Archive for February, 2008

Just Say No Fly List

Monday, February 11th, 2008

The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.

Says the Grauniad.

The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as “blackmail” and “troublesome”, and could see west Europeans and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington’s requirements.

According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said. […]

We have been here before and we have seen the results of this policy on visitor numbers to the USA.

And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.

I stand agog at the idiocy of these policies. It is illogical beyond belief. The USA needs to bolster international travel, yet does all it can to deter people from even over-flying their country. Trying to see why the USA would even contemplate such policies… I can only surmise that they will make some cash from extra visas. What other reason? To show their hairy balls to the rest of the world? Again? Saw them already, not impressed.

“The Americans are trying to get a beefing up of their visa-waiver programmes. It’s all contained in the MOU they want to put to all EU member states,” said a diplomat from a west European country. “It’s a very delicate problem.” […]

It’s not delicate at all! It’s so simple even children can do it. All this kowtowing to Billy BigBollocks is ridiculous and unneccessary. Just Say NO.

If the EU flat refused to comply what would Uncle Sam do? Deny travel? I think not. Even Dick Cheny didn’t shoot himself in the foot.

A senior EU official said the Americans could get “a gung-ho frontrunner” to sign up to the new regime and then use that agreement “as a rod to beat the other member states with”. The frontrunner appears to be the Czech Republic. On Wednesday, Richard Barth of the department of homeland security was in Prague to negotiate with the Czech deputy prime minister, Alexandr Vondra,

Prague hoped to sign the US memorandum “in the spring”, Vondra said. “The EU has done nothing for us on visas,” he said. “There was no help, no solidarity in the past. It’s in our interest to move ahead. We can’t just wait and do nothing. We have to act in the interest of our citizens.” […]

Data-rape is in the interest of your citizens? Submitting to blackmail and taking political bribes is in the interest of your citizens? Vondra and ther rest of the Czech government should be out of a job, immediately, to be replaced by someone who actually protects the interests of the citizens rather than selling them out for a bag of magic beans.

If the Americans persevere in the proposed security crackdown, Brussels is likely to respond with tit-for-tat action, such as calling for visas for some Americans.

European governments, however, would probably veto such action, one official said, not least for fear of the “massive disruption given the huge volume of transatlantic traffic“.

Unbelievable.

Money is the root of all evil. So the EU (We have to act in the interest of our citizens) is willing to cave in to protect business. Your privacy is worth less than trade. Your privacy has become a currency to be bartered for continued trade.

And we’ve not even mentioned (in this post, at least) the pointlessness of harvesting this data in the War On Trrr.

[Neither have we mentioned the spineless regurgitation of this tripe by the Grauniad, without opinion, without context, without understanding… ]

You know what to do.

Don’t go there!

Additional:

There is evidence that the increased security measures have had a negative impact on the numbers of foreign tourists travelling to the US. Despite the weak dollar ($2 to 1), the number of British visitors to America fell by 11% between 2000 and 2006, while travel to other countries such as India, New Zealand and the Caribbean has increased.

Discover America, the private body responsible for promoting travel to the US, estimates that the 17 % fall in tourism since 9/11 has cost America $94bn in lost tourist spending and 200,000 jobs.

As we said.

Also, this pdf Blueprint To Discover America, supported by ‘some of Americas leading businesses’ is just laughable. They identify US-VISIT as the major negative factor in deterring foreign visitors, and what do they propose? Expansion of the US-VISIT programme and an ‘upgrade’ to US-VISIT 2.0!!!

The cite Project Iris as something to aspire to, where submitting to iris-scanning (and the associated holding of all your personal data) is A Good Thing, because by doing so you can be tagged as a State-Endorsed Trusted Individual.

However, what they make abundantly clear is that they are worried. And why? Because they are losing money. Can you see which side of this argument the real power lies? Each of us can make the decision not to give them any more until they stop treating visitors like criminals. It works! They admit it!

You know what to do.

The word on the streets

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

This poster:

is appearing all over London.

I wonder who is behind them?

Google says: Your search – DRD/Noid – did not match any documents when we search for “DRD/Noid”.

When we search for “H.M.P. London” the third result is a flickr page showing the posters plastered on a telephone booth near Holland Park.

Fascinating.

It would have been an even better poster if it had some government / bad contract style super small print that you could only see if you went up close to the poster, explaining why ID Cards are such a bad idea.

Still we have to award them an ‘A’ for effort; good job lads.

The great Neil Young says that music cannot change the world. This is essentially correct.

Gestures like this poster are, like music, moving and beautiful, but they will not solve the problem. They will not even convey enough information so that you can make a coherent argument. If you are going to make the effort to print thousands of posters, and then take the risk of flyposting them illegally, then you should make the best of that effort, and remove all ambiguity from the act. That means each poster should explain in detail what the problem is and what needs to be done.

Look at how the state does it:

look at how it is laid out, and the way it clearly and succinctly conveys important information.

If I were to design a poster, it would be a pastiche of the second one, with an appropriate text, so that everyone reading it would have the living daylights frightened out of them. THAT is the kind of poster that would be an effective information tool, of the kind that we need.

The Big Bad I Said No

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

As ever once the US presidential hopefuls get into the news it’s not long before certain types of people start talking about the disproportionate level of influence of US foreign policy and then go on to suggest that everyone else in the world should have a chance to vote or veto the final choice.

Of course this is an eminently unworkable proposal and doesn’t bear scrutiny at any level (unless perhaps you are dead set on the first Chinese US president!)

No, the interesting thing is that by their nature these people are tired of the US government intervening in places where it has no jurisdiction – so of course the only natural remedy to this is for the rest of the world to stick its nose in where it has no right to be.

If you push a little you find that a good number of these people favour a ‘world government’ or the expansion of ‘world instituitions’ to give top down vetoes on nations policies. They want the EU writ large – which as we know is hardly a bastion of accountability, efficiency or light handed bureaucracy

In fact they think they can force a particular type of Post-Enlightenment thinking on the rest of the world (and Oh!, how thankful we will be).

These people basically show the same arrogance and lack of empathy for other cultures they espouse to dislike, when they want to establish THEIR personal standards over OTHER people. A bit of self-criticism is in order before such stupid ideas are spoken or written.

Now is the chance for America to strike!

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

America could return as the pre-eminent financial center of the world in the face of sour grape politics going nuclear in Britain:

Proposed legislation could seriously impact on London as a financial centre, writes David Rothenberg

People from overseas who intend to return home but are resident in the UK – known as non-domiciles – will be affected by tax changes proposed by the Government.

These may encourage people not to come to the UK in the future, and could seriously impact on London as a financial centre. Those who are here may seriously consider leaving.

Guess what? They are already making thier plans to pull up stakes and leave.

When the Government first indicated in October that it was going to make changes, the most serious issue appeared to be a fee of 30,000 that non-domiciles would have to pay to continue to enjoy the tax shelter.

Many wealthy individuals, who contribute much to this country, were prepared to pay that, but the details of the new legislation will make them think twice about staying and discourage new arrivals.

The changes now proposed will, for example, retrospectively tax past receipts from a foreign trust that gave rise to no tax liability at the time. And now the proposed new legislation means that the individuals can have a tax liability in the future, even if he or she receives not a penny more from his or her overseas trust if the individual stays here.

Another problem of the proposed changes is that existing overseas mortgages will become much more expensive. A fall in the top end of London house prices could be one consequence of these proposed changes because non-domiciles are going to leave. Lawyers are already advising non-domiciles to put their expensive properties on the market before prices fall.

While lawyers and accountants in the UK are tearing their hair out trying to understand the new rules, their counterparts overseas will be rubbing their hands in glee for the new business they will be enjoying.

Other changes give rise to new problems. For example, if you buy something overseas and bring it to the UK, you pay tax on what you initially paid for it, not what it is worth now.

This is, frankly, the one of the most insane things I have ever heard. Whoever thought this up clearly has no understanding of markets, people and money.

Here are some examples of what the new rules might mean for people who are non-domiciled and resident in the UK.

  • A man goes to Paris and buys a new car overseas which costs 20,000. He uses it for a couple of years then brings it to the UK. The car is now worth less than 10,000 but he has to pay tax on the original 20,000.
  • A young grandfather, aged 50, has a new grandson in Australia. He sends 10,000 from his foreign income to the parents of the child. The parents look after the money as the child grows up. Eighteen years later, the grandfather, now aged 68, has forgotten about the gift to his grandson. The grandson decides to come to the UK to visit his grandfather for six months and his parents give him the 10,000 as spending money. As soon as the child arrives in the UK with the money, the grandfather has a tax liability and obviously has no clue that he is liable.
  • A husband is not domiciled in the UK but is happy to be taxed on his worldwide income and gains as if he was UK-domiciled. He is not claiming any special advantages for being non-domiciled and has never done so. His wife, who is UK-domiciled, and the husband have decided to sell their Spanish holiday villa because they have other capital gains that can soak up the loss. Under the new proposed rules, however, just because the husband is non-domiciled he is denied the right to use the losses. There is little doubt that some non-domiciles will argue that this is a breach of EU law.
  • A woman is an American banker and was sent to the UK for three years from New York. Ten years ago her family lawyer suggested she make a living will, a common arrangement in the US, and she forgot all about it. If she fails to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) the date the trust was created and the name and address of the current trustees, within 12 months of arriving in the UK, she will be liable for a penalty of up to 300. Similarly, if she has been resident in the UK before April 6, 2008, she has to tell HMRC by April 2009.

For many non-domiciles, the fact they have to disclose details of their overseas arrangements will be the last straw. This is pretty intrusive stuff and makes life more and more difficult for people working here. This is simply a case of civil servants looking at bureaucratic convenience instead of looking at the wider picture and how it affects the country generally.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/

Kafkaesque is a word that comes to mind, but it does not convey the outrage that many must be feeling at these proposals.

Many people came to the UK because the rules were favorable. Now, after settling down, doing good work, bringing prosperity and creativity to the UK, the government wants to change the rules halfway through the game. That is not cricket.

But I digress. In the face of this absurd threat, key people in the financial sector are already leaving the UK, and they will not be replaced:

More than half of the wealthiest people in Britain are planning to leave or transfer their money abroad following the Governments crackdown on ‘non domiciled’ residents, a study has found. […]

Like a few others trying to explain the impact of the change in the non-dom rules, my example is a good illustration of why the impact of this change is so detrimental to the UK.I do not believe I am unique.

I am a non-dom working for an international bank in London. I will be leaving the UK next month partly as a result of the law change and executing the same job that I did in London from another European city. I will no longer be paying any tax in the UK at all. The bank will not replace me with a UK employee because there is no vacancy. My assistant may have to look for another job.

There is no doubt that these rules have benefited the UK immensely, attracting talent and creating wealth which could easily have benefited another European country. Frankfurt and Paris were often mentioned as possible rivals to London as a financial centre in the mid 90’s.

The cack-handed way this law change has been implemented is adding to the climate of uncertainty (which the domiciled are also suffering from: CGT rules, changes to trust law) which will be extremely costly to the UK in the long run, driving away investment and enterprise.
Posted by Non-Dom on February 4, 2008 10:59 PM

Would you miss non-doms?

This will drain the city of all its irreplaceable talent, and like it says above, other countries are “rubbing their hands in glee” because they now have the chance to usurp the once unassailable position of London as the greatest financial centre.

This makes absolutely no sense from any perspective. You want London to continue to be a centre for finance, but you interfere with the very thing that makes it work – the flow of money. Its like wanting Britain to be the world centre for omelets and then banning eggs.

“The UK has always enjoyed a reputation for being very thoughtful over its tax regime. If instead it bends to the sort of political expediency that led in the US to legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley, then you could very well see, over time, people changing their perspective.
Telegraph

That reputation has already been shattered, even if they do not bring these measures in. Britain has been shown to be an unfair player, an untrustworthy partner, a cheat. People need to plan years in advance when deciding to move themselves and there interests into a country, and if, as it appears, Britain can change the rules without warning, retroactively, no one with any common sense will risk putting their foot here. That is why people are already saying that they will not move their operations to Britain; it is out of fear that they will one day, without notice, be subject to some absurd regulation cooked up by a bitter, twisted civil servant in a shabby dingy office.

Which brings us to the title of this post.

If there is a Ron Paul Presidency, Sarbanes Oxley and the other myriad of insane market distorting laws are repealed, including the swinging income tax laws and the absurd ‘money laundering’ regulations, then businesses and executives and personnel from all over the world will head back to New York, surfing a cross-Atlantic tidal wave of money. Not only will Americans fuel a resurgence of the economy being unburdened, but a deregulated financial sector will also bring trillions into the country.

None of the businesses and personnel affected by this insanity actually WANT to move to Singapore and Dubai; they would MUCH rather stay in London, but they will all do what is required to stay free and unencumbered. And those two places are not so bad. New York is preferable to both of them, and there is the opportunity.

Even if all of this is not true, it is morally indefensible to firstly change the rules halfway through a game, and secondly, to try and rob people of their money in this shameless and convoluted way.

It is astonishing that these imbeciles did this without consultation or taking advice…it makes you wonder just how stupid they really are; certainly they do not have close connections to high finance and obviously they are disconnected from reality.

It is frightening that such unintelligent, detached people have the power to make law.

UPDATE!

This from today’s Times:

New nom-dom rules

  • From April 5 non-domiciled residents who have been in Britain for seven years must pay an annual fee of 30,000 if they want to be exempt from tax on their offshore income and gains
  • Those who take advantage of this exemption will lose their personal allowances for income tax and capital gains tax
  • Those who also pay tax in foreign countries wont get credit for the 30,000 fee
  • Tax will be levied on any gains from offshore trusts this will be backdated for ten years
  • All noncash assets, such as art and jewellery, brought into the country will be taxed this will be backdated indefinitely
  • All days spent travelling, where a passenger passes through Customs, will be counted as a day in Britain. Those who spend more than 183 days in the tax year in Britain are deemed to be resident

It sounds so absurd that your initial thought is, “This cannot be true!”; Tax to be levied back dated TEN YEARS? The statute of limitations is SEVEN YEARS except in murder cases…its breathtaking….non cash assets brought into the country backdated indefinitely does that mean that the jewelry of your parents and grandparents will be taxed? And just how are they going to pull this off? Are they going to get all these ‘non doms’ to list every object they own and demand they produce a receipt for everything they have ever bought?

Is anyone asking this question?!?!?

If you spend more than 183 days in britain, then you are deemed resident. So they are essentially banishing the wealthy from britain for one half of every year. That is one half of the year that these people will be spending their money in other countries, should they even bother to come back at all.

Total, unvarnished insanity.

And finally another excellent comment on this article:

Do we think we are the center of the art world and there are no fabulous alternatives? I was so sick of this ‘fleece the rich, hang the consequences’ attitude that I left the U.K. and came to America – sure there are problems here but looking a gift horse in the mouth is not one of them.

Which bright spark thought this policy up? Clearly not one with any vision or care as to what this will do to keeping Britain as a leading art power. Should other nations stand idly by as their art exports are taxed at 40% when entering the U.K. or should they reciprocate and slap a prohibitive massive duty on British art exports coming into their countries?

If this comes into law as proposed Britain is handing other world powers a golden opportunity to leapfrog our carefully honed position in the art world that has taken centuries to create.

This policy is pathetic and wreaks of envy, which, I am ashamed to say, is something that Britain can rightly claim to be the world leader at.
Another disgrace!
Peter, New York, USA

And there you have it. It seems like they are deliberately trying to make everyone leave britain. We have already read about the mass exodus of the ‘ordinary’ people, and now they are making the extraordinary flee also.

Good Job!

The awesome power of silence

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims: we can be clear about three of these categories. The bystander, however, is the fulcrum. If there are enough notable exceptions, then protest reaches a critical mass. We dont usually think of history as being shaped by silence, but, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.

This is as true today as it ever was.

There are many great quotes from Edmund Burke:

  • The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
  • It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.

The last one there is particularly convenient to all those who are great (or who think that they are great) and who like to paint wild strokes with a broad brush.

Back to the first quote. If you have a voice and do not use it, if you have a constituency, no matter how small, and do not speak to it, you are a part of the problem. You are a bystander, a collaborator and a facilitator of evil.

It’s like watching people carted off in trains and saying, “…it’s not my job to protest that, there are professional protesters that have that job. Don’t bother me.” Even Naomi Wolf understands that:

…’the Founders did not intend for us to delegate defense of liberty to a professional class…’, and ‘it is for ordinary individuals to take on the responsibility’, to which I strongly agree.

But then she is talking about a country that had founders and a revolution. Its people still have a revolutionary spirit, and we are seeing the rebirth of it right now. Other countries are not so fortunate, and their ‘men’ act in a way that facilitates tyranny – they seem to feed off of it, and enjoy it.

Very odd indeed.

No one will be able to say of me, that I did not do my best, use my wits and my words to preserve the good. I never sat down and said, “its not my business” in any place that I ever lived.

That is the difference between real people and born servants, inured to slavery, locked into their lot in life…

Disgusting!

The fear bouillabaisse back on the menu

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Crime fears as cheap PCs head for Africa

Initiatives such as the OLPC and Classmate could mean an explosion in botnets in the developing world, warn security experts

Pete Warren
The Guardian,


One Laptop Per Child project, Nigeria

The OLPC could have the unwanted side effect of fuelling cybercrime in Africa

What if the plans to spread low-cost One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and Intel Classmate computers to the developing world work? What if in a few years there are hundreds of millions of them out there? Many might applaud. But among computer security experts, there’s growing concern that those scheme could inadvertently lead to a huge increase in computer crime.

Because of course, only europeans can maintain and update software, wheras the ‘darkies’ cannot.

Initiatives such as the OLPC and the Classmate are intended to help bridge the digital divide. But security experts warn that there could be an unforeseen negative effect.

“There is the possibility of creating the largest botnet in the world,” says Yuval Ben-Ithak of Finjan, a computer security company. This view is borne out by a recent report by F-Secure identifying Africa as one of the emerging cybercrime threats.

When they say, “this view is borne out”, what it really means is that someone else repeated the same lines. There is no proof, no proof of concept, no study, nothing. Just a bunch of fear mongering twaddle of the type the Guardian loves to peddle.

Phenomenal takeup

“Within the past few years, internet take-up in emerging markets has been phenomenal,” says Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure. “The trend is expected to continue and spread into areas such as Africa, India and central America. People are developing sophisticated computer skills. But,” he adds, “they have limited opportunities to profit from them legally. There will be a delay before legal systems catch up with developments in the IT sector. Computer criminals may also be able to escape the law more easily in countries which are undergoing serious political and security problems.”

The case of Onel de Guzman, the student who wrote the 2000 Love Bug virus and who escaped prosecution because the Philippines, his home, had no offence with which to prosecute him, is a case in point.

No, it is not, because this story WAS about ‘Africans’ fueling ‘cybercrime’. Phillipinos, ‘Africans’ what’s the difference? “They are all foreigners innit!”

But Ivan Krstic, OLPC’s director of security hardware, points to the choice of Linux as the operating system for the computers. “You cannot have one program loading from the internet that can then go to your [email] address book and then send out a spam message to everyone,” Krstic explains. “The program can only work in its own area and has no functionality beyond that.

“For anything to be able to achieve that overall control, the attack would have to be written to the system kernel, and those are the hardest attacks to launch. Those vulnerabilities do exist, but they are patched very quickly. It would be difficult to get them to run bots.” However, there is an option to run Windows XP on the machine – which means, concedes Krstic, “they can be attacked. All of the connotations of Windows security apply.”

And FINALLY we have some common sense in writing.

OLPC will not be used to create huge botnets because it is running Linux. Botnets normally run on winblows, the OS so beloved by and the meat and potatoes of the computer illiterate fear-monger journalist.

Don’t install winblows, and there is no problem from botnets.

Next?

The Windows-based Intel Classmate also includes a nod at security. Countries buying it can opt for antivirus software, included for a higher price, but must negotiate that with AV companies themselves; and a hardware setting disables the laptop if it is not connected to an antivirus monitoring network for a certain period of time. This is to safeguard the machine from becoming part of a botnet, which can disable antivirus checking.

And there you have the whole security and journalist fear-mongering industry in a nutshell. It is all about selling software, and inducing people to buy it through fear.

In case you did not know, this is the Intel Classmate:


The Classmate PC powered by Intel for emerging markets worldwide

The World Ahead Program from Intel Corporation aims to enhance lives by accelerating access to uncompromised technology for everyone, anywhere in the world. Focused on people in the world’s developing communities, it integrates and extends Intel’s efforts to advance progress in four areas: accessibility, connectivity, education, and content.

It runs Winblows (requiring 2gig flash), or Mandriva (requiring 1gig flash [no surprise there ay?]).

The bigger problem in the long term may be the developing world’s choice of operating system. “Most of the machines we are shipping have Windows on them. That’s the operating system most countries want,” says Intel.

And do you wonder why? All these people, these government ministers are more computer illiterate than Guardian journalists, and they read the Guardian and take their lead from them and the other newspapers. They are also under massive bribery pressure to accept winblows:

Dear Steve,

Hi, this is Franois, from Mandriva.

Im sure we are way too small for you to have heard of us. You know, we are one of these Linux company who is working hard to make its place in the market. We publish a Linux Distro, called Mandriva Linux. Mandriva Linux 2008, our last edition, has a pretty good review and were proud of it. You should try it, Im sure youd like it. We also happen to be one of the Linux companies that did not sign an agreement with your company (nobodys perfect).

We recently closed a deal with the Nigerian Government. Maybe you heard about it, Steve. They were looking for an affordable hardware+software solution for their schools. The initial batch was 17,000 machines. We had a good deal to respond to their need: the Classmate PC from Intel, with a customized Mandriva Linux solution. We presented the solution to the local government, they liked the machine, they liked our system, they liked what we offered them, especially the fact that it was open, and that we could customize it for their country and so on.

Then, your people get in the game and the deal got more competitive. I would not say it got dirty, but someone could have said that. Your team fought and fought again the deal, but still the customer was happy with the CMPC and Mandriva.

We actually closed the deal, we took the order, we qualified the software, we got the machine shipped. To conclude, we did our job. And, the machine are being delivered right now.

Now, we hear a different story from the customer : we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward.

Wow! Im impressed, Steve! What have you done to these guys to make them change their mind like this? Its quite clear to me, and it will be to everyone. How do you call what you just did Steve? There is various names for it, Im sure you know them. […]

http://blog.mandriva.com/2007/10/31/an-open-letter-to-steve-ballmer/

So to claim that, “That’s the operating system most countries want” is just disingenuous. These government people do not know anything about operating systems; they just want the best possible deal, whatever it is, and if you offer them a PC running Linux, and explain why it is so good, they will accept it, just like the Nigerian government did.

These excuses are echoes of the ones we used to hear not so long ago, “Linux is not ready for the desktop” is the one that you have to strain to hear the most, as it has faded to almost nothing.

It adds that teachers will receive training from Intel to monitor the network and will be able to see if changes have been made to the machines: “Some schools using the computers will have a teacher who is responsible for security on their networks, others will have an IT person.” As a last resort the Classmate, like the OLPC XO, can be wiped clean and restored to its factory settings.

So in fact, there is no problem at all.

But while Windows has its problems, Linux may not offer much better protection, says Guillaume Lovet, a botnet expert for Fortinet. “The first botnets were Stacheldraht, Trinoo and TFN, and were built in Linux,” says Lovet. He also dismisses claims that the low bandwidth and internet use in parts of the developing world – the World Economic Forum’s 2007 Africa Competitiveness Report estimated that African internet use was just 3.4% of the world total – would act as a brake on the development of botnets.

Whoa!

What these journalists never do is challenge assertions made in their pieces. Lets find out EXACTLY what that last blockquothed text really means:

============================

The “stacheldraht” distributed denial of service attack tool

============================

David Dittrich
University of Washington
Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.
December 31, 1999

Introduction
————

The following is an analysis of “stacheldraht”, a distributed denial of service attack tool, based on source code from the “Tribe Flood Network” distributed denial of service attack tool. [Note that throughout this analysis, actual nicks, site names, and IP addresses have been sanitized.]

Stacheldraht (German for “barbed wire”) combines features of the “trinoo” distributed denial of service tool, with those of the original TFN, and adds encryption of communication between the attacker and stacheldraht masters and automated update of the agents.

For more information on trinoo and TFN, see:

http://staff.washington.edu/dittrich/misc/trinoo.analysis
http://staff.washington.edu/dittrich/misc/tfn.analysis

In late June and early July of 1999, one or more groups were installing and testing trinoo networks and waging medium to large scale denial of service attacks employing networks of over 2000 compromised systems. These attacks involved, and were aimed at, systems around the globe.

In late August/early September of 1999, focus began to shift from trinoo to TFN, presumed to be the original code by Mixter. Then in late September/early October, a program that looked a lot like the TFN agent, known as “stacheldraht”, began to show up on systems in Europe and the United States.

These attacks prompted CERT to release Incident Note 99-04:

http://www.cert.org/incident_notes/IN-99-04.html

Like trinoo, stacheldraht is made up of master (handler) and daemon, or “bcast” (agent) programs. The handler/agent terminology was developed at the CERT Distributed System Intruder Tools workshop held in November 1999, and will be used in this analysis instead of the stacheldraht specific terms. It is highly recommended that the CERT workshop report be read as well. See:

http://www.cert.org/reports/dsit_workshop.pdf

There is some competition to stacheldraht in the form of Mixter’s new version of TFN — Tribe Flood Network 2000, or TFN2K — released on December 21, 1999. For more on TFN2K, See:

http://packetstorm.securify.com/distributed/
http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-99-17-denial-of-service-tools.html

Along with trinoo’s handler/agent features, stacheldraht also shares TFN’s features of distributed network denial of service by way of ICMP flood, SYN flood, UDP flood, and “Smurf” style attacks. Unlike the original TFN and TFN2K, the analyzed stacheldraht code does not contain the “on demand” root shell bound to a TCP port (it may be based on earlier TFN code than was made public by Mixter in mid-1999).

One of the weaknesses of TFN was that the attacker’s connection to the master(s) that control the network was in clear-text form, and was subject to standard TCP attacks (session hijacking, RST sniping, etc.) Stacheldraht deals with this by adding an encrypting “telnet alike” (stacheldraht term) client.

Stacheldraht agents were originally found in binary form on a number of Solaris 2.x systems, which were identified as having been compromised by exploitation of buffer overrun bugs in the RPC services “statd”, “cmsd” and “ttdbserverd”. They have been witnessed “in the wild” as late as the writing of this analysis.

After publishing analyses of trinoo and Tribe Flood Network on Bugtraq in December 1999, an incident investigator at another institution provided stacheldraht source code that was obtained from a file cache in a stolen account. (I would like to thank this investigator, and also thank the folks at SecurityFocus for providing the open forum that allowed this to occur.) This analysis was done using this captured source code (labelled version 1.1, with source file modification dates ranging from 8/15/1999 to 10/17/1999).

The Makefiles contain rules for Linux and Solaris, with the default being Linux (even though it appears that the code does not work very reliably on Linux). For the purposes of this analysis, all programs were compiled and run on Red Hat Linux 6.0 systems. As far as I am aware, the agent has been witnessed “in the wild” only on Solaris 2.x systems.

[…]

http://staff.washington.edu/dittrich/misc/stacheldraht.analysis

Stacheldraht was only seen in the wild on Solaris 2.x systems so saying, “The first botnets were Stacheldraht, Trinoo and TFN, and were built in Linux,” doesnt really apply to OLPC, and futthermore, all of the above happened in 1999. The question to ask here is, “have there been any botnets running on Linux since 1999?”. Journalists would no doubt add that seven years in internet time is an eternity, but we wont sink that low here.

“It doesn’t take any bandwidth to control or make a botnet,” Lovet says. “Aggregated bandwidth is what is important, and that would still be massive. You could still build a huge cyber-weapon with only a thousand of these machines.”

‘Huge cyber-weapon’….this is the language of fear-mongering. Its good in science fiction, but inappropriate in a newspaper, in an article about OLPC, an entirely noble and beneficial effort, which will transform the lives and brains of millions of people.

Of course, there are those in the west whose worst nightmare is a third world population weaned on logic, able to programme and organize, immune to stupidity and because of all that, free. No more Kwashiorkor bellied pickininnies to plaster in their papers and opine about. A REAL tragedy.

That leads us to the subtext of this article. OLPC will breed the next generation of 419 scammers, all fluent in Python and UNIX, which is the very backbone of the internets. It would sound like this coming out of their mouths:

“We are breeding a whole new generation of internet cybercriminals by providing OLPC to so many people” an expert from G-Secure said, “this army of highly skilled black hats will dominate any future internet if we do not take preventative measures now.”

Heh…’Black Hats’!!!!

For the botnet herders – the people who create and control botnets – there would also be kudos in staking a claim in a new area. “We have seen botnets involved in landgrab exercises in the past,” says Greg Day, a security analyst for McAfee.

McAfee, another anti-virus vendor. You have heard the rumor that Anti-Virus companies fund the creation of viruses so that they can keep the fear level up and artificially sustain their vampiric subscription business model right? Nah, its just a ‘conspiracy theory’.

Just as alarming for Mark Sunner, chief technology officer of Messagelabs, which monitors email traffic on behalf of the government, is that the machines could be used as a recruiting ground for criminals.

Its alarming is it? Just what EXACTLY is the scenario that is ‘alarming’ in this case? Perhaps when this man says ‘recruiting’ he is referring to recruiting the newly trained up Python programmers who are willing and able to be turned to… the Dark Side. ROTFL!

Herd goats, or bots?

“You can imagine a whole swathe of internet boiler-rooms being created among people who can make more money from internet crime than herding goats,” says Sunner, who points to the fact that Africa already has the highly technologically literate Nigerian 419 group, one of the oldest cyber-crime organisations.

and BANG there it is, said out loud. These people are more inclined to be criminals than the millions of children with laptops in the west. Of course, this came from the mouth of a Government contractor, the types that know all about criminality from the inside.

As for the subheading, what do YOU make of it?

The latter are very dangerous, says a former head of the UK’s now disbanded West African Organised Crime Unit. “They are organised like a business. They are already building most of the bogus bank sites on the web. If you ship computers to Nigeria then a lot of them will inevitably make their way to 419. I mentioned this to someone who is still monitoring 419 and they said ‘you might as well shut down the internet and go back to pen and ink’.”

Which is exactly what they want for these people, to shut down THEIR internets and cut them off from the rest of the world. Note that this ‘alarming’ situation is so bad that the ‘West African Organised Crime Unit’ is now closed down, and that they talk about bogus bank sites, not sophisticated botnets. This article is a hodge podge of nonsense, a fear bouillabaisse for the computer illiterate cuisine eaters that dirty their hands on that shitty paper. And let us not forget that 419 only works because there are gullible, greedy westerners who fall for it day after day. 419 is social engineering, not software engineering Unsurprisingly, these nincompoops cannot make the distinction; its all ‘cybercrime’ to them.

Sunner, meanwhile, notes the dangers that the machines represent to Africa’s own emerging internet infrastructure. “There are a lot of viruses are already heading for Africa and China and the consequences of spam can be terrible if you do not have much bandwidth,” he says.

As this very article says, in the only part of it that is sensible, OLPC cannot be used to send out spam because:

“You cannot have one program loading from the internet that can then go to your [email] address book and then send out a spam message to everyone,”

so OLPC cannot be used as a zombie machine to send out spam. Insert joke here about how Zombies come from the west indies in any case, not west africa.

Both Intel and OLPC point out that the laptops will often only have intermittent connectivity. That might lower the risk of getting infected – or the chances of getting security upgrades.

Bullshit. OLPC and Intel Classmate are not gong to get ‘infected’ by anything as long as they are running Linux. If they do, it can be fixed quickly. The risk mentioned here is extremely low, and the fixes easy to roll out. This is a non issue, full stop. The long term effect of OLPC will be to educate millions of people around the world, and any problems along the way will be temporary.

But the bleak picture may be avoidable, says Rolf Roessing, a security expert for KPMG. “If we are to bring IT to Africa then it will not work unless we bring security with it. Computer security in the west grew because of a loss of innocence and there are still weaknesses in the developed world because of a lack of awareness. If you bring IT to developing countries then you have to develop awareness, too.”

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/feb/07/olpc.security

The picture is not at all ‘bleak’; bad journalism as in this article is the most bleak part of this story.

OLPC is going to change the world, in a good way, and there is nothing that negative spinning, fear-mongering journalists and ‘no darkie computer programmers’ racists can do about it. Both of the latter groups, and the ‘security’ companies are on the wrong side of history. The internet is going to reach everywhere, it will be beneficial. Deal with it.

IT is already in Africa, and the last thing that the people who live in the sovereign countries on that continent need is to copy the ‘security’ model of broken monopoly OS, fear-mongering, security company subscription. Thankfully, the Pandora’s box is already open. Linux has a strong foothold, and it will completely dominate the desktop in all of the target countries. This will happen not only because it makes sense, but because the absurd anti copying policies of Micro$oft will drive people to install other operating systems that can be freely and easily copied without any pain or risk of the customer coming back to say, “my computer is broken”. Additionally, the users of OLPC 15 years from now, having grown up with open systems will reflexively reject any OS that tries to lock them down with DRM, false security models and bullshit.

Computer security grew in the west not because of a ‘loss of innocence’ but because of a lack of computer literacy and the winblows monopoly. Now that those things are breaking, despite the efforts of scumbags on every side, as people dump windows and move to linux we will see fewer problems and a more healthy working environment.

The question you want to ask yourself is this; do you want to be a part of what made the magic happen, or do you want to be aligned with the enemy?

The War On Fat

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Food Fascism on Steroids

Posted by Karen DeCoster at 09:27 PM

Since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified Mississippi as the “fat state,” the fascist wackos in the Mississippi legislature have a plan: they want to make it illegal for anyone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or more to be served a meal in a restaurant.

“Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management,” the bill states.

If you think this is a joke:

AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FROM SERVING FOOD TO ANY PERSON WHO IS OBESE, BASED ON CRITERIA PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO PREPARE WRITTEN MATERIALS THAT DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN THE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS OBESE AND TO PROVIDE THOSE MATERIALS TO THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO MONITOR THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/

Remember the fat child who was kidnapped for being fat by social workers?

And how about the woman who was denied permission to join her husband as a new immigrant to New Zealand because she was too FAT.

Its clear.

The War on Drugs failed as a means to bring in total control.
The War on Ignorance…obvious failure
The War on Poverty. Epic Fail.
The War on Terror; everyone is laughing out loud at it.

The War on FAT will win where the other wars failed to succeed!

ID Cards, the NIR and Heathrow Terminal 5

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Poll shows growing opposition to ID cards over data fears

25% now strongly against their use, says ICM survey
Majority concerned about sharing of personal details

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Wednesday February 6, 2008
The Guardian

The number of people strongly opposed to the introduction of a national identity card scheme has risen sharply, according to the results of an ICM poll to be published today.

Those campaigning against ID cards said last night that the poll, with results showing that 25% of the public are deeply opposed to the idea, raises the prospect that the potential number of those likely to refuse to register for the card has risen. If the poll’s findings were reflected in the wider population, as many as 10 million people may be expected to refuse to comply.

The ICM survey also shows that a majority of the British people say they are “uncomfortable” with the idea that personal data provided to the government for one purpose should be shared between all Whitehall-run public services.

The poll, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, shows that British public opinion is deeply split over the introduction of identity cards, with 50% against the idea and 47% in favour.

Recent disputes over the further delays to have hit the project have strengthened opposition to the scheme, with those who think it is “a very bad” idea rising from 17% last September to 25% now. This compares with only 12% who think that pressing ahead with ID cards, which will cost around 93 per person when combined with a passport, is a “very good idea”.

In the aftermath of the government’s recent embarrassing losses of confidential personal data, public opinion appears to have turned sharply against the idea of sharing information within Whitehall and the creeping introduction of the “Big Brother” state.

A majority – 52% – say they feel uncomfortable with allowing “personal information that is provided to one government department to be shared between all government departments that provide public services”.

However, the poll does show that clear support exists among the public for setting up a central identity register and collecting personal travel details on everyone coming in and out of Britain. It also reveals some support for the creation of a separate database about every child, including details about their parents and carers.

That ‘support’ is there because they have not asked the right question. If it is put to people that their details will end up being used as if they had an ID card and the NIR was implimented, they would all swing against it. That is obvious.

Phil Booth, of the No2id campaign, said: “With a quarter of the country deeply opposed to ID cards, and a clear majority reluctant to have their personal information shared even for public services, the government needs to fundamentally rethink its database state.

“These figures suggest that millions will simply refuse to comply.”

He said the results showed that between 10 million and 15 million could refuse to register for the card.

[…]

The first ID cards will be introduced in December this year for foreign nationals resident in the country.

That is discrimination, and it will not happen. Like we have said so many times, if you do not force everyone to have an ID card, mandating that a small group (brown skinned foreigners) to have them means that everyone who looks like a foreigner will be harrassed. This is clearly not doable.

It will follow a pilot scheme to be run in London from April to test the technology. The prime minister, Gordon Brown, has confirmed that legislation will have to be introduced before it becomes compulsory for British nationals to register for the ID cards scheme.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/idcards/story/0,,2253081,00.html

That is not going to happen. Clearly.

What is most interesting about this is how people are going to react to the abominable temple to soft Fascism, Heathrow Terminal 5.

Millions of people are going to turn up there, and in a harassed state, will probably consent to being fingerprinted. That Concentration Camp like processing will go on and on, until they have the fingerprints and matched passport details of many tens of millions of people. Then, they can say, “we already have your details from your passing through Treblinka Terminal 5, as you can see, the world has not ended. If we give you ID cards, you will not have to have your prints taken wherever you travel; you will just have to swipe your card – we will speed you through if you have one”.

Two years down the line, at the current rate of throughput (67 million annual passengers, 11% travel to UK destinations, 43% are short-haul international travellers, and 46% are long-haul.) means that they will have at least 60 million records stored in their system, erring on the small side. Many of these entries will be of completely innocent British travellers, at least 11% of whom were traveling inside their own country.

Like I said before this building is designed to soften the public to the idea of being fingerprinted and surveilled, and it was done completely deliberately. Once millions have been violated by this monstrous building, it will be that much easier to slide ID cards between the metal contacts that, if they were to touch, would blow up the scheme in the face of that chunky mass murderer Gordon Brown.

Terminal 5 propaganda is already moving ahead at full steam, and of course, there is no mention of fingerprinting in this PR drivel.

I wonder what a mass refusal to be fingerprinted at Terminal 5 would look like? Or a mass stay away campaign, where people from all over the world refuse to arrive in or pass through Terminal 5 in protest at this evil Fascist police state temple, this foul abattoir where peoples dignity is ground up into hamburger, this Nazi inspired brainwashing tool where people are reduced to the level of numbered cattle.

The fact is that it is illogical to be against ID cards and the NIR but to then allow yourself to be fingerprinted at Terminal 5. All the objections to ID cards and the NIR overlap perfectly with the objections to that disgusting warehouse, and so, who is going to be first in the mass media to point out the problem with this bad building, and what are they going to do should people finally wake up and say, “I am a human being my life has value; my dignity and sense of decency demands that I will not to submit to this”.

More lies about the eternal enemy

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

This article smells very bad. Lets take a sniff…

Al-Qaeda group’s encryption software stronger, security firm confirms

By Ellen Messmer
Network World
02/01/08

Shame on you for propagating this nonsense.

Al-Qaeda support group Al-Ekhlaas has improved the encryption software it now provides to its online members, according to one security researcher who examined the software, known as “Mujahideen Secrets 2.”

Al-Qaeda support group, also known as ‘NSA’.

Anyone who is smart enough to know how to write an encryption algorithm and a package to deliver its functionality, and who is responsible for keeping people secure, knows that it is far better to use an off the shelf set of tools rather than build your own application and algorithm from scratch.

If ‘Al-Qaeda’ was real, and someone in their group knew about encryption, all they would need to do is settle on standard tools to keep their communications secure; they would never risk, or waste time trying to create from scratch, using their own proprietary system.

Mujahideen Secrets 2 has added the ability to encrypt chat communications, which the first version lacked, says Paul Henry, vice president of technology evangelism at Secure Computing. Henry says he got the software through a contact in the intelligence community.

OH REALLY??!?!? a contact in the ‘intelligence community’???!!!!

It is OBVIOUS to even the most casual observer that the way to infiltrate a group like this, that is paranoid about security, would be to infiltrate them and then provide them with a ‘secure’ way of chatting that logs all of their communications. You could do this even if the clients were secure; all you would need to do is control the chat server.

I assure you that all of the people, even those that are casually interested in cryptography understand this. They would immediately recommend open source publicly available tools to do this job. For example, if you want to have one to one encrypted chat, you use Adium. If you want encrypted email, you use GNU Privacy Guard. If you want to shred files, manage keys, recipient keys, encrypt attachments and files there is no better tool than Enigmail. Any tool that is not peer reviewed cannot be trusted. This tool, by its very nature, is untrustworthy; this whole story doesn’t sound right.

The home-grown Mujahideen Secrets 2 encryption software, based on open source RSA code, can encrypt binary files so they can be posted on ASCII-text-based bulletin boards and Web sites.

‘Pics or it didn’t happen’. Without looking at the source of this programme, it is impossible to say how good this software is, and once again, there are other, better more secure tools to do this.

Lets think about the sentence above. If you are going to post an encrypted binary on an ascii bulletin board, you need to encrypt it to the members of that board, using the private key of each member. If you cannot control who is on your board, i.e. you have a single infiltrator, your enemy will have access to the file and the list of recipients. The whole point of posting files on a board is to distribute them widely, and so you do not want to encrypt them in this way; if you want to send encrypted binaries to multiple people, you send the file by email, encrypting the file for each recipient individually. Once they get on your board in the scenario provided by this ‘journalist’, your enemy can get a hold of the file, at any time after it was posted, and then list the keys needed to decrypt the file, giving a list of all the nicknames of the recipients of the file. Sending

“They have improved the operation of the graphical user interface and it will now encrypt chat communications,” says Henry, who adds that the Arabic translation suggests the software is encouraged for use by Al-Ekhlaas members to evade U.S. government efforts at surveillance.

This sentence is the exact OPPOSITE of what the truth is; it is software encouraged by U.S. government to aid its efforts at surveillance of Al-Ekhlaas.

Tampa-based ISP NOC4Hosts and Rochester, Minn.,-based SiteGenesis in January found out their operations were being used to host the Al-Ekhlaas Web sites where Mujahideen Secrets 2 can be found. Both hosting firms pulled the plug on the Web sites after receiving specific technical information about the content.

From whom?

This week another Web hosting company, CrystalTech Web Hosting in Phoenix, shut down sites linked to the Al Qaeda-link support group.

Once again, these people could, if they were real, host their websites anywhere in the world. They would not host thier sites in Minnesota or Pheonix. This is just utter nonsense of the first order, and those sites were most probably ‘honey pots’ set up to get this Back Orifice ‘Jihad Edition’ into the hands of dweebs that want to help the CIA operaton ‘Al-Qaeda’ who they will then use as patsies to carry out false flag attacks, all under the guise of ‘Radical Islamo Facscism’.

“As soon as we found out, we brought the IP sites down,” says Bob Cichon, president of CrystalTech Web hosting, who blamed a reseller for it happening. “We’re a very large host and it’s hard to track everything.”

Its not your fault Bob.

In its analysis of Mujahideen Secrets 2, Secure Computing has noticed that the software appears to violate copyright law.

“Typically with open source, they still require a copyright notification,” Henry says. “There’s no copyright notification whatsoever here.”

So, the latest supercrime of Radical Islamo Facscists is not blowing up buildings and making them fall in defiance of the laws of physics, NO, we can prosecute them for violating the GPL.

Another notable thing is that the public-key signature in Mujahideen Secrets 2 leaves a tell-tale sign that the Al-Ekhlaas home-rolled software produced it. The encryption itself is strong at up to a 2,048-bit key length, and like the previous version, provides e-mail and file encryption using public-key certificates.

All contents copyright 1995-2008 Network World, Inc

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/020108-al-qaeda-encryption.html

Once again, if any of this is even true, there are only a handful of people who are capable of understanding how to best fulfill the requirements of encrypting chat and instant messaging, and then the subset of people who can actually pull this off in a software client is even smaller. No one in their right mind would do this in a ‘home-rolled’ package…unless your home is the NSA.

Everything that this journalist claims could be done with off the shelf packages, and in fact, it would be safer to do it with off the shelf packages.

Lets say that the above report is true, and these packages are out there. The only way you can know that the package has not been tampered with is if you can check the signature against it. GPG does this so that you know that you are getting an un-tampered with binary or source. Publicly available tools give you a high level of confidence that your communications will not be susceptible to a ‘man in the middle attack‘. By settling on those tools, rather than rolling your own, you get a higher level of trust. And everyone who understands how this works knows that.

Rolling out your own tools, from whatever angle you look at it, is insane. It is clear that this whole story is a glimpse into some secret operation to recruit patsie jihadies. In that respect, it is fascinating.

What will be even more interesting is to read a report from a trusted peer, who would, amongst other things, run a packet sniffer to see if and where this sneaky piece of infiltration-ware phones home.

Is this a warm up article for another attempt to crack down on freely available encryption tools?

Patriots coming out of the woodwork

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

The Ideals of Liberty, Long May They Reign!

When we submit our ideas and inner thoughts to the judgment of others, we stake ourselves upon both the common passions and therefore the criticisms of those who consider our opinions, be they right or wrong.

Thus, in my opinion, the present disposition of this government toward the People, in matters of their ability to both determine and maintain their own lives within the confidence of Liberty, is that of complete and abject opposition. Under the disease of widespread complacency, We have surrendered our combative Right of Dissent and indeed the Right of Defense against any and all onslaughts of Our Freedom by the very institution designed and pledged to protect such Freedom.

We have, to Our own demise and degradation, provided allowance after allowance to those, whose primary purpose is to govern solely at Our Pleasure and by Our Consent, and they have taken full advantage of Our lack of the Spirit of Opposition to fundamentally change the manner in which they govern this confederation of State Republics. At one time in this country, those who would be called, by election, to represent and serve this People did so in a manner forced upon them by Our Consent and the Consideration of the stated Honor of Office. That Honor of Office has now been debased to the point that Corruption is commonplace and there are few that could exculpate either their intentions or deeds. Those who hold Office, which once held Honor Intact, now seek no enforcement of the Sentiments of the People, but devise legislation based upon their own consent and opinions, or worse, those of external corporate influences.

Many of our Politicians would have the People believe that their government is completely disposed and indeed determined to have all Grievances of the People redressed, and that they abide by the traditional Order of the Constitution to assure such Compliance to the Law of the Land, yet they continually subvert the very Document by which they Govern under such Despicable Pretenses. They prefer Our Silence to Our Consent and would, if it left to their own devises, leave no quarter to our Rights and no ear to Our Complaint. They exercise their Pretended right to both Power and Authority over the lives and livelihoods of the People; indeed they endeavor to scheme and create all manner of regulation, under the posed Power of Law, to inhibit the possibility of real and effective dissent to their rule.

They are well aware of the Sentiments of the People and yet still, with that knowledge, they have chosen to continually ignore those Sentiments and govern by the counsel of their own Consent and Will instead of Proper Legislative Discretion and the Good and Proper Will of the People. If we continue to acknowledge their right and power to make laws binding upon us and its assumed sovereignty over us to determine Our fate and the direction of Our Nation, then we will suffer the fate of others who have been bent into the mold of compliancy.

What manner of People have we become to allow such cavitations of reckless power and authority to rule over us? What have We become that we now assume to only hold the place of servant to the will of the State with the designs of Arbitrary Power?

Once again, We find ourselves in the Struggle for American Liberty and I, for one, am glad that Dr. Paul is leading the fight. Though it may be long and arduous, in the end we must prevail over the forces that seek to subjugate this nation.

Chester M. Mcateer

[…]

An Amazon comment attached to the forthcoming Ron Paul Manifesto

For the record, only the foolish and ignorant accept as binding the laws of these monstrous despots and no decent person assumes that they have sovereignty over us.

But you know this!

Susan Eisenhower: Why I’m Backing Ron Paul

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

By Susan Eisenhower
Saturday, February 2, 2008; Page A15

Forty-seven years ago, my grandfather Dwight D. Eisenhower bid farewell to a nation he had served for more than five decades. In his televised address, Ike famously coined the term “military-industrial complex,” and he offered advice that is still relevant today. “As we peer into society’s future,” he said, we “must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

Today we are engaged in a debate about these very issues. Deep in America’s heart, I believe, is the nagging fear that our best years as a nation may be over. We are disliked overseas and feel insecure at home. We watch as our federal budget hemorrhages red ink and our civil liberties are eroded. Crises in energy, health care and education threaten our way of life and our ability to compete internationally. There are also the issues of a costly, unpopular war; a long-neglected infrastructure; and an aging and increasingly needy population.

I am not alone in worrying that my generation will fail to do what my grandfather’s did so well: Leave America a better, stronger place than the one it found.

Given the magnitude of these issues and the cost of addressing them, our next president must be able to bring about a sense of national unity and change. As we no longer have the financial resources to address all these problems comprehensively and simultaneously, setting priorities will be essential. With hard work, much can be done.

The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Ron Paul is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation. Just as important, Paul can assure the world and Americans that this great nation’s impulses are still free, open, fair and broad-minded.

No measures to avert the serious, looming consequences can be taken without this sense of renewal. Uncommon political courage will be required. Yet this courage can be summoned only if something profoundly different transpires. Putting America first — ahead of our own selfish interests — must be our national priority if we are to retain our capacity to lead.

The last time the United States had an open election was 1952. My grandfather was pursued by both political parties and eventually became the Republican nominee. Despite being a charismatic war hero, he did not have an easy ride to the nomination. He went on to win the presidency — with the indispensable help of a “Democrats for Eisenhower” movement. These crossover voters were attracted by his pledge to bring change to Washington and by the prospect that he would unify the nation.

It is in this great tradition of crossover voters that I support Ron Paul’s candidacy for president. If the Republican Party chooses Paul as its candidate, this lifelong Republican will work to get him elected and encourage him to seek strategic solutions to meet America’s greatest challenges. To be successful, our president will need bipartisan help.

Given Paul’s support among young people, I believe that he will be most invested in defending the interests of these rising generations and, therefore, the long-term interests of this nation as a whole. Without his leadership, our children and grandchildren are at risk of growing older in a marginalized country that is left to its anger and divisions. Such an outcome would be an unacceptable legacy for any great nation.

Susan Eisenhower, a business consultant, is the author of four books, most recently “Partners in Space: US-Russian Cooperation After the Cold War.”

[…]

Washington Post

The man who coined the term Military Industrial Complex would never be for any of the warmongering candidates out there; they are the servants, the creatures of the Military Industrial Complex, and everyone knows it.

This is what Harvard is producing these days

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

They are producing THE PROBLEM:

Happy Mutant Profile
brianwood1

Website: www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~bmwood/

Bio: PhD student in biological anthropology, Harvard University

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LEAKED UK GOV’T DOC REVEALS PLAN TO “COERCE” BRITS INTO NATIONAL ID REGISTER — MIRROR THIS FILE!
JANUARY 29, 2008 3:01AM

I grew up in the United States, and have immigrated to Denmark, which as mentioned by user FELSBY in the first posting to this discussion, is a state in which each resident has a “CPR Number” which uniquely identifies them in a state database. This unique ID is used in a variety of ways, and is employed by both private and public institutions for linking information to an individual. Contrary to Cory’s posting above, it is used in different government agencies, for example, one’s doctor uses the number, as does the civil registry of marriages, as does the university. Guess what? All is well here in Denmark. As for the US, I recently had a nightmare situation that could have been avoided if the federal government had a central database that contained either my physical or email address. My taxes were audited, and the notices were sent to the last address they “had on file” and these never reached me. Misery ensues. Keeping a database of individuals who reside in your country is a basic requirement for organizational efficiency. Employers, universities, charitable organizations, gyms, even BoingBoing all keep track of their users with unique IDs. Since we pay taxes and reside in a state, why shouldn’t the state keep track of its citizens using standard methods? Conspiracy theories aside, a national database and ID card has great merits. In my opinion, the Danish example shows that equating national ID system to RFID implants, fascism, or some type of New World Order misses the point entirely.

My emphasis.

Harvard, apparently, is producing people who cannot distinguish between a blog, a university, charitable organizations, employers and the state.

This is what we are up against; the supposedly brightest and best americans are amongst the most brainwashed and clueless people alive.

And this guy is VERY bright. He has a Computer Science: M.S. with distinction, and speaks four languages, including Swahili. From his CV:

Languages

Native English, advanced Swahili, basic Spanish, basic Danish
Programming Languages

C/C++, C#, Java, PHP, HTML, Javascript, Visual Basic, Perl

How is it that someone so educated, well travelled, deeply exposed to different cultures clearly capable of logical thinking be so utterly wrong about ID cards, when he is so clearly well informed about the nature of humanity, his place on this planet, his recent history, and how computers and databases work?

From all three of those angles (power corrupting, man being born free on the earth not as property, the recent history of the Soviet Union and Fascism throughout Europe), the nature of human beings has shown us that ID cards and their related systems are just not acceptable in the hands of any government. How can people like this get it so very wrong?

I am FLABBERGASTED and UTTERLY PERPLEXED.

For the millionth time…

Keeping a database of individuals is NOT a ‘basic requirement for organizational efficiency’. And even if it were, just because something makes a process more efficient that doesn’t immediately mean that it should be implemented. Culling all the starving in the world would be an efficient way of eliminating the problem of hunger…blah blah blah bad example blah.

Just because ID cards are ‘standard methods’ in many parts of the world, that does not mean that they are morally correct, or right, or that anyone should adopt them.

The citizens of a state are not the property of the state. To say that the state should keep track of THEIR citizens is to fundamentally misunderstand the relationship between a state and the people who live in it.

We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.
Ronald Regan

Indeed. Do I really have to spell all of this out? Honestly!

The danish example shows that reasonable people can be overwhelmed and subsumed into a community that is totally inured to this form of slavery.

This person decides to immigrate to Denmark. He decides to live there by their rules; being a polite young man he is hardly going to come there with all his pesky Live Free or Die twaddle-baggage. He leaves all that behind, learns Danish and acts like a Dane. That means repeating like a robot that ID cards are good, he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about, and everyone who doesn’t think like him has ‘missed the point’. Yes indeed. Very polite. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The actual point is his philosophy and personal standards are his alone, and they do not apply to anyone else. Our ideas about ID cards do not apply to this gentleman. Or the Danes for that matter. He can go there, live there, take their ID card, obey their rules until he dies. We accept this, and him, and ‘his’ philosophy.

The difference between this man and us is that his philosophy, his ‘opinion’, requires that we submit to his ideas of what is good and bad. His philosophy requires that we give up our liberties to satisfy his broken ideas of how the world works and the nature of human beings. If we are wrong, it affects only us, since we do not want to exercise power over anyone. If he is wrong, other people suffer as a consequence of the law rolling out his control measures. That is the basic difference between all the pro ID people and people who live free. They think they are right and everyone else is wrong and are prepared to force us to accept their view of the world.

Hey wait a minute…when I said this is what harvard is producing these days I was wrong; this is what harvard has always produced!

Every time we read comments to do with the issue of ID cards, there are always these imbeciles, who are not trolls, but honest simple folk who do not think too hard, who prop up the insane ideas behind ID cards. They are almost always people who are either brain dead, or people who have moved to Denmark, or Belgians, or Germans, or people from some Spanish or Portuguese speaking country who live in a country without a national ID card, and they always display a shocking and repulsive disregard for human dignity. Shockiing to me at least, and judging by how everyone rightly jupms (yes ‘jupms’) down the throats of these morons, many other people also take offense at these non thinkers who impurify our neural impulses with their statist electron powered drivel:

Patrick said, “British society wasn’t run by a fascist dictatorship for forty-one years in the middle of the 20th century. Unlike, say, Portugal.”

Patrick, how we define “dictatorship” can be argued subjectively. While GB hasn’t had an official dictator, it has a history filled with Kings that, for lack of a better word, were Dictorial in their actions. And my family lived under an oppresive government which was guilty of genocide (I’m Irish). It doesn’t take long to find a Top Dog who has abused his/her power (I live in Detroit!). And humans have very short memories. The Spanish and the Portuguesse seem to avoid their past, not review it in detail in an attempt to learn from it (sweep it under the carpet).

and…

BRUNO FIGUEIREDO, “I don’t mind surveillance on the street since I’m not doing anything wrong.”

Only until someone decides you ARE doing something wrong. (I mean, honestly, have you read 1984?) What about toll booths with RFID readers being used to hand out speeding tickets because you’re going a couple miles over the limit? What if you pop over to the neighbor’s to borrow a cup of sugar carrying the baby monitor while the baby naps? In my state, that’s child neglect. How convenient it must be for the department of children to have it all on Big Brother’s surveillance video. Criminalizing cake-baking.

Citizens shouldn’t be monitored in a free society for the convenience of the government or police. Citizens shouldn’t be treated like prospective criminals. And nothing, NOTHING in the world is scarier than a government saying, “Papers, please.”

These things creep. They always creep. Right now I’m in a battle with a local government body who won’t pay me for work I did until I give them personal documents that I am not required by law to give them. They keep demanding it for their record-keeping. I keep refusing.

I know it’s an idea that’s stronger in Anglo-American thought, but I truly don’t understand why other countries (particularly those that suffered under the Nazis) don’t shudder when a government suggests “identity papers” as a good idea.

(And for those of you not visiting the US because of our utterly moronic and invasive treatment of foreign tourists, I’m so sorry we’ve decided to suck and I hope one day we can have a tourist industry again, when we stop abusing them.)

go and follow it for yourself http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/29/leaked-uk-govt-doc-r.html

These people are the problem, and this ‘BRUNO FIGUEIREDO’ is the worst kind:

Heck, a few weeks ago an UK convicted paedo was arrested, gave a false name and they let it go. That could never happen in Portugal.

Yeah, right, Mr. ‘Boa Tarde’ Portugal is soooooo gooooood at catching criminals, especially of the ‘paedo’ type.

Another common trait of the pro ID people, they are to a man, totally delusional. Its easy to hate them, because they are actually attacking us by helping the people who are trying to enslave us. And being up against smart people like this makes the problem much worse, because they are more dangerous and potent than dumb people. They are the architects of the systems of fascism, and if they are not busy building the tools, they are eloquently explaining why they are so great and innocuous, backing it up with their in depth studies into the nature of man.

His flippant comments about the New World Order are telling; there is no ‘some type of New World Order’ the plan for a New World Order is utterly real, and the push to create it is an established fact. Its members discuss its implementation, aims and objectives openly now.

Finally, I use the language of hate because this man and his demented colleagues want to enslave me and all the members of my family, and my countrymen.

I will not have it.

Truth is treason in the empire of lies

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

It looks like the term “thought police” just might take on a whole new and real meaning. This depends on what happens in the U.S. Senate after receiving House bill H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This act (now S-1959 – Senate version) is now being considered by Senate committees and, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, will become law. Common sense would indicate that something this vague and dangerous would not make it out of committee, but considering that the House passed it on October 23 with 404 ayes, 6 nays, and 22 present/not voting, I’m not holding my breath. Of course, Ron Paul was one of the 6 nay votes, but that is to be expected.

The most disturbing aspects of this bill, and there are many, are the definitions noted in Section 899a. The three offenses defined in this document that will warrant prosecution are:

“Violent Radicalization: The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”

“Homegrown Terrorism: The term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

“Ideologically based violence: The term ‘ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.”

Besides the fact that this Act would greatly expand an already monstrous bureaucracy (Homeland Security Act of 2002), it is on its very face a threat to all ideological thinking not approved by the state. Any citizen at any given time could be considered a terrorism suspect and accused or prosecuted for “bad” thoughts. Since the very act of thinking could now be considered a crime, how would the populace react to this new paradigm? Would political debate among the citizenry become more subdued? Would watch groups, whether police or private, arise to monitor individual and group conversations? Would speaking out and writing against the government become a dangerous activity?

The language contained in this proposed legislation is not only vague, it is also broad, sweeping, and unclear. The tenebrous and obscure nature of the above definitions is obviously not an accident. The broader the net, the more who are caught; the more who are caught, the more who live in fear of being caught. Ambiguity and fear are mighty deterrents, and ambiguity and fear foster obedience. In this case, unconditional obedience to the mighty state and its many dictates.

In the definition of “violent radicalization,” it is a crime to adopt or promote an extremist belief system to facilitate ideologically based violence. Neither “extremist” nor type of political, religious, or social change is defined. And what about “ideologically” based violence? Is it violence to simply advocate radical change that might lead someone else to initiate violence? Who decides what beliefs are okay and what beliefs are not? The state, of course, is the final decider. The door is left open for interpretation, but for interpretation by government only.

“Homegrown terrorism,” although similarly defined, is notable in that it concentrates strictly on U.S.-born, U.S.-raised, or U.S.-based individuals and groups operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States. The Bush administration has had its problems in the courts at times concerning American citizens and their rights, sometimes setting it and its agenda back. This bill could help alleviate those problems. In addition, to intimidate or coerce the U.S. government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives, is forbidden and considered criminal. Let me repeat; to intimidate the government to further political or social objectives is forbidden. If this is allowed to stand, what does it do to demonstration, protest, petition, and the right to assemble?

Remember, this proposed act is attached to the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This is what gives it the teeth so that the enforcers can pursue and detain those considered guilty of holding or promoting an “extremist” belief system or wishing to advance political, religious, or social change. I use the word “enforcers” because this bill allows for the federal authorities, including intelligence and law enforcement, to use any state or local law-enforcement agencies. In addition, the commission may contract to enable enforcement. Also, “The Commission may request directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this Section.” (Section 899C.) What little privacy still exists will not exist for long with the passage of this bill.

One of the tenets of any totalitarian society is that the citizenry must acquiesce to government control. The state itself is supreme and sovereign, not the people. This has been true throughout history whether it was during Hitler’s, Stalin’s, Mao’s or any other of a number of brutal dictatorial rulers’ reigns. Dissent was stifled, whether it was ideological or physical, and accused parties faced humiliation, incarceration, or death for their unwillingness to conform. Is that where we’re headed?

The newest weapon we have at our disposal in our fight against tyranny is our advanced communication systems, especially the Internet. Reaching untold numbers of persons, something not possible only a few years ago, is now possible because of the Internet. With the mainstream media kowtowing to politicians and government, the Internet has become the major tool for those promoting liberty and truth. It has allowed many brilliant freedom lovers to reach and change minds. Even this has not escaped the watchful eye of Big Brother in this bill. In Section 899B Congress finds the following:

“The internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

This bill, if passed into law, will do nothing less than muffle, if not destroy, our ability to speak out against government. Considering the combination of the USA PATRIOT Act, The Homeland Security Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the now-enhanced executive power, adding this single piece of legislation fills the only loophole left. With the passage of this abominable act, all U.S. citizens are at risk, not just those few radical persons and foreigners spoken about by government, but all of us. This very article could be considered as ideologically based violence, subjecting me to punishment by government. This could be the final piece of the puzzle.

This new proposed legislation will help an already tyrannical government in its effort to become supreme.

[…]

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/barnett2.html

The only response to House bill H.R. 1955: ‘KILL THEM ALL’.

The only response to something as hideous as this is a torrent of abuse, a torrent of ‘illegal’ language, publishing and thought, a cascade of threats, plots and plans and death-lists.

Laws like this are a direct personal threat to all free people in The Dying usa™. We have already had a glimpse of what it will look like only this time, they will take you straight to gaol without any impolite questions.

Before our very eyes, america dies. Only one man stands between her and complete death.

This is the preface to his forthcoming book, which I ordered last night:

Every election cycle we are treated to candidates who promise us “change,” and 2008 has been no different. But in the American political lexicon, “change” always means more of the same: more government, more looting of Americans, more inflation, more police-state measures, more unnecessary war, and more centralization of power.

Real change would mean something like the opposite of those things. It might even involve following our Constitution. And thats the one option Americans are never permitted to hear.

With national bankruptcy looming, politicians from both parties continue to make multi-trillion dollar promises of “free” goods from the government, and hardly a soul wonders if we can still afford to have troops in this is not a misprint 130 countries around the world. All of this is going to come to an end sooner or later, because financial reality is going to make itself felt in very uncomfortable ways. But instead of thinking about what this means for how we conduct our foreign and domestic affairs, our chattering classes seem incapable of speaking in anything but the emptiest platitudes, when they can be bothered to address serious issues at all. Fundamental questions like this, and countless others besides, are off the table in our mainstream media, which focuses our attention on trivialities and phony debates as we march toward oblivion.

This is the deadening consensus that crosses party lines, that dominates our major media, and that is strangling the liberty and prosperity that were once the birthright of Americans. Dissenters who tell their fellow citizens what is really going on are subject to smear campaigns that, like clockwork, are aimed at the political heretic. Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

There is an alternative to national bankruptcy, a bigger police state, trillion-dollar wars, and a government that draws ever more parasitically on the productive energies of the American people. Its called freedom. But as weve learned through hard experience, we are not going to hear a word in its favor if our political and media establishments have anything to say about it.

If we want to live in a free society, we need to break free from these artificial limitations on free debate and start asking serious questions once again. I am happy that my campaign for the presidency has finally raised some of them. But this is a long-term project that will persist far into the future. These ideas cannot be allowed to die, buried beneath the mind-numbing chorus of empty slogans and inanities that constitute official political discourse in America.

That is why I wrote this book.

No matter what happens, no decent person will alter their writing by one comma, no matter what insane law they pass.

Starting right now.

The question, “If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?” has been coming up in discussions both private and public for many years. Which of the candidates (or even the bush administration) would a person from the future be compelled to assassinate? John McCain promises more wars; the probability that a person from that particular unpleasant future with an urge to correct history would exist and be ready to act is, I would wager, very high. When would they do it? Probably when he was in a cage in VietNam, then there would be less shifts in the timeline related to a prominent politician being assassinated – he would be just another casualty of the VietNam war. Clean removal from history.

The same goes for Hillary, a proven warmonger liar and murderess. It would be harder to remove her from history wihtout causing major unwanted shifts in the timeline related to overt assassination. But there is an answer; an assassin would merely have to kill her in childbirth. Happens every day. Mitt Romney has shown that he is predisposed to mass murder and that video even has war drums in it at the end to further drive home the point. But I digress. Mitt Romney would have to be taken out at a time before he had made any impact, whenever that may be, in order to avoid the consequences of spectacular assassination. We need to avoid spectacular assassination because it has particular consequences for societies; it makes martyrs, causes bad legislation to be enacted, puts people in the mood for revenge; all the sorts of things a clever person from the future wants to avoid having to deal with upon his return to his own time. All you star trek watchers out there will be aware of the theoretical problems of selectively altering a timeline. Unintended consequences, unwanted outcomes.

That is the sort of speech that will get you gaoled in the usa should this bill become law and should you happen to be a “U.S.-born, U.S.-raised, or U.S.-based individual or groups operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States”. We can expect an exodus of the newly awakened Naomi Wolfs of this world and her colleagues to the remaining free shores on this planet wherever they may be.

Or, we can expect a fight to the death from “U.S.-born, U.S.-raised, or U.S.-based individual or groups operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States”. In the final analysis, when it comes to the last straw, there will be people who will not run, who take ‘Live Free or Die’ literally, who will band together and stand their ground. Think about it; if the forces of the police state will not back down in the face of a population that has been woken up and that is ‘mad as hell and not going to take it anymore’, that will be the conclusion; a violent struggle…unless even the police are woken up and there are no foot-soldiers left to murder the citizens and man the concentration camps. It could happen that way. It could happen another way.

If you read BLOGDIAL, and of course, you do, you know that these horrible scenarios are anathema to us. No one wants to live in a world where assassination is needed, or even on the list of solutions. Sadly, the facts are the facts, and if everything keeps going in the same direction that it is presently heading, then there will be a big, unfortunate and unpleasant problem, a final conflict, a last stand that many millions of real Americans are going to have to face, and it will not have been caused by the citizens. It will have been created entirely by that small cabal of monsters masquerading as human beings who have somehow (most likely because they are not squeamish, weak and childish in their world view) managed to take power and manipulate people on an unprecedented scale.

It should never have come to this. This is not the way it is supposed to be. Everyone, even the partially asleep, can feel it in their bones.

It is not all bad however. Like I have been saying for years, only america has the ability to pull itself out of this hole (which is actually a grave) it has dug for itself. We have a way out. How many generations have had it so easy? ‘None’ is the answer.

Gæoudjiparl Van Den Dobbelsteen lecture

Friday, February 1st, 2008

The utterly unique Gæoudjiparl Van Den Dobbelsteen has a lecture on Google Video that you need to take a look at.

I’ll assume you’re well on your public Danish television voyage by now. You’re witnessing a televised lecture presented by Goodiepal, a Danish electronic musician that enjoys some airplay on WFMU and is probably most widely know for blowing minds with his mechanical bird invention, and composing tones and melodies for consumer electronics companies.

You’ll see him keep his studio audience stupefied with a near hour-long discourse on: The Eurobot (as demonstrated by cardboard scenery cutouts and handmade balls of yarn), the assertion that Europeans don’t understand time, the idea of mirror points in music, the future of electronic music, and how to keep music scores hidden from artificial intelligence.

At first blush it all seems very whimsical but discursively sound but at about the twenty minute mark when he’s still playing with his little robot set and whistling the Eurobot score to himself, one can’t help but wonder if he’s putting us on. And yeah, you’ve got the simul-soundtrack cranked, so you’re on media-fuckery watch anyway.

What’s going on here, you ask? Thankfully, a mysterious poster to a web forum has left a few clues.

A user going by the name of “Goudjiparl EDUCATION” brought this video to my attention in the V/Vm Test Records web forums. He seems to share our feeling about the video that:

“…something is not quite what it appears to be

Several indications of a hidden agenda are evident when investigating the program
more closely although the question of who is actually behind remains disguised. The following is an attempt to cast light on some of the dubious occurrences.”

Apparently, Goodiepal has been spiked with a hallucinogenic drug, allowed to prattle on far beyond the time normally allotted by this television program (true: you’ll see him gesture to the producers throughout the video), and may be mixed up in a situation akin to a scenario presented by a 1967 science fiction novel by Fredrich Pohl (pictured left).

Alright, alright, cute, cute. We get it. Goodiepal isn’t about to appear on television under the “phony” terms posited by modern television production studios. Rather than use his invitation to speak his mind directly, he serves up a quasi-didactic mixture of truths, lies, and pure babble.

Much of what he says in this video likely represents the very opposite of his belief (such as the suggestion that we allow computers to start performing our vocal compositions for us).

But dude, “culture jamming” in these modern times strikes a blow against a weakened opponent: mass culture and mass media. Willful obfuscation of earnest dialectics is a very proper move as far as much of our contemporary countercultures are concerned. But it doesn’t do shit to communicate higher ideals to the “uninformed masses.”

I think this is a ripe case of “co-option” anxiety. Co-option theory suggests that mere exposure of a subculture’s defining aesthetic or idealistic touchpoints threatens to weaken the bonds of is participants. This plots the forces of cultural good (say, young skinny white unmarried people living urban areas and reading small circulation magazines) against the sold-out ethos of corporations who want to use their culture to sell things to them (gasp!) and demands that cool kids not blow their cover.

Once I transcoded this whole thing out using my handy Goodipal media ring I actually liked the ideas very much. But I am the choir, aren’t I? Personally, I’m not buying the (meta)story any longer. (Oh, also: Your technique just got co-opted. Pwned!)

http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2008/01/goodiepal-and-t.html

!!!

I have to say, we need more people like Van Den Dobbelsteen…and have always need more.

Know before you vote

Friday, February 1st, 2008

‘First to go, last to know’

http://www.knowbeforeyouvote.com/

Why you shouldn’t let your daughter use nail polish

Friday, February 1st, 2008

One of the most insidious routes of solvent exposure and toxicity is through fingernail polish and fingernail polish remover.

Young girls are especially susceptible to the toxic and xenohormonal effects of solvent, and yet they are the ones most likely to have a dozen different shades of fingernail polish in the bedroom.

Some of the immediate effects of exposer to solvents include CNS (central nervous system) depression, which would look like fatigue or depression,; psychomotor or attention deficits, which would look like incoodination and inability to focus; brain swelling (headaches); central nervous capillary damage; and oxygen deprivation in the brain with possible permanent brain damage resulting in lowered cognitive abilities.

[…]

What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause
John R. Lee M.D.

I do not have to type any more of this do I?