Monday, October 31, 2005

Walter Gaya

It looks like Walter Gaya, famous from Kim du Toit's Walter and Adam fund and Michael Yon's Dispatches, is having some problems. Walt was an Army sniper and he was injured in an IED attack on a Stryker he was travelling in. He was eight days away from being sworn in as an American citizen-

The Argentina-born immigrant, who moved to the United States as a child, was injured just eight days before he was to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen in a ceremony in Iraq.

Now, he's in a bureaucratic black hole: Federal immigration officials wouldn't renew his permanent resident card or tell him when he could reschedule the swearing-in ceremony. No one at the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office could tell him what to do next to get his citizenship papers, or even how to renew his immigration documents.

Gaya's commander, Lt. Colonel Erik Kurilla described Gaya as a-

"quiet professional. He's the type of soldier that every commander wished he had a hundred of."

The blogosphere is rallying around this brave man however- SondraK is highlighting Gaya's plight on her blog and is encouraging readers to contact their representatives so that Gaya's citizenship issues can be sorted out and so that a fund can be started to buy Walt the camera equipment he needs- he hopes to become a photographer after leaving the Army next spring.. Stop the ACLU is also posting on the story. Contact has been made with Michael Yon who is going to contact Walt and see just what he needs.

This is exactly why the blogosphere is so much better than the MSM- it's not just a source of information, it's a community- even for people who have never had any contact with each other.

I'll be keeping track of Gaya's progress- in the meantime, make sure to check out SondraK for more updates- she's doing fine work indeed.

UPDATE- Okay, folks, it looks like Walt's story is beginning to filter around the blogosphere. In addition to the sites already mentioned, The Smallest Minority, War on Guns, Ravenwood's Universe, Mindless Bit Spew and Thus Spracht Me have all picked up the story. If you're a US citizen please do take the time to contact your representative. Walter Gaya deserves better than this.

UPDATE II- Add more bloggers to the list- The View From North Central Idaho and gun blogger Mr. Completely, who will be writing to Congressman Adam Smith. Blogger Rivrdog comments that he has already taken that step.

And just a quick observation- Looks like there are NO left wing/liberal blogs working to aid this veteran/immigrant. Aren't they the ones who "support the troops"? The same people who always tarnish conservatives as being racist? Where are they now?

Adam Plumondore

I've blogged on the outrageous predicament in which Walt Gaya finds himself in, but I wanted to take a moment to remember the other half of the "Walter and Adam Fund", Adam Plumondore. According to Michael Yon, Walt kept a little shrine to Adam, or Plum as he was known, in his quarters while he was in Mosul.

When Gaya was injured in Mosul it was by an IED-

"The heavy Stryker flew into the air, blasting tires asunder, one tire flying more than a hundred yards. The explosion was so hard that it traumatized the tailbones of the men. The blast ripped through the bottom of the Strkyer and straight into an AT-4 missile, cutting the missile in half, but neither the missile nor the propellant exploded."

Of all the men on board, only Gaya was injured badly enough that his war was over- the rest received only minor injuries. The Stryker was so badly damaged that Michael Yon reported that he was unable to imagine how those men survived. He asked the driver of the Stryker about it and was told

"We had angels watching us."

The driver explained his reasoning to a sceptical Yon-

"Well, there is no other way to explain how we survived, except that Plum and Rat [another of the unit's snipers who was killed in Mosul] were there, and they stopped the blast. I know they were there. Plum and Rat held up their hands to save us. They stopped the blast. They were there."

Strangely enough at the memorial service for Adam, LTC. Kurilla said,

"We will miss them both terribly, but I know that our Deuce Four snipers, Gerty [SPC Clint Gertson] and Plum, are looking down from Heaven continuing to look out for us – that voice you hear in your head is Gerty calling the winds, Plum ensuring you have the correct distance, and both always reminding you to always look for the positive in life."

The men of Recon Platoon had this to say about Adam-

"Sergeant Plumondore was a tremendous soldier, a respected leader, and a great friend. He was a man of great strength, unending talent, and deep compassion. His spirit will live on forever with the men here who loved him and served with him. We want his family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of need and that he will always be in our hearts, and we will never forget him."

Rivrdog wrote this about "Plum"-

"Sgt. Plumondore had volunteered for his final patrol in place of a comrade. As an NCO, he probably could have taken a safer position within the vehicle, but instead, served the roof-ring mounted heavy weapon on the open top of his vehicle, where he was more effective with his shooting skills."

He was 22 years old when he was killed in Iraq. I regret to say that I never knew the man- but I would have been honoured to have met with him.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thoughts on S.397

This was the legislation passed which "grants legal immunity to firearm dealers and manufacturers in the event of wrongful misuse of their products by a third party." However, there was some anti-gun legislation slipped into the bill. As Liberty Belles point out there was also a ban on unspecified armour piercing ammunition. Now, maybe I'm being pedantic but I'd expect lawmakers to actually define terms when passing legislation- not leaving it so vague as to mean whatever anyone wants. Don't they get paid to do what they do?

Maybe it doesn't seem like such a big issue but the law seems to be so vague that the question has to be asked, ammunition that pierces what sort of armour? As you probably know there are different types of body armour providing different lever of protection. There's a good description of the various levels here at Wikipedia. The range is from Type I, which protects from the lowly .22LR right up to Type IV, which protects against .30 calibre armour piercing ammunition (as defined by those who deal with AP). Given the loose language of the legislation however, it seems plausible to assume that some hoplophobe could argue that all ammunition more powerful than .22LR is technically armour piercing- i.e. it will pierce Type I body armour. In other words, it is conceivable that this bill could be used to ban virtually all ammunition.

While the bill does not specify what armour piercing ammunition is, or attempt to, it does seem to leave that power entirely in the hands of the Attorney General:

"The Attorney General shall conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible."

It's also pertinent to note that while the bill bans "armour piercing ammunition" it leaves an exemption not only for the military- (which I assmue is what is meant by "use of the United States"- couldn't it also be argued that the United States is nothing more than the citizens which make up that fine country, meaning that the ban is essentially meaningless?)- but also "any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State."

Okay for the government but not for citizens.

Hollywood and Guns

The excellent Gun Watch blog has a post about the hypocrisy of Hollywood- of how many are happy gun owners in private, but anti-gun in public. One of the most telling quotes comes from Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner who also happens to have a concealed carry permit, he

"was reluctant to talk [to Fade In magazine]. "I am anything but a gun enthusiast," he said in a terse statement. "The only reason I would ever own a gun is for the protection of my home, my environment or my family under the circumstances in which I am forced to live."

Just the same as normal, everyday people then? Many people would like the right to defend themselves and their families too, the exact same right that anti-gun types want to deny them. Out of a population of 9.8 million people in Los Angeles County, only 500 are licenced to carry.

This David Codrea post should also be read.

"In Los Angeles, only the police, politicians and the politically-connected get to carry concealed guns without fear of having their lives destroyed if caught."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Royal British Legion

Please give whatever you can.

Poppy Appeal

I just had an old ex-serviceman come to my door collecting for the Poppy Appeal- it's raining hard and blowing a gale and yet he's still out doing his bit.

I'm not sure if there's an equivalent in the US (do let me know) but here every year coming up to Remembrance Sunday, the Poppy Appeal kicks off, collecting money in exhange for a little paper and plastic poppy. The money goes to the Royal British Legion and is used to pay for care for ex-servicemen and women and their families. As their website says,

"The Poppy has become a symbol of remembrance for the nation."

The Royal British Legion is a fantastic group- without them an awful of of ex-servicemen and women would find life a lot tougher.

If you'd like to make a donation to the Poppy Appeal you can do so here.

Wear your poppy with pride, and remember those who have fallen in defence of our freedom.

Why the Internet MUST remain in American hands

From Dhimmi Watch-

I run one of the very rare german language
anti-islamist blogs in Austria under

Well, I did so until this morning.

In Austria there is no such thing like the first amendment - so my blog was shut down by my internet provider in order to keep up with their perverted idea of "political correctnes".

That's all- this is the argument for why control of the internet must NEVER be passed into the hands of the UN or anyone else for that matter.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Flight of Fancy

Regular readers will know that I'm a huge fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Martian tales in particular. Here's a wonderful picture of the Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris by artist Ty Romsa. I'm fairly new to his work but this one just blew me away. He's an incredibly talented comic artist.

Bush Gets the Message Right

I'm signed up for email alerts with DefenseLink and just recently this has been the message that Bush has been delivering. It's one that he needs to keep reinforcing- and he finally does seem to be doing that- the message just isn't get out. Maybe it's time for the blogs to begin disseminating these speeches?

All we need now is for the MSM to start picking up the message that Bush is delivering in these speeches (as if)-

"We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept less than complete victory," Bush told servicemembers, veterans and business leaders in Norfolk, Va.

The president emphasized that the United States is not to blame for the violence it has suffered at the hands of terrorists. "No act of ours invited the rage of killers, and no consequence, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans of murder," he said.

Acquiescing to the terrorists would only encourage them and advance their efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, destroy Israel, intimidate Europe, assault the American people, and blackmail the U. S. government into isolation, he said.

"The stakes could not be higher," Bush told the group, noting that terrorists won't hesitate to strike the United States and its friends and allies around the world again if permitted.

"We did not ask for this global struggle, but we are answering history's call with confidence and a comprehensive strategy," he said.

Bird-flu in Africa?

The UN is reporting that cases of bird-flu appearing in Africa are "imminent". This could be really bad news as I'm sure that a lot of Africa nations simply do not have the resources to contain it- oddly enough, the flu could be carried there by European birds, currently nesting in Russia and preparing to migrate to Africa. That's if the European birds are infected of course. Because of the migratory habits of the birds, the areas most likely to be infected are N. Africa and "maybe the western border of the Red Sea [in] Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia." So we could also be looking at infections in the Middle East if the disease mutates into a human-to-human form.

Europe seems to be doing its best to prepare for a pandemic (by buying a medication which may not be effective at all) but I wonder what can be said about similar preparations in the Middle East?


The pace of progress does indeed seem to be moving more rapidly. First nano-trucks and now nanowalkers. An obvious application for this research didn't strike me but the researchers had this to say-

“This offers an easy realization of a concept for molecular computing proposed by IBM in the 1990s, in which every number is encoded by the position of molecules along a line similar to an abacus, but about 10 million times smaller. IBM abandoned this concept, partly because there was no way to manufacture the bars of the abacus at molecule-sized spacing.

“DTA does not need any bars to move in a straight line and, hence, would allow a much simpler way of creating such molecular memory, which would be more than 1000 times more compact than current devices.”

Just goes to show what I know!

A great primer on nanotechnology, with a great deal of specualtion on the benefits this sciene could bring us, can be found in Eric Drexler's book Engines of Creation. Well worth reading for an insight into the utterly astounding changes that nanotech will make.

Better Law for Homeowners

This is certainly a step in the right direction- a Tory MP is to launch a private bill to the House of Commons which will change the law so that homeowners who protect their homes and families will only be prosecuted if they use "grossly disproportionate force". As the law currently stands, homeowners are permitted the vague "reasonable force". Now, if someone broke into my home I'd think it quite reasonable to take my tomahawk to him- I really don't think the police would see it the same way.

Of course, even if the measure is accepted into law it still leaves the vast majority of people unable to defend themselves. How is a single woman living alone expected to protect herself or her home from a group of male thugs who break in? The people of the United Kingdom have been disarmed by the government- we do not have access to firearms which level the playing field. It's all very well to change the law to provide homeowners more peace of mind, but the simple fact remains that the government forbids its citizens from owning the means with which to defend themselves.

Home Office Minister Fiona MacTaggart is aghast at the idea of a change to the law-

People might set traps for burglars if they were allowed to use more force rather than informing the police, she suggested.

That could make it more likely that burglars would carry weapons, she added.

In her world, she'd rather people called the police after they had been burgled or attacked, rather than defend themselves in the first place. And as for burglars carrying weapons? Well, why shouldn't homeowners have the right to arm themselves too? Nothing stands in the way of someone breaking into a home armed with a gun as it is (gun crime has increased dramatically since the handgun ban was passed)- the only option the victim has here is to submit to the criminal's will and then wait for the police to turn up...after the crime has been committed and the criminal fled.

If these MPs were serious about allowing homeowners the right to defend themselves, they would now be campaigning to overturn the current firearms legislation.

Plan Ahead

There's an AP news article up which discusses the sometimes ineffectual plans that some people have made should they be faced with a crisis like a terrorist attack. The main thrust of the argument is research that indicates that having a plan for a diaster- any plan at all- enables the person to function more effectively, to overcome their fear- even though they may never actually follow the plan they came up with in the first place. Simply having a plan seems to be enough to be able to cope with the fear that a crisis situation causes.

That's all well and good but I take exception to the opening paragraph-

"In Alaska, just about everyone has a plan for how - should the need arise - he would fight a bear. And while elements of these plans make sense, they don't alter the fact that in hand-to-hand combat, a grizzly would savage a human."

Which is surely why most people in Alaska plan on being armed in the event of such an encounter?

Heroic Teenager

This is a tragic tale- a 15 year old girl saved the life of a ten year old boy when she pushed him out of the way of a truck doing nearly twice the speed-limit. She was killed. Though she was so young, she was also seven months pregnant.

The driver of the truck, who was 18, has been arrested on suspicion of felony reckless driving causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The latter charge is a new law, only just gone into effect, in which the death will be entered into the driver's record and under which he could lose his licence for a year. It was introduced for those cases where criminal negligence could not be proven. As it stands, the punishment fo the felony charge is a paltry one to six years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both together. I would have thought that the fact the driver was doing twice the speed limit would be enough to have the more serious charge used against him.

Six years for killing a girl because of speeding? Not nearly enough.


A Japanese firm has recorded the world's fastest transmission over fibre-optic cable. The technology is expected to be available by around 2010. Get ready to upgrade your modem!

They sent a two hour movie down the line and it took 0.5 seconds. That works out at an incredible 1 terabyte per second.

Sign me up.

Merry Christmas ACLU

Yeah, it's only Halloween, a little early to be talking about Christmas but I've decided to add the "Merry Christmas ACLU" image to my sidebar anyway. I'm not a Christian but I cannot abide these ridiculous and petty attempts to transform Christmas into "winter holiday". It's Christmas pure and simple. Everyone knows what the holiday is all about so why pretend otherwise? Granted the situation is not quite so bad here in the UK as it is in the US- Christmas is pretty much wholeheartedly welcomed- it's a BIG deal here and the shops are already filling up with Christmas gifts, decorations and foodstuffs. I for one love Christmas- what could be better than seeing your childrens' faces light up on Christmas morning?

I find it strange in a country with such a low church attendance, compared to the US, that we embrace Christmas so well. It's
the family holiday, a grand tradition. Of course, for many the holiday is typified by Father Christmas rather than nativity scenes, but schools here will almost all be having Christmas plays, with pupils acting out the nativity.

Our schools also have compulsory Religious Education classes. Things may have changed drastically in the last few years but I doubt it- while you'll get a bit of lip-service to other religions, these classes are predominantly teaching students about Christianity. Does it make the kids into Christians? No, it does not, but it does teach them about the foundations of our modern Judeo-Christian culture.

I find is staggering that the affirmation that the US government should "
make no law respecting an establishment of religion" has been twisted to conclude that Christianity should be practically outlawed. And the war against Christianity will be fought again this Christmas as groups like the ACLU try to wipe out all traces of our Western heritage. Christmas is Christmas- calling it "winter holiday" or somesuch nonesense isn't going to change what December 25th stands for. Maybe the ACLU needs to read a little further along the 1st Amendment and realise that it also states no law shall be made "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion- which seems to me to be exactly what they are doing with their perpetual attacks on the symbols of Christianity.

If you'd like to add some festive touches to your blog, head on over to Stop the ACLU and pick up the code.

More on Iran's Position

As you're aware the Middle East has been almost entirely silent on the comments of Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel (and America). The Egyptian Foreign Ministry and Cabinet have refused to comment.

Tell me again why the US is providing Egypt with all that foreign aid again?

Iran States Its Aim

Wow. While world leaders complain about Iranian leader Ahmadinejad's comments calling for destruction of Israel, they seem to be pretty quiet on his calls for an end to America.

"To those who doubt, to those who ask is it possible, or those who do not believe, I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible."

His statement was greeted by chants of "death to Israel, death to America, death to England".

Nice guy- like I said, what could possibly be wrong with him having nukes?

BTW, where's the world leader outrage over the America statement? Tony?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Worth Reading

This is a suggestion of how to counter jihad recruitment in preisons but I think it's worth everyone's time to read it.

"That is what Islam is really like. It asks the new convert to strip himself of his identity. It asks him to take a new name. It asks him to give up art -- no sculpture, and no paintings of people or other living things. It asks him to give up music -- no gospel music, no jazz, no nothing. In some Arab countries, this ban is violated -- but the ban is part of Islam."

Dhimmitude in Oz

Police in Australia have been told to treat Muslim incidences of domestic abuse differently from others out of "respect" for their traditions. The advice, contained in a religious diversity handbook, tells police to consult with local Muslim religious leaders who will attempt to prevent the "fragmentation" of the family unit- which sounds to me like it means "prevent the abused woman from leaving her abusive husband".

Whatever happened to equal protection under the law? Are Australian police really going to treat one wife beater differently from other because of his religion?

This is absolutely despicable.

Where are the women's rights groups on this?

Headscarves Must Worn

A university in Malaysia is forcing all female students to wear the headscarf, not just the Islamic ones. And the government is backing them. The argument is that it's not a religious issue at all (of course not), merely a matter of enforcing a university uniform policy.

US university students- this is what a theocracy looks like.

The somewhat ominous sounding Minsiter of National Unity stated that, "In a multi-racial country each community must respect one another. But at the same time we must respect the laws of the country, institutions and organisations to ensure there is no disturbance to the community."

Sounds an awful lot to me that the message is "do as we tell you or else there will be 'disturbances'". After all, Christian or atheist students aren't going to cause any disturbances over not wearing a headscarf, are they?

The NHS at work

The problem with this story is that I'm not suprised at all by it- the mother of a six month old baby was kept waiting at a hospital for two hours before the child was seen. As she waited a unicyclist rode up and down, entertaining the patients. Lo and behold, when the sick child was finally seen to the doctor was the unicyclist.

The hospital has issued an apology, though it's the sort of apology that isn't really one at all:

"The child in question was not neglected and his care was not compromised in any way. Of course we are sorry if distress was inadvertently caused to his mother and we have offered her our apologies. But let’s also remember that we should try to make hospital wards less intimidating places for patients, particularly children and not apologise for making a stay in hospital as happy a time as possible. We regularly provide diversions that are not directly related to medical care."

In other words, we're NOT apologising for having a doctor entertain patients instead of treat them. Perhaps it hasn't occurred to the hospital that patients might be happier being treated promptly instead of kept waiting while some doctor plays the fool. After all, if they're that serious about making it a "happy" environment counldn't they find someone more qualified than a doctor to ride a unicycle, freeing up the doctor to, oh I don't know, treat patients?

Welcome to what passes for logical thought and appropriate use of staff in the modern NHS.

Miers Withdraws

This seems like good news- though she may very well have turned out to be a supremely conservative judge the doubt that she represented was just too much. How were Republicans supposed to fight for a nominee they knew nothing about?

Lets hope that the new pick will be one that all Republicans can really get behind and fight for.

Anti-Weapon Law

If you live in Scotland and have ever wanted to own a sword, now is the time to go and buy one- MSPs (Members of Scottish Parliament) are apparently discussing legislation which will outlaw their sale (and the many legitimate uses of swords- e.g. martial arts- won't get in the way- just look at how the government treated shooting sports here).

Never mind that swords are only used in about 1% of all "knife crimes".

How long until pointy sticks are banned?

Scotland the brave? Not any more.

Dept. Of Really Bad Ideas

Sure, let's stand aside and allow these guys to develop nuclear weapons. What could possibly go wrong?

Iran’s hard-line president called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”...President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Right after 9/11, some of us thought it was impossible for leftist critics to undermine a war against fascists who were sexist, fundamentalist, homophobic, racist, ethnocentric, intolerant of diversity, mass murderers of Kurds and Arabs, and who had the blood of 3,000 Americans (and other nationalities) on their hands. We were dead wrong. In fact, they did just that."

I've had this quote in a note on my PC for a long time. I seem to recall that it originated from Bill Hobbs. Nothing's changed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Geek Help

Just in the past day or two Firefox has stopped playing embedded quicktime movies- trailers and the like. Anyone know of a quick fix/likely cause?

I don't have time to take a good look at the problem right now but I am itching to watch the next installment of The Cursed Chest by Adam Hughes, a little movie staring one sixth scale action figures. And it's very well done.


Colt Diamondback

I was having a browse through Collectors' selection and came across this- a fine example of a Colt Diamondback in .38 Special. While it's big brother, the Python, usually gets all the attention, I've always liked the scaled-down Diamondback. It looks a little more elegant than the beefy .357 Magnum but still retains that classic ribbed barrel profile. Kitted out with a set of Hogue grips, this is a very nice package indeed.

Home Security

Stumbled upon this article on simple things you can do to make your home more secure. There are a few good suggestions and it's worth having a look at but there's one huge, glaring omission for the target American audience- buy a gun and learn how to use it.

I'd rather have a gun in my hand than lock myself in a wardrobe and hope the criminal goes away.

Cremated Bodies in Afghanistan

I blogged on this incident a few days ago and I came to the conclusion that the Lt. in question really did the only thing he could do- to safeguard the health of his own troops. BlackFive- has an update on the story with links- it now turns out that the PsyOps actions took place AFTER the bodies had been burned. Jason Coleman has a good post on his blog about this, pointing out the simple fact that the PsyOps people were there to try and goad the Taliban forces out of the village- it's their job. Countercolumn also notes that the actions of the Lt. did NOT contravene the Geneva Convention.

Yet again it's up to the blogs to do the work.

Traitor Galloway in Trouble!

Looks like Galloway's past is catching up with him- a Congressional report shows that he lied about receiving Iraqi oil payments. The money was going into his wife's account. Senator Coleman said, "We have what we call the smoking gun."

Galloway could be facing jail time.

Let's hope so.

Iraqi constitution passed!

News just in from CNN.

Democracy is taking hold in the Middle East.

Maybe it'll not be long before Israel isn't the only, fully functioning democracy there.


I like checking out my SiteMeter world map to see where my visitors are coming from- and I've been getting a good few from Iran, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia lately- all of them coming here to see an image of Carmen Electra I posted some time ago. That one image has been boosting my numbers considerably so here's another one.

Free Piglet Part 2

As if the ban on anything pig related in an office wasn't bad enough, two major UK banks (the Halifax and NatWest) are now moving to ban the tradition of the child's piggy bank, usually given away when the child's account is opened. The move is intended to avoid offending Muslims. There is no mention of any complaint having been made- this is a pre-emptive dhimmi move.

As the Dean of Blackburn, Reverend Christopher Armstrong, notes it's only a short hop, skip and a jump away from banning Christmas trees and cribs. Not to mention pork, alcohol and all overt signs of Christianity or Judaism.

Oddly enough the commonsense statement about the whole affair emerged from Khalid Mahmoud, one of four Muslim MPs in the UK-

"We live in a multicultural society and the traditions and symbols of one community should not be obliterated just to accommodate another."

Perhaps there will be enough public outrage to reverse the decision. How hard would it be to offer a non-pig "piggy bank" to Muslim customers alongside the traditional pig?

Handguns in the UK

I'd intended to post about this when the story first broke here but forgot. Here it is, better late than never.

As you are aware London has been chosen to host the 2012 Olympic Games. To do so the law has "been relaxed" by the Home Secretary to allow for the handgun events to take place. All handguns- save for blackpowder- are totally bannned in England. Of course this is an event of international prestige so the laws are being "bent" to permit guns.

The British Olympic shooting team has also asked for the laws to be changed- as it stands the British handgunners have to practice elsewhere-

Team members currently spend about 20 to 30 days a year training in Switzerland, and receive no funding because their events are illegal in the UK.

Japan, which has similarly draconian gun laws, permits its elite shooters a special exemption. Britaion however, will not.

A Home Office spokesperson said the laws had been voted in by an "overwhelming majority" of MPs.

"The banning of handguns wasn't a matter of eroding personal freedoms, it was a matter of ensuring that what had been shown to be a terrible, if statistically small, risk was removed," she said.

So Britain will allow handgun shooting in the UK when it suits them (i.e. when foreign nationals are present) but it will NOT allow its own citizens the same rights. In the world of the Home Office spokesperson a law has never been overturned and laws cannot be "relaxed" for the sake of the sport in the UK. Not for British citizens anyway.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Where's the outrage?

While the Muslim world apparently seethes over the burning of corpses in Afghanistan, a much more shocking story has emerged- one which is actually worthy of serious outrage. Four US contractors were murdered in Iraq last month. Two were killed in the initial attack on their convoy while the remaining two were dragged from their vehicles. One of these men was murdered by a rifle shot to the head- the last survivor was doused with petrol and burned alive. Children yelped in delight at the sight and piled straw around him to aid the fire. The bodies were then dragged through the streets.

This is desecration. Where's the outrage about this? The BBC news website makes no mention of the story, but they do cover the burning of corpses in Afghanistan.

I cannot believe that this story is not getting more coverage. Can you imagine what the MSM would be doing if it had been Islamist terrorists' bodies dragged through the streets?

Hat tip to LGF


Or been removed?

On 27 September, they finally got a good look at the site, but the features that could have been the remains of the MPL [Mars Polar Lander] had vanished. “We conclude that our interpretation of these features was in error,” Malin researchers wrote on their web site. “This is NOT the location of the Mars Polar Lander.”

Or is it? Maybe they need to look...underground.

What was thought to be the lander’s parachute is actually the sunlit slope of a hill [Ed-of course it is, no Martians here]. The candidate rocket blast zone has faded and the spot that was thought to be the lander itself has completely disappeared.

Just...disappeared. Mmm.

American Super-soldier

The original super-soldier, Captain America.

Supersoldier Project

Science fiction needs to do some work- the US military is catching up fast.

The latest is to implant a microchip in the brains of soldiers which will vastly improve their memory and allow them to recall every facet of their training and thus make them more efficient.

The research is currently being carried out on dead rats so there's obviously some way to go until human trials take place.

The next step? Enabling troops to download skill sets directly onto the chips.

As Neo said, "I know kung fu."

Bush's Biggest Mistake?

American Dinosaur pointed this story out- 85% of captured child predators are illegal immigrants. Operation Predator is a program to apprehend foreign nationals preying on children- and it seems to be a success, resulting in about 8 arrests per day. But one has to ask, how many more are out there?

The scary thing is that the United States' borders are still not secure- and child predators are only one of the threats posed by this gigantic mess. One of the key statements in the article about Op Predator is this- "in enforcing the nation's immigration laws, ICE is systematically targeting those who pose the greatest threats, including criminal aliens who prey on our children."

In other words, the nation's immigration laws are NOT usually enforced like this.

Yet again it has to be said- something needs to be done urgently about illegal immigration.


This is the American Tomahawk Company's new model, the CQC-T. Intended purely as a close combat 'hawk, it's not recommended for throwing. At only 16 oz. it's very light (aiding in making fast cuts and changing direction rapidly), with the shaft designed to aid retention and a 2 7/8ths" cutting edge. This is NOT a camp tool.

Yet another great design from ATC.


It seems every day now that science fact is catching up with science fiction- and here's the latest from the USAF and Army: engineers are testing aluminium oxynitride (ALONtm) as a replacement for the usual layered glass transparanice used currently in air and ground vehicles. It not only offers increased performance over glass but is also lighter.

ALONtm is virtually scratch resistant, offers substantial impact resistance, and provides better durability and protection against armor piercing threats, at roughly half the weight and half the thickness of traditional glass transparent armor."

In tests the ALONtm stood up to hits from .50 BMG armour piercing rounds.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


First look at the HK417- a 7.62mm AR. According to info on the Lightfighter Tactical forum, the weapon will be available in three barrel lengths- 12", 18" and 20". Looks like it takes G3 magazines. This is the first solid info I've come across on this particular weapon. Interesting to see how it will turn out as this seems to be a fairly early prototype version.

UPDATE- There's now an HK417 page over at HK Pro. Miltary Photos also has a thread about the weapon, including pictures. As mentioned in the comments here, the G3 magazine is no more- replaced by a modern polymer design. The mags are not interchangeable.

Playing Catch Up

Paintball guns just got an upgrade- they are now being made to take propane instead of CO2. The advantage is it's cheaper ($8 compared to $250) and gives many more shots (50,000 compared to 1,000).

The Greenland icecap is thickening. This is considered a bad thing.

Now this is cool- the world's smallest car- 4 nanometers across with buckyball wheels of only 60 atoms each. To give an idea of scale, that's only slightly wider than a strand of DNA. And it;s not just for show either, it has a chassis, an axle and fully funtcioning suspension. Nanotech is really starting to get going.

Don Young and Ted Stevens need a swift kick in the ass- they're opposing moving money from two bridges in Alaska (one of them is the Bridge to Nowhere) to rebuilding in Louisiana.

Looks like there's going to be a bit of a fight over surrendering control of the internet from the US. to be honest, I'd almost expected them to roll over and hand the keys to the UN. Let's hope the US wins this one too. What the hell kind of claim does Brazil or Iran have of the net anyway?

Cowboy Blob has posted another fantastic creation of his- a vampires, werewolves and zombies3-gun match. Looks like it would be a heck of a lot of fun. Make sure to check it out- it's a great, inventive layout.

Thw wife of a Palestinian terrorist hid a live grenade beneath her toddler. Motherly love?

The link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda- why, it's the UN of course. What a suprise.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Theocracy in action

This is what a theocracy is all about, and it's nothing to do with the Bush administration-

ISLAMIC militiamen stormed a video studio in Mogadishu where Bollywood films were being dubbed into Somali, destroying equipment and arresting employees.

The gunmen, loyal to the Union of the Islamic Courts, smashed television monitors and escorted six members of staff from the studios in the Somali capital.

The courts consider watching films, listening to music and dancing un-Islamic.

From the always essential Dhimmi Watch.


I haven't yet written on the latest "desecration" story involving the burning of bodies by the US military in Afghanistan, simply because there wasn't very much information on the story yet. It now seems that the bodies were incinerated because they were on a mountain-side next to a military emplacement, overlooking a village suspected of harbouring further Taliban operatives. The troops in the post send word to the villagers asking for them to take the bodies but this offer was refused (possibly because they were Pakistanis and not Afghans). As the bodies began to swell and stink in 90 degree heat, the lieutenant in charge of the unit took the decision to burn the bodies.

I spent a little time in a forensics lab over a decade ago as part of my school work experience and the smell of decomposing flesh is awful- I can still remember it quite vividly. There's also the health hazard posed by rotting bodies right next to a position where men are eating and sleeping.

Did Lt. Nelson, the man in question, do the right thing? Seems to me that he did- he offered to allow the villagers to take and bury the bodies and they refused. In a combat situation- the two men were killed the previous day on a firefight- he didn't really have any other options open.

What's most galling about this is the comment by a Pentagon spokesman- he described the incident as "repugnant". Burning bodies to prevent the possible outbreak of disease in a combat situation? I don't think so. What is repugnant is his apparent attempt to appease offended Muslims and a lack of loyalty to the troops in question. He might have been better served in explaining the actions of the men involved and stating that they had no real alternative- what about the LT's duty to his men. As for a criminal investigation? Seems like a complete waste of time to me.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday's Meanderings

Feeling pretty lousy- been doing a bit of work about the house the past few days and it's playing merry hell with my back. I'm more than a tad spaced out on painkillers right now, so apologies for any nonsensical typing that may follow.

Can't say I'm suprised- the kidnapped lawyer defending Saddam Hussein has turned up dead- shot in the head. I am amazed by all the human rights people claiming that Saddam isn't being treated properly/it's not a fair trial/etc. Are they insane? Is this Bush Derangement Syndrome in action? They can't really be concerned for Saddam Hussein's welfare can they? I don't understand. The Iraqi people should have put him up against a wall and executed him- the media seems to be doing its best to portray him as some sort of maligned person, not the inhuman monster he is. I know that comparing him to Hitler is pretty lame, but would that SOB be getting the same treatment if he were the one on trial now. I am scared to think that if GWB had nailed him the answer would have to be, "yes".

This would have suited me down to the ground (not that my course had a particularly heavy workload)- lectures by podcast. Not recommended all the time but pretty handy for missed lectures or even for making sure that your notes have been taken down properly. I know that I occasionally had trouble catching some of the things my Scottish lecturer had said.

Mel Gibson has donated $1 million to Mexico to help recovery from Hurricane Stan. Hollywood actors and actresses always seem to be complaining about the world's ills- fantastic to hear that some put their money were their mouth is.

This is a pretty interesting list- the 10 most deadly animals in the US.

I must have missed this memo- after only just signing up for 2Mb broadband, it seems that 4Mb and 8Mb connections are now available in the UK. And 24Mb is just "around the corner". That took me all of a month to be rendered obsolete.

As if that isn't fast enough (and let's face it, we'll always want more speed) a helium balloon was recently floated which beamed a sigal to earth at a blistering 1.25Gb per second. The idea is to use it to provide communications in disaster stricken areas or low-cost internet in the developing world. I want one.

Two years on and the "pizza bomb" killing has not yet been solved. This crime is just too bizarre for words. Personally, it seems too incredible that someone would put a bomb collar around their neck willingly, as if they might somehow be involved in the crime, as the FBI seem to be suggesting. If that was the case, why was the bomb live? Oddly, the article tells us that "new information" has surfaced- but there is no evidence to back that claim up- only the assertion by the FBI that the victim was targeted, a claim swiftly refuted by his family who point out that the killers did not know who would be sent when the pizza was ordered.

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of mammoths on islands in Alaska. The bones date from only 5,700 years ago, 2,000 years more recent than any other similar remains. So close and yet so far.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pittsburgh Unprepared

Thank goodness The Onion's dilligent journalists are brave enough to point out FUMA's inept preparedness.

Who knows when the next zombie disaster will strike?

Are you prepared?

Paper Video

This is very cool- Siemens has developed a colour video display so thin that it can be printed on paper or foil and so cheap it can be used for throwaway packaging. Obviously the first application will be for advertising but the days of books with moving images cannot be far behind. Although the resolution isn't as sharp as a TV or PC monitor yet, that too will surely follow. As if this wasn't amazing enough, the screens get their power from batteries printed onto the paper too.

I'm flabbergasted.

The flying cars and ray guns can't be far behind now.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I've been doing a little poking around my blog today, scanning through some previous posts (and discovered that I've posted some movie news twice- my superb memory in action). Anyway, I came across this post and had a good laugh. Go check it out!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Beware- Killer Sheep!

Sounds crazy but it might turn out to be really entertaining- the group involved in doing post-production work on LOTR and King Kong is teaming up with a Korean company to make a horror-comedy called Black Sheep about a genetic experiment which goes horribly wrong.

I'm a huge fan of Korean horror movies and while this sounds absolutely insane it just might work.

I'm looking forward to seeing it.

US Deficit Shrinks

So much for Bush's supposedly disastrous economic plans- the deficit has shrunk to $319 billion dollars (2.6% GDP) thanks to "lower taxes and pro-growth economic policies ".

Although Katrina is expected to cause some damage to the economy and cost somewhere in the region of $30 billion, the House of Representatives is due to meet monday to begin looking for ways to cut the budget and recover that $30 billion.

That's not a hard job at all- they just need to go and take a look at what the blogosphere has come up with.

Cure for Cancer?

I've long been a fan of the prospects of nanotechnology, with particular focus on the medical applications of this new science.

Here's the first sign that nanotech is going to be a major feature of this century- researchers at the University of Delaware have developed carbon nanotube "nanobombs" which they are aiming to use on cancerous cells. The idea is to use the bombs to blast apart the tumours, along with their blood supply and "reproductive pathways".

Current surgical techniques are not precise and cancerous cells are often left behind. In addition, cancers in some part of the body, such as arteries and veins, are sometimes considered inoperable. Nanobombs can be used to target any remaining cancerous cells and can be used in any part of the body, allowing the creation of nanobomb therapy for a wide variety of cancers.

The best part is that nanobomb treatment will be much less taxing on the patient than current chemotherapy-

“In the future, my vision is that people will have at-home kits that can detect cancer. After work they will be able to go to a clinic, be treated with nanobombs and go home.”

There are years of clinical trials to go before this treatment becomes available but it's just one area in which nanotechnology will transform our world. Imagine a time when breast cancer- or any other type for that matter- is not a killer disease.

And one other thing- part of the funding for the project is provided by the Department of Defense. Thank heavens for the US military.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Al Qaeda and the Left

Blogs for Bush quotes this and I thought it was good enough to just reproduce here-

Those who want a premature U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will now have to explain why that won't play into the hands – and plans – of the enemy. Zawahiri makes it quite clear that al Qaeda's ambitions extend well beyond the borders of any one country. The goal is a fundamentalist Islamic regime that begins in Iraq, extends into the neighboring secular nations of the region, assaults Israel and moves on from there. And yes, he uses the word 'caliphate.' But let Zawahiri speak for himself. The jihadists, he writes, 'must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal.' … The long Zawahiri letter is a rough roadmap of the strategic vision for al Qaeda's intentions in Iraq and the global jihad. If it has a familiar ring, that's because George Bush has been warning the world about it for several years.

The full article requires registration- or the use of BugMeNot I suppose.

CNN is repeating the Al Jazeera line that the letter is a fake- but the US is convinced the letter is genuine. Whether or not this particular letter is genuine or not is immaterial- the same claim has been made in the past by Al Qaeda; they want to establish a caliphate.

The Left doesn't seem to be particularly concerned with the fate of the Middle East- they'd rather see the troops pulled out of Iraq and George Bush's plan declared a failure. Previous declarations made by these terrorists has not led to the Left explaining why their plans coincide with Al Qaeda's- why should this time be any different?

ACLU At It Again

Looks like the ACLU is doing their level best to ensure that terrorists have unfettered access to kill innocent American citizens- they're suing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for patting down people entering the stadium to watch the games.

And it's not the first time either.

Words fail me.

India's First Female Suicide Bomber

While the region tries to recover from the devastation of the earthquake, a "militant" group has decided to press on with their war- and India has been given its first female suicide bomber. She was known merely as Hafsa, and was a member of the women's wing of the Jaish-e-Mohammad "militant" group. The attack was carried out on a military convoy and while the terrorists claimed that five had been killed, the army is denying any casualties.

According to this report women are generally only used to carry weapons and explosives for the group. They are used because they are not searched quite so thoroughly- and no doubt there would be an uproar if police did begin to carry out effective searches of Muslim women.

Unnamed Islamic scholars said that it was unusual for women to be suicide bombers in the male dominated society (they make it sound like she's been given some sort of promotion). They did not apparently comment on the Islamic validity of suicide bomb attacks.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Jurassic Park Prequel

Okay, not quite Jurassic Park, but it's a step in the right direction. Scientists in Australia are attempting to bring the extinct Tasmanian Tiger back to life through cloning.

The project to do this was originally abandoned in February of this year due to poor DNA samples but another team is to press on- with the help of good old American gene sequencing know-how.

Personally I don't see this type of project as "playing God"- sure it sounds like science fiction but to be able to bring a recently extinct species back is absolutely incredible.

Next step- the mammoth. A group of Japanese scientists were attempting this using DNA recovered from a creature found frozen in the Siberian tundra. I wonder how they're getting on?

John Carter of Mars News

I wasn't entirely sure about the news that Jon Favreau is to direct the Burroughs' classic Princess of Mars, but after reading this interview with him, I'm feeling more confidence in the project.

Favreau's intention is to stay as close to the book as possible and his enthusiasm for the project comes through- as does his obvious affection for the source material. He spent 27 minutes out of a thirty minute interview for his new film Zathura talking about the Carter film.

I'm beginning to get excited about seeing this. Looks like it might be time to break out Burroughs' Martian/Barsoom tales once more. The first five books are available to read for free at that link.

By the way, even if you're not too interested in reading the interview, do go and check out the link because it's nicely illustrated with some classic Frank Frazetta artwork.

Lefty AR

The second thing that really caught my eye in Guns and Ammo this month was just an ad- but one for a left hand action AR! Made by Stag Arms it's a true left hand action- "Left-Handed Ejection Port, Ejection Port Door, Brass Deflector, Forward Assist, Ambi-Selector."

As a southpaw I tend to really appreciate items made specifically for me, and this is a great idea. Of course the standard AR can be used left handed, unlike the British Army's bullpup SA80 which I used during my service. With that I had to shoot right handed- and being left eye dominant, it's a bit of a pain to shoot right hand and right eye. It does help that the SA80 is easy to shoot well (I'll not go into functining or cleaning right now) but a left hand version should have been available. The Steyr AUG can be easily switched from right to left- pretty much essential for a bullpup weapon, but a feature that was forgotten in the SA80.

Getting back to the point, the Stag left-hand AR is not essential but in a right-hand dominated world, it's certainly enticing for the lefty. Four versions are available- three with 16" barrels and one with a 20". They are available as full rifles or uppers only. Just so you right handed folks don't feel left out, Stag also thoughtfully produce a version for you too.

The Stag website has a few copies of reviews on their website and the April edition of Guns gave the lefty AR a good write up:

I must confess that none of those [other ARs] prepared me for the first shot from the Stag. honestly I thought I had encountered a squib load because there was simply no recoil...What it was was simply the most effective muzzle brake I've shot on this type of weapon.

There were no stoppages whatsoever with a wide variety of ammo that included ball, hollowpoint, softpoint and nylon-tipped loads. And it got more than the normal number of rounds simply because it was fun. I'm a little old to be called to war, but I bought the gun anyhow. Just in case war comes to me.

Oh, and reviewer Charles Petty reports excellent accuracy. All in all this looks like a great choice for the left-handed shooter. Or the right handed one for that matter.

Stoeger's No. 3 American

I just got my November issue of Guns and Ammo and there are a couple of things that really stand out.

The first is this Uberti Stoeger's No. 3 American, a Schofield with a three and a half inch barrel and chambered in .45 Colt. It's listed as one of the nominees for Gun of the Year. I must admit to having a softspot for breaktop revolvers and this example of the breed is particularly nice. G&A describes it as "nice fit, finish, terrific balance and outstanding accuracy with Hornady 255-grain .45 Colt cowboy loads."

Got to say I'd prefer this over a Peacemaker any day.

With luck I'll post on the other item to catch my eye later on.

Koran as Hate Speech

A Christian group in the UK is threatening to use Tony Blair's proposed religious hatred laws to prosecute any bookshop selling the Koran.

The director of the group Christian Voice said "If the Qur'an is not hate speech, I don't know what is. We will report staff who sell it. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that unbelievers must be killed."

This could be interesting- if it goes to court and a judge allows for the teachings of the Koran (like this one- 9:5 “When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, torture them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”) then what exactly is forbidden? If Muslims can preach for the killing and torture if disbelievers what's to stop someone forming a religion which preaches the slaughter of Muslims? Is that speech going to be protected simply because it's "religion"? And surely it must if the courts are going to allow for the Koran. Presumably it's hate speech for an individual to call for attacks on a specific class of people, but what about when they do it under the guise of religion? Is it only hate speech if it's not coming from an imam?

I think that the Labour government is about to open a can of worms.

Al Gore

The title of this post should give you a pretty good indication of what's about to come, but even I was somewhat shocked by what Al Gore said this time.

Speaking on the subject of how the US would be different if he had won the 2000 election he said,

"We would not be routinely torturing people"


You'll be glad to hear he's NOT running for the office of president again.

Monday, October 10, 2005

IRA Offically "Inactive"

Though the IRA only recently claimed to have decommissioned its weapons (sorry, its old and oboslete arms to be more precise), the process actually began in 2001- again, to much public fanfare about this "historic" move. Well, it turns out that a full year after the IRA began to decommission they were importing even more.

Today's Belfast Telegraph carries a front page story about the police seizure of 10,000 rounds
of 7.62 Russian ammo last October. The ammo was purchased through an arms dealer in Germany in 2002 and it ended up stored in a house in Belfast.

The Chief of Police here has briefed the watchdog group, the Independent Monitoring Commission, about the ammunition cache and they (the IMC) are still expected to announce that everything is fine- the IRA are officially "inactive". No word on what they say about the terrorists preparing to be active again if things don't go their way politically.

One wonders just what else is happening about that the police haven't discovered. Handy that since the IRA announcement Tony Blair ordered the removal of border watch towers- used to prevent the IRA smuggling items across the border- and listening posts in Belfast itself. According to the PM, we're all perfectly safe now.

Good job he's doing in the war on terror...

Border Trouble

While the Republican Party at large are failing the citizens of the United States by refusing to secure its borders, others are stepping into the fray to do their bit- most notably the Minutemen. Things are dangerous down at the border and while the Minutemen do what they can, we shouldn't forget the incredible risk they are taking- literally putting their lives in jeopardy. Don't believe me? Then why has a Yuma County Sheriff bought himself a British Army armoured vehicle to patrol in?

The $18,000, nine-ton, six-wheeled vehicle is needed because of increased attacks against deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents by drug and migrant smugglers, sheriff's and patrol officials said.

Given the fact that sneaking across the border is illegal, and that the immigrants are working illegally, that many crimes are committed by them and that they resort to attacking law enforcement agencies almost the moment they set foot into the country, isn't it about time something was done about this problem?

Religion of Peace Activities

This is an informative site- it lists every terrorist act carried out by the "Religion of Peace" since 9/11.

It's a big list.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Curse of the Were-Furry Thing

This story was just too weird to pass up- residents of the Isle of Portland in the UK have banned posters for the upcoming movie Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit; because the word "rabbit" is taboo. Instead islanders refer to bunnies as "furry things" or "underground mutton".

"The word rabbit is considered to be bad luck because the creatures’ burrowing caused land slips in the quarries, which have made Portland stone famous around the world...Quarry workers were so superstitious that if they saw a rabbit they would pack up and go home for the day."

The world is a strange, strange place.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Couple of Things

I'm getting lazy again.

First up, some pretty worrying news from LGF- the "international community", meaning mainly Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran, (you know, places where the internet is heavily censored) and several African states are upset that the United States pioneered the internet and *gasp* still retains control of it. That's just silly, they want to be in charge too! Not surprisingly, the US told them where to go- but the EU decided that it wasn't fair either and now it looks like they will try to wrest power of the internet from the US via the UN. Doesn't the US pay most of their bills too? Time to pull the plug....

Could we be witnessing the end of the freedom of the internet? How long before Iran begins to demand un-Islamic sites are shut down?

Second, Gary Reeder reports that Freedom Arms are developing a new catridge- the .500 Wyoming Express to replace the .50 Action Express in their line up. No specs on it yet but the .500 pistol calibres are beginning to mount up- .500 Linebaugh, .50 AE, .50 GI and .500 Smith and Wesson Magnum. Where will the .50 WE fit in?

This made me think of the classic and under-rated Romero movie, The Crazies- a FedEx plane carrying vials of research viruses crashed in downtown Winnipeg. The vials contained nothing sinister and their contents were apparently incinerated in the crash.

And look- this is another Romero film getting a remake! The director is Brad Anderson- he's worked on The Shield and The Wire and he did The Machinist (which i haven't yet seen). I know him from creepy horror movie Session 9. Well worth seeing. Based on that resume I'm quite looking forward to seeing this.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Movie News

Looks like John Carter of Mars finally has a director- after Roberto Rodriguez and Kerry Conran (Sky Captain) were both named for the spot- Jon Favreau. He's probably best known for Swingers or one of Monica's boyfriend's in Friends. He's just finished directing a sci-fi movie called Zathura. Can't say I'm overwhelmed by the news. Perhaps he's a massive fan of ERB's work and will make a great movie. Perhaps not.

Lena Headey has been named to co-star in 300 as the wife of Leonidas. Again, not news that I'm terribly excited about. I saw her in The Cave recently and she's a pretty competent actress. I don't recall the role being important at all so it most likely won't make much difference to the movie but she seems to be more than capable. I see that she's also been in a McGyver film- another plus for her.

Finally, totty du jour Jessica Alba has been talking about her future career moves. Seems like Sin city 2 will begin after the Rodriguez/Tarantino double-bill flick finishes. She also informs us that Frank Miller is now being courted big-time by Hollywood- and he has mentioned writing a story for specifically for Alba/Nancy. I watched Sin City again last night- a great but brutal film. Though not in the same league as Saw (which I watched for the first time a few nights ago). Now there is a film which made even me flinch. Very, very good- tense, gripping and gruesome.

Problems in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is usually held up as an example of a success story- particularly when it's being compared to Iraq. But all is not well there-

Afghan authorities have detained the editor of a women’s rights magazine on the orders of a presidential adviser who deemed one of his articles blasphemous to Islam, a senior government official said yesterday.

And what was this woman's crime that it's considered blasphemy? She "
questioned the need for harsh Islamic punishment for apostates, thieves and others".

Not a problem with Afghanistan per se, but rather with the rule of Islam. It is incompatible with the modern Western ideal of democracy and freedom of expression.

Bush gets it right

It's about time- Bush has called for existing refineries to be expanded and new refineries built.

"It ought to be clear to everybody that this country needs to build more refining capacity to be able to deal with the issues of tight supply," he said.

A new refinery hasn't been built in the US since the '70s.

Update- corrected silly typo error.

More on Miers and Kelo

Looks like there's a [fair?] bit of conservative support for Bush's pick, Miers. The main thrust of the pro's seems to be "you don't need to be a judge/constitutional scholar/etc to understand the Constitution". Fair enough, but I think that misses the point- Miers is apparently pre-approved by the Democrats and is an unknown quantity. The Volokh Conspiracy reports that she seems to be pro-2nd amendment. Where she stands on the matter of Kelo is unknown- and there's the rub. No one at all can tell exactly what this woman thinks on certain matters of the gravest importance.

Speaking of Kelo, there are more cases appearing which show just how preposterous and ill-conceived that decision was- Norwood and Union Township to name but two. In the latter case, the go-ahead has been given to developers to work on land which the owner himself was trying to develop. The local Democrat government blocked his applications (because he wouldn't work with developers they suggested) and then seized the land with eminent domain and handed it to developers who just happened to have raised some cash for them. So the government can now seize your land and give it to their friends to do exactly what you wanted to do with the land in the first place.

Kelo means that no one's home or business or land is secure anymore. In my opinion it is the single greatest blow against the freedoms of the United States. Forget all that whingeing about the Patriot Act, Kelo is what people should be protesting about.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Independent Police Raid

This is a story which I would have thought would have been given much more attention by the conservative blogosphere- in fact the opposite it true, I haven't yet come across a post on it.

Seems like the first ever Iraqi police raid has been carried out in Baghdad without US oversight. They arrested 20 suspects and confiscated several AK-47s.

"Medain is a very important area for us to secure - many people suspected of terrorism live in that region," said Brig. Gen. Hamed Aabdullah Abrahim, 2nd POB commander. "Our brigade is conducting qualitative operations, not quantitative, and it has resulted in a safer Baghdad."

Contrary to leftist opinion, there is a strategy at work in Iraq- and operations like this prove that it's beginning to bear fruit.

The Baghdad police academy has graduated nearly 16,000 students. The most recent class of 669 police officer graduates were the first to be entirely trained by Iraqi instructors. The plan seems to be working.

Bush Screws Up

George Bush seems to have made a particularly poor choice in his nomination for the Supreme Court. An awful lot of conservatives are greatly annoyed that Bush is throwing away his advantage- Republican White House and Senate and House. Is Miers supposed to be a safe bet so as not to upset the Democrats? Is it mere cronyism? It's strange that Bush has all this political capital to spend and a promise to appoint conservative judges- and he then picks the untested, unknown quantity of Miers.

The importance of this nomination can be seen quite easily in this post from Smallest Minority- a town in Florida is using the Kelo decision to try and force about 6,000 people out of their homes so that a swanky harbour development can be created.

Thanks to the liberal judges on the Supreme Court anyone's property in the United States is up for grabs- Bush needs to take a moment and listen to what the Republicans who voted him into power are saying. Miers may turn out to be a staunch conservative that Republicans will be proud of- but there's too much riding 0n her appointment for Bush to be taking chances on her, especially when there are so many other qualified people for the job.

UPDATE- Miers was pre-approved by Democrats?

AP reported Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had urged the administration to consider her, two congressional officials said. There was a long list of staunchly conservative judges that Democrats were poised to fight, Miers not among them."

Good job, Bush- pick someone the Democrats
want in office. That'll go down well with Republican voters.

Hat-tip to War on Guns for the story.

UPDATE 2 - Oh yeah, and Miers has donated money to Democrats running for office, including arch-moonbat Al Gore. The more I read about her the less I like.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Free Piglet!

Looks like the anti-Piglet stance of a British council has gone too far- not only is Michelle Malkin blogging on the story but Lost Budgie Blog is keeping tabs on a "Free Piglet" campaign. The always-incisive Mark Steyn also comments on the ramifications of this relentless piece-meal attack on Western culture.

"When every act that a culture makes communicates weakness and loss of self-belief, eventually you'll be taken at your word. In the long term, these trivial concessions are more significant victories than blowing up infidels on the Tube or in Bali beach restaurants. An act of murder demands at least the pretence of moral seriousness, even from the dopiest appeasers. But small acts of cultural vandalism corrode the fabric of freedom all but unseen"

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dhimmitude in the UK...Again

Another patently ridiculous notion- novelty pig calendars, toys and even a tissue box featuring the image of Pooh and Piglet, have been banned from a council office in Britain incase they offend Muslims. A local Muslim counciller, without any apparent self-awareness, called it; "tolerance of people's beliefs."

This isn't the first time that Muslims have successfully had the image of a pig banned- some time ago a town in the south of England planned to restore a park, in which there was a statue of a pig. The statue had been damaged during the bombing of World War 2 but before that had stood in the park for some considerable time. Of course the local Muslims complained about the filthy creature statue and the council decided to ignore their own history in favour of the delicate sensibilities of the immigrants.

I wonder how long it will be before Muslims try to have pork banned from schools and government cafeterias? Odd that Jewish people who are also prohibited from eating pork have made no similar demands.

What about tolerance for the British customs and history? I guess we'll just have to do without.