Archive for January, 2009

Murmuration

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

A collective noun of Starlings.

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BLOGDIAL Word Cloud

Friday, January 30th, 2009

From http://www.wordle.net/

The truth about State Schools

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

TONIGHT, CHRIST CHURCH – Lecture Room 1, 8PM

JAMES STANFIELD – ‘Towards the Total Privatisation of Education: Lessons from History and the Developing World’

Researcher at the University of Newcastle’s E. G. West Centre, James Stanfield will speak about the incredible findings of recent research into the role of private schools in the developing world. In the absence of universal state control of education, a vibrant marketplace of schools has arisen throughout much of the developed world, previously unknown to development theorists. Privately run and funded, their costs, syllabus and teaching methods are subject to market discipline and consumer sovereignty. Their scope is extraordinary: in Lagos State, Nigeria (one of the case studies), 75% of the school-age population attend privately run schools with no government funding whatsoever. Their average fees per term are $12.41, affordable even to those in desperate poverty, with private scholarships for orphans and the children of widows. Controlling for background variables, their results in maths are 14-19% better than government schools, and in English 22-29% better. Similar ‘underground’ school systems have been uncovered by in depth research by James Tooley, the Centre’s director, in the slums of East Delhi & Hyderabad, India; Ga District, Ghana; and Nairobi, Kenya. The history of education in Britain prior to the introduction of universal state schooling also supplies evidence that the voluntary and for-profit private sectors succeeded in educating the vast part of the populace, contrary to Dickensian fiction. Dr Stanfield argues that the benefits associated with markets, far from being shunned as an inequitable way to allocate education, are in fact the best mechanisms to ensure that the standard of education rises universally, instead of stagnating equally everywhere.

This really does look to be a fascinating talk, especially if you’re interested in education or development.We covered a lecture by James Stanfield at the Libertarian Alliance conference in October on our blog: see here.

Attendance is, as ever, free. Facebook event here.

As we already knew, the state is not efficient at providing education as a service, and the market does it better, cheaper, and gives parents real choice. The children that come out of an education system driven by the market are superior to those that the state produces, and everyone is…more happy.

Which brings us to Home Schooling.

Home Schooling shares all the characteristics of the above examples, only more so. It is even more efficient and successful, and furthermore, it greatly reinforces the family.

In the light of all this, why is it that HMG is so obsessed with shutting down Home Schooling? Surely they should learn from these examples and as a start and take a completely hands off approach to Home Schooling? Ill tell you why; because firstly, Home Schooling produces people who can think and secondly, it creates stronger families where HMG wants to destroy the family and to produce uneducated, illiterate, immoral subhumans who will service their police state without question, because they will not have the psychological or educational tools to question anything at all.

A Badman is coming for your children

Monday, January 19th, 2009

And this time there are no punches being pulled by the looks of it!!

You may be aware that today, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that he has commissioned an independent review of Home Education. The review will be conducted over the next four months with a report published in May 2009. The review will investigate if and how far children who are educated at home are able to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes; assess the effectiveness of current arrangements for ensuring their safety, welfare and education; and, if necessary, make recommendations for improvements to the current systems. Further information about the review and the full terms of reference can be found at

www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/ete/homeeducation.

just a sample of the questions contained there in:

Do you think the current system for safeguarding children who are educated at home is adequate? Please let us know why you think that.

Do you think that home educated children are able to achieve the following five Every Child Matters outcomes? Please let us know why you think that.

Some people have expressed concern that Home Education could be used as a cover for child abuse, forced marriage, domestic servitude or other forms of child neglect.
What do you think Government should do to ensure this does not happen?

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1605&external=no&menu=1 by Friday 20th February.

Here we go again.

1. Do you think the current system for safeguarding children who are educated at home is adequate? Please let us know why you think that.

There is no current system for safeguarding children who are educated at home. There is no need for such a system, there never has been a need and there never will be. Children who are educated at home are exactly the same as those who are educated at schools. If you think there is a need for a system to safeguard children who are educated at home, then you need to start one to safeguard children who are educated at school. All schoolchildren have home lives just like home educated ones do. There is no more risk in either type of education. This consultation is the result of the fantasies of ignorant aparatchicks who are desperate to destroy the family, and to put every child in a government brainwashing centre. It simply will not wash. All the assumptions of this are completely wrong, and everyone knows it.

2. Do you think that home educated children are able to achieve the following five Every Child Matters outcomes? Please let us know why you think that.

Every Child Matters is a government ‘programme’ to help children who need help. It is not relevant to children in stable homes with good parents, as all home educating households are. It is not the place of government to set the goals that families should strive for. The entire idea behind this is driven by false reasoning and a complete misunderstanding of the proper role of government. It would be far better for these people to run the schools that they are in charge of correctly, where they currently are in the business of manufacturing ignorant, obese, foul mouthed brainwashed monsters. That, by the way, is part of the reason why Home Education is growing so rapidly. DfES and DCSF are so appallingly bad at the areas they already have complete domination over, they have caused a mass exodus into religious schools and Home Education.

3. Do you think that Government and local authorities have an obligation to ensure that all children in this country are able to achieve the five outcomes? If you answered yes, how do you think Government should ensure this?. If you answered no, why do you think that?

The five outcomes are a fiction, a nonsense and an insult. Before this garbage was introduced, generations of children in this country were coming out of the state schools highly educated. Now, the system is so poor, parents run from it like the plague. People who can think reject the very idea of the government setting these arbitrary and pointless outcomes. They are the rabid imaginings of control freaks and family destroyers; the cancer that is killing Britain.

4. Do you think there should be any changes made to the current system for supporting home educating families? If you answered yes, what should they be? If you answered no, why do you think that?

Yes. Home educating families should have returned to them that portion of money that is taken from them to support schools.

5. Do you think there should be any changes made to the current system for monitoring home educating families? If you answered yes, what should they be? If you answered no, why do you think that?

Home educating families should not be monitored, any more than families who send their children to schools should be monitored. Both of these groups have family lives; the only difference being that home educating families have more of a family life than those that send their children to school. Once again, this question is borne out of complete ignorance of what Home Education is, why it is done, who is doing it, what the proper role of government is, and what the fundamental rights of parents are. Many people are ignorant of what Home Education is; take for example Sarah Ebner of The Times, who wrote an incredibly ignorant, ill researched, unthinking piece of garbage, that was retracted by letting a home schooler set the record straight for the entire length of her column. Take another example, Johann Hari, who wrote this, frankly, ridiculous pice of drivel in the scandalously bad Independent. We wrote about this on BLOGDIAL. There are many other examples of ignorant people slathering their ill conceived thoughts in the newspapers; they are harmless enough (to those without hypertension) but when the people who make legislation are ignorant, then we have a problem.

These ignorant people, who cannot even use The Google to find out that Home Education is not only exploding world-wide, but that in the USA, it is causing students so educated to be actively courted by the best universities there.

They do not have the common sense to seek out the people who represent….but who are we kidding? They want Home Education abolished, just like it is in Germany. They are doing it in a piecemeal fashion, boiling the frog slowly, so that before you know it, it is a thing of the past in the UK.

6. Some people have expressed concern that Home Education could be used as a cover for child abuse, forced marriage, domestic servitude or other forms of child neglect. What do you think Government should do to ensure this does not happen?

Some people say“?

These people are dishonest, pure and simple. Home Education has nothing to do with child abuse, forced marriage, gypsies, or any form of child neglect whatsoever. This is another sick fantasy, part of the paranoid ‘Zero Trust Society‘ that these subhuman monsters think is the real world. These imbeciles, these damaged creatures and their sick nightmares can take their toys and go straight to hell.

They can have all the consultations they like (and you can bet there are going to be more) – the fact of the matter is that they do not have the budget or the resources to monitor home schooling in any meaningful way. They can make all the noise they like; they are all running out of money, and as the depression begins to pinch harder, these vermin will find themselves first with their dirty little projects cancelled and then, they will find their jobs axed; it cannot come soon enough I say. Everyone is sick and tired of repeating over and over again the same facts.

The sun is hot.
Ice is cold.
Water is wet.
Home Education is here to stay, has no need for government help and is perfectly normal, natural and highly efficient.

By all means, read the other stuff we have written about Home Education. It will answer everything you need to know, and then some.

What he said

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The answer comes before the question

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

If you use Apple, you will know that the new version of iLife will include updates to iPhoto that are simply astonishing.

iPhoto 09 will scan your photo library for faces, and allow you to name the people in your photos. It will then put the right name to each face in every photograph in your library automagically.

The first thing that came to my mind was the phrase, “Police state dividend!”.

What is even more fascinating is that iPhoto 09 allows you to upload your named faces to Facebook. I’m sure there are many people who know what this means; why should the state spend billions rolling out centralized databases of everyone’s faces when they can get back door access to Facebook, which not only will have everyone’s name and face, but also all of their social connections and their named faces also!

In any case, David Rowan writes in the times about how face recognition is being touted as the next big thing:

[…]

Rob Milliron, a construction worker, had a close escape back in June 2001, when, while eating lunch in Tampa, Florida, he was photographed without his knowledge by a hidden government facial-recognition surveillance camera scouring for felons and sex-offenders. Police passed images to the press and, although Mr Milliron wasn’t a match to a bad guy, his picture was printed in a magazine alongside the words: You can’t hide those lying eyes in Tampa. A woman in Tulsa called police to identify him falsely as her ex-husband wanted on felony child-neglect charges. When police surrounded Mr Milliron days later at his construction site, he had to point out that, yes, that was him in the photograph, but no, he had never married, never had children, and never been to Oklahoma. As he told the local newspaper: They made me feel like a criminal.

Tampa scrapped its facial-recognition system two years later, citing its ineffectiveness, but not before Milliron had become something of a poster-boy for the technology’s unreliability and its likelihood to trap the innocent amid its many false positives. Since then, the War on Terror has amplified official interest in and financing for face-recognition trials as a means of identifying the supposedly high-risk – but, in projects from Newham in East London to Logan Airport in Boston, results have been flawed to say the least. In one high-profile trial, at Palm Beach International Airport, a facial-recognition system at a security checkpoint matched faces to those in its database just 47 per cent of the time. Ordinary passengers and other airport staff not meant to be recognised, meanwhile, triggered 1,081 false alarms in a month, risking interrogation or detention.

Yet just because, for the moment, such surveillance systems are flawed – their recognition befuddled by human ageing, outdoor light, poor image resolution, even facial hair – the extraordinary pace of development means that far more accurate screening systems are imminent. Researchers are developing sharply accurate scanners that monitor faces in 3D and software that analyses skin texture to turn tiny wrinkles, blemishes and spots into a numerical formula.

The strongest face-recognition algorithms are now considered more accurate than most humans – and already the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers have held discussions about the possibility of linking such systems with automatic car-numberplate recognition and public-transport databases. Join everything together via the internet, and voil – the nation’s population, down to the individual Times reader, can be conveniently and automatically monitored in real time.

Just listen to senior law-enforcement executives to understand their brave new intentions. Three months ago, Mark Branchflower, Interpol’s database chief, declared facial recognition a desirable means of alerting local forces about the movements of internationally wanted suspects, a step we could go to quite quickly. And in evidence to MPs last March, Peter Neyroud, head of the National Policing Improvement Agency, raised the prospect of automated face recognition to identify suspects, as well as behaviourial matching software that uses CCTV images to predict potential troublemakers.

So let’s understand this: governments and police are planning to implement increasingly accurate surveillance technologies that are unnoticeable, cheap, pervasive, ubiquitous, and searchable in real time. And private businesses, from bars to workplaces, will also operate such systems, whose data trail may well be sold on or leaked to third parties – let’s say, insurance companies that have an interest in knowing about your unhealthy lifestyle, or your ex-spouse who wants evidence that you can afford higher maintenance payments.

Rather than jump up and down with rage – you never know who is watching through the window – you have a duty now, as a citizen, to question this stealthy rush towards permanent individual surveillance. A Government already obsessed with pursuing an unworkable and unnecessary identity-card database must be held to account.

As for me, I’ve been re-watching for inspiration the 1997 film Face/Off, in which John Travolta wears Nicolas Cage’s face as a way of infiltrating Cage’s criminal gang. And if that fails to inspire a means of fighting back, face-transplant surgery is always an option.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5504534.ece

Before I dive in:

Mark Branchflower, Interpol’s database chief, declared facial recognition a desirable means of alerting local forces about the movements of internationally wanted suspects

What if every time they came to find someone, the people who were despatched were simply despatched themselves:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

No matter what face recognition software is out there, if the above is the counter rule, the machine will grind to a halt. Today, it will not be half a dozen people with axes, but a flash mob of 500 who will not only despatch the thugs, but who will destroy whatever is put in front of them, like a swarm of hungry nanites. It will look something like this only violent.

The answer to all of this is very simple. There are things that the state simply should not do. It is not the function of the state to issue ID Cards, run central databases that store everyone’s communications, etc etc. It does not matter what technology scientists invent; the mere existence of something does not mean that the state should use it. Quite the opposite.

Small government, with its functions clearly defined is the answer to all of our problems. The government has no business regulating money. The government has no business regulating $whatever_they_do_now. Their job is to clean the shit off the streets with brooms and to arbitrate in disputes between people, should they choose the state as the arbitrator. As soon as they start doing other things, the trouble is set off. We see the result of it every day.

The CCTV cameras in the UK are now like a sleeping giant. Once they become intelligent they will suddenly awake and KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Just think about that.

Every empire that ever existed on the earth eventually fell to dust; these systems and the people who own them are as fragile as a chicken’s egg stretched a mile wide. In a single night the entire machine could be destroyed by an unaccepting population. Whatever happens, this will not last forever. Something will break; either the mass will reject it or the empire that uses it will collapse under the weight of its own debt, like all the others have.

In the mean time, we live in a time where the tools of oppression are available to you to play with. You can download iLife and use its face recognition to organize your photos. This is unprecedented, and very useful. It will instruct millions of people on the true capabilities of the state, causing them to be outraged…but I digress.

This is an age where everyone everywhere can use military grade encryption to keep their communications private. All you need to do is just use it. If Apple rolled it out as a part of their ‘Mail’ application, in a single day many millions of people’s communications would ‘go dark’ to the authorities.

Imagine this scenario. Someone somewhere sets up a Web 2.0 site that features photos of bad police and other officials, or those mysterious agent provocateurs that have been plaguing the useless demonstrations around the world. Imagine that the software behind this site (which could be connected to iPhoto 09) identifies all the bad people and exposes them to the public, nullifying all acts of political infiltration over night. Anyone setting up any sort of anti-state gathering or demonstration or action could, with a gauntlet of workers armed with iphones, vet every demonstrator as they turned up to weed out all the infiltrators, collaborators and provocateurs.

I guarantee you that this will happen, and not only that, but that someone is going to put into a copy of iPhoto 09, a huge archive of photos from demonstrations and political meetings going back decades to pick out the bad guys.

This explosion and convergence of technologies is a double edged sword, and since there are more of us than there are of them, it will be the case that all this technology and the networks that join them together will result in something totally unexpected; the tools may turn around and bite the state in the ass in an unexpected way. The very nature of networks says that this will happen; the population by virtue of its vast networked numbers can overpower any government in a scenario where the network is the power.

We are not powerless like the slaves in the Soviet Union were. We have fantastic tools, all of them free, right in our hands. Those tools, by the act of using them, change the game entirely, and the more the state pushes against the mass, the more dense and impenetrable it becomes.

This is a war that they cannot ever win.

Substitution Spreads

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Here’s a thought experiment:

Imagine that Egypt, Jordan, and Syria had won the Six Day War, leading to a massive exodus of Jews from the territory of Israel. Imagine that the victorious Arab states had eventually decided to permit the Palestinians to establish a state of their own on the territory of the former Jewish state. (That’s unlikely, of course, but this is a thought experiment). Imagine that a million or so Jews had ended up as stateless refugees confined to that narrow enclave known as the Gaza Strip. Then imagine that a group of hardline Orthodox Jews took over control of that territory and organized a resistance movement. They also steadfastly refused to recognize the new Palestinian state, arguing that its creation was illegal and that their expulsion from Israel was unjust. Imagine that they obtained backing from sympathizers around the world and that they began to smuggle weapons into the territory. Then imagine that they started firing at Palestinian towns and villages and refused to stop despite continued reprisals and civilian casualties.

Here’s the question: would the United States be denouncing those Jews in Gaza as “terrorists” and encouraging the Palestinian state to use overwhelming force against them?

Here’s another: would the United States have even allowed such a situation to arise and persist in the first place?

http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/node/10732

First of all, its a ‘thought experiment’ (what we call ‘Substitution’).

??!!!

Someone is actually THINKING?!

It’s a revolution!

ZOMGZTT!1!!1

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

And What Have You Done With My Body, God?
4 cd digi box set including 56 tracks, 41 previously unreleased. Full “Into Battle…” EP “Close (To The Edit)” and “Moments In Love” cassette singles on CD for the first time. 36 page booklet containing track-by-track commentary by all five original members.

[…]

Tu-umb!

WTF did you read that?

FORTY ONE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS.

As you can imagine, it was ordered on teh spot. Yes, ‘teh’.

When this man:

took this man’s:

manifesto:


The slim volume of essays, presented here for the first time in English translation, is one of the significant documents of musical aesthetics of this century. If the book itself has remained the province of a mere handful of readers, its ideas, passed on through a variety of later musical and literary movements, became the inspiration for some of the most innovative artistic creations of modern times. Luigi Russolo anticipated-indeed, he may have precipitated-a whole range of musical and aesthetic notions that formed the basis of much of the avant-garde thought of the past several decades. His ideas were absorbed, modified, and eventually transmitted to later generations by a number of movements and individuals-among them the futurists, the Dadaists, and a number of composers and writers of the nineteen-twenties. The noise instruments he invented fascinated and infuriated his contemporaries, and he was among the earliest musicians to put the often-discussed microtone to regular practical use in Western music. Russolo’s views looked forward to the time when composers would exercise an absolute choice and control of the sounds that their music employed. He was the precursor of electronic music before electronics had come of age.

[…]

http://www.pendragonpress.com/books/bookdetail.php?PPNo=345B

used this to make it real:

used her:

to make it ‘musical’ very very beautiful…

and never forgetting J.J. Jeczalik, Gary Langan and the priceless Horn….

you received something that ‘raised the bar’ and which today makes almost everything look and sound like shit.

Once again ladies and gentlemen few, was how it was done.

That is what it looks like… and sounds like… when you put people who can THINK together and let them get on with it.

That, my friends, is why I RAIL constantly about the desert of the real, about the dearth of anything real, anything that contains even the faint echo of a single real person’s thought.

A famous bass player said, after being heckled ‘over and over’ to play a song about entomology, “all we need is one person with an original thought”.

That was in 1979.

Anonymous email confirmed as prescient yet again

Friday, January 9th, 2009

In 2006, the infamous ‘anonymous email‘ of Frances Stonor Saunders that was widely circulated and published in newspapers, predicted that:

[…]

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

[…]

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1207

Now we see that once again, its assertions have proven to be completely correct.

This is from a column in today’s Daily Mail

[…]

at the Lichfield branch of Marks & Sparks, 30-year-old Oliver Butler was told that unless he could produce his passport, he couldn’t buy two bottles of mulled wine.

They wouldn’t accept his paper driving licence either.

Rightly, he points out that you don’t see many under-age bingedrinkers swigging M&S mulled wine by the neck down your local shopping precinct.

Alcopops and extra-strength cider are more their preferred beverage.

Oliver tells me that it was the first time in 12 years he’d been asked for ID. You’d better get used to it, old son. It probably won’t be the last.

The crackdown on alcohol sales now extends even to people who can prove they are over 18, if they happen to be accompanied by a minor.

Christine Middleton, from Edinburgh, was out shopping for Hogmanay with her daughter at her local Co-op; usual stuff – chicken, turkey, sprouts, two bottles of wine (one red, one pink champagne).

When the champagne went through the barcode scanner, an alarm went off.

The checkout girl asked Christine’s daughter how old she was. After discovering she was 17, she confiscated the two bottles.

Christine (’48, but I look good for my age’) pointed out that the wine was for her, not her daughter, and sent for the manager. Still no joy.

The manager said that her daughter could, in fact, be a local hoodie who had persuaded Christine to buy booze on her behalf.

Like Oliver Butler and his mulled wine, Christine remarked that ‘pink champagne and a cheeky wee Rioja’ weren’t exactly your average hoodie’s gargle of choice.

But the manager still wouldn’t serve her and, with an impatient queue getting restless behind her, she was forced to withdraw, empty-handed.

At first glance, this all seems laughable, to be filed under You Couldn’t Make It Up – especially after reports that grown men and women are being refused whisky-infused cheddar cheese and knitting needles without proof of identity.

The idea that supermarkets are accusing law-abiding adults of being glue-sniffers and purveyors of illicit hooch to under-age hooligans is not only risible but deeply offensive.

It would be easy to put all this down to the good old British jobsworth mentality and the ridiculous modern ‘if it saves one life’ excuse for lowest-common-denominator law enforcement.

But scratch the surface and there’s something far more sinister going on – on a couple of levels.

First, proof of identity is not just the new elf’n’safety. It has been seized upon gleefully by the ‘consumer protection’ nazis.

[…]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1110069/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-How-Mr-Sheens-enemy-State.html

And there you have it.

The contents of this article prove something else; that it is the store managers and businesses that will be enforcing this scheme, not the government. Every supermarket, every seller of alcohol and cigarettes will be a de-facto arm of government, a fine grained interface between the ID Card the NIR and the public.

It immediately follows therefore that if we want to stop the ID card from being a useful tool, we have to ask that all professionals who will come in contact with it refuse to be that interface and facilitator.

If we can secure a pledge from millions of people who are going to be dealing with this, it would strike a real blow to the proposed ID Card and NIR.

With all the shops, supermarkets, cellphone outlets, banks and every other service you can imagine all refusing to interface with this card, it will become useless and even more pointless to everyone.

Whistleblowers: get some gloves!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Whilst trawling around on the interwebs, I cam across this amazing story, and a reason to award some brass balls:

Up Yours Carter-Ruck

Guido is with the in-laws for Christmas and only has internet access via a dial-up or his mobile. So the megabyte size attachment from libel solicitors Carter-Ruck received a few days ago has only this morning been downloaded. Guido emailed Carter-Ruck back at the time to explain he was driving and only had mobile internet access, so what were the contents of the attachment? No reply from Carter-Ruck.

The email contains a Court Order by Mr Justice Tugendhat, threatening Guido with contempt of Court if Guido even reveals the existence of the Order.

Guido believes that he is not the only leading blogger to receive the injunction. He is however the only one willing to break it. Unfortunately for Carter-Ruck they seem to have forgotten that since 1922 the orders of British Judges have been happily ignored by us Irish in our own country. So Carter-Ruck have merely tipped Guido off to a case of which he was previously unaware and Guido will, as a consequence, now share what little he knows with with his co-conspirators as a Christmas treat.

Somebody (unknown) hacked into the email accounts of Zac Goldsmith and his wife Sherazade, Jemima Khan also appears to have had her email accessed. They thieves tried to sell the illegally obtained information to the Sunday Mirror and the Mail on Sunday. Not really that interesting politically, though Goldsmith is a Conservative candidate and presumably Zac is his father’s son…

This particular case isn’t really a matter of principle and Guido isn’t claiming it as such. As fascinating as Zac’s love life probably is, it isn’t really hypocritical. It does illustrate how Britain is increasingly heading towards the French situation of a politically cowed client media injuncted and restricted by privacy laws from reporting on the rich and powerful. The government has also been making a lot of noise about curtailing online publishers and Stephen Carter is gearing up with legislation to attack bloggers. Freedom of the press is soon going to be even more curtailed in Britain.

So we will have a situation where offshore bloggers broadcast the truth to Britons in much the same way as Radio Free Europe kept the citizens of the Soviet Empire informed. The legislation won’t succeed, only Chinese style internet censorship will prevent the truth getting out. Is that the path politicians want to go down?

Guido Fawkes

Now there is a man who has a pair. Sadly, he calls Scientists, Architects and Engineers who have learned that the official story of the mythical ‘911’ is false, “Troofers“.

But hey, no one is perfect, right right right?

Here is a link to the Wikileaks page.

It is right that people should not have their private email sold to and then printed in newspapers. It is however, entirely wrong that secrete (yes, ‘secrete’) hearings and secret orders be used to silence people. Those same secret orders, like the National Security Letters being used in the USA are immoral and WILL ALWAYS result in an abuse. These National Security Letters have been used to stop librarians from disclosing that the government has investigated who has been borrowing what books from the library. When you get one of these letters, you are not allowed to say that you have received one.

The only correct response to these letters and orders is the one that Guido Fawkes made; to immediately release it to the public. If everyone who got one did this, they would be rendered useless.

This takes us to the subject of leaks and the recent government plans stupid idea to get into your hard drive remotely.

One of the comments at that SpyBlog post lead to this site that has a list of what to do’s to be an effective and safe whistleblower. One of the tips is as follows:

Anti-forensics precautions

  • Licking a Postage Stamp is likely to leave both your fingerprints on it, and to preserver a sample of your DNA from your saliva.
  • Sealing a letter envelope or parcel affixing a postage stamp using sticky adhesive tape or glue etc. will also tend to trap possibly identifiable fibres, dust particles, hairs, skin cells and fingerprints (which may contain sufficient DNA for analysis) , or even a characteristic scent which could be used by tracker dogs.

Commercial Postal Box rental, either from a private company or for an extra fee from the state postal service, has its place, but there is always a financial paper trail to the person who rents the box, and often CCTV video footage of anyone picking up mail from such boxes.

Wikileaks.org offers a supposedly secure Postal Whistleblowing service, for whistleblower leaks to them, but they do not seem to recommend many anti-forensics precautions. except regarding the serail numbers embedded into batches of CDROMs, and the unique Recorder IDs which most CD or DVD burners embed in each copy which they produce.

Interesting…lets think some more about it.

Most stamps today come in the form of a white adhesive label, laser printed behind the counter and then stuck on to your mail by the Post Office worker:

As you can see the date is on there as well as a serial number.

The other types of stamp are the ones that are sold in booklets and which have peel adhesive as the backing. Licking stamps rarely happens today, but it is good advice not to lick stamps nonetheless.

A bigger threat to you is the time-stamp of these stamps combined with the CCTV that is found in most Offices. In order to see who mailed the package, all they have to do is look at the time-stamp from the serial number, and then go back to the time index on the CCTV footage to see your face.

If you want to minimize the effectiveness of a forensic attack, use gloves. Use gloves when you buy your envelopes. Use gloves when you make your photocopies in a public place. Use gloves when you buy your adhesive stamps and use gloves when you stick them to the envelope.

Do not use envelopes from a sealed pack. There are many places where you can buy packs of envelopes that are not sealed. In fact, these are often displayed adjacent to the Post Office queue. Why should you do this? If you use one of these loose envelopes, you can be sure that the sneezes, browsing touches, hairs and and breath traces of tens of thousands of people are going to be on them. These envelopes will be hopelessly contaminated, and that is good for you.

Now you can see yet another reason why setting up a National DNA Register would be such a bad thing. If they had such a register, not only could they catch a whistleblower who was not careful, but they would falsely accuse and then investigate tens of thousands of people simply because they stood in a queue in a Post Office.

I have updated our own additions to the SpyBlog post the most important one being to dump winblows if you are still using it. In the light of govenrments wanting to gain backdoor access to your files, why make it easy for them by running an operating system that is insecure by design?

Ubuntu is massively peer reviewed, and as soon as any flaw is found, it is announced immediately and patched very soon after for free. It is like being a part of a huge body with a self aware immune system that by its nature, cannot lie to itself. This is the first time ever that the vast majority can take advantage of this high level of security and openness without needing any technical prowess.

Once the penny drops about how secure Ubuntu is, several things are going to happen.

First, there is going to be a mass adoption and abandonment of windows.

Second, there will be moves to outlaw Ubuntu, since it is secure by default.

We can make the second prediction because we remember l’attitude Fraiçaise and how they had to change 180° from their previous total ban on encryption. After all, it would look ridiculous if every browser had 128 bit SSL and it was illegal to use it; it would mean no credit card transactions online etc etc. They had no choice but to cave in, and in fact, this is always true; when governments are faced with an entire population that point blank refuses to obey, or they are faced with a massive loss of revenues because they will not adapt to a new way of doing business, they cave in and ‘change course’.

If everyone switches to Ubuntu, then banning it means banning computing itself and destroying commerce, learning and communication completely. There is no way that any government would allow that to happen, so as long as Ubuntu remains under the control of its thousands of developers there would be nothing that anyone could do to stop it. All attempts to poison it would fail, any attempt to attack it would strengthen it – it would be game over for mass automatic surveillance.

By adopting Ubuntu to replace windows everyone gets:

  • Unprecedented security
  • Unprecedented stability
  • Unprecedented ease of use on a Linux system
  • Freedom to copy and distribute ad infinitum
  • Free updates forever
  • Free extension of the useful life of hardware
  • Free world class applications (Gimp, Open Office, Evolution etc)
  • Ownership of the software
  • Permanent exclusion of governments ability to taint the OS

Ubuntu is a massive win for everyone. It is a game changing event, and every move to violate our privacy will simply push more and more people away from windows and to Ubuntu.

Foxes organize liberty for chickens

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

The Oxford Libertarian Society mailing list mentions a conference called ‘Modern Liberty’.

Let’s smell it…

Why?

From Anthony Barnett, Phil Booth, Shami Chakrabarti, Henry Porter, Stuart Weir

We are entering a dangerous period in our country.

Economic turmoil threatens profound hardship and disharmony.

Good. Now is the chance to put things on a better footing. Starting by admitting the true cause of this ‘crisis’; fiat currency. This is an unprecedented opportunity to stop the war machine permanently by choking off its fuel; the printing presses that manufacture money by the command of government.

Disenchantment with politics is growing and even legitimate protest is threatened by an unprecedented programme of challenges to our rights, freedoms and democracy.

Good. Politics is corrupt by its nature. Legitimate protest is worthless and has been for decades. We have been over that before.

Sixty years ago Britain was a proud co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Now it is increasingly centralized, abandoning its historic principles some of which date back to the Magna Carta.

And it is getting worse because gatekeepers an safety valvists deliberately prevent the necessary change from taking place by diverting the anger and momentum of the population into useless ‘feel good’ activities that have no real effect in attacking the problems. We have told you about them before.

The Governments continued stated determination to extend detention without charge in terrorism cases to 42 days is one symbol of the damage done to our hard-won rights and freedoms. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), which gives hundreds of agencies access to peoples records without their knowing, is another. The collection of all available records on a huge central database for the use of the authorities is a third.

None of these things could happen absent the cooperation of all the people who think they are wrong. Listing all the bad stuff over and over and publishing condemnations of them does not destroy them. If you want to destroy something, you have to make a plan and then execute it.

The fundamentals behind all of this evil are not being addressed at all. One of the people out there who does address this is Jan Helfeld. When all these people address this fundamental issue, then the whole true nature of the problem will start to unravel. Then, when they eventually get around to the nature of money, ‘their’ money, the circle will be complete. The answer to all these problems will present itself by virtue of the facts being laid out in front of everyone.

But if you look at who is lined up to speak at this gathering, you will see that for the most part it is precisely the sort of people who have absolutely no interest in changing the way things work. See below.

We believe that such threats can be overcome but only if the public is woken to the dangers. While we may be impatient for action, the issues must be addressed in an open-minded way with as thorough and accessible public debate as possible.

First of all you have to define, precisely, the problem. There are some things which are non-negotiable, like ID-Cards. No amount of open mindedness and public debate has anything to do with the wrongness of this and other subjects when it comes to people’s rights; murdering is wrong, ID-Cards are wrong, stealing is wrong, and employing others to steal or murder or put numbers on people on your behalf is wrong. There are many uninformed, purely ignorant people who think that ID-Cards are OK; you know the type, “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”. Are we to consider the unthinking opinions of these people like they have merit? I think not. And this goes right to the heart of the problem; Democracy is fundamentally flawed, because the illiterate, the unintelligent and the evil can use the vote to force other people to do something through violence financed by the collective.

Therefore we invite you to join a Convention on Modern Liberty. It will ask three broad questions:

Are our freedoms and rights threatened by an over-powerful state and if so how do we defend ourselves from this?

If the majority who show up say ‘no’, then what? It’s all over? This is why you people FAIL.

Are dangers to our security from terrorism and other threats, from climate change to pandemics being used to attack our rights, and how can we best defend ourselves?

This is like asking wether or not the sun is hot. As to how we can best defend ourselvs, history has all the answers to that one. The real question is what can we plan right now to DO IT.

How can we arouse sustained public interest?

The public…what is to be done with them?

It only takes a small minority of people to set things right. We do not need to get everyone on board (that pesky idea of ‘Democracy’ again, EVERYBODY, the MAJORITY must be behind something for it to be ‘right’. It’s a lie.)

We are making Modern Liberty a convention not a conference. We want to bring as many people together to see what common ground can be reached in defence of our freedoms.

No. When there is ‘common ground’ there is the risk of compromise. If the majority of people there agree that its OK for the state to steal from some to give to others or impose ID-Cards then its no better than any other grouping of people who agree to do evil ‘for the greater good’.

The Guardian is the main media partner.

The Guardian is the worst criminal in this affair. It has some good articles once in a while, but these are dead batteries buried deep in a landfill. They routinely call for Britain to interfere in other people’s countries, scream for government to solve ‘problems’ and are generally on the wrong side of history.

Fundamental rights and freedoms are common to us all.

No, they are not. People in other countries are not the business of The Guardian, or of you or I. What I believe applies only to me, and I do not have the right to force my beliefs on anyone else, or to join with others to make them obey my beliefs or service my views.

If you really want to live in a free country, this is the first principle. You cannot initiate force against anyone and you cannot ask someone to do it on your behalf.

Still don’t get it?

The Universal Declaration recognises the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In Britain such values have an even longer history.

No. The foundation of peace is the acceptance that no one has the right to initiate force. There is no such thing as ‘the human family’ there are only people with their own beliefs, who organize themselves in the way that they like. The shape that those forms take is not our business, and no one has the right to say that anyone or everyone is part of this fictitious collective ‘human family’ that has to live by the rules written down by some wine soaked career diplomats in New York. This declaration is the same paper that is used as a pretext for murdering people and toppling governments.

We are indeed the inheritors of an inspiring tradition of liberty.

This is not true. If Britain had a tradition of liberty we would not be suffering the abuses that we are today. The British have been living under a gentlemen’s agreement that totalitarianism was not good for business. Free range livestock is what Britain has been all about. Steph says it very well, in that link. I will leave it to others to thoroughly debunk that particular passage.

At the same time technical advances from information technology to explosives and the threats of catastrophic climatic change have altered the framework of power and fear.

Wow, its recursive; abusing the generation fear to talk about the problem of the abuse of the generation fear.

This calls for a renewal of our democratic self-confidence.

WRONG. What we need is a change to principles of liberty AWAY from democracy and false, delusional ‘self-confidence’. We need to address the problems directly with a set of simple principles that are applicable to any situation so that even the thickest of people can point to them as a basis for absolute refusal to obey anything that is offensive to the free man.

This is the purpose of the Convention on Modern Liberty. Whether you agree or not we hope you will join us to debate these issues.

Amazing. Wether you agree or not, we hope you will come and spend time talking to us Question Time style.

Good luck with that.

As everything gets worse and worse, the heat under the pot increases and they need a bigger release valve to control the overheating pressure cooker containing the incandescent rage of the population. The biggest gatekeepers and cattle herders gather to vent off the steam, and that is what this gathering is. It is not in any way dangerous to the problem. It presents no threat, no threat of a solution, and not even the promise of a solution. It is chaired by people who are the problem, the panel members are almost without exception people who are the problem and so it is a complete waste of time.

All these people, since they cannot come up with a program of strategies that revolve around destroying what is wrong (a strategy to commit suicide) will be aiding the problem by making people feel that they are still ‘free’ since they can organize and gather without permission.

Remember; these are the same people who offer a candle lit vigil should Iran be bombed with weapons they have paid for. These people are part of the problem, and I would not trust any of them with overseeing an empty milk bottle; never mind guarding my liberty, (least of all The Guardian). The only one with any real credentials is Phill Booth who, via No2ID is actually asking people to disobey the law en masse and building an organization to make it happen – the only thing that will stop the problems dead – and they are having a real measurable effect.

Lets see who else is in there:

Anthony Barnett (openDemocracy)

“openDemocracy offers in-depth news analysis and commentary from a pro-Democracy, pro-Human Rights perspective”

I am AGAINST Democracy. Democracy is BAD, people who want to spread it everywhere world-wide are EVIL or in league with it. See what I mean?

Phil Booth (NO2ID)

Really worthwhile. I put my money where my mouth is with them. Real people offering real information and real solutions. No calls for pointless gatherings. Highly efficient. Highly focussed. And its working. They are actually dangerous. Maybe this is why they are part of this…I’m sure that there are plenty of people who would want No2ID de fanged….hmmmmmmmm!

Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty)

No, no, and no.

Henry Porter (the Observer)

Henry Porter has written many excellent articles and is mostly on the right side. There really isn’t anything more to say about him. Everyone does what they are capable of doing, and he does what he does. He calls a spade a spade. Sadly, the evil people don’t care at all what anyone writes in a newspaper, and so if you are not going to use it to organize disobedience, there comes a point where writing articles that describe a problem accurately serve no further purpose. Its like reporting calmly that your neighbors are being taken away in railway cars to be incinerated. They will end up as ashes while the newspaper rolls off the presses.

Then again, lets look at this from his last column of 2008:

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve always believed that the democratic state must be given power to act on behalf of us all but that is not the same as the state granting itself powers to know everything about us and to bully those who resist its invasive instincts. In 2004, the Courts and Tribunals Enforcement Act made it legal for the first time in 400 years for bailiffs to force entry into homes on a civil order and remove goods. Now we hear from the Justice Ministry that bailiffs may offer reasonable violence to force inside their own homes. That gives us an idea of how the government plans to enforce the 1,000 fines handed out to ID card refuseniks ultimately by violence meted out by men who may be no better than nightclub bouncers. It is astonishing that we are going to allow this to happen.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/25/civilliberties

“I’ve always believed that the democratic state must be given power to act on behalf of us all”. Well, this is what we call ‘epic fail’. Once you give power to the state, legitimized by a vote, you inevitably end up with the very situation that we are in now. This belief is fundamentally wrong and immoral, as you can see explained here, and as we see explained here.

The only astonishing thing here is that Mr. Porter asserts that it is astonishing that ‘we are going to allow this to happen’. If ‘we’ give our consent to it via democracy, and he believes that “that the democratic state must be given power to act on behalf of us all” then surely it is completely legitimate for bailiffs to enter houses on civil orders. If they are behaving on ‘behalf of us all’ then it is legitimate. Period. Mr. Porter cannot pick and choose what parts of Democracy he does and does not like; majority rules and once the majority has been given power to do something, it is by definition right.

That is the true face of what Henry Porter believes in.

I suspect that he doesn’t know what he believes in at all, and that he would crumble under the questioning of Jan Helfeld if he were to be forced to strip his beliefs down to their core elements and explain what he actually thinks from first principles.

The fact of the matter is that the state granting powers to itself is exactly how it works and now it always has worked. The public, the electorate, has never been allowed fine grained control over the legislation that goes through Parliament; which has always voted on whatever they like without any reference to or meaningful consultation with the public. That is part of the reason why the statute book is full of garbage.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot on the one hand, believe that it is OK for violence to be done on behalf of the collective but then say its NOT OK in certain circumstances just because you say so. It is either right or wrong. What Mr. Porter is referring to when he says, “but that is not the same as” is the breaking of the gentlemen’s agreement, “its not cricket to give bailiffs the power to break into your home and use violence old chap”. Well, these people are not playing cricket…certainly not with YOU.

I’m afraid that many of the people interested in this gathering are of the same confused type. Look at this comment and the others on this post about The Countryside Alliance joining this farce:

Anna Stanley says:
December 31st, 2008at 9:17 pm(#)

In February 2008, an independent survey of over 2,000 British people was carried out. Of these, 73% said that fox hunting should remain illegal. The House of Commons voted in favour of the Hunting Bill by 339 votes to 155. There is no doubt that the minority are unable to hunt as they please, but it is clear that an overwhelming majority of people are in favour of the ban on hunting with dogs.

Whether the Countryside Alliance like it or not, we live in a democracy. There is no violation of civil liberties here, merely proper application of the democratic process.

Their prescence at this conference is insulting to those attending who are genuinely in need of support.

And there you have it, “we live in a democracy. There is no violation of civil liberties here, merely proper application of the democratic process.” meaning that if the majority rule that all penises must be cut off, thats it, off they go ‘we live in a democracy’. This is the sort of moron that we share air with, and with whom Henry Porter partially shares his philosophy. Bankrupt.

But I must move on.

Stuart Weir (Democratic Audit)

“Democratic Audit is an active research organisation which audits democracy and human rights in the UK and internationally. We are a consortium of scholars, lawyers and others. We often work with partners in mature and developing democracies to assess the quality of their democratic arrangements.”

Democracy. We have said enough about that. As for ‘developing democracies’ you mean like Iraq? I think we have all had enough of THAT also. Spreading democracy is evil. Period.

http://www.modernliberty.net/what/why

and look at the first Plenary

Chair: Georgina Henry (executive comment editor, The Guardian)
Speakers:
Nick Clegg MP (leader, Liberal Democrats)
Dominic Grieve QC MP (Shadow Attorney General)
Helena Kennedy QC (Doughty Street Chambers)
David Lammy MP (Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property)
Ken Macdonald QC (former Director of Public Prosecutions)

Second Plenary16.00 – 17.00

Freedom and Democracy after the Market meltdown

Chair: Anthony Barnett (founder, openDemocracy)

Speakers:
Chris Huhne MP (Liberal Democrat spokesman on Home Affairs)
Will Hutton (Chief Executive, The Work Foundation)
Caroline Lucas MEP (leader, Green Party)
Chuka Umunna (Labour Party candidate, Streatham)

Lammy? Lucas? Umunna? Clegg? These are the very people who are on the way OUT!

This is a plenary of foxes gathered to discuss how many chickens they will consume in their ideal Democracy. David Lammy? You have got to be freaking kidding me. Why not get Clarke, Blunkett or Smith in while we are on the case? It’s a good thing that guilt by association is hogwash, otherwise we wold have to throw out the baby with the bath-water on this one.

Its 35.00 to get in.

Finally, the thing that irks me about many of these people is their misuse of the Possessive Pronoun ‘Our’. They misuse it everywhere – its ‘our’ democracy, ‘our’ money, ‘our’ troops, ‘our’ police, ‘our’ taxes, ‘our’ country, ‘our’ $something_that_is_not_actually_owned_collectively.

Happy New Year BLOGDIAL Man Dem!!!!