Thursday, May 31, 2007

From John Wayne To Johnny Depp

What has this world come to? From an article in the Washington Post we now find ourselves being posed with the following question...Swish or swagger?

If you're wondering what it takes to be a man these days, check out Johnny Depp's wrist. As the unconstrained Capt. Jack Sparrow in the newly released "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," he wears a wisp of white lace tied just above his left hand.

Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow: a perfect role model for today's young men? A token of his feminine side? Perhaps. Or maybe it's just what Depp said it is: a trophy piece from a young woman.

I don't think of Mr. Depp as a man's man. More of a caricature of a man. It's funny to watch him prance around as a pirate, but I'm not sure I'd want my grandson mimicking him. Swish

Swish or swagger? That's the choice that men -- particularly young men -- find themselves facing today.

I don't think so.

I don't do either one. And most of the men I know are the same. We do what we have to do and try not to make a mess of it.

Only some As author Calvin Sandborn -- who juggled teaching and child-raising as he wrote "Becoming the Kind Father" -- says, society used to assign certain characteristics to men, including power, aggressiveness, professional success and autonomy. Other, shall we say, swishier traits were expected of women, such as the ability to create and nurture connections, kindness and communication.

There is nothing feminine about being able to communicate. Remember Ronald Reagan? There is also nothing feminine about being kind. It is an admirable human trait whether found in man or woman and, quite frankly, we need more of it as well as patience. There is nothing manly about road rage and wife beating.

As a matter of fact, this Memorial Day weekend I was told about a tar and feather party that occurred about 60 years ago in the north part of the county. It seems some men of the community got tired of a certain cretin who was abusing his wife rather badly; they tarred and feathered this man to teach him a lesson. The elderly woman who related the story told me that the instigator of the party was her father.

No matter how I try I can't see Johnny Depp doing something like like. John Wayne, certainly, but not Johnny. It takes a certain amount of physical and mental toughness to do something like that - a tough attitude and the conviction that what you are doing is right.

I didn't say roughness, although it may come to that. Being tough means to be strong, durable, vigorous, able to endure hardship or adversity. Being rough means to be coarse, harsh, rude or even violent. A man can be tough without being rough.

Johnny Depp is neither.

Can't Say We Didn't Warn You

According to the Washington Times, the RNC has shut down its telephone solicition operations and fired all 65 solicitors last week.

The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.

My, my.

Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.

Tsk, tsk. Sounds like they were faced with reality as Americans have had enough of the illegal alien shell game.

"The phone-bank employees were terminated," RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wrote by e-mail in response to questions sent by The Times. "This was not an easy decision. The first and primary motivating factor was the state of the phone bank technology, which was outdated and difficult to maintain. The RNC was advised that we would soon need an entire new system to remain viable."

Fired employees acknowledged that the committee's phone equipment was outdated, but said a sharp drop-off in donations "probably" hastened the end of the RNC's in-house phone-bank operation.

That's bull.

If the money is rolling in there is no way they'll shut down a profitable operation. They're getting skunked.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rip Off Advisory

Americans are some of the most generous people on the planet. It is estimated that the American public gave over $240 billion in 2003 to over a million organizations. So it burns me when individuals seek to enrich themselves by masquerading as a charity to get into your wallet. Trust me, most states make it completely illegal for a police officer to ask for donations, although they may hire a coordinator to solict funds for them. Be advised, these fund raisers usually keep at least 50% of the donations for themselves as fees.

The following is an advisory from the NY State Police Superintendent Felton regarding charitable donations to his agency, but his advice extends to any organization that purports to represent law enforcement.

In response to periodic inquiries from the public, New York State Police Acting Superintendent Preston L. Felton advises state residents that neither the State Police , nor any agency authorized by it, ever solicits donations from the general public. A number of organizations with police-styled names conduct fund-raising campaigns in which they solicit monetary donations for various purposes.

Solicitors appeal for dollars to help support law enforcement initiatives, such as the purchase of safety equipment, charitable summer camp programs or anti-DWI campaigns. A recent example of the results of an investigation into the questionable practices of a telemarketer soliciting for a purported charity using the name, The Fraternal Order of New York State Troopers,resulted in the fund-raising corporation and its owner being barred from soliciting charitable contributions in New York State and required the Fraternal Order to pay its remaining donations to a legitimate charity.

The New York State Police receives its funding through the State Budget and does not solicit public donations. The only organization authorized to accept donations on behalf of the New York State Police is the not-for-profit Trooper Foundation, Inc., headquartered in Latham, NY. Although the Trooper Foundation does accept donations for the State Police Summer Program (to benefit underprivileged children) and other State Police initiatives, it does not engage in telephone solicitations to the general public.

The New York State Office of the Attorney General investigates illegal and questionable telemarketing operations in New York State. Anyone who receives a solicitation by telephone, mail, email or in person, from someone seeking money and who purports to be a representative or employee of the New York State Police, or suggests an affiliation with the New York State Police, is advised to get as many details as possible about the caller and to report this to the New York State Attorney Generals Charities Bureau or the nearest Attorney Generals Office.

As a matter of crime prevention, people should be wary of solicitors who:

Do not provide an address or phone number;
Demand immediate payment orpayment in cash;
Seem vague as to how contributions will be spent;
Refuse to provide financial information about a charitable organization;
Appear angry or impatient when asked reasonable questions about theorganization they represent or the programs for which contributions will be used.

More tips on charitable giving can be found at the NY State Attorney General's website,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Too Much Or Too Little

I'm not sure what I dislike the most; too much or too little law n' order. Either way, it is a direct reflection of a society's abiltity to police itself, that is, the extent of self control exercised by its citizens. If the government is too strong, you have tyranny - a police state. If it is too weak you have anarchy - which can also be a form of tyranny - the tyranny of the mob. Either way personal freedom suffers.

In England they are blindly marching to the tune of Orwell's "1984." Constant government surveillance, thought impossible only a few decades ago, is closer to reality. Big Brother technology has advanced to the point where there is a surveillance camera for one out of every fourteen Brits.

AN increase in closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras risks turning Britain into an Orwellian society, a senior police officer said in an interview broadcast today.

The deputy chief constable of Hampshire Police, in south-east England, Ian Readhead, said he did not want to live in a country like that in author George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, with surveillance on every street corner.

This is a country that for all intents and purposes, no longer allows you to defend yourself. It no longer trusts its citizens to do the right thing. Transitioning from relatively peaceful, lawful societies, England, Wales and Scotland are now some of the most violent nations on the planet (according to a UN report). And to fight this decline the Brits throw up more cameras.

I'm really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras and what comes next," he told BBC television, highlighting the fact that a village in his area had installed CCTV, despite crime rates being low. "If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation with cameras on every street corner? I don't think it's the kind of country I want to live in."

Nor I, Deputy Chief Constable Readhead. It is a terrible thing to watch a nation like England undergo these changes.

He also called for a review of speed cameras and limits to the retention of DNA, which is taken from anyone arrested even if they are not charged. Britain's DNA database is the largest in the world, with 3.6 million samples.

There are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain – one for every 14 people. Every person is caught on camera about 300 times each day. A new system of "talking" CCTV was unveiled earlier this year.

Imagine, every person is captured on a surveillance camera 300 times a day. Are they any safer? It appears not.

And who are all these people who are supposed to be watching all these cameras? I doubt that there are but a single viewer for every thousand cameras.

We recently reviewed a gun shot alert system that combines audio and video surveillance. The problem is, someone has to be available to keep a pair of eyes on the video component. Otherwise it is just another way to document a life snuffed out prematurely rather than trying to prevent such a death.

We are told by residents that is is extremely difficult to obtain a firearm to defend yourself. Handguns have been all but eliminated (except for criminals). It appears that all these cameras are nothing but an electronic post mortem.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas last year warned that Britain was becoming a "surveillance society" where CCTV cameras, credit card analysis and travel movements are used to track people's lives minute by minute.

A study by human rights watchdog Privacy International last November ranked Britain bottom of the democratic Western world and alongside Russia for its record on protecting individual privacy.

I wonder where the outrage is in England? This truly stinks. The British government has banned guns and now is seeking to control knives.

A Scottish Executive spokesman added: "While violent crime has decreased recently in Scotland, people are still the victims of violence, especially knife crime.

"That's why we will address the culture of violence by doubling the maximum penalty for carrying a knife to four years, by strengthening police powers of arrest for people suspected of carrying a knife, and by raising the age at which a person can buy a non-domestic knife from 16 to 18.

"We are also reforming Scotland's drinking laws to help reduce the connection between alcohol and violent crime."

I think I would rather get shot than sliced up by some drunken hooligan. Years ago I had a case where a drunken brawl at a bar resulted in one man receiving over three hundred stitches to close his wounds. What's next on the English list of forbidden trinkets? Cricket bats? Heavy shoes?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

An Issue With Authority

The murder of a small town New Hampshire cop is a microcosm of what is happening all over America.

N.H. Town Divided Over Killing of Police
FRANCONIA, N.H. (AP) -- Liko
Kenney, described by friends as a free-spirited "Hippie kid," had a history of bad blood with police Cpl. Bruce McKay. So there was the potential for trouble when a traffic stop brought them together again.

Within minutes of the Friday stop, both were dead, dividing this town's 924 residents between those who see McKay as a fallen hero and those who considered him a bully with a badge.

Corporal Bruce McKay was a no nonsense law 'n order guy. His murderer was a so called free spirited "hippie" who had an issue with authority. We'll get back to that.

Authorities say McKay, 48, stopped Kenney, 24, for speeding, and Kenney asked to deal with a different officer and drove away.

By the time McKay caught up about a mile down the road, Kenney was in a frenzy, according to his friend and passenger, Caleb Macauley.

Sorry, you don't have that option. Life isn't a MacDonald's counter even though the cop can supersize your ticket. I wonder how this kid was brought up. Further on the article gives us an inkling. And also keep this in mind, Kenney was in a frenzy, not the cop.

McKay forced him off the road and pepper-sprayed him. Kenney then shot McKay four times and drove over him. Gregory Floyd, a passing motorist and ex-Marine who saw it all, grabbed McKay's gun and shot Kenney to death when he refused to put his gun down. Authorities quickly ruled the killing justified.

Even the reporter tries to make it sound as if the authorities did something inappropriate. A place like Grafton County (the county where Franconia is located; Grafton is 96% white)shouldn't have much on its plate; these are the 2000 crime stats for Grafton, they only had 31 Part I crimes in all of 2004. The DA could have moved this investigation quickly through a grand jury since there appears to have been only the two witnesses and a limited crime scene.

There are indications that Liko Kenney grew up in a atmosphere of privilege.

Liko Kenney grew up on his grandparents' rustic tennis camp in Easton, where the extended family still lives. Liko's parents own a coffee plantation in Hawaii, and he followed their seasonal migrations: the islands in winter, the White Mountains in summer.

"He was kinda just a happy, hippie kid. He'd do anything to help anyone," said Holly Hayward, 48, who said she'd known Kenney his whole life.

Except pull over for a police officer. Kenney also manifested a fierce temper when crossed.

Friends and family called Kenney a free-spirited outdoorsman who loved all-terrain vehicles and had issues with authority. Court records show he could be volatile even with his own family. In January 2003, an aunt, Larisa Kenney, sought a restraining order against her nephew, then 19. In a handwritten letter, she told the court Liko had frightened her by chainsawing trees near her cabin, sending one crashing onto her roof as she slept. When she confronted him, she said Liko exploded - shouting, grabbing her and then following her on his ATV as she ran to safety at a relative's home.

This doesn't sound like a peace loving hippie. He sounds more like nutcase with a short fuse. He was calm as long as he got his own way.

Just weeks later, Liko Kenney had a violent run-in with McKay, who had followed tire tracks into an isolated parking area. Court documents say it took three officers to subdue Kenney, who tried to escape three times, once while cuffed and shackled. One officer said Kenney grabbed McKay in the groin and that McKay reacted by punching Kenney in the face. Kenney's family and many in town say McKay broke Kenney's jaw that night, but Grafton County Attorney Rick St. Hilaire said Kenney's jaw was not broken.

So we have a young man from a very rich family who fights with police and threatens his own relatives when he doesn't get what he wants. We don't know whether or not he worked, went to school or anything else other than he liked ATV's and being outdoors. He appears to have been treated differentially by everyone he came into contact with. He does not appear to have been a disciplined individual.

We see the same kind of behavior at G8 conferences where privileged middle calls kids destroy property and threaten to turn a city upside down if they don't get their way.

We also see this in ghetto kids who go through the juvenile justice system without ever being disciplined for what they do. We have teens who have been arrested over twenty times for relatively minor offenses (always getting a ride from lenient judges) suddenly start shooting people.

I believe that the primary cause for this is piss poor parenting. It is made worse by judges who refuse to enforce the laws by imposing punishment for even minor offenses. Our City Court system is rife with this.

I do not believe in giving someone a few bites of the apple. One nibble and you get the whole apple shoved up your ass. Then you don't want another bite.

There is a whole lot more to this subject matter and I know that I am hardly skimming the surface. But it is very important to realize that an individual's perception of law is key to how that individual stays within the bounds of law. If this is not taught at an early age and reinforced by the schools and the courts, then we have the problems that light up the evening news so often. And Liko Kenney is just one example.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mumia Update

From the Philadelphia Enquirer:

On July 3, 1982, a Philadelphia jury took just four hours to sentence Mumia
Abu-Jamal to death for murdering Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Nearly a quarter-century later, Abu-Jamal has remained alive through a series of appeals. His bid to escape the death penalty is now at a critical stage.

The man who murdered Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner is perhaps finally hearing the approaching footsteps of his executioner. His rightful execution has been denied for twenty-five years.

The case will be argued this week in the region's federal appeals court, and if Abu-Jamal loses, Philadelphia's most controversial death-row inmate will be in imminent peril of lethal injection.

"He realizes that death is just a few doors away," said his attorney, Robert R. Bryan, a San Francisco lawyer who specializes in death-penalty appeals.

Still not close enough for my liking but then again I'm not a particularly patient man. This Mumia is a waste of oxygen and needs to have a good long talk with the worms.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia will hear legal argument on whether the death sentence should be upheld, or whether Abu-Jamal should get a new trial or a new sentencing hearing.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia will hear legal argument on whether the death sentence should be upheld, or whether Abu-Jamal should get a new trial or a new sentencing hearing.

There isn't a question of whether or not Mumia committed the murder. He did it. The reason why Mumia isn't composting right now is that an idiot federal judge, U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr.

... rejected all but one of the 29 legal points raised by the defense.

Yohn overturned the death sentence, ruling that the jury may have mistakenly believed it had to agree unanimously on any "mitigating" circumstance - a factor that might have caused the jury to opt for life.

The jury "may have" believed something or other. That was in 2001.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Virginia Says Enough

The Virginia Attorney General, Robert F. McDonnell, has sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bloomberg advising him to stop
... arming private investigators with hidden cameras and sending them into Virginia gun stores to try to make illegal buys.
This July a Virginia law goes into effect that prohibits this practice unless the local police or federal officers are part of the investigation. So Bloomberg wants to make a point by sending non-governmental contractors into another state to make illegal gun buys.

If Bloomberg is so concerned, why doesn't he use his police to do this? The NYPD are routinely involved investigating countless interstate criminal enterprises in cooperation with the feds and out of state local investigators. Why isn't he doing this now?

This is nothing but political football and an attempt to extort money by initiating civil suits against the gun dealers.

He has already been smacked down by the US Department of Justice for making these same illegal gun buys. When you start setting up people who otherwise would commit no crime, it is called entrapment. And by his illegal actions, Bloomberg endangered ongoing investigations by legitimate law enforcement officials.

several law enforcement officials said as many as eighteen active law enforcement investigations were put in jeopardy.

We call it deconfliction when cops from different agencies notify each other when they are commencing an investigation in another jurisdiction. You don't want your cops shooting at each other or wasting their time by investigating your cop who is investigating their cop. And you certainly don't want some private dick pissing all over your case without so much as a by your leave.

Bloomberg needs to get smacked again when the Virginia cops start locking up his PI's. And they'll get slapped with a felony to boot.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Moderism Please

More to address my own disquiet on the issue of Muslim moderates then anything else, here is a story from

"Moderate Unicorns," huffed a reader, responding to my recent plea that Western states bolster moderate Muslims. Dismissing their existence as a myth, he notes that non-Muslims "are still waiting for moderates to stand and deliver, identifying and removing extremist thugs from their mosques and their communities."

It's a valid skepticism and a reasonable demand. Recent events in Pakistan and Turkey, however, prove that moderate Muslims are no myth.

I read about the demonstrations in Turkey and blogged about it, but I was not aware of the ones in Pakistan. There are many Muslims who do not want to live under shari'a law either.

In Pakistan, an estimated 100,000 people demonstrated on April 15 in Karachi, the country's largest city, to protest the plans of a powerful mosque in Islamabad, the Lal Masjid, to establish a parallel court system based on Islamic law, the Shari‘a. "No to extremism," roared the crowd. "We will strongly resist religious terrorism and religious extremism," exhorted Altaf Hussain, leader of the Mutahida Qaumi Movement, at the rally.

I believe that these moderates (or maybe that is the wrong word - how about just human beings who want to be left alone to raise their families as they see fit without getting hacked up) are sick and tired of the same crap from the same radical imams that inspire the same acts of murder and torture.

In Turkey, more than a million moderate Muslims in five marches protested the bid of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to take over the presidency of the republic, giving it control over the two top government offices (the other being the prime ministry, currently filled by Recep Tayyip Erdoðan).

We had a young Turkish girl visit our church a few years ago; she was a high school senior, an exchange student. Simply a lovely, lovely girl. Perhaps she or membesof her family joined in the demonstrations.

Nor are the masses alone in resisting AKP's Islamists. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer warned that, for the first time since 1923, when the secular republic came into being, its pillars "are being openly questioned." He also inveighed against the imposition of a soft Islamist state, predicting that it would turn extremist. Onur Öymen, deputy chairman of the opposition Republican People's Party, cautioned that the AKP's taking the presidency would "upset all balances" and create a very dangerous situation.

I think that a lot of Muslims "get it." They see the properity in America, they have relatives of their own or relatives of their friends who come here and tell them what they find. We are not the sex-obsessed, drug addicted, godless wage slaves that they are led to believe. America is a beautiful country with a incredible variety of wonderful people. The overwhelming majority have absolutely no inclination to hack you or your family to pieces. In fact, they would be horrified.

Sure, we have our idiots and a fair collection of monsters too, but life here is still better than life over there. That's why they are waiting in lines to come HERE. Do the math.

The military – Turkey's ultimate powerbroker – issued two statements reinforcing this assessment. On April 12, the chief of staff, Gen. Mehmet Yaþar Büyükanýt, expressed his hope that "someone who is loyal to the principles of the republic—not just in words but in essence—is elected president." Two weeks later, the military's tone became more urgent, announcing that the presidential election "has been anxiously followed by the Turkish Armed Forces [which] maintains its firm determination to carry out its clearly specified duties to protect" secular principles.

Since the death of Ataturk, the Turkish army has stepped up to the plate more than once to return the country to a stable, secular course.

This resolute stand against Islamism by moderate Turkish Muslims is the more striking when contrasted with the cluelessness of Westerners who pooh-pooh the dangers of the AKP's ascent. A Wall Street Journal editorial assures Turks that their prime minister's popularity "is built on competent and stable government." Dismissing the historic crossroads that President Sezer and others perceive, it dismisses as "fear mongering" doubts about Prime Minister Erdoðan's commitment to secularism and ascribes these to petty campaign tactics "to get out the anti-AKP vote and revive a flagging opposition."

Of course I would still like to hear more from these Muslims, but perhaps it is not all their fault. As the newspaper saying goes, "If it bleeds it leads." Muslims demonstrating against radicalism may not be bloody minded enough for the MSM.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

What The UN Does Best

The United Nations has received the usual kind of press that we may come to expect from this august body: drunkness and whoring.

UN staff in East Timor have been severely reprimanded and had an 11pm curfew imposed in an attempt to wipe out rampant drink driving.

One foreign employee has resigned and been sent home after allegedly drunkenly assaulting police when she was stopped while driving erratically in the capital, Dili.

[...] since March 1, there had been more than 80 traffic accidents where UNMIT vehicles were the only ones involved, and that "the frequency of accidents has been increasing significantly".

Excuse me. I acccidently omitted several of the UN's sterling qualities, it's Drunkeness, Assaulting Police Officers, Demolishing UN Property and Whoring. Now for the whoring.

UNITED Nations police and civilian staff are openly violating what the UN promised would be a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual abuse and misconduct in deeply religious East Timor.

Expatriates in Dili say a dozen brothels have recently opened in the city, with UN vehicles parked outside most nights. Teenage Timorese prostitutes gather just before dusk opposite a hotel on Dili's waterfront, where UN vehicles can be seen picking them up.

It is apparent what knid of economic development the UN is bringing to poor countries around the world. Bawdy houses and red light districts.

"It's disgusting … these people who have supposedly come here to help the Timorese are abusing these poor girls," says an Australian mechanic drinking in the hotel's second-floor bar, where he observes the scene every night.

One of the brothels is employing a dozen ethnic-Chinese prostitutes, expatriates say.

A UN employee told The Age that the world body was turning a blind eye to prostitution by its employees.

This is not a blind eye. This is a wink and a nod. But this is nothing new. UN forces have a proud tradition of drunkeness and rape (also here) to uphold while being supported by US tax dollars.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

More Aussie Gun Control

The debate goes on and on over gun control. Then we get something like this.

SYDNEY is in the grip of a wave of gun crime, with a weapon fired or used to menace innocent residents six days in every seven. Police figures show there have been no fewer than 40 incidents involving guns across the metropolitan region since the beginning of last month.

About ten years ago Australia initiated a gun buy back program; by time the program ended in the summer of 1998, over 600,000 firearms were turned in and destroyed. They estimated that there were about 1.5 million firearms in Australia at the time.

The gun crime wave wasn't supposed to happen. The presence of guns in so many recent crimes is at odds with the State Government's repeated insistence that the incidence of gun crime is continuing to fall dramatically.

The armed robbers, carjackers and home invaders have not discriminated between districts of the city, striking everywhere from Double Bay to Sydney's west, from the southern to the northern suburbs.

Then in this report some Aussie social scientists boast how the gun control laws have reduced gun related deaths by one half.

They argue that the risk of dying by gunshot has halved since Australia destroyed 700,000 privately owned firearms. They say, " Not only were Australia's post-Port Arthur gun laws followed by a decade in which the crime they were designed to reduce hasn't happened again, but we also saw a life-saving bonus: the decline in overall gun deaths accelerated to twice the rate seen before the new gun laws."

The Port Arthur laws were designed to reduce the incidence of gun violence. But it looks like that hasn't worked out as planned. Not only has violent crime increased in Aussieland, but now the firearm related content is also increasing. If dangerous guns were removed from the population, then why is this happening?
I suggest that most of the guns turned in, or maybe all, were formerly owned by law abiding citizens. The punks and thugs kept theirs. And they are using them again.
Now that it is alnmost impossible to get a handgun to protect yourself, violent crime in Australia has increased.
Comparing Australia's violent crime stats from 1996 (when these dangerous guns were in the hands of law biding citizens) violent crime has increased 39%, from 145,902 to 202,484. Homicide is down 17% (59 less victims) but felony assaults are up 46%, sexual assault is up 25%, robbery is up 3% and kidnapping is up over 50%.
Since 1994, total victimization has increased by 56,582 people who were seriously beaten, raped, stabbed, robbed or kidnapped. Since 1998 when firearms were restricted, there have been an additional 32,405 victims.
Using a rather basic statistical measure of dispersion, standard deviation, against Australian crime stats yields the following. The arithmetic mean of the ten year period is 181,667 violent crimes. The standard deviation is 19,090.
A large standard deviation indicates that the data points are far from the mean and a small standard deviation indicates that they are clustered nearer the mean. Therefore the normative "bounds" of the Australian violent crime experience should be within one standard deviation of the arithmetic mean, or between 162,557 and 200,757. Anything outside of these upper and lower limits is not normal. The two years prior to the 1998 disarming are the only years lower than the new "normal" crime rate apparently established by the Aussies. The 2005 violent crimes stats have increased beyond the normative range.
This should be seriously worrying the Aussies. It would any copper. But the social scientists apparently don't care.

Our Government In Action

In one way or another I have been involved in government bureaucracies for well over three decades. I just read about the latest TSA debacle and I am again underwhelmed with how some bureaucracies handle their responsiblities.

The problem here is how the TSA views the safety and security of their employees.

In a statement released Friday night, the agency said the external -- or portable -- hard drive contained information on employees who worked for the Homeland Security agency from January 2002 until August 2005.

This sounds suspiciously like an exterior USB drive that can store hundreds of gigabytes of data - a rather cavelier means of storing your personnel information.

Who in their right minds would keep this kind of employee information on a storage device that you can unplug and simply walk away with? It makes no difference if the office area was restricted to authorized personnel only. This device is no more than a big thumb drive waiting to be scooped up and put in someone's brief case or purse.

Why wasn't this information stored in a secure environment where access is controlled not only by physical limitations but also through electronic means on a need to know basis?

I use secure systems every day and I am amazed, astounded, dismayed, incredulous that this could happen in an agency allegedly devoted to national security.

Somebody, probably more than one, in the TSA leadership needs to have their head(s) forcibly removed from their ass.

But perhaps the TSA is merely following accepted federal standards for secure data systems.

In 2000 we had the Los Alamos caper with removeable hard drives containing nuclear secrets disappearing from vaults. They were later recovered tucked behind a copy machine. Allegedly this is a common area for hard drives to gather when they are lost and afraid. Ever since then I routinely examine the areas around our office copy machines for the poor little guys.

Here is a partial list of some of the more obvious shortfalls in the way our government handles sensitive information. The first 22 items are from this year alone...