They call it renewal energy because they can't call it cheap energy, as the Germans are finding out. We have large amounts of oil and natural gas remaining, including untapped reservoirs and new resources available due to fracking; we have nuclear energy as a safe, clean option; we have promising possibilities of fusion energy; we have space-based solar collectors as a far-future option. We don't need expensive investments in "renewal" energy that are not cost-effective in comparison. It does no harm to conduct research, but large scale installations are impractical.
While the Germans back away from green energy, Obama is calling for full steam ahead
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the
failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some
may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid
the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more
powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be
long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this
transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the
technology that will power new jobs and new industries we must claim
its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our
national treasure our forests and waterways; our croplands and
The promise appears to be a dramaticincrease in energy prices. No thanks.
Germany compiles national gun registry
Tam points out
that they didn't even do this in the 30's when they had an infamous failed artist running the country. There is apparently a European-Union requirement that all members set up such a registry by 2015, and in Germany's case the records were already kept locally rather than nationally.
Gun registries don't do much to stop crime, though.
Germany has also suffered from mass shootings, the most notable recent
example being the Winnenden school shooting in 2009, in which 16 people
died. The perpetrator of that incident, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer, used
a legally-owned firearm belonging to his father.
Note that the father
may have legally possessed the gun, but it was presumably stolen from him in order to commit the crime.
... but the current attitude towards prohibition in the United States is doing more harm than good. This article, describing the results in Zurich of legalizing heroin use
, suggests that other policies may be more effective.
It is useful to reiterate here that all governments depend on voluntary compliance
for the vast majority of our laws. We pay our taxes and our traffic tickets without a quibble (mostly). We send the police after murderers, rapists, thieves and muggers. For the stuff in between, there simply aren't enough enforcement resources to have a prayer of enforcing the law by actual force
; it all depends on the people complying voluntarily because they don't want to take the risk of being in the small percentage of violators who are actually caught. For the victimless crimes of prohibition, with no one to report the crime and no body to find, it's even harder.
We need to find a better solution to the real problems of drug abuse. The current law is actually creating more problems than it solves.
... or so goes the line, anyway. If the Islamists have their way,
we won't have Paris any longer; they will have burned it to the
ground. The media are trying to avoid reporting facts about the
situation. But the facts that the blogosphere can put together
sound like organized guerilla warfare
not rioting; and there was a very, very telling quotation from NPR that
I heard on the way home today. Obviously I don't have the actual
quote, so I'm working from memory here. But the commenter -- who
spoke English with a moderate accent and clearly identified with the
rioters strongly, to the point of using "we" more than once --
described the motivation behind the rioting as:
"Maybe, in order to get people to listen, we have to scare
people. Nothing is being done about [the problems]. If
people are scared maybe they will do something."
that's paraphrased from memory, but I was very shocked that it was
stated that boldly, and so I am quite confident that the meaning of the
statement has been preserved.
Ladies and gentleman, what is happening in Paris is the textbook definition of terrorism
Violence against innocents in support of a political goal.
Police targeting gangland gunmen launched a campaign to get their own families to inform on them.
It's now 2003; the UK is 19 years behind schedule but they are catching up fast.
Five London boroughs plagued by high gun crime are to be targeted in a new Met Police advertising campaign.
The campaign, which encourages people to shop gun-toting criminals, will target the boroughs of Brent, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth and Southwark where gun crime is particularly prevalent It is being run by Operation Trident - a unit specialising in tackling gun crime in London's black and ethnic communities.
Remember, they banned guns over there. Someone should tell the criminals.
Relatives of Fred Barras, the burglar shot dead by Tony Martin, last night warned that the Norfolk farmer will be murdered after his release tomorrow. One cousin of Barras said Martin was "going to get it", while another said a hitman would be hired if the dead teenager's associates failed to carry out a retaliatory attack. The death threats will add to fears about Martin's safety, which have already prompted police to set up a mobile station at his farm at Emneth Hungate, Norfolk.
I guess self-defense in England is now a killing offense.
The police activity came several hours after a gunman walked into Shettleston police station and shot a constable manning the public counter. After firing at the constable, the gunman - who was dressed in a camouflage jacket and possibly wearing a wig - placed the gun on the counter and walked out of the station.
I don't think this individual was very happy at being made to turn in his gun.
Tony Martin is to write his autobiography -- and plans to call it My Right to Kill. His MP Henry Bellingham immediately urged Martin -- who will be released on parole on Monday after serving just over three years for killing 16-year-old burglar Fred Barras -- to rethink the book's title.
This is the man who shot two burgulars breaking into his isolated home in the country (killing one, wounding the other) and was subsequently charged, convicted, and imprisoned for defending himself.
Civil liberties campaigners accused the Government last night of compiling a national DNA database "by stealth" as police prepared to enter the two millionth profile into the system. The number held has doubled in two years and a further million are due to be added in the coming year. Police powers to keep DNA samples have been strengthened considerably since 2001 when they were first allowed to keep the information indefinitely from suspects who were not convicted.
The Swiss police could soon be able to carry out widespread genetic testing to help solve crimes. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved the use of large scale DNA testing to track down criminals.
An appropriate analogy for this situation would be giving the police authority to search every house in a particular neighborhood because they suspected a criminal might be living in one of them. It's an egregarious invasion of privacy. And it's spreading.
Germany puts an new flavor in the Internet filtering cocktail. Blocking
of foreign Web content by Internet access providers has been a
hot topic for the last 18 months in Germany. Since fall 2001 the state
of North-Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) very actively tried to mandate such
filtering. They prefer using the DNS to suppress content. Ever wondered
how to use DNS for filtering Web content? You can't - at least if you
care about the rest of the Internet.
Concern is growing that the government may ignore thousands of people who have said they opposed the introduction of ID cards in the UK, because they registered their concern via the Web. Civil liberties group Stand says it has learned that the 5,000 responses that were send to the Home Office from its Internet site will be treated as a single vote.
I just returned from a conference on civilian firearms ownership and regulation held in the Tower of London, which, some might say, is an appropriate place for a group of pro-gun scholars to gather.
Shooting sports in the United States have their problems, but having the chance to converse with some fellow shooters from England, I came away thankful for what we've got in the good ol' USA
When I arrived in London, I expected to find a very depressing situation for gun rights, as the formerly robust British right-to-arms is nearing extinction. Yet there are signs that the public is waking up to the failure of gun prohibition.
To be sure, the present circumstances in Britain are awful. A world-class British rifle shooter explained to me that he never tells ordinary people that he is a marksman, for fear of their reaction. British shooters today, like homosexuals in Oklahoma in 1950, feel so intimidated by the hostility of the surrounding culture that they must be careful not to expose themselves, except to known members of their minority group.
An operation to rid Birmingham?s streets of guncarrying gangs is to be extended indefinitely, the man in charge of the offensive said yesterday.
Despite a number of recent high-profile shootings, including one involving a taxi driver who chased after a stolen car in Nechells, West Midlands Police said it was pleased with the impact of Operation Dulverton.
The initiative, which involved extra officers being drafted in to carry out high-profile patrols in hotspot areas of Birmingham and armed road checks, began five weeks ago.
They've got it bad in the British Isles. This is what happens when you try to ban firearms; the bans don't work, people who want the weapons can still get them, and the police become steadily more authoritarian and brutal in their efforts to stamp out the "gun problem" while your civil rights disappear.
Every child in England will be given a unique identifying number attached to an electronic file of personal information about their lives, under plans announced yesterday to avoid a repetition of the murder of Victoria Climbié.
Remember, every cry to "save the children" is a cry to imprison the adults.
David Kopel on The Volokh Conspiracy has the scoop
Instapundit reminds us
that government troops fired on peaceful protesters in Uzbekistan. Reports
say at least 1000-1500 dead, not counting women and children, whose
bodies have supposedly been "disappeared". There's a good summary article
too. What's lacking for me is, how can we possibly help -- short
of smuggling in small arms or something equally illegal?
Peaceful protests can bring about social change only so long as the
government is unable, or unwilling, to put down the protests with
lethal force. Holding the moral high ground won't stop a bullet.
European free software advocates, Green Party activists, Socialists, economists, small business owners, and other radicals are working to keep the European Union from instituting U.S.-style software patents. But don't give up hope. The U.S. government and some of the biggest U.S. software vendors are working to bring those backward Europeans into the modern world, where software development can eventually be limited to responsible companies instead of being done by any-old-body with a computer and a good idea.
Part of the sales pitch being given to the Europeans goes like this: "The U.S. lets just about anybody (who can afford it) patent just about anything, and we're the world's most innovative nation, so if y'all follow our patent policy it's only a matter of time until you're producing as many innovations as we do."
What's interesting here is the broad base of opposition to software patents. This sort of coalition-building is what we need to defend all our rights.
The MPs suggested that loyalty cards could be used to identify customers who bought excessive amounts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and asked whether supermarkets could use this information to promote healthier alternatives to these customers.
They also called on supermarkets to feature more fruit and vegetables in their advertising and to replace shelves of sweets next to checkouts with healthier alternatives.
In the US, this is still more of a horror story than a real threat.
AN ELDERLY widow told yesterday how she fought off two teenage burglars with a 3ft-long antique sword.
Jean Freke, 80, grabbed the 100-year-old army officer's dress sword - which belonged to her late husband's father - after the robbers broke down the front door of her home.
The pensioner - who suffers from angina - challenged the pair but was punched to the ground by one of them, while the other ransacked her home searching for valuables.
Jean feared she going to die until she she managed to get to her feet and grab the blade and point it at one of the men. The pair ran off empty-handed as she yelled: "Get out of my home".
Three cheers for Granny!
POLICE officers and politicians joined forces at the weekend in a bid to drive out hardcore gangs of thugs and small time criminals trying to turn west Reading into a battleground.
In the wake of this month's drive-by shootings, neighbours found Reading West MP Martin Salter, Chief Superintendent Dave Murray and borough councillors on their doorsteps delivering 700 letters pleading for their help.
The letters called on neighbours to pass on to police anything they hear about criminal activity. It explained every officer now has stop and search powers to use in the Oxford Road area which "will continue for as long as necessary to cut gun crime in the community".
I believe this is traditionally spelled "martial law".
A Chinese martial arts expert was in custody yesterday after turning the tables on four burglars armed with knives, killing two of them and seriously wounding a third.
The 28-year-old man, known as "the doctor" for his practice of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, managed to seize one of the two knives carried by his assailants and saw off the entire group with the ferocity of his reaction.
Magistrates in the central Italian town of Empoli are now seeking to establish whether his self-defence constituted an excessive use of force.
Now this... THIS is self-defense! What kind of idiotic police department would want to charge this guy?
A real pound pooch trained by police to sniff out banknotes helped authorities confiscate more than $39,000 in cash Thursday from a man at a London train station. The dog, one of 25 trained by British police to detect the scent of ink in bank notes, singled out a man carrying the 23,900 in British pounds at the Euston train station, authorities said.
The man ? whose identity has not been released ? allegedly could not explain why he had the money. He was released but the cash was confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The effort was part of Operation Payback, a four-year program between police and Customs officials designed to attack the proceeds of crime by impounding illegal cash and assets. Since the Proceeds of Crime Act took effect in December, police have confiscated more than $60.1 million.
Wait a minute here. "Illegal cash"? Where's the crime? Unfortunately, the US has similar laws regarding large amounts of cash; the motivation is obvious.
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