Monday, December 24, 2007

Flight of Fantasy

Just a quickie - Ghost by Adam Hughes.

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays folks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rodent

Giant rats and they aren't afraid of people. Why do I keep thinking about James Herbet's The Rats series of novels?

Let The Wild Rumpus Start!












Max and the wild things- on the big screen! I love this book- read it as a child and now read it to my two girls- and I can't wait to see this on film. I just hope that they do it justice- a Grinch rather than a Cat in the Hat.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pointless

Don't these people have anything better to do with their time?

A carbon footprint equivalent to 6,000 car journeys around the world will be produced by the UK tucking into Christmas dinner, researchers say.

Yeah, so?

Project leader professor Adisa Azapagic, from the University of Manchester, said: "Food production and processing are responsible for three quarters of the total carbon footprint, with the largest proportion - 60% - being related to the life cycle of the turkey.

What are they trying to say, that we need to eradicate turkeys to save the planet?

"All stages in the supply chain have been considered, including raising the turkey, growing the vegetables, food storage, consumer shopping, cooking the meal at home and waste management.

"This includes the emissions of carbon dioxide due to energy consumption along the turkey supply chain and the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide generated due to the agricultural activities to raise the turkey."

Shouldn't these people actually be using their scientific educations for something worthwhile? What was the carbon footprint of this utterly useless research? At least on Christmas day we get to eat a delicious meal to offset the poor turkey's atrocious green record.

Sword Ban

The UK's handgun ban has been such a resounding success (a massive increase in criminal use of handguns) that the government is considering using the same tactic against samurai swords.

The Home Office has confirmed plans to outlaw the weapons in England and Wales after putting forward the idea earlier this year.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said there was a clear danger to the public posed by easily-available swords.

Now, you'd expect there to have been a massive number of deaths for such a draconian measure but you'd be completely wrong.

The Home Office estimates there have been some 80 attacks in recent years involving Samurai-style blades, leading to at least five deaths.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has backed the Home office move saying that while the weapon is relatively uncommon, there is justification for a ban.

And the ban aims to stop short of banning all samurai swords, focusing on on cheap, poorly made, imitation weapons- you know the ones usually made with blunt blades for decorative purposes only. Not only will the wealthy continue to be allowed to buy the real thing- blades much more lethal- but so too will martial arts students. So while really cheap blades are banned, martial artists will still be permitted to buy "mid-range" weapons. From what I know of the market I'm guessing that blades of around a £100 and up will escape (some of them seem to be directed specifically at martial artists)- although the government seems to be particularly hazy on the details. They also don't seem to be aware that samurai swords are only a portion of those being currently sold- will the ban also affect broad swords, rapiers, or the humble gladius? There also seems to be no provision for movie replicas- will fans be able to continue to buy Blade's sword for example? Or imitation weapons from Kill Bill or The Matrix?

There's no mention of what the government will do about criminals using samurai swords already purchased before the ban, or axes, or kitchen knives, or going out and sharpening a bit of metal themselves. Have they heard of shivs one wonders?

They also tried to ban "realistic imitation firearms" recently (replica weapons, cigarette lighter weapons and airsoft weapons predominantly)- a sure step to combat a rising tide of real gun crime. The guns are still available to sell- only now some of them are painted yellow or, for airsoft, you can join a local skirmishers group and buy the same thing anyway. It doesn't appear to have occurred to law-makers that there's such a thing as black paint.

Anyway, I'm off to go buy a sword now. Just before I go, another point to make- it's already illegal to have a sword in public- a measure which evidently has done nothing to reduce crime; so the government is going to make it illegal twice.

Carrying a samurai sword in a public place already carries a maximum jail sentence of four years.

For a list of weapons already banned- considered "offensive weapons"- see here. Interesting to note that the telescoping baton, currently issued to the police for day-to-day carry, is prohibited to the mere citizen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No Justice

This is unbelievable.

A driver who spent only six weeks in jail for mowing down a three-year-old girl in a stolen car breached his five-year ban four times after he was freed, a court heard.

Six weeks for killing a 3 year old child. How can that happen?

Mohammed Aqueel Hussain struck Levi Bleasdale as she crossed the road with her mother in September 2005.

Instead of stopping Hussain, who has never passed his driving test, sped off and left the little girl to die.

He was jailed for 12 weeks, serving half of the sentence, with critics saying he should have been punished more severely.

A 12-week sentence for driving without a full licence, in a stolen car, speeding excessively, killing a child and then leaving the scene of an accident.

Hussain, of Burnley, was jailed for 180 days yesterday by the town's magistrates.

For breaking his driving ban. So less me get this straight- he serves 42 days for killing a child but he gets 180 for driving when he's supposed to be banned?

Hussain's conduct was not considered bad enough for him to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

And who the hell made that decision? And have they been removed from their post because of it?

As the Mail points out, a drug addict who stole a teddy bear from items left at the scene of the accident, was jailed for eight months. The British legal system is preposterous.

To put it further perspective the penalty just for leaving the scene of an accident is a six month sentence. So how come he wasn't charged with all of the offences he committed and imprisoned accordingly?

A bit of Google-Fu turns up some other pertinent details of the original crime-

Driver Mohammed Hussain, 26, admitted careless driving, having no licence or insurance, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

In addition to the driving offences, Hussain admitted handling stolen goods when he appeared at Burnley Magistrates' Court on Friday. It emerged he was out of prison on parole after being convicted of wounding in 2001.

He was sentenced to four weeks for the handling charge and 12 weeks each for the fail to stop and fail to report charges, to run concurrently. He was also banned from driving for five years.

It's my understanding that the handling stolen goods charge could have gotten him anywhere up to a year in prison. The reports seem to suggest that the stolen goods charges are unrelated to his possession of the stolen car at the time he killed the little girl- so it seems appropriate to also ask why he was not charged with that?

As for his most recent imprisonment-

Mohammed Aqueel Hussain (27), of Thurston Street, Burnley, was given the sentence after admitting breaking his five-year driving ban three times in seven weeks as well as taking a vehicle without the owner's consent and driving without insurance.

And here's a final insult-

Magistrates did not extend Hussain's driving ban, but his licence was endorsed with six points.

But of course.

Coward

HotAir alerts me to Lawrence O'Donnell's self-imposed censorship.

I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I’m afraid for my life if I do.

Not much I can add to that.

Toy Hoplophobia

The Daily Mail is aghast at the fact that a new book shows you how to make Lego into a gun. Okay, so it shoots Lego pieces but still- a gun! The horror.

It is the classic toy that has kept children happily building castles and houses for decades.

But now Lego is set to turn slightly more sinister with the launch of an unofficial book that teaches children how to make weapons out of the iconic plastic bricks.

A Christmas bestseller, "Forbidden Lego: Build the models your parents warned you against" is a controversial new book that gives children detailed instructions on how to make weapons such as catapults and 'automatic ping-pong ball launchers' purely out of Lego.

Terrifying, isn't it?

Endangering The Public

The British justice system is broken- and the government seems to be doing their level best not to repair it. Not so long ago I blogged about a shortage of prison spaces and now a woman is dead because of the early release program. And yet still the government is going to sit back and let things get worse.

A man murdered his girlfriend after he was released early from prison to ease overcrowding.

How he was chosen for early release is beyond me.

In 2005, Mournian served a 12-month sentence and was given an Asbo for attacking a former girlfriend with a beer bottle.

Miss Murphy, in their ten months together, complained to police five times about Mournian's violence. In June, he was convicted of assault and criminal damage and given a 12-month supervision order.

A day later he attacked Miss Murphy again at their home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and received the 20-week sentence.

Oh wait, this might explain it-

Prisoners released early are not individually risk-assessed and have committed 180 further crimes.

So violent criminals are getting out of jail early and putting society at risk. Can there be a clearer example of the government simply not giving a damn about the public?

And not only are the government refusing to tackle the problem of prison overcrowding but they still haven't learned the lesson yet about sentencing.

At Leeds Crown Court last week, Mrs Justice Swift sentenced Mournian to life imprisonment and ordered that he serve a minimum of 14 years in jail.

If only life actually meant life- what on earth is the point if they're going to let them out in a little over a decade?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New Trend

The Times has an article on a supposed "burqua for boys"- an Italian jacket inspired by the Mille Miglia races of yesteryear.

A jacket that conceals the head and face, leaving two “goggle-slots” to see through, is becoming the latest fashion craze to hit the streets.

And of course, there's alarm!

Police and community groups are concerned that the “goggle jackets” will become the next uniform of Asbo culture.

Brian Paddick, a former senior officer at the Metropolitan police and now a London mayoral candidate, said: “The trouble in society is not just crime but the fear of crime, and this new jacket is enough to give anyone a shiver down their spine.”

Mr. "Islamic and terrorism do not go together" Paddick should perhaps be made aware of the fact that people are afraid of crime not because of some new fashion trend, but because the police and courts are failing society in fighting crime; if people are scared of criminals its because they've been rendered defenceless on the streets and in their homes, the police are basically invisible and courts refuse to imprison criminals for any serious amount of time. He does indeed seem to be a very confused chap.

The most annoying thing about the article is not the tone of alarm (the jackets come in mostly dark colours!) but the fact that they fail to include an image. The story just doesn't work without one. Here's what the fuss is about-

Omaha 3

Joe's Crabby Shack is covering the Omaha shooting. He has a first hand account of the shooting in the so-called gun-free zone.

I am simply saying if I were allowed to carry a gun, I would have and I would have used it. That is a hard fact. I am not trying to be a hero and say that I would have tried to save lives. I am saying that I was trying to save my life, and if my family was there, their lives as well. There is nothing "hero" about what I am saying, it's about survival.

This guy had a clear side-on view of the shooter and there's no telling how many lives he could have saved had the mall not infringed his Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Instead the gun-free zone simply provided Hawkins with a pool of victims who were disarmed and unable to defend themselves.

Make sure to head over and read the whole account.

Note too that Joe travelled to the mall to take photos of their signs which prohibit the carrying of guns; they've all been removed.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Flight of Fantasy

A little Adam Hughes for the weekend. This one is the cover to Catwoman 75.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cover Up

This should send a chill down your spines. A mainstream "Only Ones" report.

The inquiry, which reviewed available records for more than 200 police shooting cases over the last decade, found that these cursory police investigations create a separate standard of justice and fuel the fear among some citizens that officers can shoot people with impunity.

In at least a dozen cases, police shot civilians in the back or from behind. But in the Ware case, as in many other police shootings, it took a civil suit for the troubling details of the case to emerge publicly.

It's part of a series- make sure to read it all.

Hours after Officer Phyllis Clinkscales fatally shot a young man trying to steal her car, Chicago police investigators and commanders ruled the shooting justified.

And they continued to keep one of their own safe regardless of what emerged.

They have stood by that conclusion even as she gave differing accounts of what happened the night she shot 17-year-old Robert Washington in June 2000.

They stood by her even though all four of the gunshot wounds were on the back right side of Washington's head and neck, including a "muzzle imprint" that suggested the gun barrel had been pressed against his skin.

They stood by her even after the department's civilian oversight agency found her account didn't square with the autopsy on Washington and initially recommended she be fired.

The case has been re-opened as a result of the Tribune's investigation; an instance of the press deserving considerable praise.

One wonders if any charges will be filed against the officials who conspired to cover up these crimes- obstructing justice, accessory after the fact, negligence, dereliction of duty- surely there must be something that can be done to make sure that they are held responsible for their actions? I would wager that it's only by rigorously prosecuting officials who rule these shootings justified after "cursory investigations" that we will see a change in how the police are treated.

Operator Failure

War On Guns alerts us to the story of a 7 year old girl who jumped in front of her mother to save her from a felon's gun.

She was shot six times and, miraculously, is alive.

Ford said she dialed 911 on her cell phone as she walked into the station.

"The first operator clicked off and I dialed again and told that operator a guy with a gun was holding me hostage with a mother and baby and threatening to kill us. I told her the name of the gas station and then she said they didn't have a unit to send."

An operator hung up on her? Another told her there was no unit to respond to a woman and a child being kidnapped at gun-point? In fact, it seems that police only responded when the gas station clerk called police again as shots were fired- and they were on the scene in moments, giving lie to the operator's claim that there were no units in the area.

Alghazali said a police car on a street nearby arrived in less than a minute after his call.

So why the hell weren't they sent immediately? Telling that the press seems to be particularly uninterested in 911 operators refusing to send police to an emergency.

For the record, the shooter's details appear to be here. He'd previously been convicted of assault/resisting arrest, Assault with Intent to Rob while Armed, Home Invasion - 1st Degree, Cut, Break, Tap Wire or Cable, and, Assault with Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault).

And yet he was still out on the streets and not behind bars.

Omaha 2

This single fact seems to be being pretty much ignored by the media at large. Combine it with the fact that the mall in question was a "gun free zone" though and come to your own conclusions.

Hawkins entered the shopping centre and began picking off random shoppers and members of staff as they scurried for cover.

The first emergency call came in at 1.42pm U.S. time.

The killer was already dead by the time police arrived six minutes later.

Death Sentence In UK

It seems that CAIR and the MCB, etc need to do a bit of educating- some Muslims have gotten it into their heads that apostasy is not only a crime, but one punishable by death.

The daughter of a British imam is living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity.

I guess the imam himself is a bit confused about what his religion says- I mean, we're told all the time that apostasy isn't a crime worthy of death by Muslim spokesmen and that to point that out is merely being Islamophobic. I guess Abdul Rahman was some kind of misunderstanding too. And while they're re-educating the people of Afghanistan, they might want to pop over to Kuwait too- a few there seem to be "misinformed" about what Islam says too.

"My dad was shouting through the letter box, "I'm going to kill you", while the others smashed on the window and beat the door.

"They were shouting, 'We're going to kill you' and 'Traitor'.

How on earth could a father want to kill his daughter? It couldn't have anything to do with the dictates of his Islamic religion, could it?

"If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him." (Bukhari 4.52.60)

"Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." (Bukhari 9.84.57)

Not to mention the verses of the Koran interpreted in the same manner. And as the woman in hiding from her own family explains,

"I know the Koran says anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate, so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word."

She isn't the only one to assume that passages advocating killing apostates mean that apostates should be killed either-

A study this year found that 36 per cent of British Muslims between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another religion should be punished by death.

That amounts to 576,000 Muslims in the UK.

In July an Iranian immigrant to Britain, who converted to Christianity, was saved from deportation after it emerged she would be stoned to death in her own country.

Could it be that all the so-called Islamophobes who have been pointing this fact out are actually telling the truth about what Islam says?

Politically Incorrect

Shocking news just in- British comedy show pokes fun at Sharia! I wasn't sure whether to believe it either but here's the evidence, Mohammed Bear.

Kudos to Fern Britton for having the guts to do it too. A reminder, which seems to be badly needed, that we live in a nation where free speech, however offensive it may be to some, still exists.

Expect the outrage to begin in 3...2...1...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Full Up

The British justice system continues to implode.

Ten of thousands of criminals will be spared jail after the Government yesterday fought shy of building enough prisons to meet demand.

Britain's top prison expert said that the UK needs room for 100,000 inmates by 2014. So what does Labour do?

Justice Secretary Jack Straw promised to build 15,000 extra prison places by 2014, taking the total to 96,000.

And the extra 4,000 spaces? Well, Labour has a solution to that too-

Ministers will attempt to bridge the gap by freeing as many as 4,500 inmates early at any one time.

As a result, tens of thousands of criminals will serve less time in jail than is currently the case - or will not be imprisoned at all.

Yep, their usual tactic of allowing criminals to roam free at the expense of the law-abiding citizens of the nation. Rather than keep up with the pace of criminality, Labour are lagging behind, playing a game of catch-up which means that lighter and lighter sentences are being promoted in addition to the early release tactic- and those who breach release terms, or violate suspended sentences will still not be imprisoned. All factors leading to a reduction in the force of the law.

What can possibly go wrong?

The Only Doughnuts

Those are some expensive doughnuts.

No one begrudges a cop his or her doughnuts, but questions are being asked in Albuquerque about one recent case in which a pair of the city's finest dropped in for a box of Krispy Kremes in a police helicopter.

At the taxpayers' expense of course.

Eyewitnesses said a Kiowa OH-58 chopper owned by the Albuquerque Police Department -- which reportedly costs taxpayers about $80 an hour to fuel and fly, not including salaries and benefits for two crew members -- came swooping in out of the night sky one recent evening. It circled several times around its intended target, then alighted in a nearby lot while a passenger went in for a box of doughnuts. Mission accomplished, the chopper buzzed off, sounding the siren by way of bidding onlookers adieu.

Naturally the local PD will be cracking down on this flagrant abuse of police property- not to mention the fact that perhaps these people should have been working, not going for shopping trips. Um, well, not really.

"Between the two of them, I don't know how they decided that was a good idea," a police-department official told the newspaper. "If they violated policy or procedure, they're going to get disciplined for it. We've worked too hard to make this a professional unit to let lack of common sense tear us down."

If- is he seriously trying to say that there's some doubt that using a police chopper to go buy doughnuts isn't a violation? Expect the anonymous cops to receive the usual "only ones" treatment- a slap on the wrist, if at all.

Omaha

Another mass shooting takes place in a victim disarmament zone.

I guess the MSM forgot to mention that in all the anti-gun propaganda reports they're filing on this story.

It doesn't seem to occur to them that the real tragedy here is that lawful citizens were denied the right to defend themselves against this mad-man. Here's a hint for proponents of "no gun" zones; criminals don't care. The only people who obey these edicts are the law-abiding, the very last people you have to worry about carrying a gun.

It seems a simple enough concept to grasp.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time To Panic

Today started on a strange note- the alarm went off as usual and I thought that I'd woken up and started getting ready. I perhaps should have known something was amiss when I started building a bonfire on the beach outside my house; I live nowhere near the ocean. Next thing I know my wife's nudging me up and telling me that the school bus has come and the kids are still sleeping. Darn. That fire was really getting going too.

Anyway, I come downstairs, get breakfast, etc and then come in to check the Infernal Machine- there's a Firefox window open and that's when the panic grips me- the personal toolbar is empty. I sit down and click on bookmarks- that's empty too. The page being displayed tells me that Firefox has been successfully updated- but all of my details are missing! It's been a while since I backed up my bookmarks, Quicknote, and so on- and then there's the matter of all those passwords that I can't remember but Firefox has saved for me. It all seems to be gone. Just wiped away. I quickly start looking for the Mozilla folder and my profile. Oddly, the bookmarks file there is nearly 500kb. Perhaps all is not lost.

To change profiles or to point Mozilla at a different one, you need to shut the programme down. I copy and paste the folder holding the bookmarks file- hoping beyond hope that it really is mine- just in case and then shut down Firefox. No sooner has the window vanished than it opens again on its own; only this time it's the Firefox I recognise with its cluttered toolbar and bulging list of bookmarks, many of which are so old that the websites they belong to- let alone the pages they point to- no longer exist.

I suspect that a cat is to blame- dancing around on my keyboard is one of the annoying habits of a stray kitten I've brought in. How it managed the trick though, I have no idea.

Time to start breathing again. The first thing I do is find a back-up utility. MozBackup seems to be the prime example but I'm going to take a chance on FEBE first; simply because it can do an automated backup.

If you know of a better way to back-up Firefox (bookmarks, passwords, etc) then please do let me know.

Flight of Fantasy

Comic Art Fans has finally changed their search engine. Previously, and bizarrely for an art site, their search returned merely the names of the images, so a search for "Batgirl", for example, would give you pages of results that were a variation on that term. You had to open each link to see what it was. Now, at long last though, they've changed the system so that a search returns a page of thumbnails! It's a wonderful development and my Adam Hughes collection has swollen considerably this evening.

Here's a Tomb Raider commission by the man himself. It's stunning work.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Unsure

Is this the same intelligence community that didn't know who or what was at the site in Syria that the Israelis destroyed? My word, I'm so filled with confidence!

Iran halted work toward a nuclear weapon under international scrutiny in 2003 and is unlikely to be able to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb until 2010 to 2015, a U.S. intelligence report says.

It also contradicts another of their own reports-

The estimate is less severe than a 2005 report that judged the Iranian leadership was "determined to develop nuclear weapons despite its international obligations and international pressure."

And then it basically states that they don't really know at all-

"We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely," the report says. A more likely time frame for that production is between 2010 and 2015, it concludes.

So which is it- 2009 or 2010? When talking about a state like Iran I'd like a little more than "likely" or "unlikely"- wouldn't you? Note too that "moderate confidence" is all they're willing to stake on the earliest possible date- that seems to me to imply that there is a real possibility that Iran is much closer than they think they are. Otherwise they'd be willing to say that they are highly confident that Iran won't be able to develop a weapon before then. It seems very telling to me. Think too that 2007 is all but done- the NIE's time-frame basically means that after next year Iran could be a nuclear power; not exactly a lot of time in which to act, is it?

Then there's this titbit of information-

Iran is continuing to develop ballistic missiles.

And the IAEA itself really has no clue either-

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, has reported that Iran is cooperating with inspectors by providing access to declared nuclear material, documents and facilities. However, the agency also said Iran is withholding information in other areas, and as a result, the IAEA's knowledge about the status of the program is "diminishing."

So, the NIE isn't highly confident that Iran won't be able to produce a nuke within the year and the IAEA knows less and less about the regime's program as time goes on.

Is this an intelligence report or a bunch of guys trying not to commit one way or the other to anything solid?

Truly Awesome

HotAir hits the nail on the head-

In the annals of awesomeness, this shall be the standard against which all future awesomeness is measured.

In a nutshell, the USMC wants the ability to nuke the site from orbit hit enemy targets with an airborne laser.

Such weapons, when used against people, “can be compared to long range blow torches or precision flame throwers, with corresponding psychological advantages for [Coalition Forces] CF.”

In other words, the lasers don’t just kill people, but they kill people in really gruesome, frightening ways — particularly because the beam from such weapons, like the Advanced Tactical Laser, is invisible to the human eye. That means you could have three guys standing around, and one of them suddenly burst into flames.

Which, you have to admit, truly is an awesome capability- and one that scientists seems to be within reach of.

AllahPundit asks if being able to turn people into flaming matches from 50,000 feet with an invisible ray before they've even realised what's going on mightn't be counter-productive in a hearts and minds kind of way. I don't understand the question- is he trying to imply that there's some sort of downside to an invisible death ray?

Minority Leader?

An update on that "tiny minority of extremists" who seem to think that Islam is a violent religion, that jihad isn't a peaceful internal struggle and who think that terrorism is justified by their beliefs.

Ahmad Al-Tayyib is no radical on the fringes of Islam; he’s president of Sunni Islam’s highest center of learning, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and the former mufti of Egypt.

And he supports suicide bombings. Under the right conditions, of course. For example, when killing Jews.

I expect CAIR are already preparing to label this chap as a terrible Islamophobe.

Al-Tayyib, like most Islamic clerics who have gone on record supporting suicide attacks, offers a contorted justification that the attackers aren’t really committing suicide at all. Instead, they are “martyrs” who please Allah and are granted entry to “paradise.” Religiously-sanctioned suicide bombing, coming directly from one of the highest academic authorities in the Islamic world, broadcast on Egypt’s Al-Mihwar TV, October 10, 2007.

You know, one would almost think that there might be something to all this talk about Islam having violent elements to it. I mean, if the president of one of Islam's "highest centres of learning" is confused about what it all means...

Lest there be any confusion, here are his exact words-

"The Palestinian martyrdom-seeker knows that he is free to go to this operation, in order to please Allah and enter Paradise, in defense of his religion, his country, and his land."

So blowing up innocent people pleases Allah and gets the murderer a ticket to their heaven? I guess Ibrahim Hooper needs to have a chat with this guy.

Two Centuries of Wrong

It seems that some of palaeontology's preconceived notions theories might not be so solid as they presume.

The find also suggests that scientists may have underestimated the size of many dinosaur species.

The CT scans of the vertebrae suggest that an extra yard or so needs to be added to the length of most dinosaurs.

Dr Phil Manning says: "We've had 150, nearly 200 years of people looking at this particular animal saying that's what it looks like.

"If we're wrong with Hadrosaurs, we could be wrong with many other groups.

"We could have a T. Rex with a double chin for all we know."

Of course, expect many of them to cling tightly to the theory du jour rather than accept new evidence which contradicts it. It seems that some in the scientific community these days invest so much in their tightly held beliefs that they hate to see evidence get in the way.

Silence

Where are the feminists to protest this?

Iranian police will crack down on women in Tehran flouting Islamic dress codes with winter fashions deemed immodest, such as tight trousers tucked into long boots, an officer was quoted as saying on Saturday.

And, more importantly, this?

In response to a ruling by Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals that marital rape is not a crime, ─░smet Berkan wrote in his column in Radikal that because of the ruling, if a woman "resists and is killed by her husband in the end, his penalty even could be reduced due to 'grievous provocation!' We learned [about] this during the ‘Stop Violence Against Women’ week..."

Heaven forbid they actually stand up for women facing real oppression.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rule Adjustment

Given the astonishing number of police officers involved in criminal activity themselves or in breaking the rules I have a suggestion- rather than given them preferential treatment which has no basis in law (but which one can easily see happens nonetheless) why not increase the penalties for them? They are, after all, supposed to be upholding the law and therefore they should be held to a higher standard. If, for example, the sentence for stealing a certain item was, say, two years, let's say that if that same crime is committed by a cop they should serve three.

I'm sure that the police will champion such a plan- after all, if they haven't done anything wrong, they have nothing to fear; and as people sworn to enforce the law, they should be shocked and appalled when one of their own breaks the law and tarnishes the reputation of them all.

There is too the fact that these men with uniforms and badges and guns hold a certain place in our society- and to abuse their position, their power, is a betrayal of the public trust. A police officer who uses his position to prey on the people he is supposed to be protecting should not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. It's time that a zero tolerance policy was instituted to control those men and women who break the law rather than enforce it.

Only Ones Effect

This is a disturbing story- and proof that the "only ones" effect extends beyond the privileged class to their spouses too.

Atlanta police knew seven years ago that a police sergeant's husband may have been paying young girls for sex and producing child pornography, but failed to investigate the allegations, federal authorities said.

He has since been arrested by the FBI and faces charges- of producing child pornography "relating to photographs that depict his explicit sexual activity with numerous young girls."

For these terrible crimes, preying on the most vulnerable section of society, he faces a measly 20 years in prison. It makes one wonder how many of those children could have been protected had the Atlanta police investigated the husband of one of their own.

An employee of a photo processing company alerted Atlanta police about Crane in 2000, saying he was concerned about photos he developed for him.

The pictures, including images of the 11 girls believed to be between the ages of 12 and 15, were given to police between 2000 and 2002 by the photo processing company, Nahmias said. They were not turned over to federal authorities, however, until last month.

That there was a cover-up is not in question- not only by the police themselves but by the police officer wife of the animal-

In 2003, Crane's wife, Atlanta police Sgt. Tanya Crane, "allegedly got a call from an unidentified person at APD headquarters that APD had photographs of her husband engaged in sexually explicit conduct with young girls," said the statement from Nahmias' office.

"Crane's wife said she found some explicit photographs in her house and burned the photographs and negatives."

Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington is, it seems, responsible for involving Federal authorities in the case-

"When the incident came to my attention in October, I immediately ordered a full inquiry and invited the FBI to assist with the investigation. People will be held accountable and responsible for their actions, or inactions, as the case may be."

Thus far the monster's wife has not been charged with, say, perverting the course of justice or the like but has been place on "administrative leave." There's also no information on who alerted the Chief to the crimes taking place- or why they did not begin a criminal investigation themselves. Obviously once the photo lab alerted police of the crimes some kind of report must have been filed- so how many members of the Atlanta force knew about it? Why did the person who took the complaint not begin an investigation? Were they told not to or did they bury the case themselves?

Seems to me that the Feds have a lot more work to do here- and heads surely should roll for allow this creep to continue to abuse children.

The Only Ones Forgetful Enough

The highly trained and professional "only ones" from Down Under seem to be a bit...forgetful, shall we say?

POLICE in New South Wales have lost track of a wide range of equipment including handcuffs, bulletproof vests, capsicum spray, radios, uniforms and even a squad car.

Now, I can perhaps understand losing a set of handcuffs, perhaps even a radio (pursuit on foot, that sort of thing) but how, exactly, do you misplace a "bulletproof vest" or a squad car? Forget where you parked, Officer?

The state Opposition obtained the list of police items lost or stolen in the 2006-07 financial year during NSW Budget estimates committee hearings.

It includes six sets of handcuffs, 11 cans of capsicum spray, 40 portable radios and three police radios.

40 radios seems a bit extreme- perhaps they need a training programme on how not to misplace vital communications equipment; "put it in the pouch and make sure that the fastener is closed". There, that should do it. Note too that there were an additional three police car radios stolen.

Uniform items including caps, jackets and rain suits have gone missing as well as 14 bulletproof vests.

Are there lots of partially clad policemen wandering around trying to find their radios?

One police vehicle was also unaccounted for during the 2006-07 year.

Oops. To be fair though, that was apparently stolen. If only there were some organisation around whose job it was to stop thieves from breaking the law...

New Race Discovered

It seems that the favourite canard of the politically correct has a definition that is elastic in the extreme.

A grandfather has been given a prison sentence for racial harassment after calling a Welsh woman "English".

Yes, two white, British people are arguing and because one called the other an "English b*tch" he's been charged with racially motivated disorderly conduct. Quite aside from the fact that the motive for behaviour is immaterial- does it really matter if you're beaten up for being black or because you happened to look at some drunken sociopath?- it seems astonishing that the term "racism" is being bandied about here by judges and lawyers. Does anyone even know what that word means any more? I was under the impression that a university education and some basic understanding of the English language was required for posts like that. Obviously, standards are slipping.

After the argument Mrs Steele put up a sign in her shop which read "Some People Call Me a B*tch". But she insisted the incident was no joking matter.

She said: "I'm Welsh – I was born in Welshpool. "But we couldn't let him get away with what he said."

Could it be that this about nothing more than bloody-minded revenge?

Her husband, a 40-year-old Englishman originally from Hull, added of Mr Forsythe: "He is a racist. He doesn't like the English.

"He's from Ireland originally and he's lived in Wales for years and some of them don't like English people."

And there we have it- the English are a separate and distinct race from the Welsh and even the "Irish". How ironic that the man charged is not, in fact, from Ireland at all, but from the completely different country Northern Ireland (I don't expect someone who thinks that English qualifies as a race to grasp complex matters like borders or geography or even the countries which make up the UK). That's like someone from Belfast, say, calling a Welsh-person English...

And do I detect a hint of prejudice coming from this chap- seems to me that he has some sort of grudge against the Welsh and Irish, don't you think?