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2 Articles on Royalty : Debuttante Ball in China, Prince Charles’ Tracked Adventure – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 25th Febryary 2012

In 1% tricks and traps, Bajan, England, sovereignty, unwanted gentrification on February 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

ARTICLE 1

Debutante ball bounces back – by Xu Junqian (China Daily) – 08:12, January 10, 2012

Larissa Scotting, 17, from the UK, leads a group of young women in the “coming out” formalities during the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball on Saturday. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang)

Glamour event steeped in tradition makes a glittering return to life, Xu Junqian reports from Shanghai.

Sparkling tiaras and wine, young men sharply dressed and women wearing gowns, a Puccini aria as background music, and presentations to society: the trappings of another era – and of the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball.

Guests on Saturday night might have been taken back in time, but the organizer hopes such events are the future. If, that is, she can find any young Chinese women who are up to snuff.

“For all these years, people have been talking about our nation’s zeal for luxury. But I don’t think people really get the point of what luxury is,” Zhou Caici said.

“All they have been chasing after is material stuff. Now I am showing them the real lifestyle.”

Zhou, founder and executive director of the ball, has been an active socialite in Hong Kong, London and her native Shanghai. Two socialite friends from London helped her organize the party, and it followed a Victorian script with some 2012 tweaks.

‘Impeccable’

The setting was the gilded grand ballroom of the Shanghai Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which occupies a historic building on the Bund overlooking the Huangpu River. Of course, attendance was by invitation only.

The 160 guests, with the men in tuxedos, began to arrive around 9, mingling under huge chandeliers and sipping Champagne from flutes. The music, although recorded, was operatic.

At 10 sharp, two uniformed attendants opened the heavy doors through which 13 smiling young women made their debuts. Each handed her white-gloved hand to her escort, and they began their first dance – to the title song from Flashdance.

“Everything is impeccable,” Jennie Hallam-Peel said. She and Patricia Woodall had organized the Queen Charlotte’s Ball in London and had flown to Shanghai to help with this one.

“Shanghai is a city very similar to London,” Hallam-Peel said. “It can’t be more appropriate to have a debutante ball in as modern as well as historical place as here.”

Hallam-Peel had her own “coming out” in the mid-1970s, and she described the tradition as a “unique English identity” that should not be lost.

The tradition – mainly to declare the availability of young women, especially bluebloods, for the marriage market – hasn’t fared so well since 1958, when Prince Philip said that presenting the debs to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace was “bloody daft”. The focus has shifted to charity work in a debutante’s pedigree and includes middle-class families, not just the upper crust.

[[[ *** There can be a few different balls – one for lower (to foster stable marriages good values etc), one for middle (to foster less materialistic value as middle classers who become wealthy regress to lower class crassness and materialism WHILE becoming extremely wealthy), one for upper crust (to foster families seeking altruism, philantrophy and perhaps even revival of the Chinese Imperium) *** ]]]

Larissa Scotting, 17, from the UK dances with her escort on Saturday night at the first Shanghai International Debutante Ball. She was named Debutante of the Year. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang)

‘The perfect city’

Zhou, 66, is the youngest daughter of Zhou Xinfang, a Peking Opera master, and Qiu Lilin who, Zhou said, certainly would have qualified as a deb if there had been such a thing in 1920s Shanghai. Zhou is known in Hong Kong and the UK as Vivian Chow Wong (adding her husband’s family name).

She moved back to Shanghai in 2003 and said she had been thinking since then about reviving the ball tradition, not in its place of origin but on more receptive distant soil.

“Shanghai is the perfect city, if not the only one in China, to have a ball like this,” she said. “Shanghai people love dancing, from ballroom dancing to morning dancing in the park, which serves a solid base for our ball.”

Young Chinese women on the mainland have yet to warm to the idea of the ball as a matchmaking event. She said they are more used to one-on-one meetings arranged by their parents in restaurants or teahouses.

But Zhou thinks the Shanghai Debutante Ball could provide a connection for English aristocrats and well-off young Chinese women. After all, she said, in the United States in the 1930s, down-and-out English gentlemen traveled overseas to marry the daughters of American magnates.

Zithers and dumplings

But there is a problem: Although she interviewed scores of young women in opulent Yangtze River areas over the past year, she found not one on the mainland who met the conditions for an invitation: Age 17 to 25, competence in English and, preferably, from a family that has contributed to society in a certain way.

“The reason the first ball has no participants from the Chinese mainland is that we didn’t find a suitable one,” Zhou said. “We would rather go with nobody than someone shoddy, as we know how good people are at digging out others’ pasts nowadays.”

Zhou, who has a married son in his 30s, defined the perfect debutante as someone “every mother would like her son to marry, but not every son could get”.

“Ideally, I would want someone who can stand out as a Chinese zither player or a deft embroiderer, which I think are the most basic skills of Chinese fine ladies, besides a clean (upstanding) family and good upbringing. However, as it turned out, I cannot even find someone who can make dumplings.”

Lots of bachelors

Zhou did select two of the debutantes, one each from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Hallam-Peel and Woodall handpicked the rest, one Polish and 10 British women, most the daughters of engineers, doctors or graphic designers.

The Asian debs have backgrounds most closely resembling those of traditional debutantes. Vivien Lee, a bubbly 22-year-old from Hong Kong, attended a top private girls school, Benenden in Kent, England, and was the UK’s Undergraduate of 2010 when she graduated from Cambridge University.

Zhou described Jen Hau, 22-year-old daughter of the mayor of Taipei, as “the surprise” of the ball – a surprise because her father is a politician.

Hunting for escorts for the debs proved easy. The most recognizable name among the 13 was Tom Savernake, a viscount and the future heir to the Marquess of Ailesbury. The others were “talented gentlemen” from England, Germany, France and Hong Kong.

“It turned out there are more bachelors than I expected in the city,” Zhou said Saturday night. “And they are all showing a keen interest in the ball. One recommended another and, finally, they are all here.”

The young women had their own reasons to attend.

“How often does a girl get to dress up with a white gown and dance at such a fabulous ball, apart from her own wedding?” Hau said.

Lee, who works in equity derivatives marketing at J.P. Morgan, didn’t tell her colleagues what she was up to when she took annual leave for the ball. She said she wanted to keep a low profile.

Thirteen young women wore traditional white gowns for the formalities of coming out to society, then changed into party clothes for dancing. (China Daily Photo)

‘Princess’ hair

The cost of having “a once-in-a-lifetime-experience” as a debutante ranks up there with the expenses of a wedding. Although parents of these debs did not have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to buy a table, the bills for hairstyles and dresses were high.

For the night, French jewelry maker Chaumet – a company that once crowned Napoleon and a galaxy of European royalty – offered a collection of tiaras collectively worth 60 million yuan ($9.5 million), the most expensive one more than 6 million yuan. And Australian hairdresser Kim Robinson, who worked for supermodel Kate Moss and the late Princess Diana, was hired to style for 13 debs.

“Of course, doing the hair for debutantes differs from other areas,” he said. “It has to be classy, elegant and show the princess part of every girl.” Robinson said he had his best team brought in from Hong Kong for the ball, leaving his salon empty.

Zhou, who said she paid all the costs of putting on the ball, would not say how much money she invested in the “deluxe” night – which she defined as “graceful and spending every penny necessary” as distinguished from mere luxury.

“I am not running this ball as a charity, which I have already done in my May Day Ball,” Zhou said. That event, which Zhou launched in 2005, was dubbed the first upper-class ball in town. Zhou said it has helped raise around 8.5 million yuan since it began and saved more than 100 children who were “on the brink of death”.

“The debutante ball is more like a private party,” she said. “It’s all about looking like a princess or pretending to be a princess for a day, for some girls like a dream.

“Good times or bad times, people always need something dreamy to fantasize about. And I want my ball to be a fairy tale for every girl and the mothers of the girls to believe in.”

The future

“I feel very honored. It’s so wonderful to have been chosen,” 17-year-old Larissa Scotting said. The British organizers had selected her as Debutante of the Year. “I am thrilled to be given this award here in Shanghai.”

A freshman at King’s College in London, she confessed that she didn’t quite know how the title would help her in her future. She plans to start a company of her own.

Zhou, however, was quite confident about the future as the ball she founded wound down Saturday night.

“It will be an annual thing. And the most urgent thing is to find some qualified Chinese mainland ladies.”

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

‘Looking like’? ‘Pretend to be princess for a day’? Yea right you NLP lobber, and the only REAL princesses in the world are Caucasian and wear Caucasian styles? China and these supposed purveyors of culture need to wake up, those princesses need to be REAL and not PRETEND – to match and balance the princesses in ‘the West’. This is the middle of the Middle Kingdom, with all that wealth and political power, Imperium WITH Chinese characteristics is the only conclusion.

The will be ROYALS, including princesses, and they will be neither ‘pretend’ nor ‘look like Princesses’, they will be nothing like Vivian Chow (who looks rather mixed-blood IMHO), in fact there will be (by several promotors of Imperial culture active at  the moment) very Chinese and 100% pureblood ACTUAL PRINCESSES with state given powers and state given privileges and state protections – the Chinese section of the Debuttante’s Ball will be a celebration of the Han, Manchu, Tibetan and Mongol pedigree, not a vestige of Anglo centred colonialism with fifth columnists that innocuously go “asian princesses are ‘pretend’ or ‘lookalikes'”.

This Vivian woman looks quite Eurasian btw . . . *PUREBRED HAN ONLY* to count as necessarily 100% Far Eastern oriental pedigreed family organisers and debutanttes in the Chinese section of the Debuttante’s ball! If Vivian is not somehow indispensible, I suggest that a purebred Han replace Vivian as the face of Chinese ‘debutantry’. If Vivian is not indispensible, then I suggest Vivian take a advisory role and let purebred Hans lead the entire event anyway – in purely Chinese characteristic form.

ARTICLE 2

The Prince of Rails: Charles’s delight as he drives train while visiting British train factory – Last updated at 3:16 AM on 25th February 2012

Prince Charles showed he is all aboard British manufacturing when he visited Bombardier’s train building factory.

The Prince of Wales toured the country’s last remaining train builders in Derby, yesterday, and test drove a London Underground train to applause from workers.

His visit follows the Canadian-owned company’s announcement earlier this month that the Litchurch Lane plant will remain open, having secured a number of new contracts.

But its long term future is unclear – with 1,400 jobs being axed after last year’s controversial Government decision to award the £1.4bn Thameslink contract to German rivals Siemens, and Bombardier waiting to see if it will also lose out on the £1bn Crossrail deal.
Eyes on the track: Prince Charles turns tube driver on his visit to Bombadier in Derby yesterday

Eyes on the track: Prince Charles turns tube driver on his visit to Bombardier in Derby yesterday
Mind the gap: David Moss, left, and Laurence Rostron show Prince Charles a Tube carriage under construction at Bombardier in Derbyshire

Mind the gap: David Moss, left, and Laurence Rostron show Prince Charles a Tube carriage under construction at Bombardier in Derbyshire

Prince Charles was shown the industrial design studio, where he met designers working on the interiors and exteriors of Tube trains.

He then moved to the assembly line, where he spoke to Nick and Kane Jellyman, who are third and fourth generation workers employed by Bombardier.

Nick, 46, who has worked for the company for 30 years and whose dad and grandad worked at the plant, said the mood was upbeat and very positive now the threat of closure had lifted.

He said he was honoured to have met the Prince, adding: “He asked me about my work and said I must be very proud of my son, which I am.”

Kane, 19, an apprentice with Bombardier, said the visit was a massive boost for morale.

‘It was difficult last year when we lost the contract but it’s looking brighter now we’ve secured a few more,’ he said.

Prince Charles was also shown the inside of an s stock (sub surface) train, which are made at the plant under a long running contract to replace those on the Tube’s Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.

The Prince was joined by Derby South Labour MP Margaret Beckett non-executive chairman Sir Neville Simms and president of rolling stock UK Dr Francis Paonessa.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Prince of Rails?!? How crass.

Glad to see the ‘prince who could be passed over for king’, enjoyed himself at the train’s controls (would Charles be the one to press the button/pulls the lever or crank that fires the first nuke England ever fires?). But isn’t public infrastructure quite beneath royalty (Royal appearances should be limited major local festivals, new years etc.. culture based things and highest level diplomacy – i.e. commemoration-renewal of quarter-centennial diplomatic relations – mostly?)? Have some lower ranked aristocrat or peer to do this sort of crown representation. Bowlderises the whole institution, much like even Mayors would prefer to send local Councillors to open new highways or new rail stations because they are too high ranked to do the opening themselves. Perhaps in senescence ( . . . going Joo-joo . . . ) or if a royal is particularly eccentric (i.e. cou-cou), or if there are luxury VIP cars on the train, but this amounts to mere media hogging. “Too Damn Toff!” or “Not Yob Enough!”

Blue Train in South Africa

 

(Incidentally Barbados belongs to the Bajans-Arawak Natives who should have a sovereign Bajan led government holding parliaament in Bajan language, and who should have a representative seat at the UN held by an ethnic Bajan if not Arawak . . . ) http://www.bajanreporter.com/

Heres the real thing looking at the sumbsumption intending . . . http://www.lastgangintownuk.net/pgigs1.html

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HK agents find $2.2M in illegal rhino horns‚ ivory – ASSOCIATED PRESS – 15th November 2011

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 10:30 am
Customs officers stand guard near smuggled ivory bracelets at the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department in Hong Kong Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 33 ‘unmanifested’ rhino horns, 758 ivory chopsticks and 127 ivory bracelets, worth about HK$17 million ($2.23 million), inside a container shipped to Hong Kong from Cape Town, South Africa. HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong customs agents have confiscated a shipment of rhino horns and ivory worth about 17.4 million Hong Kong dollars ($2.2 million) — their biggest seizure of smuggled endangered species products, officials said Tuesday. Officials said they seized 33 rhino horns, 758 ivory chopsticks and 127 ivory bracelets concealed in a shipping container that arrived Monday at Hong Kong’s port from Cape Town, South Africa.
 
They would not name the container’s final destination. Customs agents X-rayed the container because its listed cargo — scrap plastic — raised a flag, said Acting Head of Ports and Maritime Command Lam Tak-fai. They found the rhino horns and ivory after peeling away layers of tinfoil, paper and plastic wrapped around the items. Wai-king Yik, a spokeswoman for the customs and excise department, said it was a record seizure of endangered species products for Hong Kong. The seizure tops one in August of $1.6 million worth of African ivory. Several rhino subspecies are believed to have recently become extinct. Rhino horns are prized by Vietnamese and Chinese who believe they can cure an array of ailments, and the horns can fetch up to $50,000 per pound (about $100,000 per kilogram). Some 190 pounds (86 kilograms) worth of rhino horns were found Monday by the Hong Kong officials, who said they would have required the deaths of around 17 rhinos. Lam told reporters it was a record seizure of rhino horns for Hong Kong. He said customs agents have occasionally found single rhino horns being smuggled in luggage by visitors to Hong Kong but this is the first time they have found a large batch hidden in a shipping container. No one has been arrested.
 
 
 
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
 
The buyers of rhino horn should buy live rhinos in healthy condition, and then breed in a natural conditions simulating environment for harvesting, then replace with faux horn (with clear marks that it is faux so it won’t be harrassed), then release into wild back into nature reserves in Africa. This repopulates the rhino and also ensures larger populations eventually as well as lowers rhino horn prices. The Chinese need to think long term, and should know that once the last rhino dies, there will be no more Rhino Horn products FOREVER. Breeders or medical inclined philanthropists should begin buying live rhinos and with that wealth breed them in reserves until there are herds millions strong in the wild for harvesting again.
 
Finally, be gentle with the animals, who knows it migth have been a relative in a past life who spent all their time ‘cockblocking’ you and was now reborn as a rhino to return that stolen ‘horn Qi’! Rhino Horns, like Elephant Tusks should be accessible to sponsors who feed and maintain the animals in a community and are only to be harvested upon NATURAL death at old age (care should be taken to ensure the horn’s material is protected (i.e. blunt – so that the animals won’t hurt each other too much if sparring – horn or tusk shaped adjustable steel sheaths with padding inside, sealed at the edges). This would mean that reservations of horns and tusks should span several decades and cost a few tens of thousands in a reserve at least until natural herd numbers are sufficiently large that such reservations will not be necessary. That first colony of 20 or 100 rhinos of various species could make the difference. Blue Ocean is better than Red Ocean. The Chinese are supposed to have patience, start exercising that patience now before the entire industry dies with the Rhino Species!

Understanding our rights – by Azmi Sharom – 3rd December 2011

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Understanding our rights (who’s ‘us’ that you term it ‘our’. The rights of Humanity are elucidated in the UNHCR and more) – by AZMI SHAROM – 3rd December 2011
(Who decides what rights are? Who are you to tell us what understanding is? Good Cop is no better than Bad Cop if they BOTH do not intend the meritocracy of EQUALITY.) Brave New World (Your article is not brave or new, read the responses in parentheses to find out why . . .) Rights are not something to be played with. It is not a political tool to be bandied about. It is fundamental and inherent. It exists in us simply because we are civilised men and women. RIGHTS are the weapons of the powerless. And just who are the powerless? Well, in my view, it is most of us. (Strong start, no mention of the oppressed minorities. Fair enough, this is the first sentence after all.)
Ordinary folks who either do not hold the reins of government machinery or have the means to control those who hold the reins. That is why only those who are powerless or who have been powerless can truly appreciate rights. (No mention of the oppressed minorities yet . . . its alright as minorities await with bated breath . . . ) We only have to look at history to see that to be true. The Magna Carta was created because the nobility of Britain felt powerless against the King. The American Declaration of Independence takes the shape that it does because the founding fathers wanted to ensure that they would never again be under the yoke of a distant king. (Goes on to cite history to sound well read pressumably, doubtless reading no more or better than all of us citizens ESPECIALLY non-Bumis can, isn’t it about time to mention the APARTHEID?) Our own leaders, during the early days of our existence as a nation also understood this need for rights, having been ruled by an oppressive force more powerful than them.
Of course there are those with short memories who belittle rights when they have power, bemoan the lack of them when they lose power and belittle them again when they have power once more. But then, there will always be the utterly unprincipled in any community. The human race has evolved. We have values which prevent the strong simply taking what they want from the weak. Our laws are in place so that we can be assured a person who is bigger than us can’t simply knock us out and take our wallets. And just as we have laws to protect us against thieves and thugs, so too do we have principles which prevent the rulers from abusing us. (Beats around bush of generalities for 2 paragraphs, no mention of minorities or APARTHEID yet.)
As a race we have come a long way from “only the strong will survive”. And that is due to the civilising of human kind. ( And shades of entitledment begin creeping in as if you are the only one who holds the privilege – Malay? – to pontificate a ceremah on Human Rights. When you say ‘race’ do you mean human or Malay? Let us say I was being hypersensitive, but you cannot neglect the APARTHEID against the minorites yet can you?) Rights therefore are the current pinnacle of this civilising process. It indicates that we are civilised. (Self affirmation but yet still no mention of Bumi APARTHEID) Related to human rights is democracy. When we choose our own leaders, we ensure that we are not led simply by someone who is going to force himself or herself onto us. Once again, we see a principle which empowers the powerless. (Glow speak. Propagandist or academic?) This is why I care so much about human rights and democracy.
This is why I get furious when those who do not understand or choose not to understand, take my rights away. (‘My rights’ Azmi says, not ‘our’ rights. If you care about human rights you REALLY should mention APARTHEID against the minorities.) That is why I work on the premise that we must have as much rights as possible. (Fair enough, the sence of communalism disappears for a moment. Bravo. But no mention of APARTHEID issues affecting near 30% of the population? A conscientious academic would mention even if the demographic was 5% of the population.) Of course I understand there are limitations to everything, including rights, but those limitations must be made with the aspiration that a complete right is the ideal. (APARTHEID Apologism gently applied, tacitly displayed by the lack of mention of Bumi APARTHEID against the minorities, perhaps I am wrong, oh why no mention of APARTHEID against minorities yet?)
It is only with these aspirations in place will we ensure that whatever limitations imposed are the barest minimum and with the smallest effect on our rights. (The key word, and I suspect that Azmi must be familiar, as with his fellow ‘academic’ ‘Farish’ from Singapore – as the rest of the world is familiar with – ‘aspirations’, EQUALITY is a given as the Sin of Asabiya forbids, the UNHCR forbids, Malaysia is a signatory. One was being diplomatic when using the word aspiration, would you be diplomatic to acknowledge the APARTHEID applied against the minorities who need EQUALITY?) Rights are not something to be played with. It is not a political tool to be bandied about. It is fundamental, it is inherent. (It is FUNDAMENTAL, here are the subtle huffings of BUMI apartheid in choice of words, we appreciate subtlety but when it promulgates retention of APARTHEID policy, prevents ‘aspirations’ of EQUALITY, all respect is lost for what we thought was an EQUAL human and honest academic. Fundamental? Iffy iffy writers . . . )
It is not something that can be given for it exists in us simply because we are civilised men and women. (Then he backs up a little thinking we cannot see the non-mention of the APARTHEID inflicted against the minorities. You think we are unaware? Or maybe you convince yourself we won’t notice. APARTHEID of Bumiputra has to be mentioned – for EQUALITY is civilisation and those who will not address ‘aspirations’ are not civilised humans. Are you a civilised human Azmi?) The powerful do not wish to see this. It is up to us, the powerless, to remind them. (Finishes with a platitude, uses the word ‘us’. Entirely omitting the issue of BUMIPUTRA APARETHEID. Unconscionable! Or neglectful? Abit too young for the latter, so why did you do it Azmi?)
 
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Disregarding private lives of activists and would be politicians destroyed on purpose, ‘aspirations’ is something that needs to be taught the likes of you via reverse policies if you don’t even reply . . . perhaps the inglorious English Colonials were right with that rather vicious entry in a certain encyclopedia about ‘laziness’ and ‘TREACHERY’. Is Azmi dishonest or toeing a mainstream media line?
To with clarity condemn APARTHEID is necessary to cement your position as an academic and citizen with consideration for your fellow non-Muslim, non-Malay citizens ‘Azmi’. Another disappointment of an article posing as something worth wasting a few minutes reading, and the word ‘aspiration’ and the address of Bumi APARTHEID gets another pass over no better than UMNO’s failure to review Special Malay privileges (including Malay Reserve land) . You’re wasting the readers’ time until you speak CLEARLY and unambiguously against BUMIPUTRA APARTHEID and even APOSTASY without punishment for Muslims – Azmi – there are VERY big fish out there while you blather semi intelligent sounding platitudes and tinker with words and phrases here. Refute with a simple answer regards the 3 items. – YES OR NO?
Do you endorse :
1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.
This question, nay exhortation, for endorsement for the above 3 items will likely be met with an elegant silence. And most elegantly the fruits of selfish minded ambivalence (if any) will be reaped by future academics and the rest of the nation using your ambivalence, abettment and tacit approval of BUMIPUTRA APARTHEID via failure to mention. If this article is the best this race can offer, (where my postings on your IDEAS site have gone entirely ignored) then there is little hope for the host race of this nation. Do prove me wrong and endorse the above.
I used to look up to the content in your articles earlier on, but here it would appear you fall short of being objective ‘academic’, or have been subverted or muzzled by the establishment since the last few years. If this offends you that you wish to demand I remove it, I will, but it will be telling and damningn what that happens. Until then I hope there will be at least 1 academic that understands that without EQUALITY (an ‘aspiration’) there is no sense of country and that takes the effort to respond where necessary to clear the air – that their intentions are EQUALITY – a most worthy ‘aspiration’.
Make clear your stand Azmi or slink back into the shadows of mainstream media and false academia. We have plenty of citizens and bloggers who know better than to believe in or tolerate offensive meandering ipropaganda, who know what injustice and dishonesty just transpired here – if any. Refute with a simple answer regards the 3 items. – YES OR NO?