Monday, June 09, 2008


Someone decided that Dino Merlin's new video is offensive to Muslims...

But my take is it gets EVERYONE, there's a guy dressed like an Orthodox priest and a guy dressed like a Franciscan, and guess what, the hodža is leading the Franciscan by his belt like the Franciscan is his bitch or something. . . .

So as a Catholic, should I be offended? Maybe, but I find the video too much fun to be offended. Should we all be offended at the guy dressed as the Devil in Laka's video? Should the Satanists hit the streets now?

Today is rainy, so was yesterday, I liked that, it has been way too hot for me so some cool weather was not only nice it was really helpful, I slept decently for a couple nights.

I made something helpful for myself. It's a paper pillow. What you need is paper, other than newsprint, it needs to be torn into quarter inch squares and then put into a mesh bag, then put a pillow case on it. The hobo factor is kind of up there, but such pillows and even whole paper 'feather beds' were used in 19th century America to sleep on in hot weather and for people with fevers and I am here to tell you it actually works, plus the neck support is the BEST EVER. When the paper gets funky, throw it out, and make a new one.
I used an error filled first print out of my last year's NaNo.

There is a demonstration today of de-certified policemen, they hand-cuffed the doors of the Parliment building in the wee hours. It's fairly orderly and not anyplace I ever go, so I feel perfectly fine with being in town today. Besides it will probably rain a bunch in a bit.

Yesterday in Maglaj, a guy was killed by a left over landmine. He was very young, 17 or something.
Maglaj and the area around Jablanica have a LOT of landmines. More than average if I understood the news correctly.

Landmines offend me worse than anything Dino Merlin could ever get up to!

Desperately sad about the young man in Maglaj. I can remember when we were campaigning for the Landmine Treaty, I think Afghanistan, Angola and Bosnia were the three countries with the most landmines. We had a march up Whitehall behind "grim reapers" with the names of the twelve most mined countries. I feel very sad that we got the treaty in the end and yet even now it was still too late for that young man.

The Cluster Bomb Treaty was signed in Dublin last week, at long last. I wonder how many more children will die from the weapons still left scattered around.
@ Owen, landmines and cluster bombs are EVIL! (preaching to the choir here! )

Back in the Gulag, the Democratic party was putting together it's local platform and my friend who was on the committee for issues got an anti landmine plank, and some horses petut, decided that banning landmines and cluster bombs would tie the president's hands in time of war. So I got up, this was after my first trip to Sarajevo, and down to Croatia. I asked, how many of you guys have even BEEN someplace that has landmines? Three old veterans in their 70s raised their hands. I raised mine.
I said next, 'The point of war is NOT to kill civilians OR your own side! The point is to kill the ENEMY! Landmines kill more civilians and people on one's own side than they kill of the enemy.' The room was silent, and then I said, 'Personally, I am not a pacefist, I am anti-war more times than not, but war isn't going to go away, and I think it would be well to at damned well least observe some sort of rules that control th e damage. As human beings we need to do that. We don't need landmines or cluster bombs to win wars and if we do we ought to just let some other country run the world!' Incidentally the anti landmines and cluster bomb plank stayed. The guy who wanted it removed a couple weeks later joined the Republicans. I think he was a plant anyway.
Well spoken up!
It shames me greatly that my country will not sign on to ban landmines.

Cluster bombs should not be used against civilians, BUT I can see a legit military use for them. I can see why responsible governments might be hesitant to ban an offensive weapon in an age of guided weapons technology.

Oliver Kamm had something on this in his blog recently.
@Kirk, I have to say, I disagree about cluster bombs, here is why, they don't always all explode, and they can be as bad as landmines. Kids often think the component parts are toys. Afghanistan is full of kids who lost limbs to cluster bombs.
I understand that, Katya. The distinction is that they're not INTENDED to lay around unexploded. I don't mean to be callous, but incidents like the one you describe are accidents which could theoretically be prevented if cluster bomb technology and manufacture were improved.

As I said, I can see a tangible military benefit and use for cluster bombs properly deployed. Landmines, on the other hand, are almost assuredly a greater threat to civilians than to opposing military forces and they're simply a worthless offensive weapon.

I could be convinced to change my mind on this subject, but for now I really think there's a fundamental distinction between a potentionally useful offensive weapon like cluster bombs versus landmines, which are just glorified booby traps with no reasonable offensive use.
@Kirk, I would tend toward your view if they were bothering to improve the technology. A great deal depends on who has a given weapon, as far as how it gets used. In the case of Afghanistan, cluster bombs were deployed in a wildly inappropriate way by the Soviet forces. The same could be said in many cases of machine guns which are an appropriate technology in warfare. The difference is machine gun bullets tend to explode on impact, there aren't a lot of cases of them lying about killing unintended targets after the war is over, which is true of both landmines and cluster bombs. Unless you want to count the lead content. The other weapon that needs to go away is Depleted Uranium. While I definitely can see a military use for something that busts up hardened bunkers, like the ones that were common here for example, the depleted uranium kills a lot of unintended people later, through cancer. These are tough issues on which reasonable people may not always agree.
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