Saturday, September 10, 2005

Cruelty To Animals ?

When I read the headline "OWNER SAWED OFF HIS DOG'S LEG IN KITCHEN" I assumed it was another tale of how the underclass amuse themselves after a few drinks. Havibg read the details, am I the only person who thinks this guy's been hard done by ?

The court heard on Friday how the three-year Collie cross injured her leg when she was knocked down by a car. Prosser, who is unemployed, bound up her leg for 10 months.

Neighbours later said how they saw Bumper dragging her injured leg as Prosser took it for walks.

When the dog's leg turned gangrenous, Prosser turned his kitchen into a makeshift operating theatre cleaning the floor with boiling water and bleach and covering it with sheets before he carried out the amputation.

He placed Bumper's leg on a concrete block then used an unplugged electric saw and a hammer to cut off the infected leg.
Prosecutor Katy Hanson told the court: "Prosser said the dog's leg had developed gangrene and its eyes were glazed.

"He decided to cut off the leg himself because he could not afford the vet's fee.

"After cutting off the leg he cauterised the wound with an iron bar he heated on a gas stove," she said.

For the crime of causing unneccesary suffering and (probably his real offence) "practising veterinary surgery while unregistered", Mr Prosser has had his pet confiscated, been banned from keeping a dog for ten years, and has been sectioned (compulsorily detained in a loony-bin) for assaulting RSPCA officers who came to his house in relation to the allegations of cruelty.

OK, so Mr Prosser may or may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe he didn't know the PDSA treat sick animals without charge (or maybe he was afraid his pet would be put down). Another person may have been able to get the dog treated without going to the drastic lengths Mr Prosser did.

But Mr Prosser obviously loved the dog, which he had raised from a puppy, and it was stated in court (admittedly by the defence) that the dog was affectionate towards him. The operation, for all its crudity, sounds no worse than what British sailors underwent until the invention of anaesthetics (dosed with spirits, held down while the limb was sawn and the stump cauterised with gunpowder and a match). While I would not recommend kitchen surgery, the guy was by his own lights doing his best for his pet.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Imagine if a flood in England drowned 500 people - to many, it would be proof of the changes brought about by global warming.

It happened in East Anglia in 1953. The British had lost 400,000 citizens to war in the previous 15 years, so were a tougher race back then. Life went on.

Via Clive Davis, this look at the floods.

People were asking how Britain would respond now to a Katrina-like inundation. John Wyndham's 1953 novel The Kraken Wakes (possibly inspired by January's floods), in which the melting of the polar ice-caps inundates the globe, describes a London controlled by armed gangs who kill strangers on sight.

Britain has had great storms before. One such, in Lincolnshire on 5th October 1571, inspired Jesn Ingelow's poem. An eygre is a tidal bore - still called an aegir today.

With that he cried and beat his breast;
For, lo! along the river's bed
A mighty eygre reared his crest,
And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
It swept thunderous noises loud;
Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,
Or like a demon in a shroud.

And rearing Lindis backward pressed
Shook all her trembling bankes amaine;
Then madly at the eygre's breast
Flung uppe her weltering walls again.
Then bankes came downe with ruin and rout-
Then beaten foam flew round about-
Then all the mighty floods were out.

So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
The heart had hardly time to beat,
Before a shallow seething wave
Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet:
The feet had hardly time to flee
Before it brake against the knee,
And all the world was in the sea.

Katrina - "As The Full Horror Of This Sinks In ...."

Via LMWN, this Newton Emerson piece, reprinted from the Irish Times at Slugger O'Toole.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Where DON'T Migrants Settle ?

Wales and Scotland, of course - not to mention Nothern Ireland (and well done Lawrie Sanchez' boys).

As has been written :

... where would you like to go ? To Scotland or Wales, with their strong Nationalist parties ? To Ulster, where Sinn Fein/IRA are still killing people because their forebears were immigrants four hundred years ago ? Or to a country whose national flag should really be emblazoned with the word 'Sorry !'. No choice, really, is it ?

New Tory Leadership Candidate

Mr David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, seems to be the obvious man for the job. He has a sense of humour.

Following on from the £48,000 you gave for the production of a video aimed at giving schoolchildren a greater understanding of the culture and traditions of “Gypsy Travellers,” I am very keen to commission an equally “useful” and “informative” piece of film that will serve to educate said “gypsy travellers” on some of the ancient traditions and communal practices of another group of people, who we might called “settled folk”.

I use the term to describe that large group of people in Britain who opt to live their lives in houses or flats. Although large in number “settled folk” often face prejudice and misunderstanding from gypsy travellers when they come into contact with them.

I should like my film to focus on such issues as the importance which the “settled community” place on property rights, their rigid adherence to an ancient code which they refer to as “planning regulations,” and the time honoured custom of clearing up one’s rubbish.

He has a weblog.

He asks awkward questions about diversity and the homosexual agenda - questions which doubtless are directly responsible for attacks like this.

He has views on economics.

Policymakers in Wales have largely ignored the most important conditions and AMs demonstrate their fragile grasp of basic economics on a regular basis. One day they will call for more to be done in the third world. The next day the same AMs will be condemning a bank for moving a call centre to India.

Let us ignore the fact that the jobs created in the third world by outsourcing are responsible for the increased living standards which politicians claim to want. Instead let us remember that companies go to India and China because they offer a better climate in which to do business.

In Wales major road building projects are on hold. The health service is a disgrace, well run local schools are being shut down and we are turning out an army of graduates who can now get a degree in “surf studies” but are unable to understand basic maths.

Company taxation levels are far lower across the Irish sea something which has surely played a far greater role in Ireland’s economic success than it’s membership of the Euro.

Here we have opted to keep taxes high and spend spend spend in the public sector. The workforce of the Welsh Development Agency alone has doubled over the last few years. Ministers believe that more “advisors” and “consultants” will equal more jobs.

This has appeared to work. Many jobs have been created in the last five years, but almost all of them are in the public sector and being paid for by the dwindling number of people who are actually contributing something tangible to the economy.

The man's the Boris Johnson of the Marches, I tell you !

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Our Future

These figures don't alter the big picture (that Native Brits will be a minority by the end of the century) but they do illuminate it rather well.

As of 2001, 7.5% of the population - one in twelve - were born abroad. Since then there's been a massive influx from Eastern Europe. The incomers have a much higher birthrate then the natives (for example, 25% of London's population were born abroad, but births to foreign-born mothers accounted for nearly 50% of 2003 births, and the 7.5% of the UK population born abroad, the overwhelming majority of whom are in England, accounted for 19% of English births in 2003 - ONS statistics, P75).

The figures on 'countries of birth' (is 'South America' a country ?) are interesting too. As we are all told, we need immigrants to drive our economy forward.

That's presumably why immigration by Albanians is up by nearly 1,400% in ten years, as Albanians become prominent in certain areas of the British economy. The other countries with the largest increases are those ecomomic powerhouses the former Yugoslavia (which includes Kosovo) and Sierra Leone.

As for the figures on economic success - well, once again we all know that if immigrants (who, remember, are vital to our economy) don't do very well here, then it must be down to the racism of the natives.

So we see that 66% of recently arrived Indians are employed, but only 40% of Bangladeshis and 12% of Somalis. We also see that settled Kenyans, Ugandans, Zambians, Zimbabweans, Malawians, Malaysians, Zambians, Sri Lankans, even French, make up a greater proportion of the high-paid than the Native Brits. Perhaps the culture of the communities from which people come is actually more important in determining success than the dreadful racism of the natives.

It must also be remembered that these figures do not tell us about numbers of
a) British-born children of immigrants
b) emigration rates for Native Brits

There's a lot in this report - I may post more.

Other posts on migration -

Swamp Thing

The Writing On The Wall

Goodbye England

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rob Hinkley

is posting some great stuff at the moment. I wish he had an RSS feed.

Analysis of claims that George Bush caused the New Orleans floods.

And a link to this brilliant parody of leftist cultural criticism, a review of 'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'.

In the context of the present political landscape, one cannot help but draw disturbing parallels between the fabled chocolate factory and US foreign policy in the Middle East. The notion that Wonka rescues the indigenous Oompa-Loompas from their “difficult lives” with his gift of industrialization seems to mirror the patronizing notion that the United States is presently rescuing the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq from their preserved savagery. It is disturbing that, this time around, no mainstream movie reviewers, civil rights organizations or social critics have pointed out these parallels or made these comparisons. Could it be that overt racism and colonialism have again become the norm in our society, passing almost without comment? Do we no longer even take the time to hide it under the surface ?

Old School Values

I noted the other day that sex equality tends to go out the window when you're faced with gangs of thieves and rapists.

Here's Baldilocks on men, women and fatherless children. Great stuff. (via Booker Rising)

Men should get women, children and the elderly out of harm’s way or they should protect them until help arrives. They should comfort, not make the situation worse. My point was that many men of that community seemed to have fallen down on the job. Women and girls and babies should not have to fend for themselves on such a large scale at any time, much less during a disaster; but there was the syndrome on display right before our very eyes.

Mrs Du Toit makes the same observations, but she also wants to shoot a few looters.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Religious Suicide Watch - Church Of England II

The Right Reverend David Walker, Bishop of Dudley, on dancing with terrorists.

This paragraph contains so much concentrated liberal stupidity you could package and sell it.

I need to hold on to the fact that well-intentioned and caring individuals can commit appalling atrocities in the name of some cause deemed high enough to justify it. The original aim of Shining Path – to present a solution to the poverty and inequality rife in Peru by promoting a society based on the radical equality that underpins communism – is not of itself evil; indeed it has much in it that is laudable. The use of violence as part of the means to overthrow despotic regimes is the story of the liberation of Africa (and elsewhere) in the 20th century. Somewhere Shining Path lost the balance. It terrorised the general population more than it pressurised the government. And maybe it was ill-fated in presenting a communist solution at the very moment when that political philosophy was collapsing across the globe.

He's talking about the people who did this.

An evangelical Peruvian village leader was executed March 20 after Marxist guerrillas declared him guilty of taking part in police and military activities.

Antonio Izuisa Chasnamote, the mayor of Ramal de Aspuzana, died from two gunshots wounds to the head following a "people's trial" conducted by some 20 terrorists, who identified themselves as members of the Shining Path rebel group. They had captured Izuisa as he returned from a sports outing with his eight children, who witnessed his execution.

Or this.

"True 'genocide' against Ashaninkas began in Jan 90… S[endero] L[uminoso] assassinations vary-from the 'simple' style with a single knife thrust into the throat to the 'torture' style w[h]ere fingers are cut off, eyes gouged out, and then ritual multiple stabbings by younger SL members undergoing 'initiation'. The mass killings and the deliberate torture deaths are meant to terrify the Indians into submission…"

Or this.

Rather than concentrate its attacks on the armed forces or police, Shining Path has predominantly singled out civilians. Attacks on local government officials have been carried out systematically, with the evident intent of undermining the presence of the state in the areas under the organization's influence.(136) The organization has treated with special venom popular leaders such as community activists, trade union organizers, and leftist politicians, who are excoriated as reformists intent on diverting the masses from their revolutionary destiny. It has selectively murdered such civilians during its seventeen-year war against the Peruvian state. In recent years, the same ruthless logic has been applied to members of the organization itself who have advocated renunciation of the armed struggle and have subsequently become targets of threats and assassination.(137)

The Shining Path has pragmatically avoided taking captives unless it intends to execute them. Executions frequently follow a mock trial held in front of forcibly assembled villagers. Descriptions of brutal killings of villagers committed with primitive weapons, such as sticks, stones, and machetes were common in press reports of political violence at the height of the conflict.(138) Often, such killings took place in front of the victims' families and neighbors.

Shining Path has been reported to torture captured civilians before executing them. Prior cases of torture by Sendero Luminoso remain vivid. On November 23, 1990, Javier Puiggrós Planas, an engineer and leader of the conservative Popular Christian Party (PPC), was killed by a Shining Path squad at his plantation in Vilcahuara, Huayra. As reported by Human Rights Watch/Americas:

Having located Puiggrós, the senderistas brought him before the workers and berated him for mistreating them. The workers protested that Puiggrós was a decent man and asked the guerrillas not to kill him. While under interrogation, Puiggrós was tied hand and foot and mistreated physically, but when workers attempted to help him they were threatened with harm. According to a witness, the helpless captive was executed with four shots to the chest.(139)

Kylee Update - and PC Newspeak

I blogged about the brief life of Kylee Dibble earlier this year.

They still haven't found her killer or killers (two men are currently on police bail), but are seeking a new witness who was seen in the area at the time of her death.

According to the BBC, "officers want to talk to a man of mixed race, aged in his 20s, who was seen in the area at the time."

That's not what Avon and Somerset Constabulary say.

He is described as in his 20s, of dual heritage, athletic build, with plaited shoulder-length hair, and a slim face with pointed features. He was wearing a black zip-up jacket with very dark blue jeans, which were flared at the bottom.

Dual heritage, eh ? I guess any of us who aren't cloned can say as much.

I doubt this blog has many readers in Barton Hill, but if you were around on Feb 26/7/8, take a look at the CCTV video and photos. The person or people who killed her are still out there.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Limits Of Equality

Minette Marrin in the Sunday Times :

Last week, for instance, David Goodhart, the much-respected editor of the intellectual magazine Prospect and a self-confessed “sensitive member of the liberal elite”, published a debate on whether the Human Rights Act can undermine national security; in his contribution, suggesting that it can, he talked of “a wider fallacy” about the origin and nature of rights. “People are not born with rights,” he said; at that I almost choked in surprise on my globalised Starbucks caffe latte.

“Regrettably, many of the world’s six billion people have few or none,” he went on. “Rights are a social construct, a product of history, ideas and of institutions. You and I have rights not as human beings, but mainly because we belong to the political and national community called the United Kingdom, with its infrastructure of laws and institutions.”

Exactly so. That is what millions of people of the right, the centre right and small “c” conservatives have always believed, not to mention some of the most distinguished of this country’s political philosophers. It may be what Goodhart has always thought, too — I don’t know.

But what I do know is that for as long as I can remember left liberals have entirely rejected that view and sneered censoriously at anyone bold enough to have doubts about universal human rights; they have used the phrases “human rights” and “universal human rights” as knock-down arguments — as if just to mention the words was itself proof of their validity.

We can see what happens to 'human rights' when things go pear-shaped.

Peter Glover :

"Lawlessness reminds us all that civilisation is a fragile thing. In the blink of the eye of a storm. And what we are left with is the blinding reminder of the nature of man's heart which, if left to its own devices without moral constraint, is capable of the most horrendous evil.

We have been appalled at the nature of the violence across the Middle East. We think we expect no more from some corrupt African or Asian nations. But what happened this week in the backyard of the world's leading 'civilised' super power has shocked not only Americans, but the world. Yet it will not, or ought not, to shock Christians nor Jews. Both know only too well that 'civilisation' is a name that expresses something about how man is able to overcome 'self' and work together in some kind of harmony. But look how quickly this civilised stack of cards took to collapse. Not months. Not weeks. Not even days. Just hours."

(I would expect Asian and African people - even from nations with corrupt government - to react better, because they come from societies where individual gratification has to take second place to family and community - just as it did in the UK a hundred years ago. There were floods of a much greater magnitude, with a much greater death toll, in Bangladesh a few years ago. I bet there were fewer rapes of seven year olds there.)

Two particular universal rights rapidly dissolving in the New Orleans Superdome were racial and sexual equality.

We saw that racism isn't a disease only carried by the hideously white :

He said of his eventual Superdome refuge: "There was a lot of heat from the people in there, people shouting racial abuse about us being white."

And that when push comes to shove, male-female relationships rapidly revert to something a little more basic than worrying about glass ceilings and women's earnings.

Zoe Smith, 21, from Hull, told how students set up a security cordon when the power briefly went down in the Superdome amid fears they were going to be attacked. "All us girls sat in the middle while the boys sat on the outside, with chairs as protection," she said.

Religious Suicide Watch - Church Of England

Following the precedents set by the invitations of the Copeland family to Andrea Dykes' funeral, and the Barton family to the funeral of Anthony Walker, Church of England leaders want to invite the families of the 7/7 bombers to the national memorial service in honour of the victims.

Elsewhere, Bishop of Worcester Peter Selby, who despite living in a place where they set fire to children or abandon them, considers Third World Debt and the oppression of gay clergy to be the greatest evils in the world today, wants to see more married clergy. As long as they're both chaps. Or ladies in sensible shoes.