Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mammoths may yet roam the plains.

But not if the liberals, animal rights whackos and general issue pussies of the Ivory Tower Left have anything to say about it.

The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts.

The notional procedure – bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films – was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell scientist, whose team unveiled Dolly as the world's first cloned mammal in 1996.

Though it is unlikely that a mammoth could be cloned in the same way as Dolly, more modern techniques that convert tissue cells into stem cells could potentially achieve the feat, Wilmut says in an article today for the academic journalism website, The Conversation.

"I've always been very sceptical about the whole idea, but it dawned on me that if you could clear the first hurdle of getting viable cells from mammoths, you might be able to do something useful and interesting," Wilmut told the Guardian.

"I think it should be done as long as we can provide great care for the animal. If there are reasonable prospects of them being healthy, we should do it. We can learn a lot about them," he added.

Because what would be the point of having a sick mammoth around, right? Who could object to that? Well its the Guardian, so they do:

Earlier this month, the most complete woolly mammoth carcass ever recovered from Russia was unveiled at an exhibition in Yokohama, Japan. The baby female, nicknamed Yuka, lived about 39,000 years ago, and is remarkable for the preservation of her fur and soft tissues, such as muscle.

Samples from Yuka have been sent to the laboratory of Hwang Woo-suk, the disgraced South Korean stem cell scientist, who, with Russian researchers, hopes to clone the mammoth.

Disgraced, you say? For what? Well, we don't know because the article doesn't say. I suppose I could go look it up, but the Guardian is counting on me to not bother. Long story short, he's an embezzling dick.  BUT, that doesn't mean he can't -do- it.

I say, full steam ahead baby! I want my woolly mammoth farm!

The (watch those road apples!) Phantom

Monday, July 29, 2013

Militarized cops are cowards.


Gutless wonders.
Something interesting happens when you put cops in body armor and helmets, give them assault rifles, shotguns, tasers and pepper spray. It turns them into pussies. Which makes them extremely dangerous. Case in point:

According to an e-mailed press release from Park Forest police, officers were sent to 101 Main Street in Park Forest about 8:42 p.m. Friday to help a private ambulance company with a "combative" resident of the home there -- Warna. The Victory Centre of Park Forest, a supportive living community for adults 65 and older according to its website, is at that address.
Warna was being "involuntarily" committed for medical treatment by staff at the Victory Centre, the release said.
When police arrived, Warna was threatening staff and paramedics with a metal cane and a 2-foot metal shoehorn, the release said.

Here we have a tactical situation with multiple cops on scene, facing down an old, OLD man who's got a cane and a friggin' shoehorn. Do you:

A) Remove all personel from the immediate area, shut the door and wait for the old geezer to get tired?
B) Take the cane and the shoehorn off him and slap him on the back of the head to wise him up?
C) Punch him in the face before taking away the cane and the shoehorn?
D) Smack him with your night stick until he falls down?
E) Taser him to the ground and then tackle, stomp and hogtie him?
F) Screw around shouting instructions at him until he drops the shoehorn and picks up a knife (how is there a knife handy?), then taser him, then shoot him in the guts with beanbags until he falls down, THEN tackle, stomp and hogtie him?

In Chicago, the policepussies chose F.

Police demanded that he drop the cane and shoehorn, but he did not comply and then picked up a "12-inch butcher type kitchen knife."
Police continued to demand that Warna surrender and follow their orders and eventually used a Taser on him. That failed to subdue him and he continued to threaten others, the release said. Police then fired bean bag rounds at the man to get him to drop the knife and surrender. He did so and was taken into custody.
The man was conscious and talking to officers and staff before being transported to St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago, according to authorities.

"Taken into custody" is a euphemism for being tackled to the floor, stomped on and hog-tied with handcuffs.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said that the cause of death of John Warna was hemoperitoneum – bleeding in the stomach area from blunt force trauma of the abdomen after he was shot with a bean bag gun.

They did a Rodney King on a 95 year old demented man in an old folks home, is what they did. He bled out and died from ruptured internal organs before his heart could pack up from the taser.

Beanbag.
For the non-initiated, a beanbag gun is a large bore shotgun that fires a Kevlar bag full of lead shot. The blunt force involved is comparable to getting hit by a swing from Babe Ruth. They seem to have shot this guy more than once, making it kind of like smashing the guy in the gut with a baseball bat until he fell down.
Beanbag wound.

What a friggin' disgrace to the uniform. Every man in that squad should be suspended and put on hand-to-hand training and physical exercise for six months, at no pay. The officer in charge of the squad should be charged with manslaughter. But it'll never happen.

Random deputy Dawg with beanbag gun. Feel safer now?

Let this be a warning to anyone who has to deal with the elderly or with mentally disabled people. If you let one of them get out of hand and call the cops, there's an excellent chance the cops will just kill him like a mad dog. Because they are cowardly scum with guns.

The Phantom

Update: Welcome Blazing Cat Fur readers!

The Phantom Returns!

Yes my friends, The Phantom has returned to Northern Command after a week's trip to Noo Yawk.  Its exactly as frigged up as I remember it from the Old Days. In fact I went down to the place I used to live and got a PTSD flashback just from driving by. wugh!

Many thanks to the Arms Chest Denizens for making it an awesome trip (trip down PTSD memory lane aside, it was awesome.)

Shout out to the Kry Havoc crew, I've got pictures of y'all with your mouths full. Bwaha!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Obama unhappy with Traaaaayvon rioters.

As in there's not near enough guys out there rioting, so he's out there trying to kick things up a notch.

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son.  Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that -- that doesn't go away," he said.

Yes, we know. Because thirty five years ago Barry was just one more useless stoner gliding through life on a combination of parental indulgence and affirmative action, just like Traaaaayvon.

So could little Traaaaaayvon have become President? Barry did, so I suppose with thirty more years or so of the Progressive March Forward its entirely possible that "youthful indiscretions" like assault, robbery and drug thuggery could become resume enhancements for a DemocRat candidate. "I be from the hood Yo, vote fo' me, yo get the free-bee. Word!"

I can hardly wait for three piece suits with droopy pants and matching Everlast drawers to start showing up in US board rooms.

In the mean time, its really something to watch the Commander in Chief of the biggest military machine in the entire world trying to gin up riots in his own cities. Go get the gas can Holder, Barry wants a full-on zombie apocalypse.  BAM baby!

The Phantom (channeling Emeril Lagasse)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cops are tracking your car too. Punks rioting anyway.

New revelation on Drudge today, police forces in the USA are tracking everybody's car.

Using automated scanners, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.

As the technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, and federal grants focus on aiding local terrorist detection, even small police agencies are able to deploy more sophisticated surveillance systems. While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge's approval is needed to track a car with GPS, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver's location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners assemble what it calls a "single, high-resolution image of our lives."

ACLU publication here.

I guess the New York liberals who make up the ACLU finally clued that their beloved DemocRat party is set on crushing the ACLU under thumb along with the rest of us proles.

Now while the cops are busy recording every damn thing you do, they don't have time to arrest actual criminals.

At least 14 people were taken into custody Tuesday night and many more remained at large after marauding bands of young people conducted a string of robberies, assaults and acts of vandalism along Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles police said late Tuesday.

Incident commander Dennis Kato said police were inundated with phone calls beginning about 9 p.m., reporting that packs of young people were roaming along Hollywood and attacking people. Public information officer Rosario Herrera said at least one of the attacks was near Hollywood and Highland. 

The robbers knocked down tourists and grabbed their phones, Kato said. In at least one incident, they hauled off a cash register from a business. There were no reports of weapons involved in the attacks.

As many as 40 robbers were believed to be involved in the attacks. Kato said the robbers splintered into smaller groups of 10 to 15 people and spread through the area, regrouping at times. 

Police say the attackers appeared to be an organized group who knew one another. Officers swarmed the Hollywood area as helicopters for both police and news media circled.

Think the super-spy surveillance crap is going to help catch these pukes? Unlikely, right? But then it isn't meant to keep track of them. Its meant to keep track of YOU.

The Phantom

Revisiting Heidi Yewman: now with VIDEO!

Huffpoo has a video interview with Heidi Yewman about her Ms. Magazine blog article, My Month With A Gun.  I wrote about it here.  Ms. Magazine cancelled the rest of little Heidi's series after getting boiled alive by commenters, but then their "loyal fans" started in boiling them alive as well. So they released this statement here.

The Huff-and-Puff video is classic liberal. The gist of the conversation is that Heidi Yewman feels she is incapable of managing a firearm, but there is no legal entity (in her state) that will prevent her from owning and carrying a firearm. Plus it made her feel bad. :(

Also included, some pop-psychology misuse of science and some goof who used to be a cop.

Bottom line, she's complaining that some jackboot didn't march up and demand her papers.

Enjoy the barfalicious video.

The Phantom

Microsoft researchers can predict your physical location in the future.

We know that our phones constantly broadcast their (our!) location to cell towers, 24/7. We know that both the phone company AND the phone manufacturers (Apple/Google) keep this information. For a long time. Like, forever most likely. So they know where you've been to a very high degree of accuracy. Well now there's a paper by two guys who took all that data and wrote a program to predict where you are GOING to be at any given time on any given day.

Using information from a pool of 300 volunteers in the Seattle metro area, Sadilek and Krumm gathered a mountain of location data. As the volunteers went about their daily lives--going to work, to the grocery store, out for a jog, even for transcontinental travel--each carried a GPS device much the same way they carried a cell phone. To further ensure accuracy, the researchers also installed GPS devices in commercial shuttles and transit vans that the volunteers used regularly, and the volunteers' own vehicles. After collecting over 150 million location points, the researchers then had Far Out, the first system of its kind to predict long-term human mobility in a unified way, parse the data. Far Out didn't even need to be told exactly what to look for--it automatically discovered regularities in the data.

"For example, it might notice that Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually about the same and fairly consistent from week to week," the researchers told us. "Then when we ask about a future Tuesday or Thursday, the algorithm automatically produces a typical Tuesday/Thursday as a prediction."

Salidek and Krumm were pleasantly surprised with the results. It turns out that no matter how spontaneous we think we are, humans are actually quite predictable in our movements, even over extended periods of time. Not only did Far Out predict with high accuracy the correct location of a wide variety of individuals, but it did so even years into the future.

This does not seem like much of a problem for a computer. Comparing data is what they're for. The real problem is collecting the location points, in the research solved by a GPS unit. In our non-research real lives, this data is available from Apple and Google for a small fee. Also available to the NSA because they archive ALL OF IT. In fact, I would be shocked if the NSA doesn't already do exactly this type of prediction on an on-demand basis. Its obvious.

Well, apart from spying, what could such a system be used for?

For now Far Out is strictly a research project not yet available in commercial products or services. And although its focus currently is on the future whereabouts of single individuals, eventually, the researchers' hope is that it can be applied to larger populations. This could be a boon to urban planners by leading to more accurate predictions about the spread of disease, traffic congestion, and the demand for electricity.

On the social side, there could even be something like a Foursquare of the Future.

Marketers and advertisers, too, would relish the opportunity to target our future selves with ads like, "Need a haircut? In four days, you'll be 100 yards from a salon that will have a $15 special." On the social side, there could even be something like a Foursquare of the Future--who wouldn't want to know where their friends (and enemies) will be for the rest of their lives…or at least for the next 285 days?

Because that's what we all need and want in our lives. More planning and regulation, more ads on our phones, and people either stalking or dodging us with ever increasing accuracy.

I'm increasingly thinking that a portable phone may be a hell of a lot more of a millstone than a help, given that the Stazi would have all happily sacrificed a limb to get this level of surveillance on East Germany. Its a tyrant's wet dream.

The Phantom

Monday, July 15, 2013

and speaking of propaganda...

... the US government just repealed a very interesting law at a very interesting time.


For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran; self-immolation in Tibet; human trafficking across Asia; and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

Zorinsky and Fulbright sold their amendments on sensible rhetoric: American taxpayers shouldn't be funding propaganda for American audiences. So did Congress just tear down the American public's last defense against domestic propaganda?

Yes! Yes they did. Because clearly the mainstream media has been getting crushed by the internet fact-checking monster, and lately events are breaking on Twitter faster than CNN. So offhand I'd say the US Government just authorized a nice government funded propaganda machine in case the existing, 100% DemocRat owned media conglomerate collapses under the weight of its own bullshit.  Besides, now they can TELL guys what to print instead of just asking them to go along with the gag.

America, welcome to the wonderful world of the CBC. It will suck more than you are expecting.

The Phantom

Dear Media Party: The love affair is over, we want our keys back.

George Zimmerman show trial over, Zimmerman innocent. Duh.

But some guys just can't leave it alone, can they?

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking "ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence."

His comments came as family members of Zimmerman and Martin, as well as pundits, celebrities, and court observers had strong reactions to Saturday's not guilty verdict, with those reactions taking various forms — from joy and outrage to Shakespearean references and calls for peace.

This is an amazing thing. The very President of the United States of America is calling on his citizens to honor a drug-addled gang banger who was killed BY HIS VICTIM during his effort to break said victim's skull on the pavement. Said victim was shorter, lighter and weaker than "little Traaaaayvon", and would either be dead right now or living with serious brain damage if it wasn't for his Glock pistol.  Just so we are all clear what's being said here.

Barry is a DemocRat, and a "community organizer", plus his Justice department orchestrated this whole farce and bussed in "protesters" to make it happen. Time may well reveal further machinations within the Florida prosecutor's office were aided/abetted/paid for by the feds as well. We shall see. Therefore we expect Barry to come out with this kind of self-serving horeshit, because that's just how he rolls. Its not a surprise with this guy, its a well established pattern. You can set your watch by it.

Equally expected and established is the American (and Canadian!) media in full support mode, touting Obama's words.  Now, I use the term "touting" here for a reason. It means something important.

From Wikipedia:

In British English, a tout is any person who solicits business or employment in a persistent and annoying manner (generally equivalent to a solicitor or barker in American English, or a spruiker in Australian English). According to the American Bar Association, touting occurs when a person advertises, promotes, or otherwise describes a security for sale without disclosing that the person is being paid to do so.

An example would be a person who frequents heavily touristed areas and presents himself as a tour guide (particularly towards those who do not speak the local language) but operates on behalf of local bars, restaurant, or hotels, being paid to direct tourists towards certain establishments.

That describes to a T the behavior of the established Big Name media regarding this case. Obama wanted a prosecution, the media pushed and pushed and pushed. Obama wanted his name kept out of it, nobody mentioned  the DOJ organizing the astroturfing "protests" in Florida. Astroturf is that synthetic carpeting that famously looks like grass on TV, but isn't. An astroturf protester is somebody who looks like a regular guy on TV, but really he's an employee of the DemocRat party or possibly the Department of Justice. Or both!

Any of that mentioned in the linked NBC article? Nuh uh! Lots of fluffly kittens and rainbows, not much on the real facts of the matter. 

Except this little gem right at the very, very bottom. In italics:

George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal for defamation. The company strongly denies the allegation.

I'm not a lawyer by any means, but just offhand I'd say Zimmerman has a pretty good shot at getting a royal payday out of NBC News. Because they frickin' edited audio, baby. They lied, denied, disinformed, demonized, misdirected and at the moment are reporting on riots against that little White Hispanic with breathless excitement. 

My hope is he scores a payout so enormous that he breaks the company. Like, BILLION$. Maybe the complete destruction of a major media network will wake up some shareholders. It could happen, right?

The Phantom

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Electronic medical records: the ultimate bad idea.

Lots of push on these days for EMR, Electronic Medical Records. Government in Ontario is offering big, big discounts for all sorts of EMR services. Lots and lots of patient benifits are touted by the vendors and by government.

Here's the down side:

President Barack Obama said he wants to see state governments contribute more names of people barred from buying guns to the database, part of a sweeping set of executive actions he announced after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

The database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to check whether a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.

States are encouraged to report to the database the names of people who are not allowed to buy guns because they have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or have been found to have serious mental illnesses by courts.

Many states do not participate. So the administration is looking at changing a health privacy rule - part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - to remove one potential barrier.

The "potential barrier" they're talking about so coyly is doctor/patient confidentiality. What they are going to do is access all the Electronic Medical Records for the whole country and compare NICS hits (You think they delete those liek they're supposed to? Really?) to lists of people they judge to be mentally incompetent. This will of course be interpreted to include the largest possible number of people, because that's what this is about. Banning guns. So if you ever had to see a counselor,  or needed some anti-depressants for a couple months because of whatever, you will be on that list.

If your doctor uses electronic medical records instead of good old pen and paper, you should be very concerned. You should assume that government employees who are not your friends will be reading those medical records, and govern yourself accordingly. Patients and the VA have been having this problem for ten years now, the rest of the country is just catching up. And just because you're a Canadian is no reason to think that isn't going to happen to you. I'd be willing to bet its already happening, and they just can't legally admit it.  Pretty soon it will be legal, and things will start happening on the basis of what's in your file.

Coupled with the phone tapping and cell tower records, this is getting to be pretty complete coverage ain't it? Barry wants to know what you had for breakfast last Tuesday, he'll know. Just a button click away.

The Phantom

Well, this isn't at all disturbing.

Banner headline at Drudge this morning, OBAMA ORDERS FED WORKERS: SPY ON EACH OTHER

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security.

Looks like Barack "Die Auserw√§hlte"  Obama is turning to the Stasi's Big Book of Instructions for his new security policy.

In other news this morning, Zimmerman's show trial isn't going well:

On Monday, the Broward County Sheriff's Office released a video calling on the public not to riot in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, expected this week or next in Florida. The Sheriff's Office released a statement explaining that it was "working closely with the Sanford Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies" to coordinate "a response plan in anticipation of the verdict."

Because given the evidence trickling out via super-biased anti-WhiteHispanic TV news,  Zimmerman fired lying flat on his back to save his life. And should be given a good citizenship medal. The whole trial is total Soviet-style horseshit and was 100% put on to keep the visible minorities from rioting. If they find Zimmerman guilty he'll get off on appeal. If he doesn't, I expect it won't matter anyway because by then half the White population of the USA will be in FEMA camps.

And speaking of police state goon squads, this little gem here is a BEAUTY:

Police searched the Northern Virginia home of activist Adam Kokesh Tuesday evening and took him into custody for allegedly being in possession of hallucinogenic mushroom while also having a gun, authorities said. Kokesh, a former Marine, was held overnight at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs while in possession of a firearm, said Lt. Steve Elbert, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office.

Sounds pretty reasonable so far, "Police searched the home" kinda thing, no big deal right?

U.S. Park Police Lt. Pamela Smith said her agency executed a search warrant at Kokesh's home in Herndon about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, looking for a weapon. The park police are the federal agency responsible for policing Freedom Plaza, the concrete park a few blocks from the White House where — in a video posted to YouTube on July 4 — Kokesh appears to load a shotgun in violation of D.C. gun laws.

Smith said she did not know if the YouTube video was the reason for the search warrant. Carrying a loaded weapon, concealed or unconcealed, is against the law in the District. The possession of a firearm not registered in the District carries a penalty up to a year in prison.

Yep, they just "executed a search warrant", nothing to see here, move along. Now we hear from Alex Jones something a little different:

According to a press release issued by Kokesh's Adam vs the Man media team, "Numerous police vehicles, including a light armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded Adam's street. More than 20 armored SWAT team members surrounded the house, as well as a number of detectives, and plainclothes officers. Assault rifles were aimed on all members of the team as they were handcuffed without being told why they were detained. Masked and armored police in full "Storm Trooper" gear flooded in and ransacked the residence. The team was cordoned in a front room, while Adam was pulled aside for questioning."

Roads around Kokesh's home, which also contains his broadcast studio, were blocked off and other residents were told to stay indoors. The raid was conducted by Herndon police as well as US Parks Police, an arm of Homeland Security.

Kokesh's team alleges that police also assaulted Kokesh by kicking him to the floor when he politely asked to use the bathroom. Throughout the ordeal "police repeatedly showed a volatile desire to initiate aggressive, forceful conduct with detainees," according to the press release.

According to the InfoWars piece, news trucks were on the scene at the same time the cops rolled in, I guess to provide some Waco-style color coverage or something in case Kokesh turned out to be like Koresh and lit the cops up.
Now, I'm not going to hold up Alex Jones as some kind of unimpeachable source, because I think he's a self-promoting blowhard who's in it for the fame and fortune. Adam Kokesh also has something of a checkered past with being a bit of a whack job.

But Kokesh posts an anti-administration, pro-gun YouTube on July 4th and gets raided by a three-agency SWAT swarm with choppers and armored cars on the 9th? With news coverage? Over mushrooms? That right there is a whole lot of coincidence to swallow, that's all I'm saying.

Interesting the difference between the Washington Post coverage and the easily verified InfoWars story too. One might almost think somebody had something to hide, or had an ax to grind.

Cloward-Piven marches on. Forward!

The Phantom

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Is our government more dangerous than a rattlesnake?

Yes. Yes it is.

I saw a rattlesnake this weekend right up next to the swimming dock at an acquaintance's cottage, where I had been invited to come hang out.  Large as life, a Massassauga rattler on the front yard. There were kids and dogs present. I was of the opinion that perhaps the front yard was not the place for venomous serpents. I was informed that the fine for disturbing said snake was more than the cottage was worth.

Today I looked it up. Turns out the max penalty for messing with one of those dog/kid killing machines is $250,000 AND/OR five years in jail. Now, to be clear, this is not the penalty for going out into a provincial park and killing one for sale. Nuh uh. This is the penalty for -moving- one off your front lawn, or "harassing" it, or capturing and releasing it someplace else (like, OFF your front lawn) or crushing the damn thing with a rock before it kills your two year old.

Here's what's happening to a guy who apparently did just that:

Whoever killed a rattlesnake while camping on Beausoleil Island could be facing a fine of $250,000 and up to five years in jail.
National Parks staff is investigating the crime after a visitor beat a massassauga rattlesnake to death while on the island for the long weekend. On July 1, staff in the Honeymoon Bay Campground at Georgian Bay Islands National Park found the dead snake. The massassauga rattlesnake is native to the area, and is an indicator of a healthy environment. The snake is classified as a threatened species, because its numbers are dwindling.
"We did an autopsy, and found broken bones, and the internal organs were pulverized. This was more than just someone prodding it, to frighten the snake," said Hugh Bremner, manager of resource conservation with the national park.
He said the body is now being held as evidence.

"They are timid, and avoid people if possible. They would only bite if they were provoked, or threatened."
There are two different ways the culprit could be charged, either a summary conviction, or an indictment. "A summary conviction is similar to a speeding ticket, and the charge is up to a $150,000 fine, or six months in jail, or both. An indictment is more serious, and has a maximum fine of $250,000, or five years in jail, or both. Both types charges can be held with trials."
$250,000 fine possible for snake killer.

Now they've picked out a patsy.

A Midland man will be appearing in court on Sept. 16, to face a charge of poaching, after an Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake was killed over the Canada Day weekend this year.
Mark McIntyre, senior park warden with the Georgian Bay Islands National Park, and its law enforcement specialist, said a man was charged after the rare slithering reptile was found dead at the park on July 1.
"He was taken into custody on Aug. 3, and was released, and charged with poaching in a national park, under the National Parks Act," said McIntyre.
The man, whose name has not been released to the press, can face a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or five years in jail, if faced with an indictment.

Get that? "Poaching" is the charge. Ministry of Natural Resources is taking this to the limit, even though whoever killed the thing clearly crushed it with a rock or other handy field expedient. By their own autopsy, we know this. They're "sending us a message" in legal parlance.

Message I'm getting? They spent more money on a dead snake than they do on a murder up in Jane and Finch, Toronto. Plus I seem to recall that some punk who recently got himself killed at Square One Mississauga had just got out of jail after less than five years on a murder rap. So one snake is considered to be worth more to the legal system than one dead human.

This is what I saw. Nice snakey, don't bite the child who's walking by...
Now, as for the behavior of the actual snake? "They are timid, and avoid people if possible. They would only bite if they were provoked, or threatened." Not wanting to be some kind of anti-government disturber of the peace or anything, but this description does not fit what I saw. What I saw was a venomous snake, coiled up in full-on strike posture, inching forward toward humans. We backed away from it, it came forward. As well, it did not have a proper rattle. Its rattle had been lost or broken off at some point, so there was no warning. The only reason we saw it was because it was sitting out on the rocks in full view, right in the middle of the high-traffic path to the swim dock.




This is not the behavior of a shy, retiring, fearful animal. More like the cranky predator that's boss of the block kinda animal. Mayyyyybe the whole official line about the "
they would only bite if they were provoked, or threatened" thing might be slightly oversold? A little? Just to keep the proletariat firmly under thumb when they belong?  Just sayin'.

Remember the three "S"s my friends. Most important of which is the last one, "shut up!"

The Phantom


Belated update: Greetings to Black Mamba and visitors from Blazing Cat Fur.

UpdateII: Also we do have one typical smarmy liberal troll in the comments:
Anonymous said...
kill the snake - its self defense, they are a dangerous predator. If the park warden objects then he should be killed too.
Yeeeeah, because killing the snake and the park warden is what is being suggested here? Or is it more the knee-jerk stupidity of your typical Torontonian who couldn't tell a Massassauga rattler from a Mississauga hooker?  The type of pencil-necked black t-shirt/black jeans doofus who cannot separate the good idea of protecting a rare species from the bad idea of making the punishment for MURDER lighter than the punishment for killing a reptile. See them all over the place in Hogtown.

Hey doofus! How would you feel about a $250,000 fine for chasing a raccoon out of your garbage cans? Oh wait, you probably don't own a garmage can, right?  This is a better one: $250,000 fine and five years in jail for failure to show up at Church on Sunday three weeks in a row. Yeah, Now we're on to something!