Saturday, December 11, 2004

Famous Atheist Now Believes in God

One of World's Leading Atheists Now Believes in God, More or Less, Based on Scientific Evidence

The Associated Press

Dec. 9, 2004 - A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.

At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England.

Flew said he's best labeled a deist like Thomas Jefferson, whose God was not actively involved in people's lives.

"I'm thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins," he said. "It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose."

Flew first made his mark with the 1950 article "Theology and Falsification," based on a paper for the Socratic Club, a weekly Oxford religious forum led by writer and Christian thinker C.S. Lewis.

Over the years, Flew proclaimed the lack of evidence for God while teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, in visits to numerous U.S. and Canadian campuses and in books, articles, lectures and debates.

There was no one moment of change but a gradual conclusion over recent months for Flew, a spry man who still does not believe in an afterlife.

Yet biologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved," Flew says in the new video, "Has Science Discovered God?"

The video draws from a New York discussion last May organized by author Roy Abraham Varghese's Institute for Metascientific Research in Garland, Texas. Participants were Flew; Varghese; Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jew; and Roman Catholic philosopher John Haldane of Scotland's University of St. Andrews.

The first hint of Flew's turn was a letter to the August-September issue of Britain's Philosophy Now magazine. "It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism," he wrote.

The letter commended arguments in Schroeder's "The Hidden Face of God" and "The Wonder of the World" by Varghese, an Eastern Rite Catholic layman.

This week, Flew finished writing the first formal account of his new outlook for the introduction to a new edition of his "God and Philosophy," scheduled for release next year by Prometheus Press.

Prometheus specializes in skeptical thought, but if his belief upsets people, well "that's too bad," Flew said. "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads."

Last week, Richard Carrier, a writer and Columbia University graduate student, posted new material based on correspondence with Flew on the atheistic Web page. Carrier assured atheists that Flew accepts only a "minimal God" and believes in no afterlife.

Flew's "name and stature are big. Whenever you hear people talk about atheists, Flew always comes up," Carrier said. Still, when it comes to Flew's reversal, "apart from curiosity, I don't think it's like a big deal."

Flew told The Associated Press his current ideas have some similarity with American "intelligent design" theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.

A Methodist minister's son, Flew became an atheist at 15.

Early in his career, he argued that no conceivable events could constitute proof against God for believers, so skeptics were right to wonder whether the concept of God meant anything at all.

Another landmark was his 1984 "The Presumption of Atheism," playing off the presumption of innocence in criminal law. Flew said the debate over God must begin by presuming atheism, putting the burden of proof on those arguing that God exists. [...]

So, this man, who for decades spread his poison that there is no God, finally admits that there IS a God, from his Ivory tower, because HE has seen the proof. All along, the proof was not there sufficient to convince and convict him, but now, by his leave, you can all believe there is a God, and he, a diviner of truth in whom you must trust, is the messenger to bring you this news, how you should interpret it, what you should do about it, and how you should not worry about God at all.

Note very carefully how he believes in God, BUT still stubbornly believes that God is "not actively involved in people's lives". This is the same CONCEIT that led him to doubt that God existed at all. He doesnt know what God is or is not, what he is or is not doing on a daily basis, or what the extent of his power is. He has only just accepted that God is real, that he created the entire universe and the first thing that he does is put a limit on what God does!

This is a coward, pure and simple, who thinks secretly that he is the only real object in the universe, and that everything else is a dream unless it is personally seen and experienced by him. A man of pure illusion, self centered, ignorant, narcissistic and frankly, utterly dumb.

All of this has nothing to do with believing in God or not. It has everything to do with wether or not you think that you are the only concious thing alive, the only pair of eyes that constitute proof of any event. THIS is what that story is about - it is about the lack of educated peoples ability to put themselvs in the position of another person, and then to believe what they have been told, when it is told honestly. It is about people who stupidly and blindly refuse to accept the word of another man, beceuse the words dont fit in with their personal internal model of the world. It is about the pure evil of self centeredness a vile disease running rampant throughout the entire western culture and beyond. A disease that retards human progress, beats down anyone who doesnt toe the line, burns people at the stake, forces them out of their jobs censors artists works and generally debases human kind.

posted by Irdial , 6:50 PM Þ 

Marine Corps deploys Fallujah biometric ID scheme

Published Thursday 9th December 2004 12:13 GMT

US forces in Iraq are attempting to tame Fallujah with biometric ID, according to an NBC news report broadcast last week. The returning population of up to 250,000, reporter Richard Engel said on Tom Brokaw's last Nightly News, is to be allowed back in gradually, a few thousand at a time. "They'll be finger printed, given a retina scan and then an ID card, which will only allow them to travel around their homes or to nearby aid centers, which are now being built. The Marines will be authorized to use deadly force against those breaking the rules."

Get an ID card or we'll shoot you - a possible slogan for David Blunkett's ID card marketing campaign? But although that's pretty much the bottom line, the Fallujah effort is particularly interesting as an apparent attempt to use ID to control a large population which is at least uncooperative, possibly hostile, and possibly armed. Bearing these factors in mind it's difficult to see how it can possibly succeed.

The underlying theory of the effort can be identified fairly readily. The US has taken quite a few cues from Israel, which operates intensive ID checks (and massive strikes and punishment demolitions), and has been trying to implement an ID system in Iraq, operating small scale exercises in 'controlled access.' This draws on the 'secure hamlet' approach which was used by the British in South Africa (where we pioneered concentration camps, oops) and in Malaya, where it was at least rather better marketed.

Alex Jones of Prison Planet has a clip of the relevant broadcast, and in 1999 Jones covered a Marine Corps exercise in Oakland, California, where "resistance fighters" were contained in a mock camp and biometrically scanned. This was part of Operation Urban Warrior, an exercise which took place at several US locations and which also involved the UK, Australia, Canada, Holland and France (no, seriously - this was 1999-2000). Another eye-witness account, where the Marine Corps conducts some kind of census of the Chicago sewer system, can be found here.

Although most of the links from the Urban Warrior homepage have ceased to function, it makes it clear that the Marine Corps' training pre-Iraq was for rather different conditions, anticipating only "mid-intensity combat operation in an urban environment against a backdrop of civil unrest, [with the mission to] restore order." A 100-strong contingent from the UK's elite Comacchio Group (now the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, which guards the UK's nuclear capability against sundry threats, including demonstrators, was present at the Oakland operation, which was intended to simulate combat in urban areas, dealing with both an 'enemy' and a civilian population.

The plan underlying Fallujah's ID scheme and phased return may be an effort to stop it reverting to a hostile no-go area for security forces, but it's doubtful that this could entirely work. It won't be possible to stop arms and insurgents who haven't been issued with ID from infiltrating an area of this size, nor (once they have) will it be feasible to operate intensive ID checks that could maintain a 'clean' population. By keeping sufficient forces there and keeping a tight lid on the movement of the inhabitants it may be possible to stop Fallujah from blowing up again, but that isn't of major significance against the backdrop of the rest of Iraq, and most of the things governments anticipate they could do with biometric ID in a peaceful society aren't going to be particularly relevant.

At the moment, however, the biometric factor has a relevance in terms of producing some kind of local census backed up by a difficult to forge ID that can be tied to the individual. In areas that have been secured, it will be possible to do a local check on the ID, but that clearly only applies in secured areas where the population has submitted to the ID programme. And as the marines are not going to be able to secure, Fallujah-style, the whole of Iraq, it's difficult to see this one as anything other than a weird experiment without any obvious long-term pay-off. (Thanks to Garland and Cryptogon for drawing this one to our attention). [...]

This is the coralling and mass branding of individuals, pure and simple.

It is as sad as it is interesting that FINALLY people are starting to take Alex Jones and the like seriously. They have been reporting on the long term plans of ..."the bad guys" for years, and have been routinely ridiculed. Now its not so funny is it, because everything they have been saying is true, and only a cosmic revelation will be able to stop it all, such is its momentum.

posted by Irdial , 4:25 PM Þ 

You may have voted blue, but were you aware that every day, you unknowingly help dump millions of dollars into the conservative warchest? Simply by buying products and services from companies which heavily donate to conservatives, we have been defeating our own interests as liberals and progressives on a daily basis.

Buy Blue is a concerted effort to educate the public on making informed buying decisions as a consumer. We identify businesses which support our ideals and spotlight their dedication to progressive politics. In turn, we shine that spotlight on unsupportive businesses in the form of massive boycotts and action alerts. Currently, we are developing an extensive and interactive website which will soon allow you to find out exactly where your money goes when you make purchases, and participate in a dynamic community which constantly monitors corporate activity. There will be Blue alternatives to offending companies, and by making a decision to buy from these businesses, you are helping stimulate the growth of Blue-friendly economics. We are aiming for complete corporate responsibility.

Our collective buying power WILL make a difference, and we WILL be heard.

Refer to our FAQ page for further information!


This is a great idea, BUT, in a situation where the other half of america will support the enemy, nothing like this can work to bring about what you want.

The only solution is partition.

posted by Irdial , 4:08 PM Þ 

Is this the first Blogdial retirement?


If so, should be have a retirement party?

See above, but even if it was the first I wouldn't support the idea.
posted by captain davros , 3:09 PM Þ 

I am proposing that the Genius Decision originates in the pressing of the Abject's desire for representation (a desire that can never be fulfilled because the Abject is formless and unrepresentable) and in the artist's act of reflective decision to make visible the conflict between the pressing of the Abject to be represented and its inability to be represented.

It is a decision that can only result in a representation of failure. Or, to paraphrase Foucault, the artist must assume the role of the dead man in the game of art. The only "success" lies in evidencing this conflict—that there is a Nonrepresentable. It is a success that can only be achieved in failure. The Genius Decision thus focuses on recognizing the extraordinary in art as an active finite event, and describing it after it has occurred in order to better understand it. Comprehension of the extraordinary within the postmodern condition must by definition remain fragmentary and incomplete, and ultimately fail—but it must fail better.


From The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition a dissertation by Klaus Ottman which was recently published in book form. It's an interesting read, and an inspirational homage to that sweet goddess, failure. Although the ideas are lodged firmly in the thought your typical 20th century minds, (a very non-genius decision) Ottmann's thesis attempts a current reconceiving of the notion of genius by detailing the history of the disruption of the static ordinary by artist types. Disruptions which cannot be further explained in factual positive accounts, but rather as modes of, and odes to attempts of respresenting the Nonrepresentable. The historical ideas are fantastic, the writing is to be expected.
posted by telle goode , 2:30 PM Þ 

"i think i've got enough to do without this"

What's interesting here is that Ken's double post which started all the fuss, was posted in the exact same form both on this and this!

I ask: So, how much time could it take a person to cut and paste a post? and, What is the point of putting the same post in two locations? Fear? It certainly shows how little Mr. Meier cares about his fellow blogdialians, or to Blogdial itself that he simply cuts and pastes posts from his own blog. As though it 'takes too much time' to write something, anything, different.

Is this the first Blogdial retirement? If so, should be have a retirement party?
posted by telle goode , 1:39 PM Þ 

This means that an entry in the ID card database in relation to this service
might appear against the individual's name, even though an ID card has not
been presented for checking. Eventually, the idea is that "the ID card
scheme could provide the infrastructure for a one-stop shop for people to
notify changes of personal details".

"Cardholder not present attacks."

Finally, the private sector, especially in relation to the provision of
financial services and employment, is likely to be encouraged to use the
card. The assessment states that the Government would "work closely with
private sector organisations to ensure that the [ID card] scheme develops
along lines which will meet their business requirements". This means that
links to records of private sector service use are very likely to appear in
the registrable facts associated with an individual.

Dr. Pounder, Editor of Pinsent Masons' Data Protection and Privacy Practice,
welcomed the new openness of Government in relation to the database. He
said: "it has been obvious that the efficiency of public service delivery
has underpinned much of the ID card debate, yet this database has hardly
been mentioned in public consultation documents about the card".

Dr. Pounder continued: "Now we should be able to have a public debate as to
whether the data protection principles should fully apply to the database of
registrable facts, whether disclosures from the database to the authorities
should be subject to a test of prejudice as it is in the Data Protection
Act, or indeed whether the police and security services should have secret
access to an audit trail which is likely to describe all the key public and
private sector used by each individual resident in the UK."

There can be all the debate that you want; the only way that this will be stopped is if:
  • people refuse to register their children into the proposed numbering system
  • people refuse to register themselvs with the proposed ID card system
There can be no system if no one co-oprates with it, or say, 70% do not comply. This is not a government that listens to arguments, is swayed by debate, or which has the public interest at heart. Only point blank refusal to obey will stop this from happening; when it becomes so expensive to run because of mass refusal, they will drop it to save money and save face.

The poll tax was brought down by a riot. There will be no riot over ID cards (sadly), but a simmering steadfast refusal to comply will be just as effective.

In the meantime, much is being made about the polls for ID cards showing an overwhelming positive attitude to their adoption. Hmmmm "lets find out":

ICM Poll on ID cards

Q3a Agreement with statements:

ID cards will help Britain to fight the war against terrorism, or ID cards did not help prevent the Madrid bombings so what difference would they make here

Agree more with 1st statement 56%
Agree more with 2nd statement 39%
Don't know 5%

This my dear, dear friends is an example of dishonest and fradulent pollstering. The rest of the poll is similarly fradulent:

Q3c Agreement with statements:

ID cards will help to prevent benefit fraud, or ID cards will inevitably be forged which will undermine their effectiveness against fraud

Agree more with 1st statement 65%
Agree more with 2nd statement 32%
Don't know 2%

I say, instead of complaining about these unscientific, fradulent, biased and simply wrong polls, that the right thinking people should hire a company to do their own poll, under proper direction. For this poll ICM interviewed a random sample of 1022 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 1st and 2nd December. What they did not do, is present the people on the other end of the phone with THE FACTS about the scope of the proposed ID card system, and how it will enter every facet of their lives. Armed with this information, there is no way that the numbers would have come out like this. also, these mismatched either or questions are a complete non starter if you are trying to do a truely fair poll, which of course, ICM are not.
posted by Irdial , 1:32 PM Þ 

GEORGE BUSH wants to overhaul America's tax code. The newly re-elected president has declared tax reform to be a top economic goal for his second term, alongside the revamping of Social Security (the public pension system). A commission is being set up, to mull over options. Washington's tax wonks are busily speculating about what Mr Bush might do. [...]

He proposes simplifying America's tax code dramatically. He would replace the income tax with the AMT, but with an exemption of $100,000 per family and a single rate of 25%. With a $100,000 exemption, only 25m people would need to pay income taxes, around one-fifth of today's figure. To make up for the lost revenue, Mr Graetz suggests introducing a value-added tax of between 10% and 15%. This would shift the tax base towards consumption rather than income, and would thus be friendlier to saving. Marginal rates would be low. And the system would be simpler. To retain progressivity and mitigate the impact on the poor, Mr Graetz suggests that poorer Americans could get tax relief on their contributions to Social Security. [...]

The Economist

The problem with a pliant president, one that listens to redily to advice and is willing to act on it almost instinctively, is that the good proposals that are brought to him are bundled in with the bad ones and he treats them all equally..."to be done". With one hand he takes away the very heart of america with an eagle claw style thrust and grab, and on the other, destroys a major part of the slavery system that has robbed from and terrorized americans for generations.

The book burning emperor quote from Demon Seed comes to mind, but, it does not appear to be online.
posted by Irdial , 11:59 AM Þ 

Bernard Kerik (left) with President Bush (right)
Mr Kerik was nominated by President Bush just a week ago
The man chosen by President George W Bush to take over as the new US homeland security secretary has withdrawn his nomination.

Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police chief, was chosen a week ago to head the department created after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

His role in their aftermath transformed him into a symbol of strength.

The pull-out came after Mr Kerik uncovered tax and immigration problems relating to his employment of a nanny.

"I uncovered information that now leads me to question the immigration status of a person who had been in my employ as a housekeeper and nanny," he said in a statement.

"It has also been brought to my attention that for a period of time, during such employment, required tax payments and related filings had not been made."

Politics and humans just don't mix.

posted by Alun , 11:43 AM Þ 

I have absolutely no idea who Tara Reid is or why anyone should be interested in her tits.


Oh. It's because the misogynistic Hollowood machine and it's target audience has prevented people from seeing Tara's 'artist within'. Poor girl, so much talent trapped behind that bosom. She must be terribly frustrated.
posted by Alun , 10:59 AM Þ 
Friday, December 10, 2004

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Some kind of wonderful, September 9, 2003

Reviewer: David Johnson from Oxford
There are good books and bad books about music. As a music lover I've bought a lot of them. In my opinion Words and Music is a peerless book. It is in a class of its own. It is Nothing Like Nothing Like the Sun. To Nick Hornby's 31 Songs it is 310,000 Songs. It has quite remarkable ambition, brilliant jokes, Kylie Minogue and an avantgarde artist called Alvin Lucier paired together and bracketing the book, history (past present and future), some very strange bits, too many lists and facts for it's own good, which is quite deliberate on the part of the author who is making a point about lists, but above all it bursts with belief. Words and Music made me want some of what Mr Morley was on when he wrote it. Most probably, on the evidence of this outstanding book, the answer is music.

posted by Irdial , 11:35 PM Þ 

T is Tara Reid's Tits and and theory is the computer programming that went it coding Google's SUGGEST. Thus meaning is.

And that, is what we call "getting a WITNESS-AH!"!!!

What is interesting about Google suggest is that it, by displaying a subset of google results as you type, reinforces searches based on other peoples least, thats what struck me first. Interesting to see would be a presentation of random possible search terms. Hmmmmm... its all fascinating. What I like about it is that the people at Google are thinking about what they are doing, trying out different things. And I like that.

There. 5 minutes of typing.

And dont bother watching Napoleon Dynamite.
posted by Irdial , 10:55 PM Þ 

I really admired Pantera, and this is really sad news. This is a nice collection of thoughts.
posted by captain davros , 9:50 PM Þ 

Obviously, the obvious point is to express somethin' extra about Google's new SUGGEST Beta, and not to merely post a link to it, or post a link to another blog posting a link to it...(is it me or are blogs getting worse and worse every day? Furthermore- why do blogs all link to one another, over and over, it seems to me that should be discouraged. It makes me miss the old web rings that used to dominate the social web. At least they made classifiable sense. Today it seems, so many people are desiring recognition, its at the point of the pathological. Thus Google SUGGEST)

I felt so guilty about merely posting a link, that I added the stuff about the Breslaw’s last legacy book regarding the time when British men were taking to the air in experimental air balloons. God bless those days in all nations whether they be gone or presiding in the future!!! But note the year difference, 1784 for Britain and 1982 for the US.

So Here is my 55 centimes on Google Suggest BETA, it draws on heavily the ideas presented here;.

1) Domenach versus Alienation (excerpts)

To be sure, in a society that needs to spread a mass pseudoculture and to have its spectacular pseudointellectuals monopolize the stage, many terms are naturally rapidly vulgarized. But for the same reasons, perfectly simple and illuminating words tend to disappear.

T is clearly not for Tara Reid and A is NOT EVER for Amazon. I mean, what else can I say - this idea from the SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL 1966 sums it up. It is not the fault of the 330,000 people looking up Tara Reid, that she became 'T,' but the fault of those people who look to Google Suggest as some type of innovation. Voyeurship of the dullest being taken to its total extreme, 2004.

But to be fair, there is nothing wrong with A being for Amazon or T being for Tara Reid. Meaning is not pushed by authority but arrived at from theoretical perspective and pratical fact. In this instance; the fact is that people like tits, T is Tara Reid's Tits and the theory is the computer programming that went into coding Google's SUGGEST. Thus meaning is.

Call me wrong, but I think Goggle SUGGEST should sound an alarm, and not make us happy.
posted by telle goode , 9:46 PM Þ 

(read the freakin' link! its different)

Its exactly the same:

Then there is one post to this blog:

And another to this blog:

I almost dived in and n00ked that dupe post, but Goode got in there and cleaned it all up.

More to the point, what do you THINK about googles new feature; this is what we want to read. We want your unique input, even if its as little as "it is teh sux0rz", or make us laugh, or think, or want to die or want to kill, or hate, or make us hungry, SOMETHING, ANYTYING.

posted by Irdial , 9:34 PM Þ 

Kennest Meirest, I suggest you read your blogdial before you blogdial, as it appears you have double posted the Google Suggest Beta... db. But nonetheless, the Google Suggest is a neat thing, albeit a bit trivial. Reminds me of my's 'text message program' ... also have it set up on my StarOffice word processor and sometimes I can write a whole paragraph without having to write much beyond 7-18 letters. It all points to a vision of future language in which words are less a word, and more options on their first letter.
posted by telle goode , 9:08 PM Þ 

Ex-Stasi Spy Chief Markus Wolf Hired By Homeland Security?

Prison Planet | December 6 2004

Political analyst Al Martin, who has in the past proven accurate in getting ahead of the news curve, is reporting that Homeland Security have hired former Stasi head, the 'Silver Fox' Markus Wolf.

Martin states,

"Wolf is the man that effectively built the East German state intelligence operation’s internal directorate," Martin continues. "He turned half the population into informants. That is his specialty, is taking a population, constructing the various state divisions, mechanisms of control, in order to organize informants within the population. That is his real specialty. And that is precisely, as Primakov has intimated, why Wolf is being brought in. The regime knows that once all of Patriot II is in law and they begin working on Patriot III, they will then begin to establish the internal mechanism to coordinate, as an official function of state, a system of informants. Wolf’s speciality was to turn East Germany into the greatest and most efficient informant state ever created." [...]

Business as usual.

After the end of WW2, the americans kidnapped Wernher Von Braun and all the German scientists they could find, so that america could use their "know how". Now, after the fall of the Soviet Union, america has, at its liesure, hired the architects of the most brutal and efficient of all police states to guide them in the creation of their own 21st century police state.

You may not wake up now!

posted by Irdial , 7:13 PM Þ 

US adopts National ID: Homeland Security Now In charge of Regulations for all US States Drivers Licenses and Birth Certificates

Jonathan Wheeler | December 10 2004

In a chilling act more reminiscent of the now defunct Soviet Union or the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler, the United States Congress passed legislation yesterday that requires the States to surrender their regulatory rights over driver’s licenses and birth certificates to The Department of Homeland Security.

The massive US Intelligence Reform Bill weighed in at over 3,000 pages and though unread by individual Members of either the House or Senate nevertheless passed all of the legislative hurdles needed in order to become law.

President Bush lobbied hard for these provisions, only objecting when Senator Sensenbrenner attempted to require these same provisions for illegal aliens but which the President opposed. This provision was dropped from the final bill.

Beginning in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security will issue new uniformity regulations to the States requiring that all Drivers Licenses and Birth Certificates meet minimal Federal Standards with regard to US citizen information, including biometric security provisions.

Added to currently existing Federal Laws and Supreme Court rulings American citizens when born will be issued a Social Security Number that will be included on their Birth Certificates, along with DNA biometric markers. All birth certificates will also be registered in a Federal Government database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. No child will be allowed enrollment to schools or be entitled to either State of Federal Government benefits programs without first presenting a certified Homeland Security registered Birth Certificate.


Thats what happens when people pass laws without reading them first.

posted by Irdial , 6:53 PM Þ 

Bus passengers to be scanned for knives

7 December 2004

Passengers travelling through a bus station will undergo prison-style weapons checks from today after police installed a metal scanner to cut knife crime.

The metal scanner, which is the same technology used in prisons to detect people carrying weapons, will be deployed at Hammersmith Bus Garage in west London as part of a week-long police trial.

Operation Blunt, part of the Metropolitan Police's anti-knife initiative, could be rolled out across other London boroughs if the trial is a success. [...]

Evening Standard

posted by Irdial , 6:49 PM Þ 

TOWN-MEADOWS, ROCHDALE Grandest Night of the Season!
On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843.

Mssrs. KITE and HENDERSON, in announcing the following Entertainments ensure the Public that this Night's Production will be one of the most splendid ever produced in this Town, having been some days in preparation.

Mr. Kite will, for this night only, introduce the
Well known to be one of the best Broke Horses

Mr. HENDERSON will undertake the arduous Task of

Mr. KITE will appear, for the first time this season,
On The Tight Rope,
When Two Gentlemen Amateurs of this Town will perform with him.

Mr. HENDERSON will, for the first time in Rochdale,
introduce his extraordinary
Over Men & Horses, through Hoops, over Garters and lastly through a Hogshead of REAL FIRE! In this branch of the profession Mr. H challenges THE WORLD!

For particulars see Bills of the day.

A great Englishman appropriates another great Englishman from a time when England was great.

posted by Alun , 5:21 PM Þ 

When England was great it made people like this;

reads: On Monday, December, 1783, an Air Balloon under the direction of Misters Charles and Roberts was let off, mounted up into the air, amisdt thousand of people including princes, when they got to a certain height, they threw down some flags and glided over some building, and landed 20 miles downwind, and some noblemen gave them high fives.

From (the marvelously titled book):

Breslaw’s last legacy: or, the conjurer unmasked. Containing all that is curious, pleasing, entertaining, and comical,selected from the most celebrated Masters of Slight of Hand and Deception. Wherein is displayed, the Mode and Manner of Deceiving the Eye as Practiced by Sir Comus Breslaw and Jonas, Pinetti, & Co. Also, Interpretation of Dreams, Signification of Moles, Palmistry. The Whole Forming a Book of Real Knowledge in the Art of Conjuation with an accurate Description of making The Air Balloon. The twelfth edition, with great additions and improvements London, 1794.

posted by telle goode , 5:06 PM Þ 

Google Suggest you type in your search term Google will suggest words, note that as
they display terms it shows how many hits there are for that word.
posted by telle goode , 4:16 PM Þ 

A sheriff court in Scotland today cleared the first person to be tried under a two-year-old Scottish law requiring the posession of an ID Card.

In what was considered a test case, Sheriff Kevin Drummond ruled that 56-year-old Trevor Adams had not broken the law, which was introduced in 2002. Mr Adams appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, charged with deliberately witholding his identity from 20 policemen at Courthill, near Kelso, Roxburghshire, on October 16, 2008.

It was the first time someone had gone on trial for an alleged breach of the Possession of Identity Documents (Scotland) Act 2005. Mr Adams, from Melrose, in the Scottish Borders, is also the joint master of Scotland's largest hunt, the Buccleuch.

The case began with a phone call to police from a tenant farmer, who claimed he had witnessed Mr Adams with a pack of 20 cigarettes less than three months after the new anti-smoking legislation had been introduced [...] Guardian
posted by meau meau , 3:06 PM Þ 

Opec poised to cut oil over-production


The prospect of curtailing over-production would particularly affect Saudi Arabia because the kingdom accounts for most of the cartel’s excess production.

Saudi Arabia had already hinted at the oil market that it was preparing to cut output when it informed international oil companies, which distribute Saudi Arabian oil, that it was rasing its official selling prices for all its grades of crude oil.

“They have raised their prices so that is a good indication that there will be less oil around,” said one executive from an international oil company

However, prices have remained above the upper limit of Opec’s official price target range of $22-$28 a barrel for the past 12 months.

We have to defend prices at $35, because if you take the decline in the dollar then it is equivalent to about $25 two years ago,” said Fathi Hamed Ben Shatwan, the Libyan energy minister.

A move to selling oil in Euros could help the OPEC countries stabilise oil prices, but of course they would have to defend that position. Like Iraq had to.
posted by meau meau , 1:06 PM Þ 

To Mary and all you guys

250 gram Marzipan
30 gram dried apricots
30 gram ginger jam
A little Grand Marnier
and some fine dark or white chocolate

Chop the apricots and ginger and knead it with the marzipan. Add the Grand Marnierr and roll it to small balls.

The delights can either be eaten like they are, or you can dip them in the melted chokolate and keep them in the fridge, so they wount dry out.

posted by Alison , 10:36 AM Þ 

Skip 13/14 minutes into this for some wonderful mangling of our language (expires ~21:30 today).


mmm skyscraper i love you. mmm skyscraper i love you.

and i see elvis! elvis!

i see porn dogs sniffing the wind. sniffing the wind for something new.

Everything has a use, eventually!
posted by meau meau , 10:12 AM Þ 
Thursday, December 09, 2004

Well, would you have the nerve?

Via Ken's site.

DoubleMeau, that will certainly come in handy. I'll be needing a new cartridge next year.
Ta, duck.
posted by Alun , 8:22 PM Þ 

One of the most famous cases of banned songs occurred several days after September 11, 2001. A Program Director at one of the Clear Channel Radio stations, decided on his own to compile a list of songs that might be considered in "bad taste" - if played - following the events of 9/11.

The songs on the list, either because of title or content, were considered to be remindful of the images still vivid in the minds of Americans after the tragedy in New York City.

Snip Snip Snip...Coupez Coupez Coupez!!!
posted by Irdial , 8:20 PM Þ

When America was great, it made people like this.
posted by Irdial , 2:01 PM Þ 

Picked up a leaflet for this place last night may come in useful for Alun, unfortunately didn't have enough time to reccy decent pubs, oh dastardly public transport.


posted by meau meau , 1:16 PM Þ 

Computer Q&A: IBM sale raises copyright issues

Thursday, December 09, 2004

By David Radin

Against a backdrop of concern about outsourcing -- or movement of jobs overseas -- IBM announces that the company is selling its PC division to Beijing-based Lenovo. The move blows a huge hole in the corporate technology landscape.

With the sale, IBM looks to be giving up the PC market. The company whose decades-old motto is "Think" and who spawned such truisms as "Nobody ever got fired for buying from IBM" is no longer the must-have solution for corporate America. A longtime international company, IBM in recent years also has become synonymous with one of the biggest marketing gaffes in history, when it retained a tiny company to write the operating system for its original IBM PC, but didn't restrict that company from selling it to other PC vendors. That company, Microsoft, parleyed its DOS operating system into a billion-dollar worldwide monopoly.

IBM has long given up the lead in PCs to its rivals, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. But Big Blue, as IBM has long been known, is still the leader in the corporate technology arena. While big companies are more likely to purchase PCs from other vendors, IBM has continued to use its PC line as part of womb-to-tomb solutions for its customers. Yet the sale to Lenovo may take away that huge advantage.

Over the next five years, Lenovo will still be using IBM's trademarks, including the highly recognized "ThinkPad" laptop brand; but we can expect that to disappear over time, much the way the IBM brand disappeared when the company spun off its Lexington, Ky., printer division into Lexmark. For several years the company sold printers with both the Lexmark and IBM brands, and later dropped the IBM imprint. Few printer buyers today associate IBM with Lexmark printers. [...]

<>my green emphasis!

I read over at slashdot that Levono is buying up the IBM pc business, but no one seemed to pick up on the fact that its all moving to China.

The more the west is squeezed, the more technologies, entrepreneurs, monies, and businesses slip through their fingers.

posted by Irdial , 10:48 AM Þ 
Wednesday, December 08, 2004


posted by alex_tea , 11:41 PM Þ 

There is a god.

Champions League

Liverpool 3 Olympiakos 1

posted by Alun , 9:45 PM Þ 

Just because you belive in God, it doesn't mean you'll go to heaven.

Have you.... got..... a WITNESSS--AH!!??!!
posted by Irdial , 8:51 PM Þ 

Just because you belive in God, it doesn't mean you'll go to heaven.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

posted by Alun , 8:41 PM Þ 

Old Man:
Can you spare some cutter me brothers?
Oh, go on do me in ya bastard cowards.
I don't want to live anyway not in a stinking world like this.

Oh? And what's so stinking about it?

Old Man:
It's a stinking world cause there's no law and order any more.
It's a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old like you've done.
Oh, it's no world for an old man any longer.
What kind of a world is it at all?
Men on the moon and men spinning around the earth and there's not no attention paid to earthly law and order no more.
England, I fought for thee....
posted by Irdial , 5:57 PM Þ 

This is

08/12/04 - News and city section

Population rise fastest in ethnic minorities
By Ben Leapman Home Affairs Correspondent, Evening Standard

Ethnic minority groups accounted for nearly three quarters of Britain's population growth between 1991 and 2001.

Black and Asian groups grew by 1.6 million, compared with an increase of 600,000 in the white population, a London School of Economics analysis of census data reveals today.

The fastest-growing category was Black African, which more than doubled from 212,000 to 485,000. Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese groups also saw rapid growth.

The total UK population rose four per cent and 73 per cent of this growth was among ethnic minority groups, the study says.

The increase in the number of people from different ethnic backgrounds and countries is "one of the most significant changes in Britain during the 1990s", the report says.

Ethnic populations grew in virtually every local council area, including those with very few black and Asian residents at the start of the Nineties.

The report, by Professor Anne Power and Dr Ruth Lupton of the LSE's Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, also confirms Britain's growing North-South divide, with all the larger cities and conurbations except London suffering decline. [...]

Evening Standard

This song iscomes to mind....

Gainin' on ya!

posted by Irdial , 5:10 PM Þ 

Reuters on The National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004

... It would also create a civil liberties oversight board to ensure privacy and civil liberty issues are considered in writing regulations and implementing the law.

1. oversight, inadvertence -- (an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice something)
2. supervision, supervising, superintendence, oversight -- (management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group)
3. oversight, lapse -- (a mistake resulting from inattention)

Considered in which way?
posted by meau meau , 10:31 AM Þ 

The main hangout here due to its proximity is the PowerPlant, which is a decent bar, and often hosts excellent concerts. Not very cozy though. Advantage: it is downstairs from my drawing studio. Nice.
As far as small and cozy goes, there are not many good "pubs" in Edmonton. Absolutely none like those in England, obviously. A good local haunt however is the Sugarbowl, a classy little cafe with EXCELLENT and varied food (with especially good Indian). Cheap, always with local art on the walls. Very cozy too (unfortunately there is no website for it). The only downside is that sometimes they host private functions, which means no admission! booooo!
posted by Barrie , 6:49 AM Þ 
Tuesday, December 07, 2004

posted by Alun , 8:45 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 8:28 PM Þ 

We have large, hungry dog/shark hybrids and armed robo-guards to protect us against harrassers!
But Blogdialians get a free cup of tea.

If I'm not in, try... the Chesham Arms (our street), Pub on the Park (London Fields) or The Ship (Mare Street).

Chesham Arms is an old-fashioned East London local. Like being in someones living room but with real ales. Lovely!

Pub on the Park...
Address: 19 Martello Street, London Fields. E8
Star Rating: * * * *
Brewery: Independant
Beers & Real Ales: London Pride & Ruddles County
Measures: Good
Prices: Cheap
Quality of Beer: Very good
Foreign Beers: Stella & more
Wines & Spirits: Poor
Service: Good as long as the weather isn't too hot
Atmosphere: Lively
Clientele: Young Hackney Squatocracy typesand others
Decor: Wooden tables & flooer. Flowers on tables.
Music: None
Toilets: Good
Food: Pub lunches, good value
Comments: On the park as its name implies. Good local feel. Newspapers available to read

....Squatocracy! Hmmm, I'd disagree with the 'cheap'. Don't offer to pay if someones's drinking Hoegaarden! Good sarnies, meals often poor. But it's a nice place to be, especially summer evenings.

The Ship used to be rough and ready and all the better for it. Has gone upmarket lately, but that's a relative change. Out of bitter too often for my liking, but comfy sofas and nice people.

What are the worldwide Blogdialian local hangouts like?
posted by Alun , 6:23 PM Þ 

Now I know where you live I'll come and harrass you Alun!
posted by alex_tea , 4:36 PM Þ 

They Work For You
Add your comment

Photo of Elfyn Llwyd Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, PC) | Hansard source

Will the Home Secretary confirm that in last year's consultation document the Government stressed that the carrying of ID cards would never become compulsory? We now understand that an ID card will have to be produced to apply for a passport, which is mission creep towards "compulsory", is it not?

Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside, Lab) | Hansard source

No, no. If you are asked to produce your driving licence and you do not have it, you are asked to attend a police station with it. If you attend a bank and the bank wants to check your identity, it will accept an ID card. If you do not produce an ID card, it will expect to see a passport or some other immediate form of identification. The question has been put, "If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No; when people get a passport, they will get an ID card, which is the point of the system. They will not have to carry the ID card everywhere they go, but they may well choose to do so.

On Second Reading, which will occur before Christmas, I hope to disentangle and demystify the proposals in the Bill. The process has been a struggle and we have consulted on the matter for the past three years—on 14 December, it will be three years since the issue was first raised with me on Radio 4. A Sub-Committee of the Cabinet first considered the matter in January 2002; then we had a major consultation; then a draft Bill was produced for scrutiny; and now we have a Bill. Around 80 per cent. of the population are up for it and are on board. It is sad that those who are paid as professional politicians to study such things seem to understand less and less—and here is one of them.

If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No
If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No
If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No
If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No
If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No

Often the more you repeat something the sillier it sounds
posted by meau meau , 1:27 PM Þ 

Feeling nosey?
Our house is for sale, so we can move to York.
Go here. Search max price=400K, Street name=mehetabel. Sorry there's no direct link.

In the 360 tour you can see some of my record collection. Hifi's in a different room though.

I hate estate agents. They'll get nearly 8000 quid for selling our house. Bastards.
posted by Alun , 1:04 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 11:31 AM Þ 

The Yes Men, are the two American anti-corporate activists who last week embarrassed the BBC with the Dow Chemical Bhopal apology hoax.

In an embarrassing episode knocking the corporation's reputation for accuracy, the BBC admitted the interview it broadcast with 'Dow spokesman' Jude Finisterra offering $12bn compensation to the Bhopal disaster victims, was an "elaborate" hoax......

...The Yes Men created the character of Jude (patron saint of the impossible) Finisterra (earth's end) after a BBC journalist emailed the spoof website mistakenly believing it was Dow's official site......

.......On their website they describe how they briefly considered going on TV to explain that Dow doesn't "give a rat's ass about the people of Bhopal" but instead settled on announcing "a radical new direction for the company, one in which Dow takes full responsibility for the disaster".

"We will lay out a straightforward ethical path for Dow to follow to compensate the victims, remediate the site, and otherwise help make amends for the worst industrial disaster in history.".....

.....Bichlbaum explained in a US interview that their stunts are the reverse of acting: "The people you're speaking in front of believe you are the person you're pretending to be, and they convince you of it. They suspend your disbelief."

From MediaGrauniad


posted by Alun , 10:19 AM Þ 

the following for your attention from the h3o list...


Subject: [h3o-blah] killing iceland
Date: 6 December 2004 16:20:26 GMT

I normally do not endorse such things, but under the circumstances, I feel
that it is of npossible benefit to bring the following information to
others in this small way, and encourage anyone who feels anything about
this matter once they have looked at the information on and connected to
the following link:

to spread and act upon it, regardless of the rhetoric. I sincerely believe
that this goes beyond any political debate.

further, in this case, I actually feel that something *can* be done, if
action is taken now.

please ignore, if you do not agree with my posting this here, and accept
my apologies.

posted by THESE , 3:51 AM Þ 
Monday, December 06, 2004

23 SKIDOO Seven Songs (Ronin) (Fetish Records) cd 16.98
posted by Irdial , 7:18 PM Þ 

Just skimming through the Aquarius website for ideas, and saw some viral / peer-peer marketing!

23 SKIDOO Seven Songs (Ronin) cd 16.98

You may be familiar with hyperbole like "this is one of my favorite records" popping up throughout the our reviews and you may wonder if that declaration really means anything. Obviously, there are many of us who write this list with lots of opinions as to what "the best record ever" truly is. Yet, I (Jim) have tried to steer clear of hyperbole (well, most of the time), partially because my personal tastes have been known to change over time, but more importantly because nobody has made a record that is better than The Conet Project! Nevertheless, I am breaking my own self-imposed rule in stating that 23 Skidoo's "Seven Songs" is one of my favorite records ever. I feel confident in such an assessment since this record (which I first picked up seven or eight years ago) still kicks my ass almost a decade later!
posted by meau meau , 1:28 PM Þ 

The 'Conspiracy' Art of Mark Lombardi

"A few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an FBI agent called the Whitney Museum of American Art and asked to see a drawing on exhibit there…"
posted by alex_tea , 11:24 AM Þ 
posted by chriszanf , 2:26 AM Þ 
Sunday, December 05, 2004

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posted by Irdial , 2:47 PM Þ 

"We didn't say anything. We figured nobody would believe us."
Charter Pilot

"Upon return to my domicile, JFK, I reported our sighting to the proper authorities. I was shortly visited by two federal investigators who evidently thought I was hallucinating for one of them stated he had seen spaceships while fishing in Great South Bay and was quite obviously trying to prove that I was a loony."
Captain, Pan Am (ret.)

"It must have been Huge! We were all due back at JFK about the same time two days later so I waited in the crew ready room to talk to them. None of them wanted to talk! They were afraid management would take them off of flying status and have them tested for booze and drugs. The story never came out!"
Flight Engineer, TWA (ret.)

"a group of lights in the air appeared at our 12o'clock position. I called departure control and asked them if they had any traffic in that area. When they came back and said NO, what do you see, I said no, just checking. For at that time when a pilot reported seeing a UFO he was in a lot of trouble."
Captain, Ozark Airlines (ret.)

"I, and Flight crew saw something (in broad daylight) that did things that no known aircraft could do without killing any living thing inside. I will only give sketchy details to protect the privacy of the rest of the crew. If you are interested, and all information (is) kept anonymous, contact me. I will not present myself for public ridicule."
Captain, NW (ret.)

Reports to NARCAP of UAP observations and incidents are riddled with this type of commentary. Over and over again conservative, responsible airmen are heard to say that they fear that their competency will be questioned, that their careers will suffer, that they will be humiliated for reporting their observations. A serious result of these fears is inaccurate or incomplete data regarding potential hazards. [...]

The root nature behind the ridicule these people fear is the same nature that is turning the nations in the west into an enormous freedomless police state.

Every warning you ever read about man's nature is true. Everything you were ever told about the need for eternal vigilance is true.

Man is worthless - or at least, most men are worthless.

And that is a fact.

posted by Irdial , 2:21 PM Þ 
posted by Alison , 1:08 PM Þ 

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