I´ve been rather surprised by all the media attention over the appearance of Guardsman Jatenderpal Bhullar on parade duty outside Buckingham Palace this week.[Snip] During the glory days of the Indian Empire, Sikh soldiers were highly regarded by British officers for their martial prowess and never-say-die attitude. Sikh sepoys regularly fought alongside British soldiers during the frequent tribal revolts on the Afghan frontier in famous regiments such as Rattray´s Sikhs, and the young Winston Churchill nearly lost his life rescuing a wounded Sikh when he fought in the Malakand campaign of 1897.
British Gurkha regiments have guarded the royal palaces in London for years. When you see a battalion of Gurkhas on parade they all wear the same regimental and uniform headgear.
The point that this article made is that there is now one soldier in that Scots Guards battalion who is being allowed to wear a different form of headgear then all the other soldiers in that battalion. Up to now the military would never allow that to happen. What happens if a Jew and a Muslim enlist, once such an exception is made, it must be made for the Jew and the Muslim as well. Since soldiers in those British battalions enlist from all over the Commonwealth, in the years ahead, we could see all manner of headgear worn by the soldiers guarding the royal palaces in the years ahead.
I normally wouldn’t highlight the writings of uber-liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, but her scathing attack on President Obama’s response to the tragic Navy Yard shootings on Monday makes for powerful reading. Dowd reminds us that in the immediate aftermath of the brutal killing of 12 people just three miles from the White House and blocks from Capitol Hill, Barack Obama was in full campaign mode, bashing his political opponents, while families were grieving the loss of their loved ones. Instead of speaking to the nation as the president of all Americans, he decided to proceed with a
A diplomatic scramble is now under way at the United Nations to secure a resolution giving effect to the deal to rid Syria of its chemical arsenal. Next week will be dominated by the annual General Assembly, so the aim is to get a resolution through the Security Council by Friday night. Assuming this happens, will this be a triumph for diplomacy or an undignified fudge? [Snip] 1) The only reason why any sort of agreement was reached was because of the credible threat of force. Unless the Assad regime had believed there was a serious risk of a US
Sending food aid to famine-stricken countries is a "barmy" idea, says Sir David Attenborough. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the natural history broadcaster warned that the world is "heading for disaster". Without action, he claims, the "natural world will do something". He added that the natural world has been doing it "for a long time". He went on to criticise the current system of food aid sent to famine-stricken countries. "What are all these famines in Ethiopia, what are they about?" he said. "They´re about too many people for too little land. That´s what it´s about. And we are blinding ourselves.
A expert on Syria whose work was quoted by senior politicians as they debated military action has finally admitted she that she lied over her degree and said sorry. A week after she was sacked from her job as an analyst with the Institute of War, Elizabeth O´Bagy has said that not only did she not earn a doctorate from Georgetown University, but she never even attended the PhD program there. And the researcher, whose op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain in discussions over whether to launch a
A Dairy Queen employee has received a virtual shout out after he stood up for a blind customer. [Snip] The good deed came as a result of a cruel move. An employee at the Hopkins, Minnesota Dairy Queen store saw ´an older lady´ steal a $20 bill from a blind customer when they unknowingly dropped it on the floor. ´She as well as everyone else in the store knew that it was dropped by the gentleman when he was struggling to find his pocket and put his change away,´ the anonymous customer´s email read. The employee, identified only as a
The full horror of the 9/11 terror attack witnessed by Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis that could have caused his PTSD has been revealed for the first time by his stepfather. In the first interview by a member of the killer´s family, Frank Calderon, 47, said his stepson was going up the escalator from the subway station below the World Trade Center when the first of the towers collapsed. Alexis joined first responders in desperately trying to save people trapped by the collapsing building in downtown New York City. He was left so traumatized from pulling bodies from the mangled
For many metro area residents, the day when former police officers were convicted for their roles in gunning down unarmed people on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina marked a cathartic moment. On Tuesday, however, a federal judge toppled those hard-won convictions, not citing faulty evidence, but because of the "grotesque" conduct of prosecutors who never even talked to the jury. In an order upending one of the region´s most important civil rights cases in years, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt granted a new trial for five former New Orleans Police Department officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge shooting and
A tweet of mine has been included in a BuzzFeed feature called "27 More Middle Class Problems". This is not something to boast about. It´s a follow-up to an earlier feature called "27 Middle Class Problems" in which 27 twitterers, some of them micro-celebrities, are held up to ridicule for whining about something that, in the eyes of BuzzFeed, is a fairly minor issue in the grand scheme of things. For instance, here´s Eos Chater, the second violinist in Bond, complaining about a cooking problem: I think I´ve put too much water in with my quinoa. My winning tweet concerned
Iran has delivered the strongest indication yet it is prepared to make concessions on nuclear issues to end international isolation and sanctions, with the Supreme Leader announcing he was "not against" a diplomatic outreach to the West. [Snip] Mr Rouhani has approved talks between Mohamad Zarif, the US-educated foreign minister, and William Hague, his British counterpart, in New York. There is also growing speculation that a ground-breaking encounter with US diplomats is on the cards. A raft of positive statements from Iran about opening up to the West in recent days however prompted a warning from Israel that any new
ISLAMIC face veils have become "the elephant in the court room" a judge said today as he ruled a Muslim woman must remove her niqab when giving evidence. [Snip] Making the decision, Judge Peter Murphy called on the Government to make a legal ruling on the issue of veils in legal proceedings as soon as possible. He said the woman would have to show her face to the judge, jury and legal counsel when giving evidence. But she would have the option of taking it from behind a screen that would shield her from the press and public gallery.
The family of the Washington Navy Yard shooter are ´distraught´ to learn that he carried the massacre, relatives said today. A family member said that the mother and sister of Aaron Alexis were also ´shocked´ that he he could have done this. While some neighbors and acquaintances described him as ´nice,´ his father once told detectives in Seattle that his son had anger management problems related to post-traumatic stress brought on by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He also complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination during his time as a Navy reservist from 2007
US authorities investigating the mass shooting at Washington´s Navy Yard, which left 13 people dead and 14 injured, have said the attack was carried out by a lone gunman. "We don´t have any evidence or indication at this stage that there was another shooter, even though we haven´t completely ruled that out," said Washington mayor Vincent Gray. Police chief Cathy Lanier stressed that: "we do now feel comfortable that we have the single and sole person responsible for the loss of life inside of the base today. "If anything changes as we continue to go forward, we certainly will make that available to
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., responded to Monday’s tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard with another plea for Congress to take action against gun violence. “This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons — including a military-style assault rifle — and kill many people in a short amount of time. When will enough be enough?” asked Feinstein. “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless
Washington -- The White House defended President Barack Obama from criticism that he was tone deaf in his reaction to the mass shootings at Washington Navy Yard. For a second straight day, White House press secretary Jay Carney faced questions about a Monday afternoon event that occurred as the situation at the Navy Yard was still unfolding. Obama touched on the tragedy before forcefully criticizing conservative Republicans who are threatening to shut down the government. "I understand that some Republicans are trying to make something of this," Carney said
Leadership sources tell me the House GOP will soon vote on a continuing resolution that simultaneously funds the federal government and defunds Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are expected to announce the decision at Wednesday’s closed-door conference meeting. This means the conservatives who have been urging Boehner to back a defunding effort as part of the CR have won a victory, at least in terms of getting the leadership to go along with their strategy. But getting such a CR through the Democratic Senate and signed into law will be very difficult — and many House Republican
They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. So it takes nine months and two days from Newtown, from 20 dead children and six adults, for someone else to carry the same kind of AR-15 that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary School into the Washington Navy Yard. They call semiautomatics like this sport rifles. You bet. Mostly for the sport of killing innocent people, and killing them fast. This time the shooter is reported to be a Navy reservist named Aaron Alexis and when he is shot dead
For the last few weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has been trying to find a way to convince his caucus to vote for a bill that keeps the government open after Sept. 30 without picking a fight over Obamacare. But a minority of his caucus has been insisting on defunding Obamacare, egged on by outside conservative groups and a handful of far-right Republican Senators, most importantly Ted Cruz (Texas). This has been pretty annoying for a lot of House Republican members and staff. Jonathan Strong and Andrew Stiles of National Review got an anecdote out of a closed Republican Study Committee
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged House Republicans to not shut down the federal government. “I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” McCain said on CNN. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.” President Barack Obama and Republicans have to agree on another resolution to fund the government before the current resolution expires on September 30. As The Hill notes, at least a third of House Republicans want the Republican leadership to use the next round of budget
President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to "vetted" opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad´s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah. The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would "waive the prohibitions in sections 40
If you have any doubts that President Obama’s handling of Syria is an utter debacle, witness the embarrassing spectacle this morning as his top aides scramble to place blame for it at their boss’s feet. In today’s Wall Street Journal, senior officials leak how they desperately tried to talk Obama out of his “head-spinning reversal” on airstrikes and his decision to go to Congress. “He received swift — and negative — responses from his staff,” the Journal reports. National security adviser Susan Rice, we learn, warned that “he risked undermining his powers as commander in chief.” Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer
Suffice it to say, it’s hard to do a deal when the only thing the other guy wants is the one thing you can’t give him. This null set scenario is, unfortunately, precisely where we find ourselves in the debate over funding the government beyond September 30th. House Republicans are insisting that any funding measure simultaneously de-fund Obamacare, while Democrats have rightly proclaimed this idea preposterous. And there appears to be no wiggle room in the GOP position. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked House Speaker John Boehner what else on the entire
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday wearily lamented “yet another mass shooting,” this time in the nation’s capital where the debate that raged earlier this year over tightening firearms laws has stalled amid opposition from gun-rights advocates. The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard came a week after voters recalled two Colorado legislators who supported tougher gun measures, illustrating the strong political headwinds faced by lawmakers seeking to respond to the violence. Obama, for one, has been powerless to get legislation passed despite a string of mass shootings during his presidency. In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama
The University of California has leased an Oakland residence for incoming system president Janet Napolitano for $9,950 a month, officials said Monday. Napolitano, the former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, will be provided the housing plus an annual $570,000 salary, $8,916 a year for car expenses and $142,500 for one-time relocation costs. Napolitano is scheduled to begin her UC presidency Sept. 30, with her office at UC system headquarters in downtown Oakland. The two-year lease for the 3,500-square-foot residence began Sept. 1.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin exploded over the Obama administration’s anti-coal policies Tuesday. “We’re getting the living crap beaten out of us,” Manchin said during a Senate hearing with President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the country’s top energy regulator. “There has been nothing more beat up than coal.” Manchin voiced his frustrations with rules put forward by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency which have made it more costly and difficult for coal plants and coal mines to operate. “They just beat the living daylights out of little West Virginia, but they sure like what we produce,” Manchin added. “We