Safety message of the day

From Making Light:

Do you know how we can tell the difference between people who were wearing their seatbelts and those who weren’t, at the scene of an automobile accident? The ones who were wearing their seatbelts are standing around saying “This really sucks,” and the ones who weren’t are kinda just lying there.

The detail gets gory. Relatedly, don’t store bowling balls on your rear parcel shelf…

The worst miscarriage of justice of the millennium: ignored

Remember Operation Ore? When the UK police were given a list of 7,000 Evil Internet Paedos, arrested and charged them, leaked their names to the papers, and claimed that every last one of them was an evil nonce who shouldn’t be allowed near children?

Well, it turns out that many of the people on the list were innocent (longer version of the same article here in PDF format). Perhaps even most of them: the police made no attempts to check for credit card fraud, which is estimated to account for 50% of total cards used. They also cheerfully lied in court that everyone who got caught up in the scandal had deliberately clicked a link saying “click here for child porn”, when in fact there was no such link.

39 people caught up in the investigation in the UK alone have since committed suicide.

You’d’ve thought that this might create some kind of outrage – campaign groups, media storms, etc. In fact, aside from Duncan Campbell’s dedicated pursuit in PC Pro and the Guardian, and a few follow-on stories in the specialist IT press, there has been no media coverage at all of the fact that the police systematically lied to ruin the lives of thousands of innocent people.

Why not? I think this exchange from the first series of Blackadder might sum it up:

Officer: Who will defend the accused… [Percy stands] …and thus condemn himself to certain burning at the stake as a partner in Satan if the accused is found guilty? [Percy sits, acting quite interested in his book and quill]

Baldrick: Lord Percy will defend His Royal Highness [motions at Percy to stand]

Percy: Oh, yes, yes, me, sorry, yes… Hello…

Witchsmeller: [arriving, carrying a Bible] Witch! [The crowd gasps] Witchsmeller: Witch!! [The crowd gasps] Witchsmeller: [now in front of Percy] WITCH!!! [The crowd cheers]

Witchsmeller: [to Harry] My Lord, will you force us to listen to the pleadings of a man who may be a witch himself? [The crowd gasps]

Harry: You know, you’re absolutely right. Yes, well, that concludes the case for the defence.

In the face of that kind of public attitude, congratulations to Mr Campbell – and to Alex at the Yorkshire Ranter for making some further good points. And if you run a blog yourself – or a newspaper, or anything, then for God’s sake tell people about this terrible, terrible miscarriage of justice.

As a side note, Dr Melissa Deary is certainly a witch. What kind of fucking criminologist thinks that people should be presumed guilty until proven innocent? -

“Let’s get some perspective on what we’re dealing with here, a rising and extremely pernicious crime against children. If the police contact people whose credit card details appeared on Landslide’s list, then let them prove these details were stolen if that is indeed the case. Such “inconvenience” is worth it to clamp down on this horrific crime.” – Dr Melissa Dearey, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Hull

(it’s also worth side noting, while on the subject of Dr Dearey’s utter ignorance, that none of the alleged crimes prosecuted in the UK under Operation Ore involved the abuse of a child, and indeed that there is no evidence whatsoever that child sexual abuse is on the rise.)

No, not funny at all

From the East London Advertiser:

ANTI-TERRORISM cops ended up with ‘egg pasta’ on their faces when they raided the wrong home in the hunt for a Muslim firebrand. They swooped at dawn on a house in the Shadwell district of London’s East End. But all they found were a terrified Italian couple… and their cat…. Police searched the house for five hours before finally apologising and leaving at 10am on April 24.

That is not a light-hearted human interest story. That is a case of incompetent fucktards with guns terrorising innocent people’s lives. And of holding the poor sods hostage for hours after they should have been aware that they’d got the wrong house. This should be a public outrage; the cunts in charge should have to resign.

To be fair, the police do appear to be getting slightly less evil. They shot Jean-Charles de Menezes in the head and then tried to posthumously frame him as a rapist; they shot Mohammed Abdul Kahar in the foot and then tried to frame him for the possession of child pornography; in the case of these anonymous Italians they seem to have let them go without any shooting or made-up sex offences. So far, at least.

Sentencing quiz, volume 53,093,085

Consider a woman who has a bizarre mental episode during which she robs a pensioner. The woman immediately confesses and pleads guilty, she has no previous convictions, no weapon is used, £7 is stolen, no harm is done, and she is an anorexic with an 18-month-old child. I’d like to imagine a) how you’d sentence the crime b) how you think the crime would be sentenced in real life.

Now, *I* believe sending the woman to jail at all would be a grossly stupid idea, punishing her child, ensuring her condition gets worse, and making no positive difference to anyone. But I realise that I’m a pathetic bleeding heart liberal, and hence that my suggestion of compulsory treatment and a community sentence is toward the bottom of anyone’s desires or expectations.

(yes, I’m also aware because I grew up in a middle-class family and went to university, that means that – even when I live in poor areas that have high crime rates – my experience of them as entirely managable and my experience of being robbed as being a bit annoying but nothing more doesn’t count. Only working class people are allowed to comment on crime, and even then only if they think we should bring back hanging ‘n’ flogging.)

But back to the case: the woman was actually given 14 months (more than a year, fact fans with poor division skills) inside. Now, I’m willing to bet that most readers, thanks to the brainwashing of the World’s Worst Press (TM) would have guessed something closer to half-an-hour’s community service and a holiday in the Maldives…

Ian Caldwell is a bigoted cunt

Specifically, Mr Caldwell is the kind of bigoted cunt who, when he spots a lady Muslim swimmer wearing a burqini, tries to get her thrown out of the swimming pool, and then sells his story to the tabloids lying that the lady in question was wearing a full-on burqa.

Armchair generals

An obvious point, but still worth making: if you are criticising, have criticised or intend to criticise the sailors who were held in Iran for their behaviour (Lending Propaganda to the Evil Enemy! Oh Noes, The Horror!), then you are a first-rate arsehole and deserve to die.

I’ve come for my award

Jim Bliss has an excellent new meme:

the Thick Blogger award; the Thigger. It’s a bronze statuette about 14 inches long which you can shove up your arse.

There are many obvious candidates for such an award. However, I’m going to award it exclusively to people who’ve made comedic factual errors over the last week, while also being right-wing dicks who I don’t much like in the first place. First up, Blognor Regis:

Why aren’t our current crop of comedians making an impact overseas? Besides Australia that is. It’s a bit like music. In the 80s the American charts were full of British bands and now only Sting can get anywhere near the Top 1000.

From this week’s Billboard albums top 10:

8 Joss Stone Introducing Joss Stone Peak 2 Wks On 2
9 Elton John Rocket Man: Number Ones Peak 9 Wks On 1

And with the exception of Good Charlotte, every other album in the top 10 is hip-hop, country or a compilation.

Next up is the, admittedly sitting-duck-ish, House of Dumb:

This [a piece by Clive James on 24 and the ineffectiveness of torture] is what passes for rational debate at the BBC. Oh, hang on – I hear a whimpering from the corner. Mr Liberal would like to point out that this post was in the BBC’s magazine section, so it should be counted as commentary, rather than news. Well, alright, now lets see the figures on how often Conservative commentators get invited to denounce ‘degerenate terrorist enabling Liberal vermin’ – I’d start the betting at ‘never’ and work down from there.

He’s referring to a piece by Clive James, who supports the Iraq war and regularly denounces lefties for blaming Islamist terrorism on the actions of the West (and specifically for anti-Americanism). In short, when it comes to views on the War on Terror, Clive James is far to the right of mainstream British public opinion. And his opposition to torture in the piece is based on the view that it’s morally abhorrent for us to do it even to bad people, not the view that the people we’re doing it to aren’t bad.

Good work, gentlemen. Keep it up…

Almost time to burn your copy of Lolita

There is some logic in making child pornography illegal. The people who produce it do seriously harm children and should obviously be locked up. The fact that people who view these images drive supply suggests that it may be rational to criminalise them as well (although it’s not clear why the same punishments shouldn’t also be applied to people who download jihadi beheadings, happy slappings, and any other pictures that involve criminal acts and the infliction of harm in their creation).

However, if you think it is a good idea to make pornographic drawings of children illegal, you are a gibbering mad fucktard. Yes, of course they’re distasteful, but how the fuck does that warrant criminalisation? And given that there is no moral difference between a drawing of a fictional character and a passage of writing about a fictional character, bringing in such laws genuinely would set a precedent for literary censorship (remember, unlike ‘classic’ porn laws, laws on ‘indecent images of children’ have no exemption for literary works).

For the mad buggers in charge to be proposing such measures, they must have some degree of popular support. Which suggests there may even be some people who support them and aren’t gibberingly mad. If you support them and have some kind of reason for doing so beyond thinking that manga porn is a bit gross, please state it below – at the moment, I genuinely don’t understand how anyone could possibly think that sending people to jail for three years for possessing naughty comics is a Good Idea.

No offence, la

I’m not convinced that slavery reparations are generally a good thing. The fact that the average black American, despite having a lifespan despicably lower than the average white American, has a lifespan despicably higher than the average black African, is an example of how financial costing can’t really make any sense of the whole issue.

However, there is one factor on the basis of which I would massively support the payment of enormous reparations from the UK to pretty much anywhere on the basis of our involvement in the slave trade. Its name is Liverpool.

Slavery was an immaterial criterion in London and Edinburgh’s route to being the financial wealth generation centres of the UK; it was immaterial in Birmingham and Glasgow’s route to being the heavy manufacturing weath generation centre of the UK; and it was immaterial in Manchester’s route to being the cotton processing wealth generation centre of the UK.

Rather, slavery enriched the ‘we’ve got boats and we do fuck all else’ centre of Liverpool.

Since Scousers, despite being in a theoretically better position than most people in the North [*] whine a lot about everything [**], it would be delightful to see them being held personally responsible for the real, rather than made-up-and-whined-about-in-an-irritating-accent suffering of the victims of the slave trade. Maybe we could even enslave, whip and torture the fuckers.

[*] in the UK we don’t make much anymore, but we import a fuck of a lot. Because Scouse dockers are lazy incompetent fucktards, even importing goods to the North of England is now done by making detours to Southampton, Harwich or Rotterdam Europort.

[**] see: footballing death event where Scousers are documented to have urinated and robbed the dead bodies of other Scousers. This is an absolutely true fact. Anyone who mentions it – like (the idiot) Boris Johnson and (the surprisingly praiseworthy, if only for standing up to the Whiny Scouse Cunt lobby) Kelvin McKenzie – gets pilloried, but it is true. If you deny that the bodies of Liverpool supporters were urinated on and robbed by other Liverpool supporters at the Hillsborough disaster, you are a liar and in denial. Most Scousers are liars and in denial.

First thing we do [says God], we kill all the Luddites

If you think the MMR vaccine does anything other than prevent children from dying, then I’m not overly bothered about the long-term implications of your goddamn stupid opinion: your children will die of preventable disease, whereas the children of sane people who don’t worship aliens and who don’t believe LBJ hid in shady bits of Dallas in 1963 as a career-enhancement plan will live to reproduce.

People who hold the view that – despite no evidence or plausible mechanism to suggest that they might – mobile telephone radio waves cause cancer and therefore they shouldn’t be allowed are equally mad. Unfortunately, this group’s lunacy has far greater effects on the rest of us: not only do they refuse to use mobile telephones themselves [worse, most of them don't even refuse to use mobile telephones, because they're hypocritical ignorant fucktards], but they lobby against demonstrably harmless communications masts.

This has a negative lifestyle consequence for those of us who quite like to be able to communicate with people. More importantly, it also means that the police can’t communicate with each other. Even as a vague libertarian, I’m quite keen on rozzers being able to tell each other about, y’know, murderers, rapists, fugitives, all that kind of stuff….

On the very-mild-plus-side, there is a tiny MMR-style evolutionary biteback: most of these hypocritical fucktards, and their kids, do use mobile phones. The emissions transmitted to a bystander from a mobile phone mast are multiple orders of magitude below those transmitted to a mobile phone user by a mobile phone. And the further away a mobile phone user is from a mobile phone mast, the higher power a mobile phone has to transmit (hence more emissions).

So the ironic news is that in the event that years of scientific study were trumped by hippies with A Bad Feeling About This and mobile-phone-head-cancer stuff were proved to be true, the actions of the anti-mast brigade would still have caused far more emission-related harm than good – the only survivors would be the dedicated mobile phone refuseniks, not the ‘no mast near my kids but I still need a phone’ NIMBYs. The tragic news is that – unlike with MMR – the associated increase in mortality wouldn’t be restricted to the idiots and their descendants.