Saturday, 30 August 2008

More delays to state database of children

The government's 'ContactPoint' database, which is intended to store personal details on all children and young people, from birth to the age of 25, has been delayed again.

The database, which will be accessible to around 330,000 state sector workers, such as doctors, teachers, janitors etc, was set up using the shocking case of Victoria ClimbiƩ as a justification. As such, the database scheme reveals the control freak mindset very well. Rather than address the issues of the case and the particular failings of the particular people involved, the proposed solution is to gather information on every child in the land, as if every child in the land is at risk of suffering the same fate as poor Victoria.

This is patent nonsense. Some children are known to be at risk. Victoria was one of them. The authorities failed to use the powers in their possession to prevent her death. The vast majority of children are at no such risk. Nevertheless, common sense and fiscal responsibility count as nothing for a government whose urge to control has reached psychotic proportions.

It is already abundantly clear that the state cannot be trusted with personal information. The arguments put forward for these huge databases fall apart under the slightest of examinations. In security terms alone, the use of such all-encompassing systems is like putting all your eggs in one large. porous basket, so even if you are stupid enough to trust the government's intentions, you'd still be a fool to support such monumentally expensive projects for simple, pragmatic reasons. However, I most certainly do not trust their intentions. I do not wish to live in a country where my every action is overlooked, where I must carry an ID card, where I am subject to random, warantless searches, where people are encouraged to snitch on their neighbours and children on their own parents, and every little council official thinks he's Hitler.

All these measures - falsely justified on grounds of 'security' give only more power to the state - and the state needs no more power. Juvenal's question still requires an answer:

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - "Who watches the watchman?"

Don't we all?

Radiohead - 'Just'

Milband is devil child: proof

Regard this mask of evil: you can almost hear 'The Omen' theme playing in the background.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Dave the Spiv wants to stand up to Russia: Go ahead, pal!

The oleaginous foreign secretary with the spiv moustache is no doubt winning friends amongst the neocon strangeloves of Washington with his tough rhetoric against Russia for 'doing a Kosovo' over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He wants 'Europe to stand up to Russia' - safety in numbers, huh?

Fine, Dave, whatever - you lead the charge. I'm sure one of Labour's donors would lend you a pony off their polo string, and if you need a sabre to rattle, no doubt the police have got a few from the last 'knife amnesty'.

(And well done to 'ClockworkOrange' for shutting up the twits at 'Samizdata' on this thread.)

ID cards and electoral fraud

Apparently, the Electoral Commission has reversed its position regarding ID cards, and is now saying that, although voters should be required to show identification, they should not have to take a photo-ID, such as the government's coming ID card. Maybe it doesn't want to get tainted by the ID card issue, or be dragooned into defending the hapless government's 'internal passport'.

In any case, it was the changes to the postal voting rules that led to most recent fraud cases, and not people turning up at the polling stations, pretending to be other people.

Photograph a copper? You are now a terrorist suspect

Via the Register, I learn the story of David Gates, who dared to photograph an unmarked police car that was illegally parked, and found himself being questioned under 'anti-terrorist' laws.

As has been crystal-clear, at least since Walter Wolfgang (above) was dragged out of the Labour conference and detained under these laws, the phony 'war on terror' has been used to undermine our freedom by granting arbitrary and easily-abused powers to the police.

'Civilian policing' scheme criticised

The BBC reports that the Police Federation has criticised what is called 'civilian policing'. The scheme - another half-cocked New Labour grass-thy-neighour plan, replete with swastika-style badge, is without doubt worthy of criticism, but since when were the police in this country not themselves civilian?

The BBC spins it to seem like the scheme is about empowering community-minded individuals, but as this document shows, its really about handing state power to private companies - in other words, another dose of corporate fascism.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Charming devil

One of the most famous scenes from 'The Third Man', starring Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles as the amoral racketeer Harry Lime, as fit as a flea, notwithstanding his recent funeral.

Have you thought about the power of the question mark?

An interesting little snippet from a lecture named 'hacking the subconsious mind', from Holofractalist's YouTube channel.

Friday, 22 August 2008

GM: Don't believe the hype

Peter Melchett of the Soil Association writes:

"The greatest coup by the GM companies, and their greatest scientific fraud, was to ensure no GM food had to be tested for safety. In America, they established the concept of "substantial equivalence" – which means that if a GM crop looks like its non-GM equivalent and grows like it, then it is it – no safety testing is needed before people eat it. GM maize could have added virus and antibiotic resistance genes, and a gene that makes it express an insecticide in every leaf, stem and root – but to the US government it looks and grows like maize, so it is safe to eat"

Read the whole article in The Independent


Pelosi: a minority of one

"I preside over the greatest collection of integrity and idealism."

Nancy Pelosi, when asked about Congress's historical all-time low approval rating. See and read more here.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

A reason to smoke

Courtesy of one of my dear readers, I bring you the Nicotine Nazi of the Day, the Month, possibly of All Time.

I wish I was in Vancouver tonight, because I would be making my way to this guy's store with the biggest, fattest cigar I could find.

From Livelink.

Who is this guy?

Every day without fail I read in the London free papers about someone called Rhys Ifans, who is described as an actor, although I have no idea when, if ever, he has been employed in this capacity. Now, I pride myself on a lofty disdain for popular culture, and I dare say a little research would garner an answer to my original question, but I enjoy the suspense of not knowing.

Also turning up with the regularity of a German transportation system are the Geldorf girls, Lily Allen and one of Ozzie Osborne's brood, whose name slips my mind. Is there really this little happening on the London scene? Of course not. I suspect rather than me being out of touch, it's the media that don't know what's going on.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Any reason will do

Stephen Kinzer, writing in the Guardian, shares my fears that the Bush/Cheney death cult is desperate to attack Iran, and the fighting over South Ossetia may bring that day closer:

'In recent years, the Bush administration has sought at every turn to challenge Russian interests. It has worked to cut Russia out of energy pipelines, expand Nato up to Russia's borders, build missile defence bases near those borders, promote the independence of Kosovo and encourage former Soviet states like Georgia to spit in Russia's strategic eye.

This approach worked while Russia was prostrate. It was inevitable, though, that Russia would eventually begin to re-emerge as an influential power. Now it has.

Washington protested Russia's crushing of Georgia with howls of outrage. President Bush declared with a straight face that "bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century"...

For years before the September 11 terror raids, a clique of millenarian ideologues in Washington had been urging a US attack on Iraq. The raids gave them their excuse. Now I fear the same may be happening with Iran. Georgia could be the excuse.'


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Hundreds of millions to be spent on 'snooping silo'

Under the auspices of something called the 'Interception Modernisation Programme' the British government is to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a huge surveillance facility, according to the Register. Apparently:

"The IMP budget was part of the intelligence agencies' undisclosed funding bid to the Comprehensive Spending Review last year. In an answer to a parliamentary question on 8 July, the Home Office refused to provide any budgetary details, citing national security concerns.... It's envisaged that the one-stop-shop database will retain details of all calls, texts, emails, instant messenger conversations and websites accessed in the UK for up to two years."

Read the whole report and ponder our descent into totalitarian hell.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Gritty realism

Seeing as I've been arguing over the Brechtian qualities of the Sopranos elsewhere today, I'll end the weekend with some home-grown villainy, courtesy of The Fast Show.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Aw! Barred again

I just left my last comment at the blog Samizdata. I intended it to be my last comment, and it seems the feeling is mutual! Still, I won't dwell. I've got better things to do than spend time arguing with people whose favourite stroke mag is Jane's Defence Weekly.

The Big O

I think I'll leave the politics until tomorrow. Instead, the one and only Otis, burning through 'I can't turn you loose' and 'Shake'.

Le meilleur film du monde

I'm not prepared to argue this point: Jean Luc Goddard's 'Pierrot le Fou' is the greatest movie ever made. Anyone who disagrees - fighting talk! - is an ignorant fool and beneath contempt.

It has everything; Jean Paul Belmondo - the coolest guy, Anna Karina - the most beautiful woman, the eternal Mediterranean - who needs a plot with these three?

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Summer: a vicarious thrill

For all this talk of climate change, the English summer has remained depressingly the same as ever - a couple of good weeks in early May, followed by three months of overcast skies and periodic downpours, during which the natives vainly hope for a late rally, an 'indian summer' as it's called. Anyone planning to visit England, bring a brolly - if you're lucky it can double as a parasol (a word so rarely needed in this country, we never bothered to translate it).

So here's Manu Chao playing 'Por donde saldra el sol' to remind me of hot summer nights - spent far away from these shores.

Rockin' in the free world

Dylan having a blast on the Rolling Thunder tour of 1976 with 'Maggie's Farm'.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Wise words from Sean Gabb

"... Sadly, London, just like Washington, has been captured by the neoconservatives. These are not conservatives, new or old. They are simply warmongers. They have misread the history of the twentieth century. For them, national greatness is measured by military power. They are allied to business and other interests that benefit from war. They had a fine time during the Cold War. They were disappointed when this abruptly ended. They have since then been lying us into smaller wars all over the world. They want a permanent war with Islam. They look forward to a cold war with China. Of course, now that Vladimir Putin is in charge of Russia, they are in love with the idea that the original Cold War never really ended, and that the warm certainties of their youth can now be revived..."

Read the rest at the Libertarian Alliance blog.

Bravo, Charles!

I'm not a big fan of the royals, being somewhat monarcho-sceptic, but credit where credit's due: Prince Charles was bang on the money in his comments against genetically-modified 'food' and the companies that push it.

Many will criticise him, because it's him that said it, the classic ad hominem. 'How dare Charles involve himself in such weighty matters? He should stick to polo' etc. Bollocks. If the man speaks the truth, judge him by that, not who he is.

Then there are others who wish to push the GM agenda, either their paid-for shills, or the ignorant. Genetic modification is inherently dangerous, and the evidence is legion. Some of it is freely available in the documentary below. It cannot be contained, therefore GM crops spread contamination widely. No farmer or land-owner has the right to contaminate other people's land. The company leading the GM movement is one of the most demonstrably evil corporations in the world - Monsanto, the ultimate monopoly capitalist nightmare, which literally wants to control every seed planted in the world.

So well done Charles, for speaking the truth, and fuck all those that attack you for doing so.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The documentary Monsanto doesn't want you to see

There is no better example of the malign power of corporations over than in the case of GM foods. With the British government and the European Commission now bought and paid for, and the US administration long in the pocket of Monsanto and their co-conspirators, it is imperative that the people learn the truth that has been hidden from them.

Bill of Rights: protecting Parliament from the People

I have, to the detriment of my blood pressure, just waded through the Joint Committee for Human Rights' report into the case for a British Bill of Rights, which I was alerted to at Samizdata.

This turgid, rambling trash lays bare much of the rotten heart of this nation's political system, dominated as it is by parasitical lawyers in perpetual circle-jerk. If this rank document is their justification for their own existence, God help them.

After acknowledging that the United States' Bill of Rights - the only such document worthy of the name - was put in place to protect the people from the government, it then drags the argument out of the clear daylight into the subterranean gloom of what they like to call 'positive freedoms' - whereby the state can pose as provider, inventing endless means for its own self-perpetuation.

So much of this document confirms how its authors and the supporting cast inhabit an intellectual ghetto, oft referred to as the Westminster Bubble, cut off from reality, where they can parade around vaingloriously, safe in the knowledge that any little boy who may dare shout 'the Emperor is naked!" has been prevented from entry by armed guards.

This 'Bill of Rights' is worthless, because it is based on principles that are fundamentally against the people, chief of which being the sovereignty of Parliament. It also scapes and bows to the Human Rights Act, an incomprehensible - and thus perforce - despicable piece of legislation.

The only legitimate purpose of a Bill of Rights is to restrain the state and the government from arbitrary, tyrannical rule. Parliament will never acknowledge this, because such a Bill of Rights will undermine it's power over us.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Russia vs. Georgia: Knight takes Pawn

As Bill Hicks so astutely observed; 'All governments are liars and murderers'. That being the case, we should generally try to resist the instinct to pick sides in complicated foreign wars as if we were watching a game of football, especially when we often know very little about who's doing what to whom and the media we rely upon for information are biased, twisted and barely more informed than we are. Most likely it will not be good vs. evil, but evil vs. evil, black hats on either side and civilians in the middle getting royally fucked.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Ubiquitous Computing: welcome to the Matrix

Hat tip: Old Thinker News

"Utopia or nightmarish panopticon?" I'm voting for the latter.

Just another 'suicide'

From Lew Rockwell:

"According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Private LaVena Lynn Johnson killed herself on July 19, 2005, eight days before her twentieth birthday. Exactly how did she end her life? She punched herself in the face hard enough to blacken her eyes, break her nose, and knock her front teeth loose. She douched with an acid solution after mutilating her genital area. She poured a combustible liquid on herself and set it afire. She then shot herself in the head. Despite this massive self-inflicted trauma, she somehow managed to drag her then fully clothed body into the tent of a KBR contractor, leaving a trail of blood along the way and set the tent ablaze in a failed attempt to cover up her crimes against herself.

If this story sounds plausible to you, you may have missed your calling as an officer in the U.S. Army, because Army officers, speaking with a straight face, would have you believe that such a thing is not only possible, but actually happened."

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Internet freedom: prepare for the Counter-Revolution

The freedom of the internet is something we cannot afford to take for granted. The information revolution it has brought about has wreaked havoc on the mainstream media and those that control it, and freedom-lovers must be braced for the counter-revolution which is gathering pace.

Of many straws in the wind, we have Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig warning that:

'There’s going to be an i-9/11 event. Which doesn't necessarily mean an Al Qaeda attack, it means an event where the instability or the insecurity of the internet becomes manifest during a malicious event which then inspires the government into a response....

... I was having dinner with ('Anti-terrorism czar') Richard Clarke and I asked him if there is an equivalent, is there an i-Patriot Act just sitting waiting for some substantial event as an excuse to radically change the way the internet works. He said "of course there is".'

(This is around 4.40 on the video clip)

One thing's for sure: the clampdown on internet freedom will not feature very highly in the mainstream media - it's their only hope of keeping an audience for their dumbed-down, dishonest bullshit.

Carroll Quigley speaks

Carroll Quigley's 'Tragedy and Hope' is one of the most important history books of the 20th Century, although it has remained something of a 'cult classic' due to the way it was effectively buried for many years by the actions of its publisher. It focuses attention on the incredibly influencial Round Table groups, which grew out of Cecil Rhodes' dream of a federation of the English-speaking world (if not the whole world), and through such men as Lord Milner shaped the course of history before during and after the two World Wars. Anyone wishing to understand the last 100 years would do well to read this book.

Although the sound is rather poor, the rarity of interviews with Dr Quigley make it worth a listen. The clip above is Part 3. Here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 4 and Part 5. At a couple of points, another voice cuts in - I don't know who this is.

'Tragedy and Hope' remains difficult to get hold of, but you can find a pdf of the book here.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Like the Reichstag fire, only bigger

Seeing as US government agents seem to have just murdered a scientist who they're now blaming for the 2001 anthrax attacks, and it's come out that Dick Cheney wanted US Navy Seals to dress up as Iranians and fire on US ships, it's probably worth going back to the foundation myth of so much of this tyranny - the false flag attacks of 9-11. I know many people still refuse to look at the evidence or even consider the possibility, but time's moving on and living in denial is not only dangerouss, it's a moral abdication., so here's Alex Jones' latest documentary, covering the 9-11 Truth Movement.

Watch it while the internet is still free.

More '80s retro: Russia's the bad guy again

In the face of no real threat, why not resurrect an old one? Having seen their plans for One Europe temporarily thwarted by the people of Ireland, the European Council on Foreign Relations is hoping that fear of Russia will work better than rational debate, in convincing the recalcitrant Europeans that we need to be ruled by people like them.

Of course we don't. We need more democracy, more individual and national sovereignty, and less corporate-run globalisation.


Here lies the anthrax investigation: May it rest in peace

The failure of the mainstream media to hold authority to account is well exemplified by the BBC in the case of a scientist who has supposedly committed suicide, as the FBI net closed in on him for the anthrax attacks of 2001. I saw the story covered on Newsnight, its 'flagship' current affairs TV show, and hardened though I am to the corporation's mendacity, the lack of any kind of curiosity in knowing exactly has happened was stunning.

Now that the man is dead, the guilt can be pinned on him with no requirement to prove anything. The BBC can report that Dr Bruce Ivins 'has taken the secrets of this case to the grave', and the BBC's dumb public can all go back to sleep, those that weren't already snoring happily, undisturbed by the fact that these terrorist attacks, originally blamed on Al Qaida and/or Iraq, were proven to come a US military facility.

For the BBC and its fellow peddlars of yellow journalm, it's time to move on, and another act of murder, in this case of five people, can be dropped into the 'I guess we'll never know' bin and forgotten. Finally, the Ministry of Truth has found itself a 'lone nut, acting from motives unknown'.

Yet again, it is the so-called alternative media and the bloggers, such as George Washington, who ask the real questions and cover the news, while the mainstream media circle-jerk to prurient trash like Kylie's derriere-double and other spectator sports.

(Pic: Sopranos episode 39)