Friday, May 12, 2006

These are tremendous!

Business is business

This terrible story (below) also made me laugh with sheer incredulity at the fact that some weird old farmer has been building and exporting gallows to Zimbabwe from England.

Ultimately it is no laughing matter. But it also made me think of an old friend of my father's, who, after an IRA attack in Northern Ireland had killed members of the security forces, concluded his angry rant against the 'RA with the words: "Hanging's too good for them. It's a kick in the pants they need."

A farmer who builds gallows and has sold them to African countries with poor human rights records has been condemned by Amnesty International.

David Lucas, of Mildenhall, Suffolk, said he had been selling execution equipment to countries including Zimbabwe for about 10 years.

Amnesty said the export of gallows, which will be made illegal by an EC regulation in July, was "appalling".

But Mr Lucas said the trade was not sick and "business is business".

The execution equipment he says he sells ranges from single gallows, at about £12,000 each, to "Multi-hanging Execution Systems" mounted on lorry trailers, costing about £100,000.

An Amnesty International spokesman said the new European Commission Trade Regulation, which comes into force on 31 July 2006, will make it unlawful to export gallows.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Trade and Industry said the government was pleased the export of gallows was being made unlawful.

Via BBC News.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Blue doors on Buccleuch Street

I have been messing around trying out Picasa and Flickr recently. Picasa is a simple (and free) photo-editing tool that also allows one to e-mail and post images quickly and easily to one's blog. And I have a Flickr badge!... see right-hand nav bar. Posted by Picasa

Monday's sunset, Edinburgh

 Posted by Picasa

Atlanta Vignette

On the Internet, a 37-year-old man advertised himself as a transvestite escort named "Saphire." A police officer called and made an appointment. Saphire said his services cost $200 per hour, and he gave directions to his hotel on Peachtree Street. The officer wrote, "I went to the room, where he greeted me in black lingerie." Saphire was arrested for not having an escort permit or a business license.

From: Bizarre crimes from Atlanta police reports.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Young, bald and proud

Humanity's capacity for self-deception and hypocrisy seems limitless. But the Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten should win a special award for taking my breath away. He has blamed going bald for his affair with a rent boy, the disclosure of which affair forced him to leave the contest for leader of the Lib Dems earlier in the spring. That's right, going bald. Not being gay.

The MP for Winchester had the following to say in an article published yesterday:

"I was turning 40 and I really felt that I was losing my youth. The problem was undoubtedly compounded by a dramatic loss of hair in my late thirties."

"I came more and more obsessed by its disappearance."

Oaten also blamed the culture of lying in Westminster for the affair, saying: "Deceitfulness is the norm." No shit!

He said his wife Belinda (also known as 'Beard-linda'?) had thrown her wedding ring at him and tried to hit him when the story was about to break but they are trying to rebuild their marriage.

Sunday, May 07, 2006