25 April 2007
Emmanuel Prof Fired For "Discussing" Virginia Tech Shooting

The Coolest Camel Girl In The World sent me this link.

Whaddja reckon?

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17 April 2007
Virginia Tech

I'm deeply saddened by the news of so many murders at Virginia Tech. A profoundly tragic and potentially preventable event.

Pommygranate has some very interesting thoughts on the matter.

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09 April 2007
Speed Cameras FTW?

What was it Sagan said about confusing causality and correlation?

Will from Leicster makes an excellent point in the comments:
As the advert says... if you hit the little girl at 30 she might live, at 40 she will almost certainly die. If her parents taught her not to run across the road without looking, her chances of death in that situation would be reduced to zero. But, demonising the driver who strays marginally over the limit is far easier than tackling more complex social issues of parental responsibility etc.


05 March 2007
When God Sanctions Killing

Interesting article on the relationship between religion and violence, courtesy of Matt Bonobo at the Schola G Forum.

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02 March 2007
Reason Magazine - Guns Don't Kill People, Gun Control Kills People

Reason Magazine - Guns Don't Kill People, Gun Control Kills People
The country of Uganda plans to send about 1,500 troops to Somalia as part of an African Union peace-keeping force. The goal is to stabilize the weak government of Somalia, with the hope that the warlords will voluntarily disarm. Hopefully, Ugandan troops will be more successful in Somalia than they have in their own country.

For months now, Ugandan army troops have been garrisoned in the northeast part of the country under orders to disarm the local populace—pastoral, cattle-herding tribes known as the Karamojong. The army is attempting, and failing, to quash an uprising which was caused by a prior attempt to disarm the same tribes.

But in its effort to "disarm," the Ugandan army, supported by tanks and helicopter gunships, is burning down villages, sexually torturing men, raping women, and plundering what few possessions the tribespeople own. Tens of thousands of victims have been turned into refugees. Human rights scholar Ben Knighton has used the term “ethnocide” to describe the army's campaign.

This is not the first time the central government in Kampala, Uganda, has persecuted the Karamojong. During the Idi Amin regime, the Karamojong were selected as special targets for genocide. Against Amin's armies, their traditional bows and arrows were futile. So it's understandable why they'd be reluctant to voluntarily lay down their weapons.

This time, the pretext for the "disarmament" of the Karamojong is United Nations gun control. The Ugandan military is trying to round up every last firearm in Karamoja, supposedly for the Karamojong's own good.

The procedure is euphemistically called “forcible disarmament.” It works something like this: The misnamed Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) will torture and rape Karamajong, after which some Karamojong might then disclose the location of some hidden guns. Or the army will burn down a village, after which it might find some guns in the ash left behind.

If the pastoral tribespeople's bloody history with Amin weren't enough, they don't much have reason to trust the current government of Uganda, either. The current government has repeatedly broken its promises of goods, services, and personal protection for tribespeople who voluntarily disarmed.

According to David Pulkol, the former Director of External Security Organisation (part of the Ugandan government’s intelligence agency), the disarmament process is a tactic to facilitate robbing the Karamojong of their resources. The Daily Monitor newspaper, for example, reports that the Ugandan government has announced plans to confiscate “about 1,903 sq km out of the total area of 2,304 sq km of the Pian Upe game reserve” for private investment purposes.

This government predation has naturally sparked resistance. More and more Karamojong are wearing traditional ethnic garb—not only as a symbol of solidarity, but also because the loose clothing makes it so easy to conceal weapons. The tribes are also uniting and improving their tactical skills. The weapons that had been taken by the government have been replaced by better ones from the ubiquitous black market. The helicopters that have been bombing the populace and burning their villages are now at risk from high-powered rifles. The Karamojong women aren't remaining passive while their families suffer, starve, and die, either. Some Karamojong widows have taken their husband’s firearms and are actively defending themselves, their families, and their cattle.

Last summer, the Ugandan army's atrocities led the United Nations Development Programme to cut off its disarmament aid to Uganda. But the outrage didn't last long. This year, the aid was restored. Although the United Nations does not fund the Ugandan army, the UN does provide a public relations sanction for the disarmament. In November, Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated: “The actions of the UPDF do not comply with international human rights law and domestic law.” But, she also stipulated, “the decision of the Government to undertake renewed efforts to eradicate illegal weapons in Karamoja is essential….” Never mind that the disarmament campaign also eradicates people.

If the Karamojong didn’t have to worry about the central government targeting them for genocide, or stealing their land, one could possibly make an argument that they would be better off without guns. The various tribes have a long tradition of inter-tribal cattle rustling, and the cattle-raiding would undoubtedly be less dangerous if perpetrated with stone-age weapons instead of AK-47s. But as a practical matter, there have been numerous instances of civilians who have voluntarily disarmed, and were then—despite government promises of protection—robbed by the competing tribes who remained armed. And the loss of even a small number of cattle can place a subsistence level family at risk of starvation. Of course, cattle-rustling never led to the deliberate destruction of entire villages, turning thousands of people into refugees. Nor has it ever paved the way for government theft of the land the tribespeople need to survive.

The number of illegally possessed firearms prior to the disarmament campaign had been estimated at between 50,000 and 150,000. On November 10, New Vision reported that “since this year began, they have recovered 4,500 guns.” So the Ugandan government is wiping out the very people the government ostensibly claims to protect, and that "protection" amounts to just 3-9 percent of unauthorized weapons. And all the while, the Ugandan government is using its own guns to destroy Karamoja, burn villages, slaughter the defenseless, and perpetrate ethnocide.

Seems like the kind of "protection" the Karamojong could live without.

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01 March 2007
There's something rotten in Ohio

And I think it's Associate Professor Julio Pino and his blog.

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26 February 2007
Renew For Freedom

renew for freedom - MAY 2006 - renew your passport

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21 February 2007
Penny Arcade! - Now With Aromax

I do enjoy the wat the guys at Penny Arcade write, especially when I see them doing what they do best and mocking the foolish and credulous. Below is a prime example:

You might have seen this story on CNN about the teens that murdered a homeless guy and then equated it to the sort of thrill one might get from a “violent video game”. There will be plenty of articles focusing on these kids and their crime. I’d like to take a second and talk about the parents of these teenagers instead. It is the job of a parent to teach their children certain rules. Obviously the rules themselves and the emphasis each family places on them will vary, but there are certain universal constants that these parents obviously failed to pass on.

Things the parents of these kids failed to teach them(in order of their severity):

1. Don’t drink until you’re 21.

Now this is a tough one. The 15 year old boys have admitted they were sharing beers with the homeless man. This is a difficult rule to enforce with many kids and that’s why I’ve listed first.

2. Don’t do drugs.

In addition to their beers these lads told investigators they had just finished rolling some phat doobie blunts, or whatever it is they do these days. This is an important one but also very difficult to enforce. I’d say it’s a notch above drinking but we’re still dealing with pretty common teenager issues.

3. Don’t murder people.

Ah here’s a big one. I wonder, did the parents simply avoid the “don’t murder people” talk the way other parents might avoid the “sex” talk? Maybe one day as the father was running off to work the mother called behind him,” Don’t forget, you promised to talk to Chris about not murdering people today!” The husband already half way out the door would holler back “Yeah yeah, I’ll do it when I get home tonight.”

4. Don’t take shit out of your butt and rub it on the hobo you just killed.

To me this seems like the easiest lesson of all. My son is only two and already he’s coming to understand that “poops” belong in the potty. How did this kid get to the age of fifteen years old without learning this? Here’s how easy this one is:

Hey son, come here real quick.

Yeah Dad?

Don’t take shit out of your butt.

Sure thing Dad.

Done! How hard was that? What kind of crazy fuck takes poop from his butt and rubs it on someone? I’ll tell you right now I’ve never seen that in Grand Theft Auto. These kids were twelve kinds of nuts and that’s a fact. Their parents either made them nuts or weren’t paying attention while they went nuts on their own. I don’t know which scenario is worse.

-Gabe out

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14 February 2007
Antisemitism vs Homophobia

But, would those Jews calling for the right to discriminate against gays be willing to drop all equality legislation, including that which protects them? That would be the only logically – and morally – consistent position.

Courtesy of a link in Harry's Place, an interesting piece on TotallyJewish.com by Brett Lock, the editor of Gay Humanist.

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13 February 2007
Heavy Shit Indeed

Poor Dave.

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26 October 2006
Religiously Justified Rape

A rather worrying post from Samizdata.

Now I have Muslim friends who I am sure would find these comments as abhorrent as me, but why the fuck are guys like this given stage room?


25 October 2006
"Newspapers in Education" needs an Education on the Constitution and Second Amendment

Leo at TPI pointed me towards this interesting piece.


Breakfast with Nanny

This is why I rarely watch TV any more...


Wine and Cheese to the rescue
The Camera Never Lies?
Observer accused of fabricating comments
Hennesy Hammock
Awesome weekend
FightCamp Ahoy
A Quiet Mugging
Muhammad Ali with a Blackjack
Religious Hatred. Again.

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