We seem to live in an increasingly violent age -- and not just here in Ireland, where just walking down O'Connell Street after dark is akin to taking your own life in your hands.
No, things are perhaps even worse in Britain, where prisons and young offenders' institutions are full to the brim.
So, in an attempt to curb the massive overcrowding, courts have started to impose more home-based curfews than ever before.
And the local court in Stockport, Cheshire, has just encountered an interesting human-rights claim.
A 16-year-old was on a 7pm-to-7am home curfew and he wasn't allowed to leave the house.
But there was just one problem -- his parents wouldn't let him smoke indoors and his electronic tag would be activated if he went out into the back garden to smoke.
So he sued on the basis that this breached his right to ... have a fag.
And he won.
Somehow I don't think the rights of a 16-year-old thug having a ciggie break were what the people who framed the UN Declaration of Human Rights were concerned about.
And one thing also interested me -- he was legally too young to smoke, anyway.
So should the judge be investigated for promoting criminality?
Cheap at half the price? Not sure about that. . .
Anyone who saw those pictures of the rescued puppies in the papers yesterday will probably still be burning with rage.
Two men were arrested and 50 smuggled puppies were found jammed into the men's cars.
It's believed they were being trafficked from Britain to Ireland where they would be distributed to local dog breeders.
It was an absolutely disgusting sight and I can, quite honestly and with hand on heart, say that I would happily shoot the people responsible.
But I had my own dog-related shock on Tuesday night.
Molly -- our King Charles -- has, like many of her breed, pretty bad teeth.
She's had a few of them extracted already and the last thing we want is a gummy dog wandering around the house sucking on a Dentastix rather than chewing it.
So, the vet brought us in to his surgery to show us how to brush her teeth.
So far, so normal, and would you believe it -- brushing a dog's teeth works off the very same principle humans have when we're doing it.
But trust me, the similarities stopped.
Because after he showed us how to do it, he then gave us specialised doggie toothpaste.
And the price?
Twenty-five quid? Jesus, I wouldn't pay that for my own toothpaste and, on top of everything else, I'm skint until we next get paid.
But she got the toothpaste.
And did she even say thanks?
Spoiled bitch is what she is.
What every child needs to know . . .
When I was a kid, Thursday was my favourite day of the week.
That was when the comics Warlord and Victor hit the shops and I would get one or, if the parents were in generous mood, on some occasions I even got two.
So I was saddened to see the demise over the last few years of children's comics, because they are a vital part of growing up -- you learn lessons that stay with you for life.
Like making Molotov cocktails.
The most popular kids' comic in Tunisia, Rainbow, is read by boys and girls alike from the ages of five to 10.
But they're in trouble now because in their 'Knowledge' section this week they have a guide to making petrol bombs and other assorted easy-to- assemble weapons.
This has been condemned, but really, you never know when you're going to need an improvised Molotov in a hurry, are you?
Well done, that mag.
I guess he's not a fan?
Honestly, there are times when it's hard not to get the impression that neither of the American presidential candidates actually wants to win, so gaffe-prone are they.
And the latest embarrassment for Obama comes in the shape of Big Bird.
Sesame Street's producers have contacted the party and say: "Big Bird does not want to get involved in politics."
That's not entirely true, however.
Everyone knows Big Bird has been an enthusiastic member of The American Nazi Party for years.
Okay -- I have an idea
A female police officer working as a dog handler in Britain has been awarded 11 grand for 'injury to feelings' after her bosses took the dog off her when she became pregnant.
Despite the fact that the dog is effectively a police tool, she claimed she had become attached to him and was very emotional when she heard the news.
So, wads of cash because your boss was mean to you?
Let's hope they bring that law into this country -- I'd make a bloody fortune after all the things that man has done to me.