Thursday, 31 July 2008
Yep. Sounds about right.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
"There is plenty of fine waffle in support of guidelines, high level reviews and impact assessments – although it is hard to shake the sense that wherever any of these come into conflict with what government wants, they will end up being no obstacle at all...
...Just keep repeating the same bland reassurance and take no notice of substantive criticism. In time, it will all just fade away."
In modern day England, the right of privacy and the presumption of innocence is no longer for us but only for the state, to hide its crimes, abuses and perverted, voyeuristic tendencies.
(Hat tip to various bloggers: The Exile, DK, LPUK)
'British Gas managing director Phil Bentley said: "We very much regret that we have had to make this decision at a time when many household budgets are already under pressure.'
Yeah, I bet he really means it, too. If it was down to me, I'd be tempted to re-nationalise, on the basis that a publicly-accountable monopoly is less offensive than a private cartel, but of course our government, which has the power to cross continents and wage wars, wouldn't be allowed to do this. It has given away all true sovereignty to global corporations that are above the law.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Of course, they don't put it quite in these terms themselves. Instead, they tell us they're trying to save us all from climate change catastrophe and help the poor African farmers - just as long as the farmers have the cash for their patented seeds that is.
Still, these GM companies have deep pockets, big enough to buy our government and the EU's food agency, it may be only a matter of time before the public is tucking into this vile stuff.
(pic from 'The Island of Lost Souls')
Sunday, 27 July 2008
If anyone asks me what my political views are, I tell 'em 'I'm a Libertarian Nationalist', which tends to produce a puzzled frown. So I explain further my core principles as: Individual liberty, sovereignty of the people, national sovereignty and limited government.
I believe in the sovereignty of the individual, and that a legitimate government derives its power from the people. Just as we are each individually sovereign of ourselves, collectively the people should be sovereign of the nation, as expressed so eloquently in the United States' Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…..
Thomas Rainsborough at the Putney Debates of 1647 said:
Really I think that the poorest he that is in England has a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, I think it's clear that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that government that he has not had a voice to put himself under.
This is an argument for democracy, making the point that if a government does not have democratic legitimacy, then a man is not bound to that government, any more than a man is bound to the slave masters who dragged him into a boat to sell him into servitude.
As Thomas Paine states in Common Sense:
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Government being at best a necessary evil, it follows that its power should be limited, evil being wont to grow if left unchecked. The principle of limited government means that once instituted, the government should have a fence erected round it, so as to constrain its growth. All else outside this fence belongs to the people, that is to say the individual sovereign man or woman. This is the intention of the Bill of Rights, for instance in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Here, we see the fence around government, preventing it from spilling out of its designated sphere of influence. When it comes to matters such as freedom of speech, the sign says: 'No trespassing'. All this is clear enough to a constitutionally-minded American, and to an English Libertarian, albeit one that grieves over this nation's failure to secure such rights in the clear and straightforward manner of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Sadly, our would-be founding fathers were assassinated (such as Rainsborough), or died in jail or exile.
If the people are to be sovereign, they have to have something to be sovereign of, and if a government is instituted, it must be instituted to govern something. That something in both cases is the nation state. Throughout history, there has been no larger socio-political unit than the nation state that wasn't an empire. One could talk of federations and confederations, but the question is: where does the ultimate power reside? At the point that an association ceases to be voluntary, the individual components lose their sovereignty and become subservient; the sovereign nation becomes the province or satrapy.
The only way to avoid this loss of sovereignty would be through a true merging, or pooling of sovereignty, whereby the original sovereign entity dissolves into a new, and greater, sovereign entity. This was the model attempted in the Union of England and Scotland, and which is suggested by the supporters of the European Union, although they seem to wish to maintain the idea that such a pooling will not change anything much. On the one hand they will brush off Gaitskell's assertion that it will mean 'the end of a thousand years of history' as hyperbole. On the other, they tell us such a pooling is inevitable and already achieved in many areas through international treaty obligation.
On the latter point, this is no doubt the case, but when the sovereignty of England or the UK is being bartered away, the issue of our government's legitimacy becomes of the utmost importance. You cannot sell, barter or give away something that does not belong to you in the first place, and if the sovereignty belongs to the people, i.e. if this country is a democracy, the British government has no more right to sell our sovereignty than a school caretaker has a right to sell the playing fields – it can only be done on the express orders of his employers.
The British involvement in the European Union thus brings to a head the festering boil of illegitimate governmental power in this land. Even in situations when the EU offers better governance than our present rulers (and there are times when my own views are represented better in the stonewalling Frenchies than my own miserable representatives; e.g. GM food), such a hand-over of power is, by Rainsborough's rule, fundamentally illegitimate. Similarly, a vicious slave-master may sell a slave to a more kindly owner, which promises a little relief for the slave. Nevertheless it is the institution of slavery that offends and must be overthrown, not merely the bad master. It is not how sparingly the whip is used, rather that it can be used at all.
There is nothing in principle against the UK dissolving into the EU, as long as this is the express desire of the people of this land. However, the people have never successfully asserted their sovereignty. We live in a monarchy, with a few democratic trappings. You can take a Robin Reliant and stick a Porsche badge on the hood. That doesn't make it a Porsche. In the UK the power and sovereignty rests officially with the Crown in Parliament, and this is the problem to a libertarian nationalist (at least this one). It makes no sense to rail against the machinations of the EU, when every infliction is done with the consent, or at least the acquiescence, of the supposed sovereign Parliament of this land.
None of the above ramblings is likely to provoke much debate amongst card-carrying (or Gadsden Flag-waving) Libertarians, although my adherence to inalienable, God-given rights may be irksome to the atheistically inclined. No matter, I can usually throw them off the scent with a few Karl Popper quotes on critical rationalism. But the ramifications of national sovereignty may indeed put clear blue water between myself and others. For de facto national sovereignty, in other words the ability of a nation state to take unilateral action in its own perceived national interest leads to one thing that many libertarians hold to be anathema: protectionism. I will leave this subject for another day.
Friday, 25 July 2008
Photographing in public is not against the law, as shown in the clip above, and this needs to be explained to the increasingly bullying authorities.
1 'Ich bin ein Barak' - Guardian
2 'Ich bin ein Obama' - RealClearPolitics
3 'Ich bin ein Amerikaner' - Jewish Journal
4 'Ich bin ein Jet-Setter' - NYT
5 'Ich bin ein Commander' - Newsweek
6 'Ich bin ein Obama Superfan' - KCRG TV
7 'Ich bin ein Hypocrite' - RNC via Marketwatch
8 'Ich bin ein Power Elitist' - Lew Rockwell
9 'Ich bin ein tool of the New World Order' - Infowars
10 'Ich bin ein Whatever' - Huffington Post
What a contemptible shower of shite these people are! I urge my readers to phone and complain. We must begin making it more difficult for these Lilliputian tyrants. Their website has the number of a snitch line for the public to report offences, and the actions of their staff are certainly offensive. Try their ' Smoke-Free Compliance Line' on 0845 3002525 or the main Council switchboard on 01545 572105.
This kind of incremental suffocation by officials, and the public's willingness to acquiesce in their own degradation is finely illustrated by the Chaser's Citizen's Infringement Officer, here doling out fines for number plates he doesn't like:
Thursday, 24 July 2008
One case in point is brought to light by the Good Doctor, who informs us that the Housing Bill in front of Congress contains somewhere within its 600 pages requirements to fingerprint everyone in the mortgage industry and for all credit card transactions to be reported to the IRS.
(Hat tip: Economic Policy Journal)
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Persistant Dissociative Aversion Disorder (PDAD)
PDAD is primarily characterized by unstoppable, involuntary emotions and behaviors compromised by a perceptual isolation from reality in the rejection of others.
I found this excellent Disease Mongering Engine, no doubt similar to those used by the pharmacidal corporations to randomly generate new ailments to terrorise the peasants. Once you find one you like, follow these steps:
- Patent a dangerous chemical as a "treatment" for PDAD.
- Invent fictitious trial results that prove the drug is effective in treating PDAD.
- Bribe FDA officials into approving the drug as safe for everyone! (Even if it kills people.)
- Submit to the American Psychiatric Association for inclusion in their DSM-IV (the standard reference guide of psychiatric disorders).
- Create an emotional TV ad that shows unhappy, confused people being transformed into perfect beings after they take your drug.
- Issue press releases to mainstream media outlets who will run your propaganda as news with zero skepticism.
- Bribe doctors with vacations, extravagant meals and "consulting fees" in order to get them to prescribe your drug to as many patients as possible.
- Buy off politicians and legislators to block alternative medicine and enforce a pharmaceutical monopoly.
- Sit back and rake in the dough** while Americans go broke buying your drug to treat PDAD!
- When the lawsuits roll in from the families of dead patients, simply use a small portion of your windfall profits to settle out of court, admitting no guilt.
Such personal musings aside, stories of 'colony collapse disorder' are alarming, given the central bees play in pollinating numerous plants. Of course, these days we're not short of apocalyptic scenarios to lose sleep over. I wonder if this article holds the prosaic answer, that it is the widespread use of certain pesticides which is causing the problem. It wouldn't be that surprising, considering such chemicals are designed to kill insects. No doubt, research will continue.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
...like in 1953, when British Intelligence and the CIA conspired to bring down the government of Mohammed Mossadeq and put in place the brutal Shah, all because Mossadeq had the temerity to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
(Exerpt from 'The Secret Government', Bill Moyers 1987 documentary, focusing on the Iran-Contra arms and drug-running operations)
Monday, 21 July 2008
Now he is fronting the bankrupt government's latest gimmick to crack down on the idle poor, a group of people he has probably only seen from the window of his chauffeur-driven Jag. We learn from a 'leaked' government green paper:
"Unemployed drug addicts who do not own up to their addiction when they seek benefits will be forced to repay the money and could face jail, while jobless people who take drugs will be banned from receiving dole money unless they accept treatment."
No doubt many will applaud, for who cares what happens to such people? However, the way tyranny works is to start with the unpopular people and establish the precedent. Once that's done, you move on to everyone. So, if you want to attack free speech, you go after the raving nazis. If you want everyone carrying compulsory ID, you start with the immigrants. If you want to microchip everyone, you start with the convicts. And in this case, if you want to establish the state's ownership over our lives and bodies, why not start with the unemployed? Why not make them take tests, pry into their private lives, threaten to take away what little they have?
After watching the encounter three times, my reasons for siding with Mailer and of distrusting McLuhan have become clearer. Firstly, unless McLuhan is a rambling old fool, he seems to be using a number of techniques of the rhetorical sleight of hand variety. His main weapon is to use words in a way as to render them virtually meaningless.
In one part, he makes a great play of the importance of the artist, and of the artist's role in culture, contrasted with that of the scientist, and we are presented with some kind of axiomatic dichotomy of categorisation - only for this to be completely undermined moments later, when he is asked which of these categories he falls into. Now suddenly, it is unimportant. In some ways he is a scientist, in others an artist. Therefore, these archetypes do not apply to himself, begging the question 'who do they apply to?'
In a similar vein, McLuhan states that it does not matter if we call something 'war' or we call it 'peace', to which Mailer retorts that it is of utmost importance, for if not, we deceive ourselves and, if we cannot agree objective definitions, we preclude the possibility of meaningful intercourse. How can we discuss war, if there is no agreed definition of what war is?
Perhaps I am reading too much artifice into McLuhan with this example, but early in the discussion, over the effects of information overload, he throws out the supposed opposite meanings of the word 'cool', which I take to be (1) lacking in warmth, (2) hip, worldly-wise. Later on, he uses the word 'cool' to describe his attitude towards questions of morality. Mailer is attacking him for the absence of any judgements of what is right and what is wrong. By McLuhan's logic, his own lack of moral judgement is 'cool' - but does he mean dispassionate, or hip? It is not clear. Furthermore, it is intentionally ambiguous, which comes to the main problem with McLuhan - his desire to substitute ambiguity for clarity, and to undermine rational discourse.
Mailer, on the other hand, is a man to whom moral judgement is of vital importance, indeed it is central to the artist's role in culture. The artist is not someone who merely looks for new patterns and categorisations, but one who takes a step further and decides if something is right or wrong.
I am much more familiar with the work of Mailer, and it would be foolish to judge McLuhan's oeuvre on this one encounter alone. His concept of information overload leading to categorisation is enlightening, but give me a man like Mailer every time. He may not always be right, he may be too fast sometimes and too slow others, but McLuhan's system tells the time like the proverbial broken clock, and as such serves no useful purpose to man, no matter how well-crafted the dial.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Anyway, those evil terrorists killed four Afghan civilians in a mortar attack near the Pakistan border... oh no ... sorry, that was us again.
Never mind all that, the evil bastards wiped out a wedding party the other day, killing 47 civilians...wait a sec... shit. Sorry!
Still, at least we're dealing with the opium problem...
According to the Department of Health's fact sheet, this vaccination will save 400 lives per year.
According to Cancer Research, cervical cancer, which is linked to HPV, caused 1o61 deaths in 2005, with the highest number of deaths in the age group 80-84, and the second highest 85+, and 59 deaths occurring in women under the age of 35.
The vaccination is only to be used on young girls, because according to the DoH, it will not be used on women who are already at risk of infection - i.e who are sexually active. (It does not say why, but I have heard that, if someone has the virus already, the vaccination increases the risk of getting cancer. I will attempt to verify this with further enquiry).
So, imagining that this vaccination works to prevent 100% of cases of cancer in those that receive it - a claim that no one makes - how is this figure of 400 deaths prevented arrived at?
Regarding the graph of mortality in 2005, if every girl was given the jab at 10 years old, it would take 15 years for the jab to save two lives, and 25 years for the jab to save 59 lives. So, if every girl had been given this injection at the age of ten for the last 25 years, the number of deaths it would have prevented on average each year - assuming that it was 100% effective - would be 2.36.
Using this same methodology, it would take fifty years to save 432 lives, which would be on average 8.64 lives per year over the 50 year period.
I'm no statistician, and my calculations may be wrong (corrections welcomed) but that figure of 400 lives saved a year stinks like week-old fish.
On top of this, for a cost-benefit analysis, we have to consider the harm that the vaccination will do. There have already been a number of adverse reactions to the vaccination. According to a document obtained under Freedom of Information from the FDA by Judicial Watch:
"The adverse reactions include 10 deaths since September, 2007. (The total number of death reports is at least 18 and as many as 20.) The FDA also produced 140 “serious” reports (27 of which were categorized as “life threatening”), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome – all since January 2008"
Without knowing the total number of vaccinations administered, and thereby the statistical probability of an adverse reaction (that is to say an immediate adverse reaction) a proper analysis cannot be made. But surely, that is something that should be done now, rather than after many more young girls are exposed to this risk. (N.B. Check the DoH fact sheet - no indication is given of any serious adverse reaction).
Aside from the above points, is the question of whether this vaccination is effective against HPV, and the link, by no means direct, between HPV and cervical cancer.
Pharmaceutical companies are rubbing their hands with glee, as usual, at the prospect of the billions they stand to make from HPV vaccinations - money that could very well be spent elsewhere to better effect, if reducing cervical cancer is the goal.
History shows us that big pharma will downplay the risks and over-promise the benefits. History also shows us that many doctors will administer any drug, no matter how potentially harmful, as long as there's a target to meet, or a kick-back to be earned.
The pharmaceutical companies do not have our best interests at heart. Doctors make mistakes. It is time to stop naively trusting these so-called experts and start looking out for ourselves.
(N.B. There is more than one HPV vaccination on the market. I make no attempt to distinguish between them. I only hope to encourage people to stop, think and research the facts before consenting to being vaccinated or allowing their children to be vaccinated).
Saturday, 19 July 2008
(Hat tip: Infowars.net)
Friday, 18 July 2008
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
'The R&D process is highly regulated, wherever we operate. As scientific advances raise new issues, we work closely with the regulators, policy makers and stakeholders to develop any new or refined standards. We have our own internal standards and systems to ensure that we comply with or exceed all guidelines, regulations and legal requirements.'
That being the case, it must be another GlaxoSmithKlein that just killed at least 12 babies in Argentina, during trials, which are on-going, despite the deaths. The report states:
'According to pediatrician Ana Maria Marchese, who works at the children's hospital in the provincial capital where the studies are being conducted, "because they can't experiment in Europe or the United States, they come to do it in third-world countries." '
But to Enrique Smith, one of the leading doctors involved in the trial:
"Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria".
In other words, a price worth paying, so a global corporation can profit.
(Hat tip: Informationliberation)
He asks the question whether the victims will ever get justice. The answer being not if the Italian political establishment has anything to do with it. The word fascism is over-used, by myself as much as anyone, so it's worth reminding oneself what it stands for - brutality and evil - as Orwell wrote: 'A boot stamping on a human face forever'.
They must not win.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks...will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
And what Mayer Amschel Rothschild meant when he said:
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Now the information commissioner is warning that our way of life is under threat, not from terrorists, but from an overbearing state, which intends to create a database to store every email and every phone call we make. In the past such surveillance would require the police to obtain a warrant, for which they would need to present reasonable grounds for suspicion against a named individual. Now we are all suspect in the eyes of the control freak state, and our privacy and the presumption of our innocence count for nothing.
On top of this gross violation comes the very real threat that this personal information will be accessed for nefarious reasons, as if the state's reasons were not nefarious enough in the first place. For in the modern state, it is considered acceptable for local councils to spy on individuals suspected of the most mundane of byelaw infringements, using laws invented to apprehend terrorists.
Back in the 1960s, Woody Allen's stand-up routine contained a story wherein his house was beseiged by the New York Library Department, due to his failing to return a book on time. In the 21st Century, no one's laughing any more.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
The idea that if no one carried a weapon, we'd all be safer, is no doubt true, but it's never going to be the case. Disarming the general public is not going to stop criminals doing so, indeed it cements the advantage of the criminal over the law-abiding. Additionally, the police seem to be better armed than ever. Why not set an example, and disarm the coppers? Stupid idea, huh? But if the police are citizens like the rest of us, rather than paramilitary agents of the state, then they should have no more right than the rest of us to weaponry.
We all have a right to self-defence. This is dictated by natural law firstly, and is a valid legal defence against charges of violent conduct. However, the statute law does everything it can to ensure that an ordinary citizen cannot exercise this right. Under the present rules, you have a right to be a victim, and nothing more. Other, non-lethal weapons, such as pepper sprays or tazers, which one can see dangling from the belts of today's coppers, are also banned.
Now, I recognise that most people do not support our right to bear arms. After decades of propaganda, they seem to equate a legal right to own a weapon with a legal right to kill anyone they don't like, which is of course nonsense. They do not want liberty, they want security, to hide behind the skirts of the ever-more heavily-armed police, notwithstanding the face that its highly unlikely that the police will be around at the moment they're needed.
The reasons for the current upsurge in knife crimes are no doubt complex. The social engineers' assault on the family and the consequent fragmentation of society may explain it in part, massive exposure to violent television and video games may also be relevant. It may also be a blow-back from the feminisation of boys by the state school system, which gives them no outlet for, and hence no ability to control, their natural violent instincts.
Allowing the population to tool up may not provide a short-term solution, but neither will ramping up the police state.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Here is a man who at least knows how to haggle. Imagine what concessions our government could have wrung out of treaty negotiations if they held referendums.