Archive for January, 2008

Eroding Freedom

January 31, 2008

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out. – Martin Neimoller

“Anti-smoking chief breaks ban on Day 1”

January 13, 2008

LISBON (Reuters) – The head of the Portuguese agency responsible for enforcing a new ban on smoking in public was seen lighting up at a New Year party, breaking the law on the first day it came into effect.

Antonio Nunes, president of Portugal’s food standards agency, was photographed by the daily Diario de Noticias smoking a cigar at a casino on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Nunes told the daily he was not aware the anti-smoking law, which applies to cafes, restaurants and bars, also included casinos. But a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said it did.

“We will have to look into what is in the law,” Nunes said.


  • Reuters, Anti-smoking chief breaks ban on Day 1 Wed Jan 2, 2008 9:46am ET148
    BBC, Anti-smoking head’s awkward cigar, Wednesday, 2 January 2008
  • Ten Years After Britain Bans Guns, Gun Crime Is 4x Larger

    January 5, 2008

    From wikipedia:

    The Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 was the first significant piece of legislation introduced by the new Labour government of Tony Blair. …. this new (No. 2) act banned the private ownership of all cartridge ammunition handguns, regardless of calibre.

    And now from Times Online which is Britain’s premier newspaper:

    THE government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998.

    The Home Office figures – which exclude crimes involving air weapons – show the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun attacks in England and Wales soared from 864 in 1998-99 to 3,821 in 2005-06.

    Quote from Home Office:

    The number of firearm crimes which resulted in injuries has more than doubled in seven years
    years: from 2,378 in 1998/99 to 5,001 in 2005/06. This entire rise comes from non-air weapon
    offences resulting in injuries which have risen more than four-fold in that time.

    The Sunday Times August 26, 2007 Ministers ‘covered up’ gun crime, David Leppard
    Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2005-06, Home Office

    Click to access hosb0207.pdf