Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gun control is needed in the USA.

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The Conneticut school massacre was yet another reminder that the US urgently needs to address the excessively easy availability of firearms. Guns can be purchased by almost anyone in the United States and very cheaply at that. Further, background checks are minimal and only apply when buying from a dealer. Second hand sales are not regulated. One can acquire firearms which are of a military grade.

Time and again such horrific incidents occur. Unless firm action is taken it is virtually guaranteed that such crimes will recur ad nauseam.

I can see a little merit in some of the arguments against restricting firearms. One can still kill with a knife or baseball bat. One can kill with one’s bare hands. There are 300 000 000 guns in the United States – almost one for every inhabitant. Are those guns to be taken away/ That is impractical. Crimes can still be committed with guns that are already in circulation.

Of course gun control will not elminiate crime but such a policy can radically reduce it. It is true that murder can be committed with other weapons but at the moment a gun is the weapon of choice for a murderer. Killing with a gun is easy and can be done at a distance. It takes more rage or self control to kill with a knife – a close up weapon. This is partly why murders with those weapons happen less frequently. Guns are easy to use for a mass killing.

In order to make Americans safe some reasonably abridgments of gun rights are called for. All sorts of other rights are limited. The right to freedom of expression is limited under law – sometimes in a reasonable way and sometimes in an unreasonable way. Gun nuts use the thin end of the wedge argument. They say that to permit even the tiniest limitation on their right to carry guns will lead inexorably to the total abolition of gun rights. This is the absolutist fallacy and is seldom applied by the same people to other issues.

The Democrats in the US respect reasonable gun rights. John Kerry was keen to be seen carrying a gun in the 2004 election. He took the photo opportunity to show he is pro-guns. He claimed to have shot a Canada goose. There is no footage of him doing so. The Republicans tend to be crazily pro-guns. They are in the pocket of the NRA. Colin Powell has the valour to be in favour of sensible gun control – he has not spelt out precisely what he means by this. He is one of the few Republicans to take this stance.

The National Rifle Association will do all it can to stop any reform. They propose arming the teachers. I can see how disciplinary situations would get out of hand. Moreover, armed guards are teachers will probably only shoot once the killer has started his slaughter spree.

The US has perhaps the laxest gun laws on the planet. It has one of the highest murder rates of any rich country. This is not murder due to poverty as in Honduras or South Africa. The United States can do far better to tackle this enormous problem.

The terrorist threat has been massively exaggerated because that suited the agendas of the mighty. It is inconvenient for some to confront the gun menace which represents a far greater peril to the US than terrorism does. The spree killers are motivated by personal grudges and a craving for infamy more than by a political or religious cause so they are not terrorists as generally understood. #

The NRA suggested better mental healthcare as a solution. This would be good in any case – even if the US had no history of gun massacres. The fact that there are many mass killings linked to mental illness makes dealing with this problem a matter of major importance. But providing good mental healthcare does not solve the issue on its own and is only part of the solution. A multipronged approach is needed.

I saw an American talk show and I cannot remember the name of it. One statistic came up. The US with 300 million people has about 10 000 gun homicides a year, Japan with 150 million has about 20. The major difference? The easy availability of guns in the US.

Scapegoating rap music does not wash. People can be influenced by all the gansta rap in the world but if a disaffected youth cannot put his hand on a gun then he can do little damage,

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A dream of an old obese woman.

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A week or so ago I had a dream about a fat old woman. She was inclining towards three score in her age. She had short iron grey hair. This plain faced woman had a neutral expression on her face. She wore a shapeless pale blue face.

She offered me fellatio. She did not act in a seductive way when she did so. I at first rejected her offer. Then I reconsidered and I accepted with reluctance and shame. Her ministration was in fact rather good.

I wonder if it reflects my desperation and thoughts of being an oral gigolo. She did not seem to represent anyone I know.

Dreams of recent days.

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I dreamt of a complete merkin named Dursun a few nights ago.

 

I dreamt a few nights ago of a certain rugger drill I did in 1993. It was supervised by David SOle. This really happened. It involved 4 groups in differentr corners of an area of ground running to the centre and passing to the right and running to the left etc…

 

I cannot remember more. I have not been logging on at work and then I forget my dream before I get a chance to type them out.

Criminalising sexuality.

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There is a worrying trend in the Occident,  though chieflyin the United Kingdom, towards outlawing consensual sexual encounters with whole swathes of the population. This is about adult and adult encounters.

There are vulnerable adults. These include Down’s Syndrome people andthose who in a more honest age were called retarded. It is right that adults of sound mind be prevented from copulating with people like this. I value Down’s Syndrome people as being just as human as I am but I recognise that their mentallyweakersituation makes them personallyincapable of making decisions about whether or not to have sex. Furthermore, I find them to b exceedinly unattractive. I do not undersand how a  person of normal intelligence can find Down Syndrome people alluring.

My objection is to labelling huge tranches of grownups as ‘vulernable.’ Mental health is like physical health in that very few people are always 100% healthy. Therefore those who have a mild mental health problem must be off one’smenu. Should it be a crime to indulge in sexual interourse with someone who is depressed or has been depressed? I reason that it should not be illegal. Those who have committed a parasuicidal act would also be forbidden from taking pleasure in their sex life. Anyone who couples with them will be outlawed. Further, anyone who is upset may be seen to be unable to consent. To penetrate someone who is suffering from bereavement or a breakup will be judged a crime.

The feminazis, the left wing moralisers would like to take away many pleasures from us. They are knights in shinging armour – as they see it. They are riding to the rescue of the downtrodden. They want to tell millions of people not to be happy but to consider themselves victims. The nanny staters are having a field day. Since the 1960s the state has been pushed out of the bedroom. Now it is creeping back in. Social workers will be rubbing their hands in glee as will criminal lawyers. They can already here the cheques hitting their bank accounts. They abuse industry can invent endless new victims to pretend to help. New monsters can be dreamt up to pursue. Rafts of legislation may be drawn up. Rights may be abridged. ALL this in the name of protecting the feeble. We are all in need of protection because the peril is so great. The danger is so tremendous that anyone who asks a pertinent question must be an abuser too.

One may not have a sexual liaison with an adult student or a colleague. This is an attack on our liberty. If I wish to bone my tutor no one may stop me.

Such laws would place a large proportion of the population off limits.  This is absurd,unworkable and unjust.

Anyone who has partaken of psychotropic substances will be said to be unable to fully consent to conscupscience. Likewise a girl who has quaffed some tipple will be said to be incapable of rendering real consent to a horizontal encounter. This is a damnable doctrine.

Forbidding encounters between adults and children is of course sensible and right. Of course there is the question of definition. Great Britain has chosen to frame this at 16 and that is about right.

A British Sikh Regiment should be raised.

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I read with enthusiasm of plans in 2007 for the United Kingdom to raise a Sikh Regiment. I am not a sardar myself but I have met scores of such gentlemen and there were only about 5 ever whom I disliked.

I look with admiration at the accomplishments of the Indian Army both during and since the British Raj. A British Sikh Regiment could have continued this annal of gloriousn deeds and meritortious service. Despite the centuries of distinguisged martial prowess by those of the Sikh faith precious few had enlisted in the British military since 1947. This was a lacuna that was in need of remedy.

Her Majesty’s Armed Forces were having trouble in recruiting at that time in the midst of an economic boom. The long supperating conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan worsened an already difficult situation.  Nevertheless it was for positive reasons and not for negative ones that I immediately reacted favourably to the notion of forming a regiment of Sikhs.

Let is be noted that no one suggested that this unit be restricted solely to acolytes of Guru Gobind Singh. The regiment would chiefly appeal to Sikhs of course but no one would be turned away on the grounds of faith or race. Regiments tend to have a regional identification. If you like the Sikh regiment would be connected to the Punjab since that is the ancestral home of the vast majority of people of the Sikh religion.

Having a common faith, history, homeland and so forth would give such a regiment an espirit de corps that would be difficult to rival.

India’s population is only made up of 2% Sikhs and yet they provide fully 25% of the strength of the army, a similar proportion of the air force. They comprise rather less of the navy principally consequent upon the fact that their homeland is many leagues from the brine.  Therefore there is a tremendous military tradition to draw upon.

The British Army is ever eager to improve its diversity. This coud have been achieved exceedingy easily by the expedient of forming the regiment mentioned herein. The creation of the same would have been greatly welcome by the British Sikh community.  Sikhs in India and indeed around the globe would have reacted with universal approval at such a move. It would have been acclaimed by the community of Sikh Britishers partly because it could acclaim them as being fully accepted into British society.

Sikh community worthies intimated to the British top brass that they would have no trouble in furnsihing the 700 youths needed to man such an outfit.

My vision for such a regiment is that it would obviously carry the Union Flag. Its regimental colour would have some Sikh symbols on it. It could have a Punjabi motto. I can perceive no reasonable objection since other units of the British military have mottoes in languages other than English such as Latin, Welsh, Irish etc… The language of command would be English since it would need to be able to interact with the other units in the British Armed Services.

Having a Sikh regiment would make matters a great deal simpler in terms of supplying sardarjis with food necessitous to their dietary requirements and providing them with a granthi as chaplain.

Of course a leaven in the regiment would be made up by men of other races and religions. One does not need to be from Yorkshire to join a Yorkshire regiment nor from Mercia to join a Merican one.

There would have to be a few non-Sikhs in the regiment to start with for the reason that there would not be enough Sikh officers for such a unit at first. There would be 700 enlisted men. The officers and NCOs would have to be seconded from other regiments. In practice these men would mostly be whites of indigenous British origin. This may of course be redolent of a regiment of the Indian Army prior to 1919 where the officers were white and the men Indian. After a few years there would be enough Sikhs who had become officers for this situation to change.

I suggest that all men – whether Sikh or not – be required to wear a turban and grow a breard. This is to make it uniform. Long hair would be optional as one cannot see that with the  turban one. One downside is that with a beard a gas mask may not be air tight. They had better be posted to places where gas attacks are unlikely.

I can just picture the scene of this magnificent regiment marching through Southall. Elderly Sikh gentleman would be puffed with pride. It would creat enormous happiness as well as being a welcome addition to the British Army.

There was  Jewish Lads’ Brigade in the Second World War. This is a precedent. In India regiments recruited on a communal basis do not seem to give rise to significant problems. Indeed there is much to be said in their favour.

If one called it the British Punjabi Regiment would that be more acceptable? If so why not.\

The barracks could be in Southall which is the heart of the Sikh community in the UK. This London suburb may be thought of as Amritsar West. The companies of the regiment could have germane names such as Amritsar Company, Patiala Company, Julundur Company or perhaps named in honour of heroes of the SIkh military past.  Though perhpas locating the base in Southall would be too close to home. A little further away might be better like Reading. This would also be part of the way to Birmingham which is another focal point for Sikhs in the United Kingdom.

The Commission for Human Rights and Equality veoted the creation of this unit. What an asinine decision. Many excellent soldiers will never be recruited. The Sikh community could be honoured. Its place in British society could be cemented. A splendid opportunity has been missed. If other communities want such a regiment to be raised such as a British Muslim Regiment, British Hindu Regiment. British West Indian Regiment then of course such a request should be aceded to. It is a pity that the CHRE has set back such a laudable cause. I sincerely hope that there will be a rethink.

Jai British Sikh Regiment.

Abortion in Ireland and the case of Savita Halappanavar.

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Savita Halappanavar was a 31 year old Indian living in  Ireland. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she went to hospital over some complication. The foetus had effectively miscarried but because a heartbeat was detected the doctors said that she could not have the termination that she wanted. This woman ended up dying of septicamia. She was allegedly told that ”this is a Catholic country” which is why her request for a termination of pregnancy was declined. In fact only about half of people in Ireland practise Catholicism. The constitution deleted any reference to it in 1971. Laws are not framed in order to comply with the doctrines of the Church of Rome.

It would be quite wrong to legislate on the base of a solitary tragic case. One needs to consider the issue in the round. As the old adage runs hard cases make bad law.

 

As it is there seems to have been a strong case for this female to be granted the abortion that she sought. Irish law provides for lawful termination where there is ”a real and substantial risk to the health of the mother.” Notice it does not have to be her life that is in danger only her health. Was there a real and substantial risk to her health? There was most certainly because she died soon afterwards. Therefore the wrong decision was made. She should lawfully have been granted her wish.

Pro-Choice campaigners have turned this woman into a martyr for their cause.

One often hears people say that those from the Occident who go to India and like places must accept the local laws. Surely the reverse also holds true.

India has very lax laws on termination. Many pro-Choice people applaud that. Do the radical pro-CHOICE people not recognise that there is an ethical aspect to this most vexatious question? In their own way they do. They think that it is an ethical imperative to allow by law the termination of pregnancy at any stage, for any reason – even without giving a reason.

As readers of this blog will know I am reluctantly and very moderately pro-Choice. Termination when not necessary to save the life of the woman is immoral but I would not outlaw it. It is going to happen anyway. One must try to at least reduce it. Prohibition of anything is seldom effective.

 

As the Times of India has said this is not a case of India versus Ireland. Chest puffing posturing and trading insults will not allow us to sift the case and determine what happened. This is about an individual, her life and the law. It is not an international dispute. One Indian statesman said that India should take the Republic of Ireland to the International Court of Justice for murder. The thing is that this is implying that withholding medical treatment is murder which plainly it is not. Further, the treatment in question is highly contentious. Some call abortion ‘murder.’

I do not think the law needs to be amended so as to avert a similar situation from arising in future. The existing law was not applied properly.

In the Irish Republic we have Great Britain do our dirty work for us. About 4 000 Irishwomen per year travel across the water for the purpose of bringing an end to the life of their foetuses. Some go to the Netherland and further afield. Northern Ireland is about to open an abortion clinic.

I think more clarity and consistency is called for. In the old days it was a crime to go abroad to end a pregnancy. I remember reading of a GP and a woman at that telling her young female patient that if she, the GP, had reason to believe that this patient was planning to go overseas with a view to procuring an abortion than the GP had a legal duty to inform the Gardai. The Gards would then be duty bound to prevent this woman from going abroad. Now information about abortion is legal and so is going abroad for this purpose. It would be less hypocritical to allow termination at home in the Irish Republic.

A dream of beig driven by Sean and a dolphin show

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I dream I was in the back of a small car. The vehicle was being driven by Sean. He is the son of a fireman. Sean is an Irish Londoner with mildly left wing views. He also a votary of Ganymede.I never saw his face.Wespoke i  quiet accents.The ambience was tranquil. I spoke about his beig a gaylord.I thought of revealig to him that I am 1% nancy boy but did not in the end.We have clashed a lot in the past.Wewere btoh solicitors.Wewerregoig to meet a clietThw wather was uremarkable as weas theflat lad otuside.I do ot remember seig ay other cars.In fact Sean is a barrster i reallie.

 

We came to mee the client and I got a bit worried as I wasin shoret. Should I CHGE ITO BROW CORDS.i AS OLY HAD BLUE PLASTIC CLOGS AS footwear.I nickeda pair like this from the pool lately.

 

I do not remember meeting the client in the end/

The nex episode was queueing to go into a dolphin show.In fact I took my baby to suc a show this summer. There were lots of people. But westairs wrnt down and they were underw ater.AVERYOne had to go under water and swim up into the amphitheatre where the show washeld.This struck me asodd.Mnay peoplemuttered about it and oubted they could manage it.I had no such doubtsmyself.I di not get that far in the end te dream eded.Maybe the watercomes fromme havingthe need to tak aslash.oreover,I used my mew vdeo cmaera for the first time at tha dolphn show and I warehcrint ehc ameralast night