THE CRUEL TOURIST WHO SHOT DEAD AN ELEPHANT FOR A BET

NO REMORSE: Huntress Teressa Groenewald-Hagerman, 39, downed an elephant at 12 yards

Thursday May 7,2009
Daily Express – UK

BEAMING with pride, the khaki clad huntress stands over her quarry – an elephant she killed for a bet with a bow and arrow.

American Teressa Groenewald-Hagerman, 39, was so pleased with becoming the first woman known to have killed an elephant with a bow and arrow that images have been posted on the internet.

She told how after killing the animal at dusk in Africa she left it overnight before returning the next day to check it was dead.

Going under the web name of Prohuntress, she said she found the animal in a group of 37, knelt and fired the arrow from 12 yards.

Another internet blogger said the elephant staggered 500 yards before collapsing.

Ms Groenewald-Hagerman used a powerful £450 PSE X Force bow – and trained for more than a year to build up the strength and skill to use it.
But yesterday conservationists said she had committed an act “not far short of murder”.

They said elephants lived as long as humans in tight-knit family groups and mourned their dead.

Will Travers, of the Born Free Foundation, said: “What kind of person would kill an elephant with a bow to win a bet? She needs therapy.
“I am no expert on bow hunting but I would have thought it extremely difficult to kill an elephant cleanly and without suffering with a bow and arrow.

“It is sickening but unfortunately there are people who are willing to do this.

“Elephants live in tight family units and we know through research that they show signs of being able to grieve. There are people who would say that this is not far short of murder.”

Ms Groenewald-Hagerman, a blonde Texan “happily” divorced from a South African, told of her exploits on websites including Hunts of a Lifetime.

She wrote: “I have been a professional hunter for 10 years and in the hunting industry for 12 years. A man by the name of Larry bet me I couldn’t shoot a buffalo or elephant with a bow. He indicated only one or two women had completed the buffalo with a bow and no woman had ever taken an elephant with a bow. Of course, I couldn’t turn down the challenge.”

The bow she chose has a draw of up to 90lb – more than twice the weight pulled by female British Olympic archers.

She wrote: “I must say this was the hardest task I have ever taken on in my life. It took 14 months of training before I was physically capable of pulling the heavy bows.”

She said she spent eight days on the hunt in Zimbabwe before getting close enough to take a shot.

“It was shot near dark. We went back the next day and found him. I was in the middle of 37 elephants when I took my shot. This was my first bow kill and first woman to take an ele with a bow.”
She added: “It was at 12 yards kneeling.”

One admiring blogger called BO-N-ARO wrote: “12 yards!!! I bet they had a great blood trail because of the low entry!!

“That has to be one of the best examples of setting a goal and working hard to achieve it!”

Pandemic of panic!

After salmonella, bird flu, the Millennium Bug… should we actually be scared this time?

By Christopher Booker The Daily Mail

As Mexico City, the third largest in the world, grinds to a halt, the EU’s health commissioner warns European travellers not to fly to anywhere in North or Central America unless their journey is absolutely necessary.

In Britain, where £50 million worth of face masks are on order, government ministers go into full crisis mode, holding emergency meetings in a Whitehall bunker and telling us they will soon be sending a leaflet on the dangers of Mexican swine flu to every home in the country.

As BBC presenters roll their lips round such words as ‘pandemic’ and ‘Armageddon’, we are gravely warned that this new flu strain could be as dangerous as the famous Spanish flu which, at the end of World War I, killed 50 million people.

It may be that swine flu has killed 159 people in Mexico itself – although it is still not certain that it was the cause of all those deaths. It may be that a young child has died in the U.S. after a family holiday in Mexico, which is a tragedy.

More cases may emerge among the 10,000 unfortunate Britons stranded in Mexico by this emergency, and more cases in Britain itself in addition to the three announced yesterday.

But are we sure that this extraordinary crisis is being kept in perspective? Don’t we have the sense that we have seen this kind of panic before, which eventually turned out to have gone way over the top?

The moment which more than any might have set off a severe attack of deja vu came when the BBC Today programme wheeled on an expert from the World Health Organisation to tell us that ’40 per cent’ of us in Britain may catch swine flu – while another unnamed expert was quoted predicting that ‘1.2 million’ Britons could die.

It is not long since, in 2005, an even more senior WHO official was telling us that, any time soon, a worldwide epidemic of Asian bird flu could kill ‘150 million people’. The actual death toll from bird flu to date is around 200, barely double the number already dead when that hysteria was at its height.

Only here and there in recent days, as Mexican flu rages through the headlines, have a handful of voices suggested that we should keep some sense of proportion on what is happening.

As California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency because 60-odd Californian schoolchildren have contracted Mexican flu, without any so far dying, it is pointed out that normal flu strains cause 36,000 deaths in America every year.

When a Scottish couple are rushed into an isolation ward after returning from their Mexican honeymoon with swine flu, Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair, asks: ‘Will the Edinburgh couple die? No. A couple of Strepsils will do the job.’

I have a particular reason for having cast a cautious eye on the familiar sight of the ‘scare machine’ being cranked up in recent days.

Two years ago, with a noted food safety expert, Dr Richard North, I wrote a book entitled Scared To Death, a detailed account of the chief scares which have regularly held us in thrall in recent decades.

Again and again since the food scares of the 1980s, we have seen these waves of hysteria rise and fall, over everything from salmonella in eggs and Asian bird flu to the Millennium Bug which was supposedly going to bring civilisation to a halt at midnight on December 31, 1999, as half the world’s computers crashed and planes fell out of the sky.

That particular panic cost an estimated $300 billion, before it was discovered that the countries that hadn’t spent fortunes on sorting out their computers fared no worse than those that had.

One of the benefits of analysing a whole series of scares is that it shows us how consistently they follow an identifiable pattern, from the moment when they begin with some scientific confusion to the time when it eventually becomes clear that any genuine threat had been inflated way beyond any relation to reality.

In all sorts of ways the current panic over swine flu is already fitting into that pattern, displaying features familiar from scares which have long since run their often highly expensive and damaging course.

The last occasion when our Government was panicked into sending a health warning to every household in the country, for instance, was in 1987, when Edwina Currie sent out such a pamphlet, Don’t Die Of Ignorance, warning us of the terrifying threat of Aids.

No one can doubt that HIV/Aids has remained a serious problem, to date responsible for some 18,000 deaths in the UK. But back in the late 1980s we were being solemnly warned that, as early as 1990, we could expect the death toll to reach a million.

Compared with the 9,000 people who die in NHS hospitals every year just from MRSA and C.difficile, even those 18,000 deaths in 20 years can now be seen in a rather more sensible perspective.

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It was Edwina Currie again who, in 1988, set off the panic over salmonella in eggs, which was supposedly going to kill thousands of people because the bacteria were somehow getting inside the eggs they ate for breakfast.

Few headlines greeted the Government’s admission four years later that salmonella was not getting inside eggs after all, and that whatever else had caused a temporary rise in salmonella poisoning, it wasn’t eggs.

In 1996, when the greatest food scare of all exploded over BSE, front-page headlines greeted the admission on Newsnight by the Government’s chief scientist John Pattison that the death toll from CJD caught by eating beef could within a few years reach 500,000.

A year later, however, scarcely any attention at all was paid to Dr Pattison’s confession that he had now revised his figure downwards to just ‘100’ (indeed, it now seems highly likely that beef was not the cause of CJD at all),

Again and again we have seen this pattern repeating itself, from Sars and dioxins to the confusion between different types of asbestos, costing literally hundreds of billions of dollars in law suits alone.

The one lesson which comes out from them all, loud and clear, is that our modern world has become far too prone to getting these supposed threats out of all proportion.

Of course we should expect our governments to be watchful and prepared to meet any genuine threat to our health and well-being. But as history painfully shows, we have become far too quick to overreact to dangers which too often turn out either to have been wildly exaggerated or never to have existed at all.

Too many people seem to have a vested interest in talking up these panics beyond what the evidence can support, from scientists dependent on promoting scares for their funding to politicians who recklessly use scares to show their concern for our welfare. We in the media, it is only fair to add, are far from blameless in this respect.

What this latest panic should be telling us, in short, is that we should learn to be much more careful not to talk up scares beyond what the evidence is there to support. Stick to the facts, keep everything in proportion and don’t give way to speculations which, a year or two later, may make us look very silly indeed.

Thought police muscle up in Britain

Hal G. P. Colebatch – Article from: The Australian

BRITAIN appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian state. As a sometime teacher of political science and international law, I do not use the term totalitarian loosely.

There are no concentration camps or gulags but there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent.

Nikolai Bukharin claimed one of the Bolshevik Revolution’s principal tasks was “to alter people’s actual psychology”. Britain is not Bolshevik, but a campaign to alter people’s psychology and create a new Homo britannicus is under way without even a fig leaf of disguise.

The Government is pushing ahead with legislation that will criminalise politically incorrect jokes, with a maximum punishment of up to seven years’ prison. The House of Lords tried to insert a free-speech amendment, but Justice Secretary Jack Straw knocked it out. It was Straw who previously called for a redefinition of Englishness and suggested the “global baggage of empire” was linked to soccer violence by “racist and xenophobic white males”. He claimed the English “propensity for violence” was used to subjugate Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and that the English as a race were “potentially very aggressive”.

In the past 10 years I have collected reports of many instances of draconian punishments, including the arrest and criminal prosecution of children, for thought-crimes and offences against political correctness.

Countryside Restoration Trust chairman and columnist Robin Page said at a rally against the Government’s anti-hunting laws in Gloucestershire in 2002: “If you are a black vegetarian Muslim asylum-seeking one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.” Page was arrested, and after four months he received a letter saying no charges would be pressed, but that: “If further evidence comes to our attention whereby your involvement is implicated, we will seek to initiate proceedings.” It took him five years to clear his name.

Page was at least an adult. In September 2006, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Codie Stott, asked a teacher if she could sit with another group to do a science project as all the girls with her spoke only Urdu. The teacher’s first response, according to Stott, was to scream at her: “It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police!” Upset and terrified, the schoolgirl went outside to calm down. The teacher called the police and a few days later, presumably after officialdom had thought the matter over, she was arrested and taken to a police station, where she was fingerprinted and photographed. According to her mother, she was placed in a bare cell for 3 1/2 hours. She was questioned on suspicion of committing a racial public order offence and then released without charge. The school was said to be investigating what further action to take, not against the teacher, but against Stott. Headmaster Anthony Edkins reportedly said: “An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark. We aim to ensure a caring and tolerant attitude towards pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism in any form.”

A 10-year-old child was arrested and brought before a judge, for having allegedly called an 11-year-old boya “Paki” and “bin Laden” during a playground argument at a primary school (the other boy had called him a skunk and a Teletubby). When it reached the court the case had cost taxpayers pound stg. 25,000. The accused was so distressed that he had stopped attending school. The judge, Jonathan Finestein, said: “Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness? There are major crimes out there and the police don’t bother to prosecute. This is nonsense.”

Finestein was fiercely attacked by teaching union leaders, as in those witch-hunt trials where any who spoke in defence of an accused or pointed to defects in the prosecution were immediately targeted as witches and candidates for burning.

Hate-crime police investigated Basil Brush, a puppet fox on children’s television, who had made a joke about Gypsies. The BBC confessed that Brush had behaved inappropriately and assured police that the episode would be banned.

A bishop was warned by the police for not having done enough to “celebrate diversity”, the enforcing of which is now apparently a police function. A Christian home for retired clergy and religious workers lost a grant because it would not reveal to official snoopers how many of the residents were homosexual. That they had never been asked was taken as evidence of homophobia.

Muslim parents who objected to young children being given books advocating same-sex marriage and adoption at one school last year had their wishes respected and the offending material withdrawn. This year, Muslim and Christian parents at another school objecting to the same material have not only had their objections ignored but have been threatened with prosecution if they withdraw their children.

There have been innumerable cases in recent months of people in schools, hospitals and other institutions losing their jobs because of various religious scruples, often, as in the East Germany of yore, not shouted fanatically from the rooftops but betrayed in private conversations and reported to authorities. The crime of one nurse was to offer to pray for a patient, who did not complain but merely mentioned the matter to another nurse. A primary school receptionist, Jennie Cain, whose five-year-old daughter was told off for talking about Jesus in class, faces the sack for seeking support from her church. A private email from her to other members of the church asking for prayers fell into the hands of school authorities.

Permissiveness as well as draconianism can be deployed to destroy socially accepted norms and values. The Royal Navy, for instance, has installed a satanist chapel in a warship to accommodate the proclivities of a satanist crew member. “What would Nelson have said?” is a British newspaper cliche about navy scandals, but in this case seems a legitimate question. Satanist paraphernalia is also supplied to prison inmates who need it.

This campaign seems to come from unelected or quasi-governmental bodies controlling various institutions, which are more or less unanswerable to electors, more than it does directly from the Government, although the Government helps drive it and condones it in a fudged and deniable manner.

Any one of these incidents might be dismissed as an aberration, but taken together – and I have only mentioned a tiny sample; more are reported almost every day – they add up to a pretty clear picture.

Hal G. P. Colebatch’s Blair’s Britain was chosen as a book of the year by The Spectator in 1999.