South African mercenaries defeat Boko Haram in Nigeria

I note with amusement that the news of South African mercenaries becoming involved (with very effective results) in the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria has just hit the headlines. With their roots in South Africa apartheid-era security forces, they do not fit the standard image of an army of liberation. But after just three months on the ground, a squad of grizzled, ageing white mercenaries have helped to end Boko Haram’s six-long year reign of terror in northern Nigeria. Run by Colonel Eeben Barlow, a former commander in the South African Defence Force, the group of bush warfare experts

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On the mend

I’m beginning to feel a little more human, after being hit with a steroid injection and five more medications to take every day (on top of those I already take post-heart-attack and post-spinal-fusion . . . I rattle like a pillbox when I walk!). The doctor told me I didn’t have flu, as I thought – I had an allergy that had weakened my immune system enough to allow a mold or fungal infection to ‘piggyback’ on top of it.  I wasn’t in a good way at all when I saw him yesterday morning.  One of his assistants told me

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I’m sicker than I thought

Turns out my fever over the past few days hasn’t been the flu, but something nastier.  I saw the doctor this morning, and he thinks it probably started late last week as an allergy;  but with my system weakened, ‘something nasty’ decided to piggyback on top of it, producing the fever and swollen throat glands that have plagued me over the weekend. I’ve been shot full of steroids, prescribed an antibiotic and a few other bits and pieces, and told to take it easy.  I’ve got to see him again in ten days if things don’t improve (or if they

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Blogger update problems?

Can my fellow bloggers help me out? I’ve put up two blog posts since ‘Tired Puppy‘ 22 hours ago;  but neither of them are reflected in the blog feeds of other blogs that link to me (e.g. the Gun Blog Black List).  Those feeds still show ‘Tired Puppy’ as the most recent post. This has never happened to my posts before, and I’m not sure why it’s suddenly started now.  Can anyone offer any suggestions?  Has it happened to you?  How did you resolve the problem?  Is there anyone at Google I should contact? Thanks. Peter

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One heck of a Mothers Day treat . . .

Yesterday was Mothers Day, and it reminded me of this video clip. A couple of years ago, the Australian touring car series V8 Supercars decided to do something special for Mothers Day.  They invited a rather venerable mother to come for a ride around a racetrack in one of their vehicles.  Here’s how it went. She seemed to enjoy it in the end . . . but the first lap must have been a doozy! Peter

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More reactions to the Baltimore riots

Last week I cited a number of articles about the Baltimore riots: Baltimore: a perspective A grim reminder, courtesy of the Baltimore riots Don’t rely on the police for protection “A race war in slow motion” “Baltimore and the Betrayal of Black Dignity” I’ve been reading the developing reactions to the situation there with interest.  One of the most disturbing aspects, from my point of view, is the number of talking heads who are demanding or proclaiming that “the government” must do something to fix the problem – completely ignoring the fact that the government actually created the problem in

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It seems most locks aren’t as secure as I thought

I’ve recently had to look into buying a couple of decent padlocks to secure something, and did a fair amount of research to figure out which would be the best.  To my surprise, it seems padlocks aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  Follow each link for some interesting information. 1.  Crack Any Master Combination Lock in 8 Tries or Less Using This Calculator. (He’s not joking.  I have a couple of Master brand combination padlocks, and tried his technique.  It worked every time.) 2.  How to Open a Padlock with a Coke Can. If you’re like millions of Americans,

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Truth in advertising!

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Living in Italy 30 years ago for a season of club rugby, I was always stunned at the Italians’ skill at traffic lights. In Australia, of course, with 10 cars lined up, first number one goes, then number two goes, then number three, etc – whereas in Italy 30 cars move forward on green, simultaneously! (Unless, of course, you are the dickhead Australian in the tiny Fiat, just arrived, who doesn’t get it.) There is a careless genius about them on the roads, and it endures still, as witnessed by a story sent to me

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Bidding farewell to an American hero

I’m indebted to Don Surber for bringing us the life story of the late Col. Melvin Garten.  Here’s an excerpt. Melvin Garten was born May 20, 1921 in New York City, where he became another smart Jewish boy attending City College of New York. Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, greatly altered his immediate plans. Upon graduation from CCNY, he joined the Army and became a paratrooper. He then married his girlfriend, Ruth Engelman of the Bronx, in November 1942. She was a war bride. Everyone said the marriage wouldn’t last, and they were right because

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