Archive for the 'No no no!' Category

The Zero-Trust Society

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The Telegraph has a story that is direcly related to the previous post about the TSA and the irrational mania for lists, and the other BLOGDIAL posts about this insanity

Despite ministers admitting of concerns the laws could spark a wave of claims, officers will be able to tell worried parents about the history of someone who has access to their children, if they think they could be dangerous.

They will give out details of convictions, arrests and acquittals for child sex and violence offences as well as unproven suspicions kept on file.


Unproven suspicions kept on file? That means that a single phone call could put you in the police database as a sex criminal, FOREVER, and everyone would be able to access that and brand you as the ultimate kind of monster.

This is beyond imagining.

Critics said the scheme was a “return to witch trials” which would create a climate of unnecessary suspiction.

Police want single mothers to ask for information about their new boyfriends and believe those under suspicion will welcome the opportunity to prove they have nothing to hide.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear? I thought we were past that nonsense!

Grandparents and neighbours can also demand that police look into the records of anyone – even teenagers – who come into contact with their friends’ or family members’ children.

Officers, meanwhile, will pass on the results of their investigation to the child’s parents, carers or guardians.

And how do you think they are going to co-ordinate all of this? Through the NIR and ContactPoint of course.

The pilot schemes, which come into force in four police forces across England, are being set up following a campaign for “Sarah’s Law” – the public disclosure of the names and addresses of paedophiles named in honour of Sarah Payne.

This is completely nauseating, and is probably an accidental misuse of english. How does it honor a victim of a crime to have a law named after them? How many other laws are to be thus named? Will the statue books in the future be full of names of people and not descriptive text?

The campaign was established after the eight year-old was murdered by convicted sex offender, Roy Whiting, in 2000.

Officers, however, said the new scheme does not go that far as measures called on by child protection campaigners.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said: “Giving parents the ability to find out if someone close to their child poses a risk will empower them.”

Jacqui Smith…I am not going to waste any bandwidth in this article on that monster.

Vernon Coaker, the Home Office minister, admitted there were concerns that “huge numbers of claims” could be made by worried parents but he insisted: “We don’t believe that doing nothing is appropriate and in the best interests of our children.” Critics however, warn the scheme would create a climate of suspicion with thousands of innocent people having their lives scrutinised.

In any country where reason was the rule, this could never happen. In any country where the state was properly accountable to the citizenry the same would be true. Defamation of character is a serious matter, and in a properly run society, if the police ruined your reputation they should be forced to pay out millions in compensation and the officers involved would be sacked. In Britain however, there is no such redress available even for the smallest mistake, and so these officers have carte-blanche to destroy the lives of anyone who they mistakenly identify as an evil doer. And these mistakes WILL HAPPEN.

They also fear it could lead to vigilante attacks on people found to have child sex convictions.

What about the vigilante attacks against those who are wrongly identified by the police? And what about the vigilante attacks on people mistakenly identified by vigilantes? This is a pandora’s box, a nightmare scenario and TOTALLY INSANE.

The announcement comes after The Telegraph revealed that all adults who work with children and are accused of abuse must be investigated by council officers and have details of the claim, even if it was totally malicious, kept on their personnel records until they retire.

In addition, 11.3 million people who work or volunteer with under-16s will from next year have their backgrounds scrutinised by a new vetting body.

Guy Herbert, general secretary of the civil liberties group No2ID, said: “It’s virtually a return to the witch trials, and is the logical conclusion of our zero-trust society. Everybody is being encouraged to be suspicious of everybody else.

Guy Herbert has come up with a beautiful and perfect phrase; ‘Zero-Trust Society’.

This society is the projected reality brought into being by the personalities, character and true nature of the politicians in New Labor. They are superimposing their own flawed view of human nature onto Britain, and through this projection, we get a real picture of the inhuman monsters they really are; fear soaked, suspicious, paedophile sex obsessed, broken spirited, criminal, untrustworthy, lying, thieving, Godless, animals who are hell bent on re-creating Britain in their own image.

“The police won’t be able to isolate the information once they release it, and it will be full of unsubstantiated allegations and suspicions. It is potentially incredibly dangerous.”

Once the data is out there, it is out there forever. But you know this!

What is most galling about this is that the government is putting together the paedophile catalogue ContactPoint on the one hand, an then with the other hand is putting in measures to expose the very people they are facilitating by putting together ContactPoint in the first place. They really are THAT STUPID.

Donald Findlater, of the child protection charity Lucy Faithfull Foundation, added: “The biggest risk to children is not from the registered sex offender who the police know and are managing; it is from the sex offender who is not registered and who no one knows about.”



And that is the crux of this; you cannot use a list to predict the behavior of a person. Everyone now knows this, so there must be another reason why they are putting these lists together, and quite separately, there must be a reason why they are giving access to real and false criminal evidence to everyone everywhere.

The logical conclusion is that they are deliberately trying to create a Zero-Trust Society, where the last remnants of social cohesion and normal behavior are stripped away, replaced by a government mediated trust that will exert control over everyone in every thing they do. This will be controlled by the ID card, which will be used not only to control and track every movement and financial transaction, but it will also be the talisman and token of trust that will enable your interpersonal relationships to take place. The government and its card will be between you and everything. Literally. And after one generation, no one will remember what it was like to take a person on faith, no one will work on instinct, on gut feelings.

You would be better off living in the Amazonian jungle amongst the most ‘primitive’ people on earth; at least there human beings really will be human beings an not components in a nightmare machine where everything, even human instinct is replaced by a card.

Sticking it to the kids

Monday, September 1st, 2008

There were two marketing men and a clinical research director sitting in a pub… ‘Why did the chickenpox vaccine cross the road?’ ‘To get to the mass market on the other side!’

‘Thats not funny. There is no market for chickenpox vaccine.’ ‘Oh yes there is, they just don’t know it yet…’


Now, substitute chickenpox with ‘human papillomavirus’ (HPV) and you have this year’s new mass market. And the size of that market, as we’ve said before, is every child alive now and forever. And if Merck get their way, every older woman too.

Today, girls in Scotland have been brought into the HPV vaccination programme, having been told that they will be at less risk of cervical cancer.

Schools start cancer vaccinations


Every secondary schoolgirl in the UK is to be offered the injections

Scottish schoolgirls are to become the first in the UK to be vaccinated against cervical cancer.

Schools in the Lanarkshire, Tayside, Grampian and Western Isles NHS areas are to begin vaccinating 12 and 13-year-old girls from this week.

Pupils in other areas of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow in the coming weeks.

All girls aged between 12 and 17 should have been offered the vaccine by August next year.

The immunisation programme is to get under way in Scotland before other parts of the UK because its school term has already started.

The Cervarix vaccine works by targeting HPV, the virus which causes cervical cancer. Its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, said it should prevent 70% of cases – saving about 70 lives a year in Scotland.

HMG chose Cervarix over Gardasil, for as yet unspecified reasons and despite Gardasil being a better choice healthwise – always assuming you want the vaccine in the first place!

The vaccine is given in three separate doses and – at about £240 for a course – is the most expensive vaccine to be routinely offered by the NHS.

£240 for every girl now and forever direct from taxpayers coffers to GSK shareholders.  “Wow! There’s the money river! Pa, bring the buckets!”

Dr McKenzie added: “They must understand that the vaccine is fantastic news for preventing cervical cancer, but it can only be combated by using cervical screening and the vaccine.

“So when they are called for screening aged 20 they really must come along whether they have had the vaccine or not.”

The number of girls aged between 20 and 25 who come forward for cervical smears is already declining.

Some fears have been expressed that the vaccination programme will cause even fewer to attend screening, while questions have also been asked about why so much money is being spent on saving the lives of less that 100 Scottish women a year.

Good fears, good questions, as yet not satisfactorily explained. There is the question about how long protection lasts, meaning boosters are inevitable at current estimates. And questions as to whether a drop in screening rates would completely abolish any success in prevention, given the small numbers of patients involved.

But really, this is all so much fluff covering the truth of modern pharmaceutical marketing techniques: by using available media, you (the gullible sheeple) can be made to fear absolutely anything. You will then buy any snake-oil BigPharma comes up with to protect you against The Fear.

This technique even has a name. ‘Astro-turfing‘.

Not only this, but BigPharma can then wine, dine and otherwise bribe your ‘elected’ officials into committing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of public funds towards the cost of Snake-Oil.

Not convinced? Try this excellent and pretty comprehensive, utterly compelling, ‘how it works’ piece from the New York Times:

One of the vaccines, Gardasil, from Merck, is made available to the poorest girls in the country, up to age 18, at a potential cost to the United States government of more than $1 billion; proposals to mandate the vaccine for girls in middle schools have been offered in 24 states, and one will take effect in Virginia this fall. Even the normally stingy British National Health Service will start giving the other vaccine — Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline — to all 12-year-old girls at school this September.

The lightning-fast transition from newly minted vaccine to must-have injection in the United States and Europe represents a triumph of what the manufacturers call education and their critics call marketing. The vaccines, which offer some protection against infection from sexually transmitted viruses, are far more expensive than earlier vaccines against other diseases — Gardasil’s list price is $360 for the three-dose series, and the total cost is typically $400 to nearly $1,000 with markup and office visits (and often only partially covered by health insurance).

Award-winning advertising has promoted the vaccines. Before the film “Sex and the City,” some moviegoers in the United States saw ads for Gardasil. On YouTube and in advertisements on popular shows like “Law and Order,” a multiethnic cast of young professionals urges girls to become “one less statistic” by getting vaccinated.

The vaccine makers have also brought attention to cervical cancer by providing money for activities by patients’ and women’s groups, doctors and medical experts, lobbyists and political organizations interested in the disease, sometimes in ways that skirt disclosure requirements or obscure the companies’ involvement.

In the United States, hundreds of doctors have been recruited and trained to give talks about Gardasil — $4,500 for a lecture — and some have made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Politicians have been lobbied and invited to receptions urging them to legislate against a global killer. And former state officials have been recruited to lobby their former colleagues.

“There was incredible pressure from industry and politics,” said Dr. Jon Abramson, a professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest University who was chairman of the committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommended the vaccine for all girls once they reached 11 or 12.

This big push is making people crazy — thinking they’re bad moms if they don’t get their kids vaccinated,” said Dr. Abby Lippman, a professor at McGill University in Montreal and policy director of the Canadian Women’s Health Network. Canada will spend $300 million on a cervical cancer vaccine program.

…And why the sudden alarm in developed countries about cervical cancer, some experts ask. A major killer in the developing world, particularly Africa, where the vaccines are too expensive for use, cervical cancer is classified as very rare in the West because it is almost always preventable through regular Pap smears, which detect precancerous cells early enough for effective treatment. Indeed, because the vaccines prevent only 70 percent of cervical cancers, Pap smear screening must continue anyway.

“Merck lobbied every opinion leader, women’s group, medical society, politicians, and went directly to the people — it created a sense of panic that says you have to have this vaccine now,” said Dr. Diane Harper, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Harper was a principal investigator on the clinical trials of both Gardasil and Cervarix, and she spent 2006-7 on sabbatical at the World Health Organization developing plans for cervical cancer vaccine programs around the world. […]

In television advertisements, a cast of hip people in their 20s — artists, writers and professionals — describe why they got the shots, in the language of liberation, such as, “I chose to get vaccinated because my dreams don’t include cervical cancer.” The advertisements direct viewers to, which includes patients’ stories, buddy icons and downloads for holding an event at sororities.

Girls of any age who have had one dose of the vaccine can ask for text-message “reminders” from Merck to get the next two shots. The offers come with another reminder: “I understand that the information I provide will be used by Merck or those working on behalf of Merck for market research purposes.”

For such efforts, Merck last May swept the 2008 Pharmaceutical Advertising and Marketing Excellence awards, and Gardasil was named Brand of the Year by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine.

The marketing helped make Gardasil one of Merck’s best sellers, with a projected sales of $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion outside Europe this year, and more from sales in Europe, where Merck sells the vaccine through a joint venture with Sanofi Aventis.

Gregory A. Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic, was a nonvoting member on the C.D.C. panel that recommended Gardasil in 2006 and has publicly defended the panel’s decision. Records show he received at least $27,420 in expenses and consulting fees from Merck from 1999 to 2007. Both the C.D.C. and Dr. Michael Camilleri, chairman of the Mayo Clinic Conflict of Interest Review Board, speaking on Dr. Poland’s behalf, said the payments complied with institutional requirements.

In the United States, 41 states have passed or begun considering legislation on cervical cancer, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and 24 have considered proposals to mandate the vaccine for girls, generally in middle school…

The only state to pass a bill requiring the vaccine for school entry is Virginia; it takes effect in October, after school begins, so will first apply in 2009.

Merck has a growing economic interest in Virginia. In December 2006, Merck announced it would invest $57 million to expand its Elkton, Va., plant to make Gardasil, helped by a $700,000 grant from a state economic development agency that is part of the executive branch. Two months later, Gov. Tim Kaine, who has been mentioned as a possible Democratic vice presidential candidate, signed legislation requiring Gardasil for schoolgirls. Four months after that, Merck pledged to invest $193 million more in the plant to make drugs and vaccines, helped by a state grant of $1.5 million.

In Texas, Merck hired Gov. Rick Perry’s former chief of staff as a lobbyist, and contributed $6,000 to the governor and $38,000 to other legislators. Last February, Mr. Perry ordered that all schoolgirls be inoculated with Gardasil, a pronouncement that was overturned by the Texas Legislature, 181 to 3, a few months after the financial conflicts were revealed.

One rationale for inoculating boys is that entire populations should be vaccinated to achieve what is called herd immunity. But critics ask whether it is worth conducting a campaign on the scale of the one used against polio to eliminate a generally harmless virus.

Said Dr. Raffle, the British cervical cancer specialist: “Oh, dear. If we give it to boys, then all pretense of scientific worth and cost analysis goes out the window.”

My emphases. What a great article. Balanced, factual, well-written, undramatic. Take note, BBQ.

The anti-HPV push appears to have recruited BBQ, who try to attach a team of wild horses to your heartstrings to make sure you get the message. Embarassing and irrelevant to the real story.

So, like chickenpox vaccine before it, and who-knows-what after it, BigPharma take the population as one big cash cow and milk it, regardless of need or healthcare priorities, regardless of how better public money may be spent, regardless of fully examining any potential health hazards associated with their products.

Do you trust a vaccine created to fulfil a market created out of a need for profit?

Welcome to fascist Britain: All UK travelers to be fingerprinted!

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

First, lets start with a word from a QC:

‘I refuse to be fingerprinted’

Nigel Rumfitt QC, terrorism specialist, explains why he is opposed to compulsory fingerprinting at Heathrow.

Everyone using the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow for domestic flights will have to be fingerprinted. Who says so? Not Parliament. The British Airports Authority, a Spanish-owned private company, and British Airways say so. Why? It’s a government requirement, they tell us. But in free societies, government requirements come in the form of laws. Who made the requirement, when and in what terms?

Fingerprinting has been around for more than 100 years. In this country it has been used only to catch and identify criminals. No doubt that is why it carries a stigma. Compulsory mass fingerprinting is regarded as “unBritish”, but the present Government seems determined to change our attitude.

A few years ago, with little publicity, the law was altered to allow the indefinite retention of fingerprints and DNA taken from suspects later acquitted or even released without charge. Police powers of arrest have been extended recently, allowing the more widespread obtaining of this data. Nonetheless, the Government has not yet dared to make mass fingerprinting compulsory. What this Government fears to do openly it tries to do by stealth.

Because you cannot be compelled to provide your fingerprints, both BAA and British Airways are saying that by choosing to fly through Terminal 5 you are “consenting” to the taking of your prints. That is disingenuous, to put it mildly. True, some people will not mind; others will object, but will not be prepared to abandon an important journey in order to register that objection. In practice, and without legislation, we will have become a nation that restricts the internal movement of its citizens by government decree.

Imagine how people would have reacted in the 1950s to the proposition that before boarding the Flying Scotsman at King’s Cross you had to provide your fingerprints because the Home Secretary thought it a good idea.

These measures, it is said, will protect us against terrorism. That is nonsense. Modern Islamist terrorists want the world to know who they are. That’s why they make video wills to show everyone exactly who has been martyred for the cause. Would any recent terrorist outrage have been prevented by ID cards or fingerprint records? If it would, why bring in vital security measures by the back door and confine them to domestic flights?

Another danger is that, at Terminal 5, illegal immigrants can swap boarding passes with domestic passengers and get into the country unchecked. This is because greedy BAA wants all passengers – domestic and international – to mingle in the same shopping mall before flying.

If this is only about verifying identity at the gate, why take four prints and not just one? Why keep these prints on file for “only” 24 hours instead of destroying them at the gate? To what use will the prints be put in that time? The Data Protection Act, quoted by BAA, in fact allows police access to this material.

This is not about security. It is about paving the way towards the database state, making it easier to force us to “consent” to giving our fingerprints when we apply for a passport. That’s the final step before the compulsory ID card.

I already refuse to visit the United States because of oppressive security and I have indicated to BAA that I shall refuse to provide fingerprints unless I can be satisfied that it has a legal right to demand them. If the law has been changed to allow BAA to behave in this way, I shall find another airline.

Nigel Rumfitt QC is a specialist in serious crime, including terrorism.


And this is the offending news:

Millions of passengers flying from British airports will be fingerprinted from next year under the latest controversial Government anti-terror plans.

The measures, which will apply to both domestic and international passengers, are being introduced despite opposition from the Information Commissioner, Britain’s privacy watchdog.

The Commissioner forced Heathrow to abandon a similar plan earlier this year after warning that it was potentially illegal under data protection laws.

Critics say the main reason for the scheme is that airport operators want to maximise profits by ensuring all passengers are able to spend money in ‘duty-free’ shops.


Courtesy of Richard Rogers, BAA, BBC, Fascist new Labour and millions of sheeple.

Sell it by the Pound, Sell it by the Acre

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The face of a traitor:

Selling land by the acre to be banned under new EU ruling

People in Britain will lose the right to sell land in acres under a new Brussels ruling nodded through by the Government.

In a low-key meeting, a junior minister agreed last week to abolish the ancient imperial measurement and replace it with the metric equivalent ‘hectare’ from 2010.

The UK previously had an opt-out, technically known as a ‘derogation’, from the EU’s use of some metric measurements, which allowed the continued use of acres for the pruposes of land registration.

But from January 1, 2010, the unit, which dates back to the 13th century, will be banned.

The decision was buried deep within the small print of EU directive 80/181/EEC on agriculture and fisheries and revealed by the Tories.

‘This is this kind of pointless interference into the nooks and crannies of our national life that frustrates people about the EU,’ said shadow Europe minister Mark Francois.

‘Whether we use hectares or acres should be a matter for Britain to decide, not the EU.

‘Once again this weak Labour Government has meekly given up yet another of Britain’s rights to Brussels.

‘They need to think again and insist that we must keep our right to use our ancient traditional measure of land if we wish.’

Successive British governments have been under pressure from Brussels to announce a date for phasing out imperial measures altogether, with the latest deadline set for 2009.

Last year, however, the European Commission and Parliament announced that it would no longer be seeking their extinction.

It followed campaigns by Britons dubbed ‘Metric Martyrs’ who have fought for years to stop the march of new measurements from Europe.

In 2001, Sunderland market trader Steve Thoburn was convicted of selling bananas by the pound.

He died in March 2004, aged 39, just days after learning his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights had been rejected.

But the move consigning the acre to history – rubber stamped by Jonathan Shaw, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs – will alarm those who believe many eurocrats are still intent on forcing Britain to swap the pint for the litre, ounce for the gram and mile for kilometre.

Neil Herron, campaign director of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund, told the Mail: ‘This is what happens when you allow yourself to be ruled from Brussels. We are being governed by people we cannot remove from power and have a weakened Parliament in Westminster.

‘The acre is an instantly recognisable unit to Britons. How is the farming industry going to cope? They will all still talk in acres so this is just meaningless.’

An acre is equal to 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet. A hectare is more than twice the size at about 107,639 square feet.

The first law setting out an exact statutory size for the acre was passed under Edward I’s reign between 1272 and 1307. The word is derived from the Latin ‘ager’, from which we also have words like agriculture.

Public consultations launched by the commission, which confirmed that allowing imperial measures to be used alongside metric measures would not disrupt trade and commerce – and would help to counter anti-EU sentiments.

But loose goods still have to be sold in metric quantities, with imperial measures only allowed to be displayed alongside, rather than instead of, them.

No one from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was available for comment.

Remember the woman who was in trouble for selling by the pound?

We can take comfort in one thing; all of this is going to come to an end, and sooner than you think, because we are winning:

History shows that people usually don’t know when we are about to win. We are lousy at knowing whether we have a chance at victory.

When people struggling for liberty and justice face seemingly overwhelming power and impossible odds, they can suddenly breakthrough and win when things seem most hopeless and they least expect victory.

Why We Underestimate Our Chances


Well, for one thing, it is impossible to know what’s going on in the other camp. The oppressors might seem invincible, but there are often schisms and rifts which are tearing the enemy apart from within. The bad guys might be extremely vulnerable because they are busy fighting with each other. They might be merely putting a false public image of unity . . . one which is dropped the minute the cameras stop rolling.

In addition – as I learned as a kid in karate class – even the toughest opponent has vulnerabilities. No matter how big the lug you’re fighting is, hit him in one of his vulnerable spots, and he’s going down. In struggles for freedom and justice as well, if you identify and focus on the bad guy’s vulnerabilities, you can win no matter how poorly the fight seems to have been going.

Moreover, the opponent might be affected by what we do a lot more than we realize. You’ve seen it in horror and martial arts movies. The good guy has given his best shot at the monster. But the monster doesn’t seem to be fazed in the least . . . he glowers and starts walking threateningly towards the good guy, who is flat on his back. It seems like the good guy is finished.

But at the last minute, the monster falls over and dies, and we see for the first time that the good guy had earlier mortally wounded the monster in some way.

There is often a lag time between what we do and our ability to see the effect on our opponents. It may be that our activism is having a tremendous effect and is pummeling the forces of tyranny, but that the weakened and wounded tyrants are simply bluffing and putting on a strong front to keep us intimidated. Don’t stop fighting just because the effects of our actions haven’t yet become visible.

In addition, it is often difficult at any given time to see which historical trend will end up being the most important one. In other words, there are always competing trends and forces, and something which doesn’t seem very important at the time can end up winning the battle in the long-run.

As just one example, the Soviet Union collapsed partly because Russians watched images of prosperity on American tv, and decided they weren’t going to put up with what they had. The communist leaders didn’t think that letting in American tv programs would have such a huge influence on their population’s willingness to put up with communist repression. But it did.

There are historical trends which we are not even currently aware of which might end up ensuring our victory.

(Finally, while the enemy might appear to have overwhelming force, they may be “paper tigers”, with much weaker resources than it seems. More on this in a later essay.)

Don’t Quit Now

Bottom line . . . don’t quit now.

It is possible that we are mere days away from starting to hold the tyrants responsible for their war crimes, false flag terror, illegal spying, and other unlawful acts. The Red Cross finding Bush guilty of war crimes is significant (while it is not a U.S. institution, it is an important one).


George Washington

The people who have systematically sold Britain to the EU are traitors, and the banning of selling by the pound and now the acre are the latest outward symptom of this deeply offensive trend that is wrecking this country.

It WILL come to an end, and ALL the bad legislation and the insane treaties that have been introduced to destroy Britain will be repealed and nullified respectively, leaving us once again in a place worth living in.

For now, it is your duty to sell by the pound and by the acre and by the foot or by the pea weight if that is your desire. Private transactions are exactly that, PRIVATE and the state, any state, has no business interjecting itself into your exchanges of goods and services.

Biker Boris: Libertarian or not?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Boris Johnson, alcohol banner and Knife warrior, has written a piece for The Telegraph in his usual style:

I came out of my house the other week and saw that it was a perfect day for cycling to work. The clouds were high and fleecy, the sky was blue, the road was dry.

I hitched my rucksack, tucked my right trouser leg into my sock and was about to clamber aboard the King of the Road when I realised there was something terribly wrong with my appearance. I clapped my head. My helmet! I’d forgotten to wear the symbol of my new deference to correct thinking.

It was only a month or so since I had decided to capitulate to the pleas of the health and safety lobby. My wife was for it. My old chum Ken Livingstone was always harping on about it. And every day I would meet someone at a traffic light who would say, “Tut-tut, poor show, where’s your helmet?” You should be setting an example, they would say. You’re a public figure now, they would say.

In other words, they appealed to my sense of self-importance, and of course I started to think they might be right. How could I live with myself if people started to copy my helmetless insouciance and thereby put themselves in danger?

I imagined the bereaved mothers of impressionable children. I foresaw motions of censure. I winced, and got myself down to the bike shop. For £16.99 I was able to coddle my cranium with the latest superlite carbon fibre bonce-protector, raked like the skull of the creature in Alien.

As I cycled around, I felt a surge of bonneted righteousness. I was socialised; I was showing a proper sense of community, and that is why I turned around on my doorstep, and within another three seconds I would have gone back to get my helmet, and I would have fastened the chinstrap of social obedience … except that for some reason I didn’t. After weeks of helmeted conformity, I had a spasm of rebellion – and it is hard to say exactly why.

Of course I accept the case for cycle helmets, although the only time I have had a serious prang in almost a decade of cycling in London, a helmet would have made no difference whatever.





Here, then, is the political position. In my efforts to do the right thing, I have ended up giving offence to both opposing factions. As soon as I started to wear a helmet, I was denounced as a wimp, a milquetoast, a sell-out to the elf and safety lobby, a man so cravenly attached to his own survival that he was willing to wear this undignified plastic hat.

As soon as I was pictured not wearing a helmet, I was attacked for “sending out the wrong signal” and generally poisoning the minds of the young with my own reckless behaviour.

The situation, my friends, is a mess. I have been convicted beyond all reasonable doubt of complete incoherence on the question of cycle helmets – and complete incoherence, therefore, is what I propose to defend.

In so far as I am confused between the competing imperatives of safety and liberty, it is a confusion we all share. Look at the polls.

Last week, the public was asked what it thought of the Government’s plan to lock people up for 42 days without charge. Yeah! said a stonking 69 per cent of the YouGov sample. Bang ’em up. Better safe than sorry, was the message of the electorate.

This weekend, the public was asked what they thought of my friend David Davis’s heroic act of auto-defenestration, and his decision to call a by-election to oppose the 42 days measure. Yeah! said the public – 69 per cent of them, according to ICM. Good on yer, David, they said. You stick up for our liberties!

Now if 69 per cent of the public is in favour of 42 days’ detention without charge, and 69 per cent are in favour of David Davis and his opposition to 42 days, it is a mathematical certainty that a large chunk of the electorate is hopelessly muddled.

We want to be protected from terrorists, yet we have a feeling that the state is everywhere eroding our ancient liberties – bossing, bullying, photographing us at every corner.

We need to be clear about the trade-off. The price of liberty is a small but appreciable loss of security; the price of security is a loss of liberty. In the case of the 42 days, the increase in security is obviously too small to justify the loss of a freedom such as habeas corpus.

As for cycle helmets, we should be allowed, in our muddled way, to make up our own minds. Sometimes we will go for hatless, sun-blessed, windswept liberty; sometimes for helmeted security.

The important thing is that we assess the risk, we make the decision, and be it on our own heads – or, in the case of my helmet, sometimes not.


There is a person in a muddle here, and it is BORIS.

You cannot on the one hand, make the argument against 42 day detention on the above basis, and then say that alcohol consumption on the underground should be banned by your diktat to ‘increase safety’. You cannot declare ‘War on Knife Crime’ because the tiniest fraction of people in London get stabbed, resulting inevitably in completely innocent people going about their business being compelled to walk through metal detectors in the street en masse.

A man with a consistently applied philosophy would say that trading liberty for security is ALWAYS bad (especially when the trade is made by a dictator for someone else’s good) and then he would ACT accordingly; some people drink to excess on the underground and cause trouble. They are one twenty millionth of the regular underground using population (at a wild guess, by all means give me the right number) and so, to catch that tiniest of fractions of miscreants, you introduce a measure that will not catch them, but oppress everyone even further in this over surveilled police state city….not very intelligent or consistent.

A few people in the worst, unrepresentative, areas of London get stabbed, and so, you say that all innocent Londoners are criminal suspects and must be scanned on the street for knives. That is not only immoral, breaking the innocent until proven guilty principle, but it will not stop knife crime in any way.

Boris Johnson is old enough to remember the REAL London, the London before CCTV, the criminal scam ‘Congestion Charge’, ‘War on terror’ hysteria, hideous people-trapping busses and every other avoidable ill that Londoners now suffer.

That his goal is not to restore London to its former glory is lamentable. That he is going to make it even worse is inexcusable.

And did you know, that this man reads… Lew Rockwell?

I just cannot believe it!

We need a mayor that is not in thrall to public opinion, or to newspaper editors and their shrieking headlines. We need a mayor that reads Lew Rockwell and actually BELIEVES what is written there, and who is willing to act on those beliefs and deeply held convictions.

We need a mayor who would never buy a bicycle helmet in the first place.

We need a mayor who THINKS before he ACTS.

Manchester, so much to answer for

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Lecturers defy government over ID cards

Anthea Lipsett
Wednesday May 28, 2008

Lecturers voted overwhelmingly to oppose and defy the government’s plans to introduce identity cards at the University and College annual congress in Manchester today.

The government plans to pilot the controversial identity cards with international students, which lecturers warned could deter them from choosing to study in the UK.

In January, the Tories accused the government of “blackmailing” students into holding identity cards in order to get student loans.

Dave Goode from Cambridge University, who proposed the motion that was passed, talked of the “horror and contempt” of identity cards and called on members to back the NO2ID campaign.

Mike Cushman, from the LSE, had led research into identity cards and called on members to oppose their introduction as “citizens and members of society, as trade union members and education trade union members”.

He said the Home Office would like society to believe that identity cards would “end terrorism … benefit fraud … illicit health service use … identity theft … and there would be no more queues and constant sunshine in Manchester”.

To applause he said the government wanted to “delegitimise dissent” and union members should fight back.

“We know it’s going to be piloted on non-EU international students – another barrier to students coming to our universities at a time when we’re facing greater international competition,” he said.

Malcolm Povey from Leeds University said: “We live in the most disciplined and rigid society throughout the history of human evolution. Every aspect of our lives is subject to control by the state. These cards are yet another step in this direction.

“To me, these cards will form part of the scapegoating and divisive agenda of government and employers. We’re already seeing this as a challenge to academic freedom.”

For instance, he said lecturers in Palestine would be subject to very strict controls if they were to get a job in the UK.


This is great news, but I don’t know about students from other countries being put off from coming here; no Chinese student would see being forced to be fingerprinted and enrolled in the NIR as a barrier of any kind.

Which takes us nicely to this; take a look at these extraordinary clips…uh oh, they have been removed from YouTube ‘TOS Violation’

tap tap tap…

and we find:

here’s a summary:

Foreigner: I’d like to know why you’re taking my photo and fingerprints. Also, could you explain what you’ll be doing with them? What if I refuse?

Japanese Woman: 9/11. MULTIPLE SIMULTANEOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS. MASSIVE CASUALTIES. If you refuse to be fingerprinted or photographed, you will be denied entry into Japan.

Foreigner: That sounds fantastic! Hooray!!!! I’m going to go tell all my friends how awesome it is to get my fingerprints/photo taken and stored away somewhere by Japanese authorities! Banzai!

I was worried about my rights before watching this video, but now I’m totally relieved. Getting fingerprinted sounds like loads of fun, right?!

and here it is for you to watch.


tap tap tap…tap tap tap…

WTF? Make up your minds!!!!

Japan Ends Fingerprinting of Many Non-Japanese

After years of bitter protests and debate, the Parliament passed a bill today that will eliminate routine fingerprinting of permanent foreign residents, a practice that many non-Japanese have regarded as a humiliating symbol of government-sanctioned discrimination.

While the news was welcomed by many foreigners, especially the Korean residents who will be the principal beneficiaries, many insisted the bill leaves in place an extensive system of unfair controls on non-Japanese residents.

For instance, foreign residents can still be arrested if they are found without their alien registration cards, or face criminal prosecution if they fail to report changes of address or jobs to the Government within two weeks. Permanent foreign residents, many of whose families have been in Japan for generations, also complained that they would still be denied the right to work for the Government or to vote.

“I’m pleased with this change, but if you look at other elements of the law, you will find it still includes many forms of discrimination,” said Sohn Chung In, an official of the Korean Residents Union of Japan. “This is a step forward, but not a change in the society.”

About 602,000 Korean and Taiwanese residents, many of whose families were brought here forcibly when their homelands were occupied by Japan, will no longer have to submit to routine fingerprinting in order to work, study and live in Japan. About 43,000 other foreigners who have qualified for permanent foreign resident status will also be exempted, according to the Government.

The bill passed the lower house of the Parliament last month, and was passed today by the upper house. The changes are to take effect in January.

Immigration officials have wide discretion in determining who gains permanent residence; thus, many foreigners who have been here 10 years or more, and in some instances their entire lives, will not qualify.

The Parliament originally proposed eliminating the hated fingerprinting once and for all, but a compromise was reached after the National Police Agency refused to budge in its insistence that it needed to continue some fingerprinting to insure public security. The bill has a provision that the Government should try to eliminate fingerprinting in 1998.

Thus, for the time being, 320,000 foreign residents still must be fingerprinted. In the past, the Government has sought to lessen the anger over the practice with a variety of gestures.

For instance, prints were once taken of all the fingers, but are now done of just the left index finger; the alien registration cards all foreigners must carry are now placed in a plastic sleeve with a blue seal that discreetly covers the print.

But most objectors have not been moved by these steps, or the law’s revision. Continuing the Battle

Kathleen Morikawa, an American married to a Japanese, has faced prosecution because of her refusal for 10 years to be fingerprinted. She said today that the revision still discriminated against a class that she has fought hard to help — spouses of Japanese — who rarely qualify for permanent resident status.

“The whole issue of how foreigners are treated has not gone away with this,” she said.

Koreans have long faced the most persistent discrimination. Even those who seek Japanese citizenship, which means adopting Japanese names, find they are denied jobs with major corporations and are frequently unable to marry Japanese. There is a whole industry in Japan of private detectives who, on behalf of prospective employers or spouses, try to discover if people are of Korean or Chinese descent.

Mr. Sohn of the Korean association said his group was still struggling to gain the right of Koreans here to vote, work in Government jobs and learn about their heritage in public schools, a course that is not currently taught.


From 1992.


Sticking to the point of the terror hysteria, honestly, the Japanese government and industry MUST be smarter than this. They are already waking up out of the stupor caused by the mythical ‘911’; they should destroy this inhuman, mass violation system and show the world that they are above this degrading, useless nonsense.

Carbon ration cards: ID Cards and NIR by the back door

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Every adult should be forced to use a ‘carbon ration card’ when they pay for petrol, airline tickets or household energy, MPs say.

The influential Environmental Audit Committee says a personal carbon trading scheme is the best and fairest way of cutting Britain’s CO2 emissions without penalising the poor.

Under the scheme, everyone would be given an annual carbon allowance to use when buying oil, gas, electricity and flights.

Anyone who exceeds their entitlement would have to buy top-up credits from individuals who haven’t used up their allowance. The amount paid would be driven by market forces and the deal done through a specialist company.

MPs, led by Tory Tim Yeo, say the scheme could be more effective at cutting greenhouse gas emissions than green taxes.

But critics say the idea is costly, bureaucratic, intrusive and unworkable.

The Government says it supports the scheme in principle, but warns it is ‘ahead of its time’.

The idea of personal carbon trading is increasingly being promoted by environmentalists. In theory it could be used to cover all purchases – from petrol to food.

For the scheme to work, the Government would need to give out 45million carbon cards – each one linked to a personal carbon account. Every year, the account would be credited with a notional amount of CO2 in kilograms.

Every time someone makes a purchase of petrol, energy or airline tickets, they would use up credits. A return flight from London to Rome would, for instance, use up 900kg of CO2 credits, while 10 litres of petrol would use up 23kg.

Mr Yeo, chairman of the committee said personal carbon trading rewarded those with a low carbon footprint with cash.

‘We found that personal carbon trading has real potential to engage the population in the fight against climate change and to achieve significant emissions reductions in a progressive way,’ he said.

‘The idea is a radical one. As such it inevitably faces some significant challenges in its development. It is important to meet these challenges.

‘What we are asking the Government to do is to seize the reins on this, leading the debate and coordinating research.’

The Government is committed to cutting CO2 emissions to 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010.

The Climate Change Bill going through Parliament aims to cut emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. The Government has said it backs the idea in principle, but it is currently too expensive and bureaucratic.

Environment Minister Hilary Benn said: ‘It’s got potential but, in essence, it’s ahead of its time. There are a lot of practical problems to overcome.’

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report into the scheme found it would cost between £700million and £2billion to set up and up to another £2billion a year to run.

Tory environment spokesman Peter Ainsworth added: ‘Although it does have potential we should proceed with care. We don’t want to alienate people and we want everyone to be on board.’

But critics say the idea is deeply flawed. The scheme would penalise those living in the countryside who were dependent on their cars, as well as the elderly or housebound who need to heat their homes in the day.

Large families would suffer, as would those working at nights when little public transport is available.

It would need to take into account the size of families, and their ages. There is huge potential for fraud.

Matthew Elliott of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said the cards would be hugely unpopular. ‘The Government has shown itself incapable of managing any huge, complex IT system.’ he said.


Every adult in the UK would be given an annual carbon dioxide allowance in kgs and a special carbon card.

The scheme would cover road fuel, flights and energy bills.

Every time someone paid for road fuel, flights or energy, their carbon account would be docked.

A litre of petrol would use up 2.3kg in carbon, while every 1.3 miles of airline flight would use another 1kg.

When paying for petrol, the card would need to swiped at the till.

It would be a legal offence to buy petrol without using a card.

When paying online, or by direct debit, the carbon account would be debited directly.

Anyone who doesn’t use up their credits in a year can sell them to someone who wants more credits. Trading would be done through specialist companies.


My emphasis.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Every place that sells alcohol or cigarettes, every post office, every pharmacy, and every Bank will have an NIR Card Terminal, (very much like the Chip and Pin Readers that are everywhere now) into which your card can be ‘swiped’ to check your identity. Each time this happens, a record is made at the NIR of the time and place that the Card was presented. This means for example, that there will be a government record of every time you withdraw more than £99 at your branch of Nat West, who now demand ID for these transactions. Every time you have to prove that you are over 18, your card will be swiped, and a record made at the NIR. Restaurants and off licenses will demand that your card is swiped so that each receipt shows that they sold alcohol to someone over 18, and that this was proved by the access to the NIR, indemnifying them from prosecution.


Oyster, DVLA, BT and Nectar (for example) all run very detailed databases of their own. They will be allowed access to the NIR, just as every other business will be. This means that each of these entities will be able to store your unique number in their database, and place all your travel, phone records, driving activities and detailed shopping habits under your unique NIR number. These databases, which can easily fit on a storage device the size of your hand, will be sold to third parties either legally or illegally. It will then be possible for a non-governmental entity to create a detailed dossier of all your activities. Certainly, the government will have clandestine access to all of them, meaning that they will have a complete record of all your movements, from how much and when you withdraw from your bank account to what medications you are taking, down to the level of what sort of bread you eat – all accessible via a single unique number in a central database.

That is from the famous “Anonymous email” that warned everyone about ID cards; once again the prescience of its author is vividly demonstrated.

What this Carbon Trading card will do is exactly what ‘Frances Stonor Saunders’ predicted; it will require the creation of a massive centralized database that contains a record of all your purchases, against which (at a minimum) will be your name and your carbon account balance. Of course, what will also be measured is the amount of petrol you bought, where you bought it and when you bought it, and your car registration. The database will also record where you are flying to and when as you book your ticket. You can be sure that it will also record your every journey by train.

Once they put this database together, they can adjust at will, the amount that people ‘pay’ in carbon units manipulating the market at will and without any oversight.

This is the original specification of the ID card through the back door.

What this article, inexplicably, fails to do is connect the dots. Once you have issued 45 million Carbon Trading Cards with every adult’s name, address and a unique number, you have the framework for an ID card that uses the same database. In order to save money in the running of the scheme, the Tories will claim that they are the good guys by merging the Carbon Trading System with the NIR so that they save money on the running of it. That inevitable event will make another part of the Anonymous Email come true:

There will be spaces on this database for your religion, residence status, and many other private and personal facts about you. There is unlimited space for every other detail of your life on the NIR database, which can be expanded by the Government with or without further Acts of Parliament.

Like the email says, there will be unlimited space to add, literally, “every other detail of your life” onto the NIR and this is exactly and precisely what evil, ignorant MP Tim Yeo is advocating; that the NIR be expanded to be used to run this Carbon Trading scam.

This database will record every purchase, every movement … everything, and all of it will be open to examination, all of it will be subject to the same dangers, wholesale releases deliberate and accidental as is and has been the case with these databases.

What’s next? I’ll tell you what’s next: the NIR will be used to monitor how much alcohol you drink. Everyone will be given an alcohol allowance, and this will be monitored through the NIR, as will your calorie intake, as every purchase at a supermarket will be monitored. Monitoring your groceries is a logical extension of this scheme, and in fact, an essential part of it; if you are buying apples from New Zealand, they will have a higher ‘Carbon Footprint’ than apples grown locally. This should be taken into account when you shop because demand for New Zealand products have to be shipped from half way across the world.

I wonder how the New Zealanders are going to react to all of this? Essentially it means that they will no longer be able to export food to the rest of the world, since it ‘costs’ too much to ship the goods they are making. It would mean, at the very least, a contraction of their economy. But I digress.

This scheme is built on a lie, the lie that mankind is responsible for global warming, and it is a pretext for introducing not only new taxes, but an unprecedentedly fine grained surveillance system, built around a single ID card that everyone will be compelled to carry.

The system will centrally record everything you do and which is related to your life, including but not limited to::

  • A record of all your groceries.
  • A record of every time you buy alcohol.
  • A record of every time you buy cigarettes.
  • All your medical records.
  • A record of all your prescriptions.
  • A record of all your journeys by train.
  • A record of all your journeys by underground.
  • A record of all your journeys by bus.
  • A record of all your journeys by car.
  • A record of every country you have visited.
  • How much gasoline you buy.
  • How much electricity you use.
  • How much water you use.
  • How much natural gas you use.
  • Everywhere you visit online.
  • All your emails.
  • All your text messages.
  • Your fingerprints.
  • Your iris scan.
  • Your ‘race’.
  • Your religion.
  • Your name and address.
  • Your qualifications.
  • Your criminal record.
  • The names of your wife and children.

In fact, there is nothing that they will not record, except your thoughts.

As we can see, it will cost two billion pounds to set up and two billion a year to run. It is a contractors wet dream, in fact, I would not be surprised to see the contract given to Nectar, who have the skills and capacity to take on a brief like this from a running start.

In the end, they will have created the ultimate system of control, through which your every move will be monitored and taxed and steered. If you dare to complain or to refuse to comply, your card will be stopped and you will not be able to eat, or move unless someone is willing to help you.

That is what the Tories are advocating, and what Hillary Ben describes as ‘ahead of its time’.

It should be abundantly clear to everyone in the country and the entire world that the Global Warming threat is in fact this Carbon Trading scheme and the Carbon Trading tax, radical environmentalists are many millions of times worse than ‘radical jihadists’ and that the former are the greatest threat mankind has ever faced.

They want to completely transform the world so that it fits into their imagination-less frameworks and makes slaves of everyone to that lack of vision.

There are two ways out of this. Both of them can be described as a revolution.

The first is a revolution of the flesh, where the masses dismantle the system.

The second is a revolution in technology, specifically in energy production, making all of this carbon fanaticism irrelevant.

Whatever happens, if these monsters succeed, it will be the beginning of a nightmare that very few people have the capacity to comprehend.

Thanks to TH for the heads up!

Post Script

Does anyone other than me see the irony in these socialists turning to market forces to control the carbon footprint ‘problem’?

They want to create a market in carbon points that will use the forces of supply and demand to govern people’s usage of non renewables, but they will not allow those same, reliable, predictable forces to control the wider economy, where if they were unleashed, these problems would cease to exist altogether.

The example that is trotted out these days is that of cellular phones. If Hillary Benn was tasked with getting a mobile phone into every home, we would still be using suitcase phones and they would cost £1000 each and the network would not work, would not interact with any other cellular network of any other counry, calls would drop repeatedly, sound quality would….you get the picture.

The same goes for energy. If it was left to the market, it would be vastly different to how it is now; electricity would have its true value, and so would gasoline. In response, engine efficiency would be hundreds of times greater than it is now, without compromises, and we would not be talking about any of this nonsense.

These same people would say that the market cannot deliver, but then they turn to it when it suits them. This is the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.

Geophagy in Haiti

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Rising Food Costs Force Haiti’s Poor to Resort to Eating Dirt


It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

Yolen Jeunky arranges dried mud cookies for sale in a bucket in Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Nov. 29, 2007. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

A woman dries mud cookies in the sun on the the roof of Fort Dimanche, once a prison, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 29, 2007. Rising prices and food shortages are threatening Haiti’s fragile stability, and the mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, are one of very few options the poorest people have to stave off hunger. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

The hand of a woman is covered in mud as she makes mud cookies on the roof of Fort Dimanche, Nov. 30, 2007. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

Yolen Jeunky prepares cookies made of dirt, water, salt and butter on the the roof of Fort Dimanche. (Ariana Cubillos/ AP Photo)

“Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it,” said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti’s health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

“I’m hoping one day I’ll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these,” she said. “I know it’s not good for me.”

By JONATHAN M. KATZ Associated Press Writer
Jan 29, 2008
The Associated Press


Noor’s List

The War on Piracy begins

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

House Approves New Property Seizure Law

The criminals in the federal government are now trying to legalize the seizure of computers and other property under the guise of strengthening intellectual property laws. HR 4279 or the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, will give the government draconian powers to do just this. This legislation gives the government the power to seize property that facilitates the violation of intellectual property laws. The legislation also mandates the formation of a formal Intellectual Property Enforcement Division within the office of the Deputy Attorney General to enforce this madness. In addition, a new office called the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative is created within the Executive Office of the President. If you boil it down to brass tax, this legislation allows the U.S. government to lawfully seize your computer if it has one unauthorized mp3 file on its hard drive. It also provides the authorization for the creation of offices within the executive branch to enforce a law that is impossible to enforce.

Below is taken from section 202 of HR 4279 that gives the federal government the authorization to seize property that may have been used to facilitate an intellectual property violation. The language in this section indicates that a violation would include downloading a single unauthorized mp3 file on to a computer.

    d) Unauthorized Recording of Motion Pictures- Section 2319B(b) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    `(b) Forfeiture and Destruction; Restitution-

    `(1) CIVIL FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS- (A) The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States:

    `(i) Any copies of a motion picture or other audiovisual work protected under title 17 that are made without the authorization of the copyright owner.

    `(ii) Any property constituting or derived from any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of a violation of subsection (a).

    `(iii) Any property used, or intended to be used, to commit or facilitate the commission of a violation of subsection (a) that is owned or predominantly controlled by the violator or by a person conspiring with or aiding and abetting the violator in committing the violation, except that property is subject to forfeiture under this clause only if the Government establishes that there was a substantial connection between the property and the violation of subsection (a).

This is the 1980s equivalent of the government being given the legal authority to seize cassette recorders if they were used in recording a song off of the radio. Under this legislation, downloading even a single mp3 file unauthorized by the copyright owner will give the federal government the power to take your computer. There is no way that the federal government can enforce this. In fact, it is insane that the U.S. House of Representatives is more concerned about keeping the record and movie industry happy by passing this legislation than they are with real issues. Incredibly, this bill was passed by a vote of 410-11. Two of the dissenting voters included Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

John Conyers a fascist and anti-Constitutionalist member of the U.S. House of Representatives who originally introduced this bill made the following statements describing the purpose of the legislation. His statements were republished in a Billboard Magazine report.

(1) prioritize intellectual property protection to the highest level of our government;

(2) make changes to IP law to enhance the ability of IP owners to effectively enforce their rights;

(3) make it easier to criminally prosecute repeat offenders;

(4) increase penalties for IP violations that endanger public health and safety.

Basically speaking, Conyers believes that downloading illegal mp3 and movie files endanger public health and safety. Conyers is either an insane individual that belongs in a mental institution for making such a ridiculous statement or he and everybody else who voted for this bill is in the back pockets of the RIAA, the MPAA and the rest of the music and movie industry. Common sense would dictate that such a law is unenforceable and should have not been seriously entertained. This is just another sign that this country is run by a bunch of fascists who are trying to find as many ways to undermine civil liberties under the guise of enforcing the law. What is really ridiculous about this, is the fact that the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land is violated by these fascist tyrants in Congress every single day of the week. If they were actually serious about enforcing the law, why are they not following the Constitution? Why do they reject it?

Maybe if the movie and music industry stopped putting out horrible content, their sales would be a little better. It seems as if they are trying to blame people who download unauthorized mp3 and movie files for their shortcomings in business. Perhaps they should do what smaller independent music and film production companies have done and embrace the technological revolution instead of stifling it by trying to push this anti-American legislation down our throats.

It is understandable to go after people who are illegally profiting off of selling material that isn’t their own but there really isn’t a need for government involvement. The record industry should sue those people if they believe that there are groups or individuals who are unfairly profiting off of their work. A court can decide if the claims they present are valid. However, to give powers to an already corrupt government to seize private property from people who are violating copyright laws by merely having downloaded mp3 files or movie files on their computer is unenforceable and beyond the scope of government. Section 301 of the bill establishes the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative and section 501 of the bill establishes the Intellectual Property Enforcement Division within the Department of Justice under the office of the Deputy Attorney General. These particular offices will be established to serve as the enforcement arm for this legislation.

How many more powers is this corrupt legislature going to give to a renegade executive branch that is already engaging in perpetual war, setting up a police state, authorizing torture, destroying national sovereignty and other horrors? The federal government is full of petty bureaucrats and tyrants that can’t do anything right to begin with, and the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to expand government again through this legislation. With 410 of these tyrants voting for this legislation, it is doubtful that we will be successful in defeating this bill in the U.S Senate or if it goes to the dictator in chief.


Lee Rogers at Rogue Government

Pure unadulterated evil.

Let the ‘War on Piracy‘ begin!

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Liberté, égalité, fraternité, French for “Liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood)”, is the motto of the French Republic, and is a typical example of a tripartite motto. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not really institutionnalized until the Third Republic at the end of the 19th century. Debates concerning the compatibility and order of the three terms began as soon as the French Revolution.

We can now strike off the first word for sure:

PARIS (Reuters) – French former film star Brigitte Bardot went on trial on Tuesday for insulting Muslims, the fifth time she has faced the charge of “inciting racial hatred” over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers.

Prosecutors asked that the Paris court hand the 73-year-old former sex symbol a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine her 15,000 euros ($23,760) for saying the Muslim community was “destroying our country and imposing its acts”.

Since retiring from the film industry in the 1970s, Bardot has become a prominent animal rights activist but she has also courted controversy by denouncing Muslim traditions and immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.

She has been fined four times for inciting racial hatred since 1997, at first 1,500 euros and most recently 5,000.

Prosecutor Anne de Fontette told the court she was seeking a tougher sentence than usual, adding: “I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs Bardot.”

Bardot did not attend the trial because she said she was physically unable to. The verdict is expected in several weeks.

French anti-racist groups complained last year about comments Bardot made about the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in a letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy that was later published by her foundation.

Muslims traditionally mark Eid al-Adha by slaughtering a sheep or another animal to commemorate the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s orders.

France is home to 5 million Muslims, Europe’s largest Muslim community, making up 8 percent of France’s population.

“I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts,” the star of ‘And God created woman’ and ‘Contempt’ said.

Bardot has previously said France is being invaded by sheep-slaughtering Muslims and published a book attacking gays, immigrants and the unemployed, in which she also lamented the “Islamisation of France”.

There is no liberty in a country where you cannot think, say and publish what you want.

This is the country that gave us Voltaire, (insert list of great French writers and philosophers), but which now prosecutes people for uttering opinions.

And I can guarantee you that many French people will be cheering in the privacy of their own minds, these words of Brigitte Bardot; but wether or not her words are popular is not the point. All human beings have the right to free speech in countries that claim they are free countries. If a country does not allow free speech, then that country is not a free country. Full stop.

Listen to Ezra Lavant explanining to an ignorant pig exactly what free speech means. You should watch all the parts of this.

The lie of ‘hate speech’ is a disease that is spreading all over the civilized world. There is no such thing ashate speech‘; there is only speech, and you have the right to it. This is non negotiable, and Ezra Levant sums it up perfectly. Brigitte Bardot has the right to hate, she has the right to express that hate, and in a free country, no one should be able to muzzle her or stifle her or question her.

Sign of the times

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Village sign

Vandals keep changing the letter ‘L’ to a ‘C’ on the village’s signs

Residents living in a graffiti-plagued village in Merseyside are being asked to consider changing its name to tackle vandals who alter signs in the village.

Lunt, which dates back to Medieval times, has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who change the “L” to a “C”.


OB kit being worn by a model

The transmitter equipment is regularly worn by BBC radio reporters

A BBC radio reporter was held to the ground and searched by police under the Terrorism Act after his transmitter equipment was mistaken for a bomb.

Five officers forced BBC Radio Stoke’s Max Khan to his knees and held him face down in Stoke-on-Trent on Monday.

He was wearing a backpack with protruding wires and aerials. Staffordshire Police have apologised.

Earlier this year armed police tackled a man in the city after fearing his MP3 player was a gun.

Mr Khan said he was targeted after police were told an “Arabic-looking man was acting suspiciously” outside the Potteries Shopping Centre in Hanley.


Arrested, caged and DNA tested – for using MP3

Darren Nixon

Safe and sound: Darren Nixon recovers from his ordeal

A commuter was arrested at gunpoint and had his DNA and fingerprints taken simply for listening to his MP3 player while waiting for a bus.

Darren Nixon was surrounded by armed police after his music player was mistaken for a gun.

When a passer-by saw the 28-year-old get out his black Philips machine to change tracks, she panicked and dialled 999.

Police tracked Mr Nixon using CCTV. As he got off the bus home from work he was surrounded by a firearms unit, who bundled him into a van.

He was then put in a cell and his fingerprints, DNA and mugshot were taken before he was released.

Although police realised it was a false alarm, Mr Nixon, from Stoke-on-Trent, now has to live with his DNA stored on a national database.

The force will also keep on record that he was arrested on suspicion of a firearms offence.


From the ridiculous to the Kafkaesque.

Is there still anyone out there clinging to the pathetic excuse that ‘I’ve got nothing to hide, they’ll never come for me.’

‘I’m alright Jack’ works fine until its you on your knees with a gun at your head for ‘looking Arabic’ or brandishing an MP3 player in a public place.

“Innocent until We decide otherwise.”

Fascist Dictator of London…SPEAKS!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Schools could be raided by police to crack down on knife crime, Ken Livingstone proposed today.

The Mayor suggested that fingerprinting and DNA profiling could be used to help to identify youngsters who threw away weapons. He also called for tougher sentencing for those involved in stabbings to prevent others going down the same route.

What this actually means is that all pupils in London need to be fingerprinted, DNA swabbed and put into a database so that when they find the one or two bad guys (or girls) with knives, they can be identified.

Ken Livinston is certifiably insane; the true inheritor of Stalin’s mantle, after the living reincarnation of Stalin himself, Gordon Brown.

However, there are likely to be concerns over the civil liberties implications of his proposals for schools.


Mr Livingstone told LBC radio: “So many kids now are carrying a knife because they think someone else might try and stab them and, of course, very often they end up being stabbed with their own knife.

So many. So we have to rape them all in order to stop them. Ken, you are a scumbag, full stop.

“I think you need a really high-profile crackdown and I’d be quite prepared where we know some schools have a particular problem – as long as the teachers and parents are up for this – you suddenly flood the school with police and you arrest everyone carrying a knife.

As long as the parents are ‘up for this’ its OK to rape children. Riiiiiiiiight.

“I know a lot of them will drop them on the ground but with fingerprints, DNA profiling, we’ll identify most of the people carrying those knives.”

Ken is a police state fantacist, a hideous gargoyle control addict, and a monster. Only his will matters, as we saw with the extension of the Congestion Charge zone, despite 70% of residents saying ‘no’ he went ahead anyway.

He added: “Judges have got to recognise the need for exemplary sentencing to get the message home – carry a knife, you’ll go to prison. You can’t carry a knife then expect to get 20 hours community service.”

Judges are best suited to interpret the law. Ken should get a broom out and sweep the streets of London. He cannot even do that correctly. Many parts of London are no better than pig styes and he is responsible for it.

The Mayor was accused of insensitivity to the families of two teenagers stabbed to death last week when he declared that “if it bleeds, it leads” the news. His aides said he made the comments before he had heard about the murders.

Ken is insensitive to anything but his own perverted desire for absolute power.

Mr Livingstone admitted there would be civil liberties concerns over his proposals on knife crime. There could also be legal issues as police must arrest suspects before taking fingerprints or DNA swabs.

In other words, guilty until proven innocent, yet again.

The total aim of police state boosters like Fascist Ken.

Ken, Brown, Smith and the other mass murdering perverts like to sprinkle the magic sauce of DNA technology on every problem. Now they want to sprinkie it onto children. The fact of the matter is that the problems that create knife crime will not be stopped by taking knives out of the hands of people who need them. These measures are plasters applied to shotgun wounds. But I digress. This ‘plan’ has not been thought out, will be rejected as absurd, and shows Ken Livingston scrambling around for big headlines because he is running scared of Boris Johnson. That is what this is all about, pure and simple.

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick said the support of local communities was more important, adding: “The way to tackle gun and knife crime is not to demonise young people but to rebuild trust between police and the community.”


Evening Standard


All of these people are vile, repulsive beasts, and none of them have even the slightest bit of imagination.

Let us help them.

If you want to stop knives entering a school, you expel all of the trouble-making students.

And that is it.

Teachers know intimately who the bad people in their schools are. If they were allowed to run their schools AS schools and not makeshift borstals then this problem would disappear over night.

Q: But what happens when the children that are expelled are out roaming the streets like feral beasts?
A: That is the problem of the negligent parents and the police.

etc etc.

Why Print Journalism Is A Rotting Corpse

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

On the afternoon of 27th March I received a telephone call, at work, from a ‘journalist’ working for the London Evening Standard. He introduced himself as Joshua Neicho, apparently partly responsible for the Letters section of that newspaper. Joshua told me he had found my details from Teh Internets after reading our postings on Blogdial concerning Heathrow T5 and the implications of design on security issues.

Now, tracking me down via Blogdial isn’t so hard to do. I’m sure Joshua would have preferred to contact Irdial, the first author of those posts, but Irdial isn’t silly enough to leave a simple trail to their private telephone number pasted all over the web.

Anyway, Joshua asked me to provide 200 words on T5, security and architecture within about 4 hours. Since this is a nice Blogdialian topic, I agreed. Fitting this writing into the last few hours of my already crowded work day was a shit, but here’s what I came up with. Not thrilling by Blogdial standards, just a concise resume of the position:

Much attention has been focussed on the architecture and security measures of Heathrow T5, but unfortunately not at the same time. Design and security at T5 are not only intimately linked, but invasive security measures (fingerprinting and photographing every passenger) are necessary precisely because of the architectural design.

BAA and the architects must have agreed on a non-segregated floorplan where passengers for domestic and international flights mix. Obviously, BAA (and HMG, who work closely with BAA on airport security) must have understood the security issues arising from this design. One may conclude that the design was intended to generate exactly this situation – a wonderful opportunity for testing biometric scanning procedures and public compliance on millions of people per year. Not only this, but that BAA, the architects and the government were complicit in the entire process!

Unbelievable? The alternative is that the architects design is flawed, but this went unnoticed by the architects, BAA and HMG until one day during the build itself! ‘Hang on! If we mix up internal and external… oh no! Now we’ll have to fingerprint everyone!’ Can one imagine Lord Rogers making such a big mistake in designing T5? I can’t.

I duly mailed this to Joshua Neicho (Old Etonian; Oxford University) asking to be kept informed of any use, and haven’t heard a peep from him since – something other bloggers have also reported. And blogged. I’m not sure what they teach students at Eton and Oxford, but I’m surprised simple manners isn’t included in the curriculum.

However, this post is to show ‘Why Print Journalism Is A Rotting Corpse’.

On 28th March, when T5 was in chaos on its opening day, here (and linked here) are the two letters chosen for the T5 design/security issue:

T5 letters ES

One, an analysis of design. The other, a tirade against invasive security. What is wrong with this picture? Forgoing my usual modesty (ahem!), may I just remind you of the first sentence of our unused letter.

Much attention has been focussed on the architecture and security measures of Heathrow T5, but unfortunately not at the same time.

The published viewpoints, editorially chosen by people like Joshua Neicho, are like having your face pressed up to a cinema screen by a long-dead shuffling zombie, swathed in the stench of nepotism, laziness, corruption and self-interest. Not to mention a lack of manners! And for putting up with that disgusting experience all you get to see is the tiny bit of the picture thats right in front of your face, distorted and given a disproportionate importance.

But you’re reading Blogdial.

Best seat in the house!

Idiocracy Part n+1

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Jan Bledsoe was shocked Thursday to learn she can no longer just swipe her finger across a screen at the local Jewel store to buy her groceries because the bankrupt company behind the technology no longer will process such transactions.

“I’m concerned because I didn’t know it wasn’t Jewel that I’d given my information and fingerprints to,” said Bledsoe of Lake Villa. “The girls at the Jewel were as surprised as anyone” that the system was shut down.

Bledsoe was among thousands of disappointed customers to learn that Solidus Networks Inc., a provider of payment processing, is no longer operating its biometrics unit. The firm’s failure prompted some financial analysts to question whether technology that relies on biological information to identify a customer is ready for the market’s mainstream.


Although biometrics is far from perfect, it offers consumers an option for making purchases with minimum hassle and no need to remember passwords.

“Commercial biometrics is inevitable,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley-based trend forecaster. “There are huge risks, but it’s just so cheap and convenient, people won’t be able to resist it. Whenever Americans face a choice between privacy and convenience, they always choose convenience.”


There are so many examples of Idiocracy out there, we need a category just 4 it.

Another Dalek in the TARDIS

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Via the Guardian/Observer

Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain’s most senior police forensics expert.

Hmm, eligible, how grand – sounds almost postive. Now shall we count the number of ways a primary school child may exhibit criminal tendencies? No, let’s not suffice to say that young children are at a stage of life where they are full of energy, interact in the world in ways that are ‘irrational’ and ‘unlearned’, basically they make ‘mistakes’ as part of growing up. It is not a reason to target them as future criminals.

We can also think of further injustices in how this would be implemented – children of ‘high-risk’ adults would receive preferential ‘eligibility’ so presumably children of poor brown skinned muslim immigrants would be in there ASAP.

Gary Pugh, director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard and the new DNA spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said a debate was needed on how far Britain should go in identifying potential offenders, given that some experts believe it is possible to identify future offending traits in children as young as five.

Why is a debate needed? Perhaps there should be a debate on how best to behead forensic police officers, after all ‘We Have The Technology’.
Some experts? How large a percentage and what research have they done, did the ‘experts’ say that criminal behaviour could be educated out or otherwise removed without the need to submit their DNA to a criminal database.

Does Gary Pugh even believe in ‘free will’?

‘If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large,’ said Pugh. ‘You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won’t. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society.’

But what does this have to do with DNA databases? In any case the vast majority of criminal activity can be dealt with without recourse to DNA profiling

Pugh admitted that the deeply controversial suggestion raised issues of parental consent, potential stigmatisation and the role of teachers in identifying future offenders, but said society needed an open, mature discussion on how best to tackle crime before it took place. There are currently 4.5 million genetic samples on the UK database – the largest in Europe – but police believe more are required to reduce crime further. ‘The number of unsolved crimes says we are not sampling enough of the right people,’ Pugh told The Observer. However, he said the notion of universal sampling – everyone being forced to give their genetic samples to the database – is currently prohibited by cost and logistics.

Pugh thinks that he (and his computer profiling) is in a better position to control a child’s future than the parents and teachers of the child – people with real human interaction. Having said that in the future any teacher is likely to have submitted to the NIR database (as being a person in a ‘position of trust’) so probably not not a reliable judge of character and rights.

Hardly gratifying to know Pugh’s only real concern about enmeshing the whole population is limited to cost and logistics, perhaps his ‘debate’ is only intended to further raise the profile of DNA databasing in government departments.

Civil liberty groups condemned his comments last night by likening them to an excerpt from a ‘science fiction novel’. One teaching union warned that it was a step towards a ‘police state’.

So many ‘steps toward’ over the last few years maybe we got to the zoo and haven’t noticed the lion closing its jaws around the hand of the fools offering snacks through the railings.

Pugh’s call for the government to consider options such as placing primary school children who have not been arrested on the database is supported by elements of criminological theory. A well-established pattern of offending involves relatively trivial offences escalating to more serious crimes. Senior Scotland Yard criminologists are understood to be confident that techniques are able to identify future offenders.

And why does Pugh want to initiate ‘debate’ with the government rather than ‘the country’? Because he knows he needs the knuckle of POWER to enforce his hideous ideas.

A recent report from the think-tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) called for children to be targeted between the ages of five and 12 with cognitive behavioural therapy, parenting programmes and intensive support. Prevention should start young, it said, because prolific offenders typically began offending between the ages of 10 and 13. Julia Margo, author of the report, entitled ‘Make me a Criminal’, said: ‘You can carry out a risk factor analysis where you look at the characteristics of an individual child aged five to seven and identify risk factors that make it more likely that they would become an offender.’ However, she said that placing young children on a database risked stigmatising them by identifying them in a ‘negative’ way.

Well this may or may not be true but it has nothing to do with DNA databases

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the civil rights group Liberty, denounced any plan to target youngsters. ‘Whichever bright spark at Acpo thought this one up should go back to the business of policing or the pastime of science fiction novels,’ she said. ‘The British public is highly respectful of the police and open even to eccentric debate, but playing politics with our innocent kids is a step too far.’

From the mistress of gross understatement this should be read as a damning condemnation!


Pugh, though, believes that measures to identify criminals early would save the economy huge sums – violent crime alone costs the UK £13bn a year – and significantly reduce the number of offences committed. However, he said the British public needed to move away from regarding anyone on the DNA database as a criminal and accepted it was an emotional issue.

Thus hoist by his own petard, this idiot shows that he wants a database that is NOT a criminal but a general databse, this man doesn’t believe in the principle of ‘innocent until PROVEN guilty’, he doesn’t care that a police database of the general population is an erosion of habeas corpus and the similar rights that have had to be fought for.

‘Fingerprints, somehow, are far less contentious,’ he said. ‘We have children giving their fingerprints when they are borrowing books from a library.’

And this is Right?

Last week it emerged that the number of 10 to 18-year-olds placed on the DNA database after being arrested will have reached around 1.5 million this time next year. Since 2004 police have had the power to take DNA samples from anyone over the age of 10 who is arrested, regardless of whether they are later charged, convicted, or found to be innocent.

And this is Right?

I repeat we are already at the zoo today, not tomorrow – and YOU are there too.

Concern over the issue of civil liberties will be further amplified by news yesterday that commuters using Oyster smart cards could have their movements around cities secretly monitored under new counter-terrorism powers being sought by the security services.

Of course this is further generalised surveillance that will not stop anything related to terrorism, there is no underground station or bus stop called ‘how to do jihad’, nor ‘semtex R us’, nor ‘At the age of five I spat on a dog’.

Lily-livered, cowardly bullies must die!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

We wrote recently about naive idiots in York, wearing leather shoes, eating eggs, taking medicines developed in animal models and bleating over a restaurant serving foie gras.

Now we read this:

A Cambridge restaurant announced last week that it would no longer have foie gras on its menu. Not, perhaps, an important event in itself, affecting not too many people. But the circumstances leading to the decision were disturbing. Daniel Clifford, the chef-owner of Midsummer House – honoured with two Michelin stars – didn’t stop serving the dish because he had been persuaded to do so by the argument that its manufacture involved the maltreatment of geese and ducks. He changed his mind through fear. The Animal Liberation Front admitted responsibility for acts of vandalism that included glueing the restaurant’s locks, throwing a brick through a window (narrowly missing a waiter), spray-painting the windows and generally trashing the place, causing several thousand pounds of damage. “My initial feeling was, ‘Sod ’em, we’ll get cameras and security to guard the restaurant,’ ” said Clifford. “But when the police told me what the ALF was capable of, I decided to give in. Ultimately I have to think of the safety of my staff and customers.” There wasn’t much media coverage of or reaction to the outrage.

Many restaurants in Britain serve foie gras. Have they all now become potential targets of ALF violence? Are our restaurant menus to be determined in future by whether or not animal activists approve of the way the animals, birds and fish on offer have been treated? Today foie gras – tomorrow chicken? The life of a goose, even one primed for its valuable liver, is far pleasanter and its distress far less (especially with modern methods of feeding it) than that of a battery chicken. A few thousand geese and ducks might have suffered in preparing the small quantities of foie gras consumed in this country; many millions of chicken and other animals, destined to be food for humans, have suffered more. I do not for a moment blame Midsummer House’s owner for submitting to the threats and violence, but I have an uneasy feeling that the day he did so marked the beginning of something new and sinister.

Several points here. First, it is nobody’s place to tell you what you may or may not eat, whether that be the government or the ALF. Some will not eat any but free range, organic eggs and chickens from a local producer, myself among them. Some will eat the cheapest, battery-farmed, tasteless, drug-riddled meat they can get their hands on. Some people will eat Freedom Food, as named by the RSPCA. I hope these people are not fooling themselves, salving their conscience, and have taken enough interest to understand that ‘Freedom Food’ chickens are  grown in aircraft hangars exactly as those cheaper chickens they probably despise, but at slightly lower density. Freedom Food guidelines denote no more than 30kg of chicken per square metre. At 2.5kg after just 40 days of unaturally rapid growth, this still equates to 12 chickens per square metre. Anyway, I digress. It is about understanding, and making an informed choice without hypocrisy and without affecting anybody else.

A second point is that the POLICE have told this restaurant to give in to bullying.

SHAME on these filthy scum, charged with protecting the public yet  refusing to protect this mans business and freedom to serve what he chooses to people willing to eat it. The police giving this advice are as sick and stupid as the ALF members, both intimidating this man to get the outcome that suits them best.


Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

From the Guardian

Passengers travelling between EU countries or taking domestic flights would have to hand over a mass of personal information, including their mobile phone numbers and credit card details, as part of a new package of security measures being demanded by the British government. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to “profile” suspects.

‘Profile’ what? A mobile phone number or credit card number tell you nothing unless you are also monitoring their usage, so can we assume that the government is interested in collecting blank data? Or that it monitors credit card activity and mobile phone usage? ECHELON suggests the latter, no?

Brussels officials are already considering controversial anti-terror plans that would collect up to 19 pieces of information on every air passenger entering or leaving the EU. Under a controversial agreement reached last summer with the US department of homeland security, the EU already supplies the same information [19 pieces] to Washington for all passengers flying between Europe and the US.

Two wrongs etc.

But Britain wants the system extended to sea and rail travel, to be applied to domestic flights and those between EU countries. According to a questionnaire circulated to all EU capitals by the European commission, the UK is the only country of 27 EU member states that wants the system used for “more general public policy purposes” besides fighting terrorism and organised crime.

This is an absolute disgrace and basically shows that the British government are bunch of power crazed authoritarian shits. It implies that some ‘validation’ would be required for any movement by air, sea or rail. This is only possible where you have a population with an ID card and attendant database. It also implies that you will need to ‘validate’ your credit cards, mobile phone purchases (and ‘up to’ 17 other things) within the same system. This is not so stealthy way of introducing the ‘need’ for mandatory ID systems through other legislation.

The so-called passenger name record system, proposed by the commission and supported by most EU governments, has been denounced by civil libertarians and data protection officials as draconian and probably ineffective.

The scheme would work through national agencies collecting and processing the passenger data and then sharing it with other EU states. Britain also wants to be able to exchange the information with third parties outside the EU.

Read the US, where your personal details are not subject to strong (but soon to be ineffective?) data protection laws

Officials in Brussels and in European capitals admit the proposed system represents a massive intrusion into European civil liberties, but insist it is a necessary part of a battery of new electronic surveillance measures being mooted in the interests of European security. These include proposals unveiled in Brussels last week for fingerprinting and collecting biometric information of all non-EU nationals entering or leaving the union.

If they insist where is the guardian’s reporting and analysis of their statements? An even better question is do you think these people have to justify their insistences to democratic scrutiny?

All airlines would provide government agencies with 19 pieces of information on every passenger, including mobile phone number and credit card details. The system would work by “running the data against a combination of characteristics and behavioural patterns aimed at creating a risk assessment”, according to the draft legislation.

“When a passenger fits within a certain risk assessment, he could be identified as a high-risk passenger.”

We have said numerous times that data doesn’t predict actions, there is sufficient legislation to identify and track suspects without collecting data about the general public. It is a fact and doesn’t become any less so when faced with increasingly irrational demands.

A working party of European data protection officials described the proposal as “a further milestone towards a European surveillance society.

Not towards, we are already there, this would simply make surveillance more extensive.

“The draft foresees the collection of a vast amount of personal data of all passengers flying into or out of the EU regardless of whether they are under suspicion or innocent travellers. These data will then be stored for a period of 13 years to allow for profiling. The profiling of all passengers envisaged by the current proposal might raise constitutional concerns in some member states.”

… but these will be ignored in the face of business lobbying and strongarm tactics from the US and it’s EU representitive, the British government?

The Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said: “Where is this going to stop? There’s no mature discussion of risk. As soon as you question something like this, you’re soft on terrorism in the UK and in the EU.”

It will stop when people do not comply, these officials and bureaucrats think nothing of the general public, their job is to legislate and they legislate in accordance with their job description not democracy nor liberty nor egalitarianism nor any high ideals (and for the wrong sort of crazy dreams).

Britain is pushing for a more comprehensive system based on the experience of a UK pilot scheme that has been running for the past three years. Officials say Operation Semaphore, monitoring flights from Pakistan and the Middle East, has been highly successful and has resulted in hundreds of arrests.

The scheme has seen one in every 2,200 passengers warranting further investigation, with a tenth of those “being of interest”. British officials say rapists, drug smugglers and child traffickers have been arrested and want the EU scheme to cover “all fugitives from crown court justice”.

0.045% warrant further investigation, and so 0.0045% are of further interest. This is for flights to an area of the world where you may expect their to be an above average ‘level of interest’ 2.7 million ‘interesting people’ worldwide at that rate which of course would be an overestimate. And we haven’t even drilled down into ‘terrorists’ yet.

But Ludford said: “If you ask the UK government how many terrorists have been picked up, I don’t think you get a very straight answer.”

Because it is too embarrassingly small to mention? Because it contradicts the Climate of Fear? Because it is bad for business?

EU officials have asked the Home Office minister Meg Hillier for information about the arrests of suspected terrorists.