Archive for April, 2006

Last of the Real Americans

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

“There are times, Mr. Speaker, when we must look beyond the mundane and the pragmatic, and take a stand based on our values, and our vision for the state we are, and the kind of state we wish to become. And I believe this is one of those times.

This bill is very straightforward. It says that the state of New Hampshire will not participate in the REAL ID drivers license program established by the federal government. The reason is simple. The REAL ID program creates a de facto national identification card. It does so by making the fifty states drivers licenses meet uniform federal standards. Among other things, they must be machine readable, and all of the data, not just name, photograph, address, but drivers records, violations, suspension and points, must be entered into a interstate database and shared with all other states and the federal government. Of course, being machine readable, merchants and others will be in possession of this information when they require your drivers license for identification and scan your card into their readers. But thats a story for another day.

“I don’t believe that the people of New Hampshire elected us to help the Federal Government create a National Identification Card. We care more for our liberties than to meekly hand over to the Federal Government the potential to enumerate, track, identify, and eventually control.

“But there is a price to be paid for such for independence. If we don’t participate the REAL ID system, we will have to use passports or other similar documentation to gain access to federal properties and to use air transportation. If we don’t participate in the REAL ID system, we may lose a 3 million dollar earmark (federal grant) to update our motor vehicle department computers to make them REAL ID compliant. There is little doubt that both these consequences will impose real burdens on our citizens.”

His voice rose. “But I ask you, “What price liberty?” If I may adapt the words of an American patriot, whose resounding sentiments moved the Virginia House of Burgesses to action in 1775, “It is in vain, Mr. Speaker, to extenuate the matter. Members may cry ‘Peace, Peace,’ but there is no peace. The war on our civil liberties is actually begun. Will the next gale that sweeps from Washington bring to our ears the sound of Federal boots on the march? Why stand we here idle? What is it that members wish? What would you have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, oh mighty God, I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.” Our state motto, Mr. Speaker, is equally eloquent, “Live free or die.”

“I urge members to overturn the ITL, and pass this bill to protect the liberties, the freedoms, of their friends, their families, their neighbors, and their constituents. ”

As his words died away, applause thundered through the chamber. At the head of the chamber, the Speaker furiously banged his gavel, demanding the House to come to order, which it did. Now Rep. Packard rose to speak in favor of the motion to kill the bill, repeating that it was best to go along for now, and hope that things would change. Then it came time to vote. Normally, the hundreds seated here would be polled by the sound of their voices. But today, Rep. Dickinson had requested a roll call vote, asking that the individual votes from each representative be recorded and shared with the public. House rules required multiple seconds for a roll call vote, and across the sea of chairs, Representatives stood to signify their approval. Throughout the halls of the State Capitol, the cry of ‘Roll Call’ echoed. Members hurried to their assigned chairs.

At the announcement from the speaker, the assembled group considered the buttons in front of them. Pressing the green button would signify their willingness to go along with the REAL ID ACT: while the red signaled ‘stop’ to the growing federal involvement with state matters. Up above in the gallery, concerned citizens watched the forest of lights below, attempting to discern the intention of those who had volunteered to represent them. After thirty seconds, a buzzer sounded.

The Speaker announced the results; 84 votes had been cast in favor of killing the bill. But a resounding 217 had pressed the red button, demanding a stop to federal meddling in the internal affairs of the Live Free or Die State. There were no party lines here; friends of freedom took action on both sides of the aisle. It was a decisive counter attack by the forces of liberty. Rep. Kurk stood again, grinning as he spoke, ready to deliver a finishing blow. “Mr. Speaker,” he announced, “I move ought to pass.”

“All in favor?” called Rep. Scamman.

“Aye!” came an overwhelming response.

“The ‘Ayes’ have it,” the Speaker declared. And it was accomplished. These few hundred men and women, representing hundreds of thousands of free citizens from the Merrimack River Valley to the Atlantic Ocean to the hillside where the Old Man once looked out on us; these representative had taken a stand. This time, Washington D.C. had pushed too far.

[…]

http://www.democracyfornewhampshire.com/node/view/2227

And that, my friends, is what Real Americans sound and act like.

It is not too late to turn it all around and destroy the monsters that are trying to enslave the entire globe. Whatever outrage happens next, no matter how many people are killed by ‘terrorists’ we must never let them cross the line. The world and mankind hace not ‘changed’. Man and his rights and needs remain constant.

Remember this when the next outrage takes place. Remember that they are using synthetic terror to goad you into putting your head on the chopping block.

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Clubs to begin finger scan pilot

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Fingerprint scanner in action

Biometric scanners have been installed in pubs and clubs

Pubs and clubs in Yeovil are to start scanning the fingers of drinkers in an attempt to make the town safer. Biometric scanners have been installed in a number of venues and from Friday revellers will be asked to register and provide a photograph and a finger scan.

Once registered, they can be asked to give a fingerprint as proof of identity and age when entering pubs.

The scheme, believed to be the first networked finger scanning system in England, is voluntary.

Sgt Jackie Gold, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “There are many benefits, which include being able to easily verify the age of a person who is registered.”

Easily updated

She added: “It will identify those who have previously been intent on causing trouble.

“The system is protected by the Data Protection Act and can be updated in real time.

“If somebody is causing trouble in one pub and is removed from the premises, from the time it takes for that person to walk to another venue, the system will have been updated and the doorstaff at other venues will be aware.”

She said the scheme had the added benefit that people who choose to sign up will not need to carry ID with them on a night out.

The Frances Stonor Saunders email is on the money once more:

By itself, you might think that this register is harmless, but you would be wrong to come to this conclusion. This new card will be used to check your identity against your entry in the register in real time, whenever you present it to prove who you are.

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.

And to digress for a moment, some mentally retarded Union workers have been baying to get everyone sheared:

Retail union Usdaw is supporting Government plans to introduce national ID cards after delegates voted to support the scheme at its annual conference.

The union has supported introducing a national ID scheme since 2001 and its 340,000 members on the frontline see clear benefits for workers in Britains booming retail sector.

As shopworkers, our members have to police the high street, says Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett. Every day they are confronted by youngsters seeking to buy alcohol or cigarettes, and by people with stolen credit cards or cheques.

They need a recognised identity card system in order that they do not have to make arbitrary decisions whether a young person is the age they say they are, or whether a signature matches the faded scrawl on the back of a credit card.

Usdaw members at the conference also agreed that ID cards could play a key role in rooting out illegal workers in the retail sector.

Our members are also hard-working but low paid, John Hannett said. They want to make sure that others are not able to de-fraud the benefits system, or that illegal workers undermine already low rates of pay.

For these reasons Usdaw called on the Labour Government to introduce Identity Cards. We fully supported the Warwick agreement which included the commitment on ID cards, and we support the current Bill before the House, although we will strive to ensure that ID cards are not brought in at an excessive cost to individuals.

[…]

http://www.usdaw.org.uk/usdaw/news/1119868748_10840.html

I’m not making this up obviously. From June 2005.

It has to be pointed out that Chip and Pin has taken all responsibility away from retail staff, without the need for this absurd NIR scheme. Chip and Pin, for all its faults, is an example of how private business should solve its own problems, and how properly designed technology can increase security without violating anyone.

Back to the point, if the crackpots who are rolling out this bar system can do it all in real time, you can bet that eventually HMG will get its act together and do it in realtime also, with or without the ID card. In other words, when the NIR has your fingerprints in it (if you allow yourself to be fingerprinted) a system like this, consisting only of thumbprint scanners in every pharmacist, off licence, pub, club, doctors office, bank, undedrground station and post office can be set up to control you without you needing to carry a physical ID card; your thumb becomes the card.

And let us not forget the mobile thumbscanners that are sure to be deployed, based on this technology:

Sony FIU 810 Puppy Scanner

Part #: FIU810/PERS

The Sony fingerprint reader is an identity device that features on-board fingerprint imaging, processing and storage. Equipped with Puppy Suite, this software makes daily computing more convenient and secure by removing the need to remember passwords and using your fingerprint in it’s place. End-users can replace passwords on web sites, applications and sign documents with a digital certificate. With other features like standards-based cryptographic technology and on-board file storage capacity, the FIU-810 Puppy unit is a best-of-breed product.

  • Scanner Type: Biometric Scanner
  • Device Type: Fingerprint Reader
  • Interface Type: USB
  • Flash Memory: 64MB
  • Connectivity: 1 x USB – 4 pin USB Type A
  • Environments: PC Compatible
  • Warranty: 1 Year Parts, 90 Days Labor

Sony FIU 810 Puppy Scanner

Your Price:$154.99

[…]

Superwarehouse

This product is aptly named, since you will be turned into a creature lower than a dog by this.

It will be trivial to put this into a mobile device that can connect to the NIR. It will look something like the devices used by traffic wardens:

Your face and details will turn up on the screen shown here, along with instructions to arrest you for whatever thorught crime you committed on your blog, phone calls, text messages etc etc etc…

lobeTechs gTicket is used by Town Councils and Local Authorities to manage the complete end-to-end parking ticket enforcement.The system uses wireless handheld devices which reduces costs and improves efficiencies, freeing the traffic warden from having to physically connect the handheld at the end of each day.

The system has a web-based interface, and any employee of the town council can monitor the system, which is carefully controlled using digital certificates for each PC.

Like all other mobile applications from GlobeTech, it can operate on a variety of mobile computing devices.

Complete end-to-end parking ticket enforcement, with rugged handheld computers, printers, and office system

[…]

G Ticket

All of these pieces of the puzzle, which can be bought “off the shelf” can be assembled to do exactly what I am saying, if it has not already been done, or at the very least is in the advanced stages of planning.

The ultimate piece of the puzzle is your co-operation. Your submission is the key that unlocks the pandora’s box and initiates the nightmare scenario. Without your submission, the system cannot reach critical mass and will die.

Civil Defense All-Purpose Survival Crackers

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Cold War bunker found in Brooklyn Bridge

Putting a stop to it.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Our political system is based on the assumption that there are always checks and balances to prevent unbalanced legislation becoming law. […]

“What you don’t seem to understand is that we are good people!” […]

Guardian

Assumption is the mother of all fuckups.

What is clear is that the British need their own written bill of rights and written constitution, so that there are no assumptions, no unwritten rules and no ambiguities about what your rights are and what your elected servants are able to do. The gentleman’s agreement is broken because there are no gentlemen in parliament.
These much needed documents will provide a clear substrate against which all laws can be tested. Should the Constitutional test fail, a new law cannot come into force. Should a new law violate the Bill of Rights, the law is dead in the water.

The author of that piece fails to come to the conclusion that this is needed, and has failed to take the next step after that; the actual drafting of those documents that are so very badly needed.

It is clear that any such document should be crafted in a way that restricts government to street cleaning and maintenance. It should also make impossible any dilution or transfer of powers of the union. Those are just for starters.
Seeing as we are all focussed on the ID card debacle, lets begin with a first draft of the section asserting our rights with regards to our data:

Wheras in the age before flowing information we could live without explicitly naming certain rights that are inherent to life, the free people of this country are now compelled by the inexorable momentum of the digital age to assert with all moral authority, our rights for this new centrury and beyond.

Mankind is born with rights. These rights exist wether they are written down and understood or not. No person would argue that the rights of man before language were different to the rights of man at the time of Magna Carta, and so too, the rights of man in the information era, being incomprehensible to the men of earlier centuries, are no less existant in absentia of someone with the capability to grasp them.

It is with these thoughts in mind that we write down and categorically assert our rights, which are in addition to those rights already described by the great men of centuries past.

Man has the right to:

anonymity
privacy
travel without surveillance
travel without identification
be unidentified
transact without interference
transact by any currency or means
communicate in secret
associate without interference
study without interference

We assert also that:

The details of the life of a man are his real property.

The body of man is sacrosanct. No one shall be compelled to injest anything against his will, and all men have the right to injest what they will.

No man shall be the servant of a state without his explicit consent.

No man shall suffer any law or regulation that infringes these natural rights. Any law or regulation that infringes these rights is void on its face, and we claim and assert forever our moral justification, absolute right and power to reject and disobey any such law or regulation.


That is how you do it. You actually do it instead of talking about it. You gather millions of people who can be convinced that this is correct, and then you assert your rights.

Note also that each of these rights is asserted cleanly; in other words, we do not, as is seen in the German Constitution, assert a right in one sentence and then apply conditions that make the right null and void in the next sentence. Rights are not conditional. It is possible to construct a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that protects everyone’s rights without qualification, but which also prevents one person from causing harm to another. For instance, you have the right to travel. This is an absolute right. If someone blocks a road in a protest, they are able to be removed forcibly from the road because they are blocking people excersising their right to travel. In this way it is possible to maintain order with a set of laws without constructing this root document in a way that renders it stillborn in an attempt to cater for the requirements of law enforcement.

What we need to do now is to complete these documents using the above guidelines. We then need to take the next step, which is to prune the existing legislation of the UK, removing all offensive and illiberal laws. We do this by writing down a list of laws that are to be removed from the statutes at the next election on an emergency basis.

We will charge the conservatives with this task since that is the easiest route; should they balk or refuse, we will create our own party with this sole agenda. If we win the same number of votes that Bliar did to gain power, we will consider ourselvs the winners, and then assert our rights. Parliament would be nullified and our new government put in place by default; a government created by the electorate and obedient only to the electorate.

This means that there will be a time where there are two sets of laws and populations running concurrently in the UK. The one made up of free men obeying the clean set of laws where all bad legislation has been excised, and asserting their rights under the new Bill of Rights and Constitution, and the ‘losers’ who adhere to the Orwellian Police State – the ‘I have nothing to hide’ brigade who have personally pulled the chain that threatened to flush this great country down the toilet.

There may be some conflict.

After we win, and with the new checks and balances in place, it will be impossible for any subsequent government to create an elected dictatorship, as has been done in the UK. All new law will pass through the cleansing filters of the Constituion and the Bill of Rights, and will come out the other end innofensive and effective.

People are slowly coming to the same conclusion; a Bill of Rights and written Constitution are essential if we are to permanently secure our freedom whilst maintaining the present system of democracy, in a repaired form.

Other groups have banded together to write down a set of principles by which they hope to assert themselvs. These documents fail because they do not address the root causes of the problem, offer no permanent solution to it and are often verbose and off target.

What I have written today is crystal clear. It addresses the root problem, and provides a clear and permanent solution to it. Anything less is a total waste of our time.

And we have little of it.

If we do not address and permanently fix these problems right now, the next generation of Britons will grow up not being able to imagine (for example) a UK without ID cards. They will be like the corn-fed Spanish, who whenever they are confronted about that issue, say to a man, “but I have had one since I was born and I don’t feel that it is a bad thing”. It will then be nigh on impossible to return to a true Britain of free people, because no one will know what the phrase ‘free people’ means. They will all be inured to slavery, to being routinely surveilled and made to present ID for every concievable reason.

It will not be like it was in the days of the Soviet Union, where that long suffering population desired freedom because they saw that there were countries where, for example, there was no internal passport. Where you could write whatever you wanted without fear of arrest. Where you could walk with your own cash money in your own pocket without fear of having it confiscated simply for the ‘crime ‘of posessing it. Everywhere in the world will operate on this Autoritarian / ID / Surveillance basis; there will be no example of a free country where everything works without Orwellian control to point to.

All will have been lost.

And to all those nincompoops who say things like ‘go read Magna Carta’, any document that cannot prevent the emergence of a police state is worthless. It is actually less than worthless and dangerous if by its existance it stops people understanding that they have no protection against madmen in office. Still others say, “look at America – they have a constitution and look what is happening there”. So, just because one country is dismantling their democracy, Britain should not take measures to strengthen its own? These sorts of arguments are not even worthy of debate; trying to counter them is like arguing about what sort of nozzle should be placed on a fire hose as your house burns down. This is a crisis situation, which must be treated with a crisis mentality before there is nothing left but ashes and fond memories.

It’s this bad already

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Rumsfeld sued over Pentagon’s recruiting database

[…]

The Pentagon last year acknowledged it had created a database of 12 million Americans, full of personal data such as grades and Social Security numbers, to help find potential military recruits.

The Pentagon has defended the practice as critical to the success of the all-volunteer U.S. military, and said it was sensitive to privacy concerns.

[…]

Washington Post

So do you think they only compiled a database of ‘good guys’ or, rather, do you think they stopped profiling of people who were found not to be useful to the Pentagon?

Do you think that with the continuous testing and assessment in UK schools something similar hasn’t been (or couldn’t be) devised in the UK?

When they have NIR information do you think the government/security forces won’t be tempted to try something much larger?

Do you think the companies that will be paying for NIR information will simply bin it after verifying your ID or do you think they will ‘optimise their investment’?

Do you think we should even give them the chance to do this?

V for Vindication

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

A Canadian scientist says teens who used to view CDs as superior to older vinyl records now consider vinyl superior to the newer format.

David Hayes of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto says the growing popularity of vinyl might be a form of resistance against the music industry’s corporate taste-makers. While conducting research for his Ph.D. dissertation, Hayes was surprised to discover the young music enthusiasts he was interviewing were fans of vinyl.”This made me wonder why they were interested in something that is, for all intents and purposes, a dead medium,” he said, noting the teenagers had switched from buying CDs to collecting LPs, often seeking obscure recordings.

Hayes research subjects said they liked the visual appeal of LP jackets and the challenge of seeking hard-to-find releases.

In yet another turnaround, teens overwhelmingly insisted the sound quality of LPs was superior to that of modern formats. They characterized LPs and the LP artists of the past as more authentic than the barrage of youth-oriented music being aggressively marketed to them today.

[…]

http://www.physorg.com/news64807495.html

YOU SEE!!!

Maybe too these teens will get a taste for FREEDOM just like they are getting a taste for vinyl.

Perhaps the Eloi are waking up….if it happens, they will be the most unstoppaple generation ever, because they will have the network as their tool….!!!

Captain Hogwash’s Offensive

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

(Ha, beaten to it while I was working! Darn you and your socks!)

It looks like the government are finally seeing what hatred their piratical mutiny of HMS UK propogates. You will see that not only the readers of the Guardian will not take the bullshit proffered by the Home Secretary but neither will the editor of The Telegraph, and let them be aware this is the tip of the iceberg, they would do well to remember they only have the ‘mandate’ of roughly 20% of the electorate.

Indeed not only does Hogwash peddle the same old lies about the impact of his legislation, he introduces misleading conflations about those who write agianst the government. He twists the comparison from history of the way the Nazis imposed ever increasingly authoritarian and discriminatory legislation into some spiel about the Holocaust, this is incorrect (google – holocaust and blair or clarke,…) and oversimplifies the tragedies of the Nazi regime to the killing of Jews.
The comparison stacks up – the (ab)use of the media is comparable, the cynical ‘populism’ is comparable, the creation of an ‘Other’ within our society is comparable, the inventorising of the people is comparable, the brazenly simplistic belief in ‘technology’ to cure society is comparable, the monomania of their policies is comparable.
The comparison is made not out of spite or delusion but because it is relevant, we can learn from history even if it isn’t exactly the same as our times. The people will not forget history no matter how much Neu Labour try to assert 1997 as year zero – to abolish history and in so doing try to remove the notion of a different future.
Talk of how the situation may worsen in the face of legislation and schemes that are poorly defined (Terrorism Act), spiteful (directed against Brian Haw ‘s demonstration), inefficient (ANPR, NIR, ID cards), counter to the UK way of life (NIR, ID cards) is not only legitimate it is absolutely necessary when the government steadfastly refuses to any voice against them – if it is the case that people only pay attention when ministers are called Nazis then that is what will be done.
If it the case that people need to refuse to cooperate then that is what will be done.

Clunk… borrowing Jonathan Aitken’s Sword of Truth!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Bloggers and the press

Charles Clarke pleads for understanding

[…] I believe that a pernicious and even dangerous poison is now slipping into at least some parts of this media view of the world. In the absence of many of the genuinely dangerous and evil totalitarian dictatorships to fight – since they’ve gone – the media has steadily rhetorically transferred to some of the existing democracies, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, some of the characteristics of those dictatorships.

As these descriptions and language are used, the truth just flies out of the window…

One recent example of this was the articles of Henry Porter which have stimulated the e-mail exchange between him and Tony Blair in yesterday’s ‘Observer’.

Another is Simon Carr’s article in the ‘Independent’ on April 15th which lists 34 ‘measures and effects’ which in his opinion mean that in this country we no longer live in a liberal and democratic society. Many of these assertions are frequently accepted as fact by media commentators. I have replied to him pointing to his numerous and unprofessional misleading statements as well as the many errors of fact. A copy of my reply is on the Home Office website. […]

In the reply, you will note that, of the 34 statements, Mr Clarke states that 17 are TRUE or CORRECT. Only 6 are “wrong”. The remainder are subjective judgements and interpretations.

The image https://i1.wp.com/www.heady.co.uk/rm/hewittinfo.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The case for Fixed Government

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

On BLOGDIAL we talk about the excesses of government, and in particular have said that specifically in the UK, government needs to be firstly constrained by a written constitution, and its activities should be constrained to removing legislation only, since the populaion is overburdened by too much law.

In any business or personal contract, the terms under which you deal with the second party are set out in advance and they cannot change witout re-writing the contract after negotiation and mutual agreement. If one of the parties does not agree to the changes, the original contract remains in force.

The same should hold for elected government. At the moment, government can create literally any law it likes, and the electorate is compelled to obey or face violence.

A relationship like that would be intolerable in any other sphere of human activity, but everyone accepts this as perfectly reasonable when the agressor is elected. When people outside of government do try and behave in this manner, for example La Cosa Nostra, using violence (the government uses war), extortion (the government uses taxation) everyone is outraged, and yet La Cosa Nostra, the ‘Mafia’, The Medellin Cartel, are less violent and disruptive by orders of magnitude compared to, say, the american government.

This imbalance, this unequal relationship needs to be corrected by instituting Fixed Government. By ‘Fixed Government’ I mean one that cannot change the rules of the game on the fly or a whim. One where the rules are literally fixed in advance and unchanging, so that we have long term certainty as to what the government can and cannot do.

Many people came to the UK because it was a great place to live. They came here with expectations of freedom, privacy and an old unchanging system that respected your rights as an individual. Now, late in the game when many of those people are completely settled, one set of bandits have decided to change the rules and make Britain a place that a free person would never consider as an option for a place to live; indeed, many people who are able are already planning to move because this country has changed so horribly. If Fixed Government was installed in the UK, this exodus of the great and the good and the barrier to entry for the great and the good looking for a decent country to live in would be prevented.
A well written constitution goes a long way towards this. A legislature charged with removing and not adding law will ensure that the contract cannot be changed in a way that has a negative on the electorate. Total obedience to the will of the electorate within the constraints of the constitution is essential; when we say not to war, ‘no’ means ‘no’, and it always means ‘no’. The removal of the nauseating ill judgement of the uneducated electorate will be the result of this, meaning no more war, no more law created by rabid newspaper editors, and government relegated to keeping the streets clean, settling disputes in courts and running the police as a public service.

In fact, Fixed Government means changing government into an obedient servant that is working under contract.

Anything less than this means a never ending, eternally growing Katamari Damancy style ball of legislative garbage whose only conclusion is the absolute control of every aspect of your life, down to the minutiae, and the draining of the UKs finest to other, more free shores.

American Rhetoric

Monday, April 24th, 2006

[…]

I know many peopleI am one of themwho were not born here, nor have the applied for citizenship, and who yet love America with deeper passion and greater intensity that many natives whose patriotism manifests itself by pulling, kicking, and insulting those who do not rise when the national anthem is played. Our patriotism is that of the man who loves a woman with open eyes. He is enchanted by her beauty, yet he sees her faults. So we, too, who know America, love her beauty, her richness, her great possibilities ; we love her mountains, her canyons, her forests, her Niagara, and her desertsabove all do we love the people that have produced her wealth, her artists who have created beauty, her great apostles who dream and work for libertybut with the same passionate emotion we hate her superficiality, her cant, her corruption, her mad, unscrupulous worship at the alter of the Golden Calf.

We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. How else is the world to take America seriously, when democracy at home is daily being outrages, free speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up by overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform ; when free press is curtailed and every independent opinion gagged. Verily, poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world? We further say that a democracy conceived in the military servitude of the masses, in their economic enslavement, and nurtured in their tears and blood, is not democracy at all. It is despotismthe cumulative result of a chain of abuses which, according to the dangerous document ,the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to overthrow.

The District Attorney has dragged in our Manifesto, and he has emphasized the passage, Resist conscription. Gentlemen of the jury, please remember that that is not the charge against us. But admitting that the Manifesto contains the expression, Resist conscription, may I ask you, is there only one kind of resistance? Is there only the resistance which means the gun, the bayonet, the bomb or flying machine? Is there not another kind of resistance? May not the people simply fold their hands and declare, We will not fight when we do not believe in the necessity of war? May not the people who believe in the repeal of the Conscription Law, because it is unconstitutional, express their opposition in word and by pen, in meetings and in other ways? What right has the District Attorney to interpret that particular passage to suit himself? Moreover, gentlemen of the jury, I insist that the indictment against us does not refer to conscription. We are charged with a conspiracy against registration. And in no way or manner has the prosecution proven that we are guilty of conspiracy or that we have committed an overt act.

[…]

Emma Goldman

And others

Maluki

Monday, April 24th, 2006

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps:

collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist;
negotiation;
self-purification;
and direct action.

[…]

As in so many past experiences, our hopes bad been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self-purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves : “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?” We decided to schedule our direct-action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic with with-drawal program would be the by-product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.

[…]

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

[…]

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant ‘Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

[…]

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

[…]

Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham jail

a variable diet

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Some things from the last week or two…

At Easter we watched Jesus Christ Superstar. What a joy! I’m not into musicals, but if you can’t enjoy the Pharisees and Herod, then there’s something wrong. And Judas is truly great. 70s kitch at it’s theatrical finest.
Have been enjoying the almost warm weather… sitting on our roof at night in the stillness really soothes those rough edges. Leaning back and watching the bats fly past and the moon waning…
Tried to have Mojitos this weekend, but forgot to buy limes. Bugger.

This Saturday, York Minster did a full bell peal. This is…

Minster Bells to Celebrate Queen’s 80th Birthday

To celebrate Her Majestys 80th Birthday the bells of York Minster will be rung to a full peal of Grandsire Cinques, which will take more than four hours to complete successfully. The peal will be rung on Saturday 22nd April starting at 9.30am.

The ringing of full peals on the Minster bells is comparatively rare and is reserved for special occasions. Full peals were rung to celebrate Her Majestys 60th birthday in 1986, and her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

For the ringers a peal involves intense physical and mental effort. Every bell is swung round in a full circle every two seconds, and all twelve bells ring in a different place in each row. Concentration is intense, with the ringers working out the mathematical permutations to ensure that every one of the 5,080 changes is different. The ringing of a full peal of any bells is tiring, and the Minsters bells are some of the heaviest in the country.

The Minsters bells are arguably the most magnificent ever cast, and bell ringers from all over the country are eager to ring a full peal on them. For this full peal attempt, the Minster team will be joined by ringers from St Pauls Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, Leeds Parish Church and Towcester Parish Church.

The English art of Change Ringing is a unique way of ringing church bells. It is a special part of our heritage, and the peal at the Minster will be a fitting tribute from the City of York to help celebrate this very special birthday.

It was quite something, hearing it going on all around town for so long.

Went to the fabulous vegetarian restaurant, Vanilla Black again. They changed their lunch menu and I was STUFFED afterwards. Eyes bigger than belly. Before lunch, anyway.
From today… why you should make your own food whenever possible (part 94):

Now take a look at the ingredients you might find in a fast-food strawberry milkshake: milkfat and nonfat milk, sugar, sweet whey, high-fructose corn syrup, guar gum, monoglycerides and diglycerides, cellulose gum, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, citric acid, E129 and artificial strawberry flavour.

And what does that “artificial strawberry flavour” contain?

Just these few yummy chemicals: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl- 2-butanone (10% solution in alcohol), ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, undecalactone, vanillin and solvent.

But you know this!

Oh, and I just wanted to add my amazement at Tony Bliar, with his lawyer wife, multiple properties, six-figure income and side benefits (“Mr Blair registered his wife’s activities in July “to err on the side of caution” and to be “open and transparent”. Mr Blair listed two flats in Bristol and a house in London from which “rental income is received”. He also declared a free 26-day stay at singer Sir Cliff Richard’s Barbados villa”[…])… stating his wonder that so many Lords and MPs, and others, are out of touch with the public at large! Laugh of the day!

I wonder if maybe Gordon Brown has his music pumping out banging techno at all hours, and a crack den in the cellar, which has given TB this taste of the plebian lifestyle.

cctv proof fashion statement

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Someone did the math

Monday, April 24th, 2006

[…] there’s the question of the rate at which we’re all going to be put on this thing – I’ve done some calculations before on the speed at which the system will have to work based on 700,000+ people turning sixteen every year for ever, which showed that for normal office hours there isn’t actually very long to do all the ‘background checks’ and duplicate biometric checks that would be required for a gold standard database. Now I’ve seen the first official figures for the rate as estimated by the S.E. and his hapless sidekick Andy ‘Noddy’ Burnham, and they’re alarming from the point of view of a professional IT worker or indeed anyone with a basic mathematical knowledge:

About 80% of the UK population has a passport and all will have to be renewed within the next 10 years, at an initial rate of about 7 million people a year, a Home Office spokesman said.

Now, even leaving out anyone *wanting* to go on the damn thing or people over 16 getting their first passport (who’d have to go on it, like it or not) or the several hundred thousand foreigners coming into the country whom we now find will be put on it* (does this mean another fully manned registration centre at every port of entry, working round the clock, or do you just trust them to roll up of their own accord after entry?), we’re looking at a system workload in the first year of ten times the long term load. In a new system set up by a Government IT contractor, paying the kind of wages for operating the kind of systems that have led to such high morale and efficiency in organisations like the CSA that’s a hell of a task. This is all supposed to kick off and be working at that rate in 2008. Assuming December 2008 (and December is a really bad month to launch new IT kit for myriad reasons) that’s 32 months away.

Let’s examine what 7 million NIR entries per year looks like:

Days in a year – 365 (ok, I know 2008 is a leap year!)
Weekends – 104 days
Weekdays – 261 days

Public Holidays: usually 8 days a year or so including time off around Christmas

Working days for NIR per year – 261-8 = 253

Registration centres : 70

Number of registrations per year per centre : 7m/70 = 100,000

Per centre per day : 100,000/253 = approximately 400

Working hours of centre – well, since you’re forcing people to come along you can’t make it the middle of the night, so say 9 to 5 inclusive – 8 hours per day (or 8*253 = 2024 hours per year)

So adding it all up, from NIR Day 1 for ten years you’ve got to keep processing people at the rate of 50 per hour at every centre, or one every 72 seconds, each of whom requires a scan of the whole central NIR to avoid multiple registrations, so the database has to be up and accessible every minute of the day to avoid delay.

In the early days it’s a nailed on certainty that we’ll get failures, resulting in potentially hundreds of people making pointless journeys (say it’s down for an hour during a particular day – that’s 50 people at each centre having their time wasted, a total of 3500 people). I have no idea of the MTBF for major government IT projects, and they almost certainly won’t tell me on the usual ‘commercial confidentiality’ grounds. What I can do is provide some figures based on possible percentage reliability and estimate the number of people inconvenienced per year and the kind of reliability that would be required *from day one* to stop the scheme sliding into chaos.

Reliability (uptime during working hours) People inconvenienced Time offline in a year
99.999% 71 73 seconds
99.99% 708 12 minutes
99.9% 7084 2 hours
99% 70,840 20 hours
95% 354,000 101 hours
90% 708,400 202 hours

I’d suggest that anything much below 99.9% reliability is going to be seriously political in terms of people claiming loss of earnings, loss of holidays etc. 99.999% is cloud cuckoo land for a scheme of this complexity built in 32 months. Not a lot of margin for error between those two really. You reach the million people inconvenienced per year mark at about 85.8% uptime, by the way. […]

http://www.blairwatch.co.uk/node/945

How anti ID card information spreads

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Over the last few months, I have been carefully following the nature of the spread of information about ID cards. A very clear pattern has emerged, a sample of which can be seen on this thread:

http://www.perspectives.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=95010&forum_id=71

It goes something like this:

  • Someone finds an excellent article on UK ID cards, quickly googles to fact check, then freaks out.
  • They post an article on a forum.
  • One of the first three posts calls bullshit.
  • The original poster categorically states that it is not bullshit, and then provides proof.
  • Person who calls bullshit admits they were wron, and then laughing nervously, says “wow thats fucked up”, “UK is sick”, “Whats happened to the UK”, “big brother is here” etc.

Some posters do one or more of the following:

    1. Pledge to spread the news
    2. Pledge not to sign up
      1. Pledge to write to their MP
      2. Pledge to write to the PM
            • Posters ask why people are so sheepish / passive
            • Posters become enraged and ask how they are getting away with this (this happens mostly in UK based forums)
            • Poster says, “thanks for letting us know about this”
            • The thread ends

            It is clear that the problem here is the poor spread of information. People simply are not being made aware of what the ID card legislation means, and there are still people out there who have not had the details explained to them correctly.

            There is hope however. Whenever people are told the truth about this scheme, they turn against it, and this is even when they robotically repeat the reasons for it that have been spoon fed to them.

            It is therefore extremely important that you use your offline network connectivity to spread the message about this, using all the details that you have at your fingertips.

            My advice to you is to perform some experiments with some random people, like cab drivers, waitresses, shop people who have an idle moment. You will see for yourself, that if they are ambivalent or for ID cards, you can turn them around in the space of ten minutes if you use the right combination of words.

            You will then be able to turn people at will. If you turn 5 people, and make two of them promise to turn five more, there will not be one single adult person in the UK who will not have been properly instructed about ID cards.

            Deconstructing the Nazi Bliar

            Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

            From: Tony Blair To: Henry Porter Subject: Liberty

            Dear Henry Porter,

            Frankly its difficult to know where to start, given the mishmash of misunderstanding, gross exaggeration and things that are just plain wrong. A few explanatory facts might help.

            I cant wait.

            You say I have pared down our liberty at an astonishing rate, then list a whole lot of fundamental rights, as if these had all been drastically curtailed. We are proposing that the right to trial by jury be changed in one set of circumstances: highly complex serious fraud cases. The reason is simple. The cases last for months, sometimes years – they are incredibly difficult for juries for time and complexity reasons; it is over 30 years since Lord Roskill recommended the change because otherwise such cases often collapse at huge expense and the guilty go free. The estimated number of cases per year is around 20, out of a total of 40,000 jury trials.

            Defenders of this practice say it is justified if a single murderer is prosecuted. indeed. Then the same is also true about trial by jury. If even one persons rights are reduced, then it is not worth it. Indeed, if one persons rights are infringed the entire society is damaged. To justify murder by saying only 20 people out of the millions of living britons will be murdered, so it OK is a mark of this Nazi inspired, venal gang of bloodsoaked murderers.

            The right to silence was already restricted by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (Sections 34-38), which enables a court, if it wishes and in certain circumstances, to draw an adverse inference from a defendants failure to answer questions on any charge. The only change introduced by this Government was to clarify (in the light of subsequent case law) the circumstances under which inferences can be drawn from silence in cases where the charge is one of causing the death of a child or vulnerable adult. This again is in a tiny number of cases.

            We are already half way up your ass, we just pushed it in all the way; what is your problem with that? Honestly, if this is the quality of Bliars thought we can begin to assume that he is not really in control, and is just going along with a flow pushed by people in the background.

            You say people can only have blank placards outside Parliament and cant protest. Go and look at the placards of those camped outside Parliament – they are most certainly not blank and usually contain words not entirely favourable to your correspondent. Outside Downing Street, virtually every day there are protests of one sort or another.

            The one man who is camped there can only be there because he started his protest BEFORE the new legislation came into force. A person was arrested for simply reading out a list of people. inside your own devils gathering a man was arested for heckling, and the terrrorism act was the pretext. You are a LIAR and a destroyer of liberty Tony Bliar, and everyone knows it!

            Its correct that, again in a small number of cases, we have introduced unusual restrictions to combat terrorists. There are 12 control orders in place. But we did suffer the death by terrorism of over 50 of our citizens last July. In common with virtually every major nation in the world, we are tightening our restrictions but there are, in every case, elaborate mechanisms of scrutiny and oversight.

            First of all, over 40,000 people have been arrested using the terrorism act. That is totally unnaceptable. Secondly, even if the terrorists killed 50,000 people, that is no reason to dismantle this nation. MILLIONS of men gave their lives to protect Britian and its way of life. That you think you have the right to throw away this countries rights because 50 people were killed by a random act by unafiliated and deranged students shows your complete and utter insane state of mind. What other nations may or may not do, this is BRITAIN and BRITIAN LEADS it does not FOLLOW. Especially into the abyss that you are trying to drag it. The Soviet Union had internal passports; did that mean that everywhere should also have them? This sort of reasoning is beneath contempt.

            And, of course, the reason why even these types of restrictions can end up in our courts and be struck down, is that this Government gave British citizens for the first time ever the power to challenge Executive action or legislation, through the incorporation of the European Convention.

            Indeed! wonder if this means that we can strike down the ID cards bill? Shall we try?

            We enter the realm of fantasy with your and others strictures on the Regulatory Reform Bill. This legislation is proposed for a straight-forward reason. Much regulation becomes redundant over time. Its a real problem for business. It costs money and causes hassle, often in circumstances far removed from its original purpose. The problem is that if it is in primary legislation then only by formal Act of Parliament can it be changed. In a busy schedule where usually the legislation is very arcane, it can take years, if ever, for necessary change to occur.

            The proposal is that in circumstances closely defined and expressly where it doesnt interfere with peoples basic rights, ministers can propose removing the regulation by order. But before this can actually happen, first the order is subject to public consultation; second, it is scrutinised by independent committees of both houses of parliament; third, there is then a debate before the order is passed in Parliament, which can naturally refuse to accept it. To describe this as the abolition of Parliamentary democracy – as some critics have – is more than a little far-fetched.

            Firstly, the reason is bogus. Secondly, parilaiment, if it was doping its job properly, and as I have said on BLOGDIAL before, should be sitting and REMOVING legislation, not ADDING legislation. This bill allows parliament to ADD TO and AMEND existing legislation without oversignt, not REMOVE it wholesale. If it was there only to remove legislation it might be arguable that it could not affect rights since only the ADDITION of laws can remove rights from the person.

            Next comes some vomit inducing electioneering wrapped in double tall:

            When we talk of civil liberties, what about theirs, the law-abiding people; the ones who treat others with courtesy and good manners and expect the same back? Dont theirs count for anything?

            Bliar knows perfectly well that civility and civil liberties are two different things, and that he is masterfully conflating them in this piece of disgusting double talk. If there is an estate with a problem, send more police in there. Removing the rights of everyone in the UK because there are some crime hotspots is simply absurd, and he knows this, because he is not stupid.

            You complain of the DNA database samples being retained. Since we allowed this, over 14,000 offences have been successfully matched to over 8,000 suspects including over 100 murders and 100 rapes – and as far as I am aware, no one is on the database for dropping litter!

            There is nothing funny about this you Nazi piece of filth. Just as an 80 year old heckler was arrested using the terrorism act right in your face, this too will be done, and then what will you say?

            And as for the murders and rapes that were solved, this is good, but that has nothing to do with KEEPING THE DNA OF THE INNOCENT ON RECORD. When someone is innocent of any crime, they should have no police record of ANY KIND. and the fact that the police are keeping the DNA of 24,000 INNOCENT children on file – which is child abuse – has nothing to do with the solving of the crimes you mention above. You are a devil, and not even a devil in disguise. Under your orders, 24,000 innocent british children have been VIOLATED, and that is a FACT.

            You cant deal with the levels of sophistication in todays organised crime by traditional methods. Thats why we are giving the new agency new powers to force suspects to disclose information, to open up their accounts; to ensure that their advisers cant conceal evidence; and to track their movements not just in Britain but abroad.

            That is utter nonsense. The police have more than enough powers to detect any crime, and once again, this is no excuse for removing the rights of ALL the UK citizens. When Bliar says to ensure that their advisers cant conceal evidence he is talking about the removal of lawer client privacy; see how he cannot even bring himself to say what he has done? Inside his insane head somewhere, he realizes just how fundamentally outrageous what he has pulled off is.

            The issue of ID cards is a little different, because I think there are very good reasons of practicality why, in todays world, people should be able to protect their identity from fraud or abuse. The figure of 10bn for the cost is ludicrous; and in any event 70 per cent of the cost is because of the move to biometric passports, happening round the western world.

            People can protect themselvs from identity fraud primarily by not entering the NIR, ie refusing the ID card. The reality of this has been made crystal clear and soon, not one person in the UK will not have been informed about it. Just because the rest of the world is moving to biometric passports that doesnt mean that the UK should, and also, biometric passports does not mean the UK NIR. The new passport standard sets a minimum level of security features which the UK is unilaterally exceeding to the most absurd of levels. Once again, a bald faced lie, from the mouth of a lying murderer!

            Ultimately, for me this whole issue is not about whether we care about civil liberties, but how we care for them in the modern world. If the traditional processes were the answer to these crime and law and order problems that are an age away from Dixon of Dock Green and the stable communities of 50 years ago, then we wouldnt be having this debate. But theyre not. Theyve failed. They are leaving the innocent unprotected and the guilty unpunished. Thats why we need them changed.

            This is a total lie, and one he and his cohorts have repeated before form his liars clipboard. The innocent are unprotected because there are not enough police, not because the inadequate numbers have too few powers. This is everything to do with civil liberties, and thanks to Murder Inc, a permanent solution to this problem is around the corner, so that never again will the likes of this mass murderer will be able to single handedly destroy Britain.

            []

            Go and read this apalling exchange yourself. Sadly, Henry Porter doesnt know how to thread email, otherwise, he could have taken that lying sack of shit apart line by line.

            Labour U-turn over ID card medical details

            Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

            Isabel Oakeshott, Deputy Political Editor

            IDENTITY cards are to carry medical details, despite repeated government assurances that concerns about privacy meant it would not happen.

            A minister at the Home Office disclosed it wants people to put personal health information on the cards to give doctors information for emergencies.

            Card-holders will be urged to volunteer details of blood group, allergies, and whether they wish to donate organs. Ministers stressed there would be no compulsion.

            Andy Burnham, a junior Home Office minister with responsibility for promoting ID cards, said there was an impressive benefits case for use of the cards by the NHS.

            Health information about individuals would be kept on the central identity card database, and would not be visible on the cards themselves.

            Pressure groups condemned the move as function creep, while the British Medical Association (BMA) said it was sceptical of the benefits.

            Last October Charles Clarke, the home secretary, explicitly ruled out the move, saying no medical details will be on the database.

            However, Burnham denied the government was now performing a U-turn: There is an argument to say that if people want to put personal information on the card, they should. It is something we are looking at.

            You could argue that blood group, allergies, donor status, that sort of information could be potentially helpful, for example, when a patient arrives in accident and emergency. People could also put their next of kin on the cards if they wanted.

            A clause added to identity card legislation last year states that the database will not hold sensitive personal details. However, Burnham said: That is specifically about attaching NHS records to the database. We have explicitly ruled this out and have not changed our position. What we are talking about is simple, voluntary health information.

            Asked if HIV-Aids victims would be encouraged to disclose their status, he said: We are not considering that at this stage.

            The Home Office also wants to use the cards to tackle so-called health tourism with GP surgeries and hospitals encouraged to use the system to check whether foreign patients are entitled to NHS care.

            […]

            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2147744,00.html

            NOW YOU SEE. They are going to put everything and anything onto the NIR; they have decided to add this extra row to the database without any debate, no new act of parliament, nothing – just a pronouncement made public on a Sunday.

            They WILL include your religion.
            They WILL include your HIV status, after they have ‘considered’ it.
            They WILL include your ‘vaccination status’.
            They WILL include anything they have previously said that they would not include, and things that have not even been mentioned, like ‘race’ (no a photo does not show what ‘race’ you belong to).
            HMG will roll out the full feature list over the next two years, incrementally adding new rows until there is not a single fact that they cannot record on the NIR arbout you.

            Of course, if you are not in there, they cannot even begin this process. That is why you must not register under any circumstances.