there appears to be no humanitarian crisis on Shara'a Simsim.

Maybe next time they should have a look at this.

If you see someone running in London Part Three

If you see someone running from a jewelry (American spelling) store do you really need to think twice about why? This amateur video was shot after the largest jewelry heist in British history. It is a huge story here not just because of the amount of goods that were stolen, but because the robbers had guns. People here tend to pee their pants at the sight of a gun since even the police do not carry them.

Somehow I think if I was strolling around Bond Street, which I love to do, and I saw someone running out of a jewelry store I would assume they were armed and hit the deck. But maybe people here don't realize how far and how fast bullets can travel??

Obama town hall meetings are like reality tv shows...

Some people think they are real, but they're not.

Michelle Malkin reports on the health care reform theatrics, the meanies and the fearmongering.

British judge faces inquiry after speaking the truth about Britain's immigration policies

While sentencing a Jamaican drug dealer, Judge Ian Trigger commented that the case was a reflection of Britain's ridiculous immigration system. [I highly recommend you read the link - it is full of interesting tidbits.] If you are familiar with the immigration system in Britain, you will know that it is a joke. The country has massive amounts of illegal immigrants, and everyone knows that if you need to extend your stay claiming asylum is your best bet. The great thing is if you have claimed asylum you are not entitled to work - so you can spend your day doing fun things like begging and standing around doing nothing (literally) for hours on end in Finsbury Park's Blackstock Road. If after waiting out the two year backlog, you are granted asylum you can start to work, but why bother when you can continue receiving government benefits?

Claiming asylum in Britain is not difficult. As the article mentions, a female drug dealer claimed she could not return to her country because she was a lesbian. Was she from the Middle East? Not quite, she was Jamaican. And yes, she was granted asylum.

Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that the immigration system in Britain is setup to make as much money as possible off hard working people who contribute massive amounts of tax dollars to the government's ridiculous welfare schemes. And they wonder why there is currently a mass exodus from this country.

I am having trouble deciding what is more ridiculous; Britain's immigration system, or the inquiry this judge is now facing because his comments "extended overtly into the political arena." Puleeze. It is true that some of his comments were quite political, but one can find case after case where judges have made decisions based on a political agenda.

Apparently having an agenda on the bench is alright in this country, but telling the truth about a broken immigration system is not.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Code Pink morons at Sephora.....

Over at Atlas Shrugs, Pamela has posted a video of Code Pink whackos protesting at a Sephora store in Paris. Code Pink is protesting because Sephora carries an Israeli cosmetic line, Ahava, and of course Israel and the Jews are the source of all evil in the world (at least if you ask the members of Code Pink). Watch the video. Similar protests have taken place at Sephora stores in the States. Code Pink makes me embarrassed to be a woman.

Ladies fire up the credit cards...it is time to go shopping!!
I have previously linked to Sephora on this site because I love their online shopping and home delivery service. Now I have reason to again. Buy Ahava. If you live in Europe, you can order Ahava products online from Sephora France. Would you like to see Ahava products available online at Sephora in North America? Contact Sephora and tell them how much you love Ahava products.

Because unlike the morons of Code Pink, here at Square Mile Wife we know that smart women like to have fun and look good.

Does hatred for Israel stem from jealousy?

Here is something for you to think about while you munch on your Special K.

Stephanie Gutmann raises some interesting discussion points on her blog at The Telegraph.
Why is the world so obsessed with hating Israel? Perhaps it is because despite all odds, this tiny country with a small population continues to succeed and dominate in various fields. Perhaps if the haters had to acknowledge that Israel was legitimately successful they would then have to ask themselves some hard questions about why other countries (or certain territories, ahem) cannot face the odds head on and create their own success. I doubt that would happen though - too many people have built a career and lined their pocketbooks hating Israel and Jews.

Lost your job? Become a beggar...

Some readers may like to give money to homeless people - a kind and generous gesture. In London (and most big European cities), it is also a foolish one. Beggars are often victims of human trafficking, or part of a begging "ring" where they must give a cut, or all, of their "earnings" to someone else. As a result, the money you thought would be helping them is not.

An even better reason not to give money to beggars: new police reports show growing numbers of beggars are not homeless (see link above). Yes, people actually beg professionally because they can make up to 200GBP a day, tax free. In this economy it is not suprising that more and more people are turning to the streets for money.

If you live in London and truly feel the need to help the homeless buy them something to eat (ask them first though because often they refuse even new food), or buy a copy of the Big Issue.

Keep your spare change, unless you are happy paying for someone to remodel their kitchen.

Note for visitors in London: The Big Issue is a magazine program which gives homeless people a product they can sell instead of begging. People you see performing inside London Underground stations (but not the ones that are actually riding on the tube), are not beggars. They have auditioned to play there and have permits. These people are professional buskers, not beggars and many of them are actually quite good.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Great news: suspected terrorist back to work at NHS hospital

Just another reason to avoid NHS services at all costs.

"The court heard that Dr Asha had given money to both Abdulla and Ahmed, and extremist material was found on the doctor's laptop. But he said he did not know the £1,300 he lent to Abdulla was to rent and buy cars and bomb-making equipment."

Right. It was all just a big misunderstanding.

RIP Private Jason Williams

"On the day he died Jason was taking part in an action which adhered to every soldier's oldest code: leave no man behind. "

She's back!

Internet is up and running again. More to come about that later. Lots going on at the moment.....but rest assured - have internet. Will blog.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A bend in the road is not the end of the road...

unless you fail to make the turn.

I just keep repeating that cheesy but true phrase. Unfortunately for the past 48 hours I have had no phone or internet access, which has been coupled with a family emergency.

I promise that as soon as this issue is reolved and I am back online I will be posting regularly. Don't give up on Square Mile Wife, we will be back in full force.

And when I am back I will give you some advice on which phone companies NOT to use if/when you immigrate to the UK.

In the meantime if you are looking for some interesting reading I recommend that you go out and buy a copy of Ezra Levant's book, Shakedown, which I will be blogging about in the near future.

Cheers,
SMW

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Canada's NDP and the Obama Administration, strange bedfellows?

Not if you have been paying close attention. Kathy Shaidle has the details at the link above.

Great News: ID cards forged in 12 minutes and encoded with message for holder to be shot on sight

Oh yeah, and last year 3000 blank UK passports disappeared while in transit.

So there has been a great deal of fuss about the new National Identity Card that the British government is set to roll out next year to the tune of 5.4billionGBP. As an immigrant in the UK, I will likely be required to get one of these cards and it does not appeal to me at all. The card will be embedded with biometric data such as fingerprints and potentially iris scans. In an investigation conducted by The Daily Mail, a technowizard was able to clone one of the cards and encode a message in it that the cardholder was a terrorist who should be shot on sight. He did all this in 12 minutes.

But don't worry - the government says these cards are fraud proof.

Best sunscreen product this year


If you are like me, you hate putting liquid sunscreen on your face. Even the best brands always seem to leave me feeling greasy. That is why I was so excited when I found this new product from bareMinerals (Bare Escentuals) for sale at Sephora.com.
I ordered it, have used it many times, and it is fantastic! It is convenient, I can carry it in my purse, it does not leave me feeling greasy at all as it is a powder, it comes in different shades and best of all....it actually works.
Just don't forget to reapply if you are out in the sun for hours. Put this on your pre-weekend shopping list then get out and enjoy what's left of summer!

If you see someone running in London Part Two

"She said: "We saw the man run past followed by two policemen and we were laughing at it, singing the theme to The Bill.
"He didn't even look to be running very fast, but then he turned around and he fired.
"He was running as he turned and shot.
"It didn't sound like a real gun, it sounded something like a starter gun, but it shocked us."

White House asks Americans to report emails critical of policies

The Jawa Report has the round-up on this one. Read the link. Do it.

Identifying (and then what??) private citizens for exercising free speech........geez the White House is starting to sound like the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Watch this story. Doesn't it feel a little stasi to you?