ACLU gives up

The American Civil Liberties Union took a new stance on firearms Thursday, announcing a change in policy that it would not represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told The Wall Street Journal that the group would have stricter screenings and take legal requests from white supremacist groups on a case-by-case basis.

“The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb,” Romero told the Journal. “If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”

Indeed they can. But that is you giving up matey.

We might think that carrying arms in public isn’t a right that Americans should have but they do. Similarly, we might think that Americans shouldn’t be racist but they do actually have a right to be.

The great glory of the ACLU, over the decades, has been that it does simply do what is said upon the tin. Here, Americans have these rights. As we defend the rights of Americans then we defend these Americans in the exercise of their rights. That’s it.

The moment, the very moment, the ACLU says, well, you know, maybe they, that group, for this reason, shouldn’t have those rights then, well, that’s the organisation busted. Over.

Mr. Romero, you’ve just destroyed the reason for the existence of your own organisation. At which point, fuck you.

Because this is what you are for:

Citing the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union is defending a group that supports pedophilia against a civil suit filed by the family of a molested and slain Massachusetts boy.

Because those lines of defending those liberties are with the hateful people that no one else likes, right?

My hope, most unlikely to be met, is that Romero gets fired immediately.

Snigger

What does an angry white boy really want? “A girlfriend,” comes the mocking answer, and there’s probably more to that than mockery. The proprietor of one of the nation’s premier websites for neo-Nazi knuckleheads advised his colleagues in Charlottesville that, after the protest — which included a murder — “random girls will want to have sex with you.” I ran this proposition past a few random girls, and I suspect that the apfelstrudelführers are going to go home disappointed. There are many shades of white, and Mom’s-basement white is the least popular crayon in the box.

Kevin Williamson of course.

My Word, The Curajus State is incompetent, who would have thought it…..

We are nowhere near these systems in so many areas it’s just ludicrous to think we can exit the EU in April 2019.

But I think it may be worse than that. After forty years of being in the EU I think we may find that the demand of creating independently what was previously possible only because it was shared may be insurmountable, as well as being beyond the capacity of our economy because the costs will be so great.

At sometime this realisation will dawn. Then, as I said in a tweet yesterday, someone in politics is going to have to realise that we just can’t leave the EU: it’s simply not technically and economically possible for the UK to replicate its systems, let alone in any way that gives us anything but a massive diseconomy of scale.

Those who would rule us are insufficiently competent to even negotiate our way out of a treaty.

But, still, of course, they should have greater power over our lives.

Hmm, no, I don’t think this is how it works

I WILL be the Duchess of Beaufort, says Tracy Ward: Estranged wife of the Duke’s heir reveals couple are still married and talks will go on to negotiate their separation

Hmm.

The Duke of Beaufort’s death this week at the age of 89 has provoked much speculation about who will be the new duchess.
Would she be Tracy Ward, the 58-year-old actress turned environmental campaigner, who’s been estranged from the Duke’s colourful son and heir, the Marquess of Worcester, for the past four years?
Or would she be his mistress, Georgia Powell, 48, the beautiful writer he’s determined to marry?

As far as I know at least this works as with the King. The Duke is dead, long live the Duke. The new Duchess is therefore whoever he is legally married to at that moment.

That is, Ms. Ward is the new Duchess.

Not that it bothers me all that much to be honest. My only connection with that is having poached pheasants off the estate at Badminton. Well, sorta.

At dusk they’ll come out onto the back roads to get a bit of grit for their gizzards. If you were to hit one with a car and then pick it up to take home and eat then that’s poaching. If you hit one with a car and then someone else picks it up to take home and eat that’s roadkill, not poaching.

To eat well you therefore need two cars.

On that hard border between NI and I

We’ve the occasional military type around here. No doubt some have served in NI. A technical question.

The EU is thinking about that having to be a hard border. Properly dividing EU from non-EU. My own thought is that this has never been a hard border. I mean never. It’s just the 6 county boundaries and counties aren’t particularly defined by defendable geographic features. OK, we’re not talking military, obviously, but to have a hard border you do need one of two things.

1) Geographic features which produce the border. Nice wide rivers, high mountains, steep ravines, things which just make it easier to define and guard against crossings.

2) The Berlin Wall.

We’re not going to do 2, obviously. But my intuition, and this is the question, is that NI/I just doesn’t have 1 either. There’s this field, then that one, and that’s about it for some to much of it.

Which was rather the problem when there was that military stuff, wasn’t it?

The final bit being, OK, given some people who know the area, is there in fact any manner of making that a hard border without a wall/fence?

Err, yes, the confessional is sacrosanct

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has said he’ll risk going to jail rather than report what’s said to him in the sacrament of confession, even if what’s confessed relates to child sexual abuse.

His latest comments, made on ABC radio, were responding to a recommendation from the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse to make reporting child sexual abuse allegations mandatory in institutions including when an allegation is made in religious confession. Failure to report would be a criminal offence.

The recommendation is one of a suite of proposed reforms to improve transparency and reporting of sexual abuse and improve the law’s effectiveness to apprehend sexual abusers and protect children.

Archbishop Hart wouldn’t report something said in confession by a child who’s been abused or by an abuser. Non-Catholics don’t understand confession, he said. Confession is sacrosanct, above the law, which is what makes it different from other forms of telling. It’s communication with God of a higher order.

You can believe it or not, as you wish, but it is what they believe and they’ll be sticking to it.

There is an added piquancy to this particular tale:

When I was 16, I went to confession. I wish the priest had reported what I’d told him

Hmm.

When I was 16, I went to confession for real. I’d been sexually abused by a Catholic high school teacher and her husband. I went to see a priest on the suggestion of one of my abusers, because I was so upset.

The priest I saw gave me absolution which didn’t make me any less upset. I can’t remember what the penance was. He didn’t do anything about what I told him as far as I know. I guess he maintained the seal of confession, the higher order communication with God in Archbishop Hart’s terms. I wish he had done something, reported what I’d told him to my school, parents or the police, because I’d have been far less harmed. What happened to me after that time has had lifelong consequences. I was a child who had a child. The priest let me down badly.

Perhaps reporting it to the police, the headmaster, might have helped a bit?

The Catholic church is not above the law. It’s not above anything. It’s down here on Earth with the rest of us and ought to be more concerned about protecting children than protecting its practices.

No, you’ve really not grasped the internal driver of the Church, have you? Sure, you can believe it or not, as you wish, but they certainly think that they’re dealing with the next world, not this one.

A long way from us – but we’re getting the smoke

Forest fires have cut off a town of 2,000 people in Portugal, as firefighters struggle to control two large blazes in the centre of the country.

“It’s impossible to leave or to enter Mação because of the flames and the smoke,” Vasco Estrela, mayor of Mação, told Lusa news agency.

The blaze erupted on Tuesday evening, and by Thursday morning it had surrounded the town. “It is continuing unabated,” he said.

This is all a couple of hundred miles north of here. But we’re getting he smoke. The whole area from Albufeira to Faro was covered in smoke yesterday. The winds are just blowing it all down here.

We do get our own fires down here, obviously, but we tend not to have the forests, so we get scrub fires.

It’s also worth pointing out something else. This isn’t so much a product of the current heat. It’s, as summer fires usually are, a product of a wet winter. The land around here always dries out in the summer. We usually don’t see rain for 7 or 8 months, not in any quantity at least. So, all the vegetation does dry out, every year. A wet winter means more winter growth, thus more vegetation to dry out when the summer comes.

The same is true in California, climactically very similar. It’s a wet winter with lots of growth that is the warning sign for a bad summer fire season.

No wonder alcoholism diagnoses are rising

The ‘work hard, play hard’ medical student who burns the candle at both ends, consuming prodigious quantities of alcohol before an early morning anatomy class, has long been a staple of university life.

But a new survey carried out for the British Medical Journal suggests this stereotype is now little more than a myth.

Merely one in ten future doctors currently exceed the Government’s recommended weekly alcohol limit, and a quarter profess themselves to be completely teetotal.

It’s going to get worse too.

The advantages of Islay

Through the rest of the year, Palmer is one of just three or four regular riders on the island.

“The only thing that stops us going out is if the wind speed is over 38 mph – that’s dangerous if it’s a crosswind, and I’ve been blown off my bike twice. But the advantage of our weather is that no one will ever steal your bike, because no one is stupid enough to want to ride it in these conditions,” Palmer says.

What fun about peanut allergy

Australian researchers have made a breakthrough in the treatment of peanut allergy in children.

A small clinical trial conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has led to two-thirds of children treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment being cured of their allergy. Importantly, this desensitisation to peanuts persisted for up to four years after treatment.

Give them a tiny and then rising amount of the crucial protein and the body trains itself.

Hmm, so, now, about hormesis……

Spudda’s right! The Den of Iniquity!

The Isle of Man’s main telecoms provider has been hit by criminal proceedings brought against its chief financial officer Danny Bakhshi, in another claim of lawbreaking against an executive at an Aim-listed firm.

Manx Telecom told investors this afternoon Mr Bakhshi had been suspended “on a precautionary basis pending investigations being carried out” and that the charge was unrelated to his professional role.

That island wet ops squad should be looking inwards, not at peaceful retired accountants from Wandsworth!

The Isle of Man court of justice confirmed to The Telegraph that Mr Bakhshi, 50, has been charged with an offence related to bringing cannabis on to the island from Amsterdam.

Sorta depends on how much is alleged. A roach end in a pocket after a weekend away? Or a shipload to distribute?

Mr Bakhshi was charged after a quantity of cannabis allegedly worth almost £200 arrived in the Isle of Man from Amsterdam. A customs official intercepted the parcel. Mr Bakhshi was subsequently arrested.

Oh……

I’m rather out of touch with these things. £200 is a few ounces? A heavy weekend party maybe?

Sigh

Steinberg – who grew up in Cambridgeshire and moved to the US in the mid-1990s as his father was American – holds dual citizenship and has coached the US women’s side since 2011. He has been outspoken in his criticism of the 12-team structure and the funding of the tournament.

One aspect he thinks should be changed is that World Rugby pays for 12 staff and 30 players to participate in the men’s World Cup, while only six staff and 28 players are being accommodated per union during this tournament.

“I see this as discrimination,” Steinberg said. “I see this as a slap in the face for the women’s game. I see it that World Rugby doesn’t treat the women with the same respect as they do the men. I am not saying ‘equal’ because I recognise the men’s World Cup, and I recognise that there is a cost issue, but I think World Rugby could throw an extra £500,000 into this event and actually treat the women in a way that demonstrates respect.

Sure, everyone’s just got another £500k lying around, right? Magic money tree thinking.

Idiots

It’s a sodding bell, nothing more:

Parliamentary authorities have performed a dramatic u-turn over the decision to silence Big Ben for four years following an intervention from the prime minister.

After coming under intense pressure, officials announced that the plan for Big Ben to remain silent until 2021 is now under review.

Still, good to see we’ve no real problems left as people must have dealt with everything else if they’ve time for this.

Not looking good for the succession then

Grace Mugabe has spent millions on properties in South Africa in apparent preparation for a bolt hole amid rising tensions about who will succeed her husband, Robert Mugabe, as president of Zimbabwe.

Documents seen by The Telegraph show that Mrs Mugabe, who is currently facing allegations that she beat up a woman in Johannesburg, recently spent about £4 million on a mansion in one of south Africa’s richest suburbs.

Then again, there’s a value in this. Mengistu has done a lot less harm sitting on his Zimbabwean farm than he did running Ethiopia.

As ever, Peter Simple a half century ahead of the times

Now, the discovery of a craigslist ad posted last Monday, almost a full week before the Charlottesville protests, is raising new questions over whether paid protesters were sourced by a Los Angeles based “public relations firm specializing in innovative events” to serve as agitators in counterprotests.

The ad was posted by a company called “Crowds on Demand” and offered $25 per hour to “actors and photographers” to participate in events in the “Charlotte, NC area.”

Well, they couldn’t call it Rentamob, could they, would make it obvious where the idea came from.

Err, Whut?

Richard Murphy says:
August 16 2017 at 5:04 pm
Yes

Wages are declining

Debt is rising

New credit is being limited

One of those two last might be right. But which one is it?

Should we have rising debt or should credit be limited?

Eh?

His point is that the low rates are unprecedented and despite them it is deflation and not inflation that has been the greatest fear, and with good reason. He is unable to explain what this might suggest happens next. And in fairness, we don’t know precisely. But nothing about it looks encouraging.

What he, and what most, won’t say is that it means that this current model of capitalism is dead. It is no longer entrepreneurial. It no longer innovates. It no longer provides work. It does not aspire to do so. It only seeks to make money out of money. And that’s why society can no longer afford it. The decade has been a death throe for neoliberal capitalism. What that record low represents is the dying note for markets that no longer work. But the new has yet to be born.

Record low interest rates show that people are only trying to make money out of money?

Whut?

Wouldn’t high, especially high real, interest rates show that rather better?