14 March 2017

Been a while

Blogger made me go through a lot of horseshit to get back on line.

20 October 2015


It's been a long time since I have written something here.  I should just write anything.

12 March 2010

Bye Bye Blogger

Man with the muckrake made a comment that you can block people from commenting at wordpress.

From this time forward, I am posting at:

I know, it's so much fun having mikey, twatface, and others waste their time trying to get me to read their shit.  But I prefer to hear from interesting people--not cretins.

So, if Aztec Red or Sebastian want to stop by:  I'll read what they say.

11 March 2010

Another thing I would never expect from US citzens

The good folks at the British Army Rumour Service have a thread up about Tony Blair: http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=55715.html

In it they discuss the Channel Four programme The Trial Of Tony Blair, the premise of which Tony "The Weasel" is called up for war crimes in 2010. Not so far out considering that Britain has the Iraq Inquiry. George Monbiot has already paved the way for this with his bounty on Blair.

As one person said in the forum regarding the invasion:
1. Next time you are considering starting another war, please make sure you are doing it for a good reason, and one which can be justified both at the time and afterwards.
2. Please give people the real reason, not one that seemed convenient at the time even if a bit economical with the actualite.
3. Please ensure that the military is the correct size, and is correctly manned and equipped, and is not overstretched by still being involved in your other feck ups.
4.Ensure that there is a proper mission and plan, including some sort of idea of where we are headed with this, rather than going into it with no idea of how you are coming out.
5. And finally, when your boss across the pond rings you up and tells you your boys are being deployed to Iran next, have the bollox to tell him to feck off and die.
This is what I mean when I say support our troops.

The People of Wootton Bassett demonstrate their support of the troops by publicly mourning the dead ("re-patriated") on their return. Friends who live there has told me it's a really moving experience to see the crowds. The Beeb always broadcasts this event on the News when soldiers are "re-patriated". Here's a vid for the yanks who miss this event:

This is a pretty crappy video of the event, but it still chokes me up to watch it. Also, the event has gotten larger with time and the street is packed with people.  I am sorry that this type of thing only happens in Britain.

Somehow, I just don't see all this happening in the US.

As one forum member said:

And what this pathetic excuse of a goverment needs to accept is that our brave lads and lasses volunteered to fight for THEIR country....not for a bloody oil well for some dickhead yank!!!

More on the stupidity of the gun crowd

mikeb302000 had this post
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Montana Teacher Fires Gun in Classroom

The Associated Press reports on an accidental shooting which happened in a classroom during history lesson.
BILLINGS, Mont. — The superintendent of a rural Montana school district says he was showing students his black powder muzzleloader when he accidentally fired the weapon into a classroom wall during a history lesson.

Dwain Haggard, who used to be a Civil War re-enactor, was showing the gun to five students in Reed Point High School's American history class Friday when it fired.

No one was injured, and Haggard says he can't explain how the weapon was loaded.

He says he usually fires a cap during the demonstration, but this time there was a loud bang and the room filled with smoke.

The ball shot through the "o" in the word "North" on a wall map.

Haggard says none of the students' parents was upset with him. He described the incident as "bitter irony" because he has tried to increase safety in the school district west of Billings.
Well, at least this is an improvement over some recent reporting we've seen: "...when he accidentally fired the weapon..." I'm glad they didn't report that "the gun went off." Of course, his not being able to explain how the gun got loaded, is a bit strange. But the best part of the whole story is this:

Haggard says none of the students' parents was upset with him. He described the incident as "bitter irony" because he has tried to increase safety in the school district west of Billings.

Yeah, that's some pretty funny irony right there. I guess those Montana parents know that Constitutionally-protected, God-given rights require that a certain price be paid in safety and caution.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
To which I made this comment:
I love history and I'm all for living history and such, but reenactors are something else.

I have this picture of the gun going off and filling the classroom with black powder smoke. When the smoke clears, the occupants appear as comic figures with startled expressions, their hair standing up, and soot covered faces.

From the British Army Rumour Service wiki:

"re-enactment is performed by individuals with a keen interest in history who attempt to recreate battles of years gone by to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Disturbingly Medieval to victorian types have access to swords, halberds, bows, crossbows, medieval siege equipment and an even more disturbing knowledge on how to use them. In their favour they drink like fish."

Sorry, shrimp, but most reenactors use blanks while they are playing soldier. It sort of makes sense if you are shooting at each other to do that, or reenacting would indeed win copious amounts of Darwin awards.

Although, this bloke seems to have forgotten that even though his toy was loaded with blanks--it was still loaded!

More on this weirdness at:
First off, the "I love history and I'm all for living history and such, but reenactors are something else." should have clued in one named "shrimp" that I was getting down on re-enactors, who are pretty bizarre characters in their own right.

Anyway Shrimp's comment was:
"Sorry, shrimp, but most reenactors use blanks while they are playing soldier."

Did I say that they did not?

Regardless of what it was loaded with, blanks can kill at close range. It fired something through the "O" in North, according to the story. At that range, even if it had not been lead ball, a blank would have killed.

As far as safe handling of firearms goes, it doesn't matter if it's a blank or not. It's the same as if it had been loaded with lead ball.
Shrimp seems to have missed where I said:
Although, this bloke seems to have forgotten that even though his toy was loaded with blanks--it was still loaded!
I'll admit that my black powder knowledge is limited to the Brown Bess and I have very little knowledge of percussion firearms, but I do know about blank guns. I also said in my response that the death of Jon-Erik Hexum was rather notorious. Hexum placed a .44 magnum loaded with blanks to his temple and pulled the trigger resulting in a blunt force trauma wound to his skull and subsequent death.

So, blank loads are still ammunition loads.

That wasn't really my focus as my opening sentence points out. Usually, people open with something that is going to get you into the topic, or relating to it. But, the RKBA crowd neglect that since they now believe that the phrase "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State" isn't really important to the Second Amendment (at least Scalia did in the DC v Heller decision).

Anyway, Aztec Red's comment was closer to the point:
I don't know why he thought it was a good idea to do something like this indoors. Even just firing a cap can loses debris in the bore and fire it with enough force to cause eye damage to anyone within speaking distance.

Even re-enactors know that blanks and percussion caps can cause injury, so they only fire at each other at distances measured in tens of yards at minimum.
You can count on Aztec Red to say something considered even if it may be something I disagree. He earned my respect with his answer to my question about his relating to the Oklahoma City bombers. I'd read any of his comments and might even publish them.

As I said, my comment was directed toward the waltiness of reenactors rather than gun safety, which the opening comment made pretty clear. Aztec Red gave a more gun safety oriented version of my comment.

Still, you'd think the possibility of filling a classroom with black powder smoke would have deterred this re-enacting wally from bringing his toy to school.

10 March 2010

Stick Guns

I think this is an anti-war parody:

Stick Guns

Dave Tucker | MySpace Video

And while we are at it. This is a clip from the British CHILDREN'S TV Programme Blue Peter. It seems that they dressed up all the female presenters in lingerie (albeit 19th Century lingerie). Proof that the spirit of Benny Hill runs deep through British Psyche. Does the underage bird parading around in 19th Century undies put this in the realm of kiddie porn?:

09 March 2010

Fight the enemies of the people

Not sure why I am receiving this stuff, but I will pass it on.

More proof that British anti-hunting laws are nonsense.

OK, we don't know the actual location of where this picture was taken, which means the premise of this post is a terrible assumption. But I can be busted for telling Laci "go get 'em, girl" when we're chasing squirrels in the park. Soooo....

Likewise, after seeing a fox wandering through a shopping mall at 17h00 (5PM) in what used to be the Duke of York's barracks in Chelsea (I knew they should have never opened up the place to the public) and being told: "Oh, that's nothing" while having a pint at my local, which is appropriately called the Fox and Hounds. It seems that there are an estimated 10,000 foxes roaming London as of 2006 with some being able to access the Prime Minister as the picture shows.  Trust me, the little buggers are everywhere including Oxford Circus tube stop.  Googling "London Foxes" will net you as many webpages as foxes.

Unfortunately, short of being the Royal Family (and they would probably be busted if they held fox hunts in Kensington-Hyde Park), we are screwed at chasing the little buggers.  You have to give a shout to the local council to "relocate" the beasts.  Also, the animal rights crowd can complain at riding through paved city scapes.  I know that Charles and Camilla like the sport: maybe they can be persuaded to start a city hunt.

I'm all for animals, but sometime they need to be culled: even if they remind me a bit of Laci.

The US media are as liberal as the corporations which own them.

I have been saying that NPR is a commercial media outlet and pretty right wing these days.  The commercial accusation comes from the fact that the conservatives have worked to ensure that no public funding is used for public broadcasting (which includes the The Corporation for Public Broadcasting). Thus US Public Broadcasting resorts to extort-a-thons and corporate "underwriting", which is a fancy word for commericals.  Corporations can pull their "underwriting" if the media decide to publish something contrary to the corporation's interests.  Likewise, it seems that the Cato Institute is dictating NPR's editorial policy.

Anyway, FAIR had Steve Rendall 5 Mar 10 blog post: Progressive History on the Public Airwaves: U.S. vs. U.K. from 03/05/2010 which confirms that my suspicions may not be too far off.

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the end of the historic British miners strike of 1984-85. The BBC has a special broadcast in commemoration, The Ballad of the Miners Strike, featuring the voices of miners.
But where can Americans turn for commemorations of our progressive history? There is always Howard Zinn's excellent book, A People's History of the United States.  But turn on NPR, the closest thing the U.S. has to the BBC, and the closest you'll get to the people's history is the denunciation of Zinn.

Going to the NPR Finds Right-Wing Crank to Spit on Zinn's Grave: David Horowitz in ATC obituary with substance-free attack post makes the request for action that people ask "why All Things Considered brought on David Horowitz to trash the late Howard Zinn when NPR's extensive coverage of William F. Buckley included no critical guests?"

NPR's coverage has become very right wing as of late, which is part of the reason I posted the Coffee Party info. It seems to me that the US MSM is far too fixated upon the "Tea Party Movement" which is obviously astro-turf.

On the other hand, I watch the BBC and see stories about the Rich-Poor gap in Britain. There is the work Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett which posits that that there is one common factor that links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their citizens: not wealth,resources, culture, climate, diet, or system of government. Furthermore, more-unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them—the well-off as well as the poor.

In the US, health care isn't considered a right, yet owning a deadly weapon is. Hardly anyone seems to be challenging this idiocy beyond FAIR (How the NRA Rewrote the Constitution and Gun Control, the NRA and the Second Amendment). Where is the screaming about healthcare other than the astroturf tea party movement?

Again, I have to recommend the Wisconsin AFL-CIO's reports on the Right Wing movement.

Anyway, why aren't the US MSM asking the same questions that the BBC and FAIR ask?  Where are the media who will ask the questions and post the news that people need to hear?

8-Year-Old Accidentally Exercises Second Amendment Rights

No, not from Ohhh shoot, but the Onion (got that, you moronic fucks, I am crediting this to the Onion):
NORFOLK, VA--Gun owners nationwide are applauding the patriotic, though accidental, exercise of Second Amendment rights by 8-year-old Timothy Cummings Tuesday.

"Timothy is a symbol of American heroism," said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre from Cummings' bedside at Norfolk General Hospital, where the boy is in serious but stable condition from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "While praying for his recovery, we should all thank God that his inalienable right to keep and bear arms has not been infringed."

The incident occurred shortly after Cummings returned from school and found that his parents were absent from the house. Displaying what Second Amendment-rights groups are calling "good old-fashioned American ingenuity," Cummings placed a pair of phone books on a stool to retrieve his father's loaded .38-caliber revolver from its hiding place on a closet shelf. After a preliminary backyard investigation of his constitutional rights claimed the life of Pepper, the family's cocker spaniel, Cummings fell on the weapon, causing it to discharge into his left thigh.

"The framers of the Constitution would be so proud of what my boy did yesterday," said Cummings' father Randall, 44, who originally purchased the handgun for home defense. "If 8-year-old boys discharging loaded firearms into their own legs isn't necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia, I don't know what is."

Doctors worked for six hours to reconstruct Timothy Cummings' femur, which shattered from the impact of the high-velocity teflon-coated slugs, and to graft his remaining muscular and circulatory tissue over the fist-sized exit wound below his left buttock. Although the boy lost a great deal of blood, attending physicians say they are confident that he will recover sufficiently to resume active use of firearms, though his chances of walking again are slim.

"For years, the people who want to take away our freedoms have said that we're not smart enough or responsible enough to own handguns," Randall added. "Timothy is proof that even a child is capable of using a handgun for its intended purpose."

Gun owners nationwide have flooded Cummings' hospital room with flowers, letters of congratulations and invitations to "come shooting." Area firearms enthusiast and family friend Lloyd Stone showed his support by donating 18 inches of vascular material to help rebuild Cummings' left femoral artery.

"He may be just a boy, but this use of the Second Amendment was a man-sized undertaking," Stone said. "Timothy may need a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but with every step he doesn't take, he'll realize what the Constitution really means."

Above: NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre praising Cummings' "commitment to the American way."

Although Cummings has yet to deliver an official statement on the incident, he regained consciousness long enough to discuss his immediate plans.

"Please, I want to run and play again," Cummings told doctors Tuesday night. "My leg hurts bad. Please make it stop."

Although gun-control advocates have criticized the boy's gun use, the NRA was quick to respond, calling Cummings' use of much-protested, teflon-coated "cop-killer" bullets "a victory for America."

"Timothy should be held up as an example to people who think we don't need these bullets--or fully automatic assault weapons, or concealable handguns which are impervious to metal detectors, for that matter," said NRA president Charlton Heston, who plans to congratulate Cummings in person as soon as he is through lobbying for Senate repeal of recently passed legislation mandating background checks for gun buyers.

"If we ban teflon-coated bullets, automatic weapons would be next," Heston said. "Then all handguns. Next thing you know, the law would deny our citizens' children the personal freedom to blow holes through their own legs."

NRA lobbyist Tom Korologos agreed. "Timothy's heroic accident happened because we live in the greatest country in the world," he said. "Had he grown up in Japan, England or Russia, he wouldn't be where he is today."

"Restrictive laws would have kept him 'safe' at home--and they would have justified it by telling us it was for his own good," Korologos added. "That's not the type of country I'd want my children to grow up walking normally in."

"Timothy is a shining example to gun-owning families everywhere," Cummings' mother Suzanne told reporters. "I am proud that my boy has followed in the footsteps of the many thousands of patriotic children who have already demonstrated their commitment of the U.S. Constitution in this same way."
© Copyright 2000 Onion, Inc., All rights reserved.

Got that, you stupid fucks, this was from the Onion and not my original material? It is credited, which takes it out of the realm of plagiarism.

Anyway, I have always said that if Mothers Against Drunk Driving had the same attitude toward Drunk Driving as some "RKBA/Second Amendment Supporters" do, they would be throwing keggers for underage kids.

An interesting Web Page

Things That Are Not In the U.S. Constitution:

* The Air Force
* Congressional Districts
* The Electoral College
* Executive Order
* Executive Privilege
* Freedom of Expression
* (Absolute) Freedom of Speech and Press
* "From each according to his ability..."
* God
* Immigration
* Impeachment means removal from office
* Innocent until proven guilty
* It's a free country
* Judicial Review
* Jury of Peers
* "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"
* Marriage
* Martial Law
* No taxation without representation
* Number of Justices in the Supreme Court
* "Of the people, by the people, for the people"
* Paper Money
* Political Parties
* Primary Elections
* Qualifications for Judges
* The right to privacy
* The right to travel
* The right to vote
* The separation of church and state
* The Separation of Powers Clause
* Slavery
* "We hold these truths to be self-evident"

I was looking up material on another topic, but these were particularly interesting to me.

Freedom of Expression

It is often said that one of the rights protected by the 1st Amendment is the freedom of expression. This site, in fact, uses that term in its quick description of the amendment: "Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression." But "expression" is not used in the amendment at all. This term has come to be used as a shorthand, a term of art, for three of the freedoms that are explicitly protected: speech, petition, and assembly. While the use of "freedom of expression" is ubiquitous in this area of 1st Amendment study, it is important to note exactly what "freedom of expression" refers to - let this be such a note.

(Absolute) Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution does protect the freedom of speech of every citizen, and even of non-citizens — but only from restriction by the Congress (and, by virtue of the 14th Amendment, by state legislatures, too). There are plenty of other places where you could speak but where speech can and is suppressed. For example, freedom of speech can be and often is restricted in a work place, for example: employers can restrict your right to speak in the work place about politics, about religion, about legal issues, even about Desperate Housewives. The same restrictions that apply to the government do not apply to private persons, employers, or establishments. For another example, the government could not prohibit the sale of any newspaper lest it breech the freedom of the press. No newsstand, however, must carry every paper against its owners' wishes.

See also the concept of compelled or coerced speech:

The guarantees of civil liberty are but guarantees of freedom of the human mind and spirit and of reasonable freedom and opportunity to express them...The very essence of the liberty which they guarantee is the freedom of the individual from compulsion as to what he shall think and what he shall say...

Harlan Stone's dissent in Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586 (1940)

Amazing news

I'm not sure how to describe this bit of news from Today's Evening Standard, but The British National Party will find out today if the decision to scrap its whites-only membership policy was enough to meet race relations laws. Even better is the news that millionaire Asian businessman Mo Chaudry is appying to join the party to "fight them from the inside".

I realise that George Monbiot is discussing climate change, but..

I find a lot of the topics I discuss here can have comments made along the lines of
There is one question that no one who denies manmade climate change wants to answer: what would it take to persuade you? In most cases the answer seems to be nothing. No level of evidence can shake the growing belief that climate science is a giant conspiracy codded up by boffins and governments to tax and control us. The new study by the Met Office, which paints an even grimmer picture than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will do nothing to change this view...

Perhaps we have to accept that there is no simple solution to public disbelief in science. The battle over climate change suggests that the more clearly you spell the problem out, the more you turn people away. If they don’t want to know, nothing and no one will reach them. There goes my life’s work.
George Monbiot, The Unpersuadables

It is amazing how people will see what they want to see and remain fixed in their beliefs.

Or as George also says:
Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it.
Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.