Sunday, February 29, 2004

I hope to live to find out. So do I.... Meanwhile here is the one of my favorite episodes of south park showing what might happen:

Saturday, February 28, 2004

If their eyes dont glaze over and yawns dont erupt from their mouths before you finish speaking. As possibly happens when new parents start to tell all and sundry about their new arrival. But, c'est la [nouvelle] vie, non? La vie en rose, peut-etre. Last night we watched Kubrick's 2001 again, which finishes on a rebirth, of sorts. And, serendipitously, comprises in large amounts of Gyorgy Ligeti's music, who happens to be on the cover of the Wire this month. Time and again, watching that film, I was struck with the thought that it is the phenomenally appropriate use of sound and silence that makes that film. There can be few film's that depend so much on the music as does 2001. Those orchestral voicings, [Johann] Strauss's delicacy and lightness of touch. Spacious! The Ligeti piece in the Wire is fascinating. He wrote some scores deliberately too difficult to ever be played accurately by humans, with the music coming in the attempt to do so. I think Ligeti got shafted over the use of his music in 2001, which was both used and modified without permission. I understand it took years for him to get compensated for the basic use. I wonder if he gets any royalties from the soundtrack sales? 2001 is a visual and aural delight. All arguments of pomposity and incomprehensibility become worthless and irrelevant when the film is treated thus, without intellect, with only feeling. In a way it reminds me of watching some of Fassbinder, where the plot may be somewhat intangible, but delight abounds in absorbing the images, the reflections, angles and light. 2001 also made us ponder, again, on what will happen once humanity finds undeniable evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Religious and social meltdown? Cults, riots, suicides? Fear? Acceptance? I hope to live to find out.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

"Childbirth is no more a miracle then eating food and a turd coming out of your ass." - Instead of being tied up in language the thrust of any argumenmt is what should be paramount. One eye must be kep on the future, and the other one firmly fixed on today. If something is failing today, and we want to make sure that future generations are not going to suffer similar or worse treatement, we have to face the problem now and make sure that the negative trend doesnt get worse. Right now, medicalized birth is the norm in the USA. In Canada (according to one of my trusted sources) you cannot have a home birth unless you are within a certain distance to a hospital. If this trend follows all the other ones, it will not be long before the same absurd rules are brought in here. A fundamental principle is what I am talking about; are you in command of your own body, or not. Can the state madate that you give birth in a certain way, or not. Anyone that is for state control over the human body is for my money, insane. If the state controls your body, you are a slave. There are no two ways about it. After thousands of years of slavery, indentured servitude, virtual slavery, second class citenship, glass ceilings and discrimination, only the greatest fool would sit still and allow the systematic abuse of people go on without so much as a word. WRONG My concern, once again is for the future. The suffragettes took matters into their own hands, and won the vote through brave acts of outrage. If the march of medicalized bith does not abate, who is going to come to the aid of women in this area? Surely you cannot expect the male dominated medical establishment to come to its senses and impliment the right policies? If the suffragettes took that route, women would still be without the vote. Its clear that unless people organize, educate themselvs and take their rights no one is going to sympathise and relent out of the goodness of their hearts. People make money out of medicalized birth; that means the pressures to spread it are even greater than the ones that kept the vote from women, especially today, where money is everything. If the solution is not to make the cost of c-sections the issue that reduces their over application in hospitals, then we need to have another solution presented; one that works in reversing the trend of medicalized birth in the west. RIGHT Medical treatment should always be freely available, and that means any needed proceedure, regardless of the cost. The level of service should also be identical to the service that you get if you pay for private health care. That goes without saying. What I am talking about is the routine perfomance of unneeded and humiliating proceedures, done for the most part because fear has been been drilled into the patient and I mean FEAR, as in False Evidence Appearing Real; "the baby's head is too big", "you cannot deliver twins naturally", "you cannot deliver a posterior baby naturally", "you are a week late, we HAVE to induce you" - and so on. This is the sort of nonsense that gets trotted out so that professionals can keep a job. The reality is, most of the time, there is nothing to do right up to the time of the birth, and even then the labouring woman does it all by herself. After the baby is born, mother and child go to bed, and then thats it. There is literally nothing else to be done in the majority of cases. Unless there is a campaign to educate the educated women of the west, medicalized birth will take over everywhere, and then the third world will follow and not a natural birth will take place on this planet. The same goes for the replacing of breastfeeding with formula all over the world, a prure money motivated phenomina, women being told that they have to give birth on their backs in bed (a trend which started by a European king who wanted to see his child emerge) and every other fleecing scam whose target is the womsn. Yes womsn. In the not so far future, after its all over and midwifery is lost to us, THEN try and complain, and see how far your daughters get. If their eyes dont glaze over and yawns dont erupt from their mouths before you finish speaking.
"I'm gonna share with you a vision that I had, cause I love you... And you feel it. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded ...not one -- we could explore space together, both inner and outer, forever peace." Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of the world's greatest 'comedian', Bill Hicks. And as such, I plan on enjoying this masterwork again tonight: Exquisite Blog Corpse thing last post related tie-in: "Childbirth is no more a miracle then eating food and a turd coming out of your ass." - Bill Hicks
Its only for someone to listen. Well yes, but I guess it is hard when the pain of giving birth feels SO strong, it hurts like hell I have heard and living in the "civilized" countys one are not used to that much pain....Therefore epidurals and cesarian sections... Why have home births with loads of pain, when one can give birth with less pain? But why have kids anyway?... Working as a child-librarian (I really love my work, but I get more and more sure, I am not putting babies in this horrible world, with my genes - they would only blame me for getting them) I am in this terrible dilemma, I really love children, but I do not dare having them, affraid I would love them to much .... Why have children? Because it is beautiful! I might have them one day, and regret it later.... Dilemma
If I wasn't already using !@?*s product I certainly wouldn't start to now.�I sympathise, meau, exactly what was running through my head after reading Irdial's last post. What brand of crap was that? Women can't defend themselves? Hardly. I would argue that women are habitually not listened to. And not just by men. I can't believe that you would cast the issue of hospitalized births as solely a woman's responsibility, when clearly, it is an issue that the whole of society must address. Together. And do you really think that an economic solution is a good idea? In Canada, our doctors are paid percentages of the tests and referals they give, which translates very quickly into a lot of unnecessary procedures. And then on the flip side, now that our dear government has clipped the health budget, a lot of people not getting the treatment they need. Don't you think that the same economic focus in your country would result in similar problems? And I would also argue that women are united in this, the women I know who help give birth, both inside the medical institution and out, are quick to educate and share their knowledge. Its only for someone to listen.
Let someone else do the mathematics is an attitude the people of the Uk are going to regret very painfully. You would have thought with the increasing penetration of computers into our daily livees that people would be wise to the underlying IT infrastructure which will need a great deal of mathematical knowledge, the only economic the West has at the moment is its supposedly highly skilled workforce however if you start to remove the fundamental knowledge from this workforce they will rapidly become unemployable. Computer programs of the fututre are unlikely to have any UK input in the future, our scientific research will wither on the vine. But maths isn't only a subject leading to a dull job and leather elbow patches (if I'd realised that I might have taken it further, for it is truly a joyous discipline), a mathematically trained mind, I would argue, can see the flaw in an unworkable argument whether it is numerically based or not. There is no advantage in going through life with the attitude that you can leave fundamental ways of thinking to other people, or even worse, being reliant on computers But I digress, or atleast I am about to, what I really wanted to post today is that T* my ISP bombarded me with my first experience of a javascript advert, some evil concoction that should be nipped in the bud straight away. It stopped me from being able to login to my webmail until this abominable 'aeroplane' advertising !@?*& had finished its flight across the screen. If I wasn't already using !@?*s product I certainly wouldn't start to now.
May the gluttonous aristocrat choke on the flesh of the common man. Or better yet, let him choke on the sour grapes of wrath instead of having to kill and cannibalize a peasant; after all, both parties will die, and then, the struggle will be over, and so will our endless fun. When you choke, there is a method of forcibly expelling the gunk that is blocking the airway. You can take a course on how to do this at any NHS hospital, for free. The NHS is an amazing organ. Did you know that the accountants in the NHS cannot tell you how much, for example, an appendectomy costs? Normally you can count up every drug, the time of each medical professional...everything, so that you can arrive at an accurate costing for every operation or proceedure in the hospital. The NHS doesnt do this. They dont know what ANYTHING costs. That my friends, is totally absurd. If lets say for example, the NHS could count the cost of each operation or proceedure, they would be able to apply some form of economics to which operations and proceedures are performed, and the whole thing would become much more cost efficient, while giving the same standard (or higher) levels of care. When women are brought to hospital in the UK, there is a 30% chance that they will be given a cesarean section. Most of these proceedures are absolutely unnessesary, as are the many epidurals that are administered. Now, no one knows the cost of giving an epidural to a wonman in labour, and neither do they know how much it costs to perform a cesarean section. If they were made to account properly, the number of cesarean sections performed on the NHS would plummet down to only those that were actually done for a medical reason; in other words rarely. The same for epidurals; they are rarely needed during childbirth, analgesia is despensed like candy to women in labour, and in the case of epidurals, the labouring mother's temperature rises artificially, birth is made more difficult, and the probability of cesarian birth increases drastically. Since women cannot defend themselvs, and almost always give in to medicalized birth, it appears that they will have to be saved from it by economics. It has been demonstrated statistically that home birth is safer than hospital birth, and also it is less expensive. Birthing at home, as it has been done for thousands of years, as it is done today all over the world except in the "civilized" countries, is perfectly normal and costs close to nothing. On the other hand, a cesarian section, if we are going by the other health institutions that have responsible accounting procedures, costs at least $8,000. You do the math. Or let someone else do the math.
This time the EU has gone too far. As it did in 1815-20, when Britain aligned herself with "pan-European policing", commited to doing the bidding of despots abroad whilst ignoring the crises of her citizens at home. This led Thomas Bewick, magnificent wood engraver and political activist, to state that... "The phalanx [of the oligarchs/politicians] have kept their ground, and will do so till, it is to be feared, some violence from an enraged people breaks them up, or perhaps till the growing opinions against such a crooked order of conducting the affairs of this great nation becomes quite apparent to an immense majority, whose frowns may have the power of bringing the agents of government to pause upon the brink of the precipice on which they stand, and to provide in time the wise and honest measures to avert the coming storm." This image [a beggar hangs himself by a country stream] comes from Bewick's "A History of British Birds". For, whilst being an ardent naturalist and environmentalist, Bewick interspersed his avian portraits with scenes from the reality of British country life, so as to bring it to notice of others. The English countryside of the 1800's was not all larks and buntings, but rather starvation, landowner bullying, disease, poverty, hard labour, and despair. Bewick shone a light into this darkness. His wood engraving, which techniques he refined no end and mastered above most others, became the most popular art form of the day, apparently. This preference remained until the advent of photography and it's entrance into the commonplace. May the gluttonous aristocrat choke on the flesh of the common man.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

It even duplicates the microminiature electric currents that soften your broken bones to create mending of them and then create stress either compressing the bones thereby shortening them or stress to make the bones grow longer. It knows your face. This monster computer, this beast...THE BEAST. This is how it will know you. And I quote: - everyone wanting a passport will have to "enrol" and have a digitised picture taken which is then stored on a microchip in the passport - a centralised, biometric-based, "European Passport Register" will be set up and then it will become compulsory for everyone to give their fingerprints too - all EU citizens holding passports, every resident third country national and everyone visiting the EU with a visa will have their personal biometric "identifiers" plus personal data stored on the new generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) - all ID cards should also contain biometric data - this will enable the wholesale surveillance of all movement not just into the EU but within the EU too [...] I am not bullshitting. This is for real. An appalling nightmare made real. There is no need for this, it is being done soley to fleece the eitire european population one face at a time, and then to control all europeans with this massive database. They will use this for absolutely everything, and it will control you from the day you are born to the day you die...if you consent to it. Even if "enrolment" is mandatory, the word mandatory is only real if the majority of people accept the new regulations. If they do not, the system will become "unworkable" which is doublespeak for "they wont buy it", which is market speak for "that dog wont hunt" which is southern speak for "back to the drawing board boys". I will not enroll for this. No one that I know personally will enroll for this. This time the EU has gone too far.
Perhaps the the demon obeying underground pusher was in fact carrying out the demands of the gangster computer god frankenstein radio control system.

Gangster Computer God Worldwide Secret Containment policy made possible solely by Worldwide Computer God Frankenstein Controls. Especially lifelong constant threshold brainwash radio. Quiet and motionless, I can slightly hear it. Repeatedly this has saved my life on the streets.

Four billion wordwide population, all living, have a Computer God Containment Policy brain bank brain, a real brain in the brain bank cities on the far side of the moon we never see. Primarily, based on your lifelong Frankenstein Radio Controls, especially your Eyesight TV, sight and sound recorded by your brain, your moon brain of the Computer God activates your Frankenstein threshold brainwash radio lifelong, inculcating conformist propaganda, even frightening you and mixing you up and the usual, "Don't worry about it." For your setbacks, mistakes, even when you receive deadly injuries. This is the Worldwide Computer God Secret Containment Policy.

Worldwide, as a Frankenstein slave, usually at night, you go to nearby hospital or camouflaged miniature hospital van trucks, you strip naked, lay on the operating table, which slides into the sealed Computer God robot operating cabinet. Intravenous tubes are connected. The slimy vicious Jew doctor simply pushes the starting button, based upon your Computer God brain on the moon which records progress of your systematic butchery. Your butchery is continued exactly, systematically. The Computer God operating cabinet has many robot arms with electrical and laser beam knife robot arms with fly eye TV cameras watching your whole body. Every part of you is monitored, even from your Frankenstein controls. Synthetic blood, synthetic instant-sealing flesh and skin, even synthetic electrical heartbeat to keep you alive are some of the unbelievable Computer God instant plastic surgery secrets. You are the highest, most intelligent electrical machine in the Universe.

Inevitability of gradualness. Usually, in a few years, you are made stringbean thin or grotesquely deformed, crippled and ugly, or even made over one foot shorter or one foot taller, as the Computer God sees fit. Virtually all of the important instant plastic surgery is done to you inside the Computer God sealed robot operating cabinet. Even unbelievable, impossible plastic surgery operations, all impossible even for dozens of vicious kosher bosher doctors working around the clock for weeks. The Computer God sealed robot operating cabinet can perform all of the above impossible plastic surgery operations overnight, even dwarfting you over a foot, or increasing your height by two feet. This is possible because Computer God robot operating cabinet imitates your microminiature electrical current intelligence system in your body. It even duplicates the microminiature electric currents that soften your broken bones to create mending of them and then create stress either compressing the bones thereby shortening them or stress to make the bones grow longer.

Animal control officers spent almost an hour trying to pull a pup from a storm drain pipe in Syracuse this week. Kids walking down a sidewalk spotted the golden retriever in the storm drain, and rushed home to tell their parents who called police. Three Davis County Animal Care and Control officers responded and tried to get to the dog, but he got spooked and crawled into the drain's pipe. It took the officers about 45 minutes to rescue the lucky pup, and when they did, they were all covered in mud. The dog had no collar or tags and police think the dog's owner abandoned it. The dog is doing fine and is staying at an animal shelter in Fruit Heights. TETHL (There ends the hard link). A DRUG addict who repeatedly pleaded to be committed to hospital because demons ordered him to do ?bad things? pushed a commuter under a Tube train, the Old Bailey was told yesterday. Christophe Duclos was left slumped on the tracks with a severed left arm and broken bones after he was sent flying into the path of a fast-moving Underground train during rush hour. A Frenchman who had worked in Britain for six years, he died in hospital three days later. Just hours before Stephen Soans-Wade, 36, pushed M Duclos on to the tracks he had told police he was hearing voices in his head, the court was told. He was taken to hospital but left before doctors were able to assess him. He had a history of trying to get himself sectioned under the Mental Health Act and was known for becoming violent when discharged because doctors found that he was not mad, it was alleged. [...],,4484-974456,00.html A man down a big drain pushes a man onto the tracks. In New York during the late 70s 80s street wisdom dictated that you never stood close to the platform edge, because of "pushers". I loved the bizarre criminals that you used to get in the Big Apple; for example, "Dart Man" who used to stalk women and fire hand crafted darts into their asses with a blowpipe. Only in America, and especially only in New York. How we laughed at the continual parade of bizarre criminals dunderheads and pranksters lined up by WABC night after night, people who seemingly had not a single brain-cell between their ears. Dart Man was all over the papers; every time he struck another victim the news went wild. What a life; so tranquil that a single prankster could take over the entire city's imagination for weeks. Not so now of course.... As for Mr. Soans-Wade, the demon obeying underground pusher - he will certainly get what he wanted, and be "Sectioned".

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Free from formality or ostentation is surely a dictum Adolf Loos would have subscribed to. The wonderful turn of the century Austrian architect who not only proclaimed 'Ornament is a crime' but 'Jede Mann Einiges Fussball'. The brutally stark exteriors of his buildings (mainly in rough white render punctured by simple windows without mouldings) are truly the forbears of the 'International Style' of modernism whilst inside they were truly homely. However a credo of simplicity did bot mean he dispensed with richness of material and light but these were deployed in a refined manner (ie without ostentation). His influence can also be seen in the house that Ludwig Wittgenstein designed for his sister, although Wittgenstein's house does display a formality not present in a Loos house. This is because Loos organised space around a losse principle called the raumplan which ensured that each space or room was proportioned and aligned with the surrounding rooms in a three dimensional way, thus breaking the formalism of planimetric architecture. The raumplan although a method was freed from formalism firstly by it's inherent flexibility and reformulation according to the building it was used in and also in that it was invisible it could only be appreciated through the use of the building rather than as a pattern understood on the page or in the mind. For those unfortunate only to see the exterior of Loos' buildings at the time this caused outcry and derision and a contemporaneous cartoon shows him finding inspiration in a similar looking storm drain.
Either way, anyone who cannot put his own interests aside for the good of his country should not be president. Ever. Which reminds me of a photocopy my yoga teacher gave me, oh so long ago: Why Leaders Fail. A synopsis for you: Inability to organize details: Efficient leadership calls for ability to organize and master details. No genuine leader is ever "too busy" to do anything which may be required in the capacity as a leader. When a person admits that they are "too busy", they admit inefficiency. Unwillingness to render humble service Truly great leaders are willing, when occasion demands, to perform any sort of labour which they would ask another to perform. Expectation of pay for what they "know" instead of what they do with what they know The world pays people for what they do, or induce others to do. Fear of competition from followers The able leader trains their understudies to delegate, at will, any of the details of their positon. Only in this way may a leader multiply themselves and prepare to be at many places, and give attention to many things at one time. Lack of imagination Without imagination, the leader is incapable of meeting emergencies, and of creating plans by which to guide followers efficiently. Selfishness The leader who claims all the honor for the work of the followers is sure to be met by resentment. The really great leader claims none of the honors. Intemperance Followers do not respect an intemperant leader. Moreover, intemperance, in any of its various forms, destroys the endurance and the virtality of all who indulge in it. Disloyalty Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one's head the contempt one deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life. Emphasis on the "authority" of leadership The efficient leader leads by encouraging, not trying to instill fear in the hearts of followers. If a leader is a real leader, they will have no need to advertise that fact except by conduct - sympathy, understanding, fairness, and a demonstration that they know the job. Emphasis of title The person who makes too much over their title generally has little else to emphasize. The doors to the office of the real leader are open to all who wish to enter, and their working quarters are free from formality or ostentation.
Silk tie around the neck, a stupid look in his face, no hope of winning, and every chance of giving a monster a second chance at initiating armageddon. Who on earth could I possibly be talking about? "Sooner or later youre gonna listen to" Ralph Nader. This imbecile, this edge to edge ego monster, this selfish ignorant and useless FOOL is going to make sure that the next election (not that they really matter, its the principle of selfishness that I am talking about) goes to The Enemy™. There is no reason, no excuse, no logic that can explain, tidy up or justify why the vote should be split. The next election is so important, so crucial to the peace of this planet that all other concerns need to be put aside. Rather like the Roman Empire under an insane man, even though the emperor rules by divine right, it became necessary for moral and honourable men, sometimes friends, to murder him in order that people can be free. In his case, all everyone has to do is simply put aside their differences, which are small when weighed against the destruction of the country itself, so that the nearest polar opposite candidate (one with a brain) can be elected. Democracy is broken. The incoming president and cabinet might do bad things, like Dean would certainly have done had he been elected. This is largely irrelevant. When you are getting rid of the worst president in American history, literally, anyone is a better choice. This must be the overriding concern; how to get rid of the current administration, and by extension, all the pure evil advisors, hangers on, special interst leeches and sheep shear weilding corporations that have totally corrupted the USA. Anyone who understands this, and who has a love for that country would NEVER run for president, knowing that it could make the difference between the end of the country as we have loved it, and a change of direction back to the true America. Ralph Nader is insane. Or selfish. Or stupid. Or all three. Either way, anyone who cannot put his own interests aside for the good of his country should not be president. Ever.
Dazzling reflections in the puddles after a shower. It's only to look, I guess. Or to be in the right place at the right time ever prepared like a boy scout with ten pence and a length of string. It takes a certain sensibility as well, like when I noticed a soap bubble float down and land on a steel scouring pad that had gone rusty. I found the balance of textures - the smoothness of the bubble against the wiry hedge of steel really enthralling, my flat mate at the time saw nothing. Then there are the moments the windows of a building will reflect the dying sun into a recess of an alley which never gets any other light or an illumination of the damp and grime on the exterior of a shopping centre that gets forgotten in the dash to keep the inside as a clinical jewel for the pure consumer I recall (but can't find online) that Wittgenstein when out walking one autumn evening with a friend commented that he wished that the light of that evening could be normal, I imagined that light to be the honeyed green light that throws all object into a sort of illuminance that separates and emphasises their characteristics. Personally I prefer the open pale blue light of the clear mid winter, which complements the hermetic brutality of the copper roofed concrete architecture of the sixties and seventies. But it is not just the light that I enjoy at this time of year there is the cool breeze that parts at the nose and refreshes the eyes and cheeks as it passes over them like sheerest silk.

Monday, February 23, 2004

What soap I wah with. If any.

Yes, "Wah!"

I was given a 5 year work permit as soon as I entered Sweden. Sweden has been in my thoughts this weekend. Photographically speaking, it's not so much the images themselves, it's the light. Images of India, too, have this light that is impossible to ignore. There are new wavelengths, new intensities, new blues and new reds. In my rational mind I know this occurs as a consequence of sunlight hitting the earth at different angles... but it's also manifest as an irrational sense of the exotic (yes, exotic Sweden). Life is softer, nature more natural, the commonplace is refreshed and vibrant. London pictures are brooding, black-and-white, angular. My mental bias impacting heavily on my subjective/objective experience. So while I lament living at a certain latitude, I wonder if Swedes and Indians return from London, expounding to their friends "But everything here is so.... excessive! Too blue! Too green! Look at the myriad tones of grey here, can't you just feel the character?" Light moves so fast, it seems like it's standing still. The best lights I've know... the midnight sun, the shimmer of the milky way in the wilderness, a multitude of sunsets and sunrises... the day disappearing under a raging thunderhead rolling from inland, above us on the beach, crushing, rushing, pushing air and light asunder and bursting over the quivering ocean Having said all the above, even London light has it's moments. Crepuscular rays illuminating otherwise ignored objects, a building torn from it's background to stand, triumphant and pround in heaven-sent sparkling glory. Clouds outlined spectacularly against a seemingly dull morning sky. Dazzling reflections in the puddles after a shower. It's only to look, I guess.
I feel that the proposed work permits for the citizens of the EU accession countries who wish to work in the UK will not be effective for those who wish to circumvent them, especially as the government still wishes - in a self contradiction - to have an open labour market. There is also the problem of increased attackes on people like the Romas, who come to the UK trying to find some prosperity. This is the face that gets the tabloids in a frenzy, but what will drive them even more mad is the day that will inevitably come, where you cannot do anything ordinary in the English language. Already, in places like California, 50% of the population list Spanish as their mother tounge. You need to know some Spanish to be able to live. That isnt a bad thing - if you are not a foam mouthed Sun reader - but if you are, it represents a fundamental destruction of your way of life. Get used to it, because every european language is coming here, everything British is going to be owned by rich capable Europeans, like Chelski Football club, and Harrods. Its almost as if the previous governments didnt think the whole European integration process through to its logical conclusion; and in particular, this government, at the 11th hour, is trying to put a bandaid over the self inflicted shotgun wound of the EU. Its insane, stupid, ill concieved and totally nutz. The only way out of this problem is to leave the EU while it is still possible; before the pound is given up for the Euro. This way, Shengen can be thrown out, and the UK will not have to follow EU regulations at all. The alternative is to stay in the EU, allow anyone in, and see the UK completely absorbed into Europe. I have no problem living next door to people, but i'll be damned if I let them tell me when I take a bath, and what soap I wah with. If any. Yes, "Wah!"
(March 5 will be my first paycheck--companies can't start up direct deposit until paycheck #2, which was the cause of this problem in the first place) When I was working in France they wouldn't let me open a bank account without F10,000 deposit, which, given what I was 'earning', was impossible. I had to wait until one of my parents visited me to get an account opened (as proof of identity), however I was limited to making cash withdrawals in person and this had to be done at the branch where I opened my account. I was also supposed to get a work permit, however I went to the office for foreigners only to be told after an hour that it was for non-EU residents - this place was in an outer arrondissement, a dingy waiting room on the ground floor of a squat office block next to a police station, the second place i went to was the Mari on the Ile de France. It took me an hour to find out there was yet another registration area for students/apprentices this was in another arrondissement again - that place was closed the first time I went, the second time after an hour I got bored and walked out never to return. That's the experience of someone who was partially willing (or actively seeked out) to get a work permit in a country which has had a pretty pervasive system for a long time, so i feel that the proposed work permits for the citizens of the EU accession countries who wish to work in the UK will not be effective for those who wish to circumvent them, especially as the government still wishes - in a self contradiction - to have an open labour market.
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 08:25:25 -0500 From: Bonnie Subject: Fighting Big Brother in VT (Round One goes to Bonnie) I won my case (pro se) in small claims court on Friday, February 13. I had sued Key Bank for failure to honor a valid, duly-indorsed paycheck from Gardener's Supply, a long-time VT company. The judge agreed with me that requiring a thumbprint on the face of the check went beyond 'reasonable' and 'ordinary' care in determining my identity. (Docket# S1630-03, Chittenden Small Claims Court --I didn't know where, and didn't have the money to start this anywhere else.) I've taken it this far successfully, but if they appeal, I WILL NEED HELP. I was too busy with my husband's campaign to put out the call and publicize my case before now, except for a brief description posted Friday morning to I will be doing more, looking for interviews on this, to try to encourage other folks to go win $31 from Key Bank as well. I met a VTCLU former board member in the courthouse, Gloria Gil, and she encouraged me to contact the *CLU, which I was going to do anyway. Also, the press. I have a letter prepared for VT legislators, who Key Bank said had discussed this, but never passed any bill. Key Bank said that the VT State Banking Dept 'approved' this thumbprint requirement somehow. (They wanted me to go there instead of taking them to court, obviously.) So, I think another next step is to FOIA the hell out of the VT State Banking Dept. I want everything they've got on the 'thumbprint security' program, and any correspondence any of them had with Key Bank. I may have the same problem with my next 'first paycheck,' because I've just started a new job. I'll be taking Bank North to court as well, if they try to pull the same thing. When asked who else in the area req'd thumbprints, their security officer said that Bank North was considering it. (March 5 will be my first paycheck--companies can't start up direct deposit until paycheck #2, which was the cause of this problem in the first place.)

Sunday, February 22, 2004

You're Canada!
People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've got a much better life than they do.  In fact, they're probably just jealous.  You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and others.  If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be the perfect person.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

Alright, that was the second try. The first go was Brazil, but I lied about the soccer.
I don't want to live in a police state. Why not?
Was Doogie Howser the first blogger?
Who owns the web?
Drug Testing in UK Schools How is this legal? I don't want to live in a police state. My girlfriend just told me they do this in Singapore. If I wanted the state to control my life I'd move there.
Scientists Discover Methane Ice Worms on Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor A team of university scientists using a mini research submarine on a NOAA-funded research cruise has discovered, photographed, and sampled what appears to be a new species of centipede-like worms living on and within mounds of methane ice on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, about 150 miles south of New Orleans. Although scientists had hypothesized that bacteria might colonize methane ice mounds, called gas hydrates, this is the first time animals have been found living in the mounds. The discovery of dense colonies of these one-to-two-inch-long, flat, pinkish worms burrowing into a mushroom-shaped mound of methane seeping up from the sea floor raises speculation that the worms may be a new species with a pervasive and as yet unknown influence on these energy-rich gas deposits. [...]

You're Mexico!
While some people think you're poor and maybe a little corrupt, you know where it's at, enjoying good food and nice beaches.  You like to take things a little slower than those around you, and you really wish the air were cleaner, but sometimes compromises must be made.  For some reason, Chevrolet keeps trying to sell you Novas as well, even though they don't really go.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

You're the United Nations!
Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long way to go.  You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of beating each other about the head and torso.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result.  But your heart is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

First question: Who is Jane Fineman, the author of that piece? Then:
Is there any evidence the vaccine can harm a healthy child? There is no published evidence showing any increased risk or any explanation as to why a triple vaccine should be any more toxic than the same dose delivered singly.
Just because there is no publishe evidence, this doesnt mean that the effect isnt real. Later on in this Q&A the effects of the triple vaccination are outlined. Your child could get the mild symtpoms of Rubella Mumps and Measles ALL AT THE SAME TIME, instead of ONE AT A TIME, if they were given the single vaccinations. Even the lowest simpleton on the planet can see that to administer an injection where there are three possible simultaneous side effects layered on each other cannot possibly be a sensible thing to do
Why has the Government banned single vaccines? Children would have to have six injections instead of two, increasing the risk of non-compliance. They would also risk catching one of the diseases while they wait to complete the course. The ban has let private clinics flourish, charging up to ?300 for the three vaccines.
These vaccinations are not a legal requirement, and so the "risk of non compliance" is not a reason to "ban" single vaccines. They are just trying to be "efficient". Did Tony Bliar give his son the MMR injection; this is what we want to know. During the Mad Cow Disease scare, ministers went out and ate hamburgers in public. Do as I say and not as I do just doesnt cut it. To say that they would risk catching one of the three diseases is absurd; later in the same piece she talks about herd immunity protecting the population. As long as you take your three injections in a timely manner, this herd immunity should be preserved, and the danger of stacked side effects would be eliminated. Of course this means more WORK for the lazy people who are administering these injections, and of course, the leisuire of health workers is FAR more important than the health of the population. As for the ban letting private clinics flourish, this is just pathetic sour grapes bullshit that has nothing to do with the health of individuals. I do see however, that many of these clinics are using google adwords to sell their services - thanks Jane!
What is my child's risk of catching measles if he or she doesn't have the jab? Provided there is reasonable 'herd immunity', the risk of a non-vaccinated child catching measles is very low - that is why vaccination is regarded as a social responsibility. It is only where herd immunity breaks down that measles epidemics become more likely.
That last blockquote was FYI.
Are there any side-effects to the vaccine?Between a week and 10 days after the MMR immunisation, some children become feverish, develop a measles-like rash and go off their food. About three weeks after the injection a child might occasionally develop a mild form of mumps. A few children get a rash of small bruise-like spots due to the rubella part after about two weeks. About one in 1,000 will have a fit after becoming feverish - although there are no long-term consequences.
So you say, "woman with no past". Its abundantly clear. Any sensible person reading the above "facts" would instantly choose either single vaccinations or abstention because getting three separate doses is prohibitively expensive. Herd immunity can protect your child, and you dont take the risk of your precious offspring being turned into a sufferer of autistism, which is a much more horrible fate than catching a case of the Mumps or Measles, which untill vaccinations came along, the older people I know say were treated like chicken pox; you got it, and then got over it. Of course, there is now a chicken pox vaccine; how long berore that is dumped into this coctail so that we have MMRC? Maybe geeks will be coerced to take it if they put the influenza vaccine in instead of Mumps, giving us MIRC. Dr. Wakefield may or may not have been biased. He is unusual in that he is biased against the medical status quo, which probably was taken as his greatest crime. When these shepherds take money from Pharmaceutical companies (and there are plenty more that do that than the lone voices like Wakefield), where are the full page articles by "journalists" with no bacground to knock them down in public? By the stacked side effects alone, MMR doesnt make sense. Then there is the alledged autism side effect. If you have a child and you think this is a risk worth taking, even when Bliar himself wont give it to his son, then do so; its ultimately your personal business. What is completely wrong, is that only the rich have this choice, when it should be available to everyone. That is the core issue, who makes the decision to vaccinate the herd in a way that is designed to save money, in fact whose primary aim is to save money? You cannot say taht the health of the herd is the primary motivation, since the risk of side effects are tripled. Who is the woman that made this cost saving proposal, and even more importantly, which company offered it, what are they making out of it - these are the important facts, since everyone save the rich is being corralled into taking this poison.
Original MMR work 'critically flawed'. "Dr Wakefield had not told the Lancet that he had received some �55,000 from the Legal Aid Board to investigate grounds for legal action by parents of allegedly vaccine-damaged children. Worse, it is feared that he was advising the parents of some of the children upon whom his medical research was drawn." The new opinion is drawn. Dr Wakefield is fucked. His scientific judgement cannot be trusted.

You're Switzerland!
While most people think you're sort of stuck up, it's really just that people don't interest you that much.  That's why you'd rather just stay out of everything and be as neutral as possible.  Somewhere in there is an ability to be a psychiatrist because you're so objective, but you might just be too cold for that.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

Bring on the Alpen Horns!!!!! Yoooooooooo Looooooooooo Looooooo Loooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

You're France!
Most people think you're snobby, but it's really just that you're better than everyone else.  At least you're more loyal to the real language, the fine arts, and the fine wines than anyone else.  You aren't worth beans in a fight, unless you're really short, but you're so good at other things that it usually doesn't matter.  Some of your finest works were intended to be short-term projects.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

Saturday, February 21, 2004

eventually enter the dark beyond of its own sewer outlet not so here my old frend, for our writing starts in heaven, and after one week, it should, by your rule, only reach the edge of Andromeda.
ThumbSync by XeNN Interesting UI, but can you say Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The learning curve must be as steep as Jimmy Hill's chin.
mildly drunk smart ass
TAKAGISM 2004 Also, who's been changing my posts?
each post must follow on from the last lines of the previous post back to adba and the self-referential unit .... anything that takes its last step as the pointer for its next step will eventually enter the dark beyond of its own sewer outlet
hmmmm "who knows what will happen next?" Next week, its "Exquisite Blog Corpse" week at BLOGDIAL, where:
each post must follow on from the last lines of the previous post, each post must be at least 250 words long, each post must have a picture, no consecutive posts from the same poster.
Can you handle it?
Diggers. Wiggers. Irizzos. who knows what will happen?! Why dont you simply ASK?
actually, i don't have 500+ words of thought on that particular topic. i'll pick another to address soon. maybe i'll talk about diggers. who knows what will happen?!
No bloggin' today so far, so here's a picture of a mini digger for all of you, from me. I snapped this whilst it was asleep - it had come into the garden during the afternoon. I left it a saucer of diesel and later it woke up, had a few slurps, and drove off. They've been wild around where I live for a 20 years or so, but only recently have been coming into urban areas.
I heard the Nader news yesterday... I immediately asked myself "is he being paid by the neo-cons to split the vote?" The literature that came with it said it's good for trimming your nose hairs. Nothing about testicles.� All of those cheap ones originate from a design by Seiko called, I think, the Lady Shavi Mini or something. Originally designed to trim a lady's facial hair. Seiko makes a different shave specifically for the hair down there. "Why does Barrie know this?!!!" you ask. CBC radio just played a song off The Grey Album, which was then followed by a rather vicious tirade upon anti-piracy advertisements. Wonderful!
Dear Friend, I don't usually forward email campaigns to my friends, but I think this one deserves our attention. As you probably know, Ralph Nader is considering running for president again in 2004. Like millions of Americans, I am disturbed that Nader may again cost the Democrats the election, and once again tip the balance in our closely divided nation to George Bush. Nader says he will make up his mind in the next few weeks. The link below will take you to a message about Nader's potential candidacy and a simple step you can take right now to oppose such a run. Come watch Ralph Don't Run: I hope you'll consider joining this effort, Sincerely, P.S. This is a grassroots campaign that depends entirely on recipients like us forwarding the message to supportive friends. Once you see the site, if you're so inclined, please pass this along as broadly as possible.
Planting a GM future As a geneticist-bioethicist with no links to the GM food industry, I am heartened that the commercial planting of GM maize is to be permitted (Letters, February 20). The alteration of genetic sequences has been carried out for millennia by agriculturalists using selective breeding. GM technology simply offers a more efficient means to alter genetic sequences, thus providing an enhanced means for improving food. Moreover, neither evidence nor logic supports the supposed health risks of GM food disingenuously alleged by opponents of the technology. Indeed, millions of consumers in the US and elsewhere have been eating GM food on a large scale for several years, with no negative health effects. Of course, some individuals are allergic to particular GM foods ? but food allergies are not restricted to GM foods, nor do allergies occur at a higher level with GM foods than with "natural" foods. Indeed, it is ironic that GM technology offers the means to remove known natural allergens from crop plants. Biotechnology is one of the few growth sectors within our beleaguered industrial economy. Had the government listened to the anti-GM propaganda and prohibited the commercial planting of GM crops, the country would not only have taken a step backwards in terms of scientific progress, but such prohibition it would also have jeopardised the UK's future as a hi-tech industrial economy. We ought to ignore the shrill voices of the anti- science Luddites and embrace GM technology. Kevin Smith Dundee *************************************************************** Thats from The Guardian's "Letters" section. Hmmmm. Where to start. How about at the beginning? As a geneticist-bioethicist with no links to the GM food industry It is irrelevant that you have no connections with the GM food industry. Your vested interest lies in your scandalous and poison releasing chosen career. If these plants are legalized, you might get the chance to practice your evil...and get PAID. That is the REAL reason you are "heartened" by this bad news. The alteration of genetic sequences has been carried out for millennia by agriculturalists using selective breeding. Selective breeding is a slow and NATURAL process; in other words, the genes combine through the force of nature, and not via manmade cutting and slicing at the molecular level. more efficient means to alter genetic sequences, thus providing an enhanced means for improving food. That is utter and complete bollocks. Do you know how a "more efficient means to alter genetic sequence" is done? They take genetic material, put it in a Petri dish, and then expose the contents to ionizing radiation, which damages the exposed material at the molecular level. The kook^H^H^H^H scientists then try and grow something from the results of this scattergun technique. When something grows, they try and find out what its characteristics are and what it?s good for, if anything. This is as far from genetic alteration through selective breeding as you can get. Selective breeding produces strains that are natural and that exhibit traits that are desirable (if that?s what you are breeding for; some selective breeding produces this kind of thing) and more or less predictable. It is not dangerous. There are no ill effects to the environment from cross pollination...its slow, and that?s what the companies cannot bear; to have to do the hard work of breeding many generations of plants to get a desired strain. They want profits NOW, and nature doesn?t work on a NOW basis. neither evidence nor logic supports the supposed health risks of GM food disingenuously alleged Of course, some individuals are allergic to particular GM foods You contradict yourself in the same paragraph. There is nothing wrong with being self contradictory, but there is everything wrong with it when your work is going to be released into the environment. The UK has the highest levels of Allergies in Europe. This has only been the case recently. Obviously something is terribly wrong with the modern environment (taking as given that the human population has not changed into ...something else in the intervening years. But I have already spoken about THAT have I not? :] ) To deliberately add these new, known allergens into the food chain is totally INSANE. offers the means to remove known natural allergens from crop plants. You can?t do that. You dont know how to do that. And more to the point, we have to find out WHY people are more allergic today than they were in the 1950's before we start releasing GM plants into the environment to solve a problem that is being caused by who knows what. industrial economy scientific progress hi-tech industrial economy Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Money is your God. Go back to university and re-train as a space engineer - that?s what the UK needs more of. Scientific Progress, and any kind of progress is not measured by a blinkered elite of salary addicts, and a "high-tech industrial economy" does not mean one that HAS to include the work of your particular specialty. This all boils down one thing; to whom does the environment belong? If I own a farm, should my neighbor be allowed to plant something that will poison and destroy the value of my crops? If this was in any way a fair country, anyone?s plants that were shown to be contaminated by cross pollination would be able to sue the manufacturers of GM plants, and their neighbors for the losses. If the Biotech garbage makers knew that they could be put out of business by a torrent of lawsuits resulting from proven contamination claims, they would never have released even the test plants into the environment, never mind full scale production. And of course, no farmer would take the risk of being sued if he knew that cross pollination was bound to happen. GM would be a non starter, at least in a country with a fair legal system. The Environment must belong to everyone collectively, otherwise, Mosanto and the other companies staffed with insane, 100% ego personality scientists would be able to alter all life forever, and we the chattel, will have no choice but to literally eat it. People like this ?Kevin Smith? if that is his real name, are, literally, the problem. Their blind belief in the God of money and science puts them on a pedestal above all other people and above all morality and responsibility. Only they are right, only their view of nature and the world is correct, and you will EAT what they give you to eat or you are a an anti science screeching Luddite. I am more than happy to break the following news to these people; the environment belongs to everyone equally, an no company, no single person has the right to permanently alter the environment for the sake of an experiment or the almighty dollar. If it is found later that you and your colleagues are in error, and that your work has damaged the environment, I guarantee you that you will, along with your corporate masters, be hauled into court in the Hague, where you will all face charges of crimes against humanity. You will not be able to claim that you were just following orders, or that you were doing what you thought was the right thing. You will be found guilty, and you will deserve your sentence, because you were warned not to release these organisms into the environment, but decided to do so anyway, to keep up with the joneses and to retain your salaries. Die you pigs DIE!
pulchritudinous perfervid
Yes yes Ken, but what do you THINK about those e-necking veil-dropping irizzos? No less than 500 words. : Iranian Youth Challenge Strict Islamic Code

Friday, February 20, 2004

Audio Terrorism?
Laumann, Edward O.: The Sexual Organization of the City
Imaginary Beings : ( ) しかし,興味深いのはもうひとつの「Best Recording Package」部門。実はこの部門があるのを今まで知らなかったんだけど,あのパッケージを候補に選んだというだけで信じるに足ると言うか。ところで気になるのはメンバーと共に名前が連ねられているAlex Torranceという人物。彼の他の製作物も見たいんだけど,どうもうまくひっかからない。Computerloveによると,R107 Systems Incorporatedの人らしいんだけど�。 Alta Vista gets as far as: the taste is deep .. 'Best Recording Package' ... now .. knows .. the period of five days .. letter .. foot .. word .. altogether .. in front of name .. Alex Torrance .. character. Other .. his .. crops .. computerlove .. R107 Systems Incorportated .. person
"the rightwing internet hooligan Matt Drudge",3604,1151093,00.html
... and then they had to go and spoil it for everyone...
Microsoft today released a critical update to remove "unacceptable symbols" from Bookshelf Symbol 7 font. Just 58-odd years after the Red Army hoisted its standard on the roof of the Reichstag on 30 April 1945, effectively ending the European war, MS has finally flushed the swastika from its last hiding place - an otherwise innocent font shipped with Office 2003. [...] ???!!!
Balltrimmer I got one of these in the Grammy gift bag. Wasn't branded as a BallTrimmer though. I tried to use it to trime my stubble the other day but it got tangled and stuck. It's rubbish. The literature that came with it said it's good for trimming your nose hairs. Nothing about testicles.
The Davros hot-rot laptop gets rated at metkumods.
Temple Cooper Clause have changed their name, eh? I knew that. OK. Then I'll go for... Peggy Lee Marvin Gaye Bikers on Acid Mothers Tempole Tudor Yo La Tengo Betweens Sunburned hand of the Man Seezer ... incomparable
Incomparable....Where can you see lions?
adba : self-reflecting rock mirror
Cliff Richard D James Dean Bradfield Slapp Happy Mondays Op-Art Ensemble of Chicago Underground Resistance (is futile) Simply Red Red Meat Beat Manifesto
The Cooper Temple Claus Eggers Sorenson The Male Nurse with Wound NirvanA-ha-ppy Mondays Hmm... Reflections: Redd Kross Pink The Headcoats/Headcoatees Thee (doesn't work at all) Guns and Roses Stone The
DOUBLETHINK by ROTOZAZA Got a mail about this, looks quite interesting. I don't really know a lot about performance / theatre, has anyone seen any of their past work? I've seen 3 plays in the last 2 years. A political comedy in Singapore called Comrade Mayor, very stylised white set, no props or costume changes (except for a feather boa) the cast all wore identical Hugo Boss suits. They had oversold the night so we had to sit on the floor at the base of the stage, very close and personal. Next was a really good adaptation of 1984 by Northen Stage Ensemble at the Hammersmith Lyric. Another minimal set using video projections and sound really well. Very claustrophobic. Finally I saw The Secret Rapture earlier this year at the Lyric in Shaftsbury Avenue. Clair Short was in the audience. I didn't really like this very much, it was too theatre, the acting the dialog, really unnatural. Obviously a direct reflection of real life would be tedious to watch, and dialog has to be spoken clearly and dynamically, but it all felt very forced. I had no sympathy with any of the characters, the only redeeming feature was Lynda Bellingham's legs. Hmmm?Anyway, that one has had some favorable reviews, so maybe I just don't get it.
Wire had 3 names linked together. But we can do better than that. If we work together. Peggy Lee Marvin Gaye Bikers on Acid Mothers Temple Cooper Clause
Art of Noisemakers Fifes Michelle Shockheaded Peters Rock Mirrors: Judas Priest Hoodlum
Cool, eh? The great minds thinking alike!
Nowhere near what you were thinking of, alex, but thought you might like this little php/mysql-powered visual navigation tool that I put together for clients ... click on the arrows to view associated branches, x to delete the structure from that point down ... oh, the headches brought about by the nested if & while statements ...
Right. *Rolls up sleeves*... Sigue Sigue Sputnik Kershaw Scritti Polittijuana brass Mimi Majick Davros Band* The The Beatles The Rolling Stone Temple Pilots Glen Campbelle and Sebastian Blab Happy Mondays Vehicle Derek and the Dominos The Allman Brothers Johnson Gaye Bikers on Acid Mothers Temple Beach Boys Wonder Corduroy Harper Jeff Lynryd Skynrd A Perfect Circle Jerks A.R. Kane Gang Blondie Toten Hosen Frank Zappapa Roach Special new thing, invented by me - Rock Mirrors. Centre words are the reflection point for two bands, e.g. Carl Cox Revolting Penguin Cafe Orchestra Light Electric erm...that's it I guess. *The Magic Davros Band is one of my lesser known projects, active in the early 90's. Oggs available on request.
Grateful Dead Kennedys Smogwai Penguin Cafe Orchestra Baobab Heavy StereoLabradford TatUB40 Basement Jaxxon Five - African Head Charge of the Light Brigade Zos Kia Pride Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie boys

Toward Universal Surveillance

Last month the Supreme Court let stand the Justice Department's right to secretly arrest non-citizen residents. Combined with the government's power to designate foreign prisoners of war as "enemy combatants" in order to ignore international treaties regulating their incarceration, and their power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without charge or access to an attorney, the United States is looking more and more like a police state. Since 9/11, the Justice Department has asked for, and largely received, additional powers that allow it to perform an unprecedented amount of surveillance of American citizens and visitors. The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in haste after 9/11, started the ball rolling. In December, a provision slipped into an appropriations bill allowing the FBI to obtain personal financial information from banks, insurance companies, travel agencies, real estate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S. Postal Service, jewelry stores, casinos, and car dealerships without a warrant -- because they're all construed as financial institutions. Starting this year, the U.S. government is photographing and fingerprinting foreign visitors into this country from all but 27 other countries. The litany continues. CAPPS-II, the government's vast computerized system for probing the backgrounds of all passengers boarding flights, will be fielded this year. Total Information Awareness, a program that would link diverse databases and allow the FBI to collate information on all Americans, was halted at the federal level after a huge public outcry, but is continuing at a state level with federal funding. Over New Year's, the FBI collected the names of 260,000 people staying at Las Vegas hotels. More and more, at every level of society, the "Big Brother is Watching You" style of total surveillance is slowly becoming a reality. Security is a trade off. It makes no sense to ask whether a particular security system is effective or not -- otherwise you'd all be wearing bulletproof vests and staying immured in your home. The proper question to ask is whether the trade-off is worth it. Is the level of security gained worth the costs, whether in money, in liberties, in privacy, or in convenience? This is a personal decision, and one greatly influenced by the situation. For most of us, bulletproof vests are not worth the cost and inconvenience. For some of us, home burglar alarm systems are. And most of us lock our doors at night. Terrorism is no different. We need to weigh each security countermeasure. Is the additional security against the risks worth the costs? Are there smarter things we can be spending our money on? How does the risk of terrorism compare with the risks in other aspects of our lives: automobile accidents, domestic violence, industrial pollution, and so on? Are there costs that are just too expensive for us to bear? Unfortunately, it's rare to hear this level of informed debate. Few people remind us how minor the terrorist threat really is. Rarely do we discuss how little identification has to do with security, and how broad surveillance of everyone doesn't really prevent terrorism. And where's the debate about what's more important: the freedoms and liberties that have made America great or some temporary security? Instead, the DOJ (fueled by a strong police mentality inside the Administration) is directing our nation's political changes in response to 9/11. And it's making trade-offs from its own subjective perspective: trade-offs that benefit it even if they are to the detriment of others. From the point of view of the DOJ, judicial oversight is unnecessary and unwarranted; doing away with it is a better trade off. They think collecting information on everyone is a good idea, because they are less concerned with the loss of privacy and liberty. Expensive surveillance and data mining systems are a good trade-off for them because more budget means even more power. And from their perspective, secrecy is better than openness; if the police are absolutely trustworthy, then there's nothing to be gained from a public process. If you put the police in charge of security, the trade-offs they make result in measures that resemble a police state. This is wrong. The trade-offs are larger than the FBI or the DOJ. Just as a company would never put a single department in charge of its own budget, someone above the narrow perspective of the DOJ needs to be balancing the country's needs and making decisions about these security trade-offs. The laws limiting police power were put in place to protect us from police abuse. Privacy protects us from threats by government, corporations, and individuals. And the greatest strength of our nation comes from our freedoms, our openness, our liberties, and our system of justice. Ben Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Since 9/11 Americans have squandered an enormous amount of liberty, and we didn't even get any temporary safety in return. by Bruce Schneier This essay originally appeared on CNet:

H5N1 vaccine strain in a week

Using reverse genetics, WHO thinks a prototype bird flu strain likely to be ready in a week | By Robert Walgate GENEVA?A prototype vaccine strain of the H5N1 flu virus causing havoc in Asia will probably be ready next week, John Wood of the UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) told The Scientist today (January 29). However, months of other hurdles remain before it may be ready for public health use. As leaders of the countries worst hit by the avian flu met in Bangkok at an emergency summit on Wednesday (January 28), World Health Organization (WHO) labs were working to formulate a vaccine against the virus. The H5N1 virus kills chicken eggs, the normal medium for growing flu vaccine viruses, so the WHO laboratories are using reverse genetics to lower the pathogenicity of the virus to chickens and to get a high yield in the egg cultures, said Klaus St?hr, project leader of the influenza surveillance and scientific groups for the H5N1 outbreak team. Reverse genetics also cuts down the normal time required for flu vaccine production. [...]
Mr Skolnick is the second US national to be fined for "disrespecting police" since Brazil began photographing and fingerprinting US citizens in January. [...]
I tried to search for this with google.....This is the faked photo of Kerry and "Hanoi" Jane Fonda, created by a dirty tricks office somewhere.
Submission to the Citizenship & Immigration Committee of the Canadian Parliament National Identity Cards October 4, 2003
I had a dream that I was in the local big-box record store, trying to get a vinyl copy of TG's "20 Jazz-Funk Greats" but some stupid skids (teenagers who love blink-182) got to it first. Damn them! On that personality thing, years ago I got INFJ "Counsellor." It was a different test though, with something around 200 questions. Kiersey I think. This one gave me...
INFJ - "Author". Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test
�Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
Chiastic Slide Rule Rolling Stone Roses Gang of Four Tet Pan Sonic Youth Radioheadstones
Ah yes, Paul Griffiths, I bought a friend this a few years ago and then borrowed it on occassion, but never read it the whole way through. I realise that site I posted isn't in anyway authoritative or exact, it's just quite funny.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Meet Dudley Hiibel. He's a 59 year old cowboy who owns a small ranch outside of Winnemucca, Nevada. He lives a simple life, but he's his own man. You probably never would have heard of Dudley Hiibel if it weren't for his belief in the U.S. Constitution. One balmy May evening back in 2000, Dudley was standing around minding his own business when all of a sudden, a policeman pulled-up and demanded that Dudley produce his ID. Dudley, having done nothing wrong, declined. He was arrested and charged with "failure to cooperate" for refusing to show ID on demand. And it's all on video. On the 22nd of March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Dudley and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "the papers" whenever a cop demands them. [...] At last!
See / get it and others by Paul Griffiths here.
Intelligent MIDI Sequencing with Hamster Control
An interesting look at the history of Electronic Music
ENFJ - "Persuader". Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test
Well? What are you waiting for? HOWARD!!!!
Hi, We noticed you linked to a story about the Grey Album. It seems like copies of the Grey Album are definitely making their way to people who want them, but we thought it was vitally important that we *insist* on sample-based musicians' right to create, and on the public's right to hear the amazing music they make. EMI wasn't just trying to stop DJ DM from selling the album, they sent cease and desist letters to some websites that were making it available for free. EMI acted to stop people from hearing this piece of fun and inventive music, and that's just not right. So we're organizing an online-protest of sorts--called "Grey Tuesday"--to take a stand and pretend, even if only for 24 hours, that we don't live in a culture where the legal environment ensnares musicians. The idea is that this Tuesday, February 24th, as many sites as possible mirror the Grey Album and/or turn their page "grayscale" (i.e. no color) for the day. We're also calling for people connected to independent radio stations (college, commercial, internet) to get the entire Grey Album played at some point on Tuesday (possibly along with the Beatles and Jay-Z sources). We've been pretty successful so far with our attempts to provoke debate about sampling and copyright. Check out this article from Wired that we got going:,1412,62276,00.html?tw=wn_story_page_prev2 or have a look at our press page: We're pretty confident that, if there's a reasonable level of participation, we can translate this "online event" into some serious coverage in mainstream press that tons of regular people will read. And what regular people think about sampling and copyright matters, especially when the future of the music industry is almost entirely up for grabs. So please, check it out: and email us to join:
Crystal Meth OD
Momus has a LiveJournal A recent entry speaks of the work of Mark Lombardi's political diagrams. Mark Lombardi I wonder how difficult it would be to write if anyone has written a program to automate this process. It would be very interesting. I like visual representations of databases, power structures and networks. I love looking at maps, and seeing how everything connects.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Ageing punks' single stunt a hit
Very good, Mary.
Pere Ubu Radleys
The Tragically Hip Replacements ouch
Now The Wire has taken up triplets... of band names. Their best shot: Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band of Holy Joy Division Well? What are you waiting for?
Kunsthaus Graz Has anyone been to this museum?
Barrie, I love The Hip too, many fond memories. They were amazing live, both for their performance, and for what they would do to the audience. It was incredible to see a mass of people dance and sing together. Every single lyric, in time, with passion. Probably NSFW.
Ben, have you thought of Public Life or the Arts Cafe in Aldgate. Crap PA in the latter, but they always have interesting nights there and the Pizza's good. I can't think of many other venues that would be free or cheap on a Friday, unless you want to go out to the sticks of Stoke Newington or something. There's the Octopad, but I'm not sure if that's still going. Maybe 291 Gallery, although that probably costs a lot. The other venues I can think of are all a bit to raucous. Catch 22 on Kingsland Road, Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon, Cafe Kick on Shoreditch High Street etc...
INTP - "Architect". Greatest precision in thought and language. Can readily discern contradictions and inconsistencies. The world exists primarily to be understood. 3.3% of total population.
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