“Come See The Violence

…inherent in the system!” is Eric Idle’s iconic wail in the Monty Python And The Holy Grail  movie, when King Arthur finally loses his patience and pushes the mouthy peasant to the ground.  Funny as hell.

And then we have this:

Enoch Burke has been at the centre of a trans right row in Ireland for over two years now – but he’s not the only member of his family facing endless legal woes.

In May 2022, the former history teacher told the headteacher at his school in County Westmeath that his Evangelical Christian beliefs meant he ‘opposed transgenderism’ and later criticised his boss’ ‘demand’ to use the child’s new name in front of staff and students.

It sparked a chain of events that has led to him being jailed for repeatedly showing up at Wilson’s Hospital School in County Westmeath after being sacked, and entering the staff room saying he was there to do his job. 

Enoch has spent over 300 days in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin and has no prospect of release because he refuses to comply with a court order to stay away from the school premises. Earlier this year, he refused a High Court offer to spend Easter out of prison and accused the judge of colluding with the school. 

Earlier this week, Enoch’s sister Ammi lost an unlawful dismissal appeal at the Court of Appeal and was criticised for her ‘utterly appalling and egregious’ behaviour during proceedings.

In May this year, Ms Burke was also found guilty of obstructing a garda during a ‘commotion’ on 7th March last year at the Four Courts. 

During the incident, her father ‘flung’ a female garda to the ground behaving ‘like a red rag to a bull’ after his wife was escorted out of court.

Mind you, it should be said that the entire family in question seems to be a bunch of raving nutcases (although this is not too uncommon in Ireland), but note how the whole thing has snowballed into some serious shit, all from something completely innocuous:  because a man refused to use someone’s “proper” name.

That’s almost as bad as calling an anarcho-syndicalist a “bloody peasant”.

Passing Thought

Did anyone notice that after the disgraceful conviction of Donald Trump, there were no street protests, burning of buildings and howling mobs besieging the home of the awful judge who caused the conviction?

I guess all those right-wing domestic terrorists and Christian Nationalists the FBI warned us about were still asleep or at breakfast or something.

Getting It Right

It’s not often that I find anything worthwhile in my former home country, but this is sure as hell in the top 3:

A police tactical firearms team in South Africa shot dead nine members of a brutal gang suspected of raping a young girl in front of her screaming mother.  But when shocking details emerged from the mother of the sexually tortured girl who was repeatedly raped during a house robbery, officials ordered a crackdown on the criminal group.

Swift justice was handed out when the elite unit was ordered by top brass to find the eleven men who had put their victim through such a sickening ordeal.

The ruthless gang based near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province, is believed to be behind a series of serious crimes including murder and armed robbery.  

In this case, Africa certainly won, probably for the first time in ages.  None of that “fair trial” bullshit for animals like these.

Anyone think that when it comes to Murka and, say, MS-13 or Crips gang members, we should do the same?

I had no idea.

Sour Taste

Was chatting to my insurance guy the other day, and the result of said discussion was that as far as my VW Tiguan is concerned, I’m screwed if I ever get into a wreck because the book value of the 2013 model with 130,000+ miles is in the single-figure thousands.

This would be barely enough for a deposit on a “new” (i.e. second-hand) replacement, assuming I could even find one in acceptable condition — mine is near-perfect because I look after my cars, and it has the “leatherette” seats which are like hen’s teeth in this model.  (I’m a huge fan of the Tiggy because I’ve owned two, consecutively, and neither ever gave me any trouble, for a total of 210,000 miles.)

And to continue on the math of the thing, a $5,000 deposit would result in a $450+ monthly car payment, which I can’t afford #CrappyCashFlow.

So I’m stuck with what I’ve got, and the only thing I’ve got going for me is that a month’s total driving tops out at about 200 miles.  Had I not done Uber for a couple years, the mileage would now stand at about 40,000 miles, but I had no option in the matter (did I already mention #CrappyCashFlow?).

Anyway, I’ll just have to be careful out there, as a wise TV cop once said.

But there is an advantage to not having a modern — i.e. 2015+ — model, in that the electronics of the Tiguan are minuscule:  no keyless entry, no mapping software or any of that jive.  In fact, other than electric windows and -rearview mirrors, it’s about as electronics-free as one could imagine:  no seat “memory”, no “touchless trunk-closer”, none of any of those apparently-must-have “features” which are now common in cars nowadays.  Hell, my Tiggy doesn’t even have an Event Data Recorder (EDR) chip installed (that came after the 2014 model year).

This non-modernism is a real advantage when it comes to dealing with bastardy of this nature:

In a world where privacy is becoming increasingly elusive, drivers are facing an invisible foe that could be costing them money. A New York Times report details how automakers are sharing information on driving habits with insurance companies which can have a harmful impact on people’s wallets.

Insurance companies have “offered incentives to people who install dongles in their cars or download smartphone apps that monitor their driving, including how much they drive, how fast they take corners, how hard they hit the brakes and whether they speed.”

Car companies have established relationships with insurance companies, so that if drivers want to sign up for what’s called usage-based insurance — where rates are set based on monitoring of their driving habits — it’s easy to collect that data wirelessly from their cars.

But in other instances, something much sneakier has happened. Modern cars are internet-enabled, allowing access to services like navigation, roadside assistance and car apps that drivers can connect to their vehicles to locate them or unlock them remotely. In recent years, automakers, including G.M., Honda, Kia and Hyundai, have started offering optional features in their connected-car apps that rate people’s driving. Some drivers may not realize that, if they turn on these features, the car companies then give information about how they drive to data brokers like LexisNexis.

Here’s the thing:  I am one of the world’s most careful drivers;  in fifty-odd years of driving, I’ve had two wrecks of any consequence (and none at all in the past forty years) and two — count ’em, two — speeding tickets (both for doing less than 50 in a 40mph zone).  That’s it.

So if anyone would qualify for a lower insurance premium, assuming that I’d agree to let my insurance company snoop on my driving, it would be me.

But I’ll see them all burn in hell before I agree to this bullshit.  Fuck these assholes, fuck their Big Brother snooping, and fuck any car company who goes along with this foulness.  I’ll stick with my old ‘un, thankee:

No wonder ol’ Fred’s smiling.  He doesn’t have to put up with all this bullshit.