Saturday, January 5

Death Statistics

Weapons 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Total 14,965 15,087 14,916 14,224 13,636
Total firearms: 10,158 10,225 10,129 9,528 9,146
   Handguns 7,565 7,836 7,398 6,800 6,452
   Rifles 445 438 453 380 348
   Shotguns 522 490 457 442 418
   Other guns 138 107 116 81 94
   Firearms, type not stated 1,488 1,354 1,705 1,825 1,834
Knives or cutting instruments 1,920 1,830 1,817 1,888 1,825
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 608 618 647 603 611
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) 905 841 869 875 801
Poison 9 12 10 9 6
Explosives 2 1 1 11 2
Fire 125 117 131 85 99
Narcotics 46 48 52 34 45
Drowning 20 12 12 16 8
Strangulation 118 137 134 89 121
Asphyxiation 96 106 109 87 77
Other weapons or weapons not stated 958 1,140 1,005 999 895

So these are the statistics from the FBI annual crime statistics.

Curious, the problem with handguns seems to be improving. So is it with Rifles, Shotguns and other guns. Knives are quite high as well but also reducing slightly. Blunt objects are going up. Strangulation is going up.

Hmmm, overall, looks like the number of deaths is coming down and US society is improving…as far as crime is concerned

then again, facetiously, if we are talking about banning, then handguns are the biggest problem, why are we talking assault weapons and high capacity magazines when the biggest source relates to handguns?

and while we are at it, ban knives, blunt objects and personal weapons..

we do need to make it more tougher for nutters to have guns..

Friday, January 4

World’s largest Porn Collection

Did you know who had this dubious honour? I didn't, its King Farouk of Egypt.

Apparently he was described as a stomach with a head. Then again, once you look back at the list of rulers that Egypt has been blessed over the past couple of centuries after Mohammad Ali, you will find nothing surprising at a country which is ruled by assorted nutters. His descendants were a bunch of dilettantes. Then the British took over and with their customary incompetence and half hearted liberal tyranny, managed to rouse the populace thoroughly. But never let it be said that some people cannot be fooled all the time. Nasser took over and managed to screw up Egypt royally, with misadventures galore with pretty much everybody. After losing big chunks of territory and waging chemical warfare against his fellow Arabs in Yemen, he managed to die, prompting one of the largest funeral processions ever known to mankind. Then Sadat came over and signed a treaty with Israel. <esphoks>. And then Mubarak came in with his kleptocratic views who managed to keep Egypt bumping along till we now have Morsi from the Brotherhood. And the man has a PhD from USA. Why are you surprised? Their flag has the Saladin Eagle on it, the man who managed to impoverish Egypt totally.

Its so sad that its funny.

Incidentally talking about porn and Egyptian Leaders, did you know that the ancient Pharaohs masturbated into the Nile to encourage an abundance of water? I quote:

According to Sex and Society, "even the ebb and flow of the Nile was thought to be caused by Atum's (the god of creation) ejaculation. This concept spurred the Egyptian pharaohs to ritually masturbate into the Nile to ensure an abundance of water."

The ancient Egyptians were so inspired by the act of self-stimulation that at the festival of the god Min, who represented Pharaoh's sexual potency, men masturbated in public.

And to top it all, John pointed me to this news story, you have really reached the pits when even a country like Pakistan doesn't want to be like you.

“He said the Egyptian model of governance cannot be pursued in Pakistan.“If someone thinks that it can be followed, than he is wrong, as it will not work here”, he noted.”

Thursday, January 3

We have a definition of an Expert on Islam

There are so many people who purport to speak for Islam. So how do you determine who is an expert and who isn't? Well, now we have a definition. You are supposed to have a formal academic qualification from an accredited institution of Higher education in the West or an institution of higher education in a Muslim Majority Country that ranks amongst the world’s top 500 universities.

heh. that basically counts out pretty much everybody, eh? Most of the sheikhs, all the mullah’s, all the chaps will be disqualified. Heck, did you know that Al Azhar isnt on the list of 500 universities either? King Saud, King Abdulaziz and King Fahd Universities are there. And we know what’s coming out of there.

Why do people do this? its like stupid…instead of engaging with the substantive parts of Islamophobia (which does exist), they go for these ad hominem attacks. Idiots. There is a very good reason why the Prophet did not allow or put into operation or Islam allows a priestly class. Every person is allowed his own relationship with God and speak of that.

Wednesday, January 2

British institutions: livery companies

I was a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists till recently. Had to resign unfortunately as I simply couldn't manage to attend their sessions, they are usually held in the city of London, start at around 5 and I cannot get back into the city from Canary Wharf by that time..So had to regretfully resign, but still, given their halls, we end up having quite a lot of dinners at the various Livery Companies. My last sojourn there was to the Ironmonger’s…I have been there before. See here. Also to the Butchers. And pottered around the garden of the Barbers. And then the Makers of Playing cards. Anyway, they do a shedload of charity things, so was involved with them to raise funds for schools, was a mentor for few of their journeymen, gave lectures at the hall and then helped other charities. Anyhow…Here’s the wiki entry on these livery companies.

Here’s a lovely overview of the Livery Companies from the FT. Good place to be in, very long history, very good work being done and something that the professions could do a bit more of..

Two views of the Indian Police, from the Police

The case of the Indian woman gang raped and who subsequently died from her injuries is pretty gruesome. The onus obviously fell on the police, who basically took corrupt payments to allow these buses to ply. And the dismal rate of convictions (600 cases and 1 conviction). So what do the police themself say? Here are two contradictory views. First:

Reviled as an ineffective, uncouth force that terrorizes people rather than protect them, Delhi Police officials find scarce favour with Delhiites. Indrani Basu of TOI spoke to a lower functionary of the force to unveil a lesser-known side of the daily functioning of the 76,000-strong team that is supposed to keep the city safe.

When I joined the police force, I didn't know I would spend most of my time doing things other than what I was trained for. The public expects police to help them with every problem, including matters unrelated to our work.

The control room receives roughly 24,000 calls a day; 70% of these are not policing matters. Almost daily we are called in for civic disputes, problems with electric supply, presence of stray dogs, monkeys - the list is endless.

Civic agencies should handle such complaints but people call the police as other control rooms don't spring into action. We have to resolve the issue as it may become a law and order problem. There have been occasions where we've fetched electricians or other technicians to resolve some issue.

The public perceives us as unruly and uncouth. Much of this has to do with our working conditions. Unlike other government departments, all of which have fixed work-hours, cops don't have any shift system.

I may have a 12-hour duty but if I get a distress call 30 minutes before I'm to leave, I must attend to the call. This can take hours - many times the next 12 hours - to sort out. It's usual to work 24 hours without rest and continue the next day. The Delhi Police Act says an officer is on duty round the clock. A policeman gets a month's extra salary every year to compensate for working without a shift system, but this compromises quality of work.

Many times we don't get vehicles to respond to distress calls. We usually use private conveyance to reach the crime spot: our own or an auto. There are around 15-20 cops per police station. But not more than four or five motorcycles are provided to each. Most bikes are on patrolling duty.

Some stations have an emergency response vehicle. The conveyance allowance up to an Inspector's rank is about Rs 375 a month. This cripples our work. There is need for a proper emergency response unit for every call received; not leave an officer to his own devices.

Investigations throw up their own kind of miscellaneous expenses that you will never see in official statistics. From getting a post-mortem done to collecting forensic reports, our pocket is made lighter in many ways. We have to submit a charge-sheet within 90 days, but with limited forensic facilities we invariably incur expenses to get test results on time.

Provisions exist to claim investigation expenditure, but it's a tedious process. Also, there are no proper bills for most such expenses. For example, every year we remove several dead bodies. We make our own arrangements to retrieve the body and take it to the mortuary. Usually, we rope in a passerby willing to do the job in return for payment that comes from our own pocket. How can we claim such expenses?

We don't even have basic facilities. No buildings or land are demarcated for police stations when an area is developed. Outposts come up based on need. Many times such outposts are mere tents. It doesn't feel like we work for a serious organization.

Several stations don't have facilities for overnight stay though duty can stretch to three, four days continuously. Issues of mosquitoes, unhygienic surroundings and unavailability of fans plague many. Some police stations don't even have access to drinking water. There may be no water connection even. Lack of proper facilities causes us to function with a negative frame of mind.

Such tough work conditions make us an unhappy lot, which sometimes compromises the police-public interface. Many cope with the pressure by resorting to corruption, anger, brutality - a vicious cycle.

We constantly deal with criminals with no stress-relieving facilities provided. Many cops need psychological counselling, therapy to deal with their daily stress. No such facility is available. Some medical camps have raised these concerns but they are never resolved.

Feel pity for them? Here’s another interview with a copper. The chap also calls the rapists as bastards, as I did, and got into trouble for saying that. But leaving that aside for the moment, the opinions are pretty Neanderthal. Now check what they said about women.

I realised that according to stringent criteria of the Delhi Police, almost all women deserve to be raped. And here’s why:

Who are these people, I'd wonder, who genuinely believe that a woman would deliberately provoke sexual assault. Reuters

One, she is not in a salwar kameez or sari, at all times

Most urban professional women wear a lot of skirts, jeans, blouses, and dresses. And they usually carefully calibrate what they wear according to where they will be: out on the street or at an upmarket bar/restaurant. But all this effort is pointless because as Satbir Singh, Additional SHO of Sector 31 Police Station, Faridabad, puts it: “Ladkiya jo hai unko yahan tak yahan tak (he gestures to mean that women should cover their entire body, then carries on speaking)… Skirt pehenti hai. Blouse dalti hai; poora nahi dalti hai. Dupatta nahi dalti. Apne aapko dikhawa karti hai. Baccha uske taraf akarshit hota hai.” (Girls should be covered from here to here… They wear skirts, blouses, that don’t cover them fully. Don’t wear a dupatta. They display themselves. A kid will naturally be attracted to her.)

Sub-Inspector Arjun Singh, SHO of Surajpur Police Station, Greater Noida, clarifies the position further: “She is dressed in a manner that people get attracted to her. In fact, she wants them to do something to her.”

In other words, unless a woman is fully covered from head to toe – at all times – shewants men to rape her.

Two, if a woman is in a sexual relationship with one man, then she deserves to be raped by him and all his friends. Dharamveer Singh, Additional SHO at Indirapuram Police Station in Ghaziabad, tells Tehelka: “It’s very rare that a girl is forcefully picked up by 10 boys. A girl who gets into a car with boys is never innocent. If she does, she definitely has a relationship with at least one of them.”

Three, she keeps the company of drunk men. Is it bad judgement to drink with strangers in India? Yes. And many of us are far too cautious to slam back the vodka unless we are amongst good friends. But who cares since our men in uniform seem to think that alcohol and opportunity is sufficient – and just – cause for rape:

Roop Lal of Sector 40, Gurgaon, sought to find a rationale to the occurrence of gang-rape: “Jaise hum log baithe hai, zyaada daaru pee li. Chalte peeli. Behnchodh, phekh saala, phir to aise hi hoga. Raat bhar rakh li. Uska jawab kya degi wo apne gharwalon ko, ki jo ek ghante ke liye keh kar gayi hai, aur poori night main kahan gayi thi. To maa-baap to poochenge, bhai bhi poochega. Jinka samaaj hai woh to poochte hai (Say we are sitting and had one drink too many while on the move… it’s obvious that it’ll happen. Keep her for the entire night. What will she tell her parents? She was supposed to be away for an hour and has ended up being out the entire night. Parents will question, so will her brother. Society will ask questions.”)

So when a man drinks, he turns into a sex-crazed animal ready to rape the nearest woman. When a woman drinks, she is a slut looking to be raped. Ergo, women should not drink, nor should she place herself anywhere in the vicinity of men who do. (A rule that includes being in a bar late at night) And even if one of the men happens to be your boyfriend, it is no cause to let your guard down because: See reason #2.

Four, a girl deserves to be raped because her mother is a “slut.” When all else fails, blame the mom. That seems to be the reasoning of the investigating officer in the Noida gang rape case which involved a Class X student. Here’s Ram Malik’s justification for the rape of a minor: “The girl’s mother is divorced. She’s living with another man from the Yadav community. She’s 48 whereas the man is 28. It’s inevitable the two daughters will be wayward, isn’t it?”

Five, a woman deserves to be raped because she belongs to the upper class – or the lower class. Upper class women don’t know how to behave or dress modestly, which invites trouble. They are also either high class hookers, or alcohol and drug-addicted floozies. Their lower class peers, however, are just looking to make a quick buck.

In fact, according to 17 of the 30 policemen interviewed by Tehelka that “real” rape cases are rare: “There are cases but 70 percent involve consensual sex. Only if someone sees, or the money is denied, it gets turned into rape”

Sub-Inspector Manoj Rawat of Noida’s Sector 24 Police Station is far more skeptical: “Everything in NCR happens with mutual understanding. My personal view is that there are one or two percent rape cases in NCR.”

And six, a woman deserves to be raped because she reported the rape. The most astounding revelation in the Tehelka expose is this: most rape complaints are false, motivated by either vindictiveness or monetary gain. It’s an excellent example of circular logic:

Tehelka asked Yogender Singh Tomar, Additional SHO, Sector 39, Noida, if it was easy for a rape victim to approach the police. His answer left us shocked: “Aasaan nahi hota uske liye. Bezzati se sabhi darti hai. Akhbaar baazi se bhi darti hai. Asliyat main wahin aati hai jo dhande main lipt hoti hai (It’s never easy for the victim. Everyone is scared of humiliation. Everyone’s wary of media and society. In reality, the ones who complain are only those who have turned rape into a business).”

In other words, if you’re “really” raped, you would never complain. If you complain, you were not “really” raped.

So here’s the bottomline, ladies and gentleman. If we were to apply the this insane litmus test to all the women we know – friends, family members, distant relatives, colleagues, maids, or acquaintances – none of us would make the grade. According to the Delhi police, we all deserve to be raped.

Before one gets up and going, one has to see that pretty much the same views were uttered by the politicians, they are uttered by the various religious bastards of the sri ram sene ilk from the Hindu right to the Muslim muppets who prefer to shove their women in burqa’s and marry them off to the rich shiekhs by giving them a religious justification for prostitution. Same sermons one gets from pretty much across the society. Try to walk in any Indian city with you wearing a skirt, the stares you get are amazing..its just ludicrous. And yes, I have done so, went across an entire town wearing a ghagra choli on a bet.

Tuesday, January 1

When soldier suicides are higher than combat

There is something wrong when the number of soldier suicides in your army is significantly more than combat deaths (303 suicides versus 212 combat deaths). Source.

Whilst almost 85% had no direct combat history (could have been deployed but didn't see action), so combat stress can be ruled out. One wonders when an organisation so disciplined and well supported has such high rates of suicide, its going to be difficult to support and reduce…

and then this point…

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate are pushing for new rules that would allow military commanders and mental health specialists to ask unstable troops if they own personal firearms, reports Stars and Stripes.

What are the chances of that happening? I know that a person will commit suicide irrespective but still easy access to firearms makes it much more easy…Not good.

Monday, December 31

Is god male or female?

Firs the story

Just in time for Christmas, Germany's conservative Family Minister Kristina Schröder has sparked a contentious debate about the word most central to the Christian faith: God.

In an interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in which she discussed gender roles in children's literature, Schröder also took on God's gender, and fellow members of her Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, are not impressed.

The German language has three definite articles for nouns to indicate their gender -- der (masculine), die (feminine) and das (neuter). The noun der Gott, or God, is masculine. But Schröder told Die Zeit that the article for God shouldn't matter. It could just as easily be the gender-neutral das Gott, she said, saying the article "doesn't mean anything."

Such a suggestion is an outrage, her colleagues say.

"This overly cerebral nonsense leaves me speechless," Bavarian Social Minister and CSU member Christine Haderthauer told the mass-circulation daily Bild on Friday. "I find it sad when our children, due to blatant insecurity and political correctness, have the strong images that are so important to their imaginations taken away."

Can god have a gender? Have X chromosomes, a penis? A desire for a female? If there can be a male god, where is the female god? Here’s an idea, convert to Hinduism, we have gods of all types, shapes, sizes, genders and and and.. Smile

Sunday, December 30

Turkish President asks genocide to be forgotten

I saw this news item.

Turkish President stepped in to halt planned execution of Bangladesh Islamic leader and 100 others.

President Abdullah Gul sent Bangladesh President a letter on the leaders under trial, Turkish Daily Yeni Şafak said.

Some reports say Bangladesh plan to execute former leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ghulam Azam, will be executed in 26 March 2013.

The three-judge International Crimes Tribunal-1, set up to deal with crimes against humanity during the 1971 War of Independence, has indicted 91-year old leader for five charges including incitement, conspiracy and abetment. Gul's letter comes after Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu assigned envoy to Dhaka to follow the issue.

Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party staged rallies against trials with police reportedly using live ammunition against the protesters. At least one person has been killed and scores injured and detained by police

Well, you know where this is coming from, no? Turkey, being responsible for the Armenian Genocide, is trying to stop other genocide’s being recognised. Typical muppets…they are happy to have popped off millions of their people but let somebody else kill their citizens (Syria, Greece, Israel, etc. etc.) and they go up in flames. Bloody hypocrites.

Here’s a draft letter (written from the perspective of a Bangladeshi citizen, but one can amend suitably) which one can use to send protests to your local Turkish Embassy.

Mr. Abdullah Gül
The President of the Republic of Turkey
The Republic of Turkey
This is the shocking news that we have received on 27th December 2012. You have written a letter to the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Your Excellency, you asked in your letter not to punish the leader of 1971 genocide in Bangladesh. Shame on you Mr. President. To establish the role of law we must punish the war criminals. How could you ask to free a war criminal?
Mr. President, You have requested President of Bangladesh Mr. Zillur Rahman to give "clemency" to the accused under trial in the International Crimes Tribunals for the "sake of peace in the society".
Mr. President, Your request not to sentence Ghulam Azam, former ameer of Jamaat-e Islami, for committing the crimes against humanity is not only against the diplomatic norms and interference with the internal affairs of Bangladesh, but also a blow to its independence and sovereignty. Shame on You Mr. President.
Your Excellency, The judicial system of every country is independent and sovereign and no country can make any comment on the judicial system of other. Mr. President as the head of a nation you should be aware of this.
Mr. President should remember that the Armenian Genocide was carried out by the "Young Turk" government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916 (with subsidiaries to 1922-23). One and a half million Armenians were killed, but no trial was held for the killings. Turkey had committed the first genocide in the world in the last century. The Turkish government never apologized for the crime. Turkey is still killing Kurdish people without any trial.
The other genocide of the 20th Century was in Bangladesh and committed by the Pakistani government. Three millions of Bangalees were killed and 400 000 of women were raped by the brutal Pakistani army and its alies led by Golam Azam. The Pakistan government did not ask any apology like the Turkish government.
The Turkish government supported the Pakistani military regime during the great liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. Now after 40 years we have started the war crime tribunal in Bangladesh. This is the demand of 3 millions of martyrs and 400 000 raped women of Bangladesh.
Your Excellency, Mr. President, under the soil of Bangladesh we still have the 3 millions martyrs. You have dishonoured the whole Bangalee nation. I therefore demand an apology from you.
It is bad enough that you have dishonored the history and it is the shameless and shameful attempt to interfere with Bangladesh’s internal affair. This is an undertaking, the greatest of follies. Shame on You Mr. President.
I strongly protest if any country like Turkey makes any statement against the independent judicial system of Bangladesh or its sovereignty and dignity.
Mr. President, your request is a shameless expression of a conspiracy.
Your Excellency, Mr. President Please try to listen to your conscience and be truthful.
Thanking you.
With kind regards
(your name)