Saturday, April 24, 2004
posted by Ken , 6:26 PM Þ 

Old records saved by particle physics
Scanner could help music archives preserve sounds of yesteryear.
21 April 2004


Particle physicists in California are swapping bosons for basslines in a bid to breathe fresh life into the earliest sound recordings. A technique developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory allows researchers to create digital copies of old records without damaging the fragile discs.

The technique uses a light sensor, originally designed to track the paths of subatomic particles such as bosons, to capture images of the record's groove. A computer then uses these to reconstruct the recording, filtering out any background noise to produce a blemish-free digital version.

The researchers have already created a copy of Marian Anderson's 1947 rendition of "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen", minus the scratches, pops and hisses.

Old records saved by particle physics: Scanner could help music archives preserve sounds of yesteryear.
posted by Ken , 6:21 PM Þ 

When you buy or sell something of great value, the state is involved. You have a certificate issued to you by the state to prove that you own a car, motorcycle or house, name it.

Now, the state is going to produce a new type of document to prove that they own you. Without it, you will not be able to function in your own space, the public space, you will not be able to exchange goods and services with your fellow citizens without the approval and or oversight of the state. That, by any definition, is ownership.

How could you possibly tolerate that? The Australians didnt tolerate it:
Resisting ID Cards (Victory Down Under!)

In 1987 the Australians managed to stop their government from introducing a national identify card system.

Massive opposition to the plans in Australia reached the point of open civil disobedience. Australian understood that the introduction of such a scheme would reduce freedoms and increase the powers of authorities. Indeed “freedom” would come to mean the freedoms granted by the card.

As news of the specifics of the ID card legislation spread, the campaign strengthened. If you had a job but no ID card it would be a $20000 offence for your employer to pay you. It would be an $20000 offence to hire a cardless person. Without an ID card you could not get access to a pre-existing bank account. Cardless people could not buy or rent their own home or land ($5000 penalty). Non-accidental destruction of an ID card = $5000 or 2 years in prison. Failure to report loss of ID card within 21 days = $500. Failure to produce your ID card on demand to the Tax Office = $20000.

In the face of mass public protests and civil disobedience, the government eventually scrapped the ID card proposal.

From here.

One of two things are going to have to happen; either the cards are defeated before the machinery is in place, OR the scheme is destroyed Wilcock style after the public wakes up to how bad they are.
posted by Irdial , 5:29 PM Þ 

Compulsory ID cards are nothing new in the UK. They were issued to all British civilians during World War II. That is until one ordinary man said no.

Clarence Willcock, a 54-year-old dry cleaner from suburban north London, must rank as one of the unlikeliest Davids ever to take on a Goliath.

Mr Willcock was stopped on December 7 1950 while driving his car along Ballard's Lane by uniformed police constable Harold Muckle, who demanded to see the motorist's identity card.

Mr Willcock refused. Pc Muckle told him to produce the compulsory card at the local station with 48 hours. "I will not produce it at any police station," Mr Willcock replied.

With this act of defiance, Mr Willcock brought crashing down a giant bureaucracy which had, since the outbreak of World War II in 1939, forced an identity card on every civilian in the UK - man, woman and child.

When Willcock v Muckle eventually reached the High Court in 1951, Lord Chief Justice Goddard said the continuation of the wartime ID card scheme was an "annoyance" to much of the public and "tended to turn law-abiding subjects into law breakers". [...]
posted by Irdial , 5:16 PM Þ 

post it
posted by Irdial , 1:03 PM Þ 

the pgp key for my gmail account is accessible
If anyone's interested I'm on the pgp ldap.
posted by meau meau , 12:42 PM Þ 

ID card trials to start next week

Another one of the BBC's uncritical artcles

The plans are designed to tackle identity fraud, which costs Britain an estimated ?1.3bn each year.

Will you PLEASE decide which lie you are going to tell, and then stick to it??

He (blunkett) said the biometric system proposed would end multiple identities and give a boost to the fight against terrorism and organised crime.

Cards won?t end multiple identities; this is nonsense. What they may do, is stick one false identity to you permanently; a false identity given to you by the state. It is not the job of the state to assign you an identity, any more than it is the job of the state to give you a name when you are born. Your identity is your private business. You are within your rights to change your identity whenever you please. Having a number assigned to you, no matter what it is derived from, is a form of slavery.

The government has said it sees ID cards as a weapon against terrorism.

Which lie was that again?

Look at the stats:

2008: 80% of economically active population will carry some form of biometric identity document

As everyone with a brain cell knows, this is about absolute control of "economically active" citizens. They will use this scheme to have complete knowledge and control over everything you spend and everywhere you go. Your travel card, cash cards, loyalty cards, SIM cards and every other card that you need will have to be purchased and or registered for with your ID card present.

This means that even if all of these functions are not embedded into your card, they will all be associated - forever - with the unique state identity number stamped upon you by the state. Since all of the transactions, phone calls movements and shopping that you do will be stored on databases that will be accessible by the state, they will be able to create a fine grained picture of your every movement and activity.

Now when we say "the state" we mean anyone with access to a terminal. There will be a class of person, meaning anyone that works for either your local council or the government, who will be able to know anything about you in an instant. As we all know, these people can be bought for very little money. This database will be leaky. People are already doing this. Those with friends in the Police service regularly use off the record searches to vet potential tenants and such. This happens every day. Imagine someone being able, via your driving license and the nationwide network of license scanning "traffic" control cameras, to see a detailed list of everywhere you have driven since you started driving. This is doable.

There will be an unlimited number of mirror databases of the state database, throughout the world, made out of private sources of information (and leaked state data), where members of the public will be able to find out the most intimate details about your life for a small price. This will be done easily, since all the publicly owned databases like the ones created and controlled by the issuers of loyalty cards, SIM cards, and any other account where you are compelled to show your ID before you are given a service, will be routinely shared for marketing purposes. The data protection act is toothless in terms of the protection it claims gives the public; companies dont obey it here, and outside of the UK it is completely irrelevant. The sole reason why this is easy to do is the fact that a single unique identifier will be tied to everything that you do. Once someone has your number, they can find out anything about you. What is even worse about this ID scheme is that your photo is an integral part of the identity. By using your name and confirming what you look like, no one will need your number to derive your identity. They will only need to confirm what you look like, then the bad magic will happen.

Consider this; using photo fit techniques, it will be possible to see someone in the street, give a rough outline of what they look like, and then match this photo against the legal or extralegal database. Once you find a match, that person?s whole life will be revealed to you in an instant, for only a few dollars. But I digress.

Estimated cost of ?3.1bn

this of course, is the least of the cost.

Consortium of companies in UKPS trials led by SchlumbergerSema include NEC, Identix, Iridian

The usual suspects. The real suspects.

None of the above will be able to prevent crime. It will however, make it easy for your life to be exposed to anyone that merely asks. You will not be able to watch TV without someone (everyone) knowing what you have watched (your Sky box reports what you have been watching; in future they will not sign you up without a UKID.) You will not be able to send or receive email without everyone knowing what the two ends of the message were. Take a look at some of the online forms from the USA; many of them have a required field for the Social Security Number, and of course you will not be able to open an account without presenting your UKID.

There are some terrible things that will happen if the British sheepishly accept ID cards. If you loose your ID card, you are in big trouble. Just ask anyone who lives in a state where they are required what this means. There is a more terrible thing that will certainly happen in the future; the government may suspend your identity for any number of spurious reasons. That means that you will not be able to cross any borders, will be unable to use your bank account, will not be able to purchase any service - basically, your life will be stopped. If you dont think that the government will do this then you are a complete fool.

Finally, they say that 80% of people want ID cards. This is irrelevant. The majority of people didn?t want to occupy Iraq, and it went ahead anyway, so any poll about this should be discounted. This poll in particular should be discounted because there has been no campaign of information targeted at the public to educate them about what this really means. It is impossible that any rational person would willingly accept this Soviet style control over their lives. It is not necessary to roll out the "They all voted for Hitler too" routine is it. Oh well, I've just done it. I would be most interested in hearing what the duplicitous and previously total embodiment of evil Tory party has to say about this after they take power in the next election. The only moral action they can take is to totally scrap the whole plan, including biometric passports.

Either way, someone has to produce some grapefruits, otherwise, everything that I have written above will come to pass.
posted by Irdial , 10:42 AM Þ 

hello people, back after a long wishes to all and all xxx kiss kiss
posted by THESE , 4:17 AM Þ 
Friday, April 23, 2004

There is something very, very interesting about HDTV: when you watch an HDTV rip, the quality of the file is much grater than that of a TV rip yet the file size is the same.

You can see the details of hairs on people, grains inside smoke, extremely pure colors and an astonishing absence of artifacts.

Using the thinking of TV execs, this spells B-I-G--T-R-U-B-B-L-E. Anyone with broadband can now watch true DVD quality TV from sub 650 meg files. No wonder the broadcast flag is such an important battle; if HDTV comes out without it, millions more people will be able to watch programmes than originally planned; a complete DISASTER for TV programme makers.

I did say "Using the thinking of TV execs" didnt I??! :o
posted by Irdial , 7:43 PM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 3:35 PM Þ 

Wires - A girl, a toolkit, Iraq

Interesting new blog from someone 'fixing' Iraq.
posted by alex_tea , 1:45 PM Þ 

April 17th
Falluja (2)

Sergeant Tratner of the First Armoured Division is irritated. “Git back or you’ll git killed,” are his opening words.

Lee says we’re press and he looks with disdain at the car. “In this piece of shit?”

Makes us less of a target for kidnappers, Lee tells him. Suddenly he decides he recognises Lee from the TV. Based in Germany, he watches the BBC. He sees Lee on TV all the time. “Cool. Hey, can I have your autograph?”

Lee makes a scribble, unsure who he’s meant to be but happy to have a ticket through the checkpoint which all the cars before us have been turned back from, and Sergeant Tratner carries on. “You guys be careful in Falluja. We’re killing loads of those folks.” Detecting a lack of admiration on our part, he adds, “Well, they’re killing us too. I like Falluja. I killed a bunch of them mother fuckers.”

I wish Sergeant Tratner were a caricature, a stereotype, but these are all direct quotations.
posted by meau meau , 12:35 PM Þ 

The Carlyle Group

Dr Pepper... What's the worst that could happen?

yeeesh - no TV and I still can't escape crappy jingles.
posted by meau meau , 10:58 AM Þ 

Home Office holds secret ID-card talks

By Marie Woolf ,Political Correspondent

20 April 2004

A top-secret military research firm that produces weaponry and "electronic warfare" systems for the Army is in talks with the Home Office about a blueprint for ID cards.

QinetiQ, a hi-tech organisation which used to be part of Porton Down, the chemical and biological centre, has drawn up plans for a pocket-sized card that could reveal hundreds of facts about an individual through a "bar code" similar to those on products in supermarkets. [...]

Yahoo says:

What is QinetiQ?

The Strategic Defence Review undertaken by MoD in 1998 recommended a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as the best means of maximising the strategic value and operational cost effectiveness of the United Kingdom's defence research capabilities. Accordingly, QinetiQ has been structured to facilitate involvement by the private sector.

It comprises the greater part of DERA, the British Government's "Defence Evaluation and Research Agency". Until July 2001, DERA was an agency of the UK Ministry of Defence, incorporating the bulk of the MoD's non-nuclear research, technology and test and evaluation establishments. It then split into two organisations, DSTL and QinetiQ Group plc. DSTL remains part of the MOD and continues to handle the most sensitive areas of research.

Carlyle and QinetiQ

Since Carlyle began its venture capital activities in 1987, it has built up a wealth of experience in overseeing the development of corporations of all sizes in order to increase shareholder value. Glenn Youngkin's role on the QinetiQ Board will be to monitor the performance of the company against agreed business objectives,which the management team are responsible for implementing. He will also draw on Carlyle's global experience to provide strategic input at Board-level on how QinetiQ can best continue its transition successfully from the public to the private sector.

Carlyle supports QinetiQ's plan to develop its non-MoD business by commercialising technologies first developed for the defence industry into applications for a much broader range of sectors. Carlyle employs more than 60 investment professionals, who are dedicated to investing in technology through the firm's venture capital funds in Asia, Europe and the US. This team will be in a strong position to provide QinetiQ with contacts across the globe that can be called upon for advice in the technology field. We hope that access to a global network will help QinetiQ's commercial development and are pleased to make this additional resource available across the company. [...]

The Carlyle Group

This group drags the world into war without end, and when its not busy doing that, it fleeces and tags the sheeple for pocketmoney.
posted by Irdial , 9:46 AM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 9:02 AM Þ 
posted by Ken , 1:41 AM Þ 
Thursday, April 22, 2004
posted by mary13 , 11:21 PM Þ 

The Myth Of The 100-Year CD-Rom

The Independent -Are we putting too much faith in the ubiquitous "recordable CD", or CD-R? It is undeniably one of the most useful means of storage around, offering an inexpensive way to save digital photographs, music and files and costing less than 50 pence per disc.

If you check the claims made by some manufacturers of popular CD-R brands, you will see that some make bold claims indeed. Typical boasts include: "100-years archival life", "guaranteed archival lifespan of more than 100 years" and "one million read cycles". One company even says data can be stored "swiftly and permanently", leaving you free to bequeath those backups of your letter to the electricity company to your great-great-grandchildren.

But an investigation by a Dutch personal computer magazine, PC Active, has shown that some CD-Rs are unreadable in as little as two years, because the dyes in the CD's recording layer fade. These dyes replace the aluminium "pits" of a music CD or CD-Rom, and the laser uses that layer to distinguish 0s from 1s. When the CD is written, the writing laser "burns" the dye, which becomes dark, to represent a "1" while a "0" will be left blank so that if the dye fades, there's no difference; it's just a long string of nothing to the playback laser.

So have you already lost those irreplaceable pictures you committed to the silver disc? PC Active suggests we should forget CD-Rs as a durable medium, after its own testing found some with unreadable data after just two years. [...]

Ahem. Or should I say Amen? I only wish that my predictions about the great British public were so accurate!
posted by Irdial , 10:41 PM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 8:28 PM Þ 
posted by Alun , 8:25 PM Þ 
posted by Ken , 6:48 PM Þ 

"When that shooting happened at a JCC in California, a parent came in and said, `Thank God you have [the swipe cards],'" Judith Katz said.

In the mid-1990s Norman Katz attended a computer show that introduced biometrics (the measurement of characteristics of living organisms) and changed his thinking about security access. He liked the idea that body parts such as a hand, finger or the iris of an eye could be tapped for a computerized identification program.

"When he said he wanted to develop a fingerprint ID, I thought he was nuts," Judith Katz said. "It sounded like science fiction. We were already using swipe cards, which everyone liked. But he said that biometrics would be the thing that businesses would be using in a few years."

Initial parent reaction was mixed. Many, including Glaser, echoed Judith Katz's first response: Why switch?

"I thought the swipe card was very effective," said Glaser, a working mother who started using the center just after Billy's brother, Robbie, was born seven years ago. "It was blank, so there was no identification on it except your serial number, and each person had a different serial number. When they switched to fingerprints, at first I wondered, Why change? I think change always makes people nervous. But I adjusted fast."

Glaser also feels more secure with the fingerprint method.

"Now I like it better than the swipe card," she said. "With the swipe card, even though there is no identification on it, I was a little nervous because there were other cards out there."

Disadvantage of cards

That other cards were "out there" convinced Judith Katz, and the parents, that change was necessary.

"Some said, What do you want to do this for? I told them, `You could give someone else your swipe card, but you can't give them your fingerprint,'" she said. "When they tried it, they thought it was wonderful."

PSO/Illinois' Childcare Association President Suzanne Logan is counting on a similar response from parents at her child-care center, Kangaroo Korner in Forest Park, which is planning to convert from swipe card to Count Me In's fingerprint monitor.

"The swipe system works quite well, but parents sometimes lose their cards," Logan said. "Also, if it's on a keychain and dad takes that car with the keys, mom doesn't have the card. With fingerprint ID, it can't happen. It's always with them."

The fingerprint monitor costs less than the swipe version, said Neal Katz, vice president.

"Biometrics is the way to go," he said, explaining that fingerprint monitors start at $800, compared with the swipe system's cost of about $1,300. [...]

Chicago Tribune
posted by Irdial , 6:42 PM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 6:07 PM Þ 

Until now, Americans have always said no to being forced to show "Your papers, please!" on demand. But since the catastrophe of September 11, polls say as many as 87 percent of us may be willing to submit to a nationwide, biometric ID system.

At first the cards wouldn't be mandatory. But even in the "voluntary" system, anyone who "chose" not to present a national ID card and submit to biometric scans on demand would be subject to invasive body searches at airports and extensive, humiliating, time-consuming questioning at checkpoints about his identity, plans, motives, and activities. Everyone without approved ID would, in short, be treated as a criminal suspect. If the system became legally mandatory, those refusing to cooperate could also be arrested, jailed and fined.

The American Association of Motor Vehicles Authority announced in November 2001 that it was "working closely" with the new Office of Homeland Security to implement a mandatory biometric system through state licensing agencies - and this system would be mandatory.

Why is this a problem? The United States isn't Nazi Germany -- which used a computerized national ID system to round up Jews and other "undesirables" and send them to slave labor and death. So what's the big deal? The very big deal is "mission creep." When Social Security numbers were introduced in the 1930's, the system was "voluntary." Citizens who worried about the biblical number of the Beast (Rev. 13: 16-18) or more mundane forms of tyranny were assured that, by law, the Social Security number would never ­ ever -- be used for ID. [...]

One of many Google results...

And so on. All of this falls on deaf ears aparently. How many dystopian futures do they need to be shown before they understand that they are the subject of the play.
posted by Irdial , 6:04 PM Þ 

The mismatch between what the government's been saying and what the people believe is all too clear. General ignorance about what ID cards can actually do has worked in the government's favour in the isolation of the civil liberties lobby, but that ignorance could now work against it - dare Blunkett switch horses back into a squalid and fraudulent sales pitch that leans heavily on the race card?

Detica itself seems slightly bemused by the public's views on the capabilities of ID cards. Although it does a good bit of IT consultancy work for the government and is currently engaged in some government ID card related projects, it's a technical consultancy with real depth, as opposed to a bunch of Blairite survey-wonks, so when The Register spoke to Detica this morning we found we didn't need to take the crucifix and silver bullets out of our bag - these people know what they're talking about.

Detica Head of Security and Risk David Porter agreed that the public was largely wrong in its view that ID cards would stop illegal immigration, and pointed out that the system is only going to be as good as the registration process. If this doesn't work properly, "then all of the biometrics in the world is not going to save you." And overall, although 94 per cent of people are aware of the ID card scheme, "two thirds have little or know knowledge of how it will work." This of course is not something the government has actually explained yet, so Porter is unable to comment on what the real cost is likely to be. Critics, however, have suggested it could be considerably higher than the government's promised ?35 per head, and this level itself is a problem, as 48 per cent of people think the cards should be free, and only 19 per cent are prepared to pay over ?25.

The public's apparent enthusiasm for biometrics is also a surprise, and suggests to Porter that the unpleasant association of inky fingerprinting with the word 'offender' no longer exists to any great degree. At around 50 per cent, almost as many people think the ID should be a fingerprint as do a photograph, while 40 per cent think an iris scan is fine, and around 35 per cent are keen on "DNA details stored on your card". They've clearly got the wrong impression of how you're going to have your DNA read, says Porter, but the point to be taken on board here is that the public is nothing like as conservative about the use of biometrics as was generally thought. [...],,1-2-1083346,00.html

Well. There has been a complete failure to convey the facts about ID cards, since clearly not one sheeple has grasped what ID cards will mean to them in practice. On the 60th anniversary of the Normandy operation, the populaiton shows that all those people literally threw away their lives for nothing, save the world domination of the English language over German.

Once again, we see that money is the only thing people today care about; they will accept an ID card, without knowing anything about it, as long as they dont have to pay for it. Only saints care about people with so little regard for their lives; all saints pleas line up to care for the British public if you please.

You can bet that the vote for the european constitution will be "yes" also. All of this, without impurification of the bodily fluids by mass fluoridation.

Now thats a feat!

Still, in a world where Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa (and anyone looking at this Internet web page from the past that has not fainted will attest that this fact is unbelievable) anything is possible. After reading this poll, after the last year of simply astonishing evil, one could be forgiven for thinking that "its getting worse".
posted by Irdial , 5:50 PM Þ 
posted by Alun , 5:15 PM Þ 

"I am living proof of what happens when biotech buys a university. The first thing that goes is independent research. The university is a delicate organism. When its mission and orientation are compromised, it dies. Corporate biotechnology is killing this university."
posted by meau meau , 3:47 PM Þ 

Since 1997, genetically-modified soya has been planted over almost half the country's arable land. Now farmers are having to use more and more herbicides to control the resistant weeds, damaging the soil's fertility for generations.

A study, detailed in the respected journal New Scientist, has found that over-use of weedkillers is rendering the soil 'inert' - and directly affecting human health.

Farmers and their families living near Argentina's GM fields complain of rashes, streaming eyes and other symptoms. Some have seen their livestock die or give birth to deformed young.

Of course it's the herbacide that's causing the symptoms, but that they need to use so much of it - they said it wouldn't happen

posted by meau meau , 3:38 PM Þ 

I just set up a gmail account.

PGP encrypted mail appearing in Gmail does not have any adverts displayed next to it.
posted by Irdial , 1:17 PM Þ 

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posted by Irdial , 1:06 PM Þ 

"What does Cuba get for sending doctors around the world? They get nothing. They really care about people. They really believe that people deserve and have a right to health care. They believe people deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he told The Final Call.

"When I first visited Cuba in 1995, they had 50,000 doctors for their 10 million people. Now, they have 70-80,000 doctors for 12 million people. They don’t need any more doctors. They have a doctor in every community, school and factory. They have the best doctor-patient ratio in the world, with one doctor for every 200 people."

The ratio in the United States is far worse.

"According to the National Medical Association there are only 23,000 Black doctors in practice to serve 40 million Black people. How many patients is that per doctor? It’s one doctor for every 2,000 patients. That’s Third World health standards. We can’t elevate the health conditions of our people with that ratio," he explained.

"For Whites, the ratio is one doctor for every 300 people. Whites have six times greater access to a health professional than Blacks," Dr. Muhammad pointed out. "There are whole areas around the country where there are no Black doctors."
posted by meau meau , 12:27 PM Þ 

Is anyone trying GMail, as offered on the Blogger sign-in page?

Grauniad Online erview here. Erview? Well, it is the Grauniad.
posted by Alun , 11:59 AM Þ 
posted by Alun , 11:48 AM Þ 

"The young American Marine is exultant. "It's a sniper's dream," he tells a Los Angeles Times reporter on the outskirts of Fallujah. "You can go anywhere and there so many ways to fire at the enemy without him knowing where you are."

"Sometimes a guy will go down, and I'll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies. Then I'll use a second shot."

"To take a bad guy out," he explains, "is an incomparable 'adrenaline rush.'" He brags of having "24 confirmed kills" in the initial phase of the brutal U.S. onslaught against the rebel city of 300,000 people. [...]
posted by Irdial , 11:46 AM Þ 

I should put that in my last will & testament. No service, just a wake.

... And lobby my family!
posted by meau meau , 11:32 AM Þ 

i really really doubt that i will ever go to one (a service) again

when you are buried? :o
posted by Irdial , 11:17 AM Þ 

A conscripted US presence in Iraq could be the key to their citizens wanting to get out of that dollar-forsaken country. Once they start getting killed, that is.


I had to go to a c-of-e church every week at secondary school - before that i had never been to a church service, i really really doubt that i will ever go to one (a service) again.
posted by meau meau , 10:43 AM Þ 

80%, 58% and one in 5. Hmmmmmmm

"The principal reason people gave for backing the adoption of ID cards was to prevent illegal immigration."

Well, this poll is broken, since everyone knows that ID cards cannot prevent illegal immigration any more than passports can.

Its also not good practice to use two different ways of presenting numbers in a single poll; 1in5 means 20%, which means in practice that only 20% of people will pay for this proposed card. When the news finally gets out that ID cards dont solve any problems but create a whole legion of others, the percentage of people willing to pay for them will drop to 0 and the numbers willing to carry one will dwindle wonderfully.
posted by Irdial , 10:19 AM Þ 

80% of those questioned backed a national ID card scheme
58% of those questioned said they were "not confident" the government would be able to introduce the system smoothly.
Only one in five said they would be prepared to meet the suggested £35 charge.

People are willing to have their liberties infringed, but are up in arms about paying £35 for it?
Ignoring the liberty issue for once, who do these people think are paying for the 32 people Blunkett is currently employing on the ID project? Who do they think will pay for the billions and billions necessary for the implementation, the upkeep, the problem-solving and the IT company profits?

£35 is the least of their worries.
posted by Alun , 9:57 AM Þ 

Since the 1991 Gulf War, photographs of coffins as they return to the United States have been tightly restricted. And few such photographs have been published during the conflict in Iraq.

News Here
posted by Irdial , 9:29 AM Þ 

I went to a funeral a few weeks ago, in a Lutheran church. It was quite an experience. My good friend's grandfather had passed away. He was such a lovely man, and I was quite upset by his passing. I will miss his bright light. I arrived at the church, feeling sad, trembling emotion, perhaps you can relate. You know, when the tears spill out so easily you are almost embarrassed? And what was so interesting to me, was how the service functioned to relieve me of my grief. I do not follow any particular religion, but I am a spiritual person, and it was interesting to follow the service through my emotions and observe how it helped to raise my spirit. It was not the words - there were many times when I felt I understood what the deacon was saying, however the language did not exactly reach my true center. But the measured process of speech, song, prayer, praise and closure helped me with my feelings of grief that I found to be quite effective, an avenue of release I may not have searched out for myself if left alone. The personal experience aside, it left me with an appreciation of the function that religion serves in society, to provide community, a way of life, a ritual, some solace. Perhaps this is the draw for so many? It is difficult to be so strong, to have all the answers, is it so wrong to rely on a system that can carry you through?

I must admit, we have had the benefit of the visit of the Dalai Lama, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and Shirin Ebadi this week in Vancouver, so much of the news has been about peace, acceptance, non-violence and love. I wish this was every week, in every paper, every where. What would we do without these people? Their very existence makes manifest that which they believe.
posted by mary13 , 8:42 AM Þ 

So it's fair that I can only use this music on an iPod, which is made by Apple, and I can only play it through iTunes, which is made by Apple? Hmmm... that sounds a lot like a Microsoftian viewpoint. How very monopolistic of you. What if I want to play my music on Rio players and listen to it in Winamp? What if I want to listen to it on a Linux box? Saying "because Apple's license agreement says you can't" is ignoring the laws of supply and demand. If enough people use PlayFair to circumvent Apple's iTMS protection then there is a demand for DRM-free music and Apple must change their ways or perish.
posted by Irdial , 6:38 AM Þ - Just let PlayFair die already, ok?

A lot of misguided "Fair Use" crusaders, geeks and "civil libertarians" are up in arms about how nasty Apple is, how DRM and the DMCA suck, and how the project has to be kept alive.

I say we'd all be better off if the project died and these people just shut up. In this brief article I offer some responses to some of their arguments.
posted by alex_tea , 2:13 AM Þ 
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

  1. a $100 bill.
  2. any money. ("It's all about the Benjamins." -- Lauryn Hill.)
money (related to)
one hundred dollars
posted by Irdial , 6:24 PM Þ 

What are the Benjamins incidentally?
posted by captain davros , 6:16 PM Þ 

Did the Yanks learn nothing about arrogance, about provocation, about subtlety?
yanks only knows about the Benjamins...IN GOD WE TRUST
posted by Alison , 5:45 PM Þ 

Find the common ground!
Human nature? Our brain do not function, if one do not believe (personal or in large groups)
posted by Alison , 5:43 PM Þ 

The chief inspector of England's schools has suggested dropping their legal obligation to provide "a daily act of collective worship".

An unfortunate fact of life is that most Muslim countries have bad systems of government.
Before jumping to conclusions about why this might be, it is worth noting that the same could have been said of Roman Catholic countries about 35 years ago. A look at the world map then would have shown numerous countries, in Latin America, eastern Europe and elsewhere, that had predominantly Catholic populations ruled by authoritarian regimes.
It might have been tempting at the time to suggest a connection between their religion and their politics, but it was more a matter of history and circumstances, and events since then have shown that Catholic countries are as capable of adapting to democracy as any others.

posted by Alun , 5:13 PM Þ 

modified over at least 2000 years by MEN
If you look at the Book of Kells and the Lindesfarne Gospels and see what men who believe can produce...

...when the interpretation tells at least as much as the words
posted by meau meau , 3:24 PM Þ 

the biggest US embassy in the world

That's a big target! Hard to miss really. Did the Yanks learn nothing about arrogance, about provocation, about subtlety?

As for my 2¢ on religion, I think it's impossible to judge, it's wholly personal belief, I doubt two people agree exactly on religion as they do on anything else, organised religion therefore is somewhat of a fallacy, although I am sure it helps bring conviction to someone's beliefs to know there are other who believe (roughly) the same thing as you.

I can see why people believe in the rapture, and why it excites them so much. To me it's like science fiction. A fantastically realistic situation, an exciting story. War, fire, plague, sex and death, and finally the end of the world. As a teenager, after finishing Good Omens by Neil Gaimen I picked up the bible we were given at school and read revelations back to front. It's an amazing read, full of iconic imagery and ambiguity.
posted by alex_tea , 3:18 PM Þ 

I've never found an explanation

This is irrelevant; you are not going to get anywhere with this if you keep appying the same broken tools to this perception problem. As I said, you need to put aside your personal ideas when you read these texts. As for why someone would believe in the rapture, this is pretty obvious to:

A anyone that can ephathise with other people
B anyone what understands what the rapture is

You can replace the rapture with reincarnation btw.

Stop fighting agains it; you need to live next door to these people - in every way - get into their minds so that you can better acquit yourself in front of them. You will not be able to do this, by quoting "facts" about how the very centres of their beliefs are fradulent.

I challenge you to listen to RG Stair for a week and to say that you do not agree with him on everything to do with politics.

Find the common ground!
posted by Irdial , 2:23 PM Þ 

I've never found an explanation as to why a document written long after the events portrayed, by people not present, translated beyond credibility as a representation of the original, modified over at least 2000 years by MEN with personal belief preferences, political agendas and a lust for power and control, should be taken as a document to be believed as both historical fact and future foretold.

I would not expect society to believe a similarly treated document that claimed to be the diary of an extraterrestrial queen seeding the human race on earth as an experiment in evolution claiming She is to return and take all accountants to interplanetary nirvana.

I understand what is believed, but not why.

And that's without looking at current human interpretation of identical religious documents, which varies so much it reminds one of the Tower of Babel story. (Now there's an irony.)

So I guess it's faith. Which, in the case of religion, I appear to lack. Hence, I don't understand despite trying.

I'm not trying to be flippant, just a bit more concise.
I'm not doing very well, am I?
posted by Alun , 1:21 PM Þ 

Chapter 23

A Living Relic
posted by meau meau , 1:08 PM Þ 

Blush say Iraq will be free to govern itself.

Did you know the the US embassy they are planning to build there will be the biggest US embassy in the world, and that it will have a staff of THREE THOUSAND people?

Holy staging posts Batman!
posted by Irdial , 12:50 PM Þ 

One should not be scared by people who believe in the rapture; they mean no harm to anyone, and their belief does not harm anyone.

One should not call peoples religous beliefs "stuff" like its some sort of garbage (unless one is being flippant, then one can call it bullshit, codswhallop, trash, crap, nonsense). When a person says, "People believe this stuff. It truly saddens me..." It could be taken to mean (probably wrongly), by italicizing "believe" that it is somehow incredible that someone would seriously think that the rapture is going to happen, which by the way as beliefs go is in no way incredible, strange or out of the ordinary.

Why should it make anyone sad that there are "rapturists" out there? What exactly is it that they are missing out on that would make a person feel pity for them? Only a person who thinks that they know better than a rapturist, that they have unlocked the key to the universe would pour pity on a rapturists head.

It is very simple to understand what rapturists believe. All one has to do is read what they have read. The major religious texts are understandable by anyone, and if one can put aside personal feelings and inclinations while reading these texts, one will find that they are internally consistent. One will then be able to qualify a statement like "People believe this stuff." with "...which baffles me, beause thats not what it says in the King James Bible, which they claim to folllow". Now, that is not an attack, that is a reasoned thrust of a foil. It makes nor implies a claim to superior knowledge about the nature of mans life on earth, it simply asks a polite question. Of course, in the middle of the night on a full moon, one might, in private, think that the universe has been revealed to you, but that is quite another thing entirely.

To understand anything, you simply have to study it. If religions are treated as subsets of human behaviour, then they are complete, finite and can be studied in their entirety. There might not be time for this, so, for example, you can listen to, for exammple The Overcomer (which I have posted here at least 5 times) or watch the Islamic TV channels that are out there. There is one in particular, hosted by an old guy with a vertical white headress, which sometimes is translated into English. These people never lie, and when they say something that isnt true, like "Planet X is travelling at the speed of light and is going to smash into earth" you can safely discount it....maybe :o

The most important thing is that the information conveyed by the voices above will confirm that you have much more in common with them than it would appear at first glance, which should give one comfort and lessen one's anxiety about the aparent "strangeness" of religion and its adherents. Certainly, most of liberal america is now finding that they have alot in common with the Militia types, who they once derided as lunatics. But thats another story!
posted by Irdial , 12:47 PM Þ 

Two thoughts on "freedom" relevant to today.

Vanunu is released, freed, after serving a full prison term for his crime. But he is not "free", is he?

Blush say Iraq will be free to govern itself. "That is a stable and prosperous and democratic Iraq governed by Iraqi people," said the Blair half only a couple of days ago. So what if, on 1st July, the free Iraqi government say "Right, we've decided to retender all contracts handed out by those with no authority to do so, and we currently favour middle-eastern companies. We want all foreign troops out within a month. And we don't want any US or other bases (currently there will be 14. FOURTEEN. Permanent. US. Military Bases) in Iraq. So piss off."?
posted by Alun , 12:24 PM Þ 

So who are these tyrants that seek to inflict their will on Christian children over God's? Who are these that attempt to force their antichrist beliefs on our children? Atheists, Liberals, Muslims, Hindus, the ACLU, Nambla, the NEA, the list is endless.
posted by meau meau , 10:52 AM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 10:37 AM Þ 

Another Google Image

Yes "mongrel" (for reasons)
posted by meau meau , 10:29 AM Þ 

I find it hard to express exactly what I think of religion, primarily because I find it so confusing. I have personal beliefs that some would consider odd, perhaps. Just because I find some beliefs, er, unbelievable (in the sense that I cannot even come close to understanding why a person would believe such a thing) does not mean I think any belief at all should be restricted. I believe in love. I believe in freedom, mental, spiritual and physical.
So there is the understanding of religious beliefs, or my lack of it (not through lack of trying). Then there is the physical manifestation of religion, from the knock of the Jehovahs Witness to the public amputation of thieves.
I want an atheist state about as much as I want a Christian state, or a Mormon state. How dull and restrictive. What I don't like having to accept (ugh, what a term) is the consequences of someones religious beliefs on the way I live. Most obviously, see Bush. See Blair and his CofE-Catholicism and the use of terms like 'good and evil'. See Sharon. See... most of history, really. There is a loss of perspective directly resulting from religious (not political, not objective) beliefs which have affected billions of people.

Last night I read about Moses.
He was given a covenant from Yhvh, that God would be Israel's God as long as Israel kept His Commandments.
No killing? No coveting? No bearing false witness against people?
It's just an example.
I don't understand religion.

One of the most religious people I know, a Muslim woman, truly follows the spirit of her faith and she shines so beautifully for it.
And we share a lot of beliefs.
I don't understand religion.

This post is, by nature, confused and rambling.
I could go on but it wouldn't get any better.

posted by Alun , 10:03 AM Þ 

When the Saudi people finally rise up in revolt and throw out the House of Saud, it won't be for democratic reform, and it won't be for an islamic republic. It'll be about mobile phones. [...]

MADINAH, 14 April 2004 — Police in Madinah arrested an 18-year-old man in woman’s dress including a veil in a Madinah shopping center. Al-Madinah reported that people noticed strange movements and felt the person was not walking like a woman. His arms were also noticed to be hairy. People said the person was following women and annoying them. The police were called and they arrested the man saying that he might be mentally ill.

The thing about wearing an abaya and a veil, it could be anybody in there. It could be Hulk Hogan. It could be Osama Bin Laden. It could be Clyde, the Orang Utang. Just don't show your hairy arms.

As for the man's mental health, I agree. Any Saudi man who would rather be treated like a Saudi woman, is by definition nuts.[...]

Mobile telephony as a basis for a state: "I am 4 it"
Men in Jihab: "I like it"
posted by Irdial , 9:41 AM Þ 

One recent poll showed that only 19% of the American public now identify themselves as liberal. That means that if a liberal network wants to be successful, politically or economically, it must also convert a significant number of the 39% of the public that the poll said considers itself moderate.

Good luck.

In a country in which 64% of the public say they attend weekend worship services at least once a month, mocking religion might not be the most effective way to win converts — and yet, on Good Friday no less, that's exactly what the various Air America hosts repeatedly did.

Two of the hosts gratuitously announced that they're Jewish, and one — Marc Maron of the network's "Morning Sedition" program — went on to make fun of Easter and Christmas rituals. Then, in a segment he called "morning devotional," Maron began his prayer for divine guidance on behalf of President Bush by saying, "Dear Lord, what the hell is going on up there?" [...]

La Times

Ahem. Or should it be Amen? I'm not sure today!
posted by Irdial , 9:36 AM Þ 


Bad Citizen!
posted by Irdial , 9:27 AM Þ 

Exhibit an individual belief system (e.g. pixies tell you how to live, whispering sweet somethings in your ear) and you'll be in a rubber room before long. But believe you hear the voice of a god and do it's bidding, speak to an invisible entity that doesn't reply and ask favours, and think that if you're good you'll end up in an eternal paradise... suddenly you're a model citizen.

Atheists, are a breed of religious fanatics who believe in man instead of God. They are also Talibanesque in their intolerance of any belief other than their own. The Taliban spend time trying to erase the religion of others to the point of using dynamite to destroy statues; Atheists use ridicule, ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments as their weapons. Atheists are like the Jehovas witnesses, banging on your door with "a message from God" at 7AM on a Saturday when you are having a well deserved late morning after a hard weeks slog. Atheists think they have the answer just like every other religious fanatic. They have their holy texts - lots of them - which they encourage you to study, just like the Musilms, Christians and every other group. They, like the religiuls, have "got religion" the religion of Athesim, which they preach and are bound to spread, "for the good of mankind", for, if everyone believed what they believe, the world would naturally be a better place. This is as vile to me as the Jehovas witnesses waking me up in the morning, or Christians going to India to "harvest souls", or those dumbasses who want the UK to be run under Sharia law.

I have complete tolerance for all religions; there are many places where you can live and express your religious beliefs to the full, and you can live any way you want as long as you keep it your own business. I dont have to give the examples of the way different countries are organized around religion or to negate the effects of religion. There is however, no Atheist state; maybe someone should start one?

One thing is for certain. The people who will shit their pants first on the day of the second coming will be the Atheists. The people who will have an afterlife heart attack after the heat attack that ends their lives are the ones that see the many aspects of Krishna as it is revealed to them that they spent their whole lives in a complete self centered inward looking lie. The believers, if there is no God, get a chemically induced near death experience, indistinguishable from ascending to heaven. so they dont loose either way :o

During the Cultural Revolution they said "religion is poison". I say, rationality as religion is poison. Both kill something. Stop the killing...stop the insanity.
posted by Irdial , 9:01 AM Þ 

posted by alex_tea , 3:43 AM Þ 
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Is this likely to happen, how many people would fall for it, how few would be beneficial to a fraudster?

Dear Mr Gullible,

We are writing to you due to a very unfortunate incident with a virus that has corrupted some of the identity card information for a small number of people on our servers. Although this incident has affected less than 100 records we appreciate that it could cause serious difficulties if you do not resupply us with the details on your card immediately. We have written directly to you because re-registering your information through the Passport Agency will take at least two weeks and your card may not function correctly for up to 21 days, we can resolve the problem within two hours if you the following detais to this secure address ....@.... or at this secure webpage .......


A scanned image of your card would help us to double check your record on our system, this is not absolutely necessary for us to refresh your details but will assist our quality control.
We repeat that we are very sorry that your records were affected and we hope in some way you appreciate how limited the extent of the damage actually is, we would also prefer you not to discuss this breach of our security as it may encourage other people to attack our servers in the future. We must state the problem is limited to our servers and has not affected the Passport Agency information in any way.
As a token of our regard for your assistance we will ensure your next card is issued free of charge.

Kindest Regards

.... .....

Technical Security Officer, Secure Records Division
BigBro UK
posted by meau meau , 7:22 PM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 2:43 PM Þ 

someone has got the wrong end of the stick:
posted by meau meau , 1:43 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 1:11 PM Þ 

mmeeaauu, close but no cigar.
posted by Alun , 10:52 AM Þ 

Experts from the identification cards industry will tell parliament what type of cards they think should be introduced to the UK.

What wrong with this sentence? And it is a sentence.

Although UK citizens would not have to carry it in the street, the home secretary has said they would have to produce it when required by competent authorities.

Competent Authorities? Nope, can't think of any.


Although some people need to be protected from themselves.


AK: Anne Withercum?
posted by meau meau , 10:25 AM Þ 

Raving, not drowning.

'Got sanity?'
(This I forgot to post a while back. It astounded me. Where is the rationality? What have we done that so many pin their hopes on such ideas?)

Hi Todd, I had an idea last week filled with urgency to make small stickers (Avery Mail Labels) and stick them everywhere I could get them. When the rapture takes us up, those left behind will surely be going through the “stuff” we leave behind, especially our billfolds and homes. I took the liberty to refer everyone to your site. You might want to encourage others to do something similar. I have the stickers on my computer, in my wallet, in our truck, over my computer at work and anywhere else I can get away with sticking them. The stickers read: “If those around you suddenly vanish, go to on the internet. Look under "Left Behind" This will give you information as to what has happened and what you need to do next.” I hope this will help in some small way to get the word out. Thanks for an awesome website that gives me renewed hope each day!

People believe this stuff. It truly saddens me and scares me.

I don't understand.

Is that why it's scary?

I don't think so. It's people, free to believe whatever they wish, allowing their beliefs to influence the lives of those who don't happen to share the "faith".

Exhibit an individual belief system (e.g. pixies tell you how to live, whispering sweet somethings in your ear) and you'll be in a rubber room before long. But believe you hear the voice of a god and do it's bidding, speak to an invisible entity that doesn't reply and ask favours, and think that if you're good you'll end up in an eternal paradise... suddenly you're a model citizen.

I'll get my coat.
posted by Alun , 10:22 AM Þ 

Tarantino knows his Kung Fu!
posted by Irdial , 10:07 AM Þ 
posted by Ken , 4:36 AM Þ 
posted by Ken , 4:34 AM Þ 
Monday, April 19, 2004

Ecco io!

Norah Jones
Eamon Whothefuck
Cliff Richard
Josh Stone
Jamie Cullum
Peter Andre
Snow Patrol
Alicia Keys
Will Young
Scissor Sisters

And John Negroponte


she's not all bad. she's on my list of women to think about when trying to delay ejaculation.
Who is the mystery lady?

Don't know the quote.

Wanna see a picture of Akin Fernandez?
Or my ugly mug?

I need a new job. It's been one of those days.
Actually, I need a new direction.
Goodbye science, hello artistic development.
posted by Alun , 8:13 PM Þ 

"Put the pick in here Pete, and turn it around, real neat"
That isnt the correct quote of course, do you know what the correct one is?
Where is Ak?
posted by Irdial , 7:34 PM Þ 

Speaking of the tyre slashing cyclist. The picture of him in the guardian on saturday clearly showed he was cycling on a pavement / in a pedestrianised area.

Bloody hypocrite. He should be fed to the Daily Mail.
posted by meau meau , 3:33 PM Þ 

Gaddafi plans major law reform

Libya's leader has called for sweeping legal changes including the abolition of a special revolutionary court criticised by human rights groups.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi also urged an end to the arrest of people without a warrant and the ratification of international anti-torture conventions.

Last month he promised to act after an Amnesty International team made their first visit to Libya in 15 years.

The image of Libya's leader has been transformed in western eyes recently [...]

Smart move; dismantle your aparatus of control berore the religious hoardes take over and use it against you. If they decide to take over that is. Hmmmm now in the west there will be arrest without warrant, but in Libya, there will be no arrest without warrant. You can smoke in public in Bahgdad, but not in Manhattan.

Whats wrong with this picture?!?!?!
posted by Irdial , 1:50 PM Þ 

Whats wrong??

"THX-1138 is a strongly philosophical film, dealing with the concepts of freedom and individuality set against the backdrop of a dystopian future. The first thing that will come to mind for most audiences is the controlled society of George Orwell?s ?1984.? Indeed, the quasi-religious figure of OMM (James Wheaton, A Piece of the Action) may at first appear to be a type of Big Brother figure. (As the film progresses, the flaw in this theory becomes apparent, but that is for the viewer to discover.) The notion of Orwellian ?sexcrime? is certainly evident. Even stronger parallels may be drawn to the strongly individualistic social theories of Ayn Rand; the story of THX-1138 actually has many similarities to the struggle undertaken by the principal character in her novella, ?Anthem.? However, Lucas takes this philosophical struggle of the individual versus the tyrannical and gives it his own, modern twist. Unlike most dystopian societies portrayed by futurists, which tend by be communistic in nature, the State in THX-1138 is a capitalist one, concerned with budget limitations and commerce. It?s a unique distinction that allows Lucas to take an often-visited plot device and make it into his own." [...]

Well summed up.

Thats why this film rings so true today, apart from all the technical predictions that are now almost completely in place:

  • Police brutality as entertaiinment (COPS)

  • Every individual numbered (SSN on birth)

  • Everyone moved into cities

  • Instantly accessible, total information on each person, by "system operators"

  • Universal, pervasive CCTV (UK)

  • Drugging of children (ritalin)

  • Drugging of adults (prozac)

  • Kangaroo courts

  • State torture

  • Everyone working soley to construct the means of control (Taxes)

  • Enforced Birth control (RU486)

  • Female-less gestation and birth

  • An A/B comparison webpage with pics is in order....
    posted by Irdial , 11:57 AM Þ 

    Spain: a country with Grapefruits!
    posted by Irdial , 11:17 AM Þ 

    I mean look at Iraq.

    Y Viva Espania
    posted by meau meau , 11:05 AM Þ 

    You mean Italy

    Viva Italia!
    posted by Irdial , 10:47 AM Þ 

    One of the changes would include "the principle that anyone who is at home should be considered a priori under attack [from a soldier] and may legitimately regard himself to be in danger of his life." In these instances, "any action must be considered legitimate defence".

    Iraq plans law to allow citizens to shoot invaders
    posted by meau meau , 10:29 AM Þ 

    Someone awake said:

    You got it, it's called conditioning or brainwashing. they do it to the cops and military until they are conditioned them selves, then they pass it on to "civvies".

    The special forces are all getting chipped soon, then the nations police forces, so when it comes your turn, they will say "WE got chipped, it's legal and you must do it!!" Might take a few years, but it's coming.

    Right up above, in another post the oft repeated by thoroughly wrong "driving is a privelege and not a right". That's BS, but the entire nation got conditioned into it, now it's accepted that you DON'T have a freedom to travel without their permit or "permission". Ridiculous? Nope, just the one step at a time deal. Would you apply for your "speech" permit? Ridiculous? Most states you need a "permit" for your second amendment "right". Well, if you need the state's permission, it sure ceased to be a "right", yet it's "the law" almost everywhere in some form or another, only one state, vermont, has followed the "born-with right" concept there. What's the difference? The numbering in the constitution? 1-2-3-4, the order in which they strip them doesn't matter as much as they HAVE been doing it and once gone, it stays gone. The goons will just take the easier ones first, that's all. That's what they have been doing. A "permit" to travel, to drive your property on a public road, a road you partially own by being the "public" and pay for via fuel taxes anyway, yet you need a "permit" for your "born-with right to travel" and everyone eats it up, because that right got stripped gradually and turned into needing "their permission".

    One at a time freedoms get stripped, people excuse it, they get wishy washy on it, society wimps out, eventually like in all other despotic regimes down through history, you wake up one day and you have no more rights, you are their chattel, and you wonder why it happened, how it snuck up on you. "You" being a generic of course. It's because people just REFUSE to follow through with a normal extrapolation of causalities, events, and provocations. They will not put 2+2 together, they fall into the now cliched "cognizant dissonance" state. It's not that they can't see it, they don't WANT to see it, they pull a turbo ostrich head in the sand, if it's pointed out to them they will vehemently deny the obvious, all the way into absurdity.

    Just since I've been a kid we've have lost a TON of rights, now we even put up with "random checkpoints" stuff I was taught in school was only done in places like soviet union or east germany. It was something to revile against,. to thank ourselves and congratulate ourselves we didn't live under such a regime and culture of brutality and exploitation. but now we put up with it, every excuse in the book, but the fact remains, it's now "the LAW" and the US public meekly submits. We wimp out.. Now it's "normal" and the dudes in blue (or black) willingly just "follow ze orders" and "swear an oath to the constitution", yet hardly any of them know it, understand it, or see how they are being used to force the people into obedience to the state.

    And this "the people"? More concerned with entertainments mostly, and way too scared to do much about it, they will even put up with obvious vote hijacking and fraud, and with having a controlled parroting media mostly. They put up with hijacked money, stolen labor, rigged elections, wars created by a single tin pot dictator, "executive orders" and never ending and overlapping "national state of emergency" decrees, confiscation of property on a whim, the denial of even a right to property in a lot of cases, obvious and overt bribery being how the nations political business is done, and on and on and on.

    It all happened one step at a time, though, not all at once, never enough to get the people alarmed and disgusted enough to "just say no" back at them.

    It's sorta sad, but really, you can sort of understand it when you see they will make an example of anyone who dares actually say "no" to illegalities being done by the government or any of it's agents, all the way to murder. They will fug you up, either in the courts or on the street. We are their property now, and you dasn't say no to what massah say.

    COPS, the show, yes, that's why you see that. I watched about 5-6 episodes,pretty disgusting really, I don't recall seeing any that didn't show some broken rights. Granted, some scumbaggy citizens, but see, they EXCUSE that in those cases to get you conditioned to accept it. This is why you see torture by cops as "cool" on some other "shows" as well.

    Advertising works, brainwashing works, it's why they do it, why it's repeated over and over again, because eventually it works. Mass societal conditioning is brainwashing, it's advertising of a sort, and it *works* for them, so they will keep doing it.
    posted by Irdial , 8:50 AM Þ 
    posted by a hymn in g to nann , 7:36 AM Þ 
    Sunday, April 18, 2004
    posted by Irdial , 7:16 PM Þ 

    It was a blustery spring evening and a traveller realised that he would have to spend the night in the woods. After wandering off the track for a few minutes he set a trap to catch a rabbit for his supper, he then walked a short distance to rest while his prey was caught. As chance would have it he found the shell of an old hut where he could take a nap out of the wind that even now cut through the trees.
    It was still far from dark, and he noticed that the room, whilst falling to nature, with ivy coming through the roof and moss on the floor there was an old table and chair that had been left untouched indeed on the table there still appeared to be a pot, a couple of bowls and some cutlery. This got the traveller's interest and as he went over he noticed one bowl had some leftover soup in it and in the soft light he could see steamy mist over it.
    There must be a wood-cutter in the forest he thought, and nearby if his food is still warm, so he went out of the hut and called for the wood-cutter but heard no reply - nevermind, he thought, I will sit and wait then he can tell me where his village is and I shall sleep at the inn.
    As he waited he decided to eat the last of the soup as it would be no good by the time the wood-cutter returned. He took his spoon from his belt and dipped it into the soup, despite being clear it was very thick on the spoon and it had very little aroma, still it is better than nothing the traveller decided, and he swallowed it very quickly.
    To his immense shock it was as cold as ice, and he wanted to cough it back up but he could not, he realised that what he thought had been steam was the air misting over this incredibly cold soup, and as he thought these thoughts he could feel the coldness of the soup drawing the heat from all parts of his body. He felt very drowsy because of this and he tried to get up and call the wood-cutter but he had so little strength and this effort all but sent him to sleep.
    As he grew colder he could feel the air around him misting and condensing on his skin and clothes, he tried to brush the moisture of but to his horror his skin also dripped away with the water and then evaporated into the air - slowly but surely his body fused with the mist and condensation until all that remained were his damp clothes (and even these began to rot), and that mist that was once his body was drawn back to the bowl where it slowly drizzled into the soup again.
    posted by meau meau , 1:17 PM Þ 

    Controllers considered Bounce an odd find because it did not resemble any of the other rocks in the crater's vicinity -- nor did it resemble anything seen before on Mars, they said.

    So they ordered Opportunity to train its formidable instruments on the rock, including the tool NASA engineers affectionately called the "RAT," for rock abrasion tool, which grinds away surface impurities to expose the undisturbed, primordial composition below.

    The results stunned the NASA team.

    The main ingredient in Bounce is a volcanic mineral called pyroxene, said rover science team member Deanne Rogers, of Arizona State University in Tempe. The high proportion of pyroxene means Bounce not only is unlike any other rock studied by Opportunity or Spirit, but also is unlike the volcanic deposits mapped extensively around Mars by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter, Rogers said.

    Bounce is a unique rock, and it has been sitting at Opportunity's feet.

    "We think we have a rock similar to something found on Earth," said Benton Clark of Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, a science-team member for the missions of both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit.

    Rather more than that. Bounce's chemical composition exactly matches that of a meteorite that hit the ground in Shergotty, India, on Aug. 25, 1865.

    Called the Shergotty meteorite -- and the source name for a class of meteorites called shergottites -- its chemical composition is a "matching fingerprint" to Bounce, said David Grinspoon, professor of planetary science at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

    The resemblance helps confirm something meteorite specialists and planetary scientists have suspected for more than two decades but until now have been unable to prove: Micro-bubbles of gas trapped in dozens of meteorites found on Earth -- including Shergotty -- match the recipe of Martian atmosphere so closely that they must have originated on Mars. [...]

    Uh oh....
    posted by Irdial , 10:04 AM Þ 

    I think this is over-simplified.

    Not quite; what I described was the opening of the simplest of accounts.

    Yes, you're right, but then when you start thinking about the extended services banks provide such as money-lending (loans, overdrafts, mortgages, etc) you see that they need security and 'a name' isn't security enough.

    And that is when they should ask you for more information, not when they do not need it. Just like when you are going to get a mortgage or a big loan, you have to fill out complex forms and give extra guarantees to get what you want.

    That's why they need to see proof of your address and perhaps some photo-id (passport / driving license) to check that this address does indeed belong to you.

    They dont need this information, they just like to collect it.

    A UK bank has now brought in an ID policy to prevent fraud. You have to bring in one form of acceptable ID to withdraw up to 250 from your account, but you have to bring in TWO frorms of acceptable ID to withdraw over 1000. Even if one of the IDs is a PASSPORT.

    Now that just shows how stupid this policy is....I dont have to spell it out.
    posted by Irdial , 9:47 AM Þ 

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