Friday, December 29, 2006

Britain Pays its Bills

While I'm on a Rant-Roll about Britain's budgetary problems, I probably should attempt 'fair and balanced reporting.

Today, Britain made the last installment-plan payment on the 4.3 billion dollars it borrowed from the United States, and 1.2 billion dollars from Canada ... sixty years ago.

The loan, coming at the end of WWII ("The Big One") was intended "to finance vital reconstruction". It was paid back at the agreed 2% interest rate. The final payments brought the total return to about twice the principle.

Malicious Castration

Malicious Castration?

I'll say!

A North Carolina woman has been charged with this offense because she ripped her husbands testicles off, with her bare hands.

Ooooo, that makes me cringe just to write the words.

Ms. Dawson was arrested on four charges. She faces felony counts of assault causing serious bodily injury, malicious conduct by a prisoner, injury to personal property and malicious castration.

Ms. Dawson made her first court appearance Wednesday. That same day she posted a bond of $50,000, according to jail records.
No word about the condition of her husband. My guess would be: really, really unhappy.
Also, no word about the condition of her husband's genitals. My guess would be: really, really mangled.

I'm waiting for the Money Quote from Lorena Bobbitt.


Brits: Citizens, Subjects or Serfs?

I have, from time to time, made passing comment on the egegious predations of The Nanny State on its ... inhabitants. These predations have typically consisted of impositions on their original rights, usually their rights to defend themselves or indeed to own a weapon at all, let alone to use it.

As the rights of citizens to defend themselves have been infringed, they have degenerated in importance from citizenship to subjects of the crown ... actually, subjects of an entrenched bureaucracy. This increasing vulnerability has been mirrored by an increase in the number of goblin predators on the streets. The Brits refer to these (usually male, usually adolescent, usually drunken) goblins as "Yobs", for reasons which may seem reasonable to them but of course makes no sense to the Colonial mind. I've discussed the phenomenon of yob-dom here, in an article which notes in passage that 'yob' is nothing more than 'boy' turned backward. Well, that may make some sense if one considers that boys have become the Dark Side of what once was the youthful incarnation of what should have developed into a responsible, productive citizen of the Empire. Alas, citizenship has gone the way of the Empire, and now the Brits must deal with a serious Crime In The Streets problem.

I discussed representative examples of consequences of the breakdown of civilization's natural checks and balances in August of 2006, in a piece called "Brits lose another 'subject'", wherein I lost all patience with the British legal system and particularly with the degenerate excuse for a police force. We have come to accept that the police are not obligated to protect us from predation, but we had hoped that they would at least make an effort to apprehend violent transgressors against the public peace and welfare. Apparently that is no longer part of the priorities of police in England, and one wonders what they do with the time they spend on duty.

Now we have TWO answers to this question:

One: they sit around filing reports on classroom "homophobia", which theHome Office hopes to have classified as a "Hate Crime".

Gay lobby groups are deeply upset about the use of "homophobic" language in schools, partly because of the common use by teenagers of the word 'gay' as an insult regardless of the perceived sexual orientation of the individual they are insulting.

The Home Office guidance also said that gay lobby groups could set up "third party reporting centres" to pass to police details of "homophobic" incidents which gay individuals themselves have been too scared to report to police.

Police should then record the names and details of individuals passed on by gay lobby groups, it said.

That's right, they don't have time to investigate reports of attempted murder, but they have the time to take action against school children who call their friends 'gay'

Two: they watch television, and shout into microphones:

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- It's Saturday night in Middlesbrough, England, and drunken university students are celebrating the start of the school year, known as Freshers' Week.

One picks up a traffic cone and runs down the street. Suddenly, a disembodied voice booms out from above:

``You in the black jacket! Yes, you! Put it back!'' The confused student obeys as his friends look bewildered.

``People are shocked when they hear the cameras talk, but when they see everyone else looking at them, they feel a twinge of conscience and comply,'' said Mike Clark, a spokesman for Middlesbrough Council who recounted the incident. The city has placed speakers in its cameras, allowing operators to chastise miscreants who drop coffee cups, ride bicycles too fast or fight outside bars.

That's right. The Nanny State has enlisted Big Brother to help her control the unmanageable masses. If their plans work out, this dubious replacement for 'the cop on the block' is only the next step in a long-range program of replacing people with machines.

Almost 70 years after George Orwell created the all-seeing dictator Big Brother in the novel ``1984,'' Britons are being watched as never before. About 4.2 million spy cameras film each citizen 300 times a day, and police have built the world's largest DNA database. Prime Minister Tony Blair said all Britons should carry biometric identification cards to help fight the war on terror.

``Nowhere else in the free world is this happening,'' said Helena Kennedy, a human rights lawyer who also is a member of the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. ``The American public would find such inroads into civil liberties wholly unacceptable.'' (Emphasis added.)

During the past decade, the government has spent 500 million pounds ($1 billion) on spy cameras and now has one for every 14 citizens, according to a September report prepared for Information Commissioner Richard Thomas by the Surveillance Studies Network, a panel of U.K. academics.

I'm not entirely convinced by the comment about the resistance of the American public to intrusive spy-machines. But certainly the Brits have not only allowed their government to take over an increasing control of their personal habits (see below) and daily lives, but they're lining up to buy technology to spy on each other.

According to this article in the London 'Daily Mail':

A new telephone lie detector system promises to pick up on tell-tale signs of stress in a caller's voice whenever they tell a fib.

Available for free, the Kishkish lie detector can be easily downloaded from the web and used by those who make phone calls over the internet.

If your telephone service is one which runs through the Internet (presumably one such as Vonage), you too can tell if your sweetie is lying about 'working late tonite, honey'.


In fact, the Brits have serious budgetary concerns. Their Socialist National Health Service (NHS) system has been increasingly bogged down due to the increased demands on it. A recent news article (for which I cannot immediately find the reference) notes that fully ten percent of their NHS budget is taken up with care for abused children, a situation which threatens to bring the entire Socialist structure to its knees.

Rather than address the root causes of child abuse (unemployment, breakdown of the family unit and civilized rules of conduct in general), the Brits have looked around for 'other places' where they can cut down on the demands for Socialized Medicine. And they have found ... fat people. Also, those who smoke and drink seem to be taking up more than their fair share of the limited resources made available under Socialized Medicine.

It says here that "Smokers, people with alcohol problems and the obese could be denied priority treatment on the NHS if they do not try to change their lifestyle", and apparently the Brits are seriously considering restricting people thus categorized from access to "priority NHS care".

The article, of course, doesn't mention this as a budgetary measure; instead, they tout it as a 'lifestyle' issue:

A Cabinet review group on public services was shocked by the scale of the burden caused by people's lifestyles. "Ministers were shocked by the fact that half of all years of healthy life are lost as a result of behavioural factors (e.g. smoking and diet)," a Government source said.

Ministers want a "cultural change" in public services so the state can support and encourage people to change their behaviour to improve their life chances and well-being.

While they're at it, they're going to address OTHER societal ills by action which on the face of it seems to directly contradict the budgetary issues: they have a problem with yobs who drop out of school, so they're going to throw more money at it.
They also want to extend the number of "contracts" between the citizen and the state, such as the £30-a-week education maintenance allowances paid to over-16s who remain in further education.
Oh, and perhaps you think that proves that they don't REALLY have a problem financing Socialized Medicine?

Experts warned this month that obesity, which costs the NHS £7bn a year, could bankrupt it if left unchecked and predicted that the proportion of obese adults would rise from one in five to one in three by 2010. Smoking-related diseases cost an estimated £1.7bn a year, with the same amount spent on alcohol-related problems. The treatment of alcohol-related harm, such as violent crime and traffic accidents, costs an estimated £20bn.
Coming full-circle back to the question of "how do you solve a problem like Maria Yobs?", the same article offers this observation:

The cabinet reviews have already provoked controversy. A paper for the security, crime and justice group, leaked at the weekend, suggested that crime could rise for the first time in more than a decade as economic growth slows, and that the prison population, already at a record 80,000, could rise to 100,000 over the next five years.

The Government has promised an extra 8,000 prison places but it is not clear how they will be funded. The Treasury has frozen the Home Office budget in real terms from 2008-11 other than for spending on security and anti-terrorism work.

Somehow I find it difficult to accept the assertion that "... crime could rise for the first time in more than a decade ...", given the news reports mentioned above and elsewhere.

(Incidently, the Brits are unable to maintain an acceptable level of performance in their education system, too. That's a situation which isn't noticably better here in the States, either, so don't think I'm suggesting that England is the only 'First World' country with a failing Nanny State understructure.)

Ultimately, the British Government's Great Experiment (in Socialism) is proving to be as unworkable as we always thought it would be. The solution, as evidenced by these measures, seems to be to reduce the status of the average Brit from 'Citizen' to 'Subject' and now all the way down to 'Serf':


Pronunciation: (sûrf), [key]
1. a person in a condition of servitude, required to render services to a lord, commonly attached to the lord's land and transferred with it from one owner to another.
2. a slave.
So much for the wonders of Western Civilization. But less you believe that there's nothing to be done but shake your head in sadness at the decline of what was once a great nation, be of good cheer!

We still have the United Nations to tell us when we're not running our country The Right Way:

UN voices concerns over 'unfairness' in Saddam execution verdict
By Reuters
ZURICH - The UN human rights chief on Thursday called for restraint by Iraqi authorities over Saddam Hussein's death sentence, saying there were concerns about the fairness of the original trial.

"The appeal judgment is a lengthy and complex decision that requires careful study," Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.

Arbour also said that under the terms of international agreements signed by Iraq Saddam had the right to appeal to "appropriate authorities" for possible commutation or a pardon.
The United Nations: Voted "Best Friend" by dictators the world over.

World Socialism, here we come!

Some people are really choked up by the prospect of the impending up-string of The Butcher of Baghdad.

I am not.


Neither were the Iraqis.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gun vs. Knife


H/T Syd, from FRONT SIGHT, PRESS (News From The Sight, M1911 - Vol 232, Dec 23, 2006)

"Never Bring A Knife To A Gun Fight"

Good advice.

Or is it?

This article by Paul Huebl in his Crime File News blog includes a video which illustrates in shocking video just how vulnerable we are to attack by an aggressive, determined knife-wielding assailant.

Even if you're a LEO.

Yes, even you IPSC pistoleros, you CCH holders, you IDPA warriors.


It's not a new story. People at shooting ranges have been talking about the gun vs knife phenomenon for years. There are answers in the lore, but you have to experience it to believe it.

For example:

Last summer, I went to the ARPC range to do a little practice with my IPSC gun. Mike McCarter was there training his USPSA Junior team. I stopped by to watch, and eventually got drawn into the activity.

In an effort to help his juniors appreciate the importance of the draw, Mac set up the classic training exercise. You are the gunner, you have a (plastic, toy, safe) gun in your pocket and 15 feet away from you there is a knife-man with a (plastic, toy, safe) knife in his hand. Suddenly the knife-man starts running toward you, with his knife held before him. Your job is to draw, point and 'fire' at least once before you are within range of the knife.

Never happened. Knife-man always beat gunner to the draw.

A year or two earlier, I took a "home defense" course at the same range, which (for me) was part of the training needed to qualify for a CCH license. The instructor set up the same scenario.

These were older men, and the goal was to teach students what must be done to defend against a charging knife-man.

After the first couple of students failed abysmally to draw and 'engage' in time to ... maybe ... even get a shot off, the instructor began to talk us through the things we as gunners could do to foil a determined, aggressive knife attack.

First, time is your enemy. The knife-man is ready, he knows what he is going to do and when he is going to start his attack. He either knows he can get to you before you can draw, engage and fire. Your only option is to play for time.

The first thing you do is backpedal, FAST! You have probably started within the distance that the knife-man can run before you can draw, so increase the distance. While moving, of course, you should be drawing. (It is a principle of self-defense training that you recognize the threat before an attack is initiated. This allows you to at least clear for your draw; move your coat-tail out of the way, put your hand on your pistol, even draw it. But how many of us are willing to draw a gun before we see a weapon?)

Moving backwards during the draw gives us parts of a second, maybe even a second or two more time to draw and engage.

Also, as soon as the attacker begins to move he has established a vector of attack. That means he is constantly building momentum toward a point, the place where you are standing when he starts to move. One of your options is lateral movement. Given a choice, you should move to the right when attacked by an assailant holding the knife in his right hand. This forces him to make an across-the-body slash rather than just moving his knife hand forward or farther to his right. When attempting an across-the-body slash, the reach of the attacker is dramatically shortened by the need to reach ACROSS the diameter of his torso, so it may be possible to move outside of his reach.

All of this is predicated upon circumstances. If you are backed up against a wall, or bounded by the walls of a narrow alley, your options are drastically limited.

Lesson: don't let yourself be caught in a corner.

Looking at the video, we see that the pistol armed defender stays in place. As a static body, you're nothing more than a soft target. The assailant has the advantage of speed, timing, and momentum. You can turn these advantages against him by movement; to the rear, and/or laterally.

Still, if you're caught flat-footed, you probably are screwed anyway.

If you choose to carry a pistol for personal defense, you need to spend as much time acquiring the habit of situational awareness as you do in gun-handling. That is, you need to pay attention to your surroundings and recognize that you are in the presence of someone who might attack you. The best result of fight is never to get into one. Avoiding a fight is not cowardness; it's the perfect tactic.

Surely there are people who can give you better instruction and advice. I am a correspondant, not an instructor, and as such I can only present my observations and parrot the instructions I have received. I can only say that I have had the opportunity to see the vulnerability and think about it ahead of time. I've given myself as much edge as possible, small though it might be, by learning to recognize a dangerous situation and establishing a plan to avoid an attacker while I simultaneously move to counter-attack.

One more suggestion:
At an IPSC match several years ago, a clever stage-designer presented a fairly realistic demonstration of this conundrum. He set up a 'railroad track' of 2x4 boards, and built a cart to run on it. He put an IPSC target on it, and powered it by stretched bungie cords. When you activated the target, it 'ran forward' the 15 feet or so ... very quickly ... until it reached a position which was nominally The Danger Zone (where a man with a knife could reach you.) The challenge was to draw and engage the target before it reached 'striking distance', which was the end of the track about 3 feet from the shooter starting position.

As long as the sport of IPSC includes the word "Practical", it occurs to me that this would be a very useful training aid and also an interesting Shooting Problem.

Think about including this stage in a future IPSC match.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Recipe

Christmas Cookie Recipe

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Crown Royal

Sample the Crown Royal to check quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Crown Royal again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again.

At this point it's best to make sure the Crown Royal is still OK, try another cup.. Just in case.

Turn off the mixer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off floor...

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a dewscriver.

Sample the Crown Royal to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.... Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Crown Royal.

Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of AR, or somefink.... Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the bottle of Crown Royal.

Make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas


Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, cold, dark and foreboding,
As I sat at the workbench, quite busy reloading,
The empties from autumn were polished so clear,
For primers and powder, and bullets from Speer.

And Sierra boat-tails, and Nosler's Partitions
(My bench ain't no place for brand name omissions!)
All sat in their boxes, right next to the press,
With dies from Midway, and RCBS.

When all of a sudden there came such a jolt,
I grabbed for my Mossberg, and whipped out my Colt.
As I spilled Hodgdon's powder all over the shelf,
I scrambled for cover, just to protect myself;

From up on the rooftop, came hoofbeats and snorting,
Like the noise out of L'il Rock, from Clinton's cavorting!
I eased off the safety, to press-check my auto
With 230-hardball, I'd knock 'em all blotto.

Were these rogue federal agents, sent by Schumer and Reno?
Or a staggering Ted Kennedy, in bad need of vino?
My question was answered with a knock, and some sneezing,
It's Santa, you moron, lemme in there, I'm freezing!

I flipped off the dead-bolt and threw the door wide,
To find St. Nick a'shivering, Rudolph by his side
He eyeballed my Thompson, with a nod of approval
"You're all set," he said, "for dirtball removal."

But this is no raid, we're not here to harm you
Or persecute, prosecute, or even disarm you
Instead, said dear Santa, he needed to borrow

My .357, 'till day after tomorrow.

It's okay he assured me, with a hint of frustration.
I'm enrolled in the National Rifle Association
He showed me his card, 'twas a Life Member rating

I've had this since me and the missus were dating!

And you see, ol' buddy, I've gotten real nervous
Since Hillary was elected, with a promise to serve us
So henceforth as I'm out there, my presents a'stackin'
I want to assure you, I'm legally packin'

And my gift for you this year, should give you a hoot
I've told the Supreme Court to give Brady the boot!
Now, Rudy and I must be on our way."
He said, as he climbed back on the seat of his sleigh.

With the reins in his hand, and my Smith in his pocket
He jingled the sleigh bells and was off like a rocket.
With a pair of speedloaders, and ammo to spare

I knew he'd be safe, he was loaded for bear.

As he faded from view, I could still hear him calling,
From DC, where 'PC' is already falling,
To bad guys in LA, Detroit and Atlanta:

I'm licensed to carry. Don't be messin' with Santa!

Merry Christmas from Jerry The Geek and from SWMBO
Who would knock Anti-gun hopolophobes way akimbo.
Hat-Tip to our friend, thank you The Hobo Brasser
We hope that next year you shoot IPSC much faster!