Archive for October, 2006

Like we said: BOLT CUTTERS!

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

The rest of the world slowly catches up with BLOGDIAL:

By Mark Ballard
18th October 2006

The public fears losing their fingers to ruthless biometric ID thieves in the fingerprint-controlled future, apparently. Or at least, so says Frost & Sullivan analyst Sapna Capoor, who argued unconvincingly that “A dead finger is no good to a thief.”

If you have a fingerprint scanner protecting your family jewels, your data might be safe, but what about your fingers?

So, it’s all getting out of hand? Then on the other… there are recorded instances of people having their fingers chopped off, and the biometric industry takes the issue seriously.

For example, there were the Malaysian crooks who nabbed a man’s fingers in order to operate the biometric security on the S-class Mercedes they stole from him.

Nevertheless, biometric firms are doing what they can to detect whether a fingerprint being scanned is alive or not, said Jean Francois Mainguet, chief scientist of fingerchip biometrics at Atmel-France, and inventor of the sweeping technique for direct silicon fingerprint scanning (he was awarded his patent on 9/11, as it happens).

Speaking at Biometrics 2006 in London, Mainguet said it wasn’t yet possible to detect “liveliness”, and even when it was, this would guarantee security no more than a regular biometric.

“Absolute security doesn’t exist,” he said. If you could detect liveliness, you wouldn’t be able to tell if someone was accessing some system or authorising some payment under duress or not.

Security causes an escalation of causes and reactions just like the arms race. Want to cheat the banking system? Forge an ID. Fingerprint scanner making it tricky? Chop someone’s finger off. Live fingerprint scanner? Hold someone’s family at gun point.

The techniques being explored for live scanners include inducing involuntary responses via an electric charge to cause a spasm in skin pressed against the glass. Or there’s the use of light fluctuations to induce involuntary responses from the user of an iris scanner.

They can all be faked, said Mainguet. The electrical response, for example is as easy as making a frog’s leg twitch if you have chopped carefully.

There is a solution, he said, which is to use a variety of biometrics to identify someone. Biometrics? You just can’t get enough of them. At some shows, anyway.

[…]

The Register

We made this exact point before. Like we have been saying if you do not register in the biometric net (ID Card, NIR), or in this case, buy a car, or a lock, or a safe that uses your thumbprint as the key, you will not have to worry about the bolt cutters removing your thumb(s) or the cheese slicer removing the top four millimeters of your thumb skin.

Now, if they get out the cheese slicer, and slice off your prints, when they stick them onto their own fingers, they will seem to be alive, because the criminals finger is providing the 37° warmth that these ‘is she alive’ scanners will be looking for. For example. Either way, having a biometric door-lock on your house tells the criminal that he has to come properly equipped, just as he does when he sees a particular type of lock that he knows how to pick. It also tells him that he can target your wife, your children and your housekeeper.

Its pretty obvious really.

I had the opportunity to look at Virgin’s ‘self service’ checkin at Heathrow. To use this ‘service’ you put your machine readable passport into a machine, and your checkin pass is printed out for you.

What’s wrong with this picture? That instead of using your credit card or some other card to issue with your ticket, they use a state issued document whose purpose is to get you past immigration, and nothing else. There is no reason whatsoever for them to use your passport for this, and since you and your passport and your ticket will be examined by several people on your way to the cattle truck aircraft, this check is redundant. A machine should never be used to check your ‘identity’ or validity. Of course, people were lining up to take advantage of the ‘convenience’ of this ‘service’, blithely sticking their passports into this machine without any indication of what this machine was doing with their data. Of course, if the RFID passports gain wide acceptance, you wont even have to touch the machine….and thats the machine that you know about.

Exile

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

It’s been a long time. I shouldn’t have left you… I’ve been reading from afar, but haven’t really had much to say, as you all say it much better. I just came across this though:

Conet mentioned on Wil Wheaton’s blog

Hello again.

iHenge

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Druidstreet. Easy on the i.

What 5.4 billion gets you these days

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

1 ID card system for the first ten years (read: 1 extremely rich IT consultancy firm and no working ID card database)

About 7% of a new nuclear deterrent. (which is the greater waste of money?)
Around 100 new hospitals.

1000 pounds of tax back in the hands of every man, woman and child in the country.

Over 200,000 of these…

The image https://i2.wp.com/www.roundshot.ch/pictures/Seitz-6x17-handheld.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

… anyway…. I digress. What a neat beard that man has.
Been listening to Sinead O’Connor (Lion and the Cobra) and the Waterboys (eponymous) a bit tonight. It’s been a long time. Makes me feel old and young at once. And it’s good to have a sing along now and again.

Mandatory ‘cancer jab’ urged for schoolgirls

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Paul Willis and agencies
Friday October 6, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

A leading medical journal today said a vaccine that could protect thousands of women from cervical cancer should be made compulsory for schoolgirls.

The Lancet called for the Gardasil vaccination – which protects against the human papilloma virus (HPV) – to be made available to all 11 and 12-year-olds.

HPV causes changes to cells that can lead to cervical cancer and most cases of genital warts.

The vaccine, which should reduce deaths from cervical cancer by 70%, has caused controversy among some Christian groups, who object to it being given to girls before they become sexually active.

Article continues
Last week, the European commission approved the sale of the vaccine across the UK and Europe. Women will be able to buy Gardasil privately, but it has not yet been decided whether it will be available on the NHS.

A government survey of parents’ attitudes to early vaccines suggested there would not be widespread resistance to a vaccination campaign.

In its editorial, the Lancet pointed to the US, where Gardasil immunisations were recently made compulsory for all 11 and 12-year-old girls in the state of Michigan.

“This is the first legislation of its kind in the USA, and a decision from which the EU member states should take heed,” the editorial said.

The European licence allows the vaccine to be given to all females aged from nine to 26. The journal said there was growing support for giving the vaccine to boys as well, because men can also be carriers of HPV.

Studies have shown the immunisation of women alone would only prove around one third as effective as targeting both sexes.

They highlighted the rubella vaccination programme, which was widened to include boys in 1995 after a rise in the number of pregnant women contracting the disease.

“For effective and long-term eradication of HPV, all adolescents must be immunised,” the Lancet editorial said.

“Data from the vaccine trials in boys are urgently needed; in the meantime, EU member states should lead by making the vaccination mandatory for all girls aged 11-12 years.”

Around 80% of sexually active women can expect to receive an HPV infection at some stage in their life. Cervical cancer caused by the virus kills an estimated 230,000 people a year, with 1,100 of those in the UK.

Gardasil, which is made by Sanofi Pasteur and Merck and Co, is one of two vaccines that have been racing for approval. It is already licensed in Australia, Mexico and the US, where the three-dose, six-month course costs around $195 (100).

A rival product, Cervarix – made by GlaxoSmithKline – is thought to be likely to gain European approval in early 2007.

However, Alex Markham, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said women should continue to attend for cervical smears even if a national vaccination programme was introduced.

“Current vaccines do not prevent all cancer-related HPV strains,” he said. […]

Guardian

They are going to harvest FOUR BILLION PER YEAR with this vaccination. THAT is the real reason why they are pushing it. They assume that your daughters are whores, who WILL contract HPV.

They are beyond belief!

Merck (Research) is appealing to states to make the vaccine mandatory for all children who attend public schools. A mandate from the states, which control vaccination policies, would make Gardasil a guaranteed blockbuster.

That’s crucial for the nation’s fourth-largest drugmaker, which is still struggling to replace revenues lost after the 2004 withdrawal of its blockbuster arthritis medicine, Vioxx, in addition to shrinking sales of its cholesterol drug Zocor, as it faces generic competition this summer.

Gardasil is almost certain to be approved by the FDA, say analysts, who place the medicine’s annual peak revenue potential in the $2 to $4 billion range. Those estimates assume states will make Gardasil mandatory. The shots are given three times over a six month period, and will cost anywhere between $300 and $500. The vaccine lasts for up to five years.

So it only lasts FIVE YEARS.

You are forced to give it to your whore daughter when she is nine, and then by the time she is sweet sixteen, and much more likely to be whoring around (ALL sixteen year olds are whores RIGHT?) the vaccine will have worn off.

This is nothing more than an enormous SCAM.

Inoculating pre-adolescent girls for a sexually-transmitted virus raises concerns for many parents – not just Christian conservatives. A survey of 1,600 mothers and fathers published in the journal Pediatrics found that 35 percent are against having their child inoculated.

Damn right.

Fisher says mainstream parental opposition to Gardasil is easy to explain. “Parents are becoming more concerned about the shear number of vaccines kids are getting these days,” she says. “In the 1980s, U.S. children got 23 doses of seven vaccines by age six. Today, they get 48 doses of 14 vaccines in the same period.”

“And during the time that vaccines doses have doubled,” she says, “there’s been an increase in the number of children with autism, attention deficit and hyperactive disorder, learning disabilities, asthma, and diabetes, in which vaccines could be a contributing factor.”

FOURTY EIGHT DOSES!!!!!

Fisher is strongly opposed to Merck’s proposals to inoculate girls at age 9, which is six years before the average age of first sexual experience in the United States “It’s just profit-making on the backs of 9-year-old girls,” charges Fisher.

did he say that?!

You can’t make stuff like up.

And these days, you don’t have to.

Even Merc employees are against it:

Gardasil: The Coming Battle

Yesterday, the FDA approved Gardasil–a vaccine for four strains of HPV which cause genital warts and cervical cancer–for 9- to 26-year-old girls and women. For obvious reasons, Merck is marketing Gardasil as a “cancer vaccine,” not an STD vaccine. Nevertheless, one only has to look at the patient population for which Gardasil was approved to recognize the seeds of a major national controversy: nine to twenty-six-year-old girls and women.

The medical reason for immunizing a 9-year-old girl against an STD is that the vaccine is most effective when administered before the onset of sexual activity. (I am unsure whether this means that a 4-5 year lead time is necessary or that the medical community is anticipating some very unsettling situations.) Not only will parents face the choice of whether to immunize their daughters against an STD, but private religious insurers will have to decide whether to cover the cost of the vaccine (anticipated to be $360 per 3-dose regimen). You can expect there will be lawsuits over that.

Most controversial, however, will be the decision by school districts whether to make Gardasil mandatory for attending school. As opposed to contagious diseases like measles, HPV infection is easily avoided by not engaging in sexual activity. Vaccines are among the safest medical products available, but they still carry a small amount of risk. Why force a student to accept that risk to protect against an entirely avoidable disease?

(In the interest of full disclosure, I am employed by Merck.)

Posted by Eric Seymour at June 9, 2006 08:58 AM […] Agora

!!!

Gibson says if Gardasil does become part of the state immunization schedule, it would be different than those vaccines that are already routine. “It’s an interesting concept,” says Gibson. “It takes away from the concept of communicable disease – of getting kids sick, staff sick – to health promotions. That would be a huge leap if they do that. That’s a very different type of issue.”

About 64 percent of vaccines are covered by private insurance. The state’s Vaccines for Children plan picks up those without insurance. Still, as with other vaccines, there may be about 18 percent not covered.

If the HPV vaccine does become part of the school requirement in Michigan, parents will be able to opt out for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. […]

WWMT

Opt out!! Hmmmmm…

In Florida:

(e) Effective with the 2001/2002 school year, prior to admittance, attendance, or transfer to a preschool or kindergarten, completion of varicella vaccination. Each subsequent year thereafter the next highest grade will be included in the requirement so that students transferring into Florida schools are added to the immunized cohort, with the exception of Haemophilus influenzae type b required only prior to admittance, attendance or transfer to a Florida preschool. The manner and frequency of administration of the immunizations shall conform to recognized standards of medical practice. Each child whose documented immunizations fall short of all requirements listed above shall present a completed DH Form 680 Florida Certification of Immunization Temporary Medical Exemption (Part B), or a completed DH Form 680 Florida Certification of Immunization Permanent Medical Exemption (Part C), incorporated by reference in subsection 64D-3.011(5), F.A.C.; Part C listing the exemption for specific immunization(s), or a completed DH Form 681, Religious Exemption from Immunization, as incorporated by reference in subsection 64D-3.011(5), F.A.C., to be filed with said Florida public or nonpublic school, grades preschool and kindergarten through 12. […]

2. Religious Exemptions – Religious Exemption requests must be presented on DH Form 681, Religious Exemption From Immunization, incorporated by reference in subsection 64D-3.011(5), F.A.C., which is to be issued only by county health departments. […]

(6) Florida SHOTS (State Health Online Tracking System) Opt Out Provision – Parents or guardians may elect to decline participation in the Florida immunization registry, Florida SHOTS, by completing a DH Form 1478, Florida SHOTS Notification and Opt Out Form, as incorporated by reference in subsection 64D-3.011(10), F.A.C. and returning the form to the Department of Health. The immunization records of children whose parents choose to opt-out will not be shared with other entities that are allowed by law to have access to the child’s immunization record via authorized access to Florida SHOTS. […]

Unbelievable:

Birth Exemptions:

For those who are planning a hospital birth but want to evade invasive routine post natal procedures such as a Hep B shot, vitamin K injection, newborn screening, or the application of silver nitrate in the newborn’s eyes, a very specific birthing plan must be submitted to the hospital in advance of the birth. Hospital staff must be informed, in advance, of your needs, wants and desires where your baby and birthing experience are concerned. The same applies to midwives.

Sample Vaccine Letters From this website… http://www.vaccines.bizland.com/letters.htm

Most states now require the Hepatitis B vaccine for newborns. Many parents are also cornered by emergency room personnel during accident visits. Hospitals nationally are under pressure to utilize every opportunity to score a “hit.” […] Florida Immunization Exceptions

Vaccine Exemption Forms Online – by State or Country

Silver Nitrate in the newborn eye?

No, thats ‘Silver Spoon in the MOUTH’.

Jack Straw betrays his liar roots

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Mr Straw insisted that he respected those who wear the veil and would never demand it was removed, but added that in conversation it was important to “not only hear what people say but see what they mean”. […]
Guardian

This is the most fascinating part.

According to Jack “Straw Man” Straw, you cannot tell what someone means by their words alone, because people lie, and the only way to REALLY know what people are saying is to use the secondary clues and cues that the human face give off involuntarily. In other words, the only way to know if what someone is saying is true is to put them on a lie detector, wether it be a passive one (looking into someone’s eyes) or an active one (an electronic device).

Of course, Jack is projecting his own lie centered ‘no one can be trusted’ paternalist mentality onto his constituents. He thinks that he needs to see their faces and not just hear their words because he himself is a habitual liar, and he uses words to obscure the truth, not to convey meaning.

That’s No Way To Get Along

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Unlikely Terrorists On No-Fly List
Steve Kroft Reports List Includes President Of Bolivia, Dead 9/11 Hijackers

CBS News | October 5 2006

(CBS) 60 Minutes, in collaboration with the National Security News Service, has obtained the secret list used to screen airline passengers for terrorists and discovered it includes names of people not likely to cause terror, including the president of Bolivia, people who are dead and names so common, they are shared by thousands of innocent fliers.

Steve Kroft’s investigation, in which an ex-FBI agent who worked on its al Qaeda task force says the list of 44,000 names is ineffective, will be broadcast this Sunday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

The former FBI agent, Jack Cloonan, knew the list that was hastily assembled after 9/11, would be bungled. “When we heard the name list or no-fly list the eyes rolled back in my head, because we knew what was going to happen,” he says. “They basically did a massive data dump and said, ‘Okay, anybody that’s got a nexus to terrorism, let’s make sure they get on the list,'” he tells Kroft.

The “data dump” of names from the files of several government agencies, including the CIA, fed into the computer compiling the list contained many unlikely terrorists. These include Saddam Hussein, who is under arrest, Nabih Berri, Lebanon’s parliamentary speaker, and Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia. It also includes the names of 14 of the 19 dead 9/11 hijackers.

But the names of some of the most dangerous living terrorists or suspects are kept off the list.

The 11 British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up airliners with liquid explosives were not on it, despite the fact they were under surveillance for more than a year.

The name of David Belfield who now goes by Dawud Sallahuddin, is not on the list, even though he assassinated someone in Washington, D.C., for former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. This is because the accuracy of the list meant to uphold security takes a back seat to overarching security needs: it could get into the wrong hands. “The government doesn’t want that information outside the government,” says Cathy Berrick, director of Homeland Security investigations for the General Accounting Office.

Berrick says Homeland Security would probably agree that leaving such names off the list is a concern. The Transportation Security Administration is trying to fix the list through a program called “Secure Flight,” says Berrick, but after three years and an estimated $144 million spent on the program, there’s “nothing tangible yet,” she says.

Even if the list is made more accurate, it won’t help thousands of innocent travelers who share a common name on the list and who get detained, sometimes for hours, when they attempt to fly.

Gary Smith, John Williams and Robert Johnson are some of those names. Kroft talked to 12 people with the name Robert Johnson, all of whom are detained almost every time they fly. The detentions can include strip searches and long delays in their travels.

“Well, Robert Johnson will never get off the list,” says Donna Bucella, who oversaw the creation of the list and has headed up the FBIs Terrorist Screening Center since 2003. She regrets the trouble they experience, but chalks it up to the price of security in the post-9/11 world. “They’re going to be inconvenienced every time because they do have the name of a person who’s a known or suspected terrorist,” says Bucella.

Cloonan, when shown a copy of the list from March 2006, tells Kroft, “I did see Osama bin Laden, both with an “O” in the first name and “U” in the secondI was glad to see that. But some of the other names I see hereI just have to scratch my head and say, ‘My God, what have we created here?'” […]

www.cbsnews.com/

I’s wantin’ some plane to come along and take me away from here
Friends, take me away from here
Some plane to come along and take me away from here
Some plane to come along and take me away from here
And that’s no way for me to get along

Robert Wilkins

…. !!

oops!

Did I just past in the lyrics from a ROBERT WILKINS song?! It’s ROBERT JOHNSON that’s the ‘terrorist’ here.
Bleh, what’s the difference, – they all look the same anyway, these DIRTY TERRORISTS!

Scheduled Pleasant Distraction

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Dear My Freiends;

I will do live shows in UK next month.
I would like to meet you.
Could you come to me to meet please if it is possible?
And, please inform your friend.
A detailed schedule is not decided still.
The decided schedule is the following.
If the schedule is surely decided, I will report again.

Nov 16 Glasgow, The 13th Note.
Nov 19 London , Old Blue Last w/ Ramleh, Sutcliffe Jugend, .
Nov 21 Nottingham, Rose of England
Nov 22 Newcastle, Egypt Cottage.
Nov 26 Leeds, The Fenton.
Nov 27 Sheffield, Cricketers Arms.

Take care
All the best!!
Akihiro Shimizu

Its official: America is a fascist nation

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

My fellow Americans, its official now: We live in a fascist nation.

Now, the term “fascist” has been thrown around over the last fifty years in a loose way that has drained it of much of its meaning. If someone wanted to cut 5% off of a leftist professor’s favourite welfare programme, the professor would call his opponent a “fascist.” Im not using the word like that. I mean honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned, 1930s style fascism, featuring such old favourites as:

  • Secret prisons theyre back!
  • Torture were doing it.
  • Spying on all citizens.
  • Arrests and indefinite imprisonment without trial.
  • Rampant militarism.
  • Secret detention.
  • Enforced disappearance.
  • Denial and restriction of habeas corpus.
  • Prolonged incommunicado detention.
  • Unfair trial procedures.

(This list was compiled partially based on the work of Amnesty International, available here.)

An absolutely mind-numbing response to complaints that our traditional legal system is being torn apart is the question, “So, you want to protect the rights of terrorists?”

Um, no, I want to protect the rights of non-terrorists who might be falsely accused of terrorism! That was sort of, you know, the whole idea of our legal system. Im sure there was some neo-con around in the 1700s saying to Jefferson or Madison, “So, you want to protect the rights of murderers and robbers?” but luckily they ignored him.

Weve now gotten to the point where Nazi Germany was, say, in 1934. Remember, at that time, if you had told a typical German what his government would do over the next ten years, he would have looked at you as a madman. After all, his land had been civilized for over a thousand years. His was the nation of Albertus Magnus, Gutenberg, Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Bach, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Heisenberg, Reimann, Mann, Lessing, Herder, Handel, Drer, Leibniz, Gauss, Helmholtz he could have gone on, but you get the point. His nation could not possibly descend into barbarism! If you tried to tell him he was living in a police state, he would have pointed out that his government had used its vast new powers very judiciously, and only against a few trouble-makers. So far.

It is interesting, in gauging the direction we are heading, to look at the proclamations of “respectable” opinion writers who support this administration. For instance, we have people at a “libertarian” think tank proclaiming that Moslems are not entitled to full civil rights in the US. (Perhaps we need to make them wear something special on their clothing like, say, a yellow star, so we know just who they are, hey?) But “conservatives” provide even more stunning examples of purely fascist reasoning. For example, conservative demagogue Ann Coulter has called for the editor of The NY Times to face the firing squad for his part in publicizing this administration’s abuses of power. Lets look at a recent column by Douglas MacKinnon at TownHall.com.

MacKinnon considers all of those involved in revealing the sordid collection of secret programmes that have been launched by the Bush administration as “traitors” who have publicized these schemes “purely because they dont like the policies of the new president.” Well, hes right in that “they dont like the policies” that they consider unconstitutional violations of our rights. Far from “aiding the enemy,” these revelations aided us, the American people, by letting us know what our government has in store for us.

Consider what the point of classifying these programmes was in the first place, and who they were being kept secret from. The jihadists no doubt already knew about the secret prisons their friends are in them! They surely knew that the war in Iraq has been helping their recruiting its their recruiting! (“Praise be to Allah, Abdul, I read in The NY Times that it is the Iraq War that is sending us these thousands of new recruits who knew?”) They no doubt suspect they may be wiretapped what they didnt know was that all the rest of us are, as well. No, not one of these leaks helps terrorists, nor was one of them classified to stop terrorists from finding them out. We were the ones who werent supposed to find out about them.

MacKinnon continues: “And if even one American lost his or her life because of a leak, then I would want that person to be executed for treason.”

So anyone who reveals our fascist government policies is a traitor who can be executed! This is obviously an attempt to intimidate the opposition so that our police state can be expanded without the annoying work stoppages caused by public outcry when the latest bit of construction is revealed. And just how does MacKinnon propose to show that some American lost his life because a journalist revealed that the US government tortures people across the globe, rather than, say, because the policies he supports have inspired a million new jihadists? Secret trial, perhaps? Or why even bother with trials for filthy traitors?

Herr Goebbels oops, I mean MacKinnon writes, “Until we severely punish those who leak classified information, then the traitors among us will not only continue to flourish, but will grow more brazen with the secrets they reveal.”

Yes, what we ought to be able to do, you know, is simply seize anyone who even mentions our governments “secret” prisons, and, without a trial, throw them in a secret prison! This is the logical conclusion of this fascists article, after all, since those who talk about the American Gulag are pretty much terrorists themselves.

Folks, this is coming real soon, and, once it does, domestic opposition is pretty much over. One journalist that will be about all it takes will be seized as a “terrorist” and thrown in the Gulag. The government may release him, but then another will simply disappear in the night in Iraq or Afghanistan, and rumors will circulate that he is being kept in a cage somewhere and waterboarded. No journalist lacking heroic courage will any longer be willing to seriously protest government policy.

America is full of decent people, who could never believe their own government could become fascist. So were Germany and Italy in the 1920s. But they became fascist anyway. They passed laws suspending civil liberties, but the government promised the frightened populace that those laws would only be used against targets like “Communist terrorists.” And, a little bit at a time, the target kept getting bigger and bigger, slowly enough that the people who werent paying close attention never detected it.

And, next thing you know, there were millions of people dead! So, it turns out, it would have been worth paying attention after all. […]

http://www.lewrockwell.com/callahan/callahan160.html

Gonna pull that trigger
Gonna shoot that nigger
Big Stick

XML + Disney + LAPD + FBI + Google + JRIC = BAD MOJO

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

On the seventh floor of a tan, rectangular block building in Norwalk, Calif., behind a locked door, sit rows of cubicleseach one supplied with a PC, a phone that makes voice calls over the Internet, and double flat-panel monitors. In a few cubicles, analysts work intently on the computers. In the others, idle monitors display a silver ring encircling an American flag and a bald eagle flying out of a bell-shaped speaker. Images pour into the roomfrom a bank of six flat-screen TVs suspended from the ceiling that are tuned to Al Jazeera and five other newscasts; and from the smart boards, giant electronic whiteboards that hang around the walls beneath computers fixed with projectors. They flash air traffic updates, maps of the Los Angeles area, a picture of the Statue of Liberty.
ADVERTISEMENT

Since Sept. 11, the government has been trying to collect and share information across geographical and political boundaries to prevent another terrorist attack. This placethe Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), near Los Angelesis the latest plan.

[…]

Now there’s the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, an idea that started in the LAPD’s anti-terrorism unit and won backing from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI before it was adopted by other agencies in the region. It’s taken more than three years to plan and launch. Ultimately, it is supposed to connect agencies across seven Southern California countiesfire departments, public health agencies, port police, airport police and many otherswith international law enforcement agencies and local companies, like Disney, that oversee potential targets or important pieces of local infrastructure.

Analysts who work in the center think it’s an idea whose time has arrived.

Information technology has advanced since 2001, and the center benefits from that. Newer standards like Global Justice XML, which creates a common language for justice and public safety data; and service-oriented architecture, which exposes that data across different computer systems, make it faster and easier for agencies to share information. Right now, the chief software at the centerMemex, made by Glasgow, Scotland-based Memex Technologyis based on these standards.

[…]

In the end, the FBI helped build the center because the federal government had the specifications and knew what to do, Salas explains. The sheriff’s department contributed desks, PCs and telephones, and the LAPD (which is also using Memex) provided information-sharing technology, including software and TVs.

Today, center workers use a variety of analytical toolsGoogle Earth, ESRI’s ArcView GIS software, and Microsoft SQL, among othersto sift through information.

[…]

At A Glance: JRIC
Headquarters: 12440 E. Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650
Business: Establish networks and policies for sharing information across agencies in the seven-county Los Angeles area to improve public safety and thwart terrorist attacks.
Technology Chief: Mario Cruz, project manager
Financials: $2 million contribution each from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the FBI, plus contributions from the state of California and the Department of Homeland Security.

[…]

Baseline Mag

Combine this with the new dictatorial powers of Lord Bush, and you have a system that is very difficult to resist, should the people who run these systems not understand that: “DICTATORSHIP….BAD”.

If REAL_ID and the biometric net are rolled out, they will dovetail seamlessly into this and every other ‘dot-connected’ total surveillance system.

Not surprisingly, this article is uncritical, unthinking and slobbering over the details…the ‘Gee Whiz’ effect. Like standing in awe of a spectacular lightning storm that is about to show its power to you up close and personal.

The end of a great country: They are starting to feel it

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

“There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country – if the people lose their confidence in themselves – and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.” – Walt Whitman

It was a dark hour indeed on Thursday when the United States Senate voted to end the Constitutional Republic and transform the country into a “Leader-State,” giving the president and his agents the power to capture, torture and imprison forever anyone – American citizens included – whom they arbitrarily decide is an “enemy combatant.” This also includes those who merely give “terrorism” some kind of “support,” defined so vaguely that many experts say it could encompass legal advice, innocent gifts to charities or even political opposition to US government policy within its draconian strictures.

All of this is bad enough – a sickening and cowardly surrender of liberty not seen in a major Western democracy since the Enabling Act passed by the German Reichstag in March 1933. But it is by no means the full extent of our degradation. In reality, the darkness is deeper, and more foul, than most people imagine. For in addition to the dictatorial powers of seizure and torment given by Congress on Thursday to George W. Bush – powers he had already seized and exercised for five years anyway, even without this fig leaf of sham legality – there is a far more sinister imperial right that Bush has claimed – and used – openly, without any demur or debate from Congress at all: ordering the “extrajudicial killing” of anyone on earth that he and his deputies decide – arbitrarily, without charges, court hearing, formal evidence, or appeal – is an “enemy combatant.”

That’s right; from the earliest days of the Terror War – September 17, 2001, to be exact – Bush has claimed the peremptory power of life and death over the entire world. If he says you’re an enemy of America, you are. If he wants to imprison you and torture you, he can. And if he decides you should die, he’ll kill you. This is not hyperbole, liberal paranoia, or “conspiracy theory”: it’s simply a fact, reported by the mainstream media, attested by senior administration figures, recorded in official government documents – and boasted about by the president himself, in front of Congress and a national television audience.

And although the Republic snuffing act just passed by Congress does not directly address Bush’s royal prerogative of murder, it nonetheless strengthens it and enshrines it in law. For the measure sets forth clearly that the designation of an “enemy combatant” is left solely to the executive branch; neither Congress nor the courts have any say in the matter. When this new law is coupled with the existing “Executive Orders” authorizing “lethal force” against arbitrarily designated “enemy combatants,” it becomes, quite literally, a license to kill – with the seal of Congressional approval.

How arbitrary is this process by which all our lives and liberties are now governed? Dave Niewert at Orcinus has unearthed a remarkable admission of its totally capricious nature. In an December 2002 story in the Washington Post, then-Solicitor General Ted Olson described the anarchy at the heart of the process with admirable frankness:

“[There is no] requirement that the executive branch spell out its criteria for determining who qualifies as an enemy combatant,” Olson argues.

“‘There won’t be 10 rules that trigger this or 10 rules that end this,’ Olson said in the interview. ‘There will be judgments and instincts and evaluations and implementations that have to be made by the executive that are probably going to be different from day to day, depending on the circumstances.'”

In other words, what is safe to do or say today might imperil your freedom or your life tomorrow. You can never know if you are on the right side of the law, because the “law” is merely the whim of the Leader and his minions: their “instincts” determine your guilt or innocence, and these flutterings in the gut can change from day to day. This radical uncertainty is the very essence of despotism – and it is now, formally and officially, the guiding principle of the United States government.

And underlying this edifice of tyranny is the prerogative of presidential murder. Perhaps the enormity of this monstrous perversion of law and morality has kept it from being fully comprehended. It sounds unbelievable to most people: a president ordering hits like a Mafia don? But that is our reality, and has been for five years. To overcome what seems to be a widespread cognitive dissonance over this concept, we need only examine the record – a record, by the way, taken entirely from publicly available sources in the mass media. There’s nothing secret or contentious about it, nothing that any ordinary citizen could not know – if they choose to know it.

Six days after the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush signed a “presidential finding” authorizing the CIA to kill those individuals whom he had marked for death as terrorists. This in itself was not an entirely radical innovation; Bill Clinton’s White House legal team had drawn up memos asserting the president’s right to issue “an order to kill an individual enemy of the United States in self-defense,” despite the legal prohibitions against assassination, the Washington Post reported in October 2001. The Clinton team based this ruling on the “inherent powers” of the “Commander in Chief” – that mythical, ever-elastic construct that Bush has evoked over and over to defend his own unconstitutional usurpations.

The practice of “targeted killing” was apparently never used by Clinton, however; despite the pro-assassination memos, Clinton followed the traditional presidential practice of bombing the hell out of a bunch of civilians whenever he wanted to lash out at some recalcitrant leader or international outlaw – as in his bombing of the Sudanese pharmaceutical factory in 1998, or the two massive strikes he launched against Iraq in 1993 and 1998, or indeed the death and ruin that was deliberately inflicted on civilian infrastructure in Serbia during that nation’s collective punishment for the crimes of Slobodan Milosevic. Here, Clinton was following the example set by George H.W. Bush, who killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Panamanian civilians in his illegal arrest of Manuel Noriega in 1988, and Ronald Reagan, who killed Moamar Gadafy’s adopted 2-year-old daughter and 100 other civilians in a punitive strike on Libya in 1986.

Junior Bush, of course, was about to outdo all those blunderbuss strokes with his massive air attacks on Afghanistan, which killed thousands of civilians, and the later orgy of death and destruction in Iraq. But he also wanted the power to kill individuals at will. At first, the assassination program was restricted to direct orders from the president aimed at specific targets, as suggested by the Clinton memos. But soon the arbitrary power of life and death was delegated to agents in the field, after Bush signed orders allowing CIA assassins to kill targets without seeking presidential approval for each attack, the Washington Post reported in December 2002. Nor was it necessary any longer for the president to approve each new name added to the target list; the “security organs” could designate “enemy combatants” and kill them as they saw fit. However, Bush was always keen to get the details about the agency’s wetwork, administration officials assured the Post.

The first officially confirmed use of this power was the killing of an American citizen, along with several foreign nationals, by a CIA drone missile in Yemen on November 3, 2002. A similar strike occurred on December 4, 2005, when a CIA missile destroyed a house and purportedly killed Abu Hamza Rabia, a suspected al-Qaeda figure. But the only bodies found at the site were those of two children, the houseowner’s son and nephew, Reuters reports. The grieving father denied any connection to terrorism. An earlier CIA strike on another house missed Rabia but killed his wife and children, Pakistani officials reported. […] http://www.chris-floyd.com/

If you were reading this in a book thirty years ago you would have laughed it off as impossible, and bad writing.

Now it has come true, all of it. This is worse than the 50s Communist witch hunt era insanity…. much worse. One thing is for sure; if america comes through this and returns to being a free country, it will come back stronger and better than ever. I can imagine that happening, more readily than I could have imagined america turning into a dictatorship decades ago.

Feeling sheepish?

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Rail firm to tackle overcrowding by taking out seats

Paul Willis and agencies
Monday October 2, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

Animal rights groups today expressed concern at plans to ease overcrowding on busy commuter trains by removing seats from carriages to create more space for standing.South West Trains will carry out refurbishments [sic] on almost 500 cattle trucks, replacing more than one-fifth of the seats with extra hoofholds and creating so-called perches. […] A recent report identified sheep in London and the south-east as the least satisfied in the UK.

[]

Baaa! Baaa! MoooooooOOOoooo!

A veterinarian speaks: What do you think of western civilization? I think it would be a good idea.
Da dum!

Oh no, I’ve been enveloped by a cloud of smug.

Inspired

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Did I dream it, or is Spire coming to York Minster? I
have the idea from somewhere that it is, but now I can’t find it anywhere.

Meanwhile, Parlane, Jeck and Fennesz will be at the NCEM later this month.

Part of Sightsonic 2006.

The image https://i2.wp.com/www.sightsonic.org/images/top.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Come on, I’ll buy you a pint.

Further than ever down a dark road

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Buried amongst the untold affronts to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the very spirit of America, the torture bill contains a definition of “wrongfully aiding the enemy” which labels all American citizens who breach their “allegiance” to President Bush and the actions of his government as terrorists subject to possible arrest, torture and conviction in front of a military tribunal.

01:27 GMT UPDATE

After five hours of searching through the 80-plus page bill, Alex Jones, who won the 2004 Project Censored award for his analysis of Patriot Act 2, uncovered numerous other provisions and definitions that make the bill appear as almost a mirror image of Hitler’s 1933 Enabling Act.

In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation’s legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush’s authority on the torture of detainees.

“No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter.”

The Bush administration is preemptively overriding any challenge to the legislation by the Supreme Court.

The definition of torture that the legislation cites is US code title 18 section 2340. This is a broad definition of torture and completely lacks the specific clarity of the Geneva Conventions. This definition allows the use of torture that is, “incidental to lawful sanctions.” In alliance with the bill’s blanket authority for President Bush to define the Geneva Conventions as he sees fit, this legislates the use of torture.

The media has spun the bill as if it outlaws torture – it only outlaws torture for “enemy combatants,” and in fact outlaws the retaliation of any military against the United States as “murder.” Those deemed “enemy combatants” are not even allowed to fight back yet the government affords itself every power including the go-ahead to torture.

  • Further actions that result in the classification of an individual as a terrorist include the following.
  • Destruction of any property, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal’s choosing.
  • Any violent activity whatsoever if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building.
  • A change of the definition of “pillaging” which turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.

In light of Greg Palast’s recent hounding by Homeland Security, after they accused him of potentially giving terrorists key information about U.S. “critical infrastructure” when filming Exxons Baton Rouge refinery (clear photos of which were publicly available on Google Maps), sub-section 27 of section 950v. should send chills down the spine of all investigative journalists and even news-gatherers.

“Any person subject to this chapter who with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign power, collects or attempts to collect information by clandestine means or while acting under false pretenses, for the purpose of conveying such information to an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”

Subsection 4(b) (26) of section 950v. of HR 6166 – Crimes triable by military commissions – includes the following definition.

“Any person subject to this chapter who, in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States, knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”

For an individual to hold an allegiance or duty to the United States they need to be a citizen of the United States. Why would a foreign terrorist have any allegiance to the United States to breach in the first place?

This is another telltale facet that proves the bill applies to U.S. citizens and includes them under the “enemy combatant” designation. We previously cited the comments of Yale law Professor Bruce Ackerman, who wrote in the L.A. Times, “The compromise legislation….authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.”

The New York Times stated that the legislation introduced, “A dangerously broad definition of illegal enemy combatant in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.”

Calling the bill “our generations version of the Alien and Sedition Acts,” the Times goes on to highlight the rubber stamping of torture.

“Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable already a contradiction in terms and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.”

Since with this bill, in the aggregate, Bush has declared himself to be above the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the allegiance of American citizens is no longer to the flag or the freedoms for which it stands, but to Bush himself, the self-appointed dictator, and any diversion from that allegiance will mandate arrest, torture and conviction in a military tribunal under the terms of this bill.

Similar to the UK’s Glorification of Terrorism law, which top lawyers have slammed as vague, open to interpretation and a potential weapon for the government to kidnap supposed subversives, the nebulous context of “wrongfully aiding the enemy,” could easily be defined to include publicly absolving an accused terrorist of involvement in a terrorist attack.

That renders the entire 9/11 truth movement an aid to terrorist suspects and subject to military tribunal and torture. In addition, Bush’s recently cited National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, which is available on the White House website, labels conspiracy theorists as terrorist recruiters. […]

Propaganda Martix

Something must break…

Looks like its Tories Tories Tories

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

[S]till they keep coming, those hubristic monuments to big government,
the living dead that walk the well-trodden path from Downing Street and
the Treasury to New Labour’s graveyard of initiatives.

The NHS computer: delayed, disorganised, a 20 billion shambles.

Forced police mergers: the direct opposite of the community policing we
need.

And then the perfect example.

ID cards.

When a half-way competent government would be protecting our security by
controlling our borders

these Labour ministers are pressing ahead with their vast white
elephant, their plastic poll tax, twenty Millennium Domes rolled into
one giant catastrophe in the making.

They’ve given up trying to find a good reason for it.

Last week Tony Blair said that ID cards would help control immigration,
when new immigrants won’t even have them.

Does he even know what’s going on in his Government?

ID cards are wrong, they’re a waste of money, and we will abolish them. […]

Conservatives

Well, it looks like Tories are the only way to go next time, if only for this single reason; jettisoning the ID card and the NIR. I am sure that many people will not be for the Tories, but will be against the ID card, against the warmongering, against the sweaty, stocky, unctuous, murdering ‘grotesque’ Brown. For whatever reason, the ID card is so central to complete tyrrany, the first and absolutely essential step, the key to lock you and your children up forever – it alone is reason to abandon all your previous loyalties and support the Tories, because if they lose and ID cards and the NIR are introduced, it is THE END of Britain on a level and at a depth that few people can imagine.

You think that shouting CCTV cameras are bad? Imagine a shouting CCTV system that shouts your NAME OUT as it tells you to ‘move along you are not allowed to gather here’…or… ‘stop kissing your secretary JANE, MR. THOMPSON, your wife PEG has been informed’.

Yes, that will happen. They will be able to access the NIR automagically and correlate your CCTV image with your NIR entry, which will pull up your name, address, marital status, workplace, EVERYTHING, all in the name of ‘stopping crime’ or ‘security’.

Of course, if you are not in the NIR, or even better, there is no such thing as ‘the NIR’ then none of this dystopian crap can ever happen to you. You can shag your secretary right there in the street, and no one will ever know.

You know what I mean.

You will be free from a type of insidious, invasive, unnecessary, vile, inhuman, dehumanizing, revolting, voyeuristic and monstrous surveillance, that no decent person would ever have thought was fit to roll out.

Without the NIR as the key to your activities, without that locus, that single identifier, that binding element, Oyster becomes less of a threat, Nectar becomes less of a threat, your cellphone becomes less of a threat – because you can control how you identify yourself to all of these people. They will not be able to DEMAND that you present your NIR linked ID card. The biometric net will be broken, and you will be able to protect yourself as you move freely between services by compartmentalizing your valuable personal information. The service providers will have no choice but to deal with you on your terms, or lose your money.

And they will never do that.

The Upside down world of the Bliar Regime

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Flights from UK ‘escape US bans’

Passengers flying from UK airports will not be affected by a EU-US row over US demands for information on passengers, the British government has said.

The Department of Transport (DoT) said it had taken out an air navigation order, so planes flying to the US would escape potential American landing bans.

So, where there was actually no potential at all for any sort of ban, since the economic damage would be so great as to make such a move impossible, HMG decides to cave in anyway.

It means airlines can pass information to the US without running into legal trouble under data protection laws.

The action came as a deal between the EU and US remained in doubt.

A DoT spokesman said: “We took out an air navigation order so planes could have a legal basis for data transfer while the EU-level talks are ongoing.

“It’s a patch, if you like.”

Only in the ‘up is down’, ‘black is white’, ‘day is night’, ‘fast is slow’, ‘true is false’ world of this insane war criminal government could anyone possibly call an action that FACILITATES LEAKS be called ‘a patch’.

You cant make shit like this up.

Planning ahead

Paul Charles, Virgin Atlantic’s director of communications, said the British government had good foresight to put the legal patch in place.

“They took it on that if there was not a deal between the EU and the US then this patch could take effect.

“It means airlines can carry on as normal as if the argument had never occurred, and the agreement was not about to run out.

“It means airlines can go on providing the passenger data that the US require without facing possible legal action.”

In other words, Virgin Atlantic doesn’t care about the privacy of its passengers. And that is a very serious thing indeed. It is one matter to be compelled by the law to do something immoral and then to be affronted by it, but to say that violating your passengers privacy is a GOOD THING is simply astonishing.

Deadline

European and American officials had been holding talks to resolve the dispute on the transfer of airline passenger data before it ran out on Saturday.

The row began in May, when the European Court of Justice ruled against a deal set up following the 9/11 attacks.

Under this agreement, European airlines agreed to supply the American authorities with detailed information about passengers flying into the US.

The two sides had until Saturday to replace the deal, with the Americans warning it may fine airlines or deny them landing rights if they refused to provide such data.

The US government believe the information is vital in their fight against terrorism and called for even more access to information. […]

BBQ

We all know that this is completely bogus, and the only reason why they want this is to violate the ordinary citizen going about his totally lawful business. I wonder if any other EU countries have ‘patched’ their regulations, and wether or not a legal challenge can be mounted against HMG for violating the rights of the passengers that leave from here to the usa.

Now, for those that feel the compelling need to go to the usa, it is the best bet to take another, non British, carrier so that your personal data remains just that; personal.