Monday, January 03, 2005

Belated Happy New Year to all three of my readers...

The weekend was crazy, which was expected. Friday, Debbie worked while Nestina and I ran into Kalkaska to pick up our backup generator and some odd bits at the hardware, and stop at the bank. I conned Nestina into helping me drag the generator into the enclosure down at the cabin. I need a longer ground wire before I can use it. I didn't have time to do that this weekend, but it will be easy enough if I can find five minutes. I feel better having two generators in good shape for the first time in a long time. Now we can start working on some upgrades to the cabin to make it rentable.

I messed around the house the rest of the day and Nestina headed into town to meet with one of her friends. Debbie came home around 5pm and I quit puttering around and got ready for the New Years Eve party at the church. There was a pretty good group there, but things broke up early (before midnight!!) so Debbie and myself went to one of the teen's home in town to watch the ball drop. After that, we dropped a couple of the teens at their home and the rest came home with us for the night. We got some sleep (a pleasant surprise), and spent most of Saturday just being lazy.

We had gotten word Saturday that Debbie's great-uncle had died, so after Sunday morning service, we grabbed lunch at Avery's in Mancelona, then drove to the funeral home in Gaylord. Nestina and her boyfriend went with us, so she got to meet Debbie's mom and about half of Debbie's mom's siblings. We only stayed an hour or so then headed back to the Big K for evening service, then home to try to get ready to go back to the daily grind of work and school.

The weather up here has been completely whacked. Most of the snow is gone after two days in the 40's and 50's. We even saw the sun! Saturday night we had an ice storm so the Sunday morning drive to church was interesting. Attendance was way down, although as usual, the people with the furthest to drive were there. It was above freezing all day, so by evening service all was well.

Today looks to be just work and homework. I have to really start cranking on my classes so I can get them done. I'm tired of having stuff hanging over my head.

This was posted on Jerry Pournelle's site on Friday:

Banning Guns Isn't Enough for the Brits
By Nicki Fellenzer

It appears the Brits have climbed the Cliffs of Insanity and taken a collective nosedive into the River of Outright Absurdity. My friend, author Michael Z. Williamson, and I used to laugh about Britain, their unreasonable ban on armed self defense and their hysterical attempts to further correct the problems caused by said ban by implementing yet more stringent and bizarre restraints on people's rights. Mike was born in the UK. I used to kid him about the future of Great Britain. I used to tell him that soon, sharp implements will be banned, and people will be forced to purchase pre-cut food rather than risk the chance of some unstable chef losing control and hacking some unsuspecting Brits to pieces with a knife. These were jokes. I didn't really think it would ever happen.

I was wrong.

The UK's home secretary David Blunkett has announced a slew of measures that are meant to address the rising knife violence in not-so-Great Britain. Yeah - right on the heels of their wildly "successful" gun ban (pay no attention to the fact that there's a gun crime happening every hour in the UK), Mr. Blunkett has announced that shops will be banned from selling knives to people under 18 years of age, and that he would like to see a stiff, five-year jail sentence on any poor bloke caught in possession of a knife. God forbid a 16 year old decides he wants to cook sliced turkey for dinner! He'll be out of luck in Blunkett's Britain. Sorry, chum. You're going to have to rip the meat into chunks with your hands.

Why is this happening? Well you see, guns are, for the most part, banned. And even though gun crime in Britain has risen dramatically since the 1997 ban on self defense, so have other types of violent crimes, including knifings. As a matter of fact, a spate of recent stabbings has prompted the families of the victims to demand justice in the form of stiffer penalties for mere possession of these horrid sharp objects. Because believe it or not, knives are so prevalent in Merrie Olde England, that every two weeks, "someone loses their life as a result of being stabbed."

Apparently it's not enough that victims are prohibited from defending themselves, get punished for mere ownership of a firearm or a similar method of defense, such as a stun gun. Now, they won't even be able to purchase a kitchen implement of their choice without some emotionalist hack screeching that they're a danger to society and must be imprisoned for wanting to hack apart a side of beef for dinner.

What is going on over there?

Well, crime is out of control, and the government - instead of using logic and common sense to deal with criminals - is bowing to the reactionary histrionics of emotionally overwrought victims' families and attempting to ban the offending object rather than address the source of the problem - the criminals. But if you're thinking that their extremist reaction to crime comes from genuine goodness and authentic attempts to lower crime in Britain, you might want to think again.

In a recent report, England's top lawyer - Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith - was quoted as saying that criminals' rights need to be protected as well as victims. (emphasis added) Apparently, the esteemed legislator believes that everyone has the right to live their lives free of violence - even those who make violence their life's choice! Who cares if victims of criminals spend time in jail for daring to protect their homes and their families! Apparently in Goldsmith's eyes, the lives of those who choose to violently victimize others, to stab, shoot, rape and assault them, are worth just as much as the victims. Therefore, it's apparently advisable, in Goldsmith's eyes, for a woman to simply spread her legs and wait for her rapist to finish rather than fight back, because - God forbid! - her attacker's right to rape and sodomize her in a safe environment could be compromised!

No, it's not fallible, human overreaction that is causing the Brits to attempt to control and outright ban every implement that may be used to cause harm. I'm convinced that their society has become so impossibly savage, that they can no longer tell the difference between right and wrong, justice and injustice, victim and criminal. Their warped sense of socialism tells them that we're all the same - that our lives are all equal - regardless of the choices we make or the lives we lead. That's why in their twisted world, it's important to protect the rights of violent thugs and disarm the righteous victims. That's why they think so little of life, liberty and property - because those concepts can only truly exist in a just society - a justice that the UK has lost.

They are beyond help. We can no longer ask the question, "How can we help them? How can we make them see?" The question we should be asking ourselves is, "How can we ensure that we do not become like them?" My answer is this: only by safeguarding the sacred concepts of life, liberty and property can we ensure that our sense of justice never becomes skewed by the savages in three-piece suits and jack boots who claim authority over us. Only by never giving up an iota - by fighting until our knuckles are bloodied - by never allowing ourselves or our leaders to forget those sacred principles, can we hope to preserve them. Only by fighting against the incremental destruction of our basic rights, can we hope to avoid becoming another Britain.

Because once a society forgets justice.

As soon as government leaders mar the line between right and wrong.

The path will be clear for them to enslave the sheep who have allowed them to do so.
I knew the Brits had a long history of banning the private ownership of guns, but this is just plain nuts. I was told in grade school that if you wanted to see where the United States would be in five to seven years, just look at Britain. That hasn't always held true. Despite several attempts by a small group of anti-gun activists here in the US, we still have nothing like the restrictions on private ownership of firearms that exist in England. However, it has held true more often than not with the social trends. If that continues, there will come a time here that defense of firearm ownership will become politically impossible.

And that should be enough.

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