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Control Freaks

Campaign to save the common-or-garden idiot

Life is hard - especially if youre stupid

THE Swansea woman who posted a grossly offensive comment about Down’s Syndrome on Facebook in a hate crime has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Ursula Presgrave cut and pasted a comment from a website saying people with the condition should be put down – promoting what was described in court as a “tsunami” of responses online, including death threats.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard that people complained to South Wales Police about the message, and the 23-year-old was arrested.

Presgrave, of Talfan Road, Bonymaen, had previously pleaded guilty to sending an offensive message by means of a public communications network when she appears before justices today for sentencing.

Call Centre’s Ursula Presgrave given suspended sentence for Facebook Down Syndrome comments

Is society going to collapse because a Z-List celebrity and newly inducted member of the hasbeenerati placed her foot in mouth and posted a comment on LifeInvader sorry FaceBook that the perpetually offended are (quelle surpise) offended by? In short No.

How many children with Down’s Syndrome were led to their deaths because of this woman? Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nil. None. The square root of sweet fuck all.

Ergo, who are her victims? what is the real crime here? because if we exclude the world of the SJW’s, the ‘Perpetually Offended of Tumblr Wells” then the only guidance that we can receive from this posting of Ursula Presgrave is that she is a narcissistic idiot. The last time I looked in the Hansard index, being an idiot was not a crime, more a state of being.

In all fairness, I am in favour of the exposure of idiots, indeed it is one of the great pleasures of modern society that idiots, like prophets are self-announced and seldom recognized in their own country.

Jeremy Corbyn is an idiot, still supporting the Marxist / Leninist diatribe despite 70-years of Communism clearly demonstrating that it doesn’t work. Do we silence his monumental acts of idiocy over Trident or support for Hamas? No – we splatter it across the pages of the daily newspapers so that we can reveal his idiocy for all to see, we don’t sentence Jeremy for having offensive views (certainly I find pretty much everything about Jeremy offensive), so where do we draw the line?

The Common-or-garden idiot in mating plumage

The common-or-garden idiot (also known as the female “lesser spotted tattooed fuckwit”) in mating plumage 

Are some kind of idiots worth saving because of prestige or is it only the common-or-garden idiot that needs to be ground into the dust? Maybe this is just elitism in another form? Jeremy Corbyn – another string to your bow perhaps?

In light of this, I think it is time to start a campaign, write to our MP’s and let them know – the common-or-garden idiot should not be persecuted for its behaviour; it should be brought out into the sunshine and lauded for the depth of its ignorance and stupidity.

Save the Idiot!


Antony Flew cites an observation by Bertrand Russell, and an Islamic manifesto from the Islamic Council of Europe:


When in 1920 Bertrand Russell visited the
USSR — decades before the Politburo found it convenient
to present itself as the Protector of the Arabs — he discerned
similarities between Bolshevism and Islam: “Bolshevism
combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with
those of the rise of Islam”; and “Marx has taught that Com-
munism is fatally predestined to come about; this produces a
state of mind not unlike that of the early successors of Ma-
hommet.” So Russell himself concluded:

Mahommedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social,
unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world
… What Mahommedanism did for the Arabs, Bolshev-
ism may do for the Russians.

As a clear, commendably honest and altogether authoritative
epitome of the totalitarian character of Islam consider this
manifesto issued in Leicester, England, on behalf of the Is-
lamic Council of Europe:

The religion of Islam embodies the final and most com-
plete word of God … Departmentalization of life into
different watertight compartments, religious and secu-
lar, sacred and profane, spiritual and material is ruled
out … Islam is not a religion in the Western under-
standing of the word
. It is a faith and a way of life, a
religion and a social order, a doctrine and a code of
conduct, a set of values and principles, and a social
movement to realize them in history.

—–From “The Terror of Islam,” 1995.

Dear Home Secretary – Get Stuffed!


The home secretary, Theresa May, this week invited the biggest US internet firms and British telecoms providers to a meeting to seek their support for the legislation, officially known as the draft communications data bill.

The legislation is expected to include powers that will require firms to collect and store for 12 months the browsing history of users, along with records of voice calls, messages and text services. It might also require firms to give the police and security services access to the data.

But requirements to store browsing history can do nothing if the communications are encrypted, as are an increasing proportion of online services. More and more web surfing is done through a secure connection, represented on the web to the user by the https prefix in a browser address bar.

UK war on encryption will struggle without the US onside

Now don’t get me wrong, the chances are that the Home Secretary (equivalent to the Minister of the Interior / Homeland Security), may be either being really clever or really dumb. Given past experience of politicians I would go for the latter…in fact really, really dumb would be closer to the truth.

The reason why we have switched to more-and-more sites being https:// as opposed to http:// (i.e. unsecured) is more about being perceived to be secure than actually caring about being secure.

I remember having this conversation at my .com business in 1998 and the argument was along the lines of “If we switch from http:// to https:// we can bang on about how secure customer data is based upon it being encrypted rather than the fact we are flogging our customer mailing list to all and sundry for 40p a name”.

Now don’t get me wrong, those were cynical times and I was (and still am) a cynical person, even though I exited the Internet business in Autumn 2001.

Nevertheless, for a small but significant part of the population (i.e. those with > 50% of their brain functioning), they will object to Frau May’s suggestion and indeed will ratchet up their encryption levels accordingly (as in continuously connecting to a non-UK VPN as I and many others already do to bypass such draconian intrusion).

Those who are in the terrorist business already will be using ‘alternative means’ of communication anyway, so the only people likely to be caught out by this are the idiotic self-radicalised Muslims who are looking to bomb their way to paradise and a golden palace filled with virgins (gender unspecified).

I wonder how long it will take for some crowd sourced app site to come up with “F*ckTheSnoopers” app, which generates 10,000 fake URL requests for every real one, whereby actual activity would be drowned out by a dense fog of noise and bullshit.

….because she’s worth it…every penny and every URL…

The Ethics of Fossil Fuels

Well, dear Reader, from the title you would be justified in wondering whether Fossil Fuels even have ethics. Are FF’s conscious? Can they think? Are they more Platonic or Aristotelian, or perhaps even Hegelian in their metaphysics?

In this little number, Alex Epstein — a former fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute and the founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, a think-tank thinking about energy resources — debates one Bill McKibben, sometimes said to be on the same plane of Enviroloonyism as the Bore.

I present this not because I think you will wish to watch the whole thing (unless you are into masochism), nor because I think Mr. Epstein, be his heart every so rightly placed, is the greatest debater since Socrates or somebody (he could learn a lot from James O’Keefe), but because I am genuinely interested in whether Mr. McKibben’s performance strikes you as it does me. It might take you a mere 10 minutes, or maybe half an hour, of watching and hearing the man. If no one cares to commit his gut reaction to pixels, I will tell you what I made of the McK performance, in a day or two.

Go pour yourself a nice tall chill glass of bathtub gin, neat, and settle in. –Oh, bring your Pet Rock. You may feel the need to be Soothed even beyond the powers of the gin.

Freedom is a state of mind


“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Unlike some members of this parish who maintain a pretty pessimistic view on life, I’ve always been an optimist, a “glass is half-full” kind of guy. Why this is the case I couldn’t tell you, partly hormones I guess, partly genetics, mostly just having the ability to shake of the blues, look out of the window and say “Let’s Go!”.

This is also why, when people worry about the ever more draconian laws and regulations being passed by their legislatures, the security diktats of their executive or boundary creep of their judiciary, I just smile and nod, because we’ve been here before, time after time and whilst periods of collective totalitarianism do occasionally arise, they always contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction.

Regimes, like the Nazis under Hitler or Mussolini’s Italian fascists tend to be based upon the cult of personality and when the leader is dead, everything else will wither away too, soon enough.

A modern example of this in progress is Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe. The man is a classic kleptocratic tyrant who is largely maintained in place by those tainted by their own actions during the civil war and throughout his long tenure as de facto dictator.

Mugabe’s underlings know full well that after his inevitable death (he’s 91 after all), there is little likelihood of a smooth transfer of power to another of his lieutenants and certainly not to his fucking wife (as Mugabe himself has suggested). The likelihood is that after his death they will be on the run, either from their own compatriots or from the long arm of the law.

Socialist regimes tend to be different, in that although they are often lead (initially) by charismatic leaders nut cases (Lenin, Castro et al), their underlying support is collective.

Soviet leaders after Stalin were fairly representative of this “representative of the collective” model leader, with each one somehow older, sicker and more lacklustre than the last until Mikhail Gorbachev, whose idealistic reforms brought the whole thing crashing down.

Could such regimes exist in the West during our lifetime? Possibly.

Certainly the European Union is more similar to the Soviet Union of old than the chrysalis of an emerging “United States of Europe”, but as Stalin once quipped of the Pope “How many divisions has he got?”

Whilst the European Union is deprived of military capability and real economic and political power, it will remain as little more than a retirement home for failed European politicians and a gravy train for bureaucrats.

As for the United States, I’m not so sure. Their civil and provincial police forces appear to me more akin to South American paramilitary units than coppers applying the “Peelian Principles” of coppering (certainly as Sam Vimes would appreciate it), which seems to demonstrate the point that the US government is more afraid of an uprising of its own people than real “enemies, both foreign and domestic”.

As I say in the title though, ultimately freedom is a state of mind and with all of their draconian laws, re-education camps and killing fields, freedom of the individual is a flame that is hard to quench and as the fall of the Berlin Wall demonstrated, once freedom is let loose once more it burns brighter than ever.

This is why in a world filled with those who hate us and collectives that would restrain, imprison or murder us, I still have hope for the future, because the future will not be theirs, it will be ours.

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

―Princess Leia

RAFF Protests Halite Decision

Unfortunately they’re doing it wrong.

For once Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and I have something in common.  Sort of.

Who is Halite?  Once calling themselves Canatxx they are the people who want to store pressurised gas in salt caverns slap bang in the middle of a geologically unstable area, full of brine wells, a collapsed salt mine and geological faults, in my neck of the woods.  The YouTube video I have linked to will explain why 40,000 local residents have been fighting for years to resist this insanity.

There are no weasel words like might or could or maybe.  Brine wells at Preesall have collapsed in the past and one is in the process of collapsing.  The depression in the ground is growing fast and an entire field has been lost to it already  Another well is filled with God knows how many tons of mercury sludge courtesy of the now departed ICI.  Just image what will happen to the water table if that bad boy collapsed.  And Halite want to store pressurised gas right next to the brine well field.  Let’s not forget the partially collapsed salt mine.  And did I mention the natural faults that gas can migrate along?  Well it needs saying over and over.

Anti-fracking campaigners have reacted with anger and frustration at a Government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.

And I agree with their reaction.  Three applications from Canatxx/Halite have been rejected by local government because of the real danger of catastrophe yet some cretin in central government has given the green light to this insanity.

Energy minister Lord Bourne has, on appeal, granted permission to Halite to create a huge underground gas store in salt caverns at Preesall despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.

Now residents and campaigners opposing shale gas say that decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was undemocratic and bodes ill for their own battle against energy company Cuadrilla.

But this is where my strange comradeship with RAFF and their associate anti-fracking groups parts way.  You see their “protest” appears to be purely selfish.  They don’t seem to care about the real dangers of the Halite proposal.  They only seem to care about how it will affect their own cause and how they can exploit it.

Two bids by Cuadrilla to test frack on the Fylde were rejected last month by Lancashire County Council, but the shale gas explorer could yet appeal to a Government inspector.

It’s not about Halite, you see.  It’s about Cuadrilla and the appeal they will no doubt be submitting.  A real danger has been hijacked to support an anti-capitalist cause that really would benefit all if fracking were permitted to go ahead.  That really piddles me off.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We are appalled by this decision to overrule local democracy and fear that Westminster will try and intervene in the fracking debate too against the wishes of the people and elected representatives.

What Barbara doesn’t tell you is that Mike Hill, who was campaigning on an anti-fracking ticket, was wiped out during the GE by the Tory incumbent who I believe is actually pro fracking.  It seems that democracy is something of a loose concept in Barbara’s world.  At this point I will add that the proposed Roseacre site is highly problematical because access will be a nightmare and Barbara does have a point.  However there is no such problem with the Plumpton proposal which I support and Barbara doesn’t.  She is opposed to fracking absolutely.

“We elect local councillors (parish, borough and county) to represent us and this is democracy in action. Local people understand local issues and the will of the people.

Yeah, I saw how the craven sods at Lancashire County Council were cowed by a few tens of anti-fracking protestors and voted against the advice of their own legal department.  Democracy my left nether cheek.  Perhaps you think the 40,000 plus local residents fighting the Halite plans can be co-opted by proxy to your own cause, eh Barbara?

“To blatantly ignore this is sheer arrogance and a recipe for disaster. We will stand with the people of the Wyre.

That’ll be a “yes” then.

“They have spent years to successfully defeat this, with good grounds, and even had the support of the Planning Inspector as well as local councils. They must be absolutely devastated.

We are devastated and we are still fighting.  But Barbara, where were you and your pals all those years we were fighting Canatxx?  How come we get your support now?

“Fracking is an altogether different game as it could affect over 60 per cent of the UK, and should Westminster intervene again, I am sure it will have serious repercussions.”

Whereas gas storage is a dangerous game and has the real potential to affect more than 60% of the residents of Fleetwood, Knott End, Presall, Stalmine, Steynall and parts of Thornton if the storage caverns rupture following the collapse of a brine well (it has already happened in the US which is why storage of the type proposed for Preesall has been banned in the US on safety grounds), the gas escapes and finds an ignition source.  All thanks to Westminster intervention.

All that seems to bother Barbara is the precedent set by overturning a decision made by local government.

Alan Tootill, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This confirms our worst fears.

“This government has no concern for local democracy and local decision-making.

“Over 40,000 people objected to the Preesall applications and three times the plans were turned down at local level.

I didn’t hear your voice raised against the initial Canatxx/Halite proposals either Alan.  I don’t recall you standing up at the many meetings and voicing your concern.

There is also a familiar name mentioned in dispatches.  You’ll find her in the comments below the Mike Hill post.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action of Fylde Fracking, said: “It is awful news not just for the people of Wyre but for the rights of local people anywhere in the UK.

“That central government can overrule the clear will of the people and their Council that has three times rejected this application, makes a mockery of our ‘democracy’.

“Many of us have been fighting to keep fracking out of Lancashire for nearly four years now and the recent support of Lancashire County Council was very welcome; with this announcement today though at the overturning of the decision on Halite, we are of course deeply concerned about what will happen next in this campaign as well.

See what I mean?  They’ve tagged on their anti-fracking campaign to the Halite fight.  I know Tina by sight having seen her on TV and in the papers several times but I don’t recall seeing her at the Stop Canatxx meetings either.  All of a sudden the Canatxx/Halite cause has become the No Fracking cause.  At least in the anti-fracking eyes.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘This decision raises big questions about the Government’s commitment to local democracy because this facility was turned down several times before Westminster stepped in to make it happen.

Then maybe Friends of the Earth ought to hand back the millions in taxpayer money, whether taxpayers agreed with it or not, that has been handed to FoE by various governments over the years.  It’s obviously a matter of principal after all.  But I guess, like Barbara, your perception of democracy only goes so far, eh, Tony?

“This must not be repeated in order to force fracking on Lancashire after the county refused to swallow the hype from central Government and the fracking industry.”

“This must not be repeated in order to refuse fracking on Lancashire after the county swallowed the hype from minority anti-frackers and the Big Green industry.”

There, fixed it.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne, who is the Minister responsible for energy planning consents, said the Halite plan was strategically important for the nation.

Yeah, because what the Scammell truck would a Professor of Law know about geological faults, collapsed mines. the unsuitability of layered salt beds, unsafe brine wells and other unimportant shit that affects the lives and safety of tens of thousands of locals?  Oh and we’re considered an area of Special Scientific Interest too because of the rare fauna and flora living in and around Morecambe Bay which will be grossly affected by the brine outfall. Why, after so many years,  has central government, after even that towering intellect, John Prescott, recognised the serious flaw in Canatxx/Halite’s planning applications, suddenly made this perverse decision?  Well I have a theory.

Wyre has been a marginal seat for a long time.  Since 1997 it has been tinkered with twice which gave us Hilton Dawson (Lab) a decent MP who worked hard for the constituency before resigning and returning home to his native Northumberland. Then came Ben Wallace (Con) who also fought hard on the Canatxx front and moved over to the newly created Wyre and Preston North in 2010.  Despite Labour stacking the boundary decks in its favour we got Eric Ollerenshaw (Con) clinging to his seat by the skin of his marginal teeth, only ever rebelling (well abstaining really) against the Tory whip once but who still recognised the dangers posed by the gas storage proposal and added his effort to the fight against corporate venality and stupidity.

Then in May, 2015 we get Cat Smith (Lab) also on the slimmest of majorities, with her BA in sociology and gender studies who, while paying lip service to both the anti-Halite and anti-fracking camps, clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue what she’s talking about.  Perhaps, once in a while, when she isn’t too busy identifying herself as a Christian, socialist, feminist, republican, trade unionist and LGBT, she’ll pick up and read The Idiot’s Guide to Wyre Estuary Geology so she doesn’t look a total fool and will finally be able to tell the difference between a landslide and a great big Scammell off sinkhole.  Meanwhile we get the standard leftie gobshite response to Lord Bourne’s decision by calling for the “launch of a new action” and “seeking urgent clarification” rather than going up to the idiot and hitting him with FACTS.  But then she did previously work for Jezza Corbyn so she quite possibly has a good grounding in political stupid.

And my theory?  Well Lord Bourne has nasty previous when it comes to the opposition.  He plays very dirty tricks and then lies about what he’s done before being forced to come clean.  Ask Rhodri Morgan.  Lord Bourne got handed this particular chalice when it turned out that Amber Rudd’s brother , Roland, heads a lobbying company, Finsbury, that numbers Halite amongst its clients.  Given Bourne’s scandalous history could the recently tinkered with constituency returning a Labour MP be an underlying reason for his perverse, against all common sense decision?  I think we should be told.

Here’s the “offical” reason for the decision.

He said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down.

“This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.

Yes, we’ve seen how central government keeps the bills down with bills hiked up to feed the heavily subsidised and deeply despised renewables monster.  As for the local economy, destruction of the environment aside, there may be a temporary injection of jobs to construct the storage caverns and build a pipeline to connect with the main grid at Garstang.  But honestly, long term, how many people will it take to press a button at the control station in order to release or store gas?   Three hundred?  Four hundred?  Try a handful.

What is the impact of millions of gallons of concentrated brine that Halite propose to pump into the sea off Anchorsholme as they carve holes in the salt?  What will happen if the geology ruptures a cavern and the project goes sky high tits up?  The infrastructure to deal with an explosion doesn’t exist.  There are mainly small villages and narrow country lanes in this part of the world.  That is providing, of course that no structure damaged in the blast doesn’t block those narrow country lanes and blocks access to the grossly inadequate emergency services.

Oh and the storage capacity that Halite proposes will give a close to zero contribution to keeping the lights on.  Selling the gas back to the grid at premium rates will keep bills down how?   The man is a moral bankrupt and a weapons grade pudendum

“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future.”

I agree but what would be the point of pumping gas from underground only to pump it back underground?  The only people to benefit from storage is Halite who will buy cheap and sell at a premium rate at great risk to the locals.  Halite propose to do it here because back in their native US they would be given very short shrift.  You see storing gas in layered salt, most particularly anywhere near a field of brine wells (we have more than a hundred of them), is banned because it is demonstrably unsafe and a threat to life. Is that what Bourne calls stimulating businesses?

And if he really believes that gas is the greenest fossil fuel will he be insisting that the Drax power station will be converted to gas instead of burning CO2 producing wood pellets from felled US forests?

No?  Thought not.

Enforcing the unenforceable

Enforcing the unenforceable - the 10 commandments

You would think that politicians large and small would have enough incentive not to make utter fools of themselves before national audiences on TV or the front pages of national and even local rags, but evidence suggests not – hyperbole before idiocy it seems.

I’ve never been involved in the legislative process, only in the attempted implementation and enforcement of pollution legislation for Her Majesty’s inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) as an IT consultant back in the early 90′s, but one of the most important aspects of any proposal must surely be not to propose legislation which is unenforceable. Surely?

The passage of unenforceable laws (such as the various alcohol/drug/gambling prohibitions in the US) or laws which can be easily circumvented/ignored (censorship/licensing of pornography for example) end up bringing the law as a whole into disrepute.

When police officers are catching bank robbers and muggers they have the support of the law-abiding majority, but when they end up as petty enforcers of public morality or expression then such widespread public support is lost.

Take David Cameron and his idiotic “ISIS use encryption, therefore lets ban all encryption” viewpoint. Even the most cursory understanding of how the internet works would make you realise that such a proposal if implemented would mean the end of internet eCommerce in the UK, to highlight just a single instance.

The only purpose of such unworkable schemes seems to be to lay the groundwork for ever more draconian (and expensive) monitoring regimes which either never work or are so intrusive that people go elsewhere.

One insider at a major US technology firm told the Guardian that “politicians are fond of asking why it is that tech companies don’t base themselves in the UK”.

“I think if you’re saying that encryption is the problem, at a time when consumers and businesses see encryption as a very necessary part of trust online, that’s a very indicative point of view.”

Maybe I am being naïve, but the only beneficiaries of this sort of thing are civil service bureaucrats and the massive IT and outsourcing companies which win the contracts to implement all this crap.


How to encourage smuggling

UK Plain packet cigarettes

The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes could reach £15 by 2020, suggests a report by the Independent Cancer Taskforce.

A pack of 20 ciggies currently comes with a £9-10 price tag, but guidance from the report’s ‘six priorities’ suggest a cost increase.

Cigarettes could soon cost £15 to fund cancer treatment

Setting the nanny state healthcare diktat aside, I can think of nothing worse for UK customs evasion than the current moves towards plain packaging and draconian cigarette duties. Presumably the view of the health lobby is anyone who pays £15 ($23.40 USD, $31.74 AUD) for a pack of 20 cigarettes is an idiot anyway, but this simply exposes the ignorance and patronizing attitude of the health lobby itself.

Detailed studies of the impact of cigarette taxes going back to the 1920′s and 30′s have shown that when cigarette taxes rise disproportionate to the surrounding states then smuggling rises and total revenue collected falls, this can occur even when the marginal duty rise is quite slight if the rise breaches the revenue maximising point on the taxes notional “Laffer curve“.

The New York Times reported in 1938 that opponents of the tax argued that two types of “border activity” would result from imposing taxes on cigarettes.

The first, border shopping, occurs when consumers purchase cigarettes directly from retailers in low-tax jurisdictions. The second, cigarette bootlegging, occurs when criminals illegally transport cigarettes from a low-tax to a hightax jurisdiction to expropriate the tax differential.

The warnings from the 1930s turned out to be highly prescient: both of those types of border activity soared in subsequent decades as cigarette taxes in New York rose.

Cigarette Taxes, Black Markets, and Crime – Lessons from New York’s 50-Year Losing Battle

As part of the never ending escalation against smuggling ever more sophisticated duty labels came into use along with more draconian enforcement against personal-use, small-scale and wholesale (criminal) smuggling – all of which costs and behavioural changes are seldom mentioned by the proponents of higher taxes.

Smugglers have traditionally tried to source original, foreign market replacements as illustrated by French, Spanish, Polish warning labels on smuggled packets. However, higher margins can be obtained if they can successfully pass-off off their own packed-and-packaged  counterfeit cigarettes as home market originals.

So something costing 30 pence per packet to manufacture, filled with higher toxicity “chop-chop” tobacco will flood the streets and more disreputable corner shops. Even at half the £15 per pack price of the  duty-paid originals, they will sell like hot cakes.

None of that revenue will go to the exchequer and overall the health of smokers will be worse as they will be smoking cigarettes with higher tar, particulates and carcinogens than duty-paid originals.

My conclusion – The health lobby really hates smokers and wants to kill more of them faster while depleting the treasury. I bet you won’t find that anywhere in their report.

“Draw Mohammed”: Summary

In this fight to retain our freedom, which is the root of the Garland flap, Shari’ah Law and Islamicisation of the West are the adversary. But the principles for which we fight are just as much if not more at risk in the project to Fundamentally Transform the Whole World into some Marxist-Leninist-Progressivist nightmare, and the means by which we fight Islamicisation are to be applied also in this other, all-encompassing fight.

As for the present instance: If we held such events as “Draw Mohammed” every month (but responsibly, as the Garland event was held); if we met every attempt at intimidation by being unimpressed, for instance if our own papers had published the Danish cartoons; such actions would show our enemies that we mean what we say, we will stick by it, we will stand by our principles and defend them in word and deed. If the enemy then wants to impose his will on us by force, by terrorism and war, he will have at least some evidence that we will not run from the fight, fearfully and virtuously clucking our disapproval of it.

With luck he might conjecture that while we would prefer not to meet force with force, we certainly will do so if it is necessary in order for us to live our lives as free men and women and not as serfs or slaves who are at the disposal of other human beings and who are allowed to exist only at their pleasure; and that if we are forced to war in self-defense, we have more than enough strength of will to prevail.

In the ’30′s, Britain and France telegraphed their reluctance to face the facts and to defend themselves against force with force. The guy with the moustache picked up the message and calculated that he could get away with it…and almost did.

How many times must we repeat the same mistake!

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 6: Closing Arguments

The following points have been made by the Prosecution against Pamela Geller (hereinafter, “P.G.”). Each point is followed by rebuttal from the Defense.

1. P.G. held the event specifically to provoke Muslims.

She did not. The underlying point of the event was to EXERCISE freedom of speech in a way that would show that Americans are serious about protecting it. I point out that this is true regardless of whether that freedom is under attack by Islam, the PC crowd, or anybody else … and there are lots of “anybody else’s,” as I hope the various video clips have shown.

But in particular, we in the West are being undermined by capitulating to various strictures of Shari’ah, in this case that one must not even draw the Prophet, let alone criticize, let alone mock him. P.G.’s direct and immediate point in the event was to show that we are determined NOT to “submit” to that stricture.

There is a second point to the event that is equally important, and that is to bring the situation of “creeping Shari’ah,” in this case Shari’ah against Freedom of Speech, into broad public awareness, so that “we” will become not just a few hundred thousand or a few million resisters, but the bulk of the American people: hundreds of millions of resisters.

2. The event predictably invited and incited violence against AFDI, the attendees, and the American public generally. P.G. should, must, have known this, and therefore should not have put others at risk by holding it.

P.G. was well aware that there might be a violent response. That is why she provided additional security forces to the tune of some $37,000 – $ 50,000, according to different published claims.

But in fact no Muslims were forced to respond violently. They chose to do so of their own free will. Miss Geller responds, “This is the same argument as the one claiming that the rape victim is responsible for her being raped because she wore a short skirt.”

(This argument has actually been made often enough against those who claim to have been raped, but the fact is that is both illegal and morally wrong to rape anybody for any reason, even if the victim did intentionally wear a short skirt in a dangerous neighbourhood. We rightly hold the rapist accountable just the same.)

3a. P.G. has the right, specifically the legal, First-Amendment right, to hold the event and say what she wants, but she should not have done it [this may be express or only implied, by the question "…but should she have?"].

This amounts to devaluing all previous statements of defense. It’s like “damning by faint praise.”

(Look for a posting about this line of thought at some point, because there is a good impulse behind it as well as the cowardly refusal to give a fully-committed defense in public.)

3b. Besides, this type of speech, this type of event, “even if it’s allowed, it shouldn’t be done, because it has no value, this type of discussion at this type of event.” Megyn Kelly asks Eugene Volokh to comment on this claim, at 7:09 in their video in Part 5.

Prof. Volokh replies [boldface mine]:

“Well, surely this kind of discussion does have value, it has value in debate about Islam and about the role of Islam and about the action of some Muslims, fortunately only a small portion of Muslims to these kinds of things.

But beyond that, it has value as a re-affirmation of our free-speech rights, it has value as an act of defiance, it has value as people saying “look, we are not going to be shut up. When you tell us that we cannot draw pictures of Mohammed, when you tell us that we cannot say these things or else you’ll kill us, that just means we’re gonna [sic] do it again and again to show that you can not threaten Americans into submission. …. The whole point of this was to say, “You cannot tell Americans, you cannot tell a free people what [they] can and cannot say.” And that’s a very important message to say, especially in times like these.”

I have heard people saying … it’s too provocative. Well, look, there are times when First Amendment rights have to be defended. And they have to be defended by saying [we're] going to say these things even though we realize there’s a risk of violence, even though we realize there’s a risk of attack. The only way we can protect our free-speech rights is by re-asserting our free-speech rights.

By “re-asserting,” Prof. Volokh means showing the existence of the right by using it.

I note that it is up to the Courts through their rulings, and up to us as American (and Western) individuals through our words and actions, to confirm publically the existence of the right and our insistence on not being intimidated into being silenced, on this or any other issue.

4. The event shows that P.G. is “racist,” an Islamophobe, and hates all Muslims.

Horsefeathers. It shows that Miss Geller is aware of the threat from jihadists of both the violent sort and the lawfare/public-condemnation-public-opinion sort, and is fully committed to resisting both.

5. Cartoons at the event clearly are obscene and mock the Prophet.

I haven’t seen any of the cartoons from the contest except Bosch Fawstin’s winning one, which is certainly not obscene in any way. It does call attention to the fact that Mohammed lacks the power to enforce obedience to his command, and I suppose that might be a form of “mockery” in that shows him as “full of sound and fury,” but powerless.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 5: The Defense

A few, a very few, on Fox and elsewhere have seen fit to defend Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest and the Garland, Tex. Free Speech convention in a fully-committed way, that gets to the heart of the issue and the real meaning of the event and the of the terrorist response; as well as to the MSM’s capitulation to Shari’ah’s objective of silencing opposition, as shown by their finger-wagging and jaw-flapping character assassinations. Among them are Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly in the clips below. Each is in two parts, and each is enlightening.

Hannity, Pamela Geller: with Brendan Darby of Breitbart, who was on the scene, shortly after the shooting. (The uploader says 11 a.m. Eastern, 5/4/15, but there’s no statement that that’s when the recording was made.)

Hannity, Pamela Geller: “Mainstream Media Rewarding Jihad Terror,” with clips from various MSM nasties pontificating:

Megyn Kelly, with Eugene Volokh, who points out the practical value of the event as a part of our defense of free speech:

Megyn Kelly follows up with Alan Dershowitz and Rich Lowry, who concur with the bottom line. She makes the core point in her opening:

UPDATE: I think it would be good to let Miss Kelly and Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, Stop Islamisation [sic] of America, and AFDI, make another very important point.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4: Flak

Some of the milder MSM videos in which Pamela Geller takes heavy fire from the “I believe in free speech, but…” crowd.

There are probably more here than anybody has the stomach for, and these are not the really nasty ones! But although the bottom line is the same in all, each differs somewhat in points made or in facts presented or both, so I think I will give you three from Fox, one from CNN, and one from ABC. To close, Senator Rand Paul weighs in, and finally leftist lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

“Judge Jeanine” Pirro, Fox:

In opening her show on May 9, “Judge Jeanine” defended free speech strongly, even including Miss Geller’s right to hold her Free Speech event. But she ended her remarks by saying ‘that she thought Geller’s event, which was attacked by two gunmen last weekend, was probably a “dumb move,” which is pretty much all the critics of it are saying,’ as the video’s uploader observed.

Martha MacCallum, Fox:

O’Reilly, Donald Trump (!), Laura Ingraham, Fox:

Greta van Susteren, Fox: Never mind, you get the idea.

Alisyn Camerata, CNN:

Jake Tapper, ABC:

. . .

Senator Rand Paul.

With Glenn Beck, The Glenn Beck Program:

With Megyn Kelly, Fox. Most of this is about the Iraq War and the Patriot act. Segment on “Draw Mohammed” begins about 6:46.

Raymond Arroyo, Alan Dershowitz, “Free Speech Limits,” EWTN:

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 4a: Flak — Prologue

Coming up: Just a few of the millions of clips out there tsk-tsking Miss Geller’s Free Speech Event and “Draw Mohammed” contest in Garland, Texas, the first weekend in May.

To set the stage:

Peace Offering

Banco.Peace Offering.Cartoon.("Now will you be nice to us?") showing Geller,P.'s head offered to Radical Islam by an appeaser

Pam Geller is being attacked by the “I’m for free speech , but…” crowd, and the mainstream media as though she’s worse than ISIS, again, blaming the victim to fit their narrative. Cartoon by A.F.Branco ©2015.

“Note: You may re-post this cartoon provided you link back to this source. More A.F. Branco cartoons at Patriot Update here.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 3: The Speeches

Here are the speeches* presented at the Garland, Texas Free Speech Convention on May 3, 2015. (It was as people were leaving the building that evening that two Muslim terrorists attacked them, fortunately hurting no one but themselves.) In order below: Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Bosch Fawstin following an introduction by Robert Spencer, Robert Spencer, and closing remarks from Miss Geller. Many good points, and of course the overarching/cornerstone point.

Pamela Geller, Opening Speech:

Geert Wilders speech:

Bosch Fawstin acceptance speech, Robert Spencer speech at 8:10, Pamela Geller closing speech at 16:10.

*If there were any other speeches, I have neither seen nor heard any reference to them. Nor do I know what other activities there were during the Conference.

“Draw Mohammed,” Part 2: The Occasion

“I think there needs to be a change to the law where people do not disrespect especially high people,” Texas Imam Mobasher Ahmed said.

So there you have it — I am not saying it, a Texas imam is. This is the the objective and what I fight against. The media has already submitted to sharia restrictions on free speech and viciously enforced the ban against violators (like myself).

I am not a Muslim. I will not adhere to sharia (Islamic law) and its restrictions on free speech (and freedom).

The reporter for this story sounds surprised that we have supporters and that they own up to it. It’s like Bill O’Reilly on his show tonight. O’Reilly refused to release results from his AFDI Muhammad cartoon poll. He said it was “slammed” in OUR favor, so there for “untrustworthy”.

Thus Pamela Geller, slightly edited for typos, in her Description under a 3-minute news clip.

Pamela Geller is considered a heroine by some and the Devil Incarnate by others. Her cause*: To defend America and the West generally against the encroachment of political Islam as it is today: To fight against Shari’ah as part of the American (and the UK’s, and by extension the West’s) legal system. Her chosen battle field in this fight is the defense of freedom of speech in general.

Of course a part of any defense against political Islam is the fight against Islamic violence. The defense of freedom of speech requires among other things that such violence must not be allowed to cow Americans or anyone else into submission to the Ummah or any part of it. Miss Geller’s thought is that one must face force and resist it, or be complicit in one’s own condition of dhimmitude or slavery.

So, Mohammed thunders: “You can’t draw me!” And Mr. Fawstin replies, “That is why I draw you.” Mohammed is wrong: One certainly can draw him, if one will only exercise his right to draw Mohammed by making the drawing.

We say to Mohammed: You have no power over me.

This series of postings presents material pertaining to the Free Speech Conference organized by Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (dreadful name — better, “American Initiative for the Defense of Freedom). It was held in Garland, Tex., this past May 2-3.

The event included a “Draw Mohammed” competition, which was won by Bosch Fawstin, whose cartoon is shown in Part 1. Mr. Fawstin grew up as a Muslim in a Muslim family, but he found the misogyny and other factors of his Muslim childhood impossible to accept, and in the end became a former Muslim, an apostate. (I think he’s now an atheist, but probably you cats know more about that than I do.)

As well as the competition, there were at least four speeches given at the event, by Miss Geller, Geert Wilders, Mr. Fawstin, and Robert Spencer, along with a short closing by Miss Geller. I believe that is the order in which they were given, but I can’t prove it. Nor do I know what other seminars or workshops or whatever were a part of the meeting.

However, the meeting ended sometime in the evening (I gather, from news video) of Sunday, May 3. As the crowd of more than 300 people were leaving the venue, two Muslim terrorists opened fire on them. As it happened the Garland police were there and killed the two.

Because of an unnamed officer’s quick thinking, quick draw-and-fire, and accurate aim, none of the attendees was hurt.

*Miss Geller also has fought to defend the physical victims of Islam, such as the many young girls subjected to or under threat of Shari’ah murder, and also the hundreds of thousands of Christians and Jews being slaughtered around the world for the crime of not being Muslim. But that is a topic for another time.

[Edit: Two typos fixed, and one sentence reworded for clarity.]

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