Ummm… yay, I guess?
In a sane world, this would be one of the biggest stories in the developed world’s news. But in a sane world, this story would have never happened.
The ultra-short form: Rotherham had a “ring” of men who trafficked and gang-raped girls for a long time. This, sadly, is not an especially novel development… it happens far too often, far too widely, in places where you’d think the people woudl be far too civilized for that sort of thing. But horrible as the generic “sex trafficking of children” label is, it gets worse, due to the sheer *scale* of the operation: up to 1,400 children over 16 years. And the local authorities were repeatedly informed, but over a span of years did little to nothing. Why? Because they were afraid. Not afraid of the sex traffickers themselves, per se, like one might expect… it’s not unreasonable to assume that such a ring would be composed of and associated with dangerous men and organized criminals. But they were afraid of something far, far worse: political correctness. As it turns out, the men involved here were, in the vague terms so often employed, “predominantly Asian.” And by “Asian” they’re not talking about Koreans or Siberians or Chinese or Laotians or Russians or Indians. No, in Brit-speak, “Asian” seems to mean “Pakistani.” The victims were predominantly *not* “Asian,” but dirt-poor actual-ethnic-English.
Don’t you *dare* try to draw any conclusions from that. Don’t even think about it. Put it out of your mind.
And we’re now back to:
There is a photo of the Colombian womens cycling team making the rounds online today. Normally a photo such as this, which simply shows ‘em at some PR event standing side by side wearing their uniforms, would be of minimal interest to me, and of minimal relevance to this blog. The photo is entirely safe for work, as it shows nothing untoward or inappropriate. But I won’t post the photo, because it *appears* to be very, very NSFW. It is, in fact, one of the more bizarre and predictable fashion fails I’ve ever seen.
As I said, there’s nothing truly NSFW there. But it could get a guy in trouble. If someone *wanted* to cause a ruckus with an overzealous HR department… well, leave me out of it.
What the hell is the deal with teenage girls? They seem to be especially susceptible to falling under the sway of fantasy… be it sparkly emo vampires, Beatle/Beiber celebrities, even online horror tropes like Slender Man, teenfems seem to lose all ability to process data rationally and become rather loud and overly enthusiastic fangirls. Add to that list of “fantasy subjects who drive girls insane” one “religious leader” who keeled over nearly 1400 years ago:
Yeah, yeah, probably far more western teen *boys* are taking leave of civilization and heading off towards jihad than girls. But while I can see the allure of the caliphate for evil males, what the hell is in it for girls? As can be seen from one of the headlines, some of the girls left the civilized world in order to help torture and terrorize other women and girls. W. T. F.
A 25-year old guy – undoubtedly known to his family as a “gentle giant” – recently decided it would be a jolly good jape to take a machete and chop the head off of an 82-year-old woman. Also two cats.
Isolated incident, to be sure. The idea of a British Muslim beheading people is too ludicrous to ever occur more than once.
And in the “How about NO” department:
One thing I don’t get is the idea that the UK and US government should try to prevent home-grown jihadis from venturing off to ISISland. I say let ‘em go. hell, set up a fund to help pay their way. Just don’t let them come back.
Individually they are interesting. Put them next to each other, and you can imagine some sort of interesting developments…
A British convert to Islam posts videos extolling the virtues of chopping off heads because they are “infidels” and warning that Brits should be aware that they are all valid targets of that sort of thing at home. He also posted a video titled “Why Muslims have no sympathy for Lee Rigbys son!”
And then there’s this:
Where we learn of the widening issue of British police forces who can’t be bothered to even *try* to solve crimes, including not even showing up. Interesting quote: “some offences, such as criminal damage or stolen vehicles, are on the verge of being decriminalised by police forces which had given up investigating them.”
Say, that’s neat. At the same time a death cult is gaining in power and adherents in the UK, the British police are deciding that that whole “crime investigations” thing is just too much trouble. What could possibly go wrong?
Although… one might suggest the possibility of a deeper, more devious plan here. As things currently are in Britain, Islamism/Jihadism can grow and increase in Britain, imposing sharia over an increasing fraction of the land until it eventually either takes over or results in civil war. The current political system permits no opposition. However, by pulling the cops back from enforcing the law, this means that if Brits decide to Do Something About It themselves… who’s to stop them? It might be better to have a civil war of sorts *now* than later after the UK has already lost much of it’s blood and treasure to the forces of dumbth and darkness.
It seems that there are at least 17 cell phone towers in the CONUS that do not appear to be a part of any recognized network, yet they are functional. Someone built the things, and if you are close to them, your phone will connect through them. And at that point, whoever is operating the towers can not only listen in, they can also upload malware to your smart phone. One especially exciting bit of programming that can be uploaded to your phone can turn it into a spy device: even when you think it’s off, the mike and camera can listen, watch and transmit.
The obvious suspect would be the NSA. But they can tap into the existing network and get everything they want anyway, much more readily than via a few mystery towers. A more disturbing thought is that the towers were paid for and operated by the Chinese or some such foreign entity. Many of the towers are built on or near military bases, just perfect for capturing juicy tidbits.
Might be interesting if it turns out that all of these towers have perfectly mundane and valid back stories… but the publication of this article inspires China to build just such towers.
A map of these “interceptor” towers:
I would have expected more in California, Silicon Valley and such. Still, the “southern border” clustering seems odd. Perhaps these are being installed by Mexican drug cartels for some reason?
I should surprise nobody that since I live in a house made of Yule logs and have filled it with paper and books, *fire* is something I’m kinda twitchy about. So while writing the preceding posting, imagine how thrilled I was when the smell of smoke became overpowering. Fortunately it wasn’t my house, but instead the wheat field across the road. It’s that time of year when the farmers are burning their fields; I guess it quickly returns minerals and such to the soil, but you’d kinda think that just plowing the stubble back in might work better. I dunno, the farmers seem happy with the process.
Anyway, the wind was just right so that he smoke was blowing straight into my front windows. Joy.
Obviously, I grabbed the camera and started taking pictures. Had I been smarter I would have turned the smartphone video camera on and caught the dust devil that blew through. As it was, I only took a few inadequate photos of the mini-tornado; it went through the fire making a very, very brief firenado, but of course I didn’t catch that. All I caught was the smokenado/ashnado:
And one last shot as I was ducking out of the way… the ashnado shot across the road and plowed right into the deck where I would’ve been standing had I decided “nope.”
I took a bunch of telephoto shots as the trail of fire – created by dragging a propane flame throwing behind a four-wheeler ATV through the field – moved off into the distance. Most were better in theory than execution, but with a little cropping and fade correction, they’re kinda interesting: