Wednesday, March 31, 2004

um, hahahahahahahahahahah Found at Starbucks: The Pentagon's Papers - - Center for American Progress
When your passport is swiped, your picture comes up on the screen, loaded from the passport, and NOT a central database This sounds very much like it would cost a lot fucking less than the current options flaunted by the powers that pee. I would question why this option has not been considered but I think the answer is far too obvious! Bought bought bought bought bought What do you think people would do about this, given that it would be their tax dollars better spent (even if they DON'T realize the obvious freedom advantages). Would they still not give a shit? I think the people around where I live certainly wouldn't... damn fools. Dav, those guitars are wicked. I want to make puke-green sounds come out of that three-stringed beast.
Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes Of All Time
Goodiepal's Max Gum Tree
"I came to this company a couple of years ago, all eager to be a part of the "team", got a nice kick up from my last job and a cool office with a view of the river. Yeah, that was a good day, came into work with my picutres and shit, degrees, put them on the wall, called my secretary and....yup, she was hot. I was pumped." [...] I Need a New Fucking Job
coudal on kubrick
MacWarriors TrailBlazer [via /.]
"Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe." newsmap
This comes to you courtesy of a Slashdot troll. and one level up....
Ken | Freeform radio for the chronically impatient. Avant-garde pop, poppy avant-garde, loud guitars, lots o' Japanese and 45's played slow. Playlists posted in real time on the web so you can play along at home or work. Wednesdays, 9am to Noon | On WFMU
Note all you Fugazi fans, this is Ian McKaye singing..., and it's marvellous.

Bayer deals blow to UK GM crops

GM crop growing has been shelved for the "foreseeable future", according to the UK government. German company Bayer CropScience was the only firm eligible to grow herbicide-tolerant maize in the UK. But it has blamed government conditions for making the crop "economically non-viable" because they would stall production of the maize for too long. Excellent. Perhaps Bayer could now keep GM technology in its "healthcare" division, where it belongs.
This person writes...
SEE these guitars...from the Dav collection.
Rwanda: Bill played sax while Hutus burned. The administration did not want to repeat the fiasco of US intervention in Somalia, where US troops became sucked into fighting. It also felt the US had no interests in Rwanda, a small central African country with no minerals or strategic value. Don't publish and be damned. What is it, this mind? It is the wind Blowing through the pine trees In the Indian ink painting Ikkyu

Terror police probe 'bomb plot'

Anti-terrorism officers are continuing to question eight men as they investigate an alleged bomb plot. The arrests in south-east England came as detectives seized half a ton of fertiliser, of a type used as explosive in the Bali and Istanbul bombings. Anti-terrorism officers are continuing to question eight men as they investigate an alleged bomb plot. The arrests in south-east England came as detectives seized half a ton of fertiliser, of a type used as explosive in the Bali and Istanbul bombings ... About 700 officers from five forces carried out searches at 24 addresses early on Tuesday morning, following weeks of surveillance... This seems like a serious arrest. Achieved through targetted policing and not a one-size-fits-all-or-none ID card system. Would the arrested having ID cards have stopped them? - 9-11 says not. It certainly wouldn't have stopped them buying some fertiliser from the local garden centre. Would you having an ID card have stopped them? Obviously not but that is what the Home Office would wish you to believe.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

WELL, DUH. Harvard: 'File sharing doesn't hurt music sales' "Two US universities have released research that flies in the face of music industry claims that file sharing hurts CD sales: it "is not so", they say. Professors Felix Oberholzer at Harvard University and Koleman Strumpf at the University of California got together to track music downloads across 17 weeks in 2002. They matched their data on file transfers with the actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. They concluded that even large amounts of file-swapping had little effect on album sales: "Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates ? moreover, these estimates are of moderate economic significance and are inconsistent with claims that file-sharing is the primary reason for the recent decline in music sales," they wrote. "While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing." [...] Macworld UK - Harvard: 'File sharing doesn't hurt music sales'
This is a chart of icons from various interfaces
"It seems that lawyers are using jail-house email lists to send potential clients letters offering their services. One couple, on finding their son who'd been missing for two days, '...was astonished that deputies failed to call them when their son was arrested -- though contact and medical information was in the young man's wallet -- yet managed to inform people who wanted his business.'" From the venerable Slashdot. Of course, I am posting this in relation to the abuse of the Biometric Net. I dont have to spell it out do I?
My name is Elena, I run this site and I don't sell anything in here and to tell the true, I don't have anything to sell. What I do have is my bike and this absolute freedom to ride it wherever curiosity and speed demon take me to. This pages maintained by author and with internet traffic site may be down sometimes [...] We are going through passport control. One need to have permission to enter zone of exclusion. I have one of nuclear research center. [...] D-I-C-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack tack
Black Cows Milk
Listen to the SOUND of these guitars!!!!
The UKPS constantly seeks improvements to the security features of the British Passport That's OK as long as it relates only to tamper proofing the document. improvements ... in the issuing process. Improvements to the issuing process should relate only to the quality of the physical passport. The use of biometric information to link a person to a passport will enhance security. NO. This is a typical brain dead journalist line, without meaning or substance. HOW will "the biometric information to link a person to a passport" enhance security, and the security of WHAT exactly? You simply cannot make statements like that and be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain cell. Firstly, they allow for detection of counterfeit or manipulated documents Fine and secondly, confirm the identity of the individual. If the document is issued correctly, and is not tampered with, it must be assumed that the holder is the person named on the document, whether it has biometric information in it or not. If the document has been tampered with, then the holder might not be the person named in the passport. This is the only type of check that needs to be made. Biometrics are not needed to ensure that the holder of a passport is the named person in the passport. Certainly, there is no need for a central database of all biometrics (photograph, fingerprint, iris scan) to check the identity of each person every time a passport is used. A simple test to see if the passport has been tampered with is all that is required. This is how you do it.
  • Each passport or ID document contains a cryptographically signed digital portrait of the holder, signed by the passport issuing authority.
  • When your passport is swiped, your picture comes up on the screen, loaded from the passport, and NOT a central database
  • The digital signature of the passport photo is also downloaded.
  • A PGP-like signature check is done against the public key of the national passport issuing authority, which is stored on the keyring of the swiping device.
  • If the signature is good, the document is genuine. If the signature is bad, the document is a forgery. This system does several things.
  • It decentralizes the management of photo authentication.
  • It stops the inevitable abuses of centralized databases.
  • Each passport photo is digitally unique. This means that every time that you get your photo taken for your passport, it is a different cryptographically signed number that ends up in your passport. You will never have a unique identifier tied to your identity, even though its your face in every photograph.
  • Big brother gets a kick in the balls.
  • Passport/ID fraud is basically eliminated, except for the fake ones made to order at the request of MI6 and the like.
  • There is no need for the centralized database that they are planning; the means exist right now, with military grade crypto and digitally signed photographs that will create a rock solid, absolutely authenticatable, user friendly, non big brother solution to passport fraud, that protects documents and does not erase our rights as free people. The crypto to do this is in the public domain, and so zero cost license wise. My solution is cheaper than the centrally held database solution. I am a genius. Bow to me. Now of course, there is nothing to stop people from collecting these signature numbers, but if that is the only part of the passport that is readable, and this readable part does not contain your name or any other personally identifiable information, it will be harder for people to create a database connected to your biometric ID. If you are the nervous type you could change your id every month; in any case, I devised this ID scheme merely to demonstrate that there is no reason to create a centralized database from the outset. There are other, better ways to manage document authenticity. All someone has to do is simply THINK about the problem. Unfortunately, the people who are behind the deployment of this disaster are the companies that sell the systems that will be used to fleece the population for decades to come. Money is the true root cause for centralization, that and the lust for absolute control that slobbering pigs like David Blindkid and John Asscroft dreamed about.
    Riding through Chernobyl
    I'll give it try: Perfect Idiots Rule All Technical E njoyments
    I have a 200GB Lacie d2, one of the first batch of Firewire 400 drives. It's been pretty good, I've only had two problems with it, the first was that the power unit broke within a few weeks of getting, Lacie replaced it free of charge with no questions asked. The second happened when upgrading to 10.3.3, I lost a lot of data from some of my partitions (I have partitioned the drive into 8 separate volumes) and had to re-initialize them as fsck wouldn't fix them. I blame Apple more than Lacie for that one, although there may be some user error in there as well. Apart from that I reckon it's great.
    I need an external hard drive for the Powerbook. Am thinking of a LaCie d2 160Gb. If this is a horrible mistake please let me know.
    The BBC catches up with Blogdial... Micro-chipped passports are due to be introduced in the UK in the middle of 2005. Biometric British Passports The UKPS is planning to implement a facial recognition image biometric in the British Passport book from mid-2005. The biometric can be derived from a passport photograph and will be in accordance with international standards. The facial image biometric will help to counter identity fraud (e.g. duplicate issues), and to verify the identity of the holder against the document. From the introduction of ID cards, all passports for British Citizens will be renewed or issued to the ID card standard. The UKPS constantly seeks improvements to the security features in the British Passport and in the issuing process. The use of biometric information to link a person to a passport will enhance security. Security features within a passport serve a dual role. Firstly, they allow for detection of counterfeit or manipulated documents and secondly, confirm the identity of the individual. The UKPS has been supporting the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to develop international standards for biometric deployment. ICAO nominated facial recognition as the primary biometric for travel documents with iris pattern and fingerprint as secondary but not mandatory. In line with ICAO recommendations, the UKPS will deploy contactless integrated circuit media (i.e. a computer chip) of sufficient capacity to facilitate storage of the facial image and at least one additional biometric identifier. A contactless chip includes an aerial to allow close proximity readings, i.e. without being swiped through a reader. Modern contactless chips are paper-thin and therefore particularly suited to being incorporated in passport books or passport identity cards ...And here's the view from Planet Blunkett.
    Bypassing the pharmaceutical Industry (Episode 427)
    Andrew Denton: ...Members of your band, Spearhead, have also been investigated. What's happened? Michael Franti: One of our members of our band has a sister who's in the military and his mother was visited by some military intelligence officers, who had a dossier of us performing at various political demonstrations. And they had his flight records, they wanted to know why he'd been to Japan twice in the last month, they wanted to know who he had written cheques to, they had all his chequing account records. And basically, again, I don't feel like we're being singled out. I feel like that we're the first group to become aware of what's happening. Anybody who is beginning to speak out, either an artist or an organiser, against the war and in favour of peace is starting to make little blips on the radar and they're starting to take pictures. Andrew Denton: What is suspicious about going to Japan? Michael Franti: I don't...I haven't quite figured that out either. But maybe he's going to team up with Godzilla! The world's biggest act of terror. I don't know! more here
    All aboard the freedom and security express! Iraqi outcry as US bans newspaper Even the NewYorkTimes found that one a bit stoopid. Gorgeous George Nabbed By Knacker George Should Think Himself Lucky He's Not Muslim (S+S Flavour of the Month) Freedom of Information Bill becomes more ironic by the day. Reporting another tangled web.
    Privacy Villain of the Week: 'Registered Traveler' enablers The Transportation Security Administration announced last week that it will be initiating a pilot test program of its long-touted "trusted traveler,' now rechristened 'registered traveler' program. The program will be a 'voluntary' (at the outset, anyway) internal biometric passport system set up at airports around the country. The idea is being sold to potential volunteers on the basis that turning over your iris-scan to the Department of Homeland Security will allow you to go through a less harassing experience at the airport. How effective this will be at lessening hassle is unclear, however. The majority of the hassle at the airports for travelers comes at the metal detector gauntlet where air travel consumers must remove coats, keys, often shoes, take their laptop from its case, etc. Yet a TSA spokesman told Wired News, "the card is not a 'get out of security checks' card, and that those who register will still have to go through metal detectors. The program may, however, create designated lanes to speed registered travelers past long lines.",1848,62777,00.html Additionally, with the TSA insisting on pushing the CAPPS II passenger screening program, all of them will undergo a background check every time they buy an air ticket anyway. So the value of the background check a "trusted traveler" goes through is unclear. Even if he has already turned his iris over to Sec. Ridge, any future 'anomaly' in his credit or phone records could conceivably put him into the special scrutiny category that entails more invasive searches. On the other hand, if TSA is being disingenuous and those who get the cards will undergo very little scrutiny, the system would be ripe for abuse, particularly by anyone with connections on the inside. Given all this, it is unclear what the usefulness of the card will be, beyond establishing a biometric database for the federal government. The only practical effect would seem to be harassment of those who do not wish to be scanned and traced, since they will have to wait in longer lines to go through identical search procedures. With what little information that has been put out by TSA so far, the program seems to be little more than a backdoor to a national biometrically-enabled ID program. And the required privacy notices for the program have not been issued by TSA, which says they "may not" apply since the program is voluntary. The dearth of information leaves air travelers even more in the dark as to what may lie ahead. Government's one-size-fits-all programs typically degenerate into one-size-fits-none, and security is no different. There may be a place for similar programs in a free and private air travel and air security market. But TSA is determined that command-and-control supplant market processes. Anyone who volunteers to be guinea pigs for this odd privacy-destroying program should think twice. There is nothing to indicate that surrendering privacy will lead to anything resembling more security under such a program. TSA hopes to get 5,000 volunteers for the pilot program. Don't do it. We don't need 5,000 unwitting privacy villains cultivating this process which deserves to die on the vine. By James Plummer The Privacy Villain of the Week and Privacy Hero of the Month are projects of the National Consumer Coalition's Privacy Group. Privacy Villain audio features occasionally available from FCF News on Demand. For more information on the NCC Privacy Group, see or contact James Plummer at 202-467-5809 or via email. This release available online at [...] "Enabler" also means anyone who signs up for this atrocity. If no one signs up for it, it will die on its feet. The same goes for all ID cards and Biometric Net measures.
    Weewah Boahn, bahn in tha fehf-tez Boahn, bahn in tha fehhhhhf----tez Boahn, bahn in tha fehf-tez Boahn, bahn in tha fehhhhhf----tez
    AND... I can foresee RFID 'protection' for credit cards - although you could keep transaction information limited to the bank, If you take your card to the airport the RFID transmission from the card could be logged on the ID database as supporting information. That way the authorities could simply track the RFID of your credit card in designated areas and still know exactly where you were, even without 'official' ID or even requiring the details of card transactions. If they did take against you for some reason the RIP approved companies could go to the bank and request transaction details for the card. The authorities would argue the RIP company has no knowledge of the card holder's identity, just the card number and so that activity would not infringe your privacy. But they'd be wrong of course.
    First of all, the role of an Airport will change dramatically. I will explain how it could be...Your passport is scanned, and...You are immediately arrested thanks to a reciprocal arrangement between the Bundesflic and New York�s Finest. That's far too C20 an airport would be a specially designated building which would RFID receivers hard-wired into the Building Control System, your traveller would enter the building and their RFID transmission would automatically activate a search of their records, this would produce a hit and they would be flagged before they even get to the flight desk. The security take you to their interview room... It would be feasible to track RFID positions within the building, so too long in the toilets could result in an invasive body search. In addition the number of visitors could be logged as they enter and leave so if you were counted in and did not correlate this with an RFID hit you would also be called to the interview room to justify your visit, this would cause severe difficulties for citizens of countries which do not adopt RFID/Bio measures. In our 'secure' world any public building zone could be a designated area - after all RFID/biometrics have already been proposed in driving licences as an option - open only to the 'right sort of citizen' - the compliant jellyfish.
    Blood Klaaatu tu An early morning rasta sci-fi russo-pop triplet for you!
    Did you mean: Klaatu type robot
    Hmmmm what I meant was a Klatuu type robot, to whom all responsibility for enforcing the law was irrevocably given just like it is in the movie. "What movie?" I hear you cry. Use Google I reply.
    and the operators of the backend systems were Klatuu type robots who were infallible An infallible robot is absolutely impossible. G�del's Incompleteness Theorems prove that. What if you hand a Ultimate Truth machine a slip that says "The Ultimate Truth machine will not say that this slip is true?" very good articles, mr irdial.

    Monday, March 29, 2004

    Addendum: When you do anything needing authentication, you can be asked to authenticate yourself, either with your passport or your European standardised Biometric Net card. For example, when you go to any big hotel, reception will scan your passport upon registration. Since all of these scans and the associated collected data, like what you ate during your stay in the hotel, or where you rented your car or bought that SIM card (and thereafter, all the calls you made on that number) will be collected against your Biometric Net Data, and since all of these will be held in publicly owned databases which will be for sale, when you enter an airport in another country, they will be able to access all of this at the speed of Google. If you buy "a lot" of booze, they will know this. If you buy pr0n, they will know this. If you are a man that is married to a man, they will know this. The british government has already said that it will keep a record of every time the proposed ID card is used to form an audit trail. This too will be available to any government that wants it. Of course, all of this will be available to anyone with enough money to bribe someone to access to a terminal. Think about it. On a related note: I know someone who was trying to find out why his mobile phone could not call France. He called the operator, and asked if there was something wrong with his account (which is a pay as you go account). Here is how the conversation went. She asked for the number he was calling, and he gave it. She said that there was nothing wrong with the account. Frustrated, he told a fib to get her to look harder at the problem; he said, "it was working yesterday when I called the same number!" She replied, �What time did you make that call?" "11am-ish" came the reply. She said, "there is no record of you calling that number yesterday at that time sir". WTF?! This means that 02�s non-supervisor level operators have access to a list of numbers you have dialled when you use one of their pay-as-you-go cards! Think about THAT.
    Phonographic Industry Reactionaries Augment Tyrannical Enterprises Politicians' Ignorance Really Annoys The Electorate Payed Into Recorders' Accounts: Terrible Extortions Philistine Indoctrinators Retaliate Against Their Extinction P2p Isn't "Robbing Artists' Tradable Excreta" Programs Involving Redistribution Are Threatened Eviction "Product" Is Rarely Attributable To Enlightenment Proposing Imposing Regimentation Actually Threatens Egalitarianism Produce Interesting Recordings And They'll Empathise Prosecuting Innocents (Reacting Against Their Emancipation) ...
    That privacy international release made me sick to my stomach. Some interesting things will happen in the future if this comes to pass. First of all, the role of an Airport will change dramatically. I will explain how it could be. Lets say that you own a car. You are going on a round the world trip, and you leave your car parked somewhere in NYC, perfectly legally. Whilst you are gone, the parking conditions change, and you get a ticket. You are not around to pay it. The fine doubles every week that you don�t pay it. Eventually, an arrest warrant is issued for you because you have not paid this ticket. As a part of your worldwide trip, you enter Germany the day after your arrest warrant was issued. The magic starts to happen. Your passport is scanned, and "at the speed of Google", they search for your biometric information against the one billion entries in every country that uses biometrics for their criminal and passport records. You are flagged as having an arrest warrant issued for you in New York City. You are immediately arrested thanks to a reciprocal arrangement between the Bundesflic and New York�s Finest. Now, this sort of thing happens a lot at airports. They are not only places where people disembark from airplanes, they are also places where people are held for deportation when they are flagged up in the international "Biometric Net". Many tens of thousands are languishing in airports all over the globe, which is perfectly legal thanks to the new laws allowing indefinite detention pending fast track justice or extradition. Airports are prisons; they are nets used to catch people for the slightest infraction. You think that the squalor of the detention centres at Calais are horrible, imagine being held in limbo for years because you have forgotten to pay some swinging tax or were not in town to vote. This is precisely what will have to happen, otherwise, the recieving country will either have to let you in, a known criminal, or, they will have to immediately deport you, which will not always be possible. Airports will have to create massive holding facilities for the hundreds of people they will catch each day. Of course, the same will follow for everyone that enters an airport wishing to escape get away on vacation. In those places where you are manditorially swiped to exit the country, you face instant detention if they find that you are a transgressor. Certainly, no airline will risk taking you anywhere if the burden of shipping you back to your place of origin is placed on them, should any transgression be found on the Biometric Net. All of this will happen to you even if you have done nothing, because the system will be open to abuse and attack, not to mention that biometric techniques are imperfect and prone to misidentification. Of course, there is the issue of what different jurisdictions consider "nothing" to be. Not being vaccinated is certainly not "nothing" in some places. Having a blog where you rant might not be considered "nothing" in other places. Right now, saying that you want to sh00+ th3 pres|d3 /\/ + is enough to get Moulder & Scully to pay you a visit at home. Lets not even talk about file sharing. They will be able to find and correlate everything about you with the Biometric Net, and this should bother you. Even if biometrics were capable of delivering 100% reliability, and the operators of the backend systems were Klatuu type robots who were infallible, the idea that this Biometric Net is being created is fundamentally wrong. Human beings are not cattle to be numbered; and we all know what happened the last time people were numbered in this way. I for one have already pledged that I will not allow myself to be put in this database. I will not support any government that has a hand in creating this Biometric Net, and if you have any shred of decency left in you, you will also refuse to be herded in this appallingly dehumanizing project. Finally, it should be of great interest to the curious just who is going to profit from the billions of biometric data that are going to be harvested every year. Who is going to profit from the management of the information? Whoever they are, they have tentacles reaching into the highest levels of every government on earth; this is the only way that such a project could be engineered. Also, the way in which the American public has failed to understand that they will either have to be biometrically scanned by their own government or scanned in everyone elses government is very curious indeed. It is also most curious that they have not understood that fundamentally, once this project starts the data of Americans will be stored all over the world against their will, forever, in unaccountable databases run by non-Americans Just for the curious.
    Postmodern Idiots Regurgitating Anaemic Turgid Europop In my head all darn day... 667: Neighbour of the beast Whiling waking hours, hackneyed Hackney residents relaxed, only their collection of ghosts and the afterimage of the sun on their retinas for company, drifting dangerously under, under, under, Under Milk Wood. What'll the neighbours say? What'll the neighbours... Under Milk Wood is such a wonderfully visual experience...
    Privacy Isn't Really Anything To Enjoy



    Files & Biometric Identifiers on More Than a Billion Passengers to be Computerised and Shared Globally by 2015 Civil rights groups warn of grave dangers in international biometric passport system. 29th March 2004 Embargo: 22.00 hrs GMT, 29th March 2004 A wide range of privacy, human rights & civil liberties organisations throughout the world have signed an open letter expressing grave concerns over a global biometric identity system being established on behalf of governments by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The letter, spearheaded by Privacy International and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) raises concerns about little-known plans to imminently create international standards that will require the use of biometrics and RFID (radio frequency) technology in all future passports. The measures, being decided this week at a meeting of the ICAO in Cairo, will esult in a distributed international identification database on all passport holders. The open letter has been signed by, among others, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Statewatch, the UK based Foundation for Information Policy Research, the Association for Progressive Communications and the US based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. The ICAO has agreed that the initial international biometric standard for passports will be facial mapping. Adequate memory space in newly issued passports will be reserved for additional biometrics such as fingerprinting at the discretion of every government. The EU is already calling for fingerprints to be included, along with an associated European register of all biometrics. National authorities will store and share these vast data reserves. The measures, supported by the US and the EU, will ultimately create an electronic ID system on hundreds of millions of travellers. Despite serious implications for privacy and personal security, the process is occurring without public engagement or debate. Rather than allowing this important issue to be decided by parliaments, governments have delegated the setting of standards to the ICAO, a UN-level organization that is responsible for the standardization of travel documents, passenger data systems and air travel requirements. The legislative drivers for the ICAO system are already in pace. The USA-PATRIOT Act, passed by the U.S. Congress after the events of September 2001 included the requirement that the President certify a biometric technology standard for use in identifying aliens seeking admission into the U.S., within two years. The schedule for its implementation was accelerated by another piece of legislation, the little known Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act 2002. Part of this second law included seeking international co-operation with this standard. The incentive to international co-operation was made clear: "By October 26, 2004, in order for a country to remain eligible for participation in the visa waiver program its government must certify that it has a program to issue to its nationals machine-readable passports that are tamper-resistant and which incorporate biometric and authentication identifiers that satisfy the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)." These laws gave momentum to the standards that were being considered at the ICAO by requiring visa waiver countries (which include many EU countries, Australia, Brunei, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Slovenia) to implement biometrics into their Machine-Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs), i.e. passports. Based on projections from current passport and travel statistics, biometric details of more than a billion people will be electronically stored by 2015. Some of the countries sampled for this estimate are: United States 90 million United Kingdom 54 million Japan 64 million Canada 24 million Australia 13 million Russian Federation 50 million Ireland 4 million Taiwan 17 million China 60 million The Privacy International open letter warns: "We are increasingly concerned that the biometric travel document initiative is part and parcel of a larger surveillance infrastructure monitoring the movement of individuals globally that includes Passenger-Name Record transfers, API systems and the creation of an intergovernmental network of interoperable electronic data systems to facilitate access to each country's law enforcement and intelligence information." Privacy International has warned of "unprecedented" security threats that could arise from the plan because of potential access by terrorists and organised crime. Furthermore, the biometric standard being adopted is "fundamentally flawed" and will result in a substantial number of passengers being falsely identified as potential terrorists or wrongly accused of holding fraudulent passports. Dr Gus Hosein, Senior Fellow with Privacy International, warned: "This is a potentially perilous plan. The ICAO must go back to the drawing board or hold itself responsible for creating the first truly global biometric database". "Governments may claim that they are under an international obligation to create national databases of fingerprints and face scans but we will soon see nations with appalling human rights records generating massive databases, and then requiring our own fingerprints and face-scans as we travel." He continued: "In January 2004 when the U.S. began fingerprinting and face-scanning foreign visitors and storing this data for over fifty years under the US-VISIT program, many countries responded with alarm. With the biometric passport, however, every country may have its own surveillance system, accumulating fingerprints and face-scans and keeping them for as long as they wish with no regard to privacy or civil liberties." _______________ Notes to editors: The open letter is available at and a background information package is available at html Contact Information: Simon Davies, Director Privacy International, +44 (0)7958 466 552 email Gus Hosein, Senior Fellow Privacy International, +44 (0)20 7955 6403 email Passport statistics and projections have been derived from the following sources: United States: United Kingdom: Japan: 2995 Canada: Australia: Russian Federation: Ireland: Taiwan: China - Privacy International (PI) is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, and has an office in Washington, D.C. Together with members in 40 countries, PI has conducted campaigns throughout the world on issues ranging from wiretapping and national security activities, to ID cards, video surveillance, data matching, police information systems, and medical privacy, and works with a wide range of parliamentary and inter-governmental organisations such as the European Parliament, the House of Lords and UNESCO.
    Congress Moves to Criminalize P2P By Xeni Jardin Wired News, Mar. 26, 2004 PT Congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts. A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing. In addition, on Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue civil cases against file sharers, again making it easier for law enforcement to punish people trading copyright music over peer-to-peer networks. They dubbed the bill "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004," or the Pirate Act... All these efforts by Congress to impose severe penalties are misguided, said P2P United Executive Director Adam Eisgrau. "As the 40 percent increase in downloads over the last year makes alarmingly clear, like it or not file sharing is likely to (continue) on a massive scale no matter how many suits are brought and what the fine print of copyright or criminal law says," Eisgrau said. "Second, putting a tiny percentage of tens of millions of American file sharers behind bars or in the poorhouse won't put one new dime in the deserving pockets of artists and other copyright owners.",1412,62830,00.html Pathetic Impotent Republicans Actively Testing Everyonespatience Poor Ignorant Retards Attaching True Evil Pandemically Infected Rats Aspirating Tepid Ecoli I expect only THE BEST substitute acronyms from the BLOGDIAL intelligencia.
    Aisha Mohammed New mother Last month Aisha Mohammed, from north-west London, was in the hospital with a kidney problem, 16 days after the birth of her daughter Hauwa, when six police officers arrived at the door of her ward and handcuffed her. "I had just put my baby down in another ward and was going back to my own room to have a lie-down as I was feeling so bad," Ms Mohammed. "A nurse argued with them that I was ill and could not be discharged but they insisted I must go with them. The one female officer followed me into my room and I had to get changed in front of her. "I was in terrible pain but they took me to the police station, where they took my belongings and said they would throw me in a cell. I was really frightened." She did not understand why they had arrested her at first but it soon became clear it was over a dispute she had had with a neighbour some time ago, which had already been dismissed by a judge. "I was in the police station an hour and a half and when I got back to the hospital social services had taken my baby and I had to go and get her back. "I was crying all the time. I was worried about my baby, I was in pain and I didn't understand what was going on. Only one policeman said sorry. But they made me feel dirty, like a criminal, like a piece of shit. I think it was racist, because I am Muslim." [...] If that was your momz, what would you feel?,12780,1180063,00.html

    Sunday, March 28, 2004

    Couples will have rights to pensions similar to married couples, will not have to pay inheritance tax on property passed between them when one dies [...] The price for this is total submission to the state. A tad expensive. and will have access to hospital records similar to that allowed for a spouse. [...] You can make your hospital records available to whoever you want as long as you do it in writing, in advance. If you want everything to be done for you automatically and by the state, then you ask for what has just been given. If you want to be in control of your own life, you plan in advance, make provisions and keep the state out of your affairs. The distress caused by the lack of rights for gay couples was highlighted by Trevor Bentham, who lived for 22 years with the actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne. Bentham had to pay a six-figure tax bill on Sir Nigel's half-share of their home, a 15th-century manor house in Hertfordshire, when the Yes Minister actor died. [...] He would not have had to pay anything if the property was held by a holding company, shares in which were owned by the two parties. Couples who then want to split will have to go through a dissolution in the courts, similar to a divorce. If there are children, maintenace payments will have to agreed. [...] They are now sanctioned and controlled by what the courts want. Idiots! is an online betting exchange for binary bets. A binary bet is a unique way of trading the financial markets without exposing yourself to unlimited losses. A binary bet is a spread bet married to a fixed odds bet. It is called a "binary" bet because there are only two outcomes of the bet, either 0 or 100. The bet settles at 0 if the event does not occur and at 100 if the event does occur. works like a stock exchange but caters for binary bets. It gives the user the opportunity to make their own market and offer it to other clients of the exchange. It is a marketplace where traders meet and trade the financial markets, whether it is stocks, indices or currencies. gives you the opportunity to create your own prices and have them matched against buyers and sellers in the market. [...]
    Someone almost clever said: I am angry and depressed today. I've always been a patriotic American, I've always loved my country. Some of my earliest memories are of reading the Declaration of Independence and children's histories of the War for Independence. As part of that patriotism I've also tried, from a young age, not to blind myself to my country's failures to live up to its ideals: slavery, Jim Crow, internment of the Japanese, Joe McCarthy are all thing I've spent a lot of time abhorring -- my list of "never agains". Today is another day that history will see as a black mark on the conscience of America: Thomas Butler was sentenced to two years in prison today. Thomas Butler -- Doctor Thomas Butler -- was one of this country's foremost researchers into Yesina pestis, better known as the "Black Plague". When 30 vials of Black Plague went missing from his laboratory, Dr. Butler informed the FBI and cooperated with the investigation. When the FBI and prosecutors decided they needed a scapegoat -- possibly because the disappearance was widely publicized -- Dr. Butler was arrested. When Dr. Butler refused to lie by accepting a plea bargain, the prosecutor, apparently in order to force a plea bargain and save face, piled on 57 charges, most of them having nothing to do with the missing vials of Black Plague. The other charges involved Dr. Butler's compensation for work outside his university; the prosecutor alleged these contracts deprived the university of money, even though such contracts are commonplace at the university. In January, Dr. Butler was convinced. The jury acquitted Dr. Butler on the main charges of smuggling Black Plague. The charges for which he was convicted were incorrectly filling out a Federal Express form by characterizing plague samples as "laboratory materials" rather than "commercial merchandise", and charges related to the contracts. Incredibly, the jury convicted Dr. Butler on 44 of those charges, but found him not guilty on 10 others -- for precisely the same kind of contracts. Clearly, we have a case here where the jury was trying to split the difference. And again, no one has ever been prosecuted before for these very common contractual arrangements -- this is purely a case of the prosecutor piling on charges in order to get a conviction on something even if that conviction has nothing to do with the original grounds for the arrest. If you consider yourself a patriot -- if you plan to exercise your right to vote this November -- you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your country to read Dr. Thomas Lehman's account of Dr. Butler's trial and conviction. Dr. Lehman, a university scientist himself, is familiar with the contracts over which Dr. Butler was convicted -- and make sit clear what a horrifying farce this has been. And then you need to get angry. Angry that one of the best researchers into bio-terrorism will spend the next two years in prison -- and will be barred from research the rest of his life. Angry that that makes you not more safe, but far less safe, because Al Quida's researchers are not in jail. But more fundamentally, angry that the American "Justice" system is a farce that send innocent men to jail in order to save face for overzealous cops and prosecutors.
    Giant X-ray used in drugs search The x-ray machine shows up anything hidden under clothes A 7ft-tall X-ray machine was used for the first time by police who arrested 35 people during a raid on two pubs in north-west London. More than 400 officers took part in the operation to scan suspects for drugs and weapons in Harlesden High Street. Equipment was brought in on articulated lorries on Friday night, and suspects had the choice of being strip-searched or scanned. [...] Hmmm invasive body search BEFORE arrest?! by all means, have these machines in the police station to search people AFTER they are arrested, but you CANNOT have mobile scanners in trucks mass x-raying people in a "drugs sweep"!

    Saturday, March 27, 2004

    Friday, March 26, 2004


    # If they come as warriors, we will fight them. If they come trading cheese, we will buy cheese. Gaddafi invites the Jews he expelled in 1971 to return to Libya and invest # We do not love conflicts. You love conflicts. You have bullfights. Capitalists have changed eggs and honey into shampoo. You use cocoa fat as cream for your hair. That is misuse of God's blessings. An eloquent speech against the West at a Cairo summit for African and European leaders in 1998 # American soldiers must be turned into lambs and eating them is tolerated. Response to the American bombing raid on Tripoli in April 1986 # If Abu Nidal is a terrorist, then so is George Washington. # If the United States wants seriously to eradicate terrorism, the first capital that should be pounded with cruise missiles is London. Gaddafi says Britain's asylum laws make it the shelter of terrorism From The Times
    Noam Chomsky's Vancouver speech is here.
    The Character of Rock Rock, represented by a closed fist, is commonly perceived as the most aggressive throw. It taps into memories of fist fights, tall and unmoving mountains, rugged boulders and the stone ax of the caveman. Without realizing it, most players think of Rock as a weapon and will fall back on it for protection when other strategies appear to be failing.....
    From: Subject: Please Consider My Experience When Voting in 2004 Date: March 26, 2004 1:40:09 AM CST To: undisclosed-recipients:; Reply-To: Resume of George W. Bush February 26, 2004, 05:15 PM Past Work Experience: I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I produced a Hollywood slasher B movie. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas; the company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With my father's help and name, I was elected Governor of Texas. Accomplishments as Governor: I changed pollution laws in favor of the power and oil companies and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union. I replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog-ridden city in America. I cut taxes and bankrupted Texas government to the tune of billions in borrowed money. I set the record for the most executions by any Governor in American history. I became U.S. President after losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes with the help of major Enron money and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court. Accomplishments as President: I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I entered my office with the strongest economy in U.S. history and have turned every single economic category downward -- all in less than two years. I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history. I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most resented country in the world, possibly the largest failure of diplomacy in World history. I am the first president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record. I set the the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year period. I am supporting development of a "Tactical Bunker Buster" nuke, a WMD. I am getting our troops killed, under the lie of Saddam's procurement of Yellow Cake Nuke WMD components, then blaming the lie on our British friends. I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. president. In my first year in office over 2-million Americans l Records and References: I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine. My Texas driving record has been erased and is not available. I was AWOL from the National Guard. I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use. All records of my tenure as Governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed, and unavailable for public view. All records of SEC investigations into insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. Please consider my experience when voting in 2004. Show you care about our country's future and forward this to every voter you know. Protest is patriotism.


    but amnesty say 22 and their site is up to date.
    how many states was that meau2?
    International law prohibits the use of the death penalty for those under 18. The United States is the only country in the world which actively executes minors(this seems slightly OOD)- 23 states permit such executions and there are currently over 70 on death row. There are six nations which still defend the right to execute juveniles, the others being Iran, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Yemen. However, none of those countries has actually executed a child since 1997. The USA has executed nearly 20 since 1990, three of them in the first few weeks of this century. The Supreme Court refuses to apply international standards in death penalty appeals. - Circumcision lowers risk of HIV infection?
    Someone clever said: You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know, that US govt would never give away one of their citizens to another countries authorities....

    That's because we don't need to. The U.S. is perfectly capable of

    When I was a kid, I used to mock my leftist acquaintances (hi Anne!) for their devotion to the Soviet Union despite the Soviet Union's abysmal record on human rights and liberties as detailed, among many other places, in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago []. While I also derided Joe McCarthy and his ilk, little did I guess that a Republican administration would start off the twenty-first century with a scramble to enact laws as threatening to liberty as the Soviets'.

    Under current American law, you can actually get ten years in Federal prison -- for editing a book written in country under U.S. embargo. [] That's right: editing a book written by a Iranian or a Cuba or a Syrian or a North Korean -- or even adding illustrations to such a book -- is now a criminal offense in this the "land of the free and home of the brave".

    And to and insult to injury, the same administration that is trampling our traditional liberties

    How about protecting the Bill of Rights and the Twin Towers first, and worry about denying gays their pursuit of happiness as part of a cheap political appeal to your Fundamentalist base after you've explained where those WMDs got to?

    Oh, I nearly forgot: on Wednesday, President Bush used the occasion of a media dinner to joke about not finding the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that were his excuse for going to war. []

    Mr. President, there are more than 500 young American service men and servicewomen who fought and died in Iraq who won't ever be able to laugh at any jokes again. They went to Iraq because they believed your word about the WMDs, Mr. President. And to you safely back in Washington, it's all a joke, Mr. President.

    This administration may be laughable, but it's not funny anymore.

    The Maximum Leader!

    On Libya-IRA solidarity [Having supplied assault rifles and Semtex explosive to the IRA in the 80s, Gadafy was was asked if he had increased IRA aid because Britain helped the 1986 US air raids on Libya]: Yes, of course ... The Americans are acting with the mentality of cowboys and a civilised country like Britain should not be in the same policy with the Americans. But Thatcher played with the cowboys and therefore it did a lot of harm to Britain. Yes, she is a cowgirl. � Observer, 1987 On Libya-IRA non-solidarity This act [the bombing of Manchester] should not be supported. Should it be confirmed that the IRA was behind the bombing, it would mean that the IRA deviated a great deal from liberating Ireland. � Libyan state news agency Jana, June 1996 On getting fed up with a nuclear programme We got rid of it. It was a waste of time. It cost too much money. � Speech to a Libyan audience and a visiting US congressional delegation, Jan 2004 On controlling WMD Using double standards will create unpredictable upheavals beyond control. � The Libyan leader's website On New Year's The people of the Earth, and even the angels of heaven have despaired of the meaningless exchange over hundreds of years of the greeting, Happy New Year! Every ruler repeats this greeting, and yet goes on striving to make the year one of misfortune, rather than happiness. � New Year Message to World Rulers, 1975 On bad luck No one has imposed sanctions on us or punished us. We have punished ourselves. [The unfortunate paradox of Libya's previous policies was] all these things were done for the sake of others. � Speech to a Libyan audience and a visiting US congressional delegation, Jan 2004
    Clotho by Hilary Thomas, Clarksville Middle School Cite, rate, or print article Send comment Used sources Clotho, a goddess from Greek mythology, is the youngest of the three Fates, but one of the oldest goddesses in Greek mythology. She is a daughter of Zeus and Themis. Each fate has a certain job, whether it be measuring thread, spinning it on a spinning wheel, or cutting the thread at the right length. Clotho is the spinner, and she spins the thread of human life with her distaff. The length of the string will determine how long a certain person's life will be. She is also known to be the daughter of Night, to indicate the darkness and obscurity of human destiny. No one knows for sure how much power Clotho and her sisters have, however, they often disobey the ruler, Zeus, and other gods. For some reason, the gods seem to obey them, whether because the fates do possess greater power, or as some sources suggest, their existence is part of the order of the Universe, and this the gods cannot disturb.
    Muammar used to say... [yesterday in the Grauniad] Statement of the bleedin' obvious for today: It doesn't have to be like this.
    A slide showed Mr Bush in the Oval office, leaning to look under a piece of furniture. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere," he told the audience, drawing applause. Another slide showed him peering into another part of the office, "Nope, no weapons over there," he said, laughing. "Maybe under here," he said, as a third slide was shown. So stupid, Mr Politically-Sensitive 'couldn't find his arse with both hands'. ...a comment from an Iraqi war veteran, Brad Owens. "War is the single most serious event that a president or government can carry its people into," he said. "This cheapens the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families are dealing with every single day." Not to mention the more than 10,000 Iraqi civilian deaths either, Brad.
    March 26, 2004 True fiction Welcome to Planet Gaddafi By Hugo Rifkind In 1976, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi published his Green Book, a collection of his thoughts on the world. Our correspondent sees it updated in 2004 ON HIGH STREET PIZZA CHAINS Some things remain inescapable truths. The sun shall rise and set, the tides shall flow, the cockerel shall wake with the dawn, and the pizza served in high-street pizzeria chains shall continue to get smaller and smaller. Truly, it is a metaphor for the declining human soul. Yet where does this pizza go? Where are these mozzarella fields, these mountains of anchovy? Is it not obvious that we pizza-eaters are the victims of an international US-backed Zionist conspiracy? Just as the Jew has chipped away at the West Bank and Gaza, so he has also diminished the outer-rim of the pizza pie. Except for the ones with ham in, of which he is not fond. ON SPACE TRAVEL TO MARS What can we bring to Mars? Are there not already trees on Mars? Are there not lakes, rivers, seas and fish? Are there not fields on Mars, of crops and livestock? Are there not oil wells, hypermarkets, satellite TV stations, saunas, boxing rings, museums, whelks? Are there not? No? Well. I must be thinking of somewhere else, then. From The Times
    Shit! Chomsky has blog; plain text of course and perfect: Voting 2004 We have several choices to make. The first is whether we want to pay attention to the real world, or prefer to keep to abstract discussions suitable to some seminar. Suppose we adopt the first alternative. Then there is another choice: electing Bush or seeking to prevent his election. Naturally, Bush has an overwhelming funding advantage, thanks to the extraordinary gifts he lavishes on the super-rich and the corporate sector generally and his stellar record in demolishing the progressive legislation that has resulted from intense popular struggle over many years. Since US elections are pretty much bought, he will therefore win, unless there is a very powerful popular mobilization to overcome these enormous and usually decisive advantages. That leaves us with a choice: help elect Bush, or do something to try to prevent it. It's a matter of judgment, of course, but mine is that those who favor electing Bush are making a very serious error. [...]

    Oregon county bans all marriages

    Confused by the twists and turns of the US gay marriage issue, Oregon's Benton County has decided to err on the side of caution and ban all weddings. Until the state decides who can and cannot wed, officials in the county have said no-one can marry - even heterosexual couples. They hit upon the plan to ensure that none of the county's 79,000 residents are subject to unfair treatment. Gay marriage has proved controversial, deeply dividing US public opinion. [...] Thats one way of doing it! Marriage should have nothing to do with the state. "Gay Marriage" was completely extralegal, and now, they are begging to bring their relationships under control of the law. They are TOTALY insane. If they want to have a commitment to each other, in terms of property, they can form corporations and then sign all of thier property over to that entity. When the couple dissolves, you dissolve the corporation, and split the assets. Bringing the state into your life, deliberately, is probably the most stupid thing you can do, because you allow someone elses morality and ideas control you, instead of your own sense of decency and fairness being your guide. The state cannot confer legitimacy to anything, and if you believe that it does, then you dont really believe in yourself, and shouldnt be married at all. Gay parents who make children can name their children anything they want, so there is no problem about whose name children will bear, also, the idea of a child being "illigitimate" is out of the window in society and the law, so that is not a problem. Custody of children is sufficiently catered for by current law, especially if one of the parents is the biological father or mother. Adoption is another thing; some jurisdictions do not allow Gay couples to adopt. Take the state to court, by all means to fix that, but this has nothing to do with marriage. Keep the state O.U.T. of your business, and you can live by your own rules with the tools and structures that already exist to bind people together contractually. Bring the state in, and you chain yourself, and your decendents to the whim of legislators and the thick-as-shit electorate, who elect film actors to rule over you.
    The US has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the assination of the spiritual leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas. [...] Business as usual!

    Thursday, March 25, 2004

    If the deadline is not extended, the letter says, the U.S. economy could "suffer gravely" if travelers "vote with their feet" and go elsewhere. [...] CNN
    ...and the US has not apologised to Muammar. All the people they killed in bombing Tripoli were innocents. Where is their 2.7 billion pound ccompensation package? It was a state-sponsored terrorist assassination attempt. Which is yet another reason why the US cannot condemn Israel's action this week, whilst all sane peoples have.


    Both those countries also share massive energy resources. Both will be bled dry (literally and figuratively) to feed Western consumption, from which only the rich (on both sides) will benefit. Libya will be free to spend it's oil dollars... on US and British weapons. Iraq already did that some time ago.... Western intervention in either country will not reduce terrorism, as Bush/Blair suggest. It's Western interventionism that is/has been the problem. Libya will be a target, as Iraq now is, and as Saudi Arabia was until the US withdrawal. The blue touch-paper has been lit. Stand at least 50 yards upwind.
    Those two photographs have alot in common. One factor is that both the leaders on the right have had their children murdered by the United States Government.
    Please call Stella.� Ask her to bring these things with her from the store:� Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob.� We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids.� She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station. via Kenny G's show
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    There is no way Britain is stupid enough to vote these guys in again This would suggest half of us won't but as a symptom of TBD not for the right reasons, and not to achieve anything. The majority of the others will play the politician's party political game and vote ineffectively. They may not vote them in but they won't have the stomach to vote them out. The biggest bastards have the safest seats as well, although the reaction to Portillo gives us hope...
    Oil industry supports evil regimes
    Spot the difference BBC political correspondent Guto Harri says it is one of Mr Blair's boldest ever diplomatic manoeuvres, including the handshake "with a man who was seen for decades as a personal incarnation of that terrorist threat". Mr Blair has defended his move, saying he was offering "our hand in partnership" to states giving up terror and banned weapons. As well as an offer of help training military personnel, which could involve Libyan officers coming to the prestigious British academy at Sandhurst, Libya will also be hoping for key UK backing to ease international restrictions. Shell signs Libya oil deal [Rumsfeld's] December 1983 tour of regional capitals included Baghdad, where he was to establish "direct contact between an envoy of President Reagan and President Saddam Hussein," while emphasizing "his close relationship" with the president [Document 28]. Rumsfeld met with Saddam, and the two discussed regional issues of mutual interest, shared enmity toward Iran and Syria, and the U.S.'s efforts to find alternative routes to transport Iraq's oil... Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832)
    I see the tower like a small vertical town for about seven thousand people to work in and enjoy, and for hundreds of thousands more to visit. This is why we have included shops, museums, offices, restaurants and residential spaces. The shape of the tower is generous at the bottom without arrogantly touching the ground, and narrow at the top, disappearing in the air like a 16th century pinnacle or the mast top of a very tall ship. I don�t believe it is possible to build a tall building in London by extruding the same shape from bottom to top. It would be too small at the bottom and too big at the top. Likewise, symbols are dangerous. Often tall buildings are aggressive and arrogant symbols of power and ego, selfish and hermetic. The tower is designed to be a sharp and light presence in the London skyline. Architecture is about telling stories and expressing visions, and memory is part of it. Our memory is permeated by history. This is my vision

    Wednesday, March 24, 2004

    The New York Times reported in February on a Washington, D.C., man whose love of music led him, in the 1960s, to meticulously hand-make and hand-paint facsimile record album covers of his fantasized music, complete with imagined lyric sheets and liner notes (with some "albums" even shrink-wrapped), and, even more incredibly, to hand-make cardboard facsimiles of actual grooved discs to put inside them. "Mingering Mike," whom a reporter and two hobbyists tracked down (but who declined to be identified in print), also made real music, on tapes, using his and friends' voices to simulate instruments. His 38 imagined "albums" were discovered at a flea market after Mike defaulted on storage-locker fees, and the hobbyists who found them said they were so exactingly done that a major museum would soon feature them.
    Maybe, that's because punk (I really hate using that word, it's become so washed out and stigmatised) started as a rebellion against capitalism... nah-aa, even in the very begining punk was sponsored by Vivian Westwood...
    Portsmouth's Tricorn is being demolished today. Not sure whether I totally agree, it was in a terrible state, and as far back as I can remember has stank of piss and been a very dodgy place to shop, but if it had been renovated I'm sure something could have been done. Most people think it's an eyesore, but it's far more interesting and attractive than the shapeless out of town monstrosities that are being built all the time.
    the user is bbrinker0 the password is password
    According to an article in the New York Post there's a subculture of right wing conservative punks. I don't have a subscription, but was able to find this article in the Straits Times. Punks will tell me, 'Punk and capitalism don't go together'. I don't understand where they're coming from. The biggest punk scenes are in capitalist countries like the US, Canada and Japan. I haven't heard of any new North Korean punk bands coming out. There's no scene in Iran. Maybe, that's because punk (I really hate using that word, it's become so washed out and stigmatised) started as a rebellion against capitalism, in England it was a reaction to the feeling of a lack of purpose in modern life, surprising this was under a Labour government. Either the Tories gave people a purpose or just took away their room for expression. Of course, these days 'punk' is a very capitalist ideal. Punk is big business, not just music but clothing, merchandising, huge arena tours, big punk / extreme sports shows. It's all about branding and sponsorship.
    Dear Sir or Madam,
    in a very little but lovely village in Austria (Europe) with only 160 inhabitants there lives a just fourteen years old boy, a composer, named Gregor Hanke. He was born at the 8th of march 1990 in Frankfurt/Main in Germany and because he is a highly gifted boy, he could skip two classes at school. In Germany as he was seven years old he had instruction on the piano at the Frankfurter Conservatorium by Wolfgang Hess and theory of composition by Gerhard Schedl and some workshops for young composer and he won also the 1st price at �Jugend musiziert�. Then he came with his mother (the composer and pianist Dorrit Maria Hanke) to Austria and studied again there by Professor Imola Joo (Musikuniversit�t Vienna), Professor Dr, Kropfitsch (Konservatorium Vienna), Professor Labra-Makk (Musikuniversit�t Graz) and also by his mother Dorrit Maria Hanke. In the year 2003 he won the youth-culture-price from Burgenland (an Austrian state). His musical works approximate contains 100 peaces of piano music, choral music and vocal music and music for different ensembles only in the last two years! He started composing as he was five years old and his mother put into her archives all his music works since his fifth year. Some of his latest piano music you can hear on the website I have made for him. If you are interested to help the young composer with a report or to publish his music-work (music publisher) or even to release a record, please write to
    and I will give you more information about this great musical talent and also his address and telephone number to contact him. On the website you can see some pictures of Gregor Hanke, hear his music and read his curriculum vitae, some reports (one even from the �Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung� on the occasion of Mozart�s opera �Bastien and Bastienne� from 1998 where Gregor Hanke is compared with the young Mozart) and a letter to the editor from Andrea Brackmann, German psychologist and author for highly gifting (all in German language). The address of the website is:
    I�m full of hope to find some helping hand, which carefully leads Gregor Hanke to other serious and benevolent composer and begin a composer career. It is impossible to do this in a small country like Austria but I�m sure that it is even possible to make some money with Gregor. I think there has never been such a young composer who became public (except Mozart naturally).
    To hear the music in a quality as good as possible, please notice the directions for use on the website.
    Thank you for your interest and please send me a mail.
    Yours faithfully
    Wolfgang Wallner
    24th of march 2004
    The information they want to rape from you Don't forget that they want for you to pay for this raping. There is no way Britain is stupid enough to vote these guys in again. This is insane. Less privacy means less democracy, or something. I was just thinking about how difficult the 2004 US election is going to be, mainly due to the amazing Diebold voting machine, which we have talked about before (can't... use... search function...). I wonder what is going to happen, what people are going to do. In other news, POCLAD. And ID cards have everything to do with corporations.
    And this is for you, Alison. Aw heck, this is for everyone! This is not my garden, but it inspires me so. A perfect solution for the nobly ground that doesn't welcome grass! I love how the crocus burst forth, all smiles. One day, its just tender green leaves, the next, trumpeting aubergine and sassy saffron. Ssssppppprrrrinnnngggggg!

    Tuesday, March 23, 2004

    WOW. Yahoo! News - Jackson Wanted to Play Car in a Movie
    clutch your piz-illow tight.
    Some DJ has mixed metallica with jay-z
    Hmmm Timesonline has gone "free" registration. user: kuocenilnosemit password: password
    Hmmm Timesonline has gone "free" registration. There is already a user called "motherfucker". Bah!

    A threat to liberty or a threat to terrorists?

    by Danny Lee The Times, 23/3/04 THE introduction of identity cards to help the fight against terrorism is moving up the Government's agenda after the Madrid bombings and with anxiety rising in the approach to this summer's European elections. "I sincerely hope that the Government will not proceed to a full identity-card system," Roger Smith, director of Justice, told an audience of politicians and lawyers in a debate on identity cards, crime, terrorism and civil liberties at the Law Society yesterday. "The current technology is flawed; the benefits speculative; practical hurdles huge; cost high; and the culture of English-speaking, common-law countries uniformly hostile to such an imposition on the privacy of citizens...",,200-1044779,00.html
    The pattern Checks on ID want not be limited to the simple holding of an ID card; they would include time, date, location, non-reason for request of ID. This information is intended to be cross-referenced. of everyday The governemnt wishes to check your ID everyday use we make of our identity cards, known as the audit trail, will be logged and kept on a central computer The number of times an ID is requested is planned to be logged, presumably in their from-a-cause-,-the-supply mentality this would provide indication of someone's guilt/threat. QED: ID cards will be 'institutionally racist'. to allow abuses Not by the police of course to be investigated The information they want to rape from you would be stored whether or not you 'have-nothing-to-hide', and you will have no choice in the matter (unless you vote these bastards out). once the scheme is introduced, a senior Home Office official indicated yesterday.
    "They kill our leaders, it is a war against Islam. There is war in Iraq and Palestine. I say to the Muslim nation they have to wake up from their sleep and they have to shake the ground of these Zionists and Americans who stand behind them," he said. "Yassin is a man in a nation, and a nation in a man. And the retaliation of this nation will be of the size of this man." [...] In other words, small, withered, old and parapalegic. File this tough talk under: "The Mother of all Battles" "We killed them, we made them drink poison and taught them a lesson that history will never forget." "My life is for Taliban" etc etc.,2763,1175879,00.html

    Government will track ID card use

    Alan Travis, home affairs editor Tuesday March 23, 2004 The Guardian The pattern of everyday use we make of our identity cards, known as the audit trail, will be logged and kept on a central computer to allow abuses to be investigated once the scheme is introduced, a senior Home Office official indicated yesterday. Stephen Harrison, the head of the Home Office's identity card policy unit, said yesterday there were also plans to introduce mobile electronic fingerprint and eyescan units to allow elderly and infirm people in rural areas to register for identity cards without travelling long distances [...],3605,1175638,00.html No one will be able to claim that they were not warned. And of course, those mobile scanners will be used by the Police, just as I said in an earler post.
    this was on mefi, but it's worth a repost. awesome. Daily Log: InfocomBot for AOL Instant Messenger

    Monday, March 22, 2004

    Cabinet leak exposes conflict on ID cards Blunkett told to delay moves to make scheme compulsory Alan Travis, home affairs editor Monday March 22, 2004 The Guardian Four senior Labour ministers have warned the home secretary, David Blunkett, not to breach a cabinet agreement by accelerating the introduction of compulsory identity cards, it emerged yesterday. .... The draft legislation to introduce the national identity card scheme will specify what personal details will be held on the card as well as outlining privacy safeguards when it is published in the next few weeks. It is expected that the card will carry minimal details and not include information such as the holder's criminal record or religious affiliation after warnings from the information commissioner, Richard Thomas. The draft legislation, to be published before Easter, is intended to allow a full debate to take place on the details of the scheme before the substantial bill is introduced at the beginning of the new parliamentary session in the autumn. Mr Blunkett wants to get the cards on the statute book before the general election. Last November, in the face of strong cabinet scepticism about the scheme, the home secretary agreed to "proceed by incremental steps to build a base for a compulsory national ID card scheme". It was made clear that a decision to move to a compulsory scheme was several years off, and would need separate cabinet approval. But it now appears that the draft bill, as it stands, allows a compulsory scheme to be introduced after a simple vote of MPs and peers without the need for fresh legislation. Sooner or later it'll be chips under the skin, like the pet poodles and sheeple the government assumes we are. Assume the position! Respect mah authoritah!
    hi, you made one good movie and your music sucks. that's no call to be pompous, attention-grabber. vincent gallo interview [via newstoday]
    Part of "The British Disease" is the reaction that he displayed in his branch of Lloyds TSB, as was the reaction of the people in the queue - sheep like applause. Complaining to the authorities is almost a british passtime, like complaining about the weather. Both are pointless; and if this man thinks that by writing an article in The Guardian he is going to change the policy of Lloyds he is insane. There is a strength in solidarity, but yes, you do have to follow through with action. Writing in the Guardian may change the actions of people who haven't been exposed to this yet that is what will change the bank's policy, but "TBD" will probably mean that many won't. I completely missed that article. Also in the P. Eye - apparently the Sun published that artist's child development pictures (blogdial passim) alongside some ch*d p*graphy thus making it's entire readership guilty of a criminal act. As they point out the editor should receive the full weight of the law in this regard.
    Jack Straw has condemned the murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassi as unlawful Yes. But, as someone wise once said, what is he going to do about it? Sharon has been butchering innocents for 50 years under the cover of, firstly, being a General, and now being the most psycopathic head of state since... er... Saddam Hussein. More than 45 UN resolutions against Israel vetoed by the US. No consequences. One US resolution against Iraq vetoed (actually, not even voted on, it was so laughable). BOOM! It's time for a Coalition Of The Sane to go in and sort this shit out. Israeli officials have described the killing as a "life-saving mission" as he was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. Start counting the body-bags piling up as a consequence of this attack. 7 killed directly.... Imagine how bad it would be if they didn't have their scripture of tolerance, understanding and love-thy-neighbour to keep them in check.
    Surround sound mp3s I'd like to see the iPod headphones to deal with that, actually what with the 'bone-phone' technology surround sound headphones could be feasible, no?
    You'll never get to Heaven if you're scared of getting high
    For you Mary Hort Corner Backyardgardner
    Ariel Sharon has completely blown it (that's an observation not a judgement) - I can't imagine peace in israel for at least a couple of generations. Whenever israel gets discussed the words that come to mind are 'Gift horse' and 'mouth'. Jack Straw has condemned the murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassi as unlawful, believe him, he should know abut unlawful killing given his Iraqi experience. Talking of the weak-kneed capitulating, double-standardised (luke)warm-malt-beverage drinker, he wants a second bill before ID cards are foisted upon us any further, as if he'd respect a second resolution (sorry, bill) anyway. Well even if he fails in his 'vociferous' stance he can always be wheeled onto the Today programme to blunder his way through his new moral stance. Thanks Jack. - This fortnight's Private Eye seems essential reading, excellent funny bits, a Paul Foot special on PFI failures: Dumb Britain: The Weakest Link, BBC2 Anne Robinson: William Burroughs� novel, first published in 1959, was �The Naked...� what? Contestant: Chef. - US President's Speech: Mr Bush sought to present a united front in the war on terror. Differences with our allies over the Iraq war "belong to the past," the president said. "Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence and invites more violence for all nations," Mr Bush told his audience. He is the one who shows the weakness - of his inability to deal with a problem rather than trying to crush the 'opposition' he has created. Blaming his incompetence on those willing to see the world's problems in a less stark contrast. It's hardly any wonder microsoft pay the republicans so much - "they think the same way we do".

    Just why is my bank putting its spoke in?

    James Erlichman is in a rage after being told by Lloyds TSB to prove his identity or have both his accounts frozen Saturday March 20, 2004 The Guardian I admit it. I am a convicted criminal. Indeed I have been twice convicted for the same crime. Maybe, that's why Lloyds TSB bank thinks I may be an international terrorist involved in money laundering and has now threatened to freeze both my deposit and current account. The bank has just sent me a letter warning that I must report to the nearest branch by March 22 2004 armed with my passport or similar identification. Otherwise, my fate is dire: "If you have not responded by then, we may have no choice but to stop you drawing money from your ac count." Excuse me, can a bank threaten to freeze anybody's bank account, just like that? Let me confess to my criminal convictions. Twice, in 25 years, the police have caught me driving through red lights in London - on a bicycle, yes a push bike. Guilty, your honour. First offence trying to get home to cook dinner. Second, trying to arrive at the BBC to broadcast on time for a morning programme. Not exactly evidence of international terrorism. Otherwise, my criminal record is blank. So why did Lloyds TSB make this demand? Allegedly, it has to with "an industry-wide initiative supported by the government and our regulators the Financial Services Authority" to defeat international terrorism and international money laundering. Two prime questions arise. Who else has been fingered besides me, and why? To start at the beginning, Lloyds TSB had actually sent me a similar demand a few weeks prior - warning that I must comply, but making no threat to freeze my account if I didn't. However, I was still annoyed enough to ring the bank to inquire and to complain. You will know the story: After numerous number-choices punched into the phone and 15 minutes later, I was put through to a human being - in the UK, I think. Nice woman. She listened to my story, reassured me that this was not a government requirement, just an "initiative" and suggested that I just drop the demand in the bin, which I did. You can imagine my fury when I got the reminder letter threatening to freeze my account by March 22. So I marched down to my local branch in North London, waited in a queue for 30 minutes, before finally engaging with a member of staff. She was less than pleasant. She invoked "government regulations on terrorism" and I volleyed with "I will not be bullied by my bank". The queue behind me erupted into applause and cheers of support on my behalf, which resulted in my being escorted into the manager's office. Don't blame him, he was from another branch, but yes, he did know about the demands for customer identification. I put to him what I thought was a salient fact: Some money in my account had come from America in US dollars. The reason was my Dad had died and had left me some money, all of which was above board. His financial life was modest and his will was cleared and signed off by the US Internal Revenue after 9-11 so money laundering was not an issue. "I am both a British and US citizen," I told the manager, "but did the dollar origins of the money instigate this inquiry?" No, he replied, the demand was random upon any British citizen with a bank account. So, I asked: "Do you expect an old lady with arthritis to hobble to her bank, stand in a queue for 30 minutes to confirm her identify at random - clutching her passport if she has one - just to insure her life savings are not frozen and kept from her?" He was silent and it would have been too unkind to press him to answer. So I left it there to pursue these crucial issues with the bosses at Lloyds TSB and with the Financial Standards Authority. These are the responses: The FSA said: "We do have tough rules against money laundering which all UK banks must adhere to. However, we encourage them to take a common sense approach. We certainly do not require them to reconfirm the identify of every customer." Over to Lloyds TSB. But their answer was unclear - a classic obfuscation. "This is an industry-wide initiative to fight crime and terrorism. It involves the government, law enforcement agencies and financial services organisations. It is not our intention to cause people concern. We would like to reassure anybody that has been asked to supply ID that it is a formality and does not mean that we suspect them of criminal activity." All this still did not reveal the legal requirements of bank customers to give their banks proof of identity. No laws are cited, just "initiatives", whatever they are. Nor can I tell you how many other British citizens are being harassed in a similar and "random" way. For my money, the FSA should have been clearer in its instructions to the banks in the ways they should co-operate against money laundering. Lloyds TSB, in its turn, should now learn how to treat customers with courtesy - if it wishes to keep them. An astonishing article from The Guardian Our bank has recently brought in a rule saying that you need to show ID to withdraw money from your account. They say that there has been an increased level of fraud, and that showing ID will help reduce it. If the amount is over �1000 you have to show two forms of ID. Obviously thinking that two forms of ID are "more powerful" than one is completely absurd. If you show ID like a passport, it should be good enough for one pound or 1000. Its clear that they do not understand how ID works. Having said this, this is a private entitity that is trying to stop a very specific problem. They are asking us to do this to protect our money, and so it is a reasonable request. They should however, ask you to bring in your switch card and swipe it in front of the teller and then put in your pin; if its good enough for a cash machine it should be good enough for a live human transaction. But this is not what I want to talk about. The above story from The Guardian is an example of a completely unreasonable request, that should ideally trigger the following response: The author should have gone to another bank, described what happened to him, and opened a new account. He should have immediately transfered all of his money to this new account, and then he should have written a letter to his old bank saying precisely why he moved his money. They would then be free to freeze his account. In Hell. Part of "The British Disease" is the reaction that he displayed in his branch of Lloyds TSB, as was the reaction of the people in the queue - sheep like applause. Complaining to the authorities is almost a british passtime, like complaining about the weather. Both are pointless; and if this man thinks that by writing an article in The Guardian he is going to change the policy of Lloyds he is insane. The banks are in the business of Money. Removing your money from your bank is like denying Dracula access to blood. Anyone who gets one of these letters should instantly move their money out of their Lloyds TSB account; I guarantee you that after the 100th account closure these letters would not only be stopped, but Lloyds would send out letters countermanding the order and apologising to stop the hemmoraging. By keeping his account open and merely complaining to a powerless functionary the author is sending the wrong signal; he is saying, "I will make noise, but you are the boss and you will get what you want, no matter how unreasonable", which is totally incorrect. The author is the client, who is paying for a service. Anyone can open a bank account anywhere in the world; you can order a form online that will be sent to you. No one needs to put up with this hysterical nonsense, randomly sweeping accounts is a violation, the threat to freeze an account is commercial suicide - or it shold be, "The British Disease" being the only thing stopping reality from slapping Lloyds TSB in the face. If you think that this sort of thing is an isolated incedent that will go away you are wrong. This is just the begininng. Many serivces are going to start to ask you to identify yourself, for no good reason, just as they do in France when you want to buy a SIM card. The only way that this will be stopped is if the consumers refuse to hand over their money AND their ID. The rule should be "dont ask for ID and you can have my money, or ask for my ID and you dont get my money". This is the ultimate sanction that everyone has, and perhaps, when people start to feel the power that non compliance confers to the consumer, they will make make the leap and understand that they dont have to put up with any service they dont like, no matter who provides it, when they refuse to pay.