Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dead Pope John Paul II to be "fast-track" beatified.

From Wickipedia:
Since the canon law reform of 1983, one miracle must be proven to have taken place through the intercession of the person to be beatified, though this requirement is waived for those who died a martyr. More about the process can be found in the article on canonization.

From a Catholic church site:
Beatification -- the second stage in the process of proclaiming a person a saint; occurs after a diocese and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has conducted a rigorous investigation into the person’s life and writings to determine whether he or she demonstrates a heroic level of virtue or suffered martyrdom. A miracle attributed to the person’s intercession must be proved.

An eccles cake to anyone who can show a miracle worked by JPII, or who can successfully argue that his death was martyrdom.

Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005), markedly changed previous Catholic practice regarding beatification. By October 2004, he beatified 1,340 people, more than the sum of all of his predecessors since Pope Sixtus V (ed: died 1590!), who established a beatification procedure similar to that used today.

It's a miracle!

Additional (Sunday morning):

Miracle attributed to John Paul II

A Carthage, N.Y., woman has reported the first miracle attributed to the late Pope John Paul II.
Rosa Reebeeds says that she was cured of vision loss by praying to the pope for aid.
"I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up I could barely see," Reebeeds said. "When I fell asleep I could see fine."
Reebeeds said she called to her husband for help, but he didn't respond. It was at that point that she turned to John Paul II.
"I asked him to heal my eyes so I could see like before," she said.
A few moments later her vision was restored.
"It was like the lights suddenly popped back on," Reebeeds said. "I was blind, and now I see.
"It was a miracle."
Reebeeds' husband, Sam, said the problem was a tripped circuit breaker caused by a short in a lamp. He said he just unplugged the lamp, and reset the circuit.
Rosa Reebeeds said her husband was not a man of deep faith. She also said that he was not a handiman, so it is hard to believe he would know what to do for an electrical problem.
"If he did fix a circuit, that would have been another miracle," Rosa Reebeeds said. "Thank you Pope John Paul II."

From a Catholic blogger with a sense of humour.
posted by Alun , 6:56 PM Þ 
Friday, May 13, 2005

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to Ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me 'Sue.'

Well, he must o' thought that is was quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named 'Sue.'

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made me a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man that give me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me 'Sue.'

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
>From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' how do you do! Now you gonna die!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down but, to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I know I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said good-bye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's that name that helped to make you strong."

He said: 'Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you 'Sue'.'

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I come away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but sue! I still hate that name!

posted by Mess Noone , 2:05 PM Þ 

Watch Galloway control Paxman (can you hear the theme tune?)

I remember playing Space Invaders on one of those sit-down, table top machines. It would have been about 1980.

Soon, our local chip-shop had a Scramble machine.

As a kid on holiday at the English seaside, Galaxians was my game.
Coin-op only. I never had a console.

In fact, I've only ever had one console, a PS, only bought 3 games, and gave it away.
posted by Alun , 2:03 PM Þ 

New defenition:

Prolapse: Part of church for Common Worship

(defenition - the state of being from norfolk?!)
posted by meau meau , 11:47 AM Þ 

"Contrary to his assertions, at no time did Mr Galloway contact the permanent subcommittee on investigations by any means, including but not limited to telephone, fax, e-mail, letter, Morse code or carrier pigeon," Mr Coleman's office said in a statement. [...]

Yankee Doodle Fascists; Galloway will make mince meat of these ignorant bumpkins. They will now be shown to be liars, because we can presume that records are kept of the messages sent to them.


From The Guardian:

The central allegations first surfaced in the Daily Telegraph in April 2003 when the paper claimed that Mr Galloway had personally profited from Iraqi oil deals. He sued for libel and last December won a resounding victory in the high court with £150,000 in damages.

A few days after the Telegraph's reports, another paper, the Christian Science Monitor, alleged it had documents to show that Mr Galloway had received $10m from the regime over 11 years. It, too, had to apologise and pay damages when the documents were shown to be forgeries.

The senate committee appears to have mixed up these two events.

A spokesman for the Telegraph said: "The committee appears to be confusing our documents with a set of alleged receipts that emerged in Baghdad some days after our story appeared. These purported to record direct payments to Mr Galloway in the early 1990s. They were offered to the Daily Telegraph but, as they were clearly crude forgeries, we declined to publish them.",12956,1483166,00.html


These moronic senators cannot even use Google. Galloway is going to swat them like bugs, and if they can be sued for libel, I am sure that he will persue it and prevail. Again.

No need for balance

The media and political elite now regards George Galloway as beyond the pale. So the normal rules of the game don't apply
I come not to praise George Galloway but - unlike almost the entire media - not to bury him either. There will be many who snort contemptuously when I say that Galloway is now more sinned against than sinning because he has become so unpopular with both the media and political elites that they regard him as outside the normal rules of the game.

Indeed, to defend him places the defender beyond the pale too. But the victim of what has all the hallmarks of a media feeding frenzy deserves a fair hearing, not only for his personal benefit, but for those he now represents - and in order to confront journalists with their own misguided agendas.

In quick succession since his election victory last week in Bethnal Green and Bow, Galloway has been subjected to a television mauling by Jeremy Paxman, a radio sandbagging by the MP he defeated and a raft of newspaper headlines about a set of reheated allegations which he has not only strenuously denied but which ended with him winning a major libel action.

In spite of Galloway's court victory and the accumulated evidence in his favour, the BBC saw fit to lead its news bulletins yesterday with the story of supposedly "new" accusations that he received money from Saddam Hussein's Iraq through its oil-for-food programme. Yet the only difference between the claims made against Galloway by the Daily Telegraph in April 2003 and a US Senate subcommittee this week was that they were based on (already published) documents allegedly retrieved from Iraq's oil ministry rather than its foreign ministry - and not, as wrongly claimed, that they covered different periods.

In all other essentials, the allegations made by the Senate committee are the same as those originally outlined in the Telegraph articles that resulted in Galloway being awarded £150,000 in libel damages and £1.2m in costs, though an appeal against the high court ruling in his favour is still outstanding.


Is brown beyond the pale?


Looks like it!!!!!! Haw haw haw!
posted by Irdial , 9:39 AM Þ 

How come 99% of all movies have bad soundtracks? with terrible strings/flute playing under scenes, where no music would have been a better alternative. It ruins my movie expiences more and more...
Hahaha you are so right! There always has to be some kind of garbage "overture" to make sure the audience knows they are supposed to be feeling something. Horrible! Another film sdk faux-pas that bugs me is the over-use of slammin' tekno music over fight scenes, or any kind of action-packed extravaganza. Fucking tedious. It got old about a month after the Matrix came out.
Happy birthday, by the way!

My car broke down! For the fourth May in a row! I hate birthday month!
Barrie status: currently working a two-week fill-in shift for a bindery that I worked at a couple of years ago. It's killing my brain, and it's only the fourth day. If anyone says that I, a namby-pamby artist, doesn't know what it's like to work a factory, I have right to bash their skull in with a large wrench. Remember this when I'm in jail. At my current rate of anger (which seems to progress exponentially), this will be soon.
posted by Barrie , 5:10 AM Þ 
Thursday, May 12, 2005

National ID Battle Continues

By Kim Zetter
02:00 AM May. 12, 2005 PT

Legislation supporting a standardized national driver's license may have
won unanimous approval in the Senate on Tuesday, but the bill's
apparently smooth passage left some jagged edges in its wake.

The Real ID Act appeared in take-it-or-leave-it spending legislation,
which effectively forced lawmakers to sign on to the whole measure even
if they disagreed with a portion of it. Several Republican and Democrat
senators who cast favorable votes for the bill simultaneously railed
against the provision authorizing the new driver's license rules.

They're not the only ones refusing to accept the bill peacefully. The
National Governors Association is threatening lawsuits to fight the
legislation. And some states are threatening to ignore the legislation
because they say it will cost up to $700 million for states to comply
and will place a heavy burden on Department of Motor Vehicles workers.

A spokeswoman for the governors' association did not return calls for
comment. But Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, told the
Associated Press this week[1] that "if more than half of the governors
agree we're not going down without a fight on this, Congress will have
to consider changing" the rules.

In the meantime, mobilization against the legislation is also occurring
on the citizen front. Civil liberties activist Bill Scannell, who
launched a website[2] this week to protest the legislation, said that
visitors to his site sent more than 20,000 faxes to senators within 24

"One by one (senators) got up and said, 'This is a real stinker but
you've got a gun to our heads so we've got to vote for it,'" Scannell
said. "This is an incredibly sleazy way to push something that pushes
the very nature and foundations of our democracy."

The act passed in the Senate with a 100-0 vote Tuesday and passed
through the House twice -- first as a stand-alone bill in February and
again last week as part of a larger spending bill. But several senators,
such as Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), said
the legislation would have unintended consequences and likely wouldn't
improve national security.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information
Center, said more than 600 organizations -- including state legislation
associations, civil liberties groups and pro-immigrant advocates --
opposed the bill. And he said organizers will gather next week to
discuss plans to press Congress to revisit its decision.

"This is one of the biggest mistakes Congress has ever made," Rotenberg
said. "This is not over by any means."

Supporters of the bill say it would prevent terrorists and undocumented
immigrants from obtaining legitimate documents that would help them move
freely through the country. Last year, the 9/11 Commission called for
tightening control over government-issued IDs because 18 of the 19
hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks used U.S. IDs to pass
through airport security.

But opponents of the bill say it would create a national ID card and a
de facto national database -- a concept that Congress rejected when it
was first proposed several years ago.

The act would force states to produce standardized, tamper-resistant
driver's licenses that would include machine-readable, encoded data.
States wouldn't be required to comply. But those that don't comply would
create hardship for residents, who wouldn't be able to use their
licenses as official identification to travel on airplanes, collect
federal benefits or gain access to federal buildings.

All drivers, including current license holders, would have to provide
multiple documents to verify their identity before they could obtain a
license or renew one. Drivers would have to provide several types of
documentation, such as a photo ID, birth certificate, proof that their
Social Security number is legitimate and something that verifies the
applicant's full home address.

Some critics call the legislation anti-immigration because it would
prohibit undocumented immigrants from obtaining a driver's license.

The law would compel DMV workers to verify the documents against federal
databases and store the documents and a digital photo of the card holder
in a database. Critics say the mandates would result in higher costs and
longer lines at the DMV.

"It's a controversial measure and a controversial manner in which to
pass it," Rotenberg said. "We want them to know that in passing (the
Real ID Act), Congress mandated the collection of sensitive personal
information by state DMVs at the same time that the state DMVs have
become the target of attacks."

Since March, there have been at least three reported incidents of
personal data being stolen for the sake of identity theft from DMV
offices in Nevada, Florida and Maryland.

Senators opposing the act[3] reluctantly passed it because it was
slipped into a larger spending appropriations bill[4] that authorized
emergency funding for the Iraq war and tsunami victim relief.

Last month, 12 lawmakers -- six Republicans and six Democrats -- called
on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) to prevent the ID
bill from being slipped into other must-pass legislation. They asked
Frist to refer the bill separately to the Senate Judiciary Committee,
where it could receive a hearing and debate.

"Legislation in such a complex area without the benefit of hearings and
expert testimony is a dubious exercise and one that subverts the
Senate's deliberative process," the senators wrote in a letter to Frist.

Among the senators who signed the letter were Alexander, Durbin, John
McCain (R-Arizona), Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), John Sununu (R-New
Hampshire), Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Richard Lugar

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) wrote the Real ID Act and tried
unsuccessfully to slip it into different must-pass legislation last
year. But many lawmakers objected, which forced Sensenbrenner to try
again this year.

Rotenberg said groups didn't mobilize strongly before the bill passed
this week because they were hoping and expecting the Senate would keep
the bill separate from other legislation to give it a proper hearing.
Once it became clear last week that the Senate was not going to do this,
there was little time to mobilize.

Jeff Lungren, spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, which
Sensenbrenner chairs, acknowledges that the bill wasn't debated on its
own in the Senate, but he says the legislation was discussed extensively
last year when Sensenbrenner first proposed placing it in another bill.

"We had plenty of debate," he said. "It started in September; it was in
various committees of Congress. It was in the (9/11 bill) that the House
passed (last October). It was the main bone of contention ... last year.
It was also very much in the headlines in the news everywhere last
November.... If some members (of Congress) chose not to deal with it
(then) that's their fault."

Lungren said that senators told Sensenbrenner last year to put the
provisions in a separate bill so they could consider the proposals.

"So we did that," Lungren said. "Nobody should be surprised or whine
about lack of debate on these provisions."

Rotenberg disagrees.

"There were no hearings on the bill in the Congress, just a lot of
procedural maneuvering," he said. "And how can he say that they agreed
to allow the Senate to consider the bill separately when that is exactly
what they prevented during the conference (where proponents pushed to
have the bill inserted into the spending bill)?"

As for the idea that states might choose not to comply with the
legislation, Lungren said they would "probably have some feedback from
their residents if (residents) can't use their driver's license as a
form of identification. But that's their call to make and we're hopeful
they'll work with us to improve the security standards (of their

Lungren said the main standard put forth by the legislation regards
verifying that people obtaining a state ID card are legally present in
the state. He said 41 states currently have such requirements that meet
the Real ID Act standard.

"It's the ... other states that have low standards," Lungren said.
"Because of those low standards they put all Americans at risk."

President Bush is expected to sign the Iraq spending appropriations bill
this week.

© Copyright 2005, Lycos, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

posted by Irdial , 6:01 PM Þ 

Happy Birthday Alison.

I love this album so much. All birthday boys and girls deserve to listen to it and watch this live video of one of the songs.

posted by Mess Noone , 3:45 PM Þ 

How come it is everyone's birthday in May?

It's the age of aquarius, baby!!

Happy Birthday Alison.
posted by meau meau , 3:08 PM Þ 

The film US TV networks dare not show

Adam Curtis has recut his explosive war on terror documentary The Power of Nightmares into a feature film - and is taking it to the festival. But he's no Michael Moore, he tells Stuart Jeffries [...]

"What happens on US TV now is that you have a theatre of confrontation so that people avoid having to seriously analyse what the modern world is like - perhaps because of the emotional shock of September 11," says Curtis. "People take so-called left or right positions and shout at each other. It's almost like the court of Louis XIV - people taking elaborate positions and not thinking very much."

And yet the documentary's success in being selected for Cannes has resulted in Pathé buying up distribution rights to exhibit The Power of Nightmares in cinemas around the world. "They think there's a massive market for this." As a result, there is every possibility that his film will be shown in American cinemas, though Curtis worries that it will as a result become marginalised to art houses. As with the Channel 4 drama Yasmin about a Muslim Yorkshirewoman's travails in post 9/11 Britain, it seems important that the topical Power of Nightmares be seen by as many people as possible rather than savoured by a relatively small number of aesthetes in indie houses. "I work in TV because it's a more powerful medium and it reaches more people. It would be good for it to be shown on American TV, though they might think it's a bit dull to stimulate discussion. Are they too frightened to have the debate?"

Curtis argues that there is a huge appetite for a serious critical analysis of the post-9/11 geopolitical world in the US. "It has been shown at the Tribeca and San Francisco film festivals. All the shows were sold out. There were queues around the block, and the discussions were extraordinary. Sometimes I would just sit back and let the audiences discuss it. But I was quite shocked that the audiences, very well-educated people mostly, did not know about Qutb, whose thinking, which was developed under torture in Egyptian jails, was a direct influence on Zawahiri, al-Qaida's number two. " [...]

How will al-Jazeera's audience respond to the uncut version tonight? "No idea."[...]

· The Power of Nightmares will be shown in three-hour form on al-Jazeera tonight, and at Cannes on Saturday.,15927,1481970,00.html

The mostly dreadful interview cut out to save your eyes.
posted by Irdial , 2:19 PM Þ 

Happy Birthday Alison!

How was your clubnight the other week? Nice flyer...

How come it is everyone's birthday in May? I know at least 10 people who have gotten older this month. Are people on heat in August or something?
posted by alex_tea , 1:05 PM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 12:29 PM Þ 

The country's biggest shopping centre has banned youths wearing hooded tops to stop anti-social behaviour.
The Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, which comprises more than 330 stores, yesterday brought in a "zero tolerance approach to intimidating conduct" after shoppers complained about groups of loitering teenagers.
Baseball caps and other clothing that obscures the face were also banned, to make sure those misbehaving could be identified on CCTV.
[...] Telegraph

I hardly wish to promote slovenly dressing but this could go further, an increasing amount of 'public' space in town & city centres is actually privately owned where similar restrictions could be made - In the centre of Leeds one cinema is only accesible via private space (through which bicycles are banned). Of course in the future you could have your loyalty/ID card machine read and malingerers that don't actually spend any money or just read the newspapers and use the toilets in ******* could be escorted from shops or sections of town. I bet you that a prime perpetrator of the hoodie/baseball cap malaise "The Gap" has a store at Bluewater and no doubt there are profitable sales of Nu-metal tops at the HMVirgin there as well.

Of course what security should be looking out for is the kids who tuck their tracksuit bottoms into their off-white socks (do you have this in the south?). Or not.

Oh and CCTV doesn't work, as shown by a local bus company advertising for witnesses to tagging on their CCTV protected buses
posted by meau meau , 11:30 AM Þ 

It was my birthday yesterday, I ended up eating kangaroo, drinking beer (A drug I seem to like and understand more and more)
Went to the movies and watched "Mar adentro" a very beautiful and touching film, with too much bad music in it.

How come 99% of all movies have bad soundtracks? with terrible strings/flute playing under scenes, where no music would have been a better alternative. It ruins my movie expiences more and more...
posted by Alison , 10:58 AM Þ 
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The first inexpensive, effective electromedicine to destroy parasites(worms, bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) throughout the body

World Without Parasites
posted by telle goode , 10:18 PM Þ 

Senate passes spending bill; war's cost: $200 billion-plus

By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Senate gave final passage yesterday to an $82 billion emergency war spending bill, sending President Bush a measure that will push the cost of the Iraq invasion well past $200 billion.

And this money comes from where? T-A-X-E-S on U-S goods. Oh, and a world crippling public sector borrowing requirement


By 2010, war costs are likely to exceed a half-trillion dollars, say congressional researchers. [...]

By 2010? Do you believe that the powermongers actually want to "win this war" or will it suit them to let it trickle on like the "war on drugs".
posted by meau meau , 3:17 PM Þ 

posted by chriszanf , 3:17 PM Þ 

Now, if it had been [insert fatuous book title here] that got flushed....

if we insert: "The Origin of Species"

iou would get this irrational behaviour.

Presumably they are refusing to put their unprovable case because they take evolution as a matter of faith, and are sorely outraged that anyone could believe differently.

Pot. Kettle. Scorched on a cavemans fire... OOPS! there were never any 'cave men'!
posted by Irdial , 2:57 PM Þ 

You should join in their attempt to pass the "Read the Bills Act of 2005". The Act would make it law for all bills to actually be read by each legislator, which could cut down considerably on unrelated riders. In any event, it has to be a good thing for lawmakers to have read the laws they're voting on!
posted by Irdial , 2:55 PM Þ 

Maher Shalal Hash Baz are playing at Bardens in Dalston tonight. They have a spate of amazing artists playing recently, mostly courtesy of Upset the Rhythm, who are organising the Death Sentence Panda UK tour.
posted by alex_tea , 1:12 PM Þ 

It looks as though you have to be more careful than I thought if you don't want to have google compiling your search history, i.e. not searching whilst logged into gmail for a start.


Pure unadulterated evil

Of course because there are no data protection laws in the US any information stored on a database on US soil can be bought and sold without any recourse, the assumption being that information in the 'public realm' has been offered freely. This is why, for instance, Paypal requires citizens of EU countries to sign away their DP rights by allowing account information to be stored in the US. This is why anyone having PNR data raped from them for the privelege of visiting the US (maybe soon to be flying over the US) should be worried, and this is a practical reason why ID schemes which allow the proliferation of personal data (and potential access to further information) on numerous databases (at least government security and private transporters) in various countries should be opposed.
posted by meau meau , 11:24 AM Þ 

Riots over US Koran 'desecration'
A detainee at Guantanamo Bay
Hundreds of inmates are still being held at Guantanamo Bay
At least three people have been killed and several injured after police opened fire to break up an anti-US protest in eastern Afghanistan, officials say.

Hundreds of students rioted in the city of Jalalabad over reports that the Koran was desecrated at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

American troops have now been deployed on the streets to keep order.

A report in Newsweek magazine said US personnel had flushed a copy of the Islamic holy book "down the toilet".


But they're not protesting about Guantanamo Bay itself and the torture of innocent Muslims, or against the pillage of Afghani oil by US companies, or against the US military rule their daily lives are subject to, or against the atrocities carried out by US troops on Afghanis over the past few years, or against the just-approved 82 billion dollars for continuing US military action on Afghani and Iraqi soil, or against their "government's" submission to a US imperial dictatorship which is establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan and thus making their country a major 'terrorist' target for the forseeable future and destabalizing the entire region.

Now, if it had been [insert fatuous book title here] that got flushed....
posted by Alun , 10:56 AM Þ 

The post post has now been post-posted below


Now I bet you are wondering what the sound produced by a flute, clarinet & drums trio sounds like, well wait no longer.

posted by meau meau , 9:46 AM Þ 

Re Meau's post about the post. Which should have been posted by now.

Of course, I immediately thought, "how would you get around this?". Opening an anonymous mail drop would be the first thing, but in the future, all services like this would demand to see your state issued ID.

Once again, we see why it is so important for everyone to refuse to register for this system, should they dare pass it into law. If you are not on the system, they cannot look at you. Zaba search is a perfect example of what will happen, only you need to increase its invasiveness by 30 orders of magnitude.

Clearly you should never get a phone number or any sort of utility in your own name...Ill leave it to you to list the other things that you should not have in your own name.
posted by Irdial , 8:57 AM Þ

Pure unadulterated evil; this is what it looks like.
posted by Irdial , 8:37 AM Þ 
Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A friend of mine offered a free ticket to go with him and attend one of Tony Robbins seminars at Excel, Docklands, over the weekend. I found it was a lot of textbook cognitive behaviour therapies with neuro-lingistic prgramming and an awful lot of waffle/padding, especially about Tony's many powerful, influential & celebrity friends.

One thing that was apparent was the approach of 'enlightenment all in one branded package' and what was disturbing about that was how many people brought into it, especially the seeming cult of personality. I heard many conversations throughout the weekend of people gushing about how 'wonderful Tony is and how he has changed their lives'. Paradoxical really as he gives them the tools of empowerment and then they allow themselves to be disempowered through personality worship. Mind, there was a lot of visualisation techniques used to hard sell 'the next level' of the Tony Robbins Mastery University @ just over £5k [if you brought all the courses in one hit] or £3k+ per course individually.

Enlightenment has now become a readily available branded consumer product. As seen on TV™

I had my haircut last weekend. It's the first time in 17 years that I've had short hair [It's never been less than shoulder length]. Feeling air blow on the back of my neck is quite a strange but not unpleasant sensation. Quite sensual, I would say.

It's been amusing that after the election both the tories and labour are calling for leadership change. If they both went in the same week/month, I wonder if this would set a historical precedent?

Dictator Of The Month

Bunnie Suicides I cant stop laughing at how inventive this guy gets. He must have had a very traumatic experince with rabbits as a child. Maybe he should pay a visit to Mr Robbins?
posted by chriszanf , 7:52 PM Þ 

Royal Mail partners with QinetiQ (

Deal to reduce risk of security breaches

The Royal Mail has awarded a major IT security contract to QinetiQ to help ensure the protection of the ecommerce infrastructure that supports the Royal Mail UK, Post Office Ltd and Parcelforce.

QinetiQ will manage a service which includes its own Managed Vulnerability Assessment and Alerting Service (MVAAS), Security Health Check and the Qualys vulnerability scanning feed, QualysGuard. These will then provide the Royal Mail with valuable support for their operations teams by identifying and managing vulnerabilities in its ecommerce infrastructure.

‘The Royal Mail is moving increasingly to web-based operation and we have to have real-time security,’...

Is this the once rumoured move to everyone being able to have a state issued email address, or boring old job cuts?

...said Martin Roe, security manager for the company. ‘This means an automated solution to counter the automated attacks of hackers. ‘ QinetiQ has unique security management experience and, when combined with Qualys' leading industry technology, this has provided a cost-effective fully automated vulnerability service that will enable the Royal Mail to remain at the cutting edge of vulnerability detection and prevention.’

Alan Hood, a Senior Security Specialist in QinetiQ Security Health Check, explained: ‘As a trusted supplier of penetration testing and security consultancy to the Royal Mail for some years, QinetiQ is well placed to understand the demands of their business. We are delighted to have been selected to manage this important piece of work and look forward to supporting the Royal Mail's vision for a more secure infrastructure and estate.’

Hood added that the solution would provide a ‘deep visibility and increased understanding of the IT security challenges’ that the Royal Mail faced – something which often proves a challenge to companies of such a complex ecommerce infrastructure.

The service will initially focus on external facing elements of the infrastructure where threats from hackers are most severe. Simple status reports can be sent at any point in time to both security and management teams within the Royal Mail, with effective advice on required remedial action and patch management provided as appropriate.

Will this eventually leverage Qinetiq into a monitoring position for parcels, etc? We know that Qntq are *interested* in the ID card proposals? Imagine if a 'company' such as Qntq could cross reference the number of parcels you get from Syria with your NIR record.
posted by meau meau , 4:39 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 10:36 AM Þ 

Electoral reform: Why it's time for change
By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

10 May 2005

The Government is facing calls for a wholesale review of the voting system after the general election was condemned as a "travesty of democracy". Politicians from all parties demanded that the first-past-the-post system be scrapped after Labour formed a Government with the smallest share of the vote for more than 100 years.

Constitutional specialists said Tony Blair was in charge of an "elected dictatorship" after Labour was able to win a majority with only 36 per cent of the vote. They say the Prime Minister is able to hold power with the support of just a fifth of the British adult population, the lowest figure since the Great Reform Act of 1832.

Re: talk of TB, sickness etc: while I definitely agree treatment should not be compulsory, what DO we do when a sick person is making others sick against their will, and KNOWS they are doing it? That is a criminal act, a breach of others' right to health. What do we do in such a situation?
posted by Barrie , 6:12 AM Þ 
Monday, May 09, 2005

Papers, Please!

Sensenbrenner ID Graphic

Real ID = National ID Card

This Tuesday, the US Senate is scheduled to vote on the implementation of a national ID card system. The Real ID Act is nothing less than a Real National ID Act. The only thing left to the individual states is to decide which pretty picture they will choose to put on the card: everything else will be controlled by Washington DC bureaucrats.

The Real ID Act has never been debated on the US Senate floor. They've never talked about it in any committee. Heck, most of them haven't even read it! Yet they're planning to vote on it on Tuesday, no questions asked.

In order to make a single irresponsible Congressman with totalitarian leanings happy, the Senate leadership let him write the bill and then slipped it into a another bill, one that would keep our fighting men and women taken care of in Iraq and Afghanistan. Supporting our troops means making sure they come home to a free nation, not a surveillance state.

>> Take action now!

posted by Irdial , 8:19 PM Þ 

This is the society we live in.


When people used to (and do still) say things like "there is no such thing as society", you finally understand what it is that they mean, and the consequences of believing that there is such a thing as 'society'.

By believing that there is such a thing as a 'society' that you 'belong to' (literally, like property it turns out) or 'live in' you empower all sorts of abuses like forced vaccination, medication, punitive taxation, control over your movements, finances and interperson interactions and every other kind of facist evil concievable by these dunderheads.

Only people who understand that there is no society, only individuals who consent rather than obey really understand the true nature of their place in any group of people. As soon as you buy the lie of society, you sell yourself like a piece of property; you give up your right to move freely and refuse to obey the myriad nonsense that a small handfull of men concooct for profit.

The messengers of these ideas were and are, sadly, charmless and mostly horrid, BUT this should not put you off of the truth of the message, which is so abundantly clear now that only the most stupid cannot see it. Democracy and society as you knew it is finished, and a new structure of total control down to the biological level is being constructed from which there will be little chace of escape, unless a high percentage of people simply refuse to obey. If this does not happen, you won't even have the option to commit suicide, that act being illegal in most states.
posted by Irdial , 2:10 PM Þ 

Who Shall Rule This American Nation?
(Henry Clay Work)

Who shall rule this American nation? Say, boys, say!
Who shall sit in the loftiest station? Say, boys, say!
Shall the man who trampled on the banner?
They who now their country would betray?
They who murder the innocent freed men? Say, boys, say!

cho: No never! no, never! The loyal millions say;
And 'tis they who rule this American nation, They, boys, they!

Who shall rank as the family royal? Say, boys, say!
If not those who are honest and loyal? Say, boys, say!
Then shall one elected as our servant
In his pride, assume a regal way?
Must we bend to the human dictator? Say, boys, say!

Shall we tarnish our national glory? Say, boys, say!
Blot one line from the wonderful story? Say, boys, say!
Did we vainly shed our blood in battle?
Did our troops resultless win the day?
Was our time and our treasure all squander'd? Say, boys, say!
posted by meau meau , 1:44 PM Þ 


WEEE Man is actually quite big, and heavy — 3,300 kilograms, to be precise. Which is the amount of electronic device waste a typical UK citizen will discard in their lifetime.

He's on display on the South Bank, near Tower Bridge. If I could get out of the office I would go and visit him.

From the same blog you get an interesting perspective of London being a clean and green city, which is often the exact opposite to how I see it.
posted by alex_tea , 1:24 PM Þ 

Law lets TB patient infect 12 others

No one can be forced to take treatment

James Meikle, health correspondent
Monday May 9, 2005
The Guardian

Twelve people have contracted tuberculosis through contact with a man who has refused to be treated fully for the disease, it emerged yesterday.

"We know this man has infected at least 12 other people but the law does not enable me to treat people who refuse treatment. As a consequence, some of them will die and all of them will infect other people. We cannot adequately protect people from other diseases. This case illustrates the failure of the current public health laws to perfection."


"The biggest problem with TB is that we cannot compulsorily treat people. Other liberal European countries such as Holland have systems where, if you have TB, you don't get your benefit unless you comply with treatment. There needs to be incentives for people to comply with treatment."

Is denying benefit an 'incentive'?

Anyway, should people be forced to take treatment for communicable diseases? Where would it end, back to leper colonies? TB Towns... VD villages.... AIDS enclaves...

[TB and HIV will be nothing when the Bird Flu, Ebola and Marburg pandemics hit]

Forced vaccinations?
The introduction of ID cards would allow the simple application of these policies. No vaccination or treatment and your card is denied for benefits, access to public buildings, non-essential medical care....

And communicable diseases would be just the start. Mental health problems, behavioural problems, addictions... all could be 'controlled' by government-mediated denial of service attacks.

It's all going THX 1984 [sic]. Sick.

Finally, look at the headline here.
Law lets TB patient infect 12 others
Even the Guardian encourages us to limit the freedom of others as a default selfish response.
This is the society we live in.
posted by Alun , 10:35 AM Þ 
Sunday, May 08, 2005

...if we fail, the whole world, including the Unites States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Churchill June 18, 1940
posted by Irdial , 11:32 PM Þ 

I've just managed to scar a favourite piece of vinyl, tick-tick-bloody-tick if I can't replace it I think I'll go mad, but after a week of unfluoridated tap water at least my teeth and gums are happy.
Or could it have been being in a mobile phone dead-zone, or not listening to the news, or not being anywhere near a computer?
I shudder to think but it may even have been exercise.

Rolling in the dew makes the milkmaid fair.


I voted postally, due to necessity, my MP still got over 50% of the constituency vote though (and that's not HIS fault).
Radio 4 was declaiming that each Labour Party MP represents 30,000 Labour votes, Conservative MPs represent 40,000 Tory votes each, Liberal Democrat MPs represent 100,000 Lib Dem votes each. Theoretically. I watched as much of the election broadcast as I could stand, sadly before Galloway or Salmond (who's pushing for impeachment of a certain someone) spuke.
posted by meau meau , 11:01 PM Þ 

Qwerty is Miro Merlak, a 23 year old Croatian electronic musician that comes from the small city of Rijeka. Inspired by early '90s techno/IDM labels such as Rephlex, Warp, Irdial, Sounds Never Seen, UR, Likemind, Skam, etc., he started making music as a teenager, and has released 3 albums previous to his Piehead disc: ''I dolori del giovane Qwerther'' on Lucky Kitchen (New York) in 1999, ''Spleen'' on Phthalo (LA) and ''Bitovi i odmotavanje folija'' on a local label Egoboo.bits (Zagreb) in 2001.
Piehead Records
posted by Barrie , 10:49 PM Þ 
posted by Mess Noone , 11:04 AM Þ 

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