Archive for February, 2007

Gmail still letting spam through

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Gmail is still letting ‘obvious’ spam through, i.e. spam with the word ‘viagra’ in the body or the subject. Here is a screen-grab of the the inbox of the account that I am using for testing. Yuck!

When these messages were subsequently collected with Thunderbird, out of the 86 messages collected from the filtered POP mail, the baysian filtering caught 64 spams, 20 spams were not caught and two emails were legitimate.

On all my Gmail accounts where the email is sent directly to an @gmail.com address, the spam filtering is near flawless and I rarely see a spam message. On this account however, the email is collected from a POP3 account to test wether or not gmail’s world-famous spam filtering can be used to eliminate spam from a dirty POP account.

Amazingly, Gmail is failing to catch spam that Thunderbird’s baysian filtering picks up easily; what can we infer about how Gmail’s spam filtering works by this? There are 1397 spams that Gmail has caught from this POP gathered mail, so it is working on some level…very interesting!

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The thin end of the wedge (with chilli sauce and mayo on the side)

Monday, February 26th, 2007

As previously alluded to:

The Telegraph reports

A boy of eight who weighs 14 stone could be taken into care in a landmark step in the fight against childhood obesity.

[]

Tomorrow a child protection conference will take place, which could lead to moves to take Connor into care unless his diet is improved.

[]

Two specialist obesity nurses, a consultant paediatrician, the deputy headmaster of his school, a police officer and two social workers will sit on the panel which will decide his future.

[Your life in their hands -mm]

He could be put on the child protection register, along with victims of physical or sexual abuse, or on the less serious children in need register.

Connor’s mother, 35-year-old Nicola McKeown, said: “If Connor gets taken into care that is the worst scenario there could be.

“Hopefully we will be able to work through it and come up with a good plan and he will just be put on the at-risk register or some other register.”

[You can count on that, pet – mm]

Until recently her son was getting through four packets of crisps a day and demanding snacks every 20 minutes as well as eating three main meals, including dinners with four Yorkshire puddings.

Miss McKeown, from Wallsend, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, said Connor refuses to eat healthier food such as fruit or vegetables.

[]

“I try to be strict with him and limit what he eats but some days I just think, ‘my God, you have had so much today’. It worries me sick because I can hear him choking on a night time and he gets nosebleeds very frequently.

[]

Tam Fry, the chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, an obesity charity, said: “Parents should be held to account.

”Allowing such obesity is child abuse.”

[]

Obviously in this case the mother realises that her son’s health is being undermined and is trying (but failing) to remedy the situation. So why should the mother (and son) be penalised like this when it obvious she *wants* assistance. And why should the two of them be put on a national register that will eventually be NIR -ficated when it is no business of the state to parent children?

This year 14 stone
next year 12 stone

until mandatory fitness clubs?

or show funerals for the obese?

Home Schooling groups inflitrated by government trolls

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

This is a reply to a post on a Home Education mailing list; it was written by a glove puppet (or a perfect imitation of one). Note the flawed logic, doublethink and straw man tactics that are common to all glove puppet / inflitraitor posts. Yes, ‘infiltraitor’.

Here we go:

> Ive been reluctant to pass comment on the Governments HE monitoring
> proposals as I think Im in the minority on this list but, having
> read the comments on the BBC site, I think I will take the plunge.

uh oh.

>
> Doesnt monitoring imply 2 concerns child protection and ensuring a
> suitable education? The Victoria Climbie case sparked the whole
> thing off and it concerns me that my children have been invisible
> for all of their lives.

I can scarcely believe what I am reading. You sound just like one of Bliar’s cabinet with that ‘Victoria Climbie’ nonsense. Just because one child is hurt that doesn’t mean that all children in the UK must be registered in an Orwellian system of controls. There is no logic in it. Crime is like rain; you will never be able to prevent it, you need to learn to live with it. You do not destroy the very foundations of your life because of it i.e. not going outside ever because it MIGHT rain and you MIGHT get wet and you MIGHT catch a cold you BUY AN UMBRELLA, and use it when you like. You do not get the government to shield you from the rain, or build a giant roof over the entire UK to ensure that you are always dry.

> I could do anything to my children and nobody
> would know.

Yes, you COULD, and you COULD also take a kitchen knife and kill your postman, or burn your own house down with a box of matches, or strap your children in your car and drive into the sea to drown them. You could do alot of things…bad things…but you WONT, and the vast majority of people never do, and just because you have the capability to do these bad things that doesn’t mean that everyone should be under total state control. Not only that, state ‘monitoring’ of everyone and every child will not prevent a single crime, especially the silent crime of child abuse.

> A comment on the BBC site mentions thick, weird
> downright barmy parents home educating and people have been quick to
> reply but were not weird etc. But what happens if an evil parent
> chooses HE? Wheres the child protection?

Wheres the logic? You sound like the type of glove puppet infiltrator that Bliar’s government employs to monitor groups that they consider could be a threat. The same sort of people were used against the fuel protesters. They would attend meetings and this would happen:

The new recruits spent a lot of time arguing against taking any action and spreading doubts about the need for it. They were saying things like: Think of the hospitals, what happens if it goes like 2000?…

Read all about it here: http://tinyurl.com/2ftbvg the organization is,

…the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). Few have heard of it, but its role in controlling dissent is central.

They infiltrate groups, and go onto the internet posing as people on the side of any cause, only to present government arguments as if they are coming from inside the group, as we are reading in your post. They are the ones who always write, “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear” on the subject of ID cards on every forum out there. They are the ones who pollute the BBC ‘Have Your Say’ comments with pro government propaganda. Beware of people who say they are willing to give up their rights or accept more government control because a single person got hurt. Its Bliar logic, and they and their arguments are utterly bogus, scripted nonsense.

> I would gladly give up my
> childrens invisibility to protect other children. It is a worthwhile
> price to pay if it prevents a child going through a similar ordeal to
> Victorias. (And I am aware the Victorias case wasnt HE based but
> it could have been.)

And there you go! Its pure Blair speak. You admit that the Climbie case is irrelevant to HE, but cite it as a reason to give awy your privacy (which you incorrectly call ‘invisibility’) anyway, saying that it COULD have been related to HE. That is utter nonsense, and you know it. We all know it. “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security” Benjamin Franlkin. You and your children will have neither security nor liberty if you are willing to give up your right to live without the government looking over your shoulder. The worst thing about it is, no amount of monitoring can prevent crime, and so you are advocating giving up liberty for NOTHING. That is completely insane.

> Of course the level of monitoring/interference should be the real
> debate. Will they simply try and find the invisible children and
> put them in the same inspection regime as the others? Or will the
> regime be toughened up for all HE children? I have to say Im
> optimistic for a number of reasons. What resources will there be for
> all the extra found children like mine? Will local authorities
> really be prepared for extra children AND extra supervision? I think
> not.

Astonishing. Firstly, the ‘real debate’ is wether or not the government has any business regulating HE in any way. And once again, there is no such thing as an ‘invisible’ child. HE’d children are not ‘invisible’; stop characterizing them in this way, it is pure evil and a propaganda technique. Secondly, you are saying that you are willing to give up your rights, then you are saying that you are not too worried because even if you do, there are not enough staff to watch everyone! You are not very good at this game are you?

I will help you.

If they decide that all children in HE are to be monitored, what they will do is put the burden on YOU. YOU will have to report somewhere with your children regularly to be inspected. YOU will have to fill out forms detailing your children’s performance. YOU will have to obtain a license to educate your children at home.

Get the picture?

> Also Summerhill School (the run by students, no rules school) has
> survived inside the school OFSTED inspection system. And, as a
> teacher, Im inspected and, although its very irritating for me, it
> doesnt stop me teaching my students the way I feel is best. In other
> words I listen to the inspectors comments and simply ignore those I
> dont agree with. I havent lost my job yet. And very often they make
> suggestions that I actually agree with!

This has nothing to do with us free parents who want nothing to do with you, your OFSTED inspections, ‘your’ opinions and your vile way of interacting with the system whilst pretending to be against it, and all the time bolstering it.

> We live in a country with a history of compromise and fudging.
> Isnt this going the same way?

We are not going to submit to any of the government’s new, draconian, Soviet Style controls; that means NO to the children’s database, NO to ID cards and NO to the introduction of compulsory schooling, or ANY interference in HE.

> Sorry I couldnt resist putting another point of view into a debate
> which seems rather extreme change nothing or ‘ban completely’ at
> the moment.

It was deliberate, and the language you use is highly indicative of you being a shill. We are on to your games however; you don’t play them very well and really, its not your fault. Bliar is asking you and your glove puppet colleagues to do the impossible – argue for the rights of children and families to be destroyed. No one will go along with it, on any level.

If you are indeed a genuine person, not in the employ of the government, I am even more horrified that you could write such drivel and present it as a valid argument.

What you are advocating is nothing less than the mass enslavement of all the children in the UK. No one in their right mind would advocate that, even as a theoretical possibility, because it is so abhorrent and contrary to the natural feelings of any parent or human being.

If you are not a glove puppet, then you may not realize that we are in the middle of a war for our freedom and the freedom of generations of British Citizens. This is not the time to play games with ideas like, “gladly give up my freedom and the freedom of my children”. If this response has come across as particularly harsh I hope that that is the case, because people like you who advocate, even in theory, the enslavement of my children are my mortal enemies.

The ‘Sofetening Up’ begins…softly

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Here we have top sleeping policeman at BBQ trying to slow the momentum of the anti road pricing rage. He uses a straw man argument to try and pull it off. Lets see…

Heres an old economist conundrum about queues.

Here we go.

Suppose there is a water fountain in a park. Its a hot day and lots of people want to drink from the fountain. Being awfully British and civilised, they form an orderly queue at the fountain.

Now, if the number of thirsty people strolling past the fountain is large enough, the rate at which people join the queue will exceed the rate at which people satisfy their thirst and leave the queue. So the queue will get longer and longer.

So what. The point is that everyone has an expatiation of when they are going to be served. They choose to queue up for the water. It is fair. It is efficient. There is no problem here. Anyone can leave the queue at any time to seek another source of water…or even a coke.

But at some point, thirsty people will reason to themselves that the displeasure of waiting in the queue is not worth the pleasure of the drink at the end. Theyll avoid the wait, and the queue will grow no longer.

The market solves its own problems. Order emerges from chaotic systems automagically. There is no need for interference, tweaking and other salary addict tactics. People work out problems for themselvs, and their interactions constitute a dynamic system that is self balancing and self ordering.

So far so good. Thats how life works in many ways.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But this simple account has a devastating implication.

Are you a thespian or an economist?

If there are people who are not joining the queue because its not worth it, then the people who do join the queue are probably barely getting any positive benefit out of their drinking fountain experience at all.

This is bullshit. There is no such thing as ‘drinking fountain experience’. These people are thirsty. When they get to the end of the queue their thirst will be quenched. That is all there is to it. Your input, meddling and nanny stating is not needed to make this magic happen.

They enjoy the drink, but for them, it is only just worth the wait. Its a close run thing between bothering to drink or not.

More dramatic nonsense. People are able to weigh for themselvs the cost benefit of joining a queue. In the UK, people learn to do this from a very young age. The fact that they have waited for the water means that they are satisfied with the trade off. They know perfectly well that they can go elsewhere and get water. You are simplifying the dynamics to fit your bogus argument. Well, we expect nothing less from BBQ staffers, the largest concentration of paid liars deceivers and opinion steerers in the UK.

In fact, you might as well not have a drinking fountain on the hot day, as no-one can enjoy it without paying a time penalty that more or less wipes out the benefit.

In your humble opinion the benefit is wiped out. Its a hot day. They get free water. Its up to them and not you, to decide what that is worth. This is a classic error made by people like you; you think you know what is good for other people. And its completely STUPID to say that, “you might as well not have a drinking fountain on the hot day”. If some people get satisfaction from it, it should be there. It should not have to exist according to your idiotic standards of ‘efficiency’. Typical; you would rather people suffer from dehydration than allow an ‘inefficient’ distribution system to continue unregulated. You Swine!

I hope Ive explained this properly. Its a simplified account, and it relies on all the people in the park having a similar taste for drinking and not queuing.

Its completely bogus. Like most arguments made by hack economists, they create totally false idealized models of human behavior and then start to write garbage about it. Nothing wrong with that, but when you do it on the licence fee payers back, its a different proposition altogether, especially when you use this false reasoning to justify evil like orwellian road pricing, by direct order of Bliar and his contractors.

But it shows that when queuing does the rationing, it does a really bad job.

No, it doesn’t show that at all. It shows that you are not very good at making an argument. You are admitting that its a simplified model, not fit for purpose, but then in the next line, you say its good enough for the argument! Holding two contradictory thoughts in your mind at the same time. You are a model citizen!

In the park, if you could get a warden to ban people from queuing, and who instead insisted that only random people could drink, (people whose surname begins with A to K for example), the fountain would give more benefit, (although that benefit would be distributed a little unfairly).

The police state option. The first line of choice from a BBQ animal. No surprise there.

There is another alternative thats a little more equitable. If its practical, you can charge people to use the fountain.

‘Tax them’. Another ‘let the state control it’ ‘solution’. BBQ are the most unimaginative people out there. Its sickening.

Now, those who do pay, have the benefit of drinking without queuing,

NOW HOLD ON A MINUTE THERE BUSTER.

There are many other options to knock down this straw man problem:

  • Put up a sign showing people alternative sources of water.
  • Put in more fountains.
  • Allow vendors to sell water in the park.
  • $insert_your_solution_here

I have always hated the ‘this or that’ style of posing an argument that journalists are so fond of; it precludes any other, perhaps better options and arguments. It narrows the dialogue. Constrains thought. Its bad.

but they have the cost of paying. So on balance they are better off using the fountain, but probably only just better off. As far as theyre concerned, we havent improved things much over the queuing situation: weve just changed the pain of queuing by the pain in the purse.

The state of being ‘well off’ depends on who is being asked. What a biased BBQ ‘economist’ thinks is better for you and I is, I assure you, not what is actually better for you and I. And that is a fact.

The difference is though, that the money theyve handed over can be of benefit to someone else, or the population at large.

But the population at large will never know, because their monies are routinely misdirected and never properly accounted for.

There is an upside to the drinkers displeasure, unlike in the case where the queue does the rationing.

Or to put it another way: when you queue I get no benefit from your pain. When you pay, I probably do.

Now that is a pretty good argument against the use of rationing by queues.

It may not be a good argument for road pricing, but it does explain why economists tend to think of the price mechanism as a better method of rationing things than congestion.

[…]

The Reporters at BBQ

This is a concatenation of utter gibberish.

What this moron leaves out is the fact that the road pricing scheme is more about surveillance than it is about relieving congestion. HMG already has plans to put cameras on every inch of road, “to deny criminals the use of the roads”. What that means is that the criminals will use the roads as they have done before, and all ordinary, non criminal drivers will have their every movement recorded by a Big Brother system.

This couldn’t be more far removed from a water fountain in a park could it?

If you want to eliminate congestion in any place, you simply have to take cars off of the roads.

Think about a pint glass in your local. The beautiful brown haired bar maid starts pulling your pint. As the golden nectar reaches the top, she stops pulling. If she were to keep pulling, the bitter would start to spill everywhere, the publican sees his money spilling onto the floor, and you have to wait longer for your pint, which will still have only a pint of beer in it when it is handed to you.

Now think about London. London has a finite road capacity. Lets say that it is 200,000 cars on the road, plus all parked cars that have the potential of getting on the road at any time. When London is full, it should be closed off to incoming traffic. That means that on every road around the whole of london, barriers come down and no more cars are allowed in.

Cars are allowed out of course, and for every car allowed out, one is allowed in.

There is no need to take down the license numbers of each car. This is a case of simple counting, and capacity, just like the pint glass. There is no need to count in every sweet molecule of brew as it enters the glass; gravity takes care of it for you automagically. What cars do when they get into London is their business. As long as the capacity of London is not exceeded, the mission is accomplished. The quality of life for all Londoners improves dramatically, no one is disadvantaged by an iniquitous Congestion charging scheme, there is no opportunity for a Big Brother surveillance system of absolutely hideous cameras despoiling the city and making its inhabitants feel like prisoners in their own town, and if each of the entry points is manned, well, its jobs for the boys. And economists like jobs don’t they?

The simple solutions are the best. Take your lead from Beer. It almost always works.

Now there are those who say that such a scheme would cause chaos. So what. There is a cost to driving that has been ignored for decades. Everyone has to understand that there is a limit to the number of cars that can be on the roads, and there is a limit to the number of roads that are possible in any country. By setting the capacity of cities and roads and then cutting off access, people will have to think hard before they take their car out. There will be many systems that will grow out of this method of flow control; imagine the GPS navigation systems overlaid with the capacity of the roads and cities in real time. You could use a system like that to plan your journey. As you approach, say, London at 7:45 in the morning, the capacity left would be shown. If there is no chance of you getting there before ‘LonCap’ reaches 100%, your GPS will tell you to get off of the M4 NOW and park so that you can get a train.

This is the sort of solution that is preferable to the orwell style Blair Brother ‘options’. All you need to do is THINK about the problem correctly, with the rights of people uppermost as you consider what needs to be done.

Without beer, its harder to do.

The BBC Crime Family

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

[…]

Like most believers in the BBC (Bush, Blair, Cheney) version of 911 events, debunkers claim the White House—George Bush particularly— is too inept to implement 911. Too dumb. They claim a bungler like Bush, who bungled the Iraq War, would have bungled 911.

Sadly, Monbiot and Cockburn have studied little world history. Consider how a bungled anarchist and second-rate painter grabbed power in Germany (with the backing of bankers and industrialists, Prescott Bush among others) and cemented fascist power there with a false flag operation called the Reichstag Fire. Then this “bungler” masterminded a series of attacks on surrounding countries, conquering and occupying many of them in the process.

When the Left gatekeepers accuse the 911 Truth Movement of being “distracted” in opposition to the military-corporate-media triad, we Truthers can only shake our collective heads. As time passes, those misguided patriots (or disinfo pros), may yet realize that 911 was the golden key to the Pandora’s box. They may yet realize the 911 attack was a state-sponsored, state implemented operation carried out by professionals, involving several tiers, several hierarchies of power. Needless to say, when a former German corporal, former imprisoned anarchist, former “bungler” named Adolf Hitler, devised a daring yet diabolical attack plan, those who implemented the plan—Generals Guderian, von Rundstedt and Rommel—were extremely competent and coldly professional.

Time is on our side. Far from being “fantasists posing a mortal danger” we Truthers see the bigger picture. The logical picture. The scientific picture. The historical picture. The overwhelming, incriminating, body-of-evidence picture. Far from embracing the 911 conspiracy as some sort of warm and fuzzy “security blanket,” as suggested by a former TV producer, we prefer to be Diogenes with his lantern, Galileo with his telescope, Tom Paine with his Common Sense. Light years ahead of sunshine patriots.

Footnote: I spend a lot of time lately reading a website wholly devoted to 911. I follow the mostly intelligent remarks and the comments by the trolls. The grassroot Spirit of ’76 is alive there at www.911blogger.com. If you haven’t discovered it yet, go there for your “fantasist” fix. The only mortal danger is to the trolls and disinfo pros.

Novelist and amateur historian, Douglas Herman wrote the widely reposted “Confessions of A 911 Hitman” and contributes to Rense regularly.

http://rense.com/general75/time.htm

Six Lies

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

It feels so different watching an aircraft carrier group coming toward you than watching it sailing away from you toward another part of the world.

I’m an American who used to live in New York City. All my life, when I heard about warships, it was US warships going places far away. I never even imagined hostile warships sailing toward New York. Now I’m in Tehran, and aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is heading our way. And as it sails, people are discussing Israel and/or the US bombing Iran as if my family and 69 million other people weren’t even here. I’m getting scared.

Most Iranians that I know don’t worry about this as much as I do, though they’re wondering how the sanctions will affect the economy. Khomeini had a famous saying that we actually saw on a sign yesterday in another town: “America can’t do anything to us.” Some friends here speculate that Bush just needs an enemy so that he can continue his programs in the US, and that Iran is the enemy du jour. I wish I could believe that.

The way I see it, somebody has to stop the US president right now, and it’s very upsetting that the Congress isn’t doing it. My frustration is greater because I’m in a country where the Internet is not completely available. For example, I tried to send a donation to Dennis Kucinich, but PayPal wouldn’t take it because of the embargo. I tried to write to my Congressperson, but the Islamic Republic blocked the communication, presumably because it was with the US government. (Sometimes news stories that I want to read are blocked, too, but there are ways around that.)

If the US and/or Israel attack Iran, it will be a war based on lies, just like the Iraq war. Iraq didn’t have WMD, but Iraqis died in the hundreds of thousands. The lies about Iran seem intended to, first, make Iran look like the new Nazi state that must be bombed so as to avoid a new Holocaust, and second, make Americans fear that Iran will hurt our soldiers in Iraq or give nuclear weapons to terrorists who will hurt us in “the homeland.”

History shows that Americans are very susceptible to demonization of particular leaders of countries that the US wants to attack. Remember Castro? Noriega? Saddam? Now it’s Ahmadinejad. Whatever people think of views attributed to Ahmadinejad, it remains the case that it’s not morally acceptable to kill people because of their president, whether that president be Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or George Bush.

I want to discuss six big lies we are hearing to justify expanding the war to Iran.

LIE NUMBER 1: President Ahmadinejad “has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map.”

Even Al Jazeera English version based in Qatar keeps saying that. Why hasn’t this mistranslation been corrected after it’s been thoroughly exposed? (in the Guardian and prisonplanet.com)

Juan Cole, in Informed Comment, explained how “wiped off the map” was a mistranslation; Ahmadinejad was restating the official Iranian policy that the government system based on Zionism must end. And why the heck can’t newscasters learn to pronounce the man’s name? Anyone who knows Farsi could teach them in a minute. Why should we think they know what he said, in Farsi, if they can’t even say his name?

LIE NUMBER 2: The Iranian government is run by 1930s-style anti-Semites.

Last Spring, a story was planted that the Iranian parliament had passed a law forcing Iranian Jews to wear yellow badges. “Fourth Reich,” screamed a banner headline on one of the New York City tabloids. In a few days, the neocon source was disclosed and the story was completely retracted by the Canadian paper in which it was first published. The New York paper never apologized. When I mention the “yellow badges” to people here in Iran, they look incredulous. “But … that didn’t happen.” I know. But I’ll bet there are some Americans, and Israelis, who actually believe Jewish Iranians are walking around wearing yellow badges.

LIE NUMBER 3: Iran is bent on wiping out the Jews.

Maybe Americans should have a little humility and remember how recalcitrant the US was about accepting Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler during WWII. Iran has a very good history, under Cyrus the Great, of protecting the Jews. The long history of Jews in Persia is indicated by a monument to the Jewish prophet Daniel in the south of Iran. As for the European Holocaust deniers who were among the speakers at the Holocaust conference in Tehran, I just can’t figure it out, unless Ahmadinejad is trying to win popularity points with pro-Palestinian regional populations by appearing to be unafraid of Israel and the US. Or he could be a fool and/or a religious fundamentalist (like some other presidents who shall go unnamed).

LIE NUMBER 4: Iran is causing trouble in Iraq and threatening Arab states.

Everyone should be very clear: Who’s meddling in Iraq, who’s flying thousands of missions shooting at Iraqi citizens, who attacked whose diplomatic mission, who is detaining whose citizens, and who has announced that it is supporting subversive operations inside whose country and across whose border (from Iraqi Kurdistan)? Most likely some of the undemocratic and unpopular rulers in the Middle East are afraid that their own citizens may be attracted to the Iranian model. That may concern the US oil men and financiers who have business and military ties with them, but it’s not a reason for Americans to back destruction of Iran.

LIE NUMBER 5: Iran is dangerous to humanity because it’s trying to get nuclear weapons.

Other people who know more than I are writing about the nuclear issues. But regarding threats by Israel and the US to bomb Iranian nuclear research sites, that’s a violation of international law, not to mention a danger to innocent civilians. Regulating nuclear activities is the responsibility of the IAEA. So far, the IAEA has declared that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is in compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. That’s more than we can say about the USA, which is supposed to be actively disarming its 10,000 warheads, not refurbishing them and developing new kinds of nuclear weapons. Though there are good reasons to think Iran does not want nuclear weapons, let’s imagine, just for the sake of argument, that Iran would someday acquire them. Humanity has managed to live with other countries having nukes. The only reason Iran’s having nukes would be of greater concern would be if the lies spelled out above were true. But they’re lies.

LIE NUMBER 6: Iranians are looking to the USA to bring them democracy, just like the USA has brought democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq.

I’m living here in Tehran, Iran, now, with my family, as are many other Americans, Europeans, Asians, and other foreigners. We are inviting friends and relatives to come and visit. The skiing’s fine. More democracy and more civil liberties would be better, but there are elections and there are laws and there are non-governmental organizations and you can approach public officials. Whatever’s not right with this country is the business of the people here to work on. Some Iranians living in other countries want the US to “save” Iran. I don’t know, but I suspect people like that would like the US to magically bring back the good old days when the US-allied Shah sat on his throne and the well-off classes had a fine life. If anyone finds any overseas Iranians who actually are willing to see Iran bombed, I hope the reporters ask them if they have any relatives currently living in Iran. I hope Americans don’t take these has-beens too seriously.

Rosa Schmidt Azadi is a long-time peace activist, an anthropologist, and a retired civil servant who’s also a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt, godmother, and the mother of two college students. After walking out of the smoke of the 9-11 attacks in New York City and returning to participate in the recovery effort, Rosa began working to prevent further death and destruction in other countries at the hands of the U.S. government. Participating in a peace vigil at the World Trade Center site for more than three years gave her the privilege of talking with thousands of people from all over the world about things that matter most. Dr. Azadi has earned two advanced degrees and is still learning. Currently, she’s splitting her time between Tehran, Iran, and upstate New York.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rosa_sch_070202_six_lies_you_shouldn.htm

Watson On Monbiot

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Steve Watson has an unusually good piece about George Monbiot at Infowars.

George Monbiot is one of those people who I like to call ‘Ostrich Posturers’, and they all have features in common. The most important one is that they are almost completely ignorant when it comes to anything to do with science or technology. This is important, because any honest person with a scientific background will immediately be able to understand when something is ‘not right’ like the ‘pancake theory’.

If George Monbiot could do simple math, he would be able to say categorically that the ‘pancake theory’ is false. He says that he has gone through all of the evidence (a blatant lie) and finds it to be a, “confused…concatenation of ill-attested nonsense”. This is garbage.

If George Monbiot has found something specific that is wrong with what he ‘researched’ then he needs to say what it was he read and where he read it. Of course, he will not do this because he is intellectually dishonest. (update, as is clearly demonstrated by his pathetic attempt to re-write history by deleting from his blog, an essay he wrote in September 25 2001 that reads like he is a dyed in the wool 911 Truther, i.e., writing that actually looks at the evidence and smells a dead rat: see my comment to this post for a link to it! Welcome to the internets Monbiot, where everything you write is stored FOREVER!)

People who argue with Skeptics put up with idiots like George Monbiot all the time. They are rather simple minded and operate on a few rules:

  • Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is made up.
  • If one can’t attack the data, attack the people. It is easier.
  • Do one’s research by proclamation rather than investigation. It is much easier, and nobody will know the difference anyway.

This psychotic irrational behavior is found where two sides are arguing where one side has a deeply entrenched position. George Monbiot says himself that people who question the official lie about 911, “…pose a mortal danger to popular oppositional campaigns”; he is only interested in protecting his life’s work and his “popular oppositional campaigns” and not about solving any problems permanently or getting to the truth about anything. His life’s work is being in opposition; take away the whole basis of that opposition, and you destroy not only his life, but his position in society as a leader / preacher in his sick religion. Of course everyone realizes that the ‘ ‘911’ Truth Movement’ is actualy a ‘popular oppositional campaign’ and one of the biggest ever. He is just jealous that he is not at the forefront of it, where he believes it is his rightful place to be.

George Monbiot is just the same as any person in a high position who does not want to be replaced by virtue of his ideas and theories being superseded. He has to knock down anyone and anything that is a threat to his place at The Guardian and as one of the high priests of the left.

Once again, no matter how or what he writes, the internets have made voices (and the rags he writes for) like his irrelevant. And by ‘the internets’ I mean the way those internets filter out garbage and allow people to get to the truth on their own, without a priest to guide them. Just look at the comments on each of his Guardian pieces. The simpering followers have nothing to say except vapid cheerleading and the people who have been inoculated by the internets tear him to shreds point by point.

George Monbiot just doesn’t get it.

The days of preaching from the pulpit of a daily newspaper and getting away with lies are OVER.

In the age of the internets, you can either tell the truth and address the facts without stupid skeptic tricks or have your reputation ruined when you blatantly lie and run away like a coward from reality. George Monbiot will not be taken seriously again by anyone except his brainless fans, who by their nature are irrelevant and ineffectual.

Kurt Nimmo is one of the people who could well take George Monbiot’s place as an ‘opinion leader’ and writer. He is precisely the sort of man that George Monbiot fears. This is why:

It stinks of desperation. George Monbiot, inveterate leftist of the foundation financed environmentalist persuasion, has once again taken a swing at the conspiracy idiots who believe government is capable of mass murder, including the reflexive murder of its own subjects.

Not unlike his brethren, most notably Noam Chomsky and Alex Cockburn, Monbiot buys the Ward Churchill version of events in regard to the attacks of September 11, 2001that is to say Osama and a small number of cave-dwelling Wahhabi fanatics magically made NORAD stand down and defied the immutable laws of physics, thus delivering one to the conclusion a piece of paper cannot be slipped between Monbiot and the moonstruck followers of the neocons, as they all buy the same Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

Why do I bother with these morons? Because they are destroying the movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build, complains the former BBC employee. Those of us who believe that the crucial global issuesclimate change, the Iraq war, nuclear proliferation, inequalityare insufficiently debated in parliament or congress, that corporate power stands too heavily on democracy, that war criminals, cheats and liars are not being held to account, have invested our efforts in movements outside the mainstream political process. These, we are now discovering, are peculiarly susceptible to this epidemic of gibberish.

In fact, Mr. Monbiot and his ilk are part and parcel of the mainstream political process, especially considering the degree of foundation funding and support his cherished movements receive, from the likes of the Ford, Schumann, Rockefeller, and MacArthur foundations, to name but a handful.

Monbiots progressive left was long ago sold down the river. In effect, the foundation oiled movements so dear to Monbiots heart are completely and utterly ineffectual, having accomplished dreadful little over the decades, and instead serve as a facile target of convenience for Rush Limbaugh, Bill OReilly, Michael Savage Weiner, Sean Hannity and the neocon fascists dominating the corporate media.

For all his effort and that of his pals, Monbiot has managed to make the machine of progress, as he gauges it, turn in reverse. It is not the 9/11 morons destroying Mr. Monbiots movements, but his own enervated struggle, his own inability to understand reality and deal with it, even as he has made a career out of complaint minus substantial result.

According to Monbiot, questioning the official version of events, replete with bad science and glaring omission, is a displacement activity and avoidance of the real issues we must confront, never mind Monbiot and his fellows have confronted for decade after decade issues they swear are real, only to slide backward down a long slope into the muck of irrelevance, made a laughingstock and a cavalcade of clowns by the corporate media.

[…]

http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=777

heh…post number 777!

Not only is this completely correct, but there are so many people out there who agree (correctly) with this assessment (whose numbers are in the tens of millions) on a simple commercial level it makes sense to fire Monbiot and hire Nimmo.

It is this very real possibility that puts George Monbiot into a cold sweat, “They don’t love me anymore!”

And that’s the bottom line when it comes to newspapers.

Burned at the stake

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Is it petty to take pleasure in this? No. McKeith is a menace to the public understanding of science. She seems to misunderstand not nuances, but the most basic aspects of biology – things that a 14-year-old could put her straight on.

That is a line from a sniping and rather sad article hailing the ‘taking down’ of Dr, Gillian McKeith by an ‘angry nerd’ who reported her the Advertising Standards Authority, complaining about her using the title “doctor”.

The draft adjudication from them concludes that “the claim ‘Dr’ was likely to mislead”. The advert allegedly breached two clauses of the Committee of Advertising Practice code: “substantiation” and “truthfulness”.

My problem with this article is not that this is a personal attack by some peniless (yes, ‘peniless’) losers who hate anyone who sells ‘alternative therapies’ like acupuncture. I have said enough about that in the past.

The problem with this is the cult of science, and the erroneous belief that only ‘science’ has the correct world view.

The world view of science and the way some of its practitioners works is fundamentally flawed. Those that use science and the scientific method as a tool are perfectly acceptable and reasonable; the bad guys are the ones that think anyone who does not share their world view are heretics, a ‘menace’ and something to be attacked.

What exactly does ‘a meanace to science’ mean? Science is a method and a process it is not a religion, or a person, or a goal in itself. It is a tool that works very well when it is used correctly, but sadly, many ‘scientists’ don’t have the honesty or professional integrity to apply science equally in all cases. This is why we still have ‘scientists’ like Seth Shostack and the other ostrich posturing lunatics that refuse to look at the best UFO evidence. It is why we have personal unrelenting attacks on harmless dietitians. It is why, after one hundred years of proven efficacy there are still ‘scientists’ who think that Homeopathy is hogwash. What pathetic people these are.

I hope that Dr Gillian McKeith takes some of her millions and buys herself an honorary doctorate; then she can call herself Doctor whenever she likes. But I digress.

Any of these ‘scientists’ who want to help people should prepare their own books and products instead of trying to destroy the work of other people. Sadly when they actually take you up on this, we end up with products like Thalidomide and every other noxious poison the likes of Bayer, GSK, Merc come up with year after year.

Everyone is fed up to the teeth with bad science of the kind that produces Thalidomide. Everyone wants to lead a more natural, less aggressive life. The people who gleefully demonize anyone who is trying to cater to this need show their own inhumanity. What is interesting about Dr Gillian McKeith is not that she is not a ‘real’ doctor, but that so many people are seeking a better way of living. This is never addressed of course, as they whip around in a dervish frenzy beating their bibles and calling for her to be disemboweled.

But of course, these monsters do not think that human beings have any value; they are only interested in spreading their vile religion to the exclusion of all other thought. They are religious fundamentalists of the worst kind, and they bring into disrepute all the real scientists who say nothing, but get on with good and beneficial work every day of every week, for a pittance of money.

Put plainly, I don’t care if Dr. Gillian McKeith thinks that hanging a crystal over your stomach will cure your bellyache. It is her absolute right to think that, and to sell that as a service to anyone who will buy it. Critical thinking skills will not be spread by shutting people up. It wont be spread by skeptic ‘scientists’ attacking anything outside their dogma. If you want to make the world a better place go teach in one of those hell hole schools. That is what you need to do if you want to teach people how to think.

Do something REAL with your life.

Debunking the BBC’s 9-11 Conspiracy Files

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Introduction

On February 18, 2007, the BBC broadcasted an hour-long episode which it claimed would examine and answer the questions of the 9-11 truth movement. However, both the episode and the written Q&A turned out to be attacks on the skeptics rather than a true investigation. The public was presented with a heavily controlled and edited discussion, which was rigged in favour of the official story. Worse yet, propaganda techniques were used to portray the opponents of the official story unfairly. Techniques included: manipulative camerawork, personal attacks and a show which focussed on only the weakest evidence presented by the opponents of the official story.

The aim of this article is to address the inaccurate rebuttals offered by the BBC, as well as to analyse the propaganda techniques and reiterate the questions that the BBC failed to address.

[…]

http://debunking-bbc.blogspot.com/

I saw this programme; it was truly bad, in every possible way.

The programme makers must live in a paralel universe, where there is no internet.

This programme will bring more shame on the BBQ; more people have watched ‘Lose Change’ and Terrorstorm than will ever watch a BBQ propaganda piece.

The shit-storm has already begun, and the programme makers are all running for cover no doubt.

Idiots.

Now listen to the person who made this atrocity get grilled by Alex Jones.

Gmail spam filter broken

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I decided to test Google’s new feature that allows you to collect your POP3 mail with Gmail.

The spam filtering of Gmail is second to none, and works perfectly on all my Gmail accounts, so its a no brainer to give it a try; not only would you get superior spam filtering when you collect your POP3 email with Gmail, but you also get SSL connections thrown in so that you can retrieve your email securely with your laptop when you are out and about.

At least thats the theory.

After setting it all up, I noticed that spam filtering is very broken when you collect your POP3 email with gmail. It lets through anything and everything, including spam with the word ‘viagra’ in the subject.

Take a look at this screengrab for an example of how horribly wrong it is.

As you can see, there are 624 messages in the spam folder, so it is partially working, but in my other Gmail accounts, the messages that have made it into this inbox do not appear.

You can also see that some of the messages have ‘PENIS’ and ‘Cialis’ in the subject. Egads. That is insane. Even Baysian filtering in Thunderbird picks that crap up.

I sent Google a report. No news yet.

Goodbye Europe: Hello Freedom

Monday, February 19th, 2007

The world this week
A look at what could be dominating the headlines around the world this week – and some key background on those events.

Greenland became the first entity to vote to leave what is now the EU 25 years ago. People voted 52%-46% to withdraw from a body they had joined as part of Denmark before winning home rule in 1979.

[…]

BBQ

This was snarfed from a BBQ ‘What we will lie about next week‘ page, in this case, the 23rd of February 2007.

This is odd; Greenland left what was to become the EU in 1985, so why is this going to be a headline in the near future?

Hmmmmmm!

Everyone and their dog knows that Great Britain needs to leave the EU as a first step towards ensuring the longevity of freedom in this country.

If Greenland can do it, then Britain can do it.

Greenland is responsible for all of its standards, its way of life, its laws, its immigration policing … everything.

That is the way it should be.

Low Cost Non Biometric VISA Verification

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Currently, when travellers arrive in the UK from third world countries, they have their VISAs inspected by staff equipped with loupes. The VISA is in the form of a printed sticker with embedded security features.

The staff with loupes are looking for forged VISA stickers. They have no way of checking wether or not any particular VISA is genuine or not.

The processing of these passengers takes considerably longer than it should, because two procedures are being carried out, and there is a prolonged questioning session that takes place.

To make everything work better this is what you need to do.

1) The questioning of a passenger’s travel plans should take place in the country of origin, before the VISA is issued.

2) When a VISA is issued, the physical stamp should be stuck inside the passport. It should then be entered into an online application, so that when the passenger arrives in the UK, the Immigration Officer scans the stamp, and the record is retrieved. She can then compare the online record with the sticker in the passport.

Each VISA record is digitally signed with the PGP key of the VISA issuing station and officer that certified this person. This eliminates the problem of someone somewhere gaining access and inserting false entries into the database.

If someone tries to fly into the UK on a forged VISA, the record will not exist in the database. No need for loupes or long queues. If the record is not in the DB, it must be a fake. As long as the VISA is issued correctly, one swipe of the passport will be enough to see if the person’s VISA is in order.

A very simple LAMP powered application could do this. Every Embassy in the world could be connected to the system with commodity equipment and some relatively simple software. You could ether get all the Embassies to run their own web-servers that are queried in realtime, or you could have all of the Embassies upload to a monolithic server in Whitehall. You know which one I would prefer. See below.

Why on earth this has not been done should not be a surprise to anyone; HMG knows nothing about IT, and the people who do don’t want to sell a cheap, efficient system like this to anyone because they will not make any money out of it.

A project like this should really be done in house, on Open Source software. It is not rocket science, does not not involve new developing new algorithms or systems, is non invasive, proportional and fool proof. It is about time that IT was taken seriously by HMG. It is not absurd to imagine that every British Embassy has its own IT officer, in charge of running the Embassy website, since so many services are done on the web. It also means that there is no single point of failure bringing the entire UK VISA down.

Naturally, it has not been done. Instead, the staff are getting new clothes.

Putting the Immigration Staff into uniforms is not going to solve any problems. It is in fact, a sign of weakness and impotence.

Astonishing.

The leader of the pack

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

There’s been a great deal of blogging about DRM recently waht with the Steve Jobs talk and EMI’s willingness to go DRM-free. Something I haven’t read much about is EMI’s motivation for dropping DRM, it is obviously intended to increase sales of EMI controlled produce but writers haven’t made the link to EMI’s recent woeful finances. The point being rather than leading the market (in terms of businesses) it is actually following the market (in terms of (non-)consumers). EMI is feeling the pain of being a dinosaur stranded in a post-meteor desert (which they absolutely deserve for turning once wonderful mute into a back catalogue scraping machine) and is trying (probably too late) to evolve.

As a business it has no guaranteed income and is forced to listen to what people actually want to buy. In sharp contrast to the sort of business that sucks up taxpayers money via useless government contracts and thinks it will be able to tell the electorate where to stick its vote. But I digress.

little luxuries

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Any programmers at a loose end?

SplitScreen:
SplitScreen is a Firefox add-on that enables you to pull down a page separator from the scroll bar (as in OpenOffice, Acrobat, etc.). You are now able to have two different parts of a long webpage in view at any one time – useful for viewing multiple forum posts or footnotes in academic essays.

OpenLight:
OpenLight is an OS X utility which allows you to add ‘Spotlight Comments’ metadata to files while they are open. OpenLight is activated on login and accessed as an ‘in focus’ floating palette or a Menu Bar item, this avoids the need to return to the Finder and ‘Get Info’ on a file before adding comments.
The OpenLight floating palette can be toggled to show comments for the current working file or open files in all applications, allowing easy copy/pasting of comments.
Openlight also adds an input field to the ‘Save’ dialog box so comments can be added at the same time as saving the file.

Something human

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

York Stories

Local interest… but in the writing of this York resident I find a relaxing, interesting, sensitive persona with a true and deep empathy for the city and what it can mean to live somewhere one finds so special. In particular, the reviews of walks in coutryside around the city have been inspiring. Every time I visit the site, I think this person would be nice to bump into and chat with in a pub, after a nice, relaxing wander by the river.

BBQ’ed horsemeat

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

The build up to “Operation Persian Freedom” (sic) (sick) continues apace. Today, BBQ headline with:

US accuses Iran over Iraq bombs

… by which you would assume the resident Whitehouse demi-Klingon had sent official word to Tehran. Not quite…

US claims the bombs were smuggled from Iran cannot be independently verified.

The US officials, speaking off camera on condition of anonymity,

!!!

More propaganda served up as ‘news’ by our public servants. It’s only going to get worse.

‘America: Freedom To Fascism’ #1 on Google Video

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Contact: Ilona, Urban, Blakeley – Press Secretary to Aaron Russo
Company: All Your Freedoms, Inc.

Website: http://www.freedomtofascism.com

Winner of numerous Awards, Aaron Russo, announces documentary milestone:

“America: Freedom To Fascism” a groundbreaking non-partisan political documentary jumps overnight to #1 on “Google Video United Kingdom” and #4 on “Google Video Worldwide”.

“America: Freedom to Fascism”, the Grassroots-driven, underground documentary by Writer/Director/Producer, Aaron Russo is a full length feature film with a 5 star “highest rating” on Google Video.

Overnight, the film jumped in rank to #4 on Google Worldwide and to #1 on Google United Kingdom. As of the morning of February 5, 2007 “America: Freedom to Fascism” has been viewed a total of 1,522,097 times since it was first uploaded to Google on October 20, 2006.

Mr. Russo is gratified with the public success of the film despite the fact it has not received a single review from any mainstream television or major media organization.

The American people are to be congratulated for waking up to the fact their Government has shirked its responsibility to coin money, and instead handed it over to a private banking cartel, the Federal Reserve, which charges the government interest on the paper they print.

This fact explains the American government’s burdensome debt which falls squarely on the shoulders of every working American. Yet no Politician is addressing this issue.

Mr. Russo’s previous films have received 6 Academy Award nominations, and he personally has won an Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Golden Globe and an NAACP Image Award for Best Film of the Year; AND is credited with the all-time classics: The Rose with Bette Midler and Trading Places with Eddie Murphy.

The amazing success of this film illustrates the power of the internet and grassroots word of mouth activism.
This compelling documentary has captivated grassroots audiences worldwide since its Fall theatrical and internet release.

“America: Freedom to Fascism” chronicles the history of the Federal Reserve System, the resultant income tax, and leads the viewer into the imminent future of our soon-to-be controlled, way of life. Russo has brilliantly written a documentary about a seemingly “dry” topic and turned it into a riveting masterpiece. This is one history lesson you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.

Russo affirms, “The People are ready for this. They know something isn’t right, and this explains it all. They are hungry for this information”. People want the truth. Aaron is ready, able and willing to deliver it. Perhaps Mr. Russo is on to something.