Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quote of the Week:.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the all-volunteer army could be put to work against the terrorists, but the message to the rest of us was to go shopping.

Honor: a History, James Bowman, p. 248
I refer you to an earlier question in regard to this quotation.

Could it Be?.

Could it be that the population of Albion is finally waking up?
Concern as gun numbers soar in Suffolk

30 August 2006 | 11:58
DANIELLE NUTTALL


ANTI-GUN campaigners voiced their concern last night after figures showed the number of legally owned guns in Suffolk had soared by 40% in five years.
Color me dumbstruck.
Since December 2001, 2,530 additional firearms have been licensed in the county - making a total of 9,003 at the end of March.

But the figure is expected to be even greater next year as officers have already authorised a further 1,671 firearms, which are yet to be acquired.
Halleluja!
The large increase has alarmed anti-gun charity International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), which called for tighter checks on those seeking permission to possess large numbers of guns.
Read: "DENY THE PERMITS!!! FOR ANY REASON, OR NO REASON AT ALL!!!"
Firearms are defined as lethal barrelled weapons of any description from which shots, bullets or other missiles can be discharged. Most approved rifles are designed for target shooting, hunting or vermin control.

Shotguns are covered by separate certificates but figures released by Suffolk Constabulary show there are now 41,848 legally owned in the county - an increase of 2% since 2001.
Even better - they're buying rifles!
A spokesman for IANSA said: “It's totally possible every single rifle has been carefully justified. But guns can end up being used illegally. Our concern is not that they are going to be used in gun grime in the sense of muggings in the street, but rather more likely seeing an increase in fatalities in domestic violence as mostly men obtain guns.
No, the concern is that law-abiding people will be armed - period. This makes the one-worlders wet their pants, because as David Hardy illustrates, to them a "right" is "what you may ask the government to do for you."
"Guns are meant to be locked in a cabinet but there are plenty of stories of police going to a home and finding the gun unlocked and out. Simply because you have a safe doesn't mean you're actually storing it and they can potentially be stolen and find their way on the illegal market."
No, guns are meant to be used. Locking them in a cabinet to secure them when they aren't being used is a nice idea, but it is not the intent of their design.
Richard Kennett, Suffolk Constabulary's firearm services manager, said the force carried out stringent checks on anyone wishing to legally own a gun.

He said: "Suffolk is a very rural county with large numbers of farming communities. Firearms and shotguns are not only used in agriculture but also in pursuit of country sports and by members of target shooting clubs. These sports appear to be becoming increasingly popular.
ABOUT BLOODY TIME!
"Anyone who has a firearm or shotgun is carefully vetted by the police and has to give good reason to possess each and every firearm and satisfy stringent safe keeping requirements before a licence is issued."
Which is what the gun grabbers here continually tell us is "all they want." But it's not. They want us disarmed.

All of us.
While the number of actual firearms licensed has risen sharply in the last five years, other figures suggest the cause of this is mainly due to people owning more than one gun - rather than vast numbers of new people owning a weapon.
Always a grey cloud to go with that silver lining. That sounds much like what's happening here, but perhaps these people can introduce others to shooting? (One can hope.)
A single firearms certificate can relate to more than one firearm, and the number of such certificates on issue by police in Suffolk has increased by just 5% since December 2001 - from 3,393 to 3,572 at the end of March this year.
Damn. I knew it was too good to be true...
The number of shotgun certificates granted has fallen from 17,048 at the end of 2001 to 16,648.
Shit.
Last night Liz Mort, eastern region spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, said shooting sports had become increasing popular, as had game consumption, which probably explained the increase in gun ownership.
I'd like to think so, but only a 5% increase in five years?
"Shooting sports are very popular. There are a lot of very well-run shooting clubs and shooting schools in Suffolk and all over East Anglia," she said.

"Shotguns particularly are used by farmers in keeping down populations of pests. Obviously, game keepers and farmers use them for foxes, especially now there is a ban on hunting.
"Shooting sports are very popular" compared to what, I wonder? As to fox hunting being banned, well, no, not exactly. There's a ban on hunting them with dogs while chasing them on horseback. Shooting them is still A-OK, as Mr. Free Market has been reminding us.
"A gun is a very important part of a farmer's equipment. There are more illegal guns held within the M25 than the whole of the British Armed Forces.
The M25 is a highway that rings the city of London. An astute and most probably accurate observation by Ms. Mort. Not that IANSA gives a damn about that.
"Getting a gun illegally has never been easier. People who want to use them illegally do not get them registered. I think the police enforce the rules absolutely correctly."
Well, I think the police shouldn't be enforcing them against law-abiding citizens at all, but I'm a gun-nut Yank.
The spokesman for IANSA has called on the Government to bring forward the creation of a national register listing the details of all those who own a gun.
Which is, of course, the inevitable "next step," since all the previous steps have been completely USELESS at the claimed aim of reducing "gun crime" and extremely effective at disarming the majority of the law-abiding public. Of course the NEXT step will be to ban anything that goes "BANG!" since banning full-auto weapons, short-barrelled shotguns, semi-auto rifles, pump-action shotguns, and all handguns hasn't had any noticeable effect on violent crime committed with firearms in the UK.
"If you report a stolen car immediately, and it runs through a red light, they have the licence plate immediately and can trace it back within 10 seconds. It's a bit crazy we have much better registration for cars than guns," he said.
But if you run through a red light in your personal vehicle, they don't take your driver's license and your car, do they? And any other vehicle you might own. Hmmm? If someone steals your car, the police don't come confiscate any other vehicle you may possess, and prohibit you from every owning or operating another, do they?

The guns versus cars comparison doesn't work, but it keeps getting brought up.
He also said lessons could be learnt from the Canadian government which had made it a requirement for police to contact the partners or former partners of gun owners to provide a reference.
So a jilted former lover can deny someone the right to self-protection. Then again, we have that here with the Lautenberg Amendment. That means that abused spouses have to depend on useless restraining orders.
"It does flag up the possibility the person is not suitable to own a gun," he said.
Isn't this known as "prior restraint"?
"People feel rifles are not quite so dangerous in terms of crime but in fact it's not a reason for not applying the strongest measures possible for the benefit of public safety."
Ah, yes, "public safety."

They know so much about "public safety" over in Old Blighty. I got my hopes up for no good reason.

Again.

Blogger Doesn't Look So Bad, Now.

I hit Jeff Soyer's Alphecca blog last night - or tried to. All I got was a blank white page. Jeff reports:
Hosting Matters moved my site to another server last night and totally fucked up everything. I've lost my index page, archive files, folders, email accounts, etc. Please let others (maybe a blog post) know what's happening. They say they're "working on it".
Bummer. It seems to be working now, but I can see how this would cause a serious pucker factor.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I See Winston Smith Works for Houghton Mifflin...

Read Jeff Jacoby's Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Diversity in today's Boston Globe. Teaser:
YOU'RE A publisher of children's textbooks, and you have a problem. Your diversity guidelines -- quotas in all but name -- require you to include pictures of disabled children in your elementary and high school texts, but it isn't easy to find handicapped children who are willing and able to pose for a photographer. Kids confined to wheelchairs often suffer from afflictions that affect their appearance, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. How can you meet your quota of disability images if you don't have disabled models who are suitably photogenic?
Go read how.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Long Day, Book Meme.

I was out the door at 05:45 this morning, and back in said door at 19:33 this evening. Don't look for scintillating prose from me right now. However, I will accept Zendo Deb's open invitation, and borrow her Book Meme. (Hell, if you're not a regular reader of her site - and why not? - peruse everything on her front page while you're at it.)

1) A book that changed my life: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. I. This is the book that made me a SciFi nerd, and is probably in large part responsible for me being an engineer.

2) A book I've read more than once: Robert Anson Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - the book most responsible for my political outlook. I'd have used this one in answer to item 1, but if I hadn't read the Hall of Fame, I'd probably have never started reading Heinlein. I've read this a dozen times at a minimum. It's not unusual for me to read a book more than once, but this one holds the record for me.

3) A book I'd take to a desert island: The Foxfire Book. Well, you did say "desert island." I'd like to survive the experience.

4) A book that made me laugh: And wince, and grimace, and get pissed off. P.J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores. Pretty much anything by P.J. works for me, from laugh-out-loud to throw-it-across-the-room. Runner-up, Scott Adams' The Dilbert Principle.

5) A book that made me cry: Flowers for Algernon. Actually, the original short-story which is included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

6) A book I wish had been written: One explaining the Theory of Everything that includes detailed plans on how to build a functional interstellar faster-than-light drive and a shield to protect the vessle it powers.

Perhaps someone is working on it right now. Hey, I can dream!

7) A book that should never have been written: Battlefield Earth (No link. On purpose!) God, that was abysmally bad. L. Ron Hubbard should have been hung for that dreck. Close second, Dahlgren by Samuel R. Delaney. I want the time I wasted on these pieces of excrement back.

8) A book I'm currently reading: Honor: A History by James Bowman. I'm about halfway through it. I don't agree with everything he says (just most of it), but it's damned interesting, well researched, and well written. I recommend it strongly based on what I've read so far.

9) A book I'm planning to read: When they finally release it in the U.S., A Land Fit for Criminals by David Frasier. If you want to read a review of it, Theodore Dalrymple has one in the Summer, 2006 issue of City Journal. I can't wait to read what Tim Lambert has to say about it.

10) Five people I'll send these questions on to: As Deb put it, "Since I don't do that, feel free to join in."

I did. Make yourself welcome to join us.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It's 3:25PM. I'm in Tucson. And it's Raining.

Back from Houston. Still busy. Been reading. Much food for thought.

Maybe I'll actually get some writing done next week.

Don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's 9 O'Clock. I'm in Houston. And it's Raining.

And I have a cold.

Why do they make airliner seats only 80% as wide as my ass?

Like I said, probably not much blogging this week. I don't want to hear anybody complaining. I'm not in the mood. ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Our "Friends" in the Media Strike Again.

For your inspection (h/t: AR15.com):
Intruder fatally shot

Fatality third in Escambia since 'Stand Your Ground' law passed

Law enforcement and attorneys say the local nurse who fatally shot an intruder at her Navy Point home Saturday would have been protected by state law before the “Stand Your Ground” law passed.
Then why mention the "Stand Your Ground" law at all? But wait, it gets better!
Rhonda Eubanks, 57, a Baptist Hospital nurse, was alone at her home on the 100 block of N.W. Gilliland Road, in a neighborhood southwest of Sunset Avenue, Sgt. Mike Ward said Tuesday.
Now that we've identified and given the location and employer of the shooter...
The woman used a .38-caliber handgun to shoot Vincent Demond Wesley, 29, of Pensacola, in the head as he charged toward her, Ward said. Investigators have no evidence that Eubanks had any formal training in shooting a firearm.
Doesn't look like she needed any "formal training" does it? But wait - it's coming...
Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer was at the scene Saturday and saw the location of the body of the intruder, Vincent Demond Wesley, 29, of Pensacola.

“Preliminarily, it looks like a justifiable shooting,” he said. “He was laying face-down, under the carport, only a few feet from her door.

"His head was closest to the door.”

Early evidence indicates that he was shot in the head approaching the woman’s front door, Rimmer said.

The woman was alone at her home -- a mauve-shuttered house with a manicured lawn
Now anyone looking for revenge can identify the right house in that "neighborhood Southwest of Sunset Avenue in the 100 block of N.W. Gilliland Rd. - look for the mauve shutters..." But remember - she does head shots.
-- about 7:45 p.m. Saturday when Wesley twice tried to enter her house, Escambia deputies said.

By the second attempt, she was armed and ready.

"It's pretty crazy," said Sgt. Mike Ward, a Sheriff's Office spokesman. "(She) shot and killed the intruder."

Deputies are not releasing the woman's name in order to protect her.
But the PRESS IS! AND they're giving her address, place of work, and description of her HOME! It's apparently the PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW!
However, through neighborhood interviews, investigators have pieced together a series of events that ended with Wesley's death outside the house on the 100 block of N.W. Gilliland Road near Jardine Road. The neighborhood is southwest of Sunset Avenue.
Just in case you MISSED THE ADDRESS THE FIRST TIME!
Starting about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Wesley argued with someone whom investigators and neighbors could not identify.

Neighbor Debbie Palmer, 27, said she heard a gunshot as she was eating spaghetti at her neighbor's apartment on Jardine Road, which is next door to Wesley's apartment.

Before the gunfire, she heard someone beating on the shared wall and throwing items.

About 7:45 p.m., Wesley entered the backyard of the N.W. Gilliland Road home, deputies said in a report.

Wesley attempted to enter the home, startling the woman. Then he left and attempted to carjack a vehicle driving past the house, the report stated.

Neighbors confirmed that scenario, saying Wesley attempted to steal several empty vehicles before the attempted carjacking.

"I believe he got what he had coming to him," Palmer said. "He had no right to steal anybody's vehicle or anything."

When the carjacking didn't work, Wesley returned to the Gilliland Road home and began charging at the woman, who had retrieved a firearm, the sheriff's report stated.

Fearing for her safety, the woman shot him dead.

The shooting death is the third of this type in Escambia County since the "Stand Your Ground" law was passed Oct. 1, Ward said.

The Florida statute -- the first of its kind in the United States -- allows the use of deadly force when a person reasonably believes it's necessary to prevent the commission of a "forcible felony."
Uh, "first of its kind?" Hardly. It's not even the most recent.
Richard Piovesan, 44, of Pensacola died in a shooting on Oct. 12, which was 11 days after the law passed. He was shot following an argument with a neighbor over money and a piece of wood.

Tyrone Fyoungious Preyer, 29, of Pensacola died in March by gunfire as he broke into an occupied home.

The most recent event has at least one neighbor thinking about protecting himself.

Since March, Charles Robbins, 50, has resided across the street from Saturday's shooting.
So now you know where HE lives...
"I've been considering buying a gun ever since I moved here," Robbins said. "This kind of tilts it in that direction. I've had my eye on a .45 (caliber handgun) in a pawn shop."
Get the pistol, Mr. Robbins. Everyone who reads the paper now knows where you live and that you're unarmed.

Read the comments. Some are excellent.

And remember: This would never happen in England. Ms. Eubanks would be sitting in a cell right now. Or more likely would be the victim of a violent crime, instead.

If you have anything to say to the "reporter" her email address is AmySowder@PensacolaNewsJournal.com

The dead perp:
DC Number: 312116
Name: WESLEY, VINCENT D
Race: BLACK
Sex: MALE
Hair Color: BLACK
Eye Color: BROWN
Height: 5'07''
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birth Date: 11/01/1976
Release Facility: OKALOOSA C.I.
Custody: MEDIUM
Release Date: 04/02/2006

Offense DateOffenseSentence DateCountyCase No.Community Supervision Length
11/29/1993AGG BATTERY/W/DEADLY WEAPON04/13/1994ESCAMBIA93056670Y 12M 0D
0Y 18M 0D
11/29/1993GRAND THEFT,$300 LESS &20,00004/13/1994ESCAMBIA93056670Y 12M 0D
11/29/1993GRAND THEFT,$300 LESS &20,00004/13/1994ESCAMBIA93056670Y 18M 0D
11/29/1993RESISTING OFFICER W/VIOLEN.04/13/1994ESCAMBIA93056670Y 12M 0D

A choir boy he was not.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Light to No Blogging Alert.

Not that I've been posting up a storm recently or anything, but work is overwhelming, and I will be in Houston most of next week with little to no time to post. Guess I'm going to lose that much-coveted "Large Mammal" status again. Oh well.

And the überpost? I don't know if I'll ever get it finished.

Friday, August 18, 2006

And, Since I'm Linking Rather Than Writing...

David Hardy has exposed yet another Joyce Foundation sock-puppet, "The Legal Community Against Guns Violence."

As David says, "And, as might be expected, a search of Legal Comm. Against Violence's own website reveals... not one mention of who are their officers, directors, or how many members they have. In fact, no names at all."

Take a look at where Joyce Foundation money goes.

But I bet "The Legal Community Against Violence" produces opinions and op-eds using citations from sources such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, and Professor Saul Cornell among others, holding them up as paragons of impartiality.

See also the Geek with a .45's discussion of the Joyce Foundation's spreading tenticles.

Edited to add:

A little digging and here's some things I found:

The Board President for LCAV is Owen J. Clements - Chief of Special Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office! Doubtless he was one of the proponents of San Francisco's ill-advised handgun ban.

The Executive Director is Robyn Thomas, whose previous position was director of the Tikkun Community in Berzerkely, so it's probably safe to say that she is a raging socialist, at least. The previous Executive Director, Sue Ann Schiff, resigned in June - after San Francisco's gun ban was overturned. Apparently Mrs. Schiff is also Jewish (I assume Ms. Thomas is, since Tikkun is a Jewish organization formed to oppose Israel's policies with regard to Palestine.) I have a hard time understanding members of the Jewish faith who don't grasp the concept of "never again." What Mrs. Schiff, Ms. Thomas, and Mr. Clements all advocate is, essentially, surrender. Surrender to criminals, surrender to terrorists.

I do not grok.

Say Uncle has more, and a link to a "report" by the organization. As Uncle says, the Legal Community Against Violence, like the Violence Policy Center, is "apparently only against guns and not the violence."

And Another.

Dale at Mostly Cajun has a peice everyone should read: All European Life Died in Auschwitz.

Dale says "This one's all over the internet" but his site is the first place I've seen it.

Strongly Recommended Read:.

Believe it or not, a pro-American op-ed in England's The Telegraph! Americans will die for liberty. Give it a read. More importantly, read all the comments. I've got one in there, myself.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Are You Signed Up Yet?.

I made my hotel reservations yesterday, and put in for vacation at work. I'll be driving up through Las Vegas (thus avoiding Californistan), and I think I'll take a couple of days to do it. There are some parts of Nevada I'd like to see.

The Rendezvous is open to everybody, bloggers and readers alike. Click on the picture to go to the Rendezvous website for all the information you need.

Hope to meet some more of you there!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OK, What Happened to Banana Oil!?.

Ian Hamet's blog is down, ianhamet.com comes up empty, and I'm not the only one who's noticed, either.

Ian blogs out of Shanghai. China isn't real hip on the blogosphere, or the internet in general. Will Duquette wonders if it's time to unleash the power of the blogosphere - and make the Chinese really dislike the internet. At Will's blog, someone identifying herself as Ian's mother says she's worried, too.

So...

Anybody have any info? This bothers the hell out of me.

Words to Live By...
Why did I buy a breadmaker? It’s too much work and it involves yeast. If I wanted to worry about yeast I’d buy a vagina.
Also, from the same source:
The other day I was hooting at the Giant Swede: I hoard! You don’t! Too bad for you when it all goes south!

I have a gun, he said.

Another example of why I read The Bleat every day!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'm Hearing More and More of This.

Grim has a post up at Blackfive that everyone needs to read and think on. I'm getting overwhelmed by posts and op-eds and things heard on the radio that have to do with the piece I'm trying to write. Grim's is a significant, perhaps even central part of it.

Go read On the Virtues of Killing Children.

Then consider the previous question again: "What will it take to militarize the West?"

Tam Offers a Dose of Reality.

In her normal eloquent fashion, the quote of the week:
THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE AIR TRAVEL SAFE.
THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE LIFE SAFE.
But in the land of chocolate rivers and fluffy bunnies, no one wants to hear about reality.

More's the pity.

I Wonder if mAssachussetts Will Follow England's Lead?

Stumbled across this story today:
Boston pays $3M in wrongful conviction

BOSTON - The city agreed to pay $3.2 million to a man whose wrongful conviction in the shooting of a police officer led the city to revamp its fingerprinting unit.

The settlement with Stephan Cowans, who was freed in January 2004 after more than six years in prison, equaled what's believed to be the largest amount the city ever paid in a wrongful conviction case.

Cowans, 35, was sentenced to 35 to 50 years in the 1997 wounding of Sgt. Gregory Gallagher after the police department's fingerprinting unit matched him to a print that the shooter left behind on a glass of water.

Cowans was exonerated by DNA evidence through the New England Innocence Project, and the fingerprinting unit was shut down. A report found that its officers lacked proper training and were unprepared to do complex analyses.

As part of the settlement, Cowans agreed to drop claims against the city, the Police Department and Gallagher, who had identified Cowans as the shooter, Boston city attorney William Sinnott said.

In March, the city agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Neil Miller, who served 10 years in prison after being convicted of raping a college student. DNA tests proved another man had committed the crime.
So, the City of Boston has to shell out $6.4 million for wrongful prosecution and imprisonments? Well hell, follow England's lead, and charge those men for their room and board while in the slammer! If they gig them at the rate of $125 a night, you're looking at $273,750 back from Mr. Cowans and $456,250 back from Mr. Miller! Of course, they could use the $685 a night rate...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tigerhawk Asks a Question.

"What will it take to militarize the West?"

This is the answer I personally think hits closest to the mark:
After the surrender of Europe to Islam, their military age men will be conscripted into Janissary units for the invasion of North America (no need to ask what will happen to the women). So much for the militarization of Europe.

The militarization of the US will occur then, and not before. - John Stephens
This has bearing on the überpost I'm having such a hard time getting out. What are your thoughts? Leave them here or at Tigerhawk's. Or your own site, if you blog. Because it's a crucial question.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Bet Things Will Get Even More Interesting In Britain Soon...

...if this story is right:
Overcrowded jails reaching bursting point

by MATTHEW HICKLEY, Home Affairs Correspondent
00:24am 12th August 2006


Britain's overcrowded jails are set to reach bursting point by the end of the month with the prison population reaching a new record high yesterday and spare places dwindling fast.

In the past week the number of criminals locked up in England and Wales has climbed by 175 to 79,094 - breaking the 79,000 figure for the first time.
Doing the math, that's about, oh, 0.1% of the population of that region. By contrast, the U.S. currently imprisons about 0.7% of our population, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
At that rate, and with just 506 spare places left, absolute capacity will be reached in less than three weeks, forcing the Home Office into drastic measures.
Like building more prisons?
Officials insisted last night they were "concerned but not panicking", (they leave the panicking to the public) and insisted they still hoped to avoid having to launch Operation Safeguard - the emergency plan to move convicted criminals into police station cells, at huge expense.

The looming crisis in the embattled Home Office is another blow for Home Secretary John Reid, who has promised to "rebalance" the criminal justice system in favour of victims.
Uh-oh. I'm getting a bad feeling about this...
Earlier this week the Mail revealed that hundreds hardened teenage criminals, including muggers and burglars, are to be freed from jail early because youth jails have run out of cells, with governors under urgent orders to trawl their prisons to find young offenders suitable for early release, or transfer to children's homes.

Now ministers could be forced to take similar steps in adult jails to avoid newly-sentenced criminals arriving from courtrooms being turned away.
Why am I not surprised? And does "turned away" mean "turned back out on the street"?
At least 40 convicts have already spent the night in police cells in the West Midlands because no room could be found for them in local jails.

The crisis means courts are likely to come under even more pressure not to hand out prison sentences to criminals, but to use supposedly tough community punishments for more and more offenders.
Or you could just hand them "ASBOs" and let them go on their merry way! Aren't those "supposedly tough"?
A Home Office spokeswoman said officials were 'concerned' and were watching the situation closely.
"Watching the situation closely" via closed-circuit television, I'm sure.
Capacity is expected to rise slightly in the autumn as a small number of prison wings are reopened following refurbishment work, but that could come too late to avoid the current crisis.

Prison campaigners claim overcrowding prevents jails from carrying out vital rehabilitation work with offenders to steer them away from criminal careers, and have accused ministers of complacency over the issue.
Perhaps you might consider the fact that "rehabilitation" isn't actually accomplished, and that the resources spent on it might be better applied elsewhere? (And in poli-speak, "complacency" means "You're not spending enough money on my pet project, bub!")
Even the traditionally quiet summer months when many courts are closed have not halted the relentless rise in the jail population, which has soared by some 2,300 over the past year alone.

Housing offenders in police cells costs £362 ($685) per night - more than many top hotels - compared with £66 ($125) per night in a prison.
Maybe we should introduce the British to Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Tent cities, pink underwear, and bologna sandwiches have to cost less than a night at the Radisson, much less one in the Presidential Suite at a Hilton.
The extreme option if the crisis-point is reached is administrative release, where the Home Secretary can order offenders close to the end of their sentence to be freed.
"Close to the end" being a somewhat flexible measurement, I'm sure. Meanwhile, reality rears its ugly head on a different topic:
Council tax 'must soar to plug hole in public pensions'

By MATTHEW HICKLEY
21:46pm 11th August 2006


Council tax bills will have to rocket to plug the Government's black hole in public sector pensions, the head of the spending watchdog has warned.
Remember, "There is no Social Security crisis."
Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, says local taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill after ministers caved in to union pressure to allow town hall staff to continue retiring early on gold-plated pensions.

The U-turn provoked fury as ministers had pledged that public sector workers would have to retire at the same age as the private sector. Local government pensions already cost the taxpayer a staggering £3billion ($5.67 billion) a year.

Under Labour, the annual local government wage bill before pension costs - excluding police, teachers or firefighters - has soared from £11billion to £18billion ($20.8 to $34 billion) and now costs around £845 ($1,600) per household.
That's per year.
Mr Bundred has written to Ruth Kelly, the secretary of state for communities and local government, calling for the local government pensions scheme to be overhauled.

He said: 'At some unspecified date in the future, someone will have to start bailing out the funds. That someone is most likely to be the local taxpayer.'
Uh, excuse me - who else would it be?
He went on to warn that there was an 'accountability gap' in public sector pensions. 'Taxpayers, and members of the scheme, are entitled to a greater degree of assurance that the funds offer value for money,' he said. 'What is needed is far more openness and transparency.'
Not "lower, later benefits"?
Mr Bundred added: 'The accountability arrangements for the Local Government Pension Scheme do not match its scale. What passed as fit for purpose historically is now inadequate as liabilities have grown thanks to increasing life spans and higher salaries.

'Particularly lacking is accountability about performance to the taxpayer and to the employees making contributions.'

Local government is one of the UK's biggest employers with 3.2million on the payroll and has an asset value of nearly £90billion, making it the world's fourth largest pension fund.

Strike threat

Last year, ministers backed down in the face of strike action by local government workers by allowing existing employees to continue retiring early on inflation-proofed final salary pensions.

Under existing rules, they can retire with a full pensions if their age plus their length of service totals 85 years, and has led to the average retirement age for a council workers falling to 58.

Campaigners have warned that private sector employees are being forced to pick up the bill so that their public sector counterparts can enjoy pensions rights which they do not enjoy.

Those in the private sector have been told they will have to work until 68.
Can you imagine the howls here when we're told that Social Security won't start paying out until we hit 68?
Experts have warned that the total black hole in public sector pensions is currently £530billion (a hair over $1 trillion), making it a huge burden for future generations of taxpayers.
Ah, the British, and their flair for stiff-upper-lip understatement!
The Tories said that the black hole in local government pensions alone is worth around £32billion ($60.5 billion).

Local government spokesman Caroline Spelman said: 'This year Labour has hiked the council tax bills of pensioners by £250 ($472).

'Since 1997, one third of the basic state pension has been grabbed back in everincreasing council tax. Pensioners are being jailed for non-payment, while violent criminals roam the streets freely.
See the piece immediately above (written by the same reporter, no less!) No wonder the prisons are overcrowded! You have to wonder about the economics of locking up pensioners at $125 a night for non-payment of taxes, don't you? Or do they get the Presidential Suites?
"Yet the Labour Government is adding insult to injury by making hardworking families pay towards the cost of goldplated town hall pensions.
And you expected a different outcome... why?
'Council taxpayers simply cannot afford to foot the growing bill. At a time when some private sector workers face having to work until 68, this is neither sustainable nor fair."
I quote:
The EU is built on a fantasy--that men and women can do less and less work, have longer and longer holidays and retire at an earlier age, while having their income, in real terms, and their standard of living increase. And this miracle is to be brought about by the enlightened bureaucratic regulation of every aspect of life.

Paul Johnson, 10.06.03 Forbes Magazine "Europe's Utopian Hangover"
It may be that England gets to be first to wake up to the facts, but at this point I'm thinking they're going to sleep through the lesson.
James Frayne, campaign director of the Taxpayers' Alliance, added: 'Local people have only just been warned that they may have to foot the bill for an increase in the number of migrants coming to Britain, so they will be alarmed that they also face the prospect of having to pay for local government pension schemes.

'The Government has got to understand that people are already struggling to make ends meet and they can't keep being used as a convenient cash resource.'
Sure they can. Who's going to stop them?

I mean, until the goose that lays the gold-plated pension eggs lies dead that is.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Unfortunately, I Can Believe It.

I don't know where I was when this news broke, but on August 2 a Scripps Howard News Service release announced that "More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East".

Unfortunately, I can believe it. Why? Because of the number of ignorant people our school systems are churning out. I looked up a piece from December of 2004 and found that it was still available online - America as it ain't - written by a professor of management at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He's still shown on the faculty page, though it hasn't been updated since August of 2004. (He's also a novelist, writing under the pen name of Zachary Alan Fox, which explains the essay's excellent readability.) But read the piece. It explains precisely why 1/3 of the population might swallow what Kevin Barrett is selling, and why the moonbat Left is where it is today.

"Reality-based community" my ass.

I WILL NOT License. I WILL NOT Register. EVER.

Via Firehand comes this story of how gun licensing differs from car licensing.

And be sure to read the comments.

Excuse me while I have a RCOB™ moment.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another "Gullible Gunner"?

Long-time readers know about the months-long exchange between me and Australian blogger Tim Lambert over the topic of self-defense in the UK. His position is that self-defense is perfectly legal - though there might be a bit of a "chilling effect" on its practice - due, he says, to "gullible gunners" like me who blow news stories out of proportion. My position is that self-defense is legally on the books, but any citizen who actually tries it puts his freedom and fortune into the hands of the Law because the Crown Prosecution Service will most probably charge that citizen for violating some statute or six.

Case in point (h/t KeepandBearArms.com), 64 year-old Diane Bond:
Brave grandma arrested after standing up to yobs

By IAN DRURY, Daily Mail
22:00pm 4th August 2006

After months of being taunted by a gang of yobs, grandmother Diane Bond finally stood up to them when she was abused while walking her pet dog. During a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse, the frail 64-year-old prodded the teenager ringleader gently in the stomach when he urged her to "Hit me, if you dare".
Obviously the teenaged "yob" doesn't fear the law much.
Moments later, the 5ft 1ins pensioner found herself flat on her back and nursing a broken arm after the 15-year-old boy, who was 7 inches taller, pushed her to the ground. But to add insult to injury, police officers arrested her for assaulting a child after his mother moaned he had been attacked.
And there's another reason for his behavior.
Now Mrs Bond must report to a police station 30 miles from her home in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, Wales, at the end of the month to find out if she will be charged. Last night the retired lab technician spoke of her distress. "I am in shock and very, very teary," she said.

"I have never been in any trouble before. I just want to enjoy my evenings walking my dog in peace. I am being treated like a criminal because a gang of yobs have nothing better to do than pick on an old lady."
Buck up, Mrs. Bond. You're not alone!*
Residents of her quiet street have complained to the police and council for several months about youths causing anti-social behaviour. In the latest letter to Powys County Council in June, residents said they had suffered an "endless stream" of damage to property and cars, intimidation, vandalism, noise and rubbish being hurled into gardens by up to 30 youths aged 11 to 17.
Well, I'm sure the local constabulary has handed out a number of ASBOs - "Anti-social behavior orders" - to the misguided yoots. What else can they do?
Signed by 35 fed-up people, it added: "Collectively, we are sick and tired of the situation and our frustration is now close to boiling over."
They'd best be careful! That kind of wording could be considered a threat of premeditated assault!
Things finally came to a head when Mrs Bond, who has two children and five grandchildren, took her terrier Hettie for a walk on parkland near her home. She said a group of about 20 teenagers were loitering on the grass. Three others were standing on a path, deliberately blocking her way.

"As I approached they started shouting abuse at me," she said. "They were taunting me and crowding round me and I was quite frightened because they are big kids.

"After a while one of them, whose name is Billy, spread his arms out wide to show his stomach, and said, Come on, old lady, hit me, if you dare."

"I gave him three prods, almost like playful punches, not hard at all, and next thing I knew I was lying on the ground and I had broken my arm. One youth said I had been pushed.

"I went back home, shaking and crying."
Yet she was the one arrested (since, being a law-abiding citizen, she wouldn't resist and probably doesn't even know a lawyer, much less retain one...)
Soon after, two police officers knocked on Mrs Bond's door and arrested her on suspicion of assaulting a minor. "It seemed the lad had told his mum what had happened and she had immediately lodged a complaint of assault," she said.

Mrs Bond, who lives alone, was cautioned and interviewed for nearly three hours by police officers before she was released on bail at about 1.30am.
Let's do the math: Carry the one... They arrested her at about 10:30 PM! It couldn't wait until the following morning? She was going to skip the country overnight to avoid prosecution? And bail? I'm curious as to just how much this flight-risk had to shell out to get out of the slammer!
She has now made a counter-allegation to the police of assault against the youth. But she added: "This sends out the message that if you stand up for yourself, if you try to take action to stop anti-social behaviour, you are likely to end up being arrested."
Yes. That's EXACTLY what it does. And it's meant to. And that's the point I've been making all along.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Tony Blair said communities had to stand up to yobs in the fight against nuisance behaviour. Mrs Bond's neighbour Steve Simmons, who co-ordinates the Nelson Street - An End To Anti-Social Behaviour campaign group, said: "Diane is a reasonable law-abiding citizen and she has been treated like a criminal for standing up to yobs when the authorities would not.

"It is bewildering. The Government says communities should look after themselves and take a stance against anti-social behaviour. But when we do try to take action, what is the first thing that happens? The blame is put on us."
Noticed that, did you? Once the government has seized the monopoly on the legitimate use of force, it will not surrender that monopoly willingly. What's bewildering about that?
In May, grandmother Brenda Robinson, 66, of Bournemouth, spent a night in a police cell after being arrested for alleged assault when she gave a rowdy youth a "clip round the ear".
That used to be known as "administering disclipline," but no longer. Add Mrs. Robinson to the list, then. She's in good company, too.
She acted after being abused, pushed and threatened with a plank of wood. Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: "I would have expected the police to have acted slightly more proportionately than arresting Mrs Bond over this.

"It must have been a frightening situation for an elderly lady to be confronted by a gang of yobs, especially in an area with a history of anti-social behaviour, without the police compounding the problem."
Gee, ya THINK?
Chief Inspector Steve Hughson, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: "We are aware of the problems in Nelson Street and associated anti-social behaviour.

"Recent patrols in the area by the neighbourhood policing team have greatly reduced incidents of crime and anti social behaviour, to the extent that positive comments have been received by local residents.
If you interpret "About bloody time!" as a "positive comment."
"Therefore patrols will continue."
Until the media pressure is off.
The force declined to comment on Mrs Bond's arrest.
I bet they did.

*Mrs. Bond is in the company of fine people like Mrs. Robinson, mentioned above, and also:

Maureen Jennings, 50, of Manchester.

Martin James, 64, late of Birmingham.

Bill Clifford, 77, late of Hampshire.

David Benton, 44, of Moorby

Linda Walker, 47, of Greater Manchester

Yes, they're all just "gullible gunners" like me.

Überpost Üpdate.

This thing's kicking my butt. Another couple of days, maybe.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"...no ambition for the day other than to be worthy. "

Another story of how the military ships its dead home as air cargo.

And how different people view that.

Read the whole thing. (h/t - Carnaby Fudge)

Edited to add: Use "globeshow" (without the quotation marks) As both the username and password to sign in. Sorry about that. The link worked fine last night without logging in.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Right to WHAT?!?.

While working on that upcoming essay on rights, what do I step in? This story:
Ohio Man Claims Right To Have Sex With Boys

Admitted Pedophile Says Children Can Consent

POSTED: 6:52 am EDT August 3, 2006

CLEVELAND -- It was probably not a defense the court had heard before.

A suburban Cleveland man accused of sexually assaulting nine disabled boys told a judge Wednesday that his apartment was a religious sanctuary where smoking marijuana and having sex with children are sacred rituals protected by civil rights laws.

The admitted pedophile offered a surprising defense Wednesday to 74 charges of rape, drugs and pandering obscenity to minors.

Appearing in an Ohio court for a pretrial hearing, Phillip Distasio, 34, of Rocky River, Ohio, said he was a pedophile.

He told the judge, "I'm a pedophile. I've been a pedophile for 20 years. The only reason I'm charged with rape is that no one believes a child can consent to sex. The role of my ministry is to get these cases out of the courtrooms."

Distasio, a self-professed pagan friar, is representing himself on 74 charges. He said he's the leader of a church called Arcadian Fields Ministries, and that some of his congregants are among the victims in his case.

The judge told Distasio to confine his arguments to secular laws at his trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 11.

"If you want to challenge the law, that's your right to do so," Judge Kathleen Sutula said. "But we're going to follow the laws of Ohio in this courtroom."

Cuyahoga County Bill Mason said Distasio was arrested after he wanted to write a blog for the Lakewood Library. Officials noticed something was wrong and notified Rocky River police.

Distasio was arrested on charges he molested two disabled boys he was tutoring at his home. He's also accused of raping seven other autistic children at a Cleveland school for special-needs students, The Plain Dealer reported. All but one of the boys was under 13, which carries a mandatory life-in-prison sentence if he is convicted, the paper reported.

Police said they found journals at Distasio's apartment in which he described his illegal activities, along with child pornography and videotapes of him engaged in sex with boys, The Plain Dealer reported

"Not all pedophilia is bad, and sex [with boys] can be healthy," Distasio told the court.

According to the journals, two of Distasio's victims were so helpless they could never tell anyone what happened.

"The defendant describes acts in which he had autistic children and he did what I would call sadistic sexual acts with these children," said Mason.

The school he ran from his apartment was called Class Cutters. According to Distasio's Web site, students and parents chose the curriculum in the school for unique children.

But prosecutors said it was little more than a trap that snared one victim and then another.

"Like all predators, he used this one child to bring other children to him and that's what was happening, and that's how he got his second victim," said Mason.

And prosecutors believe there may be more victims.

Distasio has a history of working with children dating back 10 years.

Prosecutors said he could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
All Distasio deserves is a new rope and a short drop. As far as I'm concerned, his right to life ought to be forfeit.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Another Überpost Upcoming.

The last chapter (I hope) on the question of Rights is currently under construction. Hopefully I'll get it finished and posted this weekend. While Bill Whittle and I share a love for really long posts, at least I don't make you wait eight months for mine. (Of course, his read a lot better...)

This one's taking a lot more work than normal, so bear with me. I hope it will be worth it.