Archive for the 'History' Category

Dumbing down done properly

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Still going strong, 666 episodes into the series.

Watch, a mans passion undimmed.

Book 39

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

50. Forever associated with a desire for “the Moderate Way”, the urban communities of the Centre Edge wished to curb what they saw to be the excesses of Gestures Theatre.

Its freely developing growth, largely unregulated from within, and certainly not regulated from without, irritated their sensibilities.
They attempted first of all to make a move to regulate the Gestures Drama companies through the only perceivable representative body, the Jatchett Registry, which to avoid plagiarism in the industry and to look after authors’ rights, had instituted a loose book-keeping system. But the Jatchett Regisry was a voluntary institution arranged for mutual benefit and had no legal standing or constitution that could be enforced. The supporters of the Moderate Way, lead by the ledger-clerk Antimonius Bricker. surreptitiously researched the Jatchett Registry’s very incomplete archives to find a means to legislate. Not finding the tools for the restrictions they wanted, they started to interfere with various public and private sources of income and support for Gestures Drama by forms of persuasion which some might call intimidation. They contrived to limit certain public services to Gestures Drama managers and supporters.
Antimonius Bricker drew up a list of limitations that included a refusal to collect street horse-dung, to limit the cropping and felling of dangerous trees, to delay the implementation of the maintenance of roads and tracks, to introduce adverse re-routing of open drains, and to enforce a biased use of public lighting to make access to the homes and workplaces of Gestures Drama supporters difficult, problematic and possibly dangerous, and certainly aesthetically unsatisfactory.

In some cases, to rid themselves of these restrictions and prohibitions, theatre managers succumbed to pressure, and agreed to pay small fees that both parties agreed to consider as theatre taxes.

[]

And when, because any interfering alternative was worse, by force of habit, voluntary subscriptions became more or less acceptable, the Moderators made them compulsory.

[]

Peter Greenaway, The Rise and Fall of Gestures Drama

A film for every decent person

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Thanks to a tip from Alun, I watched the film The lives of Others last night.

This is a brilliant and very important film. People often cite the STASI and its tactics and corrosive effects on East German society as a way of warning people of the sort of place Britain will become should it continue down the road of the insane mass surveillance that it has embarked upon. The lives of Others portrays in a most compelling and gut wrenching way what the STASI really means.

In the light of Poole Council’s nauseating surveillance of a British family, this is a film that everyone, every decent person in Britain, should see, as an example and warning of what is here and what is coming.

The parallels to East Germany and today’s Britain are clear. Britain is turning into a place where the horizon of surveillance is now under our feet, and the next stage, acting on it German style, is beginning to approach.

For my part, the idea of these people carrying out these operations in the past made me sick, as it always does. Watching fat pig government employees violate and wield unlimited power over people should make all good people feel queasy.

The main lesson of this film however is that the decent people did nothing. They carried on as best they could, trying to live as normal a life as possible, putting up with every outrage like prisoners suffering from one of those psychological disorders that affect mammals habituated to incarceration. They were frightened to the point that it was impossible for them to even speak. And then….

It all just ended.

Its rather like the three prisoners in THX-1138 walking out of the white space, being astonished that nothing stopped them. The power of the state is an illusion in this way. All of those East Germans could have simply stood up and walked away at any time. The only thing that was stopping them was their belief that the system was real, when in fact, it was not.

I note with dismay, that the names of the councilors and actors who carried out the surveillance were not names and photographed by the newspapers who feigned outrage. It is almost as if they were frightened of some unspoken consequences of doing the obvious; shaming these people so that they are made to suffer humiliation when they violate the rights of others. As it stands now, we do not know who these people are, what they look like or anything about them; they cannot therefore be shunned and vilified by decent people. This is part of the problem. It is this self protecting system of keeping quiet that emboldens these monsters.

Here are some links:
http://www.enjoy-surveillance.org/

Im Not Being Mean, Youre Just Retarded, Sir

Our state collects more data than the Stasi ever did. We need to fight back

To trust in the good intentions of our rulers is to put liberty at risk. I’d go to jail rather than accept this kind of ID card

Timothy Garton Ash
Thursday January 31, 2008
The Guardian

This has got to stop. Britain’s snooper state is getting completely out of hand. We are sleepwalking into a surveillance society, and we must wake up. When the Stasi started spying on me, as I moved around East Germany 30 years ago, I travelled on the assumption that I was coming from one of the freest countries in the world to one of the least free. I don’t think I was wrong then, but I would certainly be wrong now. Today, the people of East Germany are much less spied upon than the people of Britain. The human rights group Privacy International rates Britain as an “endemic surveillance society”, along with China and Russia, whereas Germany scores much better.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2249473,00.html

It isn’t too late to turn everything around. This is how it starts:

Do you get me?

The Suffragettes: Terrorists!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

The Suffragettes wanted the privilege of the vote for women.

The move for women to have the vote had really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. “Suffrage” means the right to vote and that is what women wanted – hence its inclusion in Fawcett’s title.

Millicent Fawcett believed in peaceful protest. She felt that any violence or trouble would persuade men that women could not be trusted to have the right to vote. Her game plan was patience and logical arguments. Fawcett argued that women could hold responsible posts in society such as sitting on school boards – but could not be trusted to vote; she argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws; she argued that as women had to pay taxes as men, they should have the same rights as men and one of her most powerful arguments was that wealthy mistresses of large manors and estates employed gardeners, workmen and labourers who could vote……..but the women could not regardless of their wealth…..

However, Fawcett’s progress was very slow. She converted some of the members of the Labour Representation Committee (soon to be the Labour Party) but most men in Parliament believed that women simply would not understand how Parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the electoral process. This left many women angry and in 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union was founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. They wanted women to have the right to vote and they were not prepared to wait. The Union became better known as the Suffragettes. Members of the Suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted.


Emmeline Pankhurst



Christabel Pankhurst

In fact, the Suffragettes started off relatively peacefully.  It was only in 1905 that the organisation created a stir when Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted a political meeting in Manchester to ask two Liberal politicians (Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey) if they believed women should have the right to vote. Neither man replied. As a result, the two women got out a banner which had on it “Votes for Women” and shouted at the two politicians to answer their questions. Such actions were all but unheard of then when public speakers were usually heard in silence and listened to courteously even if you did not agree with them. Pankhurst and Kenney were thrown out of the meeting and arrested for causing an obstruction and a technical assault on a police officer.

Both women refused to pay a fine preferring to go to prison to highlight the injustice of the system as it was then. Emmeline Pankhurst later wrote in her autobiography that:

“this was the beginning of a campaign the like of which was never known in England, or for that matter in any other country…..we interrupted a great many meetings……and we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt.”

The Suffragettes refused to bow to violence. They burned down churches as the Church of England was against what they wanted; they vandalised Oxford Street, apparently breaking all the windows in this famous street; they chained themselves to Buckingham Palace as the Royal Family were seen to be against women having the right to vote; they hired out boats, sailed up the Thames and shouted abuse through loud hailers at Parliament as it sat; others refused to pay their tax. Politicians were attacked as they went to work. Their homes were fire bombed. Golf courses were vandalised. The first decade of Britain in the C20th was proving to be violent in the extreme.

Suffragettes were quite happy to go to prison. Here they refused to eat and went on a hunger strike. The government was very concerned that they might die in prison thus giving the movement martyrs. Prison governors were ordered to force feed Suffragettes but this caused a public outcry as forced feeding was traditionally used to feed lunatics as opposed to what were mostly educated women.

The government of Asquith responded with the Cat and Mouse Act. When a Suffragette was sent to prison, it was assumed that she would go on hunger strike as this caused the authorities maximum discomfort. The Cat and Mouse Act allowed the Suffragettes to go on a hunger strike and let them get weaker and weaker. Force feeding was not used. When the Suffragettes were very weak……….they were released from prison. If they died out of prison, this was of no embarrassment to the government. However, they did not die but those who were released were so weak that they could take no part in violent Suffragette struggles. When those who had been arrested and released had regained their strength, they were re-arrested for the most trivial of reason and the whole process started again. This, from the government’s point of view, was a very simple but effective weapon against the Suffragettes.

As a result, the Suffragettes became more extreme. The most famous act associated with the Suffragettes was at the June 1913 Derby when Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the King’s horse, Anmer,  as it rounded Tattenham Corner. She was killed and the Suffragettes had their first martyr. However, her actions probably did more harm than good to the cause as she was a highly educated woman. Many men asked the simple question – if this is what an educated woman does, what might a lesser educated woman do? How can they possibly be given the right to vote?

It is possible that the Suffragettes would have become more violent. They had, after all, in February 1913 blown up part of David Lloyd George’s house – he was probably Britain’s most famous politician at this time and he was thought to be a supporter of the right for women to have the vote!

However, Britain and Europe was plunged into World War One in August 1914. In a display of patriotism, Emmeline Pankhurst instructed the Suffragettes to stop their campaign of violence and support in every way the government and its war effort. The work done by women in the First World War  was to be vital for Britain’s war effort. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed by Parliament.

[…]

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/suffragettes.htm

UPDATE!

Spy pictures of suffragettes revealed

By Dominic Casciani

BBC News Online


Photos uncovered by the National Archives show how the police spied on the suffragettes. These covert images – perhaps the UK’s first spy pictures – have gone on display to mark the centenary of the votes-for-women movement.

Ninety years ago, a Scotland Yard detective submitted an unusual equipment request.

It was passed up the chain, scrutinised, reviewed and finally rubber-stamped in Whitehall itself. Scotland Yard duly became the proud owner of a Ross Telecentric camera lens. And at a cost to the taxpayer of 7, 6s and 11d, secret police photographic surveillance (in the shape of an 11-inch long lens) was born.

Within weeks, the police were using it against what the government then regarded as the biggest threat to the British Empire: the suffragettes.

Documents uncovered at the National Archives reveal that the votes-for-women movement probably became the first “terrorist” organisation subjected to secret surveillance photography in the UK, if not the world.

The covert photographs are at the heart of an exhibition marking the centenary of the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which invented modern direct action and ultimately changed the face of the UK.


The suffragettes, founded in October 1903, forced a social revolution to give women the vote. Photographs uncovered by the National Archives reveal hidden secrets of how the state spied on what it regarded as a terrorist threat. This first picture shows a suffragette caught in a confrontation with opponents and the police.

State surveillance

The state’s use of cameras in fighting crime began when prisons were instructed to photograph all inmates in 1871.

But police found the technology’s real value as they tried to combat the increasingly militant suffragettes.

Within two years of the founding of the WSPU, Christabel Pankhurst had become the first woman to be jailed for direct action. That civil disobedience continued within prison walls as jailed women refused to be photographed.

So Scotland Yard brought in the UK’s first long-lens paparazzi-style photographer, says Carole Tulloch, curator of the exhibition.


In 1912, Scotland Yard detectives bought their first camera to covertly photograph the suffragettes. The pictures were compiled into ID sheets for officers on the ground.
This first sheet shows 1. Margaret Scott, 2. Olive Hockin, 3. Margaret McFarlane, 6. Rachel Peace, alias Jane Short, 7. Mary Gertrude Ansell 8. Maud Brindley.


The ID list was also circulated to potential targets. This list was supplied to the Wallace Collection art gallery in London after curators feared they would come under attack.
Pictured are 11. Mary Richardson 12. Lillian Lenton, alias May Dennis 13. Kitty Marion, 15. Miss Johansen 16. Clara Giveen 17. Jennis Baines.


The police photographers showed no preference in whom was placed under surveillance. If they were considered a threat, they were photographed, followed and watched.
But the suffragettes had sophisticated tactics. Nellie Taylor (picture 4) used the alias Mary Wyan while Annie Bell (picture 5) had two alter egos – Hannah Booth and Elizabeth Bell.

That first photographer, Mr A Barrett, sat quietly in a van, snapping away as the women walked around Holloway Prison’s yards, according to the documents.

On the outside, detectives compiled photographic lists of key suspects, the aim being to stop arson attacks, window-smashings or the dramatic scenes of women chaining themselves to Parliament’s railings.

“The police got quite good. They would even send people along to meetings to take pictures and notes of what was being said,” says Ms Tulloch.

“They eventually put an officer in plain clothes and on a motorbike to try and keep up. He was able to make some notes but failed to keep up with the suffragettes because he had not been given a bike with an automatic starter motor.”

At Manchester Prison, the authorities used the technique to snap infamous window-smashers Evelyn Manesta and Lillian Forrester.

When the results were disappointing, the records suggest another attempt was made to coerce the women into posing.

Evelyn Manesta resisted and eventually a guard was used to restrain her around the neck. But when the photograph was reproduced in the official rogue’s gallery, it had been doctored – replacing the arm with a fashionable lady’s scarf.


In prison, the civil disobedience continued. When Evelyn Manesta, one of the Manchester suffragettes refused to pose for a picture, a guard was brought in to restrain her in front of the camera.


But when the photograph of Evelyn Manesta appeared, the arm had been removed. The photographer had acted on official instructions to doctor the photograph so that it would be less controversial.

Gallery panic

Back in London, the nation’s greatest art collections were nervous after suffragettes slashed the National Gallery’s Rokeby Venus in March 1914.

SUFFRAGETTES’ LEGACY

We still have her suffragette plaque and brooch and I remember as a child how my mother and grandmother would bring them out and explain to me their significance

The private Wallace Collection gallery appealed to Scotland Yard for help, and detectives supplied their list of London’s most wanted – almost all of the pictures secretly taken.

One of the women on the list, Kitty Marion, went on to become one of the most celebrated of the suffragettes as she endured more than 200 force-feedings in prison while on hunger strike.

“On the one hand, the state considered them dangerous terrorists, but on the other it simply did not know what to do with them,” says Ms Tulloch.”

The police and prison officials were so worried about what to do they made sure that every step they took was authorised by the Home Office. In the records you can find daily communications between the governor of Holloway Prison and Whitehall. In that era it was extremely rare for government to communicate so quickly.”

But the police surveillance did nothing to stop the movement – nor did it dim the growing support they were finding in the country. While the photographs presented the women as dangerous subversives, press photographs uncovered by the National Archives also exposed what some newspapers- particularly the Daily Mirror – regarded as police and mob brutality.

“I think we take for granted what they fought for,” says Ms Tulloch. “One of the images we found shows a lone woman on a cart, surrounded by 1,000 men.

“Today, she would be on a podium, surrounded by supporters in an organised event. No doubt many of those men would be telling her what to do – go home and feed the kids. The courage these women showed was remarkable.”

[…]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3153024.stm

Libertarians and the Milkcow’s calf blues

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Libertarians get patronized a lot. Chipmunky and earnest, always pursuing logical consistency down wacky paths, they pose no real threat to the established order.

This is a bad start to a bad article. It seems that many american writers are not capable of serious logical thought; there is nothing wrong with sweeping generalizations (as long as they make you laugh) but these sorts of line are nothing more than propagandistic slander words.

And I beg to differ that they are ‘no threat to the established order’. Libertarians and Libertarian ideas are the biggest threat the established order have faced in one hundred years.

But the modest success of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas in the presidential campaign entitles them to some answers to the questions they raise. They say: People should be free to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt other people. If you agree, how do you justify (let’s pick just two): 1) laws that forbid private behavior, such as recreational drugs; 2) government programs that redistribute one person’s money to someone else?

The libertarian perspective is useful, and undervalued. Why does the government pay farmers not to grow food? Why are medications for fatal diseases sometimes held off the market in case they aren’t safe? (Compared to death?) Legislators and regulators should ask themselves far more often than they do whether some government activity or other expands freedom or contracts it.

Furthermore, democracy and majority rule are no answers. Tyranny of the majority is a constant danger. How would you like a law requiring that people with odd Social Security numbers have to give $1,000 to people with even Social Security numbers? To libertarians, much of what the government does is essentially like that.

So what is wrong with the libertarian case for extremely limited government? Economics 101 teaches some of the basic justifications for government interference in the economy. Some things, such as the cost of national defense, are “public goods.” We can’t each decide for ourselves how much defense we want. We have to decide that together. Then there are “externalities,” which are costs (or, sometimes, benefits) that your decisions impose on me. Pollution is the classic example. Without government involvement of some sort to override our individual judgments, we will produce more pollution than most of us want.

I would say that pollution is a modern example, and it is there because the market for energy is distorted. The free market might have been able to produce a pollution free economy by now if it had been left to do so, just as we would be on Mars had Nuclear engines been allowed to fully develop and fly.

There are “market-oriented” solutions to this problem, but there is a difference –often forgotten, especially by Republicans — between using market forces and leaving something to the market. The point of principle is whether the government should intervene at all. How it chooses to intervene is purely pragmatic.

No. The point of principle is the the source of how we consent to ourselves to be governed; we should never allow government to choose to intervene on the basis of what is pragmatic. Governments that do that wind up expelling all ‘foreigners’, treating foreigners like animals, building concentration camps and waging pre-emptive wars.

Libertarians have a fondness for complex arrangements to make markets work in situations where the textbooks say they can’t. Hey, let’s issue stamps, y’see, and use the revenues to form a corporation that sells stock to buy military equipment, then the government leases the equipment and the stockholders vote on whether to user it — and so on. The point becomes proving a point, not economic or government efficiency.

That is a straw man argument.

Libertarians also have a tendency to see too many issues in terms of property rights (just as liberals, they would counter, tend to see everything in terms of discrimination and equal protection). Pollution, libertarians say, is simply theft: you are stealing my clean air. Settle it in court. This is a really terrible idea: inexpert judges, lawyers and juries using the most elaborate and expensive decision-making process known to humankind — litigation — to make inconsistent decisions in different cases. And usually there is no one “right” answer: There is a spectrum of acceptable answers, involving tradeoffs (dirty air versus fewer jobs, etc.) that ought to be made democratically — that is, through government.

This is so wrong I do not know where to start. Sorry, yes, I do!
America is alredy ligigation mad. There is no way that more litigation is possible in that country; there are not enough judges or courts. But that is to use one of Kinsleys poorly formed style of argument. Judges and lawyers and juries are inexpert in everything else that is going on today; just look at the absurd decisions to do with RAM; it is clear that anything technical is out of the depth of most judges; does that mean that we cannot use the courts to settle disputes and that we must turn to Big Brother to solve all our problems? Of course not, one of the chief reasons being that government is as incompetent and science illiterate as any judge and jury. There is no reason why when you have a jury of your peers, the correct decision cannot be arrived at. If we are talking about pollution, then the judge should be a scientist with the correct background. If we are talking about wether a company should store the temporary and fleeting files that are held in the RAM of a server running LigHTTPd then the judge should be someone who knows the difference between ‘Apache’ and ‘an Apache’. As you can see from those links, the Google knows the difference!

To say that, “the solution ought to be made democratically — that is, through government”, is to engage in a dastardly misuse of the English language. It is a form of abuse that has been going on for a long time in both the UK and the USA; the substitution of the meaning of the word ‘fair’ with the word ‘democracy’. What Kinsley is doing is substituting the meaning of one word for another in a modern (and rather nasty) shorthand that connects a system of government to a word meaning goodness.

If we take that sentence literally, it makes no sense. To say pollution problems should be solved democratically means that a vote should be taken on each separate issue; not that the issue should be turned over to government to arbitrate. These subtle linguistic tricks, if they are done deliberately are evil in writing. If they are not done deliberately, then Kinsley is a poor thinker and writer. Either way it is wrong.

Sometimes libertarians end up reinventing the wheel. My favorite example is an article I read years ago advocating privatization of highways. This is a classic libertarian fantasy: government auctions off the land, private enterprise pays for construction and maintenance, tolls cover the cost, competition with other routes keeps it all efficient. And what about, um, intersections? Well, markets would recognize that it is more efficient for one company to own both roads at major intersections, and when that happened the company would have an incentive to strike the right balance between customers on each highway. And stoplights? Ultimately, the author had worked his way up to a giant monopoly that would build, own, and maintain all the roads, and charge an annual fee to people who wanted to use them. None dare call it government.

This is another straw man. You can come up with an infinite number of different offensive and unworkable proposals, call them ‘Libertarian’ and then say, “see! they are all wacky!”. None of these arguments change the true nature of Libertarianism, and none of them will dent its popularity. This is the dull thinking of the inured, powered by stupid skeptic tricks.

Something similar goes on when the government forbids or requires people to do something for their own good. Why shouldn’t people, at least adult people, have the right to decide for themselves? Libertarian thinking has been useful, for example, in making it easier to get prescription drugs through the maze at the FDA. The Terry Shiavo case of 2005 was libertarianism’s greatest moment so far, as the entire nation rose up in defense of her right to die.

I thought Libertarianism’s greatest moment was the penning of The Constitution…I could be wrong of course…

The trouble here is that libertarians tend to analogize everything to a right to die. If you have the right to end your own life, you must have the right to do anything else you wish, short of that. If you’re allowed to shoot yourself through the head, why aren’t you allowed to drive without a seat belt?

Or ride a bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet.

The answer is that it’s a bad analogy. When you drive without a seat belt, you are not motivated by a desire to die, or even a desire to take a small risk of dying. Why should your motive matter? Because your death — especially your death in a car crash — does impose externalities on others. I would pay good money not to have to see your bloody carcass lying beside the highway, or endure the traffic jam, or pay the emergency room costs. A serious right like the right to die may be worth the cost, while a right to be careless or irresponsible is not.

To say that government should force people to wear seatbelts so that you are not inconvenienced by a traffic jam is patently absurd. It is also absurd to say that government compulsion is justified to spare you the sight of a bloody carcass. These are the words of a selfish and stupid man; a man who clearly doesn’t understand the value of liberty, a squeamish and milk blooded weakling who is terrified of life, who happily runs into the arms of government for everything and anything. This is not the sort of person who would have packed up a trunk and taken the perilous voyage to the new world. This is not the sort of man who built america – or anything else for that matter. People as soft as that last paragraph implies are the Eloi; the human cattle of this age.

They are ‘the problem’.

Perhaps if more americans were exposed to carnage, in other words, real life, they would have a better appreciation of what it means to send their military to other countries to inflict ‘regime change’ on innocent people. More on that below.

Llibertarians are quick to see hidden costs of ignoring libertarian principles and slow to see such costs in adhering to them. For example, Tucker Carlson reports in the Dec. 31 New Republic that Ron Paul wants to end the federal ban on unpasteurized milk. No one should want to drink unpasteurized milk, and almost no one does. Paul himself doesn’t. But it bothers him that the government tells people they cannot do something they shouldn’t do. Libertarians would say that if most people want pasteurized milk, the market will supply it. Firms will emerge to certify that milk has been pasteurized. These firms will compete, keeping them honest.

And that is the difference between people who live by principle and people who do not. A I said above we should only consent to be governed by a government that operates on principle, not by what is pragmatic. This concept is alien to the sheeple like Kinsley. The very idea frightens them; and that is behind this image of people drinking untreated milk.

Fear of untreated milk is symbolic of the programmed fear that the sheeple live in. They are like the hive people in THX-1138, where there is nothing natural; where the only food is processed food. The immediate revulsion felt by most people when they think about drinking milk straight from the cow without being blessed and sanctified by ‘science’ is the same reaction that drives them to run to the government to solve every problem. It is the same perverted instinct that causes them to distrust the flow of life and the market. It is the same force that has created the “Health and Safety” mass hysteria that has overtaken the once sane and rational British.

So yes, a Rube Goldberg contraption of capitalism could replace a straightforward government regulation. But what if you aren’t interested in turning your grocery shopping into an ideological adventure? All that is lost by letting the government take care of it is the right of a few idiots to be idiots. That right deserves respect. But not much.

To say that Libertarianism is comparable to a Rube Goldberg contraption is a complete polar opposite mischaracterization, and Kinsley knows it. This is the sort of line that we are now used to hearing from certain quarters in america: “downsizing” for “firing of many employees”, “enhanced interrogation techniques” for torture, “extraordinary rendition” for the process of kidnapping people from countries where torture is illegal to countries where it isn’t, “wet work” for “assassination”, “collateral damage” for “civilians killed”, “take out” for “destroy”, “red tape” for “bureaucracy”, “area denial munitions” meaning “landmines”, “physical persuasion”, “rough interrogation” and “tough questioning” for “torture”, “illiquid assets” worthless real estate and “detainment of enemy combatants” meaning “prisoners of war”, “regime change” meaning “CIA organized assassination / military coup” and of course, “Democracy” meaning “colonization by the United States”.

Libertarianism is about simplicity, not complexity. Libertarians, and Ron Paul explicitly, unambiguously and repeatedly have said this, and they say it in plain language of the sort that is alien to Kinsley and his ilk.

A similar flaw affects libertarian thinking about government-mandated redistribution. Extreme libertarians believe this is immoral or even unconstitutional, and even more moderate libertarians disapprove of government social welfare programs as an infringement on the freedom of taxpayers. But freedom is only one of the two core values our nation was built on. The other is equality. Defining equality, libertarians tend to take a narrow view, believing that it means only political equality with no financial aspects. Defining freedom, by contrast, they take a broad view, and see a violation in every nickel a citizen must spend.

Libertarians ask: By what justification does the government concern itself with inequality — financial or otherwise — in the first place? They are nearly alone in asking this question. Even conservatives claim a great concern for equality of opportunity, while opposing opportunity of result. And the reasons seem obvious: some degree of material equality as a necessary basis for political equality; the huge role of luck in getting each of us to our relative stations in life; etc.

There is no such thing as an ‘extreme libertarian’. The prefix ‘extreme’ is used as code in this example to tarnish Libertarians as ‘extremists’; and of course, that bundles them in with ‘extremist islam’ and by extension ‘islamic extremists’. Glen Beck said it plainly for joe sixpack.

Theft is immoral, just as murder is immoral. That it is done by the government doesn’t make it not so. Bush Blair and Brown are mass murderers in the same way that Charles Manson is a convicted murderer; none of those three men were physically doing the murdering, and neither did Charles Manson, yet all four are guilty. But I digress. You cannot use force to take something from someone; that is theft. The fact that it is voted upon is irrelevant. This video makes it vividly clear why this is so.

But nothing like this is obvious to libertarians. They force us to think it all through from scratch. Good for them.

[…]

Washington Post

Actually, Libertarianism is good for YOU, and is superior to your philosophy. Your philosophy works on the presumption that you are correct in everything, and that therefore, everyone should obey you, hand over their cash to you, and live by your standards. Libertarians begin by saying that they only know what is good for them, not for others, and so we can co-exist with you, whereas you cannot co-exist with us. Your philosophy makes violent conflict inevitable as it depends on you stealing from people. Our philosophy is one of peace, since we believe it is immoral to steal.

Once again, that instructional video is one of the best presentations I have seen explaining what Libertarianism actually means, and how it works practically. The ideas behind this are spreading like wildfire because they make sense to everyone with a brain-cell and who doesn’t have something to lose by them being widely adopted and practiced.

Finally!

Who among you are the Nazis?

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

By Dorothy Thompson
Published August 1941

It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of ones acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many timesin Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.

It is preposterous to think that they are divided by any racial characteristics. Germans may be more susceptible to Nazism than most people, but I doubt it. Jews are barred out, but it is an arbitrary ruling. I know lots of Jews who are born Nazis and many others who would heil Hitler tomorrow morning if given a chance. There are Jews who have repudiated their own ancestors in order to become Honorary Aryans and Nazis; there are full-blooded Jews who have enthusiastically entered Hitlers secret service. Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality. It appeals to a certain type of mind.

It is also, to an immense extent, the disease of a generationthe
generation which was either young or unborn at the end of the last war. This is as true of Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Americans as of Germans. It is the disease of the so-called lost generation.

Sometimes I think there are direct biological factors at worka type of education, feeding, and physical training which has produced a new kind of human being with an imbalance in his nature. He has been fed vitamins and filled with energies that are beyond the capacity of his intellect to discipline. He has been treated to forms of education which have released him from inhibitions. His body is vigorous. His mind is childish. His soul has been almost completely neglected.

At any rate, let us look round the room.

The gentleman standing beside the fireplace with an almost untouched glass of whiskey beside him on the mantelpiece is Mr. A, a descendant of one of the great American families. There has never been an American Blue Book without several persons of his surname in it. He is poor and earns his living as an editor. He has had a classical education, has a sound and cultivated taste in literature, painting, and music; has not a touch of snobbery in him; is full of humor, courtesy, and wit. He was a lieutenant in the World War, is a Republican in politics, but voted twice for Roosevelt, last time for Willkie. He is modest, not particularly brilliant, a staunch friend, and a man who greatly enjoys the company of pretty and witty women. His wife, whom he adored, is dead, and he will never remarry.

He has never attracted any attention because of outstanding bravery. But I will put my hand in the fire that nothing on earth could ever make him a Nazi. He would greatly dislike fighting them, but they could never convert him. Why not?

Beside him stands Mr. B, a man of his own class, graduate of the same preparatory school and university, rich, a sportsman, owner of a famous racing stable, vice-president of a bank, married to a well-known society belle. He is a good fellow and extremely popular. But if America were going Nazi he would certainly join up, and early. Why? Why the one and not the other?

Mr. A has a life that is established according to a certain form of personal behavior. Although he has no money, his unostentatious distinction and education have always assured him a position. He has never been engaged in sharp competition. He is a free man. I doubt whether ever in his life he has done anything he did not want to do or anything that was against his code. Nazism wouldnt fit in with his standards and he has never become accustomed to making concessions.

Mr. B has risen beyond his real abilities by virtue of health, good looks, and being a good mixer. He married for money and he has done lots of other things for money. His code is not his own; it is that of his classno worse, no better, He fits easily into whatever pattern is successful. That is his sole measure of valuesuccess. Nazism as a minority movement would not attract him. As a movement likely to attain power, it would.

The saturnine man over there talking with a lovely French emigree is already a Nazi. Mr. C is a brilliant and embittered intellectual. He was a poor white-trash Southern boy, a scholarship student at two universities where he took all the scholastic honors but was never invited to join a fraternity. His brilliant gifts won for him successively government positions, partnership in a prominent law firm, and eventually a highly paid job as a Wall Street adviser. He has always moved among important people and always been socially on the periphery. His colleagues have admired his brains and exploited them, but they have seldom invited himor his wifeto dinner.

He is a snob, loathing his own snobbery. He despises the men about himhe despises, for instance, Mr. Bbecause he knows that what he has had to achieve by relentless work men like B have won by knowing the right people. But his contempt is inextricably mingled with envy. Even more than he hates the class into which he has insecurely risen, does he hate the people from whom he came. He hates his mother and his father for being his parents. He loathes everything that reminds him of his origins and his humiliations. He is bitterly anti-Semitic because the social insecurity of the Jews reminds him of his own psychological insecurity.

Pity he has utterly erased from his nature, and joy he has never known. He has an ambition, bitter and burning. It is to rise to such an eminence that no one can ever again humiliate him. Not to rule but to be the secret ruler, pulling the strings of puppets created by his brains. Already some of them are talking his languagethough they have never met him.

There he sits: he talks awkwardly rather than glibly; he is courteous. He commands a distant and cold respect. But he is a very dangerous man. Were he primitive and brutal he would be a criminala murderer. But he is subtle and cruel. He would rise high in a Nazi regime. It would need men just like himintellectual and ruthless. But Mr. C is not a born Nazi. He is the product of a democracy hypocritically preaching social equality and practicing a carelessly brutal snobbery. He is a sensitive, gifted man who has been humiliated into nihilism. He would laugh to see heads roll.

[…]

That is half of a very insightful article.

The fact that all of it rings true today means that it should be possible to create a system of government that makes it impossible for ‘the bad guys’ to take over and ruin everything. Sadly, whatever shape that government may take, it requires an educated public to maintain it.

And america does not have that any longer:

It’s called ‘The American Dream’ because you have to be asleep to believe it.

The citizens of the sovereign states of the African continent want Ron Paul

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Every person living in a sovereign state on the continent of Africa wants Ron Paul to be the next president of the USA.

Why?

Because he is going to dismantle the evil american empire. That means that plans for the Imperial outpost and control nexus AFRICOM will be scrapped, and they will be spared what many countries have suffered for decades; an invading army of bored soldiers pestering the local women, the CIA operating freely to topple governments and directly manipulate elections and business, etc etc. Had AFRICOM gone ahead as planned, it would have been….’a bad thing’.

The Way Ahead
AFRICOM is still in its early planning stages. The command began initial operations in October 2007 and is still formulating mission, staffing and location options.

[…]

AFRICOM

No, ‘jar heads’, that is not ‘the way ahead’, it is another step down the road to DISASTER and the end of America.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

All people all over the world want the old America back; the America everyone looked up to and cherished. This is probably our last chance to bring it back in our lifetime, and the enemy is trying its best to stop it from happening. They are getting desperate and brazen, like the people who control FOX News and their excluding of Dr. Paul.

Which brings us to…

The american mainstream media is digging deep to try and derail and smear Ron Paul; this time around the hideous grimacing jelly joweled troll they have put in the center of the tracks in front of the oncoming train with a ‘STOP’ sign is named ‘Jamie Kirchick’.

He has instantly been discredited thanks to the internets.

Ron Paul is not a racist. And just for the record, I would rather have an honest, strict constitutionalist racist in the white house than any of the people who are currently running for president.

Thankfully, that hypothetical scenario does not apply in any way to Dr.Paul:

January 8, 2008 5:28 am EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:

The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.

In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.

This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.

When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.

[…]

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

It is interesting however, that the only things they can dig up about him are the things that he says, or is alleged to have said, and they can never attack his policies.

What this tells us is that his policies are 110% sound and unassailable.

Many years ago, May 1995 to be accurate, we dedicated a large section of issue 4 of our superb magazine Rivendell (named after a BBS, not LOTR btw!) to ‘Constitutions of the World’ – here are the parts:


Part2 of Rivendell 4
in PDF Format. ‘Constitutions of the world’


Part3 of Rivendell 4
in PDF Format. ‘Constitutions of the world’


Part4 of Rivendell 4
in PDF Format. ‘Constitutions of the world’


Part5 of Rivendell 4
in PDF Format. ‘Constitutions of the world’


Part6 of Rivendell 4
in PDF Format. ‘Constitutions of the world’

You can see from the content of that issue why people like us want Ron Paul to become president; he stands for everything that we believe in and that we have believed in for a very long time.

The Truth About Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

The recent discussions in the media about Ron Pauls comments regarding Lincoln and his political legacy got me to thinking, wouldnt it be great if Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, would weigh in on the subject. I had this thought because Judge Napolitano included a chapter entitled “Dishonest Abe” in his brilliant book, The Constitution in Exile. Judge Napolitano is a very busy man, hosting a radio show as well as appearing on television, making speeches all around the country, writing books, and practicing law in addition to (hopefully) having a private family life. Since I am a big fan of his writing I thought I would try to pique our readers interest in what the judge has to say on this subject.

The first two sentences of the “Dishonest Abe” chapter of The Constitution in Exile are hard hitting: “The Abraham Lincoln of legend is an honest man who freed the slaves and saved the Union. Few things could be more misleading.” He then goes on to say exactly what Ron Paul told the Washington Post, and which seemed to mystify and confuse Tim Russert in his “Meet the Press” interview with Congressman Paul: “In order to increase his federalist vision of centralized power, Honest Abe misled the nation into an unnecessary war. He claimed that the war was about emancipating slaves, but he could have simply paid slave owners to free their slaves . . . . The bloodiest war in American history could have been avoided.” And, as Ron Paul would likely add, all the other countries of the world that ended slavery in the nineteenth century, including Britain, Spain, France, Denmark, the Dutch, did so without a war. This, by the way, included the Northern states in the U.S. There were no “civil wars” to free the slaves in Massachusetts, New York (where slavery existed for over 200 years), or Illinois.

Lincolns “actions were unconstitutional and he knew it,” writes Napolitano, for “the rights of the states to secede from the Union . . . [are] clearly implicit in the Constitution, since it was the states that ratified the Constitution . . .” Lincolns view “was a far departure from the approach of Thomas Jefferson, who recognized states rights above those of the Union.” Judge Napolitano also reminds his readers that the issue of using force to keep a state in the union was in fact debated and rejected at the Constitutional Convention as part of the “Virginia Plan.”

He also discusses Lincolns Confiscation Act of 1862, under which “any slaves behind the Union lines were captives of war who were to be freed and transported to countries in the tropics. This was in keeping with Dishonest Abes lifelong position (his “White Dream,” according to Ebony magazine managing editor Lerone Bennett, Jr, author of Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincolns White Dream) of deporting all blacks from the U.S. “Colonization” was the euphemism that was used for this.

“The Confiscation Acts,” writes Judge Napolitano, “show that Lincoln did not have much concern for the slaves. He did not suggest to Congress that freed slaves should be granted civil rights or citizenship in Northern states. Once the freed slaves were transported out of the United States, they would no longer be Lincolns problem.” This is also why Lincoln tinkered with proposals for compensated emancipation in the border states while they were under U.S. military occupation during the war. These proposals included immediate deportation of any freed slaves. He saw the occupation of the border states during the war as an opportunity to begin ridding the country of “The Africans,” as he referred to black people, as though they were from another planet. Judge Napolitano quotes Lincoln in one of his debates with Stephen Douglas as saying what he repeatedly said throughout his adult life: “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes.” “Lincoln was more concerned about the failure of [the seceding] states to collect tariffs than he was about slavery, ” says Napolitano.

Unlike all those hopelessly miseducated neocon pundits who sneered at Ron Pauls statements regarding how Lincoln did tremendous damage to the principles of the American founders, Judge Napolitano is well schooled in constitutional history. He writes of Lincolns complete trashing of the Constitution by “murdering civilians, declaring martial law, suspending habeas corpus, seizing . . . private property without compensation (including railroads and telegraphs), conducting a war without the consent of Congress, imprisoning nearly thirty thousand Northern citizens without trial, shutting down . . . newspapers, and even deporting a congressman (Clement L. Vallandigham from Ohio) because he objected to the imposition of an income tax.”

“Saying that Lincoln abolished slavery and calling him the Great Emancipator are grossly inadequate mischaracterizations,” writes the judge. “Lincoln was interested in promoting his political agenda of centralizing government power, and freeing the slaves was only a means of advancement of that end.”

Lincoln destroyed the union of the founding fathers. He “replaced a voluntary association of states with a strong centralized government. The president and his party eagerly lifted the floodgates to the modern thuggish style of ruling that the U.S. government now employs” (emphasis added). This “opened the door to more unconstitutional acts by the government in the 1900s through to today.”

The next time you see Lincolns portrait on a five-dollar bill, the judge concludes, “remember how many civil liberties he took away from you.”

[…]

http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo138.html

!!!!!

Brief Illustrated History of Humanity

Monday, December 17th, 2007

snarfed from here.

An Iranian phone call

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Listen to this recording of a phone call between Alex Jones and an Iranian, from Friday the 9th of November.

In the 15 minutes and 24 seconds that it lasts, you get more information about what is happening and what has happened than, frankly, most people can handle.

Global Warming Brainwashing

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Check out this powerful video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXxKOkzciG4

taking apart the ‘Global Warming’ cult and its groupthink tactics.

One of the most annoying things about ‘the Gore Effect’ is that you have to constantly deprogram your children because of it.

When they use modern science textbooks, the publishers slip in fake ‘environmental issues’ everywhere they can. For example, on a chapter about the principles of electricity generation, global warming is (inappropriately) mentioned. The same happens in the chapter about the definition of energy. And this is in a text book for relatively young (and sometimes impressionable) children.

What people I know are doing is teaching their children to learn how to spot propaganda, i.e. critical thinking; it is a difficult skill to learn but once it is in place, no one will be able to lie to their children with ease.

The children in that film are clearly brainwashed. They are repeating parrot style what they have been told, and there is no sign of any real thought going on in their heads. What is also worrying is that they all believe the same thing unanimously, not even one dissenter.

That is very frightening. It also means that the parents are not thinking either.

This is from an extremely useful post at Consent of the Governed, where the following pure common sense is written:

What’s worse is that scientists are being silenced and threatened.
Is this what the scientific community has come to?

I thought the church in medieval times was evil to stifle astronomical and scientific advances by people like Galileo, but now fanatic environmentalists and people in the IPCC are assuming that role.

They are blaming mankind, technology, and they are even changing the way science is practiced.
Bogus theories are allowed to be heralded as fact.

Case in point, Gore’s timeline showing CO2 and temperature – he neglects to point out that rise in CO2 levels come AFTER temperature changes NOT BEFORE!

The scientific method is becoming bastardized for the sake of monetary gain.

Should we recycle and use resources wisely – sure.
Should we work towards clean water and air – certainly.
Should we minimize the number of trees we cut down – probably
But those are all facets of wise stewardship of our home.

Is climate changing?

Perhaps… but not because of mankind and CO2, or the result of modern technology.
It isn’t because we fail to install the new mercury filled lightbulbs in our homes or drive an expensive Prius.

Climatic cycles have been happening for millions of years.
Species die and new ones evolve.
Land masses come and go.
Waters recede and then swell.
Ice caps melt and then they freeze again.
We have ice ages and then warm spells.
Mankind and technology were not the reasons for that happening.

The IPCC should be ashamed of themselves.

Indeed. We have been saying for years, as have many others, that Science is a cult with its own religious dogma, its own priesthood, Popes and systems of policing and destroying anyone who does not toe the line.

That is not to say that all scientists are members of this evil cult, many are not, and often they do the best work. Look at this list of scientists who were called crazy and all sorts of other undeserved and nasty names, but who in the end, were proven to be absolutely correct in their ‘outlandish theories’:

The greatest scientists of all are not so STUPID as to think they know everything, and are VERY WARY of religiosity penetrating scientific thought:

Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial
origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as ‘conceptual necessities,’ etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors.

– Einstein

Check out these theories that were ridiculed, and later found to be absolutely true:

Some ridiculed ideas which had no single supporter:

* Ball lightning (lacking a theory, it was long dismissed as retinal afterimages)
* Catastrophism (ridicule of rapid Earth changes, asteroid mass extinctions)
* Child abuse (before 1950, doctors were mystified by “spontaneous” childhood bruising)
* Cooperation or altruism between animals (versus Evolution’s required competition)
* Instantaneous meteor noises (evidence rejected because sound should be delayed by distance)
* Mind-body connection (psychoneuroimmunology, doctors ridiculed any emotional basis for disease)
* Perceptrons (later vindicated as Neural Networks)
* Permanent magnet levitation (“Levitron” shouldn’t have worked)

All of this from here.

The worst part about this appalling behavior is not that these people could not find funding or supporters, but that their work was actively suppressed and senselessly ridiculed by the religious order and priesthood of science. They were subjected to irrational attacks, had their careers damaged, and humanity as a group was made to suffer because people in ignorance are worse off than people who are enlightened.

Of course, the cult of science is not about enlightenment; it is about maintaining absolute control over the perception of reality, so that political agendas can be rolled out without friction.

The IPCC will never feel ashamed of what they are doing I am afraid, because they are DELIBERATELY LYING in order to aid in the rolling out of the system that will exert 100% control of all human beings.

No one should let these monsters invade their homes and the thoughts of their children with their hysterical lies and propaganda, and in the age of the internets, there is no excuse for it.

Anyone who says that something is ‘impossible’ or who turns to ridicule, or university censure procedures to attack someone else’s theories and works is by definition, an enemy of mankind.

Thankfully there are people out there who have some decency and humanity whilst also being scientists. They are the shining lights that keep everyone on the straight path to enlightenment.

And in the end, they always win.

Naomi Wolf finally gets it

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Remember when we tore apart the essay by Naomi Wolf?

Well, now it seems that she has finally woken up to why the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment into the American Constitution.

In a very recent talk, she correctly identifies Blackwater as a fascist tool and a predictable stage of one of the ten steps that all dictators use to take power, and the reason why everyone needs to have guns.

Better late than never Naomi.

The question is Naomi, what are you going to do about it? Are you now going to dump the Cintons? are you going to finally admit that there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans?

This video shows that she is highly intelligent, able to think, insightful, and yet, she is still inside the box. She is still inside the Matrix. She, thanks to being more awake, has been able to predict everything that Lord Bush and the Murder Inc. Cabal have been doing by comparing what they do with the methods of previous, by her own words, fascist dictators (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin). What is missing is how she (we) are going to stop it. She says, “we are all going to rise up and stop it…right?”.

Well, I hope that you have been going down to the shooting range Naomi, because that is what it might take in the end.

Lets see what she concludes.

She says if enough people rise up and push back in a weakened democracy, the trend to fascism, can be reversed. To do this, she and some ‘political leaders’ have started The American Freedom Campaign to restore democracy in time to save us. They are 5,000,000 strong and hope for 20,000,000.

She says that the need for a national uprising to restore democracy is absolutely urgent in the face of the violence, the tasering, pepper spraying and the violence of Blackwater.

Her answer to “them ratcheting up the violence and oppression”:

We need to prosecute for treason.

She says that the founders intended ordinary Americans to take care of this problem themselves, and that they should not depend on a professional class of pundits or scholars or lawyers to do this task for them.

She will not say the words. She will not face the final thought.

She says, “assume the patriot’s task and lead the fight to restore democracy”.

Please Naomi…

SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT!

Let me help you:

GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!! GUNS!!

When blackwater come to your town to bully you just like the blackshirts did, “believing in your power” will not stop them, only GUNS will stop them.

Do you REALLY THINK that Darth Vader will simply lie down and allow himself to be arrested for TREASON? Go back to your history Naomi; would Hitler just give up? Mussolini?, Stalin?

Stop kidding yourself, get down to the firing range and tell your 5,000,000 friends to do the same. If you are going to storm the Bastille you had better be armed, able and willing to shoot and kill.

Better yet, tell those 5,000,000 to donate twenty dollars each to Ron Paul’s campaign, THEN you might have a chance at avoiding to have to learn how to shoot.

What is most astonishing about Naomi, is that america has gone so far down the road to tyranny that even people like her are starting to wake up and get very frightened, and I feel that she wanted to say ‘Guns’ but was too frightened!, after all, she threw away a book she was carrying rather than have it seen by TSA staff…the end of america indeed.

Thanks to Among These for it.

Rebuilding Superman

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

[]

The celebration of the body beautiful in the 1920s and 1930s is commonly associated with fascist Italy or nazi Germany. Focusing on the physical culture movement, this article argues that the endeavour to build a superman was not confined to fascist dictatorships or Britains small fascist parties. There is an extensive literature on the superman as a political icon and on the role of sport under fascism in Italy and nazi Germany. For Britain, Dan Stone has traced the influence of Nietzschean ideas on intellectuals and eugenicists who, if not fascist, were located at the extremes of Englishness. By contrast, the physical culture movement which originated in the late nineteenth century has received rather less attention. Joanna Bourke has portrayed the movement as a site of male bonding, uniting men through worship of the gorgeous physique and offering techniques to develop male bodies to enhance military prowess, economic success and social harmony.

[]

From here posted because of this from the Telegraph:

Ministers are designing new towns dedicated to promoting healthy living in a bid to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic, it has been reported.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said 10 “eco towns” already being planned by the Government to minimise the environmental impact of new housing should be extended to become “fit towns” []

So still no new ideas from the current set of dunderheads.

Pssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!

Monday, October 8th, 2007

The title of this post is the sound of a safety valve allowing steam to escape from a pressure cooker:

BBQ:

Anti-Iraq war protest goes ahead

Hundreds of anti-war protesters took to the streets in 2005.

Anti-war protesters have marched down Whitehall to Parliament Square, despite being told the protest was illegal.

The Stop the War Coalition timed its protest to coincide with Gordon Brown’s Commons statement on Iraq.

Students, campaigners and trade unions joined the rally in Trafalgar Square, before marching down to Parliament.

The group was told it could not march down Whitehall because of a law passed in 1839 which protects the right of MPs and peers to get to Westminster.

But a last-minute decision to let the march go ahead was hailed by organisers, who said they had struck a “significant blow” for democracy.

Protesters’ determination

Lindsey German, convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said they had repeatedly been told they could not go ahead with the march – but said the authorities had underestimated their determination.

The protest coincided with Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s statement to MPs, in which he said the plan was to reduce troop numbers to 2,500 by next spring – depending on conditions on the ground.

Ms German said her message to the government was: “You will never draw a line under this war until you bring all our troops home.”

Labour left-wing MP John McDonnell said the attempt to “ban” the protest had been “an unacceptable assault on our civil liberties”.

Lawful protest

Respect MP George Galloway, currently suspended from the House of Commons after a row about his Mariam Appeal charity and his comments about standards watchdogs, said organisers had won a “significant victory”.

Speaking at the start of the protest in Trafalgar Square, he said that Mr Brown saw Iraq as a “photo opportunity” but that it had been a “graveyard for a million Iraqis”.

Other speakers included comedian Mark Thomas and Ben Griffin, a former SAS trooper.

Owen George, 21, who was at the protest in Parliament Square, said the demonstration was “amazing”.

He said: “They managed to get into the square, which is very good. It’s amazing how much freedom people do have in this country.

CND chairwoman Kate Hudson accused Mr Brown of trying to ban the protest – despite promising to extend liberties around the world at the Labour Party conference.

However, a Home Office spokeswoman said the march had not been “banned” and talks had been held to find a way of re-routing protesters.

The Metropolitan Police said it had worked with the coalition to “facilitate” a lawful protest.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Our aim is to balance the right of the Stop the War Coalition to freedom of protest whilst maintaining the right of MPs and peers to conduct the business of either House whilst they are sitting.”

[…]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7033296.stm

And also:

Thousands in anti-war march

2 hours ago

Thousands of people took part in an anti-war march to Parliament on Monday after police made a last minute decision to lift a threatened ban on the protest.

The Stop The War Coalition said the demonstration struck a significant blow for “liberty and democracy” and claimed that the attempt to stop it going ahead had swelled the number of supporters.

Police said 2,000 people joined the march, but organisers said the figure was at least double that number, with students, trade unionists and peace activists taking part.

The march disrupted traffic outside Parliament just as the Prime Minister was due to arrive in the Commons to tell MPs about the latest phase of British troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Gordon Brown was seen being driven along adjoining roads to Whitehall to avoid being caught up in the demonstration.

Scores of police officers escorted the banner-waving, chanting protesters from Trafalgar Square to Parliament, past Downing Street.

Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said the group had been told time and again by police in recent days that they could not go ahead with the march, and she claimed the authorities and MPs had underestimated the determination of the anti-war movement.

She said her message to the Government was: “You will never draw a line under this war until you bring all our troops home. “And we don’t want the troops brought home just so they can be sent to Afghanistan or the Iranian border. We want a permanent break with George Bush’s murderous, imperialistic policies.”

Ms German also claimed that Britain is now seeing restrictions on civil liberties as a direct result of the war in Iraq.

Andrew Murray, chairman of the coalition, announced to the crowd that the police relented just 30 minutes before the rally was due to start, adding: “This is a tribute to this movement and to everyone who has campaigned to assert our right to hold this Government to account for the criminal policies it is following around the world.”

[…]

http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jcaLumrZgrlNC3v_bIxYq2x9jvmQ

And so.

No one was martyred at this march. Shame.

All the people who went on this march are now in pubs or on trains home, and what precisely have they achieved? They are not even on the front page of BBQ/CNN or anything (not that that would change anything).

There are 143 stories about this at the time of this post; not very many is it? But I digress.

Once again, what precisely have they achieved?

The undemocratic anti protest laws are still on the books.
Britain is now explicitly supporting an attack on Iran.
Troops not coming home from Iraq.
Troop numbers planned to increase in Afghanistan.
War machine intact.
Dissent quelled.
No assurances.
no change of policy.
No promises.
No mention in parliament.
Scant mention on the news.
No increase in momentum.
No fabrication of a long term strategy.

They have achieved absolutely nothing. NOTHING. They have nothing to show for this display.

I have grave doubts about the level of intellect of the people behind Stop the War. Certainly their understanding of English leaves much to be desired:

The Stop The War Coalition said the demonstration struck a significant blow for “liberty and democracy” and claimed that the attempt to stop it going ahead had swelled the number of supporters.

This is clearly nonsense. They didn’t strike a blow for anything at all, they did NOTHING, there was no action, no purpose, no consequence, no reaction, NOTHING AT ALL. It is as if the march never even happened. The march that rallied two million people was a great achievement; let’s call a spade a spade, this march was pathetic, and impotent and useless and stupid.

“This is a tribute to this movement and to everyone who has campaigned to assert our right to hold this Government to account for the criminal policies it is following around the world.”

The police relented 30 minutes before the march was due to start. This is a tribute to the intelligence of the enemy. They did the math. They know that demonstrations are useless steam valves, and they understand the dynamics of martyrdom and how the press would jump on them if the Tasers and clubs came out. This is an Epic Win for the war machine Police State, and anyone that says otherwise is a FOOL. Or they do not understand the words they are using.

Marching in front of parliament is not ‘holding Government to account’, and criminals are not brought to justice by marching; they are brought to justice by force. Criminals are arrested and then imprisoned or hanged by force. Government is held to account by being turfed out either at an election or by revolution, and marching doesn’t do any of these things, especially a march of 2000 people.

Sorry people, these are THE FACTS.

You would all do well to study how previous wars were derailed, and the sorts of strategies that worked, as a pointer to what to avoid and adopt in the twentieth century. Go and watch Sir! No Sir! and see for yourself what a real, effective rebellion looks like; one so powerful that the government at the time had to adapt to its detrimental effects.

Anti-War Navel Gazing – they WANT and NEED War!

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Read this ‘we are doomed to live like animals’ screed from Anti-War. It is a complete lie of course and this ‘Norman Solomon’ needs to shit or get off of the pot. War is not inevitable, and neither is the so called ‘Warfare State’. Its imagination-less people like him that create, support and bolster the ‘Warfare State’ by their negativity, self-centeredness and lack of vision.

COUPEZ!

Let’s Face It: The Warfare State Is Part of Us
by Norman Solomon

There is no ‘us’. It is YOU that accepts the ‘Warfare State’, it is YOU that is defeated and resigned to murdering other people, not US.

The USA’s military spending is now close to $2 billion a day. This fall, the country will begin its seventh year of continuous war, with no end in sight. On the horizon is the very real threat of a massive air assault on Iran. And few in Congress seem willing or able to articulate a rejection of the warfare state.

First of all, it is two billion a day of YOUR MONEY (or at least money from China that YOU will have to pay back). This fundamental misunderstanding about how war is funded and waged is a key reason why your illegitimate government is able to get away with waging it. YOU are the people who cannot see the wood for the trees; YOU are the people who fund this insanity, and you are the key to stopping it.

There can be no attack on Iran without money to do it. If you continue to pay for it, it will happen. You are personally responsible for this, and this article, by not focussing on the permanent solution to this problem is actually a call for the war that you claim that you do not want.

While the Bush-Cheney administration is the most dangerous of our lifetimes and ousting Republicans from the White House is imperative such truths are apt to smooth the way for progressive evasions. We hear that “the people must take back the government,” but how can “the people” take back what they never really had? And when rhetoric calls for “returning to a foreign policy based on human rights and democracy,” we’re encouraged to be nostalgic for good old days that never existed.

Actually, it is your generation that is the most dangerous in the lifetime of the republic. Your singular failure to assert yourself, protect your rights and stand up for the truth with action is the cause of all our problems, and this article is another pimple on the acne scarred face of your generation; it is the symptom of your failure, your lack of will and guts. Americans have always owned their government and to say this is not the case is just a lie. The ‘good old days’ that you talk about did exist, it is your failure to understand this that is the problem. Even if they never did exist, that time is an ideal that you should be striving for, and that actually, you have the power to achieve. It will not come to pass however, on the back of cowardice, retreat and ingrained weakness.

The warfare state didn’t suddenly arrive in 2001, and it won’t disappear when the current lunatic in the Oval Office moves on.

This is another lie. If the ‘current lunatic’, your lunatic, the one you deserve, is replaced by a sane man, then sanity will flow from the Oval office. That is a fact, wether you accept it or not.

Born 50 years before George W. Bush became president, I have always lived in a warfare state. Each man in the Oval Office has presided over an arsenal of weapons designed to destroy human life en masse. In recent decades, our self-proclaimed protectors have been able and willing to destroy all of humanity.

And of course, all time began when you were born, and there was nothing before that.

We’ve accommodated ourselves to this insanity. And I do mean “we” including those of us who fret aloud that the impact of our peace-loving wisdom is circumscribed because our voices don’t carry much farther than the choir. We may carry around an inflated sense of our own resistance to a system that is poised to incinerate and irradiate the planet.

There is no ‘we’ in this instance. There are many people whose actions (or inactions) make a difference, and if people like you only followed, our problems would be over. As for an inflated sense of importance, each drop of rain in a downpour does its part in creating a landslide. Each one is as important as the next, and all of them, together can cause great devastation or crops to grow. Your imagination is broken. You have no grasp of scale. You have no concept of your place in that country and its singular importance. This is why you fail.

Maybe it’s too unpleasant to acknowledge that we’ve been living in a warfare state for so long. And maybe it’s even more unpleasant to acknowledge that the warfare state is not just “out there.” It’s also internalized; at least to the extent that we pass up countless opportunities to resist it.

It is not in any way internalized, and not everyone passes up opportunities to resist it. Two million people marched in London to resist it. They and the millions of others who are against this insanity are not defeated; they simply do not have the correct tactic to hand. Once they discover the correct, twenty-first century tactic to defeat the ‘Warfare State’ then it will all be over. You are not helping with your corrosive negativity which offers nothing but a belly ache.

Like millions of other young Americans, I grew into awakening as the Vietnam War escalated. Slogans like “make love, not war” and, a bit later, “the personal is political” really spoke to us. But over the decades we generally learned, or relearned, to compartmentalize: as if personal and national histories weren’t interwoven in our pasts, presents and futures.

What you should have learned and what many people today have learned is that your failure is the greatest instruction that we could receive. It means that we will not and should not repeat your mistakes and failures. It means specifically that Demonstrations are pointless and the other things that we have been talking about on BLOGDIAL for years.

One day in 1969, a biologist named George Wald, who had won a Nobel Prize, visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the biggest military contractor in academia and gave a speech. “Our government has become preoccupied with death,” he said, “with the business of killing and being killed.”

That preoccupation has fluctuated, but in essence it has persisted. While speaking of a far-off war and a nuclear arsenal certain to remain in place after the war’s end, Wald pointed out: “We are under repeated pressure to accept things that are presented to us as settled decisions that have been made.”

Today, in similar ways, our government is preoccupied and we are pressurized. The grisly commerce of killing thrives on aggressive war and on the perverse realpolitik of “national security” that brandishes the Pentagon’s weaponry against the world. At least tacitly, we accept so much that threatens to destroy anything and everything.

Only you accept this, there is no ‘we’ that accepts this. Stop pulling decent people into your personal nightmare of failure and despair.

We do not accept ‘the perverse realpolitik of “national security” ‘ we understand that this world view is totally false and engineered. We understand how governments are doing it, and how they are financing it. We understand what must be done to undo it.

WE are not like YOU.

As it happened, for reasons both “personal” and “political” more accurately, for reasons indistinguishable between the two my own life fell apart and began to reassemble itself during the same season of 1969 when George Wald gave his speech, which he called “A Generation in Search of a Future.”

Political and personal histories are usually kept separate in how we’re taught, how we speak and even how we think. But I’ve become very skeptical of the categories. They may not be much more than illusions we’ve been conned into going through the motions of believing.

Learn to use the backspace key.

We actually live in concentric spheres, and “politics” suffuses households as well as what Martin Luther King Jr. called “The World House.” Under that heading, he wrote in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men. When we foolishly minimize the internal of our lives and maximize the external, we sign the warrant for our own day of doom. Our hope for creative living in this world house that we have inherited lies in our ability to re-establish the moral ends of our lives in personal character and social justice. Without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments.”

The facts of the matter are that on the one hand, there are an astonishingly small number of people who are responsible for our problems, an on the other, since we are responsible for allowing it all to happen, a huge number of people who are equally responsible. But I digress. The people who commission the making of weapons and who make the policy are very small in number, and they can be controlled and their power destroyed very easily. This is a fact. The first step is to define the problem and then design a solution. This article doesn’t do this. It doesn’t even give us the benefit of your precious experience from the 1960’s which would be invaluable to us so we do not end up like you.

This article doesn’t help, doesn’t educate, offers no solutions, no analysis and so it is literally pointless. At a time when we have, by your own words, an insane man in the Oval Office, this is not the time for pointless writing on AntiWar.

While trying to understand the essence of what so many Americans have witnessed over the last half century, I worked on a book (titled Made Love, Got War) that sifts through the last 50 years of the warfare state… and, in the process, through my own life. I haven’t learned as much as I would have liked, but some patterns emerged persistent and pervasive since the middle of the 20th century.

Your logic is flawed. You are unable to put together the pieces to this puzzle because you have not defined the problem the way that weapons designers and scientists define problems. Once you do that, you can take it all to pieces with a few simple actions. None of this is going to be found in your navel.

The warfare state doesn’t come and go. It can’t be defeated on Election Day. Like it or not, it’s at the core of the United States and it has infiltrated our very being.

Almost correct, save the nonsense about ‘our very being’. You are partially right that it cannot be defeated on Election Day, and you are completely correct that it is at the core of the USA. What you fail to offer is a way to ‘destroy the core‘.

What we’ve tolerated has become part of us.

Nonsense.

What we accept, however reluctantly, seeps inward.

Hippy talk.

In the long run, passivity can easily ratify even what we may condemn. And meanwhile, in the words of Thomas Merton, “It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared.”

Meaningless, especially to people being murdered as bombs are dropping from YOUR government.

The triumph of the warfare state degrades and suppresses us all. Even before the weapons perform as guaranteed.

[…]

AntiWar

More twaddle.

What ‘The triumph of the warfare state’ ACTUALLY DOES is cause bridges to spontaneously collapse, causes your rights to be destroyed, causes you to be hated in the world, and causes MASS MURDER.

If you are not willing to address this problem, you should not be wasting electrons and time with stories on AntiWar that are nothing more than shoe gazing garbage.

AntiWar needs to tighten up its editorial policy…if it really exists to put an end to war. Its name however, might give a clue to its real function, to be anti-war it exists because this situation exists; it is not there to stop it, but thrives because of it. People are starving for the solution, the way out of this. They are desperate to be shown the light switch. AntiWar and StopWar drip feed them dead matches masquerading as light. Neither of these people really want to put a permanent end to the war machine. If they did, their actions would be completely different; they would actually be proposing and taking effective actions.

This has been another post tipping point post, typed out at an astonishing pace….

From The Conet Project Archive

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

In 1997, the time of the first pressing of The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations, we really had no idea about how it would go down or how best to get it into the public view. We took every opportunity to try and get the word out about it, including the following.

Around the corner from THESE Records (who were distributing TCP) in Lambeth Road, is the Imperial War Museum, who were running an exhibition entitled The Secret War which is, “…the UK’s only permanent exhibition devoted to UK espionage”.

Naturally, we thought that the Imperial War Museum might like to stock some ‘SOR’ copies of TCP, as it dovetails nicely with the exhibition. All we would have to do is show it to them, and they should be sold on the idea.

‘SOR’ means ‘Sale Or Return’ – this is how it works. We deliver a box of seven or fourteen copies of TCP, they put them on display in the shop. If they sell, they pay us, if they do not sell, they return them to us. There is no money up front, no security deposit, no account needed; we trust them to pay us, and there is no risk to them whatsoever.

We delivered a sample copy to them with a letter about TCP. You can imagine how we laughed when we received this reply from The Imperial War Museum Shop.

Now, the paranoid would say that someone made a phone call and nixed TCP being stocked. The cynical would say, “they just didn’t get it”, and others will say, “It is just as stated”. Either way, it struck us as rather bizarre that something as germane to a comprehensive espionage exhibition as TCP is, an exhibition featuring amongst other things, ENIGMA machines, short wave radios, spy equipment of all sorts etc would be dismissed in this very odd way. One listen to TCP should have been enough to convince them to stock it. The idea of TCP seems very dry on the surface, but the fact of it is very different. Once you listen to it, it is instantly clear that TCP is the polar opposite of a remote and inaccessible, ‘specialised’ release.

Which of the above three reasons do you think stopped them from stocking TCP?

Does all of this sound familiar to you?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

A list of crimes from a different age, applicable to today:

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

True.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

Very familiar.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

The Greater London Council.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

VERY true.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

This is the absolute truth in Britain, and is so totally applicable it beggars belief.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

War without a declaration of war, armed soldiers scattered throughout London.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

The military industrial complex.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

The EU.

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

One for the Iraqis methinks.

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

ROTFL ‘Diplomatic Immunity’!!!!

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

True.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

Bliar’s work. Sad and oh so true.

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

Extraordinary Rendition.

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

Absolutely applicable: GlassSteagall Act for example.

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

This is coming…from the EU.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

All Britons to be numbered like prisoners; that is, by any measure, an act of war.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

So true, and applicable in so many ways.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.

The ‘War on Terror’, EU enlargement. The legions of foreigners who are invited to Britain who they then deliberately provoke unto madness, causing them to carry out the acts of madmen.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

The traitorous double agents, collaborators and quislings.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

I think you get THAT picture.

Do you know where this list of crimes came from originally?

I will leave it to you to use the Google.