Friday, February 29, 2008

The New Avengers

John Steed, Mike Gambit and Purdey- what a team and what a great show. I'm about halfway through watching Season One again and I've got to say that I'm really enjoying it- combining action, spies and fantastical story lines, it's bristling with energy and wonderful dialogue. It's a terrible shame that bickering between the financial backers killed the show after only two seasons. Apparently the French contingent wanted to ramp up the violence and make Purdey's character sexier. Two things I could have lived with and it would have been worthwhile to get a few more shows featuring these characters-Purdey and Gambit are brilliant on screen together.

It also has a cracking theme tune, just like Brian Clemens' other vehicle The Professionals.

Obama's Positions

Remember all those John Kerry "flip flops", alternating his views depending on which audience he's talking to? Well, it seems that's a Democrat trait- Obama's using the same tactic.

Barack Obama has ratcheted up his attacks on NAFTA, but a senior member of his campaign team told a Canadian official not to take his criticisms seriously, CTV News has learned.Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have been critical of the long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement over the course of the Democratic primaries, saying that the deal has cost U.S. workers’ jobs.

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.

The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

Out and out lying to the American people- McCain had better take advantage and not let Obama weasel out of this one.

Not only that but while he promotes a pro-Israel stance to Jewish audiences, he's hired an anti-Israel adivsor and he has said that "no one is suffering more than the Palestinians".

Then there's his, to quote the ghost of John Kerry again, nuanced position on the Second Amendment- he believes it is an individual right but he also wants to go right ahead anyway and infringe that right by banning semi-autos, handguns and in making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to own firearms. All that from a man who lectured on Constitutional Law too. Makes you wonder what other inalienable rights he feels that it's okay for the government to trample, doesn't it?

Finally he claims to want to "fundamentally change" the way Washington works. And is endorsed by Teddy Kennedy. I'm sure he wants Barack to come along and change the way he operates.

As the campaign goes on and Obama has to actually articulate more positions on topics like these (a setting where he can't duck the issue by voting "present") I'm guessing that we'll see him try to take both sides again and again.

Zombie Target Shoot

The coolest thing I've seen all day. Fun! Reminds me of Cowboy Blob's Halloween 3-gun contests.

Hat tip to Michael Bane. And the Zombie Targets can be found here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Starship Troopers 3

I seem to be one of the few people who enjoyed not only Heinlein's Starship Troopers novel but the movie adaptation too. And even, I admit it, the sequel, Hero of the Federation. I blame it on my early childhood exposure to Them!

And now there's another film in the franchise, Marauder which even sees the return of Casper van Dien as Johnny Rico! Here's the official website and here's trailer-

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sharia At Harvard

I suppose the ACLU will be filing suit on this issue of blatant sexual discrimination. I mean, there's no way they would tolerate public areas of the university being made off-limits to women and they certainly would be opposed to the imposition of religious decrees on those who didn't even follow that religion.

Harvard University has moved to make Muslim women more comfortable in the gym by instituting women-only access times six hours a week to accommodate religious customs that make it difficult for some students to work out in the presence of men.

Men have not been allowed to enter the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center during certain times since Jan. 28, after members of the Harvard Islamic Society and the Harvard Women’s Center petitioned the university for a more comfortable environment for women.

Right?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thugocracy

While Libs the world over are petrified of George Bush's Christianity (but apparently have no problems whatsoever with Barack Obama's self-professed faith) they have nothing to say about the very real theocracy in Saudi Arabia.

Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have begun investigating 57 young men who were arrested on Thursday for flirting with girls at shopping centres in Mecca.

The men are accused of wearing indecent clothes, playing loud music and dancing in order to attract the attention of girls, the Saudi Gazette reported.

They were arrested following a request of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Not a Christian group I might point out.

The Professionals

The Professionals is one of those crime shows I loved as a child, more so even than Starsky and Hutch! Bodie and Doyle were ex-Special Forces and ex-police respectively, assigned to CI5, a unit that specialised in serious crime, especially anti-terror activities. This is a slice of classic '70s TV with a healthy dollop of gun fights and chases thrown in for good measure. Even better, it's currently being re-run on British TV after a long absence. Despite the very dated fashions, the show has actually aged very well- thanks to the talent of writer Brian Clemens I'd say. On top of all that, it has one of the best theme tunes ever to play on TV.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Obama On Guns

Republicans have been left with, shall we say, a less than ideal candidate this election cycle- but Barack Obama is a man who cannot be trusted to follow the Constitution of the United States of America.

In his answers to the 1998 Illinois State Legislative National Political Awareness Test, Obama said he favored a ban on “the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.”

By definition, this would include all pistols ever made, from .22 target pistols used in the Olympics to rarely-fired pistols kept in nightstands and sock drawers for the defense of families, and every pistol in between. Obama’s strident stand would also ban all semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, whatever their previously legal purpose…

At no point [on his campaign site] does Obama recognize an individual right to own handguns, or explicitly recognize a right for Americans to use a firearm to defend themselves or others. The site explicitly states that Barack Obama recognizes civilian gun ownership for two just purposes, “hunting and target shooting.”

If ever there was a reason to vote for McCain, this is it.

At the bottom of the Hot Air story is a link- one worth reading;

at one point, in 1996, his campaign said he favored the banning of handguns, but Obama's campaign now says that he never believed that--he now says that the ban on handguns would not be "politically practicable" at the moment

In other words, he's still in favour of it but knows he can't come out and say that lest he drives away some voters. Reminds me of all those "present" votes he's cast in the past.

Obama outlined his anti-gun plan that includes increased penalties for the interstate transportation of firearms. The maximum penalty now for bringing a gun across the border is 10 years in prison. Obama is proposing to make it a felony for a gun owner whose firearm was stolen from his residence which causes harm to another person if that weapon was not securely stored in that home.

He's proposing restricting gun purchases to one weapon a month and banning the sale of firearms at gun shows except for "antique" weapons. Obama is also proposing increasing the licensing fee to obtain a federal firearms license.

He's also seeking a ban on police agencies from reselling their used weapons even if those funds are used to buy more state-of-the-art weapons for their agencies. Obama wants only those over 21 who've passed a basic course to be able to buy or own a firearm.

He's proposing that all federally licensed gun dealers sell firearms in a storefront and not from their homes while banning their business from being within five miles of a school or a park.

Now imagine Obama in the White House with a Democrat majority in Congress. H.R. 1022 would just be the beginning.

Not all of this is news by the way- as far back as February last year all of this came to light- you'd think that some of the Republican candidates might have mentioned this by now, say in every speech they gave, highlighting just how important it is that Obama doesn't win. They might even have pointed out that this would have affected not just American's right to self-defence but also the great, silent majority of hunters; not to mention the little matter of the Second Amendment.

Compare the story told by Condoleeza Rice of her father and others defending the homes of black families from racist attack using the only tool for the job- guns- with Obama's desire to disarm the average American with his ban on handguns of all types. Sounds like an effective TV commercial to me. "If the man who wants to be the first black president of America had his way, men like Condoleeza Rice's father would have been rendered defenceless against the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Today, he intends to take away the average American's best defence against violent and predatory criminals who hold the current guns laws in contempt."

Something like that?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Data Blunder

Blunder is putting it mildly to say the least.

The British government displays their customary approach to tackling modern technology and data. The words "incompetent" and "negligent" come to mind. In fact, I'd be very surprised if the victims of these foreign criminals didn't have a case to take legal action against the CPS.

An urgent manhunt is under way for 17 wanted foreign criminals left at large in Britain for up to a year because of a data blunder by the Government.

And just how did it happen?

Gordon Brown has announced a full inquiry into why the CPS failed to act after Dutch authorities sent them a disc containing DNA profiles of more than 2,000 individuals linked to serious crimes, including murderers and rapists.

Although the crucial information arrived in London in January last year, it apparently lay untouched on a desk until last month.

By that time, at least 11 of the individuals had committed crimes including assaults in this country.

And the PM promises an inquiry- why aren't heads rolling over this fiasco?

Not Backwards Compatible?

New laptop running Vista as opposed to my antique desktop running XP Pro. Add in a wireless router and I find myself in the unusual position that the laptop can "see" the router, connect to it and, allegedly, the internet- and yet I can't get anything from the 'net. Pages won't load at all.

This seems to be a problem with some new TCP/IP feature in Vista designed to sell masses of new wireless routers. Now, I've heard that if I turn off the Window Scaling feature that the router-Vista problem will be fixed. Being a cautious type though I'm hesitant to do that because I can currently get online by plugging a network cable into the router- and I don't want to mess that up and end up with no way to get the laptop online.

Any suggestions?

Ironside

Something a little different today- I'm a big fan of TV detective shows, really love them: Poirot, Diagnosis Murder, Midsomer Murders, Monk, Sherlock Holmes, Magnum PI, even the likes of the very sedate Rosemary and Thyme. At the moment Ironside is showing again and for me it's the first time I've really paid attention to the show- and I'm loving it. Raymond Burr is, of course, excellent in the main role but it's also fascinating because of the period in which it was set. When I think of San Francisco I generally try to block out the far-left craziness of today and think of the Dirty Harry movies- but Ironside is starting to eclipse that. It's worth watching even if you ignore the detective elements of the show and just concentrate on the late sixties setting; the hippy-type characters they meet, the slang, the costumes. Times really have changed.

Anyway, here's the opening sequence, complete with terrific theme tune.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shrouded In Secrecy

Keeping it hidden from the public.

Boston’s year-old police-civilian review board - touted as the people’s watchdog on cop abuses - is so shrouded from public view it stands out nationally as among the most secretive panels of its kind, a Herald review shows.

Not only is the public not invited to the board’s rare meetings, but its activities cannot be monitored because there are no minutes.

And why the secrecy?

Sinnott said the board will publish an annual report next month, but few details about the cases reviewed will be revealed.

The concern was if you get into the details of a particular case you may end up embarrassing police officers unnecessarily, and you may embarrass civilian complainants,” he said. “That’s why there’s some reluctance to get into individual cases.”

Good Lord, we wouldn't want to embarrass any police officers when investigating complaints of police wrong-doing, would we?

Cries For Help Ignored

Another policing story this evening.

A Central Florida woman whose 17-year-old daughter was killed in a murder-suicide apparently committed by her ex-boyfriend said the teen was told by police to stop calling for help or she'd be arrested.

She was shot in the head by her ex outside her home before he killed himself.

Hall's mother, Sherry, said her daughter was concerned about Coffner and informed police. In fact, Hall said her daughter called police so much that on Jan. 15 they threatened her."The police officer said if you call us one more time on him, I'm going to arrest you both," Sherry Hall said. "So, the day she died, she knew she couldn't talk to police. So, she handled it herself."

I guess we'll never know now if the police could have saved this young woman's life by taking her concerns and pleas for help more seriously.

The DVD Police

It would appear that all major crime has been solved in Canada.

A Chateauguay, Que., couple can't believe they ended up being criminally charged after forgetting to return some DVDs.

"It was just ridiculous. I can't believe the police took the time and put the effort into this," Helena Pawl told CTV Montreal on Monday.

The couple claim to not have gotten any reminders to return the DVDs and the store eventually reported their overdue bill to the police. The police contacted the couple and they promptly returned the DVDs to the store. End of story? Not quite.

A few months later, the Surete du Quebec, the provincial police force, pulled Mainville over for speeding. While processing his licence, they found a warrant out for his arrest.

"They used a loudspeaker, telling me to exit the vehicle and put my hands on the hood," Mainville said in French.

DVD late-returners obviously being a high risk category of criminal.

The couple has hired a lawyer to fight the case, spending about $1,000.

The bill for the DVDs was $81.

At their court date, the video store didn't even show up. While that meant an acquittal, Mainville now wants his name and mugshot completely cleared from police files. But hiring a lawyer to help with that would cost yet more money.

But of course, it couldn't be simple.

Taser Abuse

Some cops down under are apparently a bit Taser-happy.

POLICE are investigating claims an officer tasered a handcuffed man three times in the Cleveland watchhouse last year to "shut him up".

Last August, police arrested concreter Nathan Brown, 23, near the Alexandra Hills Hotel and locked him in a cell at the Cleveland watchhouse.

Mr Brown pleaded guilty to assault, assaulting police and being a public nuisance. However, he has claimed in a signed statement believed to have been given to investigators that he was tasered three times while handcuffed in the watchhouse.

Apparently his sister complained to the police that her brother had been punched when he was arrested and so they locked her up too. When Mr Brown began to shout to complain about her treatment he was "given the treatment".

Mr Brown's father Bryan, who has given statements to investigating officers, said about a week after the alleged incident he spoke to the officer who tasered his son.

The officer said "it shut him up, didn't it?", and hung up, he said.

That says it all really, doesn't it?

Gruesome Find

The police in action. Or should that be police inaction?

A woman reported missing for several days was found stabbed to death in a minivan by family members who were called by police to pick up the vehicle because it was illegally parked near Pomona Superior Court, authorities said Monday.

"When they found the car ... they knew it was a missing person's car," Ponce said. "They did not search it. My daughter could have been alive. What if she was still alive at that time, just dying or needing care?"

Officers often don't force their way into abandoned vehicles, police Sgt. Horace Blehr said.

"In hindsight, we're pretty ready to admit we could have gone over (the van) better," he said.

You think?

Suspicious

Aren't Democrats the ones usually complaining about a lack of transparency?

A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," is unavailable until November 5, 2008 at the Princeton library. I wonder why.

So just what does Michelle "not proud of America" Obama have to hide?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flight of Fantasy

Adam Hughes - and a stunning Tigra.

The 2 Bore

A long time ago I linked to a terrific post by ACE on the 4-bore. Well, today The Firearm Blog has gone one up on him and produced an article, complete with pictures, of the colossal 2-bore. Yep, someone still manufactures ammo for it- but I'm not sure if any guns are still made in that calibre.

A quick search online turned up this picture of a 2-bore firearm, on sale from this British firm. Definitely one for the porters to carry on safari.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ineligible

In relation to the post below I found this on my web-search- on the State Department website under the heading of "Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas".

Except as otherwise provided in this Act, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:

(B) Terrorist activities-

(i) IN GENERAL.-Any alien who-

(V) is a member of a foreign terrorist organization, as designated by the Secretary under section 219, or is inadmissible. An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this Act, to be engaged in a terrorist activity.

So exactly why is, for example, Afif Safieh allowed to head the PLO mission in Washington? The page in question is apparently current and the rules listed are from the Immigration and Nationality Act. Can anyone explain why the rules seem to state that being a PLO official in the USA is considered to be engaging in terrorist activity and yet these people are welcome in Washington?

The State We're In

Whose side are they on?

Terror victims from across the US and Israel came here this week to urge the Bush administration not to interfere with their multi-million-dollar lawsuits against the Palestine Liberation Organization. They left feeling they'd been listened to, but not necessarily heard.

That a US government organisation would need to mull over siding with American citizens or foreign terrorists is disgusting.

"It's obscene that they would get in involved in our case," said Elliot, who was shot in the chest while waiting for a bus on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road in 2002. She lost a lung and suffers chronic pain. "It's obscene that they could be against the terror victims."

But this is the State Department we're talking about.

"There has been a rethinking in the State Department that I wholeheartedly welcome," Afif Safieh, head of the PLO mission in Washington, told The Washington Post this week. He labeled the suits "politically and ideologically motivated to drive the Palestinian Authority into bankruptcy."

I'm confused- can someone explain why a terrorist group like the PLO is even permitted to set foot on American soil, let alone have a political presence? I was under the impression that the PLO had officially been designated a terrorist group by Congress- and as such were prohibited from operating "
an office, headquarters, premises, or other facilities or establishments within the jurisdiction of the United States". Right?

Oh wait, George "you're with us or against us" Bush has been giving the PLO a waiver every six months to continue to operate their mission in Washington. Regardless of the fact that they are responsible for carrying out terrorist attacks on American citizens.


Attorney David Strachman, who represents Elliot and many of the other victims who came to Washington this week, has so far won $288 million in damages from the PLO, but has yet to collect any money for his clients. He said a US government statement of interest against the judgments would "entirely undermine the purpose of the act and would defeat what the judicial branch did." He said the meetings with government officials this week were inconclusive.

"They were unable to tell us that they were not going to support the PLO," he said. "We had 25 victims in the room, and they were unable to say they would support American citizens over a terrorist organization."

What has the world come to?

Smoking Licences

Labour thinks smoking is bad, unhealthy and a burden on the National Health Service but because tobacco brings in so much revenue they can't simply ban it.

Smokers could be forced to pay £10 for a permit to buy tobacco if a government health advisory body gets its way.

On top of the massive tax on each pack of cigarettes.

Professor Le Grand, a former adviser to ex-PM Tony Blair, said cash raised by the proposed scheme would go to the NHS.

He said it was the inconvenience of getting a permit - as much as the cost - that would deter people from persisting with the smoking habit.

"You've got to get a form, a complex form - the government's good at complex forms; you have got to get a photograph."

Say hello to even more money going to the smugglers who already make a killing on black market cigarettes! Not to mention a market in false smoking licences- and exactly how are they going to police this? Surely one person could use his licence to buy cigarettes for everyone he knows? Is there also going to be a limit on how many cigarettes one person can buy in a week? Are shops going to have to be linked up to a national computer database tracking each card-holder's purchases? If only there was some example of some prior Prohibition to which they could look to for guidance.

Note too that he wants smoker's to go through this every year. One wonders if that £10 fee will ever actually make it to the NHS- or will it be used to pay for the department that handles smoking licences?

Obviously, Labour is interested in something likely to increase government bureaucracy, increase taxes and reduce individual freedom-

A department of health spokeswoman did not rule out such a scheme as part of the next wave of tobacco regulation.

She said: "We will be consulting later this year on the next steps on tobacco control."

Wiki Praise

Wikipedia stands up for its freedom of speech.

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, is refusing to remove medieval artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, despite being flooded with complaints from Muslims demanding the images be deleted.

I'm sorry, I didn't realise that The Guardian was a Muslim newspaper or are they just being good dhimmis? Note how they refer to him as "the Prophet".

More than 180,000 worldwide have joined an online protest claiming the images, shown on European-language pages and taken from Persian and Ottoman miniatures dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, are offensive to Islam, which prohibits any representation of Muhammad. But the defiant editors of the encyclopaedia insist they will not bow to pressure and say anyone objecting to the controversial images can simply adjust their computers so they do not have to look at them.

Good for Wikipedia!

Lost Or Stolen

The Only Ones demonstrate once again their superior skills that we mere mortals can never hope to match.

VICTORIAN police ID badges and other missing equipment, including handcuffs and bullet-proof vests, could have ended up with organised crime gangs.

The missing gear, either lost or stolen, includes military and radio equipment, body armour, breathalysers and police uniforms, Fairfax newspapers report.

There are no reports of stolen guns but Freedom of Information documents indicate the missing items, worth $420,000, comprise 317 police badges, seven bullet-proof vests, 62 pairs of handcuffs, 16 batons and 64 breathalysers.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bigot

Hot Air has video of Charles Barkley attacking Republicans for being "fake Christians". He claims that, as Christians, they aren't supposed to judge other people and because they aren't in favour of gay marriage and aren't pro-choice they are judgemental. He counsels that Republican Christians should read the part of the Bible where it says they should not judge people. Doesn't seem to occur to him that the Bible also teaches that homosexuality is a sin and that life is sacrosanct.

"Every time I hear the word conservative it makes me sick to my stomach."

What a bigot. He also said this-

"The word 'conservative' means 'discriminatory,' practically. It's a form of political discrimination."

He's planning on running for Governor- nothing like alienating half of the people you plan on representing. Whoever stands against this piece of work come 2014 had better broadcast that statement in every ad they run. And it probably wouldn't harm them to add this in too-

"The Republicans are full of it," Barkley said, "The Democrats are a little less full of it."

So he's insulted Republican and Democrats alike- good way to win friends and influence people in American politics, eh?

End note- despite the sickening feeling that conservatives cause him he still has "great respect" for John McCain.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama's Bright Idea

Bad enough that a US Senator comes up with an idea to spend the American taxpayer's money according the UN but worse that this is the sort of person who might one day inhabit the Oval Office.

A nice-sounding bill called the “Global Poverty Act,” sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.

Got that? US Foreign Aid will be spent not how Congress wants, but how the UN wants. Your future President...?

The legislation would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends. ...

I bet it never even occurs to these people that it isn't their money they're spending but the money of the American citizen. Bear in mind that $845 billion isn't going to come out of thin air, it's going to come out of your pocket.

This UN declaration is a socialist's wet-dream apparently-

In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning “small arms and light weapons” and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Barack Hussein Obama, subverting the Constitution one step at a time.

McCain and the KLA

McCain isn't the only one in Washington who seems not to understand the situation in Kosovo but this still doesn't bode well for the fight against jihad- a battle that extends far beyond Al Qaeda- should he be elected President.

Americans of Albanian heritage collected a million dollars in one evening for the presidential campaign of Republican Senator John McCain, said the Albanian American Civic League yesterday, the lobby group headed by former Congressman Joe DioGuardi. A reception for McCain was held January 22 at the Saint Regis Hotel in Manhatten, and the senator, who is now leading in the runoff for the Republican party candidacy in the November elections, cut his campaign in Florida by one day to attend this gathering.

"Even in 1998 when we had problems with Milosevic, McCain did everything that we asked of him to the benefit of the Albanian people, including arming the KLA", announced DioGuardi. "We are American Albanians and we need a leader who will strengthen this country... We must support John McCain because he did everything we asked of him for Kosovo, from supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army to supporting the independence of Kosovo. Two years ago he spoke in Brussels and said that independence is the only solution", concluded this former congressman who has been fighting for the independence of Kosovo and Metohija for more than twenty years.

And just who are the KLA that McCain is so fond of-

"The KLA - The Kosovo Liberation Army - is an Islamic terrorist group responsible for beheadings, torture, rape, burning down churches filled with Christians, and other atrocities. To this day, the KLA insurgency continues the systematic persecution and genocidal cleansing of Serbian civilians residing in Albania. The former leaders, enjoying life as high paid politicians in the Albania Government, are unapologetic for the crimes committed."

One wonders what this voting block will be asking of McCain should he win?

With Friends Like These

Our wonderful allies the Saudis demonstrate the depth of their goodwill towards the UK.

Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced “another 7/7″ and the loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

And it came right from the top too-

Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists.

Predictably Tony "tough guy" Blair caved to the threat and ordered the investigation to be halted. Never mind the British justice system or the fact that it was plain that Saudi Arabia was no true friend of the United Kingdom. What kind of ally threatens you with terrorist attacks over a criminal investigation?

Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the government appeared to have “rolled over” after the threats. He said one possible view was that it was “just as if a gun had been held to the head” of the government.

And now the world knows that the British government will cave to threats of terrorism. And with no thought of justice or the law. Makes you wonder what else the Saudi government has been allowed to get away with or threatened us with, doesn't it?

Indy Is Back

So the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull teaser trailer is out and Mr. Ford looks like he's turned back the clock. I'm a huge fan of the series and I wish Hollywood would make more old fashioned movies like this. Remake some of the old serials and play them straight- I'd say they'd be looking at box office gold.

Anyway, can someone please explain to me why Indy is fighting American soldiers?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flight of Fantasy

Some more Frank Cho for you- here's Jungle Girl dispatching what appears to be a prehistoric cave bear on the cover of issue 4.

What Went Wrong?

We live in a world now where the US State Department has to think long and hard about whether or not to side with terrorists or the families of their American victims.

A world in which an anonymous Democrat Senator blocks an Act designed to show support for the United States Marine Corps.

A world in which another Democrat snatches his legislation from being voted upon so that other Democrats don't have to publicly show whether they support the USMC or protesters who bash America and the Marine Corps.

What the hell has the world come to?

Telling that these Democrats- despicable cowards that they are- don't even have the guts to make their stand be known to the public, at a time when the brave men and women of the Marines Corps are at war.

Doomsday

Neil Marshall, of Dog Soldiers and Descent fame, has a new movie coming out called Doomsday. The story goes that a deadly virus outbreak occurs in Scotland and, to save the rest of the UK, the whole country is simply sealed off. Fast forward a few years and another outbreak occurs in London- so a team is sent into the sealed off Scotland to search for survivors and possible cure.

Now, I liked the sound of this- post-apocalyptic scenarios appeal to me- but then I watched the trailer and the interest factor has fallen somewhat. I was expecting a kind of zombie-style setting for some reason but instead of that it looks like we're going to get Mad Max with a Scottish accent. Complete with bizarro bad-fashions straight out of an '80s rock video.

Can someone tell me why Hollywood thinks that savages grubbing around for survival will be concerned about outlandish hairstyles?

Anyway, the only reason I'll still go and see it is because Marshall's involved- both of his previous films are, in my opinion, classics. He's definitely a highly talented film-maker and, despite the look of the trailer, his just might be able to make the Mad Max stuff work. This image comes from Latino Review's page.

Sammenhold

Time to show your support for free speech once again.

Patriot Corporations

Barack Hussein Obama is co-sponsoring a terrible idea- Patriot Corporations. And I use his given middle-name because it seems to upset so many people. Is pointing out his name a bad thing?

Anyway, his grand scheme is to give special govt approved status to companies who do things his way.

The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts.

Here's the text of the Act:

Patriot Employers Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a taxpayer certified as a Patriot employer by the Secretary of the Treasury a tax credit for one percent of such employer's taxable income.

So the Democrats want to give big businesses a tax break- I thought they were against that sort of thing? And to call Democrat-approved companies "patriots"- clever choice of language for such a dumb idea.

It occurs to me that these firms, which will receive preferential status concerning government contracts, will result in one thing- higher costs for the US taxpayer. They are, after all, going to have to pay those fat union pay-checks to their workers and that surely will mean that they won't be as competitive as the supposed "non-patriot" firms? What a grand Democrat plan to guarantee they get some completely voluntary donations from some big firms.

And in Hot Air-style here's an exit question(s)- why is it that Barack Hussein Obama is always called black? He is actually half-black because his mother was white, wasn't she? Given that, why is it that we don't hear people saying that they're going to vote for him because he's a white man? Does his father's colour somehow completely cancel out his mother's race? I genuinely don't get it- in the past few weeks I've heard people talking about him being a black Senator or possibly the first black President as if his white parent never existed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Police Procedure

Here are the details-

Armed police held an innocent mechanic at gunpoint when they mistook his MP3 player for a pistol.

The armed officers swooped on Mr Nixon when a woman thought she saw him carrying a handgun and called the police.

Police caught their suspect on CCTV and apparently began to follow him- permitting him to board a bus. Then then followed the public vehicle and waited until he was off and walking to his house before acting; so it's a good thing he wasn't a terrorist with plans to, say, kill people on a bus. Begs the question- just what would they have done if he had been armed and had drawn the weapon on the bus and used it? I suspect falling back and establishing a safe perimeter rather than rushing in and trying to act.

Anyway, when the police nabbed him and searched him they obviously found no weapon- so they took him to the station, put him in a cell, swabbed him for DNA, took his photo and his fingerprints. Nothing like, say, keeping him in an interview room while they tried to establish whether or not he was an innocent man. Is it procedure now to presume guilt before any evidence is found and to use all those resources even if no crime has been committed?

I wonder if his details- DNA, fingerprints and mugshot- will now be kept on file or destroyed immediately?

"No weapon was found on him at the time but he was taken into custody on suspicion while the surrounding area where he had been was searched.

"These searches proved negative, so the man was released and taken home, as no further action was required."

And all he got for his trouble was a "sorry for the inconvenience."

A-10

Some eye-candy from the USAF site- the awesome A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Aiding Terrorism

This is beyond ridiculous- the US State Department is considering siding with terrorists over the relatives of their murdered American victims.

The State Department is considering supporting the Palestinian Authority in its quest to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments won by American victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, according to Palestinian officials and defense lawyers involved in the cases…

I'm frankly astonished that they haven't flat out stated their complete and unqualified support for the American families bereaved by genocidal terrorists.

Just what the heck has the world come to when the US State Department has to think deeply over whether to support murderous terrorists or American families?

A Real Subject

Nanny Knows Best is a great blog- unfortunately it has the effect of making me become extremely pi annoyed, shall we say. Best taken in small doses if you don't want your head to explode at the sheer unthinking stupidity of the British government. There's an awful lot of material over there if you're looking for something to rant about.

Anyway, one story about schools having staff poke around in children's lunch-boxes to make sure that they were only eating govt. approved foodstuffs stood out.

Now it seems that dinner ladies could soon be used to monitor school lunchboxes, in order to ensure that children are eating healthy meals.

Under Nanny's "obesity strategy" (give me strength!), there are plans to force all schools to implement a "healthy lunchbox policy".

Good grief!

Seemingly parents may even be asked to sign a form agreeing to ban unhealthy foods from their children's lunches.

It seems to me that if schools are so worried about fat kids they might look to themselves first- and actually have PE classes make the little blighters actually do some exercise. Set a basic standard of fitness and then have the tender little blossoms have to pass the test to obtain a passing grade in the subject. It amazes me that so many complain about kids becoming more unhealthy and overweight but the simple solution of having them exercise to pass PE, rather than just having them turn up once a week to play football or hockey, for example, isn't even on the radar.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to calculate how far or fast the average schoolchild can run, how many push ups or pull ups they should be able to do and turn that into an end-of-year test. No doubt some will complain that this will discriminate against plump children or the like but it's no different than maths classes discriminating against the less intelligent. Smart kids will pass their written exams, fit kids will pass their PE exams.

You know, it might even make some of the less scholarly pupils feel good to get an "A" now and then too.

McCain

Once again conservatives in America are faced with a dilemma- vote for someone pretending (badly) to be a Republican or stand back and let Obama or Clinton into the Oval Office. Clayton Cramer summarises it best- worrying about what McCain might do as opposed to what we know Clinto/Obama will do.

It's an unpleasant position to be in and Mad Ogre, for one, has come to the conclusion that with McCain at least there's a better chance to defend American's gun rights. And that appears to be about it with McCain too.

“I believe my party has gone astray. I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and in their philosophy.”

Some choice eh? Where's Fred when you really need him?

SMG Lee

In case you missed it, SMG Lee's incredible photo coverage of the SHOT Show is completed over at Military Photos Forum- 590 pictures worth!

Awesome work!

Alaska Gun

If only all gun sites had photography like this on display- Alaska Gun is an example of how it should be done. This particular image shows the gorgeous Ed Brown Sheriff Jim Wilson 1911. The gun manufacturers could do with taking some notes I think.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sniper Rifle Ban

The myth that gun grabbers are only only after certain types of weapons should be apparent to everyone now- do you think the English hoplophobes are any different from their US counterparts?- but it seems that some gun owners either just don't get it or think that the NRA is going to do all the heavy lifting for them. Guys, it doesn't work like that- do you want America to end up like Britain?

If you're still in any doubt about what they're trying to ban then this notice from the VPC should be something of a wake-up call-

Therefore, a useful strategy for effective control may lie in civil litigation, a strategy that would be enhanced if states passed legislation clearly establishing strict liability for damages resulting from the use or misuse of such weapons. Such litigation could impose tort liability, including punitive damages, for manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, retailers, and any others who participate in bringing to the civilian market any sniper rifle (in any caliber) or associated gear (such as ammunition or optics) that is used to kill or injure a human being or to damage property.

As Days of Our Trailers points out this would include pretty much all optics and bolt action rifles, as one of their tactics is to re-classify rifle ammunition as armour piercing if it defeats body armour, even if that body armour is only designed to protect against handgun ammo only.

Worth mentioning this again- In S.397, the bill to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits, there was some very vaguely worded language on banning armour piercing ammunition. I blogged about it back in 2005. As I mentioned at the time the lowest level of armour, type I, is only intended to protect against .22LR. So a test to discover which ammo was armour piercing would in effect ban everything more powerful than that if that was the medium they used to conduct the test.

We've already seen attempts to go after ammunition- the ammo tax, for example- so I would expect this to be a tactic they attempt again. Especially if the Heller case turns out to be successful; after all, they'll argue, the Constitution doesn't say anything about a right to "armour piercing" ammunition.

A Full Life

Courtesy of FARK comes this biography of actor and adventurer Charles Fawcett. And what a life he led.

Fawcett jumped a series of tramp steamers, working his passage through the Panama Canal to the Far East before returning to the United States.

Gifted with an artistic talent and a musical ear, he received tips on playing jazz trumpet from Louis Armstrong, and on grappling from a professional wrestler, with the result that Fawcett, still restless, spent a year in eastern Europe earning a living by fighting in back-street theatres.

And then it gets really interesting.

The IMDB entry for him, it must be noted, would appear to be incomplete- it lists only 62 films as opposed to the more than 100 mentioned in The Telegraph.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Making It Worse

Wow- proof positive that environmentalist alarmism and science don't mix.

Biofuels are making climate change worse, not better, according to two new studies which found that total greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are far higher than those from burning gasoline because biofuel production is pushing up food prices and resulting in deforestation and loss of grasslands.

Emissions from ethanol are 93 percent higher than gasoline,” said David Tilman, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota and co-author of one of the papers published Thursday in the journal Science.

“The bottom line is that using good farmland for biofuels increases greenhouse emissions,” he said.

Solving one problem with another that's even worse- so how come none of these supposed climate experts saw this coming? I was under the impression that they were supposed to know everything about the Earth's complex systems. Does this mean that the sages aren't infallible?

Taqiyya

Those darn Islamophobes at Hamas are spreading more bigoted views of what the Religion of Peace teaches.

Hamas leaders spoke to the Arabic language Ash-Sharq il-Awsat newspaper recently and explained that as Muslims, they are allowed to lie. In an interview printed on Thursday, senior Hamas terrorists explained, “A Muslim is permitted to say things that oppose his beliefs in order to prevent damages or to be saved from death.”

This approach, known in Arabic as “taqiyya,” was behind several Hamas leaders’ recent public expression of support for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, they explained. Senior Hamas terrorists in Samaria, who were recently released from jail, publicly expressed disapproval with the Hamas takeover of Gaza and said they supported the PA forces. The sources quoted in Ash-Sharq il-Awsat explained that the Samarian terrorists’ announcement was not a sign of dissent within Hamas ranks, but rather a permitted use of “taqiyya” to deceive Abbas and avoid prison sentences.

Yet again the jihadists come clean about their motives and the inspiration for their actions- and yet when commenters in the West point these self-same things out we're labelled as bigots.

Bearing this is mind, tell me again why we should believe anything Palestinians say in regards to peace with Israel?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bias

Danger Room does its best to slander gun owners with a vote for "hick couture" from the SHOT Show. Nothing like promulgating negative stereotypes, is there?

Some aspects of the firearms industry are not pretty. No, I'm not talking about violence!

People that rrreaaaaallly like guns can be less than sophisticated. Not all the time, but some. Perhaps tacky is the right word.

They then go on to display what they refer to as "hillbilly kitsch". And note too that the web address for the set of pictures is http://reddit.wired.com/heehaw/.

Classy, eh? Ironic then that author Aaron Rowe doesn't appear to know the difference between an ordinance and ordnance.

Dropping In

Not often that a major Hollywood celebrity takes the time to visit the troops, even if it's only for lunch. Angelina Jolie not only shared a meal with some soldiers but she also met with General Petraeus in her role as UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Cooling Off

Time to stock up on thermal underwear?

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.

This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

Not the first time that evidence has emerged of such a trend. Expect the current environuts wailing about the weather getting too nice to be crying about it getting too bad in a few years. And all the billions of dollars spent on global warming will have been wasted.

Friday, February 08, 2008

When Jihad Strikes

It pays to be prepared. Check out this '50s style ad from Cavalry Arms for their discreet carry AR bag. Politically correct, it is not- enjoy! Thanks to SMG Lee for the video.

FMG A Reality

This is just to cool- Magpul will be making a run of their oh-so-awesome FMG!

We plan to produce this in limited quantities in the near future. Civilian sales are subject to BATF approval. We will release more information when available.

The advantage to the FMG9 over previous versions are...

1. One button, spring loaded action.
2. Light weight, color coded plastic (can be molded as a non gun color)
3. Closed bolt, safe action (others were open bolt SMGs, ours can be carried with a round in the chamber).

4. Proven Glock action with stock Glock factory magazines and laser systems.

Definitely a company to watch.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

MG Shortage

Britain reaps the rewards of destroying it's own firearms industry.

THE Army has run out of machine guns, The Sun can reveal.

The crisis is unlikely to be solved before JUNE, a leaked report reveals.

British troops “desperately” need 400 of the jumbo 0.5in calibre heavy machine guns – the weapon most acutely missed.

The Army has also run out of the 7.62mm GPMG and Minimis.

Supply has collapsed partly because of a dispute with the manufacturers, Manroy – which also provides weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The weapons mentioned are all FN designs; presumably the British firm Manroy manufactures them under licence. Given that decades of tougher and tougher gun laws has all but destroyed domestic production of firearms the government now finds itself competing with Saudi Arabia for a single company's limited production facilities. You might have thought that action would have been taken by the Ministry of Defence before things got this bad?

Almost HALF the Minimi Light Machine Guns used at Catterick and Brecon are also out of commission.

The report adds: “The original spares package was inadequate and usage has been far above that expected. As a result stocks are very fragile.”

Yet again the British soldier finds himself thrust into danger without the necessary material by a government which has cut numbers and funding for years without caring about the consequences.

Quick Question

Who on earth thought that FNAR was a good name for a anything, let alone a firearm?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Magpul PDR

In the field of PDWs the Magpul PDR seems to me to have the most potential- the biggest thing going for it, apart from its compact size, is that it is chambered for 5.56mm. Given that a weapon like this is likely to be fielded by military units, a common calibre would appear to be essential. After all, drivers, etc may have to fight alongside regular troops in combat- situations where they will be best served being able to exchange ammunition- and despite the 5.56mm's reputation as being a poodle-shooter it's a major step up from micro-calibre PDWs on offer from other firms. Magpul now have the Masada/ACR, the Massoud, the very cool FMG9 and the PDR to their name. Innovative work- a firm I really hope makes it into the major leagues. Surely there's a government contract somewhere in their future?

Anyway, here's a video of the PDR.

Magpul FMG9

Some information at last about the cool little Magpul folder. It's called the FMG9 and The Firearm Blog has all the details. Here's a video of it being deployed. Incredibly cool- but alas it seems to be in the realm of "concept gun" only.

UPDATE - According to AR15 Forum the FMG9 is an "upper" that takes a standard Glock 17 barrel and slide. There's also a suggestion that this is nothing more than an in-house "fun" project. I'm hoping this isn't true- the FMG9 is too cool to remain a concept only.

M1 Para

Auto-Ordnance have a polymer folding-stocked M1 Carbine on offer with the now ubiquitous "tactical" in the name. Which is fine if you're into that sort of thing. Gun Blast's SHOT Show coverage bring the news that they are now also offering a more traditional and, IMHO, aesthetically pleasing Paratrooper stock version too.

Do make sure to check out the rest of Gun Blast's excellent coverage.

Monday, February 04, 2008

SHOT

Been scouring the net today for SHOT Show news- liking the news that Colt is bringing back the 10mm Delta Elite and that the Bren Ten is also on the way back thanks to VLTOR. One other item that caught my eye is the Colt New Agent in DAO. Liking the gutter-sights. Still on 1911s, Ed Brown has a Commander-sized Special Forces model out too.

As for the Ruger LCP, I think it's a great idea. Looks like a great concealed carry piece- they're renowned for solid weapons, but I guess we'll have to wait to see how it shoots. Maybe if it sells well we'll see a 9mm down the line.

Dan Wesson has the black Valor 1911 which looks good- waiting to see better quality pictures of that. Like the look of the Kimber SIS range too- particularly the rear sight set-up. What else is there? A 5.7mm upper for the AR. Looks a bit weird but it's designed to accept P90 top-feed magazines. Not a bad idea really- and proof once again that despite the AR's flaws, it's a heck of a versatile system. And speaking of flaws there seem to be a whole range of piston uppers available now too; I'd say that the AR is here to stay for another decade or so yet.

One item that really intrigues me is the Magpul Glock Folding Carbine- heard it referred to as a Transform 9. Are they actually planning on making a production run or is it more of a "concept gun"? It's a very clever and neat little package. And what's the deal with the PDW they were developing- any progress?

One thing I haven't been able to find is any knife news- anything happening on that front?

Modesty Before Life

Muslim medical students are refusing to adopt hygiene practices which are required to try and save lives.

Muslim medical students are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion.

Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.

And instead of being promptly told they cannot practice medicine lest they kill patients, dhimmi authorities seem to be pandering to them.

But the Islamic Medical Association insisted that covering all the body in public, except the face and hands, was a basic tenet of Islam.

"No practising Muslim woman - doctor, medical student, nurse or patient - should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow," it said.

Yep, their so-call modesty trumps infections that can and do kill vulnerable patients. Whatever happened that a medieval ideology can be placed before the health and safety of the sick?

Death Cult

The Bush administration has given Fatah money, training and arms- because someone in Washington thinks that they are "moderates" they can do business with. One has to ask- how many people do Fatah have to murder before that changes? The suicide bombing at Dimona has left one woman dead. Does George Bush have anything to say about the terrorists who did it?

Three groups, including Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP) armed wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and a new group calling themselves the United Resistance Brigades, claimed joint responsibility for the attack.

An Al-Aqsa Brigades spokesperson told Ma’an that a bomber blew himself up before a group of fighters clashed with Israeli security in the area.

And the wonderful human beings in Gaza are celebrating cold blooded murder with sweets and flowers.

As word of the suicide bombing in Dimona spread Monday, Gaza residents were treated to celebratory wreaths of flowers as well as sweets that were handed to drivers and passers-by.

Gaza motorists receiving the treats and sweets also honked their horns in triumph and celebration.

Tell me again why so many countries believe these people deserve their support and money?

Stealing Babies

Life under Labour in once-Great Britain.

The number of babies under one month old being taken into care for adoption is now running at almost four a day (a 300 per cent increase over a decade).

In total, 75 children of all ages are being removed from their parents every week before being handed over to new families.

Some of these may have been willingly given up for adoption, but critics of the Government's policy are convinced that the vast majority are taken by force.

Time and again, the mothers say they are innocent of any wrongdoing.

Not the first time this issue has been brought into the light by the media- recently a young woman was told that the moment her baby was born it would be taken away from her, and all because she suffered from a case of depression while a teenager.

But over the five years since I began investigating the scandal of forced adoptions, I have found a deeply secretive system which is too often biased against basically decent families.

I have been told of routine dishonesty by social workers and questionable evidence given by doctors which has wrongly condemned mothers.

All because Tony Blair introduced not only targets for adoptions by local authorities but also cash bonuses for meeting them.

From the moment a mother is first accused of being incapable as a parent - a decision nearly always made by a social worker or doctor - the system is pitted against her.

There are no juries in family courts, only a lone judge or trio of magistrates who make decisions based on the balance of probability.

Crucially, the courts' culture of secrecy means that if a social worker lies or fabricates notes or a medical expert giving evidence makes a mistake, no one finds out and there is no retribution.
Socialism, is there anything it can't do?

Flight of Fantasy

More Frank Cho with cover art for the current Jungle Girl title. Just a shame he isn't doing the interior work too.

Honour Killings UK

Turning a blind eye.

Teachers, police and councils are afraid to take action against so-called honour crimes for fear of being accused of racism, it is claimed.

Women are also being betrayed by community figures who believe those who break traditional taboos deserve to be punished, the report found.

The report says women have been attacked for forming "inappropriate" relationships, wanting to go to university or listening to Western music.

The majority of the crimes are being committed by third and forth generation immigrants

It also says there is evidence that Asian policemen and councillors try to block the activities of women's groups.

"The Government is still not taking honour crime seriously," said James Brandon, one of the report's authors.

But of course they aren't- multiculturalism trumps the lives of a few women.

Subverting The Law

The British government has decided to by-pass the law of the land- and reward multiple marriage, even though bigamy is ilegal in Britain.

Husbands living in a "harem" with multiple wives have been cleared to claim state benefits for all their different partners.

A Muslim man with four spouses - which is permitted under Islamic law - could receive £10,000 a year in income support alone.

He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefit, to reflect the fact his household needs a bigger property.

Ministers have decided that, even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, polygamous marriages can be recognised formally by the state - provided they took place overseas, in countries where they are legal.

So its still going to be illegal to be a bigamist but the government will pay you for doing it anyway. What a great plan.

Above The Law?

So the police bugged an MP and The Times is outraged!

SCOTLAND YARD’S antiterrorist squad secretly bugged a high-profile Labour Muslim MP during private meetings with one of his constituents.

Sadiq Khan, now a government whip, was recorded by an electronic listening device hidden in a table during visits to the constituent in prison.

The bugging of MPs is a breach of a government edict that has barred law agencies from eavesdropping on politicians since the bugging scandal of Harold Wilson’s government. There was no suspicion of criminal conduct by Khan to justify the operation.

Sounds terrible, doesn't it? But it raises the question- just why should MPs be above the law- they've demonstrated on numerous occasions that breaking the law is not something that they're terribly averse to. If the average British citizen can be bugged without his or her knowledge then so should MPs.

But it gets worse- The Times neglects to mention that the "constituent" the MP was meeting with wasn't just anybody until halfway through the story.

The bugging operation recorded conversations with his constituent, Babar Ahmad, who is facing deportation to the United States under new extradition laws. Khan has been a friend of Ahmad since childhood and has been a prominent campaigner against his extradition. He met the home secretary to discuss the case and handed over a petition of 18,000 signatures calling for Ahmad’s release.

The US government has accused Ahmad of running a website that raised funds for Taliban and Chechen terrorists in the late 1990s. He faces no charges in Britain but is wanted in the United States because his website was registered there.

So a fast-rising Muslim MP is a life-long friend and campaigner on behalf of a man accused of raising funds for Islamic terrorists? Sounds to me like there's enough reason for the security services to be concerned- they received plenty of flack over missing one of the 7/7 bombers from their surveillance program after he was linked to a terrorism suspect, didn't they?

The Sunday Times told him about the bugging operation last week. A friend said the disclosure might further undermine the government’s attempt to “reengage” the Muslim community. He said: “If he was not a Muslim MP would they be doing this? If it had been some ordinary white middle-class MP, would they have been bugged?

Profiling a suspect in a sensitive government position linked to international terrorism while British troops are at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan. How dare they!

Climate Change

Global warming comes to China.

Some parts of China have seen their worst weather in 100 years this winter, with the recent snowfalls the biggest in that time, a meteorological official told Agence France-Presse.

'For some provinces such as Hubei and Hunan (both in central China), it's been the biggest snowfall in 100 years,' said an official at the China Meteorological Administration's publicity department.

'Other provinces have had the biggest snowfall in 50 years. Others again, the biggest snowfall in decades,' said the official, who declined to be named.

It's a good thing so many environmentalists are doing their utmost to try and reduce the temperature even further, isn't it?

The extreme weather had affected more than 77.86 million people in 14 provinces by 2 p.m. on Monday. Direct economic losses were estimated at 22.09 billion yuan (about 3 billion U.S. dollars).

About 6.87 million hectares of crops were affected in 16 province-level areas as of Tuesday morning, with total crop failures of 735,333 ha.

The latest official figures showed that the bad weather had claimed 24 lives as of 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 28. However, a traffic accident in the southwestern province of Guizhou on Tuesday morning added 25 to the toll.

I keep hearing that the climate has changed because of man's dastardly desire for a better standard of living but the one thing that environmentalists haven't made clear yet is which period of climate in history will they be happy with? The Little Ice Age perhaps, which ended in the 1800s when we're told that man's actions- the Industrial Revolution- caused temperatures to rise.

The Little Ice Age brought bitterly cold winters to many parts of the world, but is most thoroughly documented in Europe and North America. In the mid-17th century, glaciers in the Swiss Alps advanced, gradually engulfing farms and crushing entire villages. The River Thames and the canals and rivers of the Netherlands often froze over during the winter, and people skated and even held frost fairs on the ice. The first Thames frost fair was in 1607; the last in 1814, although changes to the bridges and the addition of an embankment affected the river flow and depth, hence the possibility of freezes. The freeze of the Golden Horn and the southern section of the Bosphorus took place in 1622. In 1658 a Swedish army marched across ├śresund to Denmark and invaded Copenhagen. The winter of 1794/1795 was particularly harsh when the French invasion army under Pichegru could march on the frozen rivers of the Netherlands, whilst the Dutch fleet was fixed in the ice in Den Helder harbour. In the winter of 1780, New York Harbor froze, allowing people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing that island's harbors to shipping.

The Little Ice Age by anthropology professor Brian Fagan of the University of California at Santa Barbara, tells of the plight of European peasants during the 1300 to 1850 chill: famines, hypothermia, bread riots, and the rise of despotic leaders brutalizing an increasingly dispirited peasantry. In the late 17th century, writes Fagan, agriculture had dropped off so dramatically that "Alpine villagers lived on bread made from ground nutshells mixed with barley and oat flour." Finland lost perhaps a third of its population to starvation and disease.

Given the amount of money that governments are spending on the "problem" of our changing climate, perhaps they'd like to be a bit clearer on when they want the temperature to stabilise?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Zombie Diaries

Here's the trailer- actually looks pretty good.

Movie Gun Meme

Smallesty Minority comments on the movie gun meme.

You guys are all wrong- it's the Deckard M2019 Chief's Special/P.K.D from Blade Runner. Closely followed by Han's DL-44 blaster of course.

SHOT Show Linkfest

Sadly I can't go to the SHOT Show 2008 but others can- and are reporting back on the new developments. Here's a quick round up of where you can check out what's new-

SMG Lee over at Military Photos usually presents some stunning photos. Well worth checking out.

Gun Pundit already has some photos up.

Gun Blast has their annual day-by-day break down of events.

Call Me Ahab already has some cool photos up of the KRISS and the new S&W Night Guard series of Scandium revolvers

Cloverfield

I had high hopes for Cloverfield when I heard about it and last night I went to the cinema to watch it. I managed to sit through about 40 minutes of it before the urge to be sick was too much and I had to leave. The whole "hand held video" concept, to put it in technical terms, sucks. Watching a camera being waved wildly all over the place does not make for a good movie- and the effect was enough to have me on the verge of making a mess of a rather nice cinema. The fact too that the film was edited to cut from place to place- i.e. not anything at all like a real tape of events- kind of makes it a redundant effect.

Is it a good film? I'll never know- certainly the beginning of the monster attack on New York was well executed but I can't help but feel that if it had been filmed like a proper movie, it would have been so much better. The opening scenes, for instance, at the party were not only nauseating but terribly boring. Bad enough that we're cutting from person to person, catching bits and pieces of conversations, but to have it filmed in such a way that the camera is either swinging around like crazy or mis-framing what it is supposed to be seeing...I mean, does that really add anything to the story?

The obvious comparison to make is with Blair Witch- and that film, shown from the same perspective, had none of the nausea inducing filming techniques. The upcoming Diary of the Dead is also a "first person" movie- and so too is the already released Zombie Diaries. I'm hoping that neither have the same hyperactive camera effects.